"I can't believe this is happening," Lydia said. "Of all the stupid things that could--how the hell did you let this happen?"
"Let this happen? I'm not the one who let the door shut behind us!" Rene said.
"Well, however it happened, we're stuck here now. You'd better hope Detective Fernandez notices we haven't come back from interviewing that chef."
"Oh, you mean the one who left us in the freezer to die, that chef? Because I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to think he's guilty."
"I think you might just be right about that," Lydia answered with a wry smile. "Shit, it's really cold in here."
Rene stretched out his arm and gestured. Lydia raised her eyebrows. He gestured again. "Come on, Lydia--two's warmer than just one."
"Are you seriously saying we need to huddle for warmth, Hollywood? Because I don't think we've reached that point in our partnership. "
"Suit yourself," Rene answered, sitting on a box of cabbage and sticking his hands into his armpits.
After she spent fifteen more minutes trying again for reception, any kind of reception, on either of their cell phones or radios, Lydia sat down next to him on the box of cabbage. Her teeth were chattering.
Rene didn't say anything, just took his jacket off, wrapped his arm around Lydia, and put his jacket around both of them.
"Thanks," Lydia said grudgingly after a moment.
"You're welcome," Rene answered quietly. Lydia spent the next fifteen minutes with as much of her body pressed up against his as she could manage without climbing on top of him, and also noticing how good he smelled. And how firm the muscles of his thighs felt against hers.
Five minutes after that, the sous chef opened the freezer.
Rene ended up getting transferred a couple days after that. Lydia dealt with a few different partners, including a brief stint back with Russell, and then finally settled in with Josie.
And then Russell sold her crime scene photos.
She'd never been so angry, so betrayed, in her life. She wanted to hit something. She wanted to hit Russell, or maybe just kick him in the balls. That sounded about right.
She was so caught up in her fantasy of kicking her ex-partner in the balls that she almost missed her phone ringing. Once she dug it out of her purse, she stared at the caller ID for a second before deciding to answer.
"Hey Hollywood, how's RHD treating you?"
"Fine, just fine, although I know you have to be missing me over there."
She'd forgotten the way his voice sounded, a combo of sexy and annoyingly overconfident. "We're doing just fine without you, Rene."
"Of course you are. Listen, Lydia," he said, then hesitated.
"What is it, Rene?"
"It's just, I heard about Russell. I wanted to call and tell you how sorry I am that it all went down that way."
"You and me both," Lydia said, thinking again about kicking Russell in the balls.
"I wondered if you wanted to maybe get a drink, get your mind off things."
"I don't know, Rene," she said. "It's been a long day."
"Tell you what. I'll buy you a $20 martini, how's that sound?" he teased, and god help her, she laughed.
"I'll settle for some tequila at that place we went to last time," she answered.
"I'll see you there in half an hour."
When she woke up the next morning next to Rene, she wasn't cold at all.