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Trixie Belden and the Mystery in the 12th Precinct

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Trixie couldn't believe this was happening to her. It had seemed like such a simple case, nothing near as exciting as some of the mysteries she'd solved as a kid. Just another woman wanting proof of her husband's infidelity so she could get the upper hand in her divorce. She hated this sort of thing, but it paid the bills.

But now the husband was dead and she'd been locked up pending a charge of murder.

Lacking a lawyer, she'd wasted her one phone call by calling Jim Frayne. Calling her brothers at this point would have meant both a lecture and her parents finding out and the latter scared her more than the former.

"You've been what?" He'd sounded resigned, as though he'd known this day would come, sooner or later. "Fine. I'll talk to dad about getting you a lawyer. Honey's still living in the city. I'll have her come down to post your bail."

"I think they're just holding me for questioning," Trixie replied quickly, if untruthfully. "I don't need bail." She hadn't seen Honey since that disastrous Christmas twelve years ago and wasn't sure she wanted to see her former friend now. Not when she'd got herself into a scrape as bad as this.

But Jim didn't listen. "It's about time the two of you started talking to each other again. This silly quarrel of yours...."

"Of ours? You all agreed with me that she was acting irrationally. I'm just the one who opened up her mouth and stuck my foot into it," Trixie snapped. "And we all thought it would blow over, but it didn't."

That one quarrel had broken up the Bob-Whites and any hopes Trixie had had of the Belden-Wheeler detective agency. And there always seemed to be plenty of blame to go around whether or not she felt like she deserved it. She took a deep breath and swallowed her pride. "Jim, this isn't the time or the place. Fine, send Honey if you can't think of another way." Needs must, as Mart would say.

Honey was leaning back in her chair, listening to Harris and the Captain talk about the old days and thinking about how glad she was that it had been a quiet day, when her cell phone rang. She glanced at the display. Jim? She hadn't even known that he had this number. She let it go to voicemail. It wasn't that Wojo minded them taking personal calls while on duty, but she couldn't think of any reason why whatever Jim wanted couldn't wait until she got off in an hour. Or even until she got home.

She didn't think about the Bob-Whites much any more. Or at least, if someone had asked, Honey would have said she didn't. It wasn't as though she'd completely lost touch. She still saw Jim when she went to visit her father at Christmas and caught glimpses of their lives on Facebook, but the divorce had spelled the end of the Bob-Whites as they had been.

The phone on her desk rang, and before she could sit up, Harris grabbed it. "Twelfth Precinct. Harris speaking," he answered though he were still a cop at the precinct, even though he'd been retired for at least five years. "Madeleine, what a pleasant surprise." He listened for a moment. "Yes, she's right here. It's for you," he said to Honey as he handed her the phone as though he'd done her a favor.

Honey glared at him before accepting the phone. She'd never been able to stay angry at any of Wojo's old squad buddies long. "Mom, what's up?"

"Jim left a message on the machine saying you weren't answering your cell," Madeleine Wheeler said crisply. "And given the nature of the message, I thought I'd better pass it along."

"So what was this very important message that couldn't wait five minutes? I am still working here." Theoretically, at any rate. Mostly she'd been procrastinating to avoid the stack of paperwork on her desk.

"Trixie's been taken into custody in a murder investigation," her mother replied.

"It was bound to happen sooner or later," Honey replied cynically and immediately regretted it. They might no longer be friends, but that didn't mean she wished Trixie ill. "What does that have to do with me? I haven't been in Sleepyside in months and the NYPD has no jurisdiction there."

"She's not in Sleepyside either. Jim said she was being held at the 12th Precinct. That's why I wanted to catch you before you left the station," her mother explained.

Honey closed her eyes and said something inappropriate under her breath. "I don't suppose Jim got the arresting officer's name?" Either way, she was going to have to go downstairs and talk to homicide, which wouldn't have been a problem when Captain Montgomery was there, but the new Captain was known to be inflexible.

"Kate Beckett." Honey could hear the amusement in her mother's voice.

That was one piece of good news. Honey had gone through the academy with Kate and knew she was a good cop; she'd figure out Trixie was innocent quickly enough, if she hadn't already. "Thanks, mom. I'll go down and see where things stand."

"Problem?" Captain Wojciehowicz asked.

