A Rizzoli & Isles (J/M) Story
By Enginerd


Rizzoli & Isles were created by Tess Gerritsen and adapted for TV by Janet Tamaro.  This story takes place prior to the Season Two finale (which does not exist in my R&I universe) and contains mature themes involving the love and its physical expression between two women. 


Jane sat at a table in the precinct coffee shop and looked over a current unsolved case file.  She needed a change from her surroundings – namely Frost and Korsak, who could not shut up about Dr. Pendleton and Maura.  She would have thought two grown men would not resort to kissy sounds or repeating a stupid children’s chant, after the three had witnessed Maura and said Doctor in a heated kiss outside the precinct as he dropped her off.  There was certainly no fucking tree, mention of marriage or a goddamn baby carriage; it was just a fucking KISS they saw!  And she sure as hell didn’t need Korsak and Frost yapping about it.  All.  Day.  Long. 

Jane also didn’t need to be a detective or have a nosey mother living in Maura’s guesthouse to know that Doctor Pendleton had spent the night again with Maura.  She shook her head with annoyance, considering Maura was going to live to be 150 if sex had as many health benefits as her friend had touted.  Jane sipped her coffee and snorted derisively considering her own sex life; she’d likely keel-over before forty…if her job didn’t do her in…or her mother nagged her to death.

She quietly moaned when she spotted her mother approach, like a heat-seeking missile.  While grateful her Ma had a job and one that she loved, Jane wished it were at some other coffee shop . . . far away from work.

“Jane!  Just the person I was looking for,” Angela boomed.

“And here I am,” she said with an innocent smile, wondering what Angela wanted now.

“So what are you going to get Maura?” Angela asked in a worried whisper.

“Get Maura?”

“For her birthday,” she explained as if Jane was a bit dense. 

“That’s like two weeks away,” Jane scoffed with a chuckle.

“That’s NOT a lot of time,” Angela complained.

“Get her . . . a Hickory Farms gift basket or something,” Jane offered, causing Angela’s eyes to widen in disbelief.

“What!?!  What kind of gift idea is THAT?” Angela snapped, swatting Jane’s arm for good measure.

“Hey!”  Jane looked at her crazy mother as she held her abused arm.

“We need to get her something with class!” Angela hissed.

“Even if she doesn’t like Hickory Farms, she can offer it to her guests – namely us.  When we’re at her house for the games, Frankie and Tommy inhale whatever she has.  Summer sausage and cheese – tell me that’s not a good gift,” Jane argued, not understanding.

“It’s not a good gift!  I’d die from embarrassment if she opened up something like that at her party,” Angela complained.

“Party?”  Jane asked, the first she had heard about any party.  Though she supposed her mother would throw Maura one too, as she is now the official party expert - her “My pretty pony” party went over so well.   

“Constance is planning to throw this really fancy . . . . Shhh!” Angela suddenly blurted unnecessarily when Maura entered the coffee shop. 

“How do you know that Maura’s mom is…?” Jane asked curiously at Angela’s insight into what Constance’s plans.  Last she had heard, Constance was busy in New York City.

“Shhh!” Angela added, interrupting her slow daughter, and plastered on a huge smile for the Medical Examiner.  “Maura dear!  The usual?”

Maura smiled.  “That would be lovely.”

“Coming right up,” Angela said happily to the Doctor, sneaking a quick glaring look at Jane to remind her she needed to really think about the present.

Jane smiled and finger waved at her mother.

“This seat taken?”  Maura asked politely, looking at Jane then the empty seat.

“Yes.  By you,” Jane said with a smirk, moving her folders out of the way.

“Was Angela shushing you?” Maura asked curiously as she sat, glancing towards the elder Rizzoli, who was busy behind the counter.

“Would you believe she sprung a leak?” Jane offered.

Maura eyed her, clearly unsatisfied with the answer.

“Why yes, Maura, my mother was shushing me,” Jane said with a sigh, hating to be shushed. 


“Now if I told you, then that would defeat the purpose of her shushing me,” Jane explained easily with a shrug.

Maura smiled at her friend, undeterred.  “I’ll get it out of you later,” she said confidently with a sparkle in her eye.

“You should try Ma, she’s more likely to crack under pressure,” Jane countered with a smirk, looking towards her mother behind the counter. 

“We’ll see,” Maura responded, certain with the right questions and enough patience, she could extract the desired information from her friend.

“You get the DNA results yet?” Jane asked, sipping her coffee.

“Yes,” Maura said, feeling bad for the sudden hope in Jane’s eyes.  “Unfortunately, no match,” she offered with a sympathetic wince.

Jane exhaled with frustration.  “I thought for sure….eh.  Back to square one, I guess,” she said looking down with a shrug as she reigned in her disappointment.  Something she was getting a lot of practice with, Jane considered with annoyance.

“You’ll figure this out, Jane,” Maura said and reached out, placing a comforting hand over Jane’s.

Jane looked into sympathetic eyes, almost getting lost in them.  “We’ll see,” Jane said neutrally.  She awkwardly patted Maura’s hand before promptly withdrawing both of hers with a weak smile.

Angela came to them with a cup for Maura and a pot of fresh brewed for Jane’s refill.

“I gotta go, Ma.  Criminals to catch and all,” Jane blurted, suddenly hopping up from her seat, and kissed a surprised Angela on the cheek.

“Oh.  Ok, honey.  Be safe!” Angela called out to her quickly departing daughter.

After watching Jane disappear into the hallway, Maura turned to Angela with a curious look.  “Have you noticed Jane acting odd lately?” 

“Lately??” Angela snorted with amusement and left to attend to another customer.

Chapter 1 – Symphony Hall


Dr. Charles Pendleton smiled at his date; Maura looked amazing as usual.  He didn’t care for his tuxedo, which felt a bit suffocating.  Though rubbing elbows with the wealthy and influential required a few concessions, he acknowledged as he glanced around the modest gathering of several dozen people, a small fraction of the general audience.  Only the very important patrons of Symphony Hall were allowed to the after-performance social events, he considered smugly, proud that he could arrange this exceptional evening.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was dating the daughter of two prominent members on the board of directors either, he thought with a smirk.

“Oh Charles, the performance was simply . . . breath-taking.  Thank you for bringing me here,” she said again, guided by her dashing date through a group of patrons. 

“Well you said you hadn’t been to an event at Symphony Hall in a while.  And I thought you’d enjoy getting dressed up and having a night on the town,” Charles said, very pleased with himself.  He was also looking forward to her appreciation later that evening.

“Oh you know I don’t need a reason to get dressed up.  But the sentiment is appreciated, as is your selection of venue,” she smiled, looking around the room.

“My pleasure,” he said with a sly smile, fully expecting it would be.

“There she is!” Maura gushed like a kid on Christmas.  Charles bristled slightly when he noted a few of the patrons look at them disapprovingly. 

“Maura, calm down dear.  You’re attracting attention,” he said in a hushed tone.  It hadn’t been the first time Maura had embarrassed him in public.  But on the bright side, she more than made up for it in private, he considered.

Her enthusiasm was immediately dampened by his words and look of censure on his face.  “I’m …sorry.  I am just in awe of her talent,” Maura explained, getting a small smile from her date.

“I know.  I am too.  I appreciate anyone who can play the piano so well.”

Maura nodded, focusing on the virtuoso, who was engaged in a lively conversation with a few patrons.  Her black dress was simple but elegantly complemented her attractive form.  Her dark hair was pinned up, with hints of grey around her temples, which was the only outward sign she was in her late forties.  Her energy, laugh, and passion for her playing bespoke eternal youth to Maura, who smiled.

As they made their way towards the pianist, Maura felt her excitement return.  When the woman saw them approach, she smiled warmly, subtly glancing over Maura with appreciation.

“Ms. Calderón, Dr. Maura Isles, I am so very honored to meet you,” Maura said and gushed to the elegant woman “Your performance this evening was amazing!”

The woman chuckled at her unabashed enthusiasm.  “I am delighted you think so!  I have always had a warm spot for Boston’s Symphony Hall.” 

Her voice was warm and laced with a lovely Argentinian accent, Maura noticed and offered, “You played here in 1989 and then in 2003, standing room only.”

“Ah, both were special performances.  I have always enjoyed performing in Boston,” Martha Calderón acknowledged with a sparkle in her eye.

“Then why haven’t you performed here more often?” Charles interjected curiously, causing the pianist’s smile to fade as she briefly looked at him with irritation.
Noting the sudden tension, Charles added with a weak smile “I’m sure it would delight your Boston fans to see you more.”

“There are agents, managers, and other commitments, naturally,” Ms. Calderón offered dismissively then returned her gaze to Maura.  “I truly hope my infrequent performances are not perceived as being unappreciative of Boston’s very lovely and enthusiastic music lovers,” she said and smiled.  “I can assure you, I am most appreciative.”

Maura smiled cheerfully.  “Your fans appreciate you - your live recordings of those performances were extremely popular, they surpassed all other classical music sales those years,” Maura offered, making Ms. Calderón chuckle again, impressed with the woman’s knowledge and sincere enthusiasm. 

Charles shifted uncomfortably at Maura’s spouting of facts, again; she did not seem to have the filter that most people had.  Though he was greatly relieved Maura’s facts were apparently found charming by the illustrious musician, not incredibly awkward, as they have been painfully known to be.  He fingered his chafing collar, which he worried would leave a rash.  He then realized Maura could kiss it better and smirked.

“I leave those details to my manager, though I do seem to recall he was very happy those years,” she said as a waiter passed by.  “Champagne, Doctor Isles?” Martha casually asked, smoothly picking up two glasses, expecting a yes.

Charles frowned and quickly grabbed himself a glass from the passing tray with an uncomfortable smile.

“Thank you,” Maura said with a smile as she accepted the glass from the musician.

“So do you play?” Martha asked, focusing on Maura’s lovely face.

“Oh no,” Maura said, shaking her head.  “I have studied Ballet and fencing,” Maura offered instead.

