Those Who Wait: A cop and a bleeding heart liberal. The two main ingredients for a fatal attraction soufflé with the chances of falling as fast as a Popsicle melts in Hades. Or does it? Always the first in line to tilt windmills, Investigator Keenan Rossi is determined to make his marriage to victim advocate Meghan Muldoon work. He's waited a long time for someone like her to come into his life; but can he avoid old behaviors when the going gets rough?
Where were you the first time you saw Meghan Muldoon? It was at a monthly crime stats meeting, maybe a couple days before Christmas. No one was in the mood to talk homicides, rape and other physical assaults, domestic violence calls, or robberies. Most of the brass were off spreading their usual Yule cheer so they sent replacements. A few of us regulars figured the tall, stacked red-head was the new kid on the block at the DA's office, sent here to get her feet wet. The lounge lizards among the regulars went on the prowl—per usual when a hot woman is within striking distance. Each one returned to the table holding their gonads in their hands.
Then she introduces herself as Meg Muldoon, new Director of Crime Victim Services, and I about dropped my teeth. She looked nothing like the usual bleeding heart liberal we're used to in this part of Upstate New York. You know the type: shapeless dress, heavy wool socks with Birkenstocks, flowers in her hair, singing Kumbaya. No sir. This one was wearing a snazzy red blouse and black suit with a skirt that made her legs look about ten feet long.
She stayed real quiet during the meeting—winning major points in my book--but when she opened her mouth I gotta tell you every guy in the place sat up and took notice. She asked all the right questions and didn't take the usual cop BS for gospel.
What was your first thought? Once the buzzing stopped in my ears and I rolled my tongue back into my mouth, I thought, 'Here's the woman my mama warned me about'.
What happened then? It is not a smart move, entertaining ideas of hooking up with her—I mean, a cop and a victim advocate? I'd been around the block a time or three with relationships, divorced twice, widowed once, but I couldn't get her laugh out of my head. It makes my teeth itch. I caught a rape call on New Year's Eve; Meg was the advocate who responded to the ER to work with the vic. That's where it started between us. What she said to the vic; how she helped her relax and respond to our questions—it made a big difference and we were able to clear a number of assaults in this end of the county.
What do you two do for fun and relaxation? I like to cook; she likes to watch. She loves to garden and planted an herb garden for me this year. I use what she grew in my recipes. I like watching television; she likes to read.
What is your favorite TV show? The Closer. I tape each show to watch in reruns if I miss the original airing. It's good at showing the drudgery of police work—and the endless litany of internal politics. Man, I hate internal politics. Just let me do my job and leave me the hell alone. Then there's Flynn and Provenza. Do you know how many of us on The Job would like to react like they do? Say the same things they say—and not get our butts in a sling?
Have your professional lives been negatively impacted by your personal relationship? For me, it is the opposite. Meghan has taught me to look at all sides of an issue and not jump to the easiest, fastest solution. Women bring an interesting set of ideas and values to the victimization process so it's important for me to remember they don't react the same as men.
What was the best advice you ever received? My dad told me this the day I married for the first time. It didn't hit home till I met and later fell in love with Meg. “Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So . . . if you give her crap, you will receive more shit than any human being can handle.”
Smart man, my dad.
Those Who Wait, blurb
Meghan Muldoon is at a cross-road. Recently married to a man who dotes on her, someone whom she thought existed only in fiction, she struggles to balance the demands of her vocation as an advocate for victims of violence versus those of a newlywed.
On Valentine's Day, a series of routine crises force her to reconsider staying with a profession that fulfills her both professionally and spiritually—or devoting the rest of her life to the one person who makes everything worthwhile.
Those Who Wait, EXCERPT:
“Crime Victim Services,” she murmured into the receiver. “How may I help you?”
The caller's voice was low, husky, and exquisitely male. “Do you know the difference between a barracuda and a victim advocate?”
Her heart skipped a beat. Maybe two. “Lip gloss.”
“Well damn,” Investigator Keenan Rossi muttered. “You already heard it.”
“An oldie but a goodie, pal.”
“Aren't we all. How you doin' on this gorgeous February day, gorgeous?”
Bringing the face of the handsome sheriff's detective to mind took no great effort. After several moments of imagining twinkling eyes and a dimpled grin, she said, “Not too bad. How's by you?”“Lemme tell you, cara. If I was any better, I'd scare myself.”