"My friend, Trixie, I've told you about her, has been arrested on a murder charge. Kate Beckett was the arresting officer. I don't suppose...?" Honey let the question hang in the air, already knowing what the answer would be.

"Go on down." Wojo was already punching a number into the phone, and Honey suspected he'd be talking to his counterpart in homicide about the case. That was one piece of good news. He might even be able to talk Captain Gates into a good mood.

Honey checked her hair and makeup, made sure her gun wasn't showing, and headed for the door.

To Trixie's relief Beckett and her partner seemed to believe her when she said she was innocent. But it also surprised her. She knew how guilty she must have looked, kneeling by the body with a gun in her hand and the glove she'd lost that morning lying beside her covered in blood. It was an amateur's mistake. She knew better than to touch a crime scene, but in her defense she'd thought he might still be alive at the time.

"That wasn't the murder weapon," Castle had pointed out. "It hadn't even been fired. And besides, he was stabbed."

This was news to Trixie. She'd seen the blood but hadn't had time to check the wound before the police had shown up. Trixie still didn't understand how Castle could be Beckett's partner. From what she'd gathered he wasn't even a cop. But no one was questioning his authority, so he must have some status here.

"She could have stabbed him and then picked up the gun," Beckett countered. "But that leaves the question of what happened knife. Why hide that and then come back and pick up the gun?"

Trixie couldn't help coming up with a far-fetched scenario but she had the sense to bite her lip. "So am I free to go?" she asked instead.

"Yes, but we'll need you to stay in the city in case we have more questions." There was a knock at the door to the interrogation room and Detective Beckett answered it. After a moment, she closed the door behind her, leaving Trixie alone with Castle.

Trixie hadn't been able see who the Detective was speaking to, but she'd have recognized Honey's voice anywhere from the few words that had been spoken before the door was closed.

She didn't want to think about what her old friend might tell the detective. Sergeant Molinson had threatened more than once to lock her up to keep her from sticking her nose where it didn't belong and Detective Beckett didn't even know her. Wasn't there a charge of interfering in police business or something?

But that wasn't the most pressing problem. Staying in the city tonight was going to be expensive and she barely had enough in the bank to cover this month's rent. She'd been counting on this job to cover this month's expenses and now that wasn't going to happen. Trixie had kept her finances a secret from her family so far, but another month like this or more unexpected expenses and she wasn't going to have a choice.

It wasn't long before Beckett returned to the room, Honey in tow. "You're free to go, Ms. Belden. Given what I've heard about you," a phrase Trixie had grown to fear, "I'm releasing you into Ms. Hart's custody. Don't leave the city."

Trixie hadn't realized that Honey's unhappiness with the divorce had led her to start using her mother's name. But at least that solved the question of where Trixie would be sleeping tonight, even if Honey didn't look thrilled about it.

"Give my regards to your mom," Castle said to Honey as they left the room.

Trixie wondered how he knew who her mom was, but was too worn down by the events of the day to inquire. She made a mental note to ask Honey that night.

Neither of them said much in the cab back to Honey's apartment. Somehow, Trixie had expected her to live in the condo where the Bob-Whites had stayed during various visits to the city. Instead they had ended up in a loft apartment in Soho. Still expensive looking, but nowhere near as intimidating to Trixie as the posh apartment in Midtown would have been.

"You're home early," Madeleine Wheeler said as they walked in. She was sitting on the sofa with a book and a cup of tea, looking as elegant as ever. "I suppose that's my cue to disappear."

"You don't have to, mom," Honey said easily, but without conviction.

"Nonsense. I'm sure you too have a lot to talk about, and I have some Christmas shopping I can take care of before the gala. I already warned Elizabeth I might be over early." Mrs. Wheeler carefully placed a bookmark in her book, stood and gathered her coat and pocketbook. "I'll give the Burkes your regards and explain that something came up. Have a good time and don't wait up for me."

As she put on her coat, she added cryptically, "you know how to find me if you need me."

Mrs. Wheeler - Ms. Hart now, Trixie supposed, was out the door before Trixie could think of anything to say, but the moment the door closed, she blurted out "You're living with your mom?"

Honey tensed. "You say that like it's a fate worse than death. I happen to like living with her. And there's no way I could afford a place like this on my own," she snapped.

Trixie winced. She hadn't meant it that way. Nor had she intended to reopen the old quarrel. "I loved living at Crabapple Farm. But the moment I could, I got a place of my own." A place she was close to losing now. "I guess I was surprised you didn't do the same."