“I can see you in a tu-tu or fencing jacket,” Martha said, admiring Maura’s fit form.

“I play a little piano,” Charles interjected. 

“I didn’t know that,” Maura said with a delighted smile at that discovery. 

Martha smirked as she sipped her champagne.  Men were always so competitive, even when they were woefully out of their league.  She eyed the man, wondering what this lovely woman saw in him beyond his attractive appearance.   

“Well, it was a while ago…haven’t played in a while,” Charles quickly backpedaled, realizing his mistake; Maura would ask him to play for her if he didn’t.

“That’s a shame,” Martha Calderón honestly offered, not able to imagine life without the piano.  Maura nodded.

Charles wished he hadn’t said anything.


Jane and Frankie were in combat . . . on the old neighborhood basketball court.  They were on their third game as the sun went down; the illumination for their epic battle was quickly becoming only the streetlights.

“She shoots, she scores!” Jane cheered as the basketball whooshed through the net and held her arms up in victory, revealing large spots under her arms that matched the other dark patches soaking through her tee shirt.

Frankie rolled his eyes at his sister who was now doing a happy dance, with her ponytail bouncing wildly.

“Lucky shot, sis,” Frankie said, retrieving the ball from the grass at the side of the court.  He took the bottom of his shirt and wiped off his dripping face.

“Ha!  Lucky three games, you mean!” she razzed him happily.

“Four out of five,” he negotiated, dribbling the ball.

“Do you realize how many games you now have to win in a row to beat me, Sherlock??  I can’t believe you passed your Detective’s exam,” Jane said with amusement, going over to the bench.  She wiped her forehead with a towel before throwing a hoodie on over her damp tee.

“Afraid it really was luck, huh?  Can’t beat me again, can you?” Frankie taunted, knowing his argument was horrible – she thoroughly kicked his ass, which was a surprise.  Though she did seem more driven than usual for some reason, he considered.

Jane laughed at him.  “Yeah.  That’s it.  Keep dreaming, bro…” she said, then frowned when her phone rang.  “So much for a quiet evening,” she muttered, “Rizzoli,” she answered.

Frankie noticed a look of concern wash over her. 

“Are you Ok?!?” Jane immediately asked.  “Good.  Ok, I’ll be right there in…” Jane said, looking at her watch, “ . . . no more than fifteen minutes.  All right.  See you there.”

“What’s up?” Frankie asked curiously, joining her at the bench.

“DB at Symphony Hall,” Jane said with a thoughtful look as she dialed her phone.

“Isn’t Maura there tonight?” Frankie asked.

“She’s the one who called me,” she answered then got dispatch on the line.  “Yes, this is Detective Rizzoli, Homicide, Victor 825.  I got a call from the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Isles, who is on scene with a DB at Symphony Hall with a possible 187.  My ETA is about 15 minutes.  Thanks.”

“Wow.  And I thought an evening at the symphony would be boring,” Frankie joked.

“Never a dull moment around Maura,” Jane said with a smirk.  “Gotta go, bro.”

“You going dressed like that?” Frankie asked, taking in her sweaty sweats as she went to her car.

“It’s either this or naked,” Jane said sassily and got into her car.

“I didn’t need to hear that!” Frankie called out with a cringe as she waved at him with a chuckle and quickly drove off.


Jane was well aware of the looks of disapproval she received from the elegantly dressed patrons and security guards as she made her way towards the dead body in her sweaty workout clothes.  She would have thought the security guards at least would cut her some slack, but then, they were probably trained to be snobby to work in this fine establishment.  She was certain her crappy attire would have prevented her access to the Hall had it not been for the gold shield at her waist . . . well that and the weapon she wore.  The great equalizers, she considered with a small snort.   

“Jane!” Maura called out with relief when she spotted her friend.  When she quickly joined her side, Maura glanced over her outfit with a frown. 

“Basketball with Frankie.  I crushed him,” Jane said succinctly and unapologetically. 

“Oh.  Congratulations!” Maura offered genuinely, making Jane smile. 

“You look . . . amazing,” Jane offered sincerely, glancing down at Maura’s elegant dark green dress that perfectly hugged her ample curves.

“Thank you,” Maura said, exceedingly pleased by the unexpected compliment.  “I could say the same about you,” she offered with amusement, glancing over Jane’s sweats again.

“Oh this little ol’ thing?” Jane joked in a Southern Accent, making Maura smile.  “So what do we have?”

“Maura!  There you are!” Dr. Charles Pendleton blurted with exasperation as he joined them.

“Charles, I’m working now,” Maura said, glancing between him and Jane, who smiled politely.

“But . . . you were off tonight,” he complained with a frown.

“Guess the dead body you found changed plans,” Jane interjected helpfully with a shrug.

“Jane,” he greeted her politely, his eyes glancing over her inappropriate attire.

“Chuck,” Jane responded with a nod, prompting a displeased frown.

“Can’t you get one of your assistants to…,” he suggested and trailed off with a wince, motioning towards the body.

“Charles,” Maura admonished.  “It would be inappropriate for me to leave the scene.  I’m here now and it will be more efficient for me to continue with the case,” she explained.  Jane bit her lip to prevent a smile.  Noting Maura’s eyes on her again, Jane nodded in ready agreement.  Evening off or not, she wouldn’t have left the scene either.

Satisfied, Maura turned back to Charles and placed a gentle hand on his forearm.  “You shouldn’t leave yet,” she said, which apparently appeased him from the satisfied smile.  “I’m sure Jane or the other detectives will want to take your statement.” 

Charles’s smile faded. 

“I’d like to talk with friends or co-workers of the victim first,” Jane said authoritatively and glanced at Maura who pointed in the direction of a small distraught group. 

Charles sighed realizing his plans to spend an intimate night with Maura were unlikely now.

“That would be the group with Ms. Calderón, the pianist we came to see,” Maura offered helpfully.

Jane nodded, eyeing them and their interactions.  There were four in their group.  The stout man, mid-fifties and balding, seemed irritated.  The attractive brunette, late forties, was seated with tears in her eyes, looking heartbroken.  A blond, mid-thirties, stood next to the pianist with a comforting hand on the pianist’s shoulder and a worried look on her face.  Another younger brunette, in her twenties, stood by the stout man with her arms crossed over her chest, looking around uncomfortably with tears in her eyes.

“From my limited examination of the victim, there were no obvious external injuries noted,” Maura offered.  “But I really need…” she said with irritation just as her assistant arrived with her needed bag.  “Thank you,” she said with surprise to her pleased assistant.

“Neat trick.  Need anything else, Doctor?” Jane asked with an amused smirk.

“I’ll let you know if there is, Detective,” Maura said with a small smile and headed to the body as Jane went to interview the small group.

Charles sighed and headed to the small bar, only to find out it was closed as part of the investigation.  He rolled his eyes wishing he had just invited Maura to her favorite French restaurant.


“I’m Detective Jane Rizzoli.  Would any of you mind telling me about the victim, Kyle Gruhoffer?” she said gently, causing four sets of eyes to look at her. 

“He was my friend and an excellent musician,” the attractive brunette spoke up in an Argentinian accent. 

The younger brunette nodded and sniffed, wiping her nose with a tissue.  The blond woman frowned and rubbed the older woman’s shoulder.  The man checked his watch.

“You are?” Jane asked the pianist, surprising the woman.

“She’s Martha Calderón!  The closest you’ll get to genius in your life-time,” an older man piped up with irritation at the detective’s ignorance and her scruffy appearance.

Jane briefly glanced over at Maura with a small smile then back at the volatile man.

“Roberto, Roberto . . . the good Detective is here to find out what happened to Kyle,” Martha said tiredly, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief.

“You said he was also a musician?” Jane asked.

“A great pianist,” Martha offered with a sad smile.

“But not the greatest,” Roberto countered firmly.  Martha patted the man’s forearm and shook her head, not needing him to champion her talent right now.

“And you are?”  Jane asked the irritating man, who stiffened at the questioned.

“I am Roberto Trejo, Ms. Calderón’s manager.”

“I see.  Isn’t there usually only one starring pianist?” Jane asked curiously.

“Yes.  And that’s Martha Calderón!” Roberto snapped.

“Roberto,” Martha sighed tiredly at his unnecessarily protective nature.  “We have a record coming out of piano duos.  We were promoting it in several cities.  After Boston, our last stop was to be at the Bar Harbor Music festival,” Martha offered adding, “He was a kindred spirit.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Jane said, not detecting any artificiality from this woman.  Her sadness was very real, she considered.  “The Boston Police Department will not rest until we find out what happened.”

Martha looked into confident and determined brown eyes.  “Thank you, Detective,” she said softly.

“When can we go to our hotel rooms?” Roberto asked tersely.

“Well, once you give your contact information with the patrolmen, you can go.  But because we will likely need to question you further, you are asked to not leave the city at this time.”

“Surely Martha will be able to go to Bar Harbor for her performance for the festival,” Roberto stated indignantly.

Martha sighed and rubbed her eyes tiredly.

“Won’t the performance be impacted by Kyle Gruhoffer’s death?” Jane asked curiously.

“Not significantly, the concert is predominately Ms. Calderón; Mr. Gruhoffer accompanied her for only two pieces.”

“Roberto – enough.  I am tired of this talk.  We will support the police,” she snapped, causing him to frown.

“I . . . truly hope we can wrap the investigation up in time to support your concert,” Jane said diplomatically.

“Gah,” Roberto said, not appeased at all and sought out a patrolman to expedite his departure.  One of two women with their group quietly followed Roberto.  The blond hesitated and eyed Martha with concern.

“Go on, Lidia,” Martha said, getting a troubled frown and reluctant nod.  Lidia glanced at Jane a moment before leaving.
“I am sorry for his rudeness,” the pianist said to Jane.

“It’s a difficult time,” Jane allowed.

“His rudeness is not a result of this situation,” she admitted with a sigh.