After a moment, Honey relaxed. "It isn't like Crabapple Farm. Mom is still away more often than not, so I do have it to myself most of the time. And as you saw, she's good about disappearing on cue."

"Not at all." The idea that Mrs. Wheeler's active social life might be a benefit hadn't occurred to Trixie. "If I were still living at home, my parents would be constantly around, as would Bobby. Not that I don't love them, but they don't always remember I'm an adult." Trixie followed Honey into the kitchen.

"Tea?" Honey started rummaging in the refrigerator. "I could make something for dinner or we could order in. My mom's the opposite way. When we first moved back here, she'd forget I wasn't 18 yet so when I did the shopping I had to remind her that I couldn't pick up the liquor for her dinner parties." She sighed. "Not that it looks like there's much here. I work odd hours, and mom's more apt to order in or eat out than to cook."

That wasn't anything new. Trixie didn't remember Mrs. Wheeler ever setting foot in a kitchen. She glanced through the takeout menus beside the phone and winced at the prices. "Whatever you can find will be fine." She might be able to cover her share of a takeout order, but that was a big maybe.

Honey emerged from the refrigerator with a bemused look on her face. "We've got half a jar of olives and three clementines. I doubt even your mother could make something edible out of those. How about pizza? My treat." Just as she picked up the phone to dial, it rang. "Hart residence. Oh, hi, Martha. I'd love to but I've got company."

Trixie told herself that she didn't need to know about Honey's new friends but that didn't stop her from listening intently, even as she wandered into the living room to look around. Like the building, the loft wasn't anywhere as formal as the Manor House, though she could spot touches of elegance that had to be Mrs. Wheeler's influence.

Honey laughed at something the other woman said. "I suppose I should have expected it. No, mom's already gone off to that art thing. Yeah, that's the one. Tell C- your son that I'm not playing tonight. We're going to order pizza and talk about old times." After a few pleasantries, Honey hung up the phone and ordered a pizza. "Fifteen minutes," she to Trixie, before joining her in the living room. "Does it meet with your approval?"

Trixie tried to ignore the pointedness of the question. Honey had accused her of being judgmental during that fight so long ago and it seemed like her former friend's opinion hadn't changed. "I like it," she said surprising herself because it was true. It was more formal than Crabapple Farm, but unlike the Manor House, this felt lived in. Almost comfortable. She sat down on the sofa where Mrs. Wheeler had been sitting. "Rick Castle's latest. I didn't know your mom liked mysteries."

"You never seemed terribly interested in what my mom liked," Honey said, but with no rancor in her voice. "She might have surprised you."

"Maybe. She did want to adopt Jim," Trixie relented. Suddenly something hit her. "Rick Castle. He questioned me. I could have asked for his autograph." She'd never lost her taste for detective novels.

Honey laughed at that, though Trixie wasn't sure what was so funny. "I'm sure you'll see him again. So why don't you tell me what happened?"

Trixie hadn't heard Honey laugh in a very long time. She hadn't realized how much she missed it. "Stupid case blew up in my face." That was putting it mildly.

"As you probably know, I've been trying to get a detective agency started. This was a standard divorce case." It pained her to admit this. They'd had such dreams once. "You know the thing. One partner thinks the other is cheating on them and wants them investigated. It all seemed routine. I was tracking the guy. He'd just left the Union Square Market heading south but I wasn't sure where he was going. Or why he decided to take that shortcut through the alley. If I hadn't been shadowing him, I wouldn't have stumbled over the body. I knelt down to see if he was still alive and my knee hit the gun. I picked it up to see what it was and then the cops showed up. End of story. The strange thing is, he wasn't shot. He was stabbed and they couldn't find the murder weapon. In the morning we should go over and look for it."

"And disrupt a crime scene. Do you want to get into more trouble than you're already in, Trixie." Honey asked sharply.

"No, I suppose not. But I should look over my notes. I never found evidence of cheating but something was going on. I just hadn't figured out what." Trixie dug a USB drive out of her pocket. She was a little surprised that it had been returned to her with her other things.

"We can do that after dinner," Honey replied as the doorbell rang. "That must be the pizza."

Honey wasn't certain what set her instincts off, but it wasn't her regular delivery guy. Still, it could just be a sub. But as she reached for her money, she noticed the glint of a gun under the pizza box. Dropping the wallet, she caught at his arm, but not before he managed to get one wild shot off and she heard a crash behind her. "Down, Trixie," she yelled, drawing her gun. It only took her a minute to pin him to the floor. "Honey Hart, NYPD. Care to explain yourself."

She ignored Trixie's gasp of surprise, as she cuffed him and read him his rights. She heard the elevator door swing open and looked up, "I believe he might have information pertinent to your current case."

"You may well be right." Honey had been expecting Castle, but it was Beckett who spoke. "Care to explain why you were trying to kill our witness?"

Trixie hadn't said a word so far, Honey realized. But something else was nagging her. "Bull Thompson?" She stared at him in shock.

"You know this character?' Castle asked.

Trixie finally found her voice. "He is - was - part of a gang of thieves that operated in Sleepyside. I haven't seen him in years, though." But it wasn't Bull she was looking at. "You became a cop?" she accused Honey.

"Yup. I'm a precinct detective at the same station as their homicide division." Honey pointed an elbow at Beckett and Castle. "Beckett and I did our training together."

"I've heard all the stories," Beckett added a little too cheerfully for Honey's tastes. "And I've had more than a little experience in dealing with a maverick civilian who thinks he's a detective."

"Hey!" Castle protested. "I resemble that remark."

Beckett and Honey looked at each other and laughed. "Knowing who you were, it was pretty clear you were being set up to take the fall."

"So you set me up as bait without bothering to tell me." Trixie looked from one to the other incredulously.

"Yup," Honey replied. "If we'd let you in on it, you'd have done something reckless. This way we kept you contained until we netted a proper suspect. And now it's back to the squad room for paperwork and interrogation. And maybe between the four of us we can figure out whodunnit."

This trip to the station was much more pleasant than Trixie's first. Bull had been sent off with the uniforms who had arrived surprisingly quickly and she and Honey had ended up in the backseat of Beckett's car. "I can't believe the Thompson gang set me up. It makes no sense."

"The last I remember," Honey added, "both Bull and Snipe had been issued long sentences for that counterfeiting scheme of theirs. The one we stopped just before my parents split up."

Castle twisted around to look at them, covering the mouthpiece of his phone with his hand. "Esposito says Bull was released two weeks ago. Good behavior or something. Snipe's still safely in jail."

"He was after revenge, then," Beckett said as she glared at the traffic.

"The real question is whether he planned it himself or if his uncle was involved. Trixie, are you sure you haven't seen anything odd recently?" Honey asked. Trixie still hadn't wrapped her head around the fact that the formerly timid Honey had become a cop, but she was certainly acting the part.

"Esposito says that they're going to contact the Sleepyside police and start looking into Thompson's former associates." Castle said as he put his phone away. "They hope to know more by the time we reach the precinct. If we ever do."

"It is rush hour," Honey pointed out. "We would have made better time by walking. Trixie, maybe you'd better tell us about your case."

Trixie agreed. The woman who had hired her had to be involved in some way. "I have a small office on Hawthorne Street. Don't look at me like that, Honey. It's better now than it used to be and anyway, it's all I could afford." After seeing Honey's apartment, Trixie was feeling more than a little defensive, but she took a breath and continued. "It just seemed like an ordinary case. This woman came in and said she thought her husband was cheating on her. She said her name was Emma Carter, but that was probably false. I did my usual research and everything checked out. I must have missed something." How had she missed that? Such a stupid mistake. "So I started my surveillance. Mostly it's been in Sleepyside, but she came to me this morning and told me he'd claimed he was going to the city to buy presents today." She fingered the USB drive in her pocket, and then added. "I have my notes with me if you want to take a look. Maybe you'll find something I missed."

Beckett was finally able to make a right turn, but that just revealed more traffic. "Give it to Honey," she said absently as she swerved to avoid a double-parked car. "And the Thompsons?"

"They were small time crooks," Honey explained. "Betting, petty crime. They tried once or twice for a big score, but they kept tripping over Trixie."

"Over both of us," Trixie corrected. They had been a team once.

"Over all the Bob-Whites," Honey conceded.

"Maybe it wasn't revenge," Castle said. "Could someone have set you up?"

"I'm starting to wonder that myself. Maybe something's going on on Hawthorne Street and they wanted you out of the way," Honey said. "Even if they didn't charge you with the murder, as a witness and probable suspect they would have insisted you stay in the city tonight."