Jane was startled when Martha Calderón placed her hands over hers.  Seeing her smile slightly and pointedly look at the pad and pen she held, Jane blinked and gave them to her, watching the pianist as she wrote something down.  “It’s my private number and room number at the Four Seasons.  I trust you will not share this outside of the investigation?”

“Of course.”

Martha smiled slightly and handed Jane back the paper and pen.  “Good evening, Detective,” she said and started to leave but stopped and looked at Jane curiously. “So you never heard of me before?”

Jane looked at her and smiled politely.  “Disappointed?”

“No.  I find it refreshing,” she said, looking at Jane thoughtfully. 


“Any more information on the vic?” Jane asked as she jointed Maura, who watched the body be loaded onto a gurney for transport to the morgue.

“Unfortunately nothing conclusive,” Maura said with a disappointed frown.

“You’ll find something,” Jane said confidently, gaining a thoughtful look from Maura.
“Looks kind of young to just drop from natural causes,” Jane ventured.

“I won’t know until I . . . ,” Maura countered firmly, once again resisting Jane’s efforts to get her to guess.

Jane smirked and interrupted her expected response.  “So, how was the performance??”

“Oh. My. God!  It was most incredible concert I have attended,” Maura gushed.

“And you’ve been to a few,” Jane noted with a smile, enjoying Maura’s enthusiasm.

“Quite a few.  Ms. Calderón . . . transports you with her music,” she said, trying to explain the experience. 

“It was pretty amazing, wasn’t it,” Charles added with a small smile when he joined them, placing his hand at the small of Maura’s back. 

Possessive much?  Jane wondered with irritation, hoping he didn’t have the urge to urinate on Maura’s Louboutins. 

“And to think we witnessed her final performance with Kyle Gruhoffer,” he said with odd enthusiasm.

Maura and Jane eyed him an uncomfortable moment before Maura offered to Jane.  “I think you’d appreciate her performance of Marche Funèbre. “

Charles eyed her workout clothes, considering it was unlikely the Boston Detective could appreciate anything more sophisticated than beer and a ball game.

“Really?” Jane asked with a chuckle.  “I’m not so sure if I’d have to get dressed up.  I’m suspicious of any activity that requires me to wear uncomfortable clothes,” Jane offered.  “I’ll just enjoy my ringtone when you call, thank you.”

“Jane!” Maura said with exasperation.  “Dressing up doesn’t automatically mean you will be uncomfortable,” Maura countered with a disapproving shake of her head.

“So what do you think there, Chuck?” Jane questioned, surprising the man by including him in the conversation.  She had noted him fingering his collar and wincing a number of times during the evening.

Seeing Maura’s curious gaze on him, Charles smiled.  “Maura’s right, of course,” Charles said with confidence, patting her hip.

Suck up, much?  Jane wondered.

“That only means you’ve never had to endure heels and panty hose,” Jane countered, causing Maura to roll her eyes with an amused smile at her friend’s stubbornness.  “Or have you and found you like it?”  Jane accused teasingly.

“Of course not!” Charles immediately sputtered.

Maura chuckled.   

“So can we leave now?”  Charles asked the Detective with irritation.

“Did you give your information to the patrolman?” Jane asked.

“Yes,” he said with impatience. 

“I don’t see why not.”

“Jane, do you mind giving me a ride to the lab?”  Maura asked, surprising both Jane and Charles.

“The lab?  But . . . I waited,” Charles said, looking at her dumbfounded.

“Charles, it really is out of your way.  Jane can drop me off on her way to her apartment.”

Jane glanced at Charles, who was not pleased.  She could understand why – she’d be annoyed too.

“But Maura, honey, I thought we would have a . . . night cap,” Charles blurted, knowing it was a long shot after Maura had been working on this inconvenient case.

Jane hated to hear a man beg.  She hated it worse when a man tried not to sound like he was begging.  And Charles was begging big time, but Maura didn’t seem to notice, or was just better at ignoring it.

“As lovely as that sounds, I want to get the blood work started.  I’ll see you later this week,” Maura said, pecking him on the lips. 

Jane’s eyes dropped to an interesting spot on the floor. 

“I understand.  You are the Chief Medical Examiner and lead by example.  I look forward to seeing you sooner than later,” Charles said with a forced smile.

The comment seemed to please Maura, who smiled back brightly.  “Me too.”

“Jane,” Charles said.

“Chuck,” Jane responded politely, causing him to bristle at the nickname.

Chapter 2 – Awe


“I am in awe of her talent,” Maura gushed reverently, enthusiastically providing detailed commentary for each piece of music played.  “And the last duet was . . . so . . . ,” Maura searched for the perfect word.  “Sensual,” she offered, satisfied with her selection.

“Sensual, huh?  And what was it?” Jane asked with a smirk as she stopped at a red light.

“The Libertango,” Maura answered with excitement.

Jane responded with a nod.                        

“You know the piece?” Maura asked curiously.

“Isn’t that the one Assy Pizzacola wrote?”

Maura laughed and warmly corrected her.  “Astor Piazzolla.”

Jane grinned slightly; Maura’s laughter was music to her ears.

“I wonder if Charles would take Tango lessons with me,” Maura suddenly blurted curiously.

Jane’s smile faded.  Up until that moment, Jane was really enjoying the conversation.  “Isn’t Dr. Doolittle usually busy with his animals?”  Jane offered, recalling Maura lament about how hard it was to schedule dates with him.

“Unfortunately, his successful practice does make it difficult to find time that is mutually agreeable with both our schedules,” Maura offered, ignoring Jane’s nickname for him.  “But he promised to try harder.”

“Ah,” Jane said and drove into a parking space.  “Well, good.  He’d be a fool to pass up a chance to dance with you,” she offered softly.

Maura looked at Jane with a warm smile.  “Thank you,” she said, then her eyes sparkled with excitement as she thought of an alternative.  “If he can’t commit to a class with me, maybe . . . .”

“Here we are!” Jane interrupted and turned off the engine.  She cringed, wishing she had just kept her big mouth shut about Charles and the class.  She did not need to be taking a Tango class with Maura . . . though she would definitely be the one to lead, she considered, then grew annoyed with herself for the stray thought.  One of many that plagued her these days, she lamented.

Maura frowned slightly, then realized Jane wasn’t dropping her off; she was getting out of the car. “You’re not going home?”  Maura asked as Jane got to her door and opened it. 

“And let you have all the fun?”  Jane countered, holding out a hand to help Maura from the car.   As she shut the door, Maura leaned in slightly and took a sniff; she winced.

“Hey!” Jane blurted.  “Stop sniffing me!”

“You sure you don’t want to go home to take a nice hot shower?  Hot showers have both physical and psychological benefits.”

Jane rolled her eyes.  “Because I’ll be both physically clean and psychologically happy about that??”

“Well after exercise, there are benefits to a hot shower other than getting clean – it can also relieve muscular….” Maura responded.

“I got it.  I stink,” Jane interjected with a huff, briefly lifting her arm up and sniffing herself.

“I didn’t say that,” Maura countered and headed towards the station steps.

“So I don’t stink?” Jane challenged, walking beside her.

“I didn’t say that either,” Maura said with amusement. 

“Fine! I’m gonna grab a quick one in the gym.” 

Maura seemed satisfied, then made a face, glancing down at Jane’s workout clothes.

“I’ve got clean clothes in my locker, Maura,” Jane said in irritated defense as they ascended the steps together.


Jane rolled her eyes as she grabbed the station’s door and opened it for Maura.


After her quick shower and change, Jane sat in her chair and pulled out a file from her file drawer.  With a sigh, she opened up her last case file that still had her stumped:  teenaged runaway on the streets, prostitute, drug addict, and beaten to death…things that most people would gloss over as unfortunate and proceed to ignore.  The victim got herself into more trouble by trying to leave an unhappy foster care situation.  Jane had thought her pimp, who had a few assault charges to his name, was the one.  But that theory didn’t pan out after Maura’s DNA results came back negative. 

Jane sighed heavily, really wanting to put that bastard away.  All they got was probation for their efforts.

Standing, Jane stretched, feeling the long day catch up to her.   The Child Services investigation ruled out abuse at home, she considered as she started to pace.  Her interview with the other foster kids didn’t produce any leads.  They were all rather tight-lipped, Jane considered, rubbing the back of her neck.  Understandable, she thought, shaking her head wondering what it would have been like to grow up in a foster home and not with your own family.  The lack of security and the possible upheaval constantly threatened would give any kid a reason to build walls, she considered.  Her thoughts strayed to Maura and her privileged childhood as an adopted child.  Not even gobs of money could guarantee a loving home and the sense of family.

Oddly, Jane felt the need to call her mom.  Pulling out her cell, she pressed her speed dial.

“Jane!  What’s wrong?!?” Angela blurted, making Jane cringe and realize her mistake.

“What?  Can’t I just call my mother without the third-degree?!?”

“Sorry!  So you just called to what?  Chat?” Angela said sarcastically.

“Actually . . . never mind,” Jane said uncomfortably, wishing she had not caved in to her emotional impulse.

“Jane,” Angela said more softly.  “You can call me anytime to chat, you know,” she encouraged, sounding a bit contrite.

“It’s just a case, Ma,” she admitted with a heavy sigh, rubbing her eyes.  “The victim was a foster kid running away to the streets . . . just makes me feel lucky, ya know?” Jane offered.

“I . . . I’d say you’re lucky,” Angela offered, not used to Jane sharing with her.

Jane chuckled.  “Yeah.  I thought you would.  After everything…you still love me, so I can’t argue.”

After an unusually long pause, Angela responded, “Of course I love you.  And you know better than to argue with your mother, Jane,” she offered.

“You’d think,” Jane offered with mild amusement though she felt herself becoming dangerously emotional.  “Uh, gotta go, Ma,” she said, needing to reign in her feelings.

“Don’t work so hard!” Angela scolded her daughter.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jane said, rolling her eyes.

“LOVE you,” Angela blurted.