Trixie stared at her. "That makes too much sense."

Castle's phone rang. "Castle." He listened for a while. "That's brilliant. Well, not the murder itself, and come to think about it, that method has been used before, but only in fiction, as far as I know. And it means that the murderer must have been hiding in that alleyway if he or she expected their plan to work. Thanks, Lanie." He looked over the back seat. "Apparently, the weapon of choice was a knife made of ice."

"I thought I felt something but it was hard to tell in the dark and I suppose that by the time you got the body to the morgue, it had melted," Trixie said.

"So the murderer had to be close, or the ice would have melted. That is clever." Beckett twisted the wheel and the car made a sharp turn on to the West Side Highway and turned on her lights and sirens. "Trixie, do you know the number for the police department in Sleepyside?"

Trixie rattled off the digits. "You want Captain Molinson."

Castle was already dialing. He explained the situation quickly, then passed the phone to Trixie.

For once, Trixie was relieved to hear Captain Molinson on the other end. "We're on our way but we have no idea what they're planning."

"Well, I've got some news for you. I spotted Jonesy this morning. I wasn't sure it was him at first - he's filled out a little and grown a tidy beard since we saw him last, but he and Snipe have worked together before," Molinson said.

"You don't need to tell me. I remember all too well." Trixie looked at Honey. "Jonesy's back in town. Maybe you better let your brother know." She turned back to the call. "I wish we knew what they were after. Something to do with Jim's inheritance, I imagine. It usually is."

As she listened to Molinson's report on the situation and passed that information along to Beckett, and Castle did the same for Esposito, Trixie could hear Honey rather tensely asking Elise to get Jim on the phone. She had never figured out why Honey disliked her stepmother so much, but perhaps tonight, once they'd stopped Jonesy, there would be time to ask.

Trixie had never thought to ask before - just tried to persuade her to give Elise a chance and they both knew how well that had turned out.

Finally Honey put down the phone. "Jim isn't even in Sleepyside. He had to take a trip out to the West Coast to help dad with some business deal."

"Assuming he made the flight." Trixie replied with surprising cynicism. It did explain why Jim had been so eager to push Trixie off onto Honey, though.

"Elise said she'd call the plane and get back to me." Honey leaned back in her seat. "I hate this." She stared bleakly out at the traffic. "It's going to take us another two hours to get to Sleepyside at this rate. It would have been faster on the train." Trixie could tell she was worried about Jim."

"We'll get there. Or Molinson will. He's better at his job than we ever gave him credit for," Trixie said, wishing she believed it.

Just then he came back on the line. "We've pulled in one of Snipe's former associates. It doesn't look like they were after Jim at all. Just trying to get back into the counterfeiting racket. I've got a warrant and I'm just about to order my men into the building next to yours. I'll call you back when there's news."

Trixie reported this back to the group as the car inched past the Javits Center.

Honey put down her own phone. "Elise reports that Jim is fine and on the plane to Oregon." She looked more than a little relieved.

"They identified the woman as Janice Jones," Castle added. "Wanted for art forgery. And the body was her former husband Steven. It's looking like she decided he was expendable."

"Janice Jones. I wonder if she's related to Jonesy." Trixie said. "That's almost too much of a coincidence."

"She is, Trixie. Remember Jonesy's niece who masqueraded as Juliana? Her mother's name was Janice," Honey said. "I overheard mom talking to- I overheard mom talking about her. I think she's the only successful crook in the family."

"Well, this time she won't be." Trixie's phone rang and she picked up. "They raided the place just as Jonesy was dousing it in kerosene. You're right about the art forgery. They weren't forging money this time, but art. But Janice Jones wasn't among the people they picked up. It seems the FBI was getting too close and they were trying to cut their losses."

Castle nodded and repeated this to Esposito. "He's going to contact the FBI art fraud division and let them know."

Honey's phone rang. "Mom? Can this wait?" She paused suddenly. "Or wait, can you put Peter Burke on? I have a question for him." She listened for a moment. "Of course they did. Good to know. Put him on anyway." She looked up at the rest of the group. "My art fraud contact. It sounds like they got Janice too."

Trixie stared at her friend as she explained what had happened and considered all the pieces. "If it was just Bull, Jonesy and Janice, then either Bull or Janice must have been the murderer."