“Love ya, Ma,” Jane said and hung up.  She stared at her phone a long moment, not hearing Maura when she joined her.

“Hey,” Maura said softly, startling Jane who quickly recovered.

“Hey.  All done for the night?”

“Yes.  I have sent off the blood work to toxicology.  The rest I’ll do tomorrow.  Are you finished?”  Maura asked curiously, glancing at Jane’s file.

“I wish.  Let me straighten up a moment and I’ll take you home,” Jane said, getting a nod. 

As she put away the papers, Maura noticed the case.  “The Potter case?” she asked.

“Unfortunately.  I’m still stuck on this one,” Jane admitted and slipped the file into her desk, locking the drawer.

“I wish I could have helped,” Maura offered apologetically.

“You did, Maura.  And as much as I hate not throwing Lacy’s pimp in jail for her murder, I’d hate it worse if we got the wrong guy and let the real murderer get away with it,” Jane offered, squeezing Maura’s forearm briefly.

Maura nodded.  “Is this case what has been bothering you lately?” she asked, eyeing Jane who looked at her in confusion.

“Bothering me?” 

“You’ve seemed . . . distant,” Maura said.

Jane blinked.  “Uh . . . I’m not happy with our progress . . . or lack of it,” she offered.  “Let’s get out of here,” she said, motioning for Maura to join her.

Maura looked at her friend thoughtfully then smiled.  “Let’s.”


“So that was Jane?” Constance asked curiously and sipped her mediocre white wine.  The Dirty Robber was not exactly a five star restaurant with an impressive selection, she considered, but it was strangely . . . comfortable.

“Yeah.  She was feeling down about a case,” Angela said, still surprised by the call as she put her phone back into her large purse.

“It must be nice to have your daughter call you when she wants emotional support,” Constance said wistfully.

Angela looked sympathetically across the booth to the elegant woman, who lost out on the trials and tribulations of raising her only child by letting someone else do it for her; something she wouldn’t have given up for all the money in the world.  “Jane usually doesn’t call.  Something is going on with her,” she offered, shaking her head. 

“I hope she is all right,” Constance offered sincerely.

“She will be.  My Jane is nothing if not resilient,” she said proudly.  “But I do worry that she works so hard,” Angela lamented.  “She’ll never find someone if she’s always working, you know,” she complained and sipped her grasshopper.  “She’s not getting any younger.”

Constance looked at Angela.  “Jane is an impressive woman, Angela.  She has a noble career, which she’s passionate about, amazing confidence, and not to mention remarkable beauty – I wouldn’t worry so much.  You’ve done a great job raising her.”

“Thanks, Connie,” Angela smiled proudly, then admitted wearily “It wasn’t easy.  She’s headstrong and a handful.”

“But chivalrous towards her friends,” Constance offered with a warm smile, recalling how Jane wasn’t afraid to speak up and bluntly point out what she thought was very poor treatment of her daughter.  No one had ever dared challenge her about Maura like that.

“Speaking of friends, I saw Maura dressed to the nines and leaving with a gentleman in a tuxedo for the Symphony.  He’s the one she’s been seeing a lot; a veterinarianisn’t he?” Angela excitedly asked, clearly impressed.

“Yes.  Dr. Charles Pendleton,” Constance said flatly, bringing her wine to her pursed lips.

“Oh,” Angela responded with surprise.  “I would have thought you would be more enthusiastic, Connie.  She’s seeing a Doctor!”

“The Pendleton’s are new money,” Constance said dismissively, wondering why Angela had started calling her Connie; no one else had ever presumed to call her that.  But oddly, it sounded rather . . . fitting from this brash Italian woman, who she now considered a friend.

Angela laughed.  “Honey, I’d like to have ANY money - regardless of its age,” she joked, making Constance smile.

“Yes, well.  You have a point.  But truthfully, he is not of the caliber I would hope for my daughter.  He strives to impress everyone, as new money usually does - it is quite annoying,” Constance admitted.

“Well, he’s supposed to try to impress you.  You’re Maura’s mother!” Angela countered with certainty.

“What would impress me is if he treated her like the most important person on Earth . . . and celebrated the person she is, not treat her as some prize to show off to improve his social standing.”

“Aw.  That’s too bad.  Maura’s a sweet girl and deserves the best - not some jerk like that.  Have you talked to her about him?”  Angela asked curiously.

“Oh no,” Constance responded uneasily.  “We are just starting to talk now.  I am certain she wouldn’t want me to meddle in her love life.”

“You’re her mother!  Meddling comes with the territory!” Angela said with such vehemence, Constance chuckled.

“It would be new territory, I’m afraid,” she admitted.

“Then it’s a good thing I’m here!  This is very old territory for me,” Angela said with a sly smile and a sparkle in her eye.  She surprised Constance by pulling out a pad and pen from her large purse.  “So!  We’ve established you want someone to treat Maura like the most important person on Earth and not like some prize,” she said with excitement, making notes.  “Any other traits?”

Constance found Angela’s enthusiasm both amusing and endearing.

“Confident,” Constance offered firmly.

“Confident- check.  He definitely can’t be intimidated by her job or smarts,” Angela said, writing down the trait.


Angela chuckled and wrote the trait down.  “Of course; you’ll want good-looking grandbabies.”


“Someone who treats her like a princess,” Angela sighed happily, writing that trait down.

“In a noble profession which they are passionate about,” Constance offered with a slight wince as she watched Angela start to write that down and pause.

Angela looked up from her notes, seeing Constance shrug.

“Someone . . . like Jane,” Angela offered hesitantly.

Constance smiled slightly with a nod.

Angela’s gaze dropped to her notes for a long moment of contemplation, making Constance worry she had gone too far.  But surely Angela had to know how much Maura and Jane meant to each other – even if they did not recognize how much themselves, she considered.

Angela took a long breath as she put down her pen.

“Someone exactly like Jane,” she finally said with a smirk, picking up her drink and lightly clinking her glass against Constance’s in a toast.

“Exactly like Jane,” Constance repeated with a smile and sipped her drink.

“You’re pretty good at meddling - for a beginner,” Angela offered with approval.


After dropping Maura off, Jane opened up her apartment door to find Jo Friday at the door looking up at her.  One growling bark let her owner know of her neglect.

“Ah, sorry Jo.   Let’s get you out, huh?” she said  guiltily, prompting another bark as Jane grabbed the leash.

As they walked around the block looking for Jo’s special spot, Jane noted other dog owners doing their nightly chore, offering friendly smiles as she passed. 

One owner in particular caught Jane’s eye, a blond woman, mid-twenties.  Her blond hair was very nicely coiffed, Jane considered, appreciating the time it took to tame her own mane – time she did not normally spend unless Maura guilted her into it.  Jane noted the woman with the nice hair also wore the type of clothes Maura would wear – heels that accentuated her shapely calves, a stylish dress that allowed appreciation of those calves, and a short poncho coat, with a tasteful light brooch on the dark material.  Jane had to wonder why a woman would want to walk a dog in that dressy outfit.  She smiled, thinking perhaps Maura’s selection of Bass as a pet was due to not being required to walk him.  Though, Maura would probably feel perfectly comfortable walking a dog in high heels because she was certainly comfortable climbing all over a crime scene in them, bringing her back to her fundamental question; how any woman could feel comfortable in heels like that?

“She’s adorable,” the blond dog-owner offered with a warm smile for Jo and Jane.

“Don’t say that so loud, it will go to Jo’s head,” Jane joked, causing Jo to bark before greeting the other dog, which sniffed at her too.

The woman chuckled.  “So her name is Jo?” she asked, tucking a blond strand behind her ear.

“Jo Friday.  I’m Jane Rizzoli, Jo’s human,” Jane said with a smirk, holding out her hand.

The woman smiled and shook her hand slowly, which made Jane a bit uncomfortable.  It was one of those “dainty” handshakes you’d expect from a high-society lady.  When she first met Maura, who was stunning in her designer clothes and reeked of money, she expected the same.  Boy was she surprised by the firm, commanding grip when they met at their first crime scene together.  That memory made her smile.

“I’m Regina Wilkinson, Cooper’s human,” Regina offered, glancing down at her beagle that was saying hello to Jo.  “My friends call me Gina.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Jane said.  “And Cooper,” she smiled at the beagle that looked up to her.

“I just moved into the area,” Regina said.  “Have you been here long?”

“Yeah, several years,” Jane said, glancing back at her apartment building.  “But I’m not going to tell you how many because then you’ll know I’m really old,” Jane joked.

“Please! You are not old.  You are perfect,” she gushed, causing Jane’s smile to falter a little.

“I have several people who would sign an affidavit that I’m not,” Jane countered. 

“You’re a lawyer?”  Regina asked with great interest.

“Detective,” Jane countered. 

Regina smiled.  “Must be exciting work.”

“Sometimes,” Jane said with a shrug.  “But there is a lot of paperwork and research that can be dull.”

“What color are my eyes?” Regina suddenly asked with a smirk and shut her eyes.

“Light blue,” Jane responded without hesitation.

Regina smiled brightly.  “You noticed.”

“Well, I am supposed to be observant,” Jane said with a weak chuckle and shrug.

“Did you also observe that I find you attractive and would be open to a lunch or whatever you might have in mind to offer?” she said suggestively, reaching out and caressing Jane’s forearm.

“Uh . . . I . . . ,” Jane said, stunned by the bold comment, glancing down at the hand on her arm as she started to question her observation skills.

“Too strong?” Gina suddenly blurted, biting her lip and wincing as she quickly retracted her hand.  “Damn.  I’m sorry.  I just came out and . . . well.  I think I better appreciate what guys have to go through . . . I’m sorry about the bad pickup line.  You obviously are used to better….”

Jane scratched the back of her neck.  “Uh . . . not really.  Listen, no harm no foul.  OK?”

“God I’m so embarrassed,” Gina said and couldn’t look Jane in the eyes.

“Hey, you shouldn’t be,” Jane said, reaching out for her shoulder but awkwardly retracting her hand.  “I mean, I’m flattered and kind of impressed by your guts.”



“So?” Gina asked hopefully.  “What do you say we have coffee sometime?”


After their walk, Jane put out a bowl of food and fresh water for Jo, who slowly trotted over to the offering then looked at Jane with a snort.  Apparently still upset with her neglect, Jane concluded.  “I said I’m sorry, Jo,” she said with a sigh.

Scratching the back of her neck, she shook her head and headed to her bedroom and stripped into her pajamas and slipped under her covers.  Staring at her ceiling, she sighed, trying to stop thinking and go to sleep.

Chapter 3 – Speculation


Jane yawned as she unlocked her desk drawer and pulled out a file.  Sipping her coffee as she sat down, Frost came over to her in a rush.

“Jane, we’ve got another DB.”

Jane sighed heavily as she got up from her chair.  “Lovely start to what I’m sure will be a wonderful day,” she said with a plastered on smile.  “Where?”

“Symphony Hall,” he said.

“Who?” she said with concern, for some reason wondering about Martha Calderón.


“These deaths are giving classical music a bad name,” Frost joked softly as they walked onto the stage.  “Oh man,” Frost mumbled with a wince, seeing the body crushed under the shattered spotlight in a pool of blood next to the Steinway.

Jane took a quick glance around; Maura had not yet arrived.  Jane noted the position of the body as well as the open space of the concert hall.  It was a different perspective, being on the stage side of the Hall – for any reason.  She also took note of the uniformed officers at the exits and on the stage next to a few people, including Martha Calderón.

The tearful pianist looked up from her lap, noticing the Detective approach.  The woman, who was clearly distraught, looked relieved to see a familiar face.

“Detective Rizzoli,” Martha Calderón greeted Jane and took another deep breath, trying to calm herself.

“Ms. Calderón, can you tell me what happened?” Jane asked softly, crouching down next to the pianist and touching her forearm gently.

She nodded and took another uneasy breath.  “I was gathering my music after practicing and he,” she said, motioning to the body, “was setting up the stage for the quartet.  He smiled at me when I walked past him,” she offered, recalling his kind face with distress.  “I . . . there was a pop and the next thing I know, he pushed me. . . and he. . . he saved my life,” Martha offered in a shaky voice, new tears falling.

“Who is he?” Jane asked, glancing back at the body, then up at the ceiling where the large light came from.

“He saved me and I never took the time to know his name,” Martha said miserably, letting out a sob.  Jane took her hand and squeezed.

“Brian Carter.  Symphony Hall employee for 23 years” a uniformed cop offered softly, getting a nod of thanks from Jane.

“Ms. Calderón, I don’t mean to be an alarmist but I think you should take precautions for your safety until we determine what happened,” Jane said softly. 

Martha looked at Jane with alarm, then looked over to the body in anguish.  “Why would someone want to kill me??” she gasped.

“We don’t know that’s the case, but better safe than sorry, huh?” Jane said apologetically.  Martha’s teary eyes shut as she nodded.

“Where’s Mr. Trejo?” Jane asked, having noted he was not around.

“Why?” Martha said with irritation.  “Are you thinking that he…?”

Jane raised her hands up in surrender.  “I’m thinking you should have someone watch over you that you trust, Ms. Calderón.  If not him, someone who can help keep an eye out for you.”

“I’ll do it,” a young woman said nervously, stepping up.  She nodded at the detective then smiled uneasily at Martha.  Jane noted she looked very pale.

“And you are Lidia Argerich, correct?”  Jane asked, looking at the young woman who had been consoling Ms. Calderón the night of Kyle Gruhoffer’s death.

“Yes,” she answered softly, glancing at Martha worriedly.  “I’m Martha’s personal assistant.”

Jane nodded and glanced towards the body when Maura arrived with her team.  The two shared a smile before Maura started processing the scene.  Jane kept looking, taking in her cream dress with chocolate bolo jacket that really complimented her figure – as usual.  Her gaze traveled to her legs as Maura gracefully knelt down by the body for a closer inspection.

“Lidia, I’ll have Roberto….” Martha said tiredly.

“Do you plan to stay here until he decides to return?” Lidia asked the pianist with a hint of irritation, catching Jane’s interest.

“Decides to return??” Jane asked, looking between the women.

“Lidia’s right, she can take me to the hotel, Detective,” Martha said, making Lidia smile with relief.  Before Jane could say anything, Martha offered a small smile.  “I know the routine, Detective.  We’ll be expecting interviews.  You still have my numbers, correct?”

Jane nodded and noted the curious look of irritation crossing Lidia’s face.


Jane walked towards Maura, who was crouched down by the body, looking at the power cables on the light.  Jane caught herself glancing at Maura’s legs and frowned at how easily she was distracted.

“Anything interesting?” Jane asked, rubbing the back of her neck.

“The edges are cleanly cut, except for this one,” Maura said, pointing to the wire with a Q-tip. 

“What’s that stain?  Explosive residue?” Jane asked kneeling down to take a closer look.

“I’ll know that when I do some tests on it, Detective,” Maura said with mild frustration that Jane had not yet learned to stop asking her to guess.

“Not even a . . . ,” Jane started to joke, then realized her face was very close to Maura’s.  “Ok,” she blurted and quickly stood back up.  

Maura eyed her curiously and stood.  “Are you all right?  I noted that your nasojugal folds exhibit pronounced darkening.  I could see them from here when you were talking with Ms. Calderón.”

“Just need more beauty sleep,” Jane tossed out and continued before Maura could ask her why.  “Sooooooo.  We’ve got a popping sound overhead, a light with a partially severed cable with residue on it,” Jane summed up, looking up then out at the seats in the audience.  “Sounds like a small explosive charge broke the light free.”

“That sounds like a guess,” Maura countered with mild disapproval.  “Symphony Hall was one of the first auditoria designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustical principles.  While the slope of the stage walls helps focus the sound outward, the shallow design of the balconies and other architectural features avoid trapping or muffling the sound.”

“Okaaay,” Jane said, not understanding the point.

“The pop could have been assumed to be directly overhead but have actually originated elsewhere,” Maura offered, motioning to the ceiling above seats, then either side of the auditorium.

“Ever consider becoming a flight attendant?” Jane said with amusement, mimicking the motions.

Maura glared at her. 

“But didn’t these amazing acoustics of yours get ruined when contractors repaired the concert stage floor in 2005?” Jane argued, withholding a smile.

“2006,” Maura immediately corrected as her eyes lit up, clearly signaling she had something interesting to say.  Jane smiled; she loved seeing Maura’s enthusiasm for all things geeky.

“And no, they were very careful to avoid changing the sound of the hall by using the same methods and materials as the original, including tongue-in-groove, three-quarter inch, hard maple boards, with a compressed wool underlayment and hardened steel cut nails, hammered in by hand.  Quite impressive workmanship, actually,” Maura offered with appreciation.

“Yeah.  Sounds really good in here,” Jane said dryly, glancing around the impressive stage.  Maura rolled her eyes.  “But I’m still going with an overhead pop.”

“And I’m still going with my lab results,” Maura countered firmly, eyeing her in challenge.

Jane grinned at her.  Maura sighed with feigned frustration and shook her head as a small smile emerged.


“We finished interviewing Ms. Calderón, her agent, and personal assistant.  I have a funny feeling about Trejo but besides him being an ass, I don’t have anything else,” Jane announced as she entered Maura’s office. 

“Jane,” Maura sighed with disapproval at the name-calling.

“Anything on either Symphony Hall DB?  It’s too much of a coincidence,” Jane ventured, shaking her head as she plopped down on the couch, rubbing her eyes.

“Kyle Gruhoffer’s arteries were more than fifty percent restricted.  And his blood work showed notably high cholesterol and significantly elevated proteins, indicating damage to the heart.  From his stomach content, his diet looks very much like yours,” Maura said with disapproval.

“You know my cholesterol is just fine, thank you very much,” she said defensively, rolling her eyes as Maura got up from her desk and joined her on the couch with a folder in hand.

“For now,” Maura said, not pleased with Jane’s stubbornness regarding her diet, but let it drop.  “I also found elevated levels of Adapin in his system, which is a commonly prescribed tricyclic antidepressant.”

Jane looked at her with surprise.   “He had a record with Martha Calderón being released and he was depressed??”

“Adapin may also be prescribed for anxiety,” Maura offered, getting Jane to nod slightly.

“Could the elevated levels have caused a heart attack?” Jane asked, thinking a possible intentional overdose.

“It can have side effects including low blood pressure, seizures, rapid heart rate,” Maura responded readily.

Jane blinked.  “Could the elevated levels have caused a heart attack?” Jane repeated flatly.

“Yes,” Maura said and sighed.  “Normal levels could have, also,” Maura continued and watched Jane’s gaze drop in thought as she offered more information.  “The normal dosages prescribed are from 75 to 300 milligram.  The level found in Kyle Gruhoffer was approximately 550 milligrams.  If I knew when he ingested the drug, I would be able to determine the dosage he took.  Unfortunately, I can’t,” she said with displeasure.  “I found nothing else of note in the toxicology results on Kyle Gruhoffer.  He died of a heart attack,” Maura said, causing Jane to frown. 

“But we can’t tell what triggered it.  It could be natural causes or homicide,” Jane said with a heavy sigh.

“I can not definitively determine the cause of the heart attack,” Maura said, disappointed she couldn’t offer Jane the answer.   

“Well, if you found all the answers Doctor Isles, I’d have nothing to do,” Jane responded distastefully, provoking a small smile from Maura, who was often surprised by how Jane could read her so well.

Maura offered the folder in her hand to Jane.  “You were right about the residue,” she said, making Jane perk up.

“What was that?” Jane said, leaning towards her with her hand cupping her ear.  “I’m sorry, I’m not sure I heard you.”

“How old are you?” Maura asked dryly, shaking her head at her happy friend.