"Janice, I imagine. Murder with an ice knife doesn't sound like Bull's style," Honey said, as she put down her phone.

"That's what Esposito thought," Castle added. "She probably took the glove when she visited you this morning."

Beckett turned off on to 42nd Street. "Back to the squad room then. It sounds like we've solved this without even getting out of the car. That's unexpected, even for you, Castle."

The ride back to the station was uneventful and the denouement was almost boring, a rehash of everything that they already learned. But finally Trixie and Honey were free to go back to the loft. They'd gotten Chinese food from a place down the block and now they were settled on the sofa with empty cartons spread out before them on the coffee table, feeling contentedly lazy.

"It almost feels like old times," Trixie said. "Though I think I'd rather have a nice simple acrimonious cheating case, if you don't mind."

"There's a reason I didn't try for homicide," Honey replied. She looked at Trixie, started to say something and then stopped. Finally she said, "Have you ever thought about it? What makes those divorce cases any different than my parents'?"

"I don't know what you mean." Trixie fell silent, hoping Honey would go on.

"You all - you just took sides automatically. My mom was the bad guy because she didn't like the same things you liked. All the Bob-Whites got along better with my dad, so he had to be in the right. But he's the one who got married six months after the divorce was final. If he'd just asked for a divorce, she would have given it to him. But, no, he had to do it in such a way that would make it all her fault. For being a spoiled débutante."

"I hadn't realized-" She hadn't. She'd just assumed. "Honey, I guess I just assumed. We all did."

"I'm not saying my mom will ever be as great as yours, or even a paragon of virtue like Elise, but just because she isn't getting her hands dirty doesn't mean she's always wrong," Honey continued. "And that's just it. I got tired of all the assumption. And Elise loves the outdoors and she climbs mountains and skis, and I get that she's wonderful and probably better for dad than mom ever was. But my mom isn't the villain of the piece." Honey paused there to take a breath. "End rant. No, wait, I have one more thing to say. Maybe I used it as an excuse to get away. You were so determined to become a detective that I was feeling trapped."

"But you became a detective." Trixie looked her friend up and down. "And a more successful one than me."

Honey didn't deny it. "You're still a good detective, Trixie. Just because you made one mistake, doesn't mean-"

"That isn't what I meant," Trixie interrupted. "I talked my dad into giving me a loan to start the agency so I haven't dared to tell any of my family this, but it hasn't been going nearly as well as I thought it would. I haven't had that many cases and getting people to pay hasn't been easy. I'm almost down to the last of the money I was loaned, and if I can't make ends meet this month, I'm going to have to admit to everyone that I failed. It was hard enough convincing them that I wanted to do this, especially after you left. And now, well, it wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but-"

"You're too proud to admit it," Honey finished for her. "I was surprised at how easily my mom accepted that I wanted to be a cop, but I understand completely."

"I knew you would." Trixie had missed this so much. "If you don't do homicide, what do you do?"

"Petty crime, drugs, theft. Mostly stuff in the neighborhood. I like it. The squad's run by someone with great instincts who's good at working with people, but who never thinks he's seen it all. Dan's at another precinct, but we get together every few weeks and talk shop. I think it's probably more like what we used to do than what you're doing now."

"If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to recruit me," Trixie teased.

"Maybe I am." Honey studied Trixie. "Dreams don't always take the expected path, you know. You'd have to go through basic training and work your way up the ranks, but Wojo could probably get you assigned to the 12th, if that was what you wanted."

"I don't know what I want."

"I didn't either. I got a university degree before I did this," Honey said. "Think about it. Maybe you don't want to be up here. I bet Sergeant Molinson would welcome you on the force."

"Captain Molinson," Trixie corrected automatically. She'd done the same thing for ages when he'd been promoted to Captain. "But yes, he's hinted around that a time or two."

Honey nodded. "So, it's not like you don't have options."

"I tell you what, I'll consider my options, if you'll agree to give Elise a chance. She did help us today. And I'll promise to do the same for your mother." Trixie thought that was a fair trade.

"I think I can agree to that," Honey said lightly. She stared at Trixie thoughtfully before bending over her. "And perhaps we can seal the deal-" Her lips were light and sweet on Trixie's and after a moment, Trixie's hands tangled in her hair.

Perhaps, Trixie had missed this most of all.