“Old enough to be . . . RIGHT!” Jane declared happily.  “I’m rih-ot, I’m rih-ot, I’m rih-ot,” she chanted, popping up from the couch for a little dance that punctuated her rightness.

“You would think you were never right,” Maura said with an amused chuckle as Jane continued her “I’m rih-ot” dance.  “Which of course is not true.  Statistically speaking, you are right impressively often,” Maura said, causing Jane to suddenly stop and look at her.

“What was that?” Jane said, leaning towards her with her hand cupping her ear.  “I’m sorry, I’m not sure I heard that either.”

Maura laughed.  “Jane!”

Jane smiled and sat back down.  “So, do you want to come over and catch the game tonight?”

“Oh, I can’t,” Maura said with a sigh of disappointment, placing a hand on Jane’s knee, which almost made Jane jump.  The warmth that started to quickly spread was dampened by the next comment.  “I made plans with Charles – he’s taking me to dinner.”

“Oh,” Jane said and plastered on a smile.  “Well, we can do it another night, right?” 

“I’d love to,” Maura said, squeezing Jane’s knee firmly before removing her hand.

“G…good,” Jane said, feeling that flush return.  “Now I must take my impressively right self and go catch the bad guys,” Jane said firmly, waggling her eyebrows, before she got up and left.

Maura chuckled.

As the doors shut and the elevator took Jane back to her floor, she muttered with irritation “Impressively stupid self.”


Frost hung up the phone and looked at Jane who was sifting through paperwork across from him.  “Kyle Gruhoffer had been diagnosed with anxiety,” Frost offered Jane, who exhaled and sat back in her chair thoughtfully.

“I guess performing with Martha Calderón made him nervous,” Frost added with a shrug.

“Well, I couldn’t do it,” Korsak noted absently.

“Wait a minute, you’re not a world class pianist, Korsak?” Frost feigned surprise, making Jane chuckle.

“I meant I’d be a nervous wreck to perform in front of any audience, regardless of who was with me or what I was doing,” he said with irritation.  “It’s a common fear,” Korsak added defensively.

“Picture your audience naked.  I hear that helps,” Jane smirked.

“Rizzoli!  Frost!  My office!” Cavanaugh barked into the bullpen from his office door, causing the detectives to look at each other across their desks.

“What did you do?” they each accused each other as they got up.

“Jinx,” they both added.

Jane rolled her eyes and entered the Lieutenant’s office first.  “What’s up, Lieutenant?”

“You two are going to the Symphony tonight,” he ordered.

“We are?” Jane and Frost both said.  Jane glared at Frost who shrugged innocently.

“Ms. Calderón has requested police presence at the performance this evening,” Cavanaugh offered with a frown.

“She’s still playing??”  Frost asked with surprise.

“Yeah.  Apparently, the show must go on,” Cavanaugh said with disapproval, shaking his head; it would be a hell of a lot easier if they took appropriate precautions and just cancelled performances.

“Why us and not unis?”  Jane asked with a frown, knowing she was close to sounding like she was whining.

“They will be there too.  But you two will be mingling with the guests before, during and after the performance.”

“But….” Jane said unhappily.

“No buts – you are going, Rizzoli.  I know it’s not up your alley but you just have to suck it up.  You might even find something useful out,” he said gruffly then barked. “Dismissed.”

As they left his office, Frost noted the scowl on Jane’s face and asked with an amused smile “so, shall I drive?”

Jane shook her head, not looking forward to getting dressed up.


“I’m coming!!” Jane shouted with irritation at the knocking at her front door, awkwardly holding the back of her dress together as she went to answer it.

Looking through the peephole, she sighed and opened the door. “Ma!  I don’t have a lot of time,” she complained, expecting her mother was going to unload a long, sad saga.

“You’ve got a date?!?” she blurted with surprise, seeing Jane all dressed up…or almost dressed up.

Jane frowned.  “It’s been known to happen, Ma,” she responded testily.  “Can you zip me up?” she asked, turning her back to her mother.

“Who’s the lucky fella?” Angela said uncomfortably as she zipped her daughter up.

“Thanks, Ma.  Frost,” Jane answered with an innocent smile.

“Frost?!?” Angela blurted with alarm, not having seen that coming.  “I mean . . . uh.  I didn’t know you two . . . well . . . he’s a sweet fellow,” she offered weakly.

“Relax, Ma.  We’re going to the Symphony on police business.  Protection of Martha Calderón,” Jane said with a smirk, enjoying getting her mother flustered.

“Oh,” she said, trying not to sound too relieved.  “You look beautiful, by the way,” Angela said with a proud smile, absently running her fingers over the pretty material.


“Too bad Maura couldn’t go,” Angela said as Jane grabbed her clutch and put her badge and sidearm in it.

Jane looked up uneasily.  “Well I’d prefer her to go instead of me, but they were really hoping to not need her services this evening,” Jane said dryly.

“No, I meant go with you,” Angela interrupted.  “She could have told you all sorts of interesting things about music.  And you might have been able to tell her a thing or two that Nonna taught you,” Angela offered gently, getting an uncomfortable look from her daughter.  “It would have been fun,” she blurted enthusiastically. 

“Uh huh,” Jane responded, thinking her mother was acting oddly.  Well, more odd than usual.  “Maura’s busy with Charles tonight,” she said bluntly, going to the hallway mirror to apply lipstick.

“Yeah.  Charles,” Angela said flatly.  “You know, Connie doesn’t really like him.”

Jane looked at her mother suspiciously.  “You are talking a lot with Constance Isles these days,” she offered, recalling her mention of Maura’s mother several times before. 

“Our daughters are best friends, of course we talk,” Angela countered defensively.

“Great,” Jane said flatly. “What’s with the nickname?  Connie?? Do you actually call her that to her face??” Jane said with concern, certain the informal name annoyed the refined woman.

“She’s just fine with it!” Angela said with exasperation then plowed ahead, undeterred by her daughter’s sidetracking.  “And she’s told me that she’s worried that Charles is more concerned about impressing people than making Maura happy.”

Jane sighed, not surprised by Constance’s observation.  “She seems happy with him, Ma.  And it’s none of our business,” she said sternly, glaring at her mother in warning.

Before Angela could respond, the doorbell rang.  “That must be Barry,” Jane blurted with relief and went to the door.  She smiled broadly when she looked through the peephole and opened the door. 

“Whoa, look at you!” Jane said approvingly, glancing over her partner in a tux.

Frost smiled smugly, pulling at his linked cuffs, knowing he looked damn fine. 

“You clean up pretty good yourself, Jane,” he said, glancing over her dress and what he imagined were torture devices on Jane’s feet.  “Oh, hi, Mrs. Rizzoli,” he said with a smile.

“You do make a handsome couple,” Angela said approvingly, looking between the two.  “I wish I had my camera,” she lamented then quickly brightened with a solution. “Hey Jane, where’s yours?!?”

“Geeze, Ma.  This isn’t my prom!” Jane complained.  Barry tried to tamp down a smile.

“But Jane,” Angela said with a pout that made Jane wince.

“Look at the time!  We gotta go, Ma,” Jane blurted and glared at Barry, whose amused smile faded.

“Oh, right!  We really have to go,” he offered uncomfortably as Jane practically shoved him out of the apartment.

“I wish I had known about this!!  I’d like to have pictures when you dress up – it’s so RARE!” she shouted down the hall at the retreating couple.

Angela went inside Jane’s apartment.  Pulling out her cell phone with a frown, she dialed and lifted the cell to her ear.  “Hey, Connie, it’s me.  Jane’s busy with police work.”

“Oh no.  Maura is home alone,” Constance said with a sigh.

“How did you manage that?” Angela asked with interest, having only heard Connie vaguely say she would take care of it.

“A friend’s cat suddenly needed some medical attention,” Constance said with mild amusement.

“Aren’t you worried he will know something is fishy?” Angela asked.

“Not at the prices he charges.  He’ll gladly listen to a neurotic owner of a perfectly healthy pet.  And Cynthia knows it’s for a good cause.”

Angela had to laugh.  After they said their goodbyes, Angela hung up and stared at her phone a curious moment before it hit her.  “Gah!!”

It was a camera phone.

“Jane!!!” She blurted with incredible frustration. 


“Mother,” Maura said with a surprised smile upon finding Constance at her door.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Constance said.

“Not at all.  Please come in and make yourself comfortable,” Maura said with a pleased smile as her mother entered her house.  She had always wondered why Jane was so irritated when Angela came over unannounced, wistfully wishing her mother would show as much interest.  But she’s here now, Maura thought with delight.

“Your timing is fortuitous.  Charles actually just called to cancel our dinner plans and I was about to make something light,” she relayed.  “Would you like to join me?”  Maura asked hopefully.

“That would be lovely.  I hope everything is all right with Charles,” Constance said, following Maura into the kitchen.

“Just a medical emergency for a pet feline.  He frequently gets calls in the evenings,” Maura offered as she put on an apron over her dress.

“Oh.  I would imagine with your schedules it’s difficult to coordinate free time,” Constance noted, sitting at the kitchen island.

“It is a challenge,” Maura acknowledged.  “But we’ve managed,” she added with a shrug getting the salad vegetables out of the refrigerator.

“With how difficult it is to squeeze Charles into your hectic schedule, I would imagine it is nearly impossible to find time for your friends,” Constance ventured sympathetically.

“Actually, Jane and I spend a lot of time together,” Maura responded.  “Well, not as much as we used to,” she admitted with a thoughtful look and slight frown.

“Well that’s probably a good thing,” she said with understanding.  “Even the best of relationships can suffer by spending too much time together,” Constance noted with a knowing smile.

“I . . . No,” Maura said and frowned.  “That’s not the case with us.  I think we both would enjoy spending more time together,” she said a bit defensively before her gaze dropped guiltily; she hadn’t considered that Jane might be missing their time they usually spent together.

“Of course you do, darling.  But one can understand enjoying a . . . romantic encounter more.  And there are only so many hours in the day,” Constance offered. 

“I . . . ,” Maura said, not sure how to respond to that.  There was no question in Maura’s mind; she enjoyed Jane’s presence far more than Charles’s.  But she enjoyed having sex with Charles, who was quite capable in bed.  And studies have shown that a healthy….

“I remember how my friendship with Cynthia changed when I started dating your father and had little time left for her.  I was terribly relieved when she started dating her husband Tom and our friendship blossomed again.  I’m so glad that Jane is dating someone seriously too; she’ll be spared the same feelings of resentment about your shift in priorities and inability to spend as much time with her,” Constance offered with a smile, interrupting Maura’s thoughts. 

“She’s dating someone seriously?” Maura asked with great surprise, not knowing of anyone.  Jane had rejected all the interested suitors she knew about; Joe, Gabriel, and most recently Casey.  Though she was not very forthcoming in her reasoning, Maura considered curiously, thinking each had several positive qualities and seemed like good matches for Jane.

“Angela mentioned she was going to the Symphony tonight.  Sounds like a wonderful evening.” 

“Jane went to the Symphony?”  Maura repeated curiously.  Constance closely watched Maura’s thoughtful face.

“Oh,” Maura said as a smile of understanding emerged.  “That would make sense since the police are concerned about Ms. Calderón’s safety.”

“Darling, why are you assuming she’s not on a date?” Constance asked curiously.

“I’m not, Mother.  It’s more like a logical deduction,” Maura responded with a smile.  “Jane would not want to go get dressed up unless she had to.  Not to mention it would have been a last minute decision because she had invited me to her apartment to watch the game with her tonight which . . . conflicted with my plans,” she added softly, still feeling disappointed by the timing. 

She had noted that Jane’s invitations to do something after hours or on the weekends had become rarer after repeated conflicts with her date plans; plans that were most often cancelled due to a pet emergency, not a homicide.  And instead of salvaging the evening and contacting Jane, she spent the night alone; it just didn’t seem right to say she wasn’t available and then impose on Jane.

“Well, perhaps an old flame popped back in to sweep her off her feet and away from her normal routine,” Constance offered wistfully.  “It has been known to happen,” she added innocently, watching Maura’s eyes drop uncomfortably.  “Unlike Angela, I am certain Jane Rizzoli will not be single forever - she’s beautiful, accomplished, a very impressive woman, which I’m sure you’ve noticed,” Constance said with a smile.

“I . . . well, of course I have,” Maura responded, recalling when they had first met at a crime scene.  And Jane had been in charge.  Maura knew she had been closely watched and scrutinized by each officer, which was understandable.  She was their new Chief Medical Examiner and she was aware her appearance often made people jump to conclusions, which she abhorred.  When those piercing brown eyes focused on her, Maura took a deep breath and approached the Detective she had heard and read about. 

“Detective Rizzoli,” Maura said confidently, making the Detective smile slightly.  “I’m Doctor Maura Isles, your Chief Medical Examiner,” Maura said assertively and held out her hand.

With a knowing smile for the deliberate demonstration of knowledge about her and the declaration of her rank, Jane took the offered hand.  “Pleased to meet y . . . yeeoow!” she said with a pained wince at the strength of the grip.

Maura immediately let go, realizing the Detective’s hand injuries were not yet completely healed.  “Oh my god.  I’m so sorry!” she said, horrified by her thoughtlessness and took Jane’s sore hand to inspect it.

Jane blinked and started to laugh, confusing Maura, who awkwardly let her hand go again.

“You should see your face,” Jane offered with amusement.

“That would be rather difficult without a mirror,” she answered sincerely.

“Yeeeeah,” Jane responded with a hesitant nod.

“Is your hand all right?” Maura asked with a slight cringe, carefully taking her hand back and inspecting the pink scar that had been caused by a serial killer.  She couldn’t imagine the pain and terror Detective Rizzoli had felt when scalpels impaled her hands. 

For some reason, Jane did not pull her hand back and allowed the Doctor to confirm there was no outward sign of additional injury.

“Well it was before you tried to bring me to my knees,” Jane joked dryly, causing Maura to frown and start to apologize again but Jane would have none of it.  “Hey, I’ve been there - people judging you before getting to know you.  And now I know not to piss you off – somehow you zeroed in on my weaknesses and went in for the kill – I’m impressed,” Jane joked, retrieving her hand and flexing it.

“I am so sorry,” Maura just had to say, still feeling horrible.

“Fine.  If you really want to apologize properly . . . ,” Jane offered, gaining a hopeful look from Maura.  “You can buy me coffee.  A fru-fru coffee drink.  With chocolate.  And whip cream.  If they see you buying it, they won’t harass me,” Jane said conspiratorially, looking around at the other officers at the scene.

Maura looked at her.  “All right,” she said hesitantly, with a slight frown.

“So what do you think?” Jane asked.

“I think it is unfortunate that you have to worry about other officers bothering you over something so trivial as what coff….”

“No, I meant about the DB,” Jane interrupted with an amused smile, finding this woman . . . intriguing.

“Oh.”  Maura said with a frown at her inability to follow Detective Rizzoli’s train of thought. 

Jane noted Crowe staring at them a moment before her warning glare sent his attention elsewhere.  “And if any of the officers bother you, about anything, let me know.  I’ll take care of them.”

Maura looked at her with surprise, touched by the offer, if not a little confused by another inexplicable shift in thought.

“Though you probably don’t need my help,” Jane teased with a smirk, flexing her hand again.

“I said I was sorry,” Maura said, rolling her eyes with a slight smile, enjoying the Detective’s banter.

“Jane?” Frost called out, getting a nod from her.

“Nothing says I’m sorry like ridiculously expensive coffee.  Or beer, beer is good too!” Jane amended with a smirk as she went towards Frost by their cruiser.

“And I would imagine on occasion, Jane would be happy to dress up for someone special.”

Maura watched the Detective retreat, considering she was certainly not what she expected.  Then she smiled thoughtfully.  How could anyone sufficiently describe the sheer magnetism of someone’s personality and their comforting demeanor?

“Someone . . . special?”  Maura repeated when her mother’s words caught up to her, finding this conversation . . . odd.  But then, she and her mother were just starting to talk more.  She frowned, having no idea her mother was so prone to speculation.

“Well, she doesn’t seem to be the type for casual relationships.  Or I’d imagine she’d have a date every night, wouldn’t you think?” Constance said with a grin.

Maura blinked.  “She is discriminating…,” she acknowledged, still wondering why it didn’t work out with Casey.

“Good for Jane.  Life is too short to be wasting time on someone . . . inferior,” Constance said with conviction.  Maura’s gaze dropped thoughtfully.  “So, would you happen to have any wine, darling?” 

“O . . . of course,” Maura responded, not quite understanding why her mother’s comments made her uncomfortable and self-conscious, wondering if this was a typical outcome of mother-daughter talks.  Of course, she knew Jane would assert an emphatic “yes” but Maura had always considered Jane’s reaction to her mother to be a result of their Italian heritage.

Now she was reconsidering that theory.

Chapter 4 – Stage Presence

Jane stood backstage, looking at the various Symphony Hall employees and musicians flit about just moments before the curtain would rise.  Jane watched with interest as the musicians, save Ms. Calderón, settled into their seats.  Martha Calderón, the guest performer, was standing next to her, head down with eyes closed, concentrating on her performance ahead.  Jane didn’t dare speak for fear of disturbing the pianist’s pre-performance routine. 

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, Martha raised her head and opened her eyes, looking at Jane.  “Thank you for being here.”

Still not wanting to disturb the pianist’s routine, she just smiled and nodded.

The curtain rose.  The appreciative audience applauded vigorously. 

“You look amazing, by the way,” Martha noted with a smile before she left Jane’s side to enter the stage.

Jane absently looked down at her dark blue dress and then back to Ms. Calderón, who received a standing ovation as she stepped on stage.  The pianist nodded towards a stagehand that appeared with a cordless microphone.  Martha took it with a small smile.  “Thank you, David,” she said softly, getting a smile from the man whose name she made sure she knew.

After waiting for the audience to quiet, Martha spoke to them.  “I am dedicating tonight’s performance to Kyle Gruhoffer and Brian Carter.  Who, each in their own way, gave us the gift of music,” she said with conviction, receiving enthusiastic applause. 

Returning the microphone to the stagehand, Martha sat on the piano bench and took a deep breath before placing fingers to keys. 

Jane stood riveted to her spot and swallowed hard as Rondo Alla Turca played and a memory washed over her…

“Nonna!” Jane rushed up to her grandmother and gave her a fierce hug.

“Mio bel bambino!” she answered.  “Che cosa si gioca per me oggi?”

“I want to surprise you for once!” Jane said happily and grabbed the older woman’s hand and pulled her to the Boston upright piano in her grandmother’s living room.

Jane sat on the bench and pulled out her sheet music from her beat-up book bag.  After opening the pages up, she looked at her Nonna expectantly.  Receiving a warm smile and nod from her granddaughter, she began.

As Janie’s fingers began to hit the keys, the clear sounds of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca came forth with a certainty and confidence that had delighted Maria Rizzoli, who knew with the focus her ten-year-old grandchild applied to her music, she would have a great presence in whatever she chose to do in life.  As the music played on, Maria wondered if Jane would chose to become a music teacher, like herself or perhaps become a performer.  She just needed to decide what she wanted and she would be successful, Maria believed.

When Jane finished, she looked uncertainly to her grandmother, who eyed her a moment before a big smile and laugh bubbled up. 

“Che un dono meraviglioso, il mio amore!”

“Did you really like it?” Jane asked, having practiced really hard on the church’s piano.  Which was more difficult with jerk-face Joey Grant hounding her all the time.  But she got good at ditching him after catechism class and covering her trail.  “There were a lot of mistakes and I simplified the more difficult passages,” Jane said with a wince.

“Not so many mistakes,” Maria responded warmly, caressing Jane’s cheek.  “And they can be corrected in time.  And I did not miss the more complicated passages, but they too can be added in time.  But do you know what I enjoy most of all when you play?  I feel your love.  That is what makes it such a wonderful gift,” the older woman said with a warm smile as she caressed her granddaughter’s cheek and kissed her forehead. 

Jane blinked and felt the trails of moisture on her cheek.  She quickly wiped them away as she looked around to see if anyone had noticed.  Satisfied no one had, she took a deep breath, and listened as she scanned the area for threats. 


The after-performance gathering was not something Jane would have recommended but Ms. Calderón and her manager had been determined there would be no change in their plans.  She was relieved she did not have to endure Roberto Trejo’s presence at the moment; he was immersed in an animated discussion across the room.

Jane glanced towards a young man who approached the pianist with purpose.   While not sensing a big threat, she wasn’t going to take any chances.  She moved closer to the tense pianist’s side, placing a reassuring hand at the small of her back.  Though relieved by Jane’s presence and touch, Martha smiled tightly, still feeling claustrophobic and nervous in the room of patrons. 

“Ms. Calderón, your performance was amazing.  Even more so with what you went through today,” a young gentleman in a tux said enthusiastically.

“Jane?” She leaned towards the Detective.  “Could you please take me away from here?”  Martha asked with a calm voice, but her hand firmly gripped Jane’s forearm like a vice.

“Of course, if you will excuse us, please.  It has been a long day for Ms. Calderón,” Jane said, smiling at the young admirer, who nodded.

“Certainly!  Thank you so much for the wonderful performance, Ms. Calderón.  I’ll always remember this night,” he gushed and left them.

“Would you like to go back to your hotel now?” Jane asked her quietly.

“No.  Roberto is hounding me like a mother hen,” she said with frustration, glancing over to her manager who had been keeping a close eye on her.  “I just need some peace and quiet,” she complained miserably.

Jane looked at Frost, who had hovered closely behind them.

“Well that rules out the Dirty Robber,” he said dryly.

Martha looked into Jane’s eyes, silently pleading for help.

“I’ve got just the place.  Frost, you should let Cavanaugh know she’s in my protective custody for the night,” Jane said with confidence.

“Uh . . . you sure about this, Jane?”  Barry asked uncomfortably.



“Perhaps you should have skipped tonight’s performance.  No one would have blamed you,” Jane said sympathetically as she opened her apartment door, politely ushering her guest through.

“I will not allow my music to be affected,” Martha said with conviction.

Jane nodded then glanced around her apartment. “It’s not much but it’s home,” she said with a shrug.

Her guest looked around the comfortable looking apartment and felt a weight lifted from her shoulders.  If only for the moment, she felt safe.  “It’s lovely.”

“I’ll make up the bed for you and the couch for me,” Jane offered.

“Detective, I’ll take the couch,” Martha stated firmly.

“No way.  You’re my guest and I’d never hear the end of it from my mother if I didn’t offer my bed to the world famous Martha Calderón,” Jane said dramatically.

Martha looked at the Detective with a sparkle in her eye, considering that the offer of Jane’s bed would be better if the detective came with it.  “She sounds like my mother,” Martha offered instead, with a small smile as she sat on the couch.

“And I am sorry for that too,” Jane offered dryly before retreating to the bedroom to change the bedding for her guest.


Jane returned to the living room, carrying a nightshirt and robe for her guest, who had fallen asleep on her couch.

Jane sighed and went to the pianist.  “Uh…Ms. Calderón?” she said softly, gently shaking the woman’s shoulder.

“Oh,” she said, a bit groggy as she rubbed her eyes and sat up.  “Please, call me Martha, especially since I’m imposing upon your hospitality like this.”

“It really is no problem . . . Martha.”

Martha smiled warmly and glanced at the couch.  “I can’t believe I managed to fall asleep after everything,” she said with quiet amazement.

“I’m glad you could,” Jane said softly, having experienced many sleepless nights due to fear.

“The couch is very comfortable,” she noted, looking at Jane.  “I really don’t mind the couch,” she tried again.

“No couch.  My apartment, my terms.  And since you know the couch isn’t horrible, you really shouldn’t feel guilty for me taking it,” Jane countered.

“But I do,” Martha said with a pout.

“You get the bed.  There are no negotiations on this,” Jane said firmly, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Are you always this overbearing, Detective?” she asked with a smile, guessing the answer.

“Yes,” Jane said unapologetically.  “Now get some sleep!” Jane blurted with feigned irritation.

Martha stood and faced Jane.  “You are a Godsend, Detective,” she said sincerely.

“Jane,” she corrected, making Martha smile.  “And I’m no . . .” she countered, finding the pianist’s fingers on her lips, interrupting her protest.

“It may be your apartment, Jane.  But do not presume to tell me what I think,” Martha scolded softly but firmly, looking into brown eyes pointedly and receiving a slight nod, conceding that point.

She removed her fingers from Jane’s lips and slowly leaned in, placing a gentle kiss on Jane’s cheek.  “Good night,” she said softly.

Jane exhaled uneasily as she watched the woman disappear into her bedroom.


“Did you sleep well?”  Jane asked as her guest emerged from her bedroom and joined her in the kitchen, hoping Martha got more sleep than she did, having tossed and turned all night - and not because of an uncomfortable couch.

Jane glanced over Martha’s disheveled appearance.  When immaculately dressed for a performance, Martha Calderón was no doubt a striking woman.  Not a traditional beauty in the classical sense, although she was certainly physically attractive with an engaging personality and captivating smile.  Her slightly greying hair only made her seem more sophisticated.  Her appearance coupled with her clear passion when she played made her bigger than life.  But in her humble home, with the robe sloppily wrapped around her curvaceous figure and hair that showed distinct signs of bedhead, Martha Calderón was much more appealing to Jane; she seemed more approachable.

“I actually did, thanks to you,” Martha said, sitting down at the kitchen counter, watching Jane serve breakfast. 

“Hope you like scrambled eggs and bacon.  If not, I have some Lucky Charms,” she said, adding with a wince “I just hope the milk is ok.”

Martha chuckled.  “What you’ve made smells wonderful,” she said, taking the plate and taking in an appreciative sniff.

As Jane poured her guest and herself coffee, Martha focused on her hands. 
Jane braced herself for the inevitable questions about her scars as she placed the coffee pot down and reached for her mug.

“You have the hands of a pianist,” she said with a slight smile as she boldly took one of Jane’s in hers and traced her fingers over her scarred palm.  “Do you play?” Martha asked.

“Not anymore,” Jane said dismissively, about to pull back but stopped, surprised to find a notable scar on Martha’s left hand.

“What happened to you?” Jane asked uncomfortably, hesitantly tracing her fingers over Martha’s scar, knowing she hated it when people asked her the same question. 

Martha smiled tightly.  “A car accident, August 23, 1991.  It almost ended my career . . . and my life,” she added bluntly, surprising Jane.  “It took several years to regain the dexterity I had before the accident.  And it took several more years to regain the confidence I once had,” she said honestly, picking up her coffee and sipping as Jane contemplated how hard it must have been for the accomplished pianist.

“Your injury wasn’t public information,” Jane suddenly noted with surprise, more impressed with the musician sitting across from her.

Martha looked at her curiously.  “No.  I did not want and could not stand anyone’s pity,” she responded vehemently.  “I wanted to recover on my own terms - not my publicist’s or manager’s or the press’,” she acknowledged, looking at her hands critically.  “But it was slow; the press thought I had abandoned my music for several . . . interesting reasons.  One of my favorites was that I joined a convent,” Martha relayed thoughtfully.  “I nearly did.”

“You almost joined . . . a convent?”

Martha chuckled softly.  “No.  Almost abandoned my music,” she offered.

Jane considered her words as she too gazed upon the accomplished hands, nodding in understanding.

“So, you looked me up?” Martha asked with interest, looking into the soulful brown eyes.

“I’m a detective, Martha.  Investigating is my business,” Jane countered neutrally.

“Of course,” she said, feeling a bit disappointed.  “So why did you give up playing?” Martha asked, tremendously curious.  The woman before her did not seem like the type to give up, even in adversity, which those scars appeared to represent.

Jane frowned and looked down at her hands.  Jane’s normal response to that question was to either brush it off or use her scars as an excuse, which usually shut people up quickly.  “I actually stopped playing seriously before I graduated high school,” she said and added “before these,” holding up her hands.

Martha looked at her with surprise.  She was intensely curious about what had caused the scars - but was much more interested in Jane’s abandonment of something that was like air to her – her music.

“After my Nonna died, I just played at family gatherings at Christmas or occasionally, other parties - but then these happened and . . . I don’t even do that anymore,” she said, prompting a sympathetic nod; Martha knew how hard physical therapy could be and she had been lucky her injuries were able to be overcome.  “I haven’t really played for many years,” Jane offered with a heavy sigh.

“You would play for your Nonna?”  Martha probed gently.

“Yeah,” Jane responded with a slight nod, staring at the countertop as she recalled those times.  “She was a retired music teacher and had this beautiful Boston upright in her home.  She longed for a Grand but the house was too small for even a Baby Grand,” Jane said with a small smile, getting one in return.

“Didn’t you have a piano at your home?” Martha asked, sipping her coffee.

“Yeah, but I also had two brothers who made it their mission to interrupt me, or make fun of my mistakes.  And it didn’t help having my mother constantly yell at them to settle down,” Jane said with a shrug.  “Nonna let me play at her home whenever I wanted and she taught me . . . ,” Jane trailed off in a pained whisper and fell silent, unable to continue as her eyes welled up.

“I am so sorry for your losses,” Martha said sympathetically, placing a comforting hand on Jane’s hand and squeezing.

Jane blinked uneasily.  Until then, she had not considered that she had also lost her music; an unexpected sadness washed over her.  With a weak nod, she squeezed back before picking up her mug of coffee.


“Jane’s famous!” Korsak blurted loudly with a smirk as Jane came into the bullpen. 

“What the hell are you talking about?” Jane snapped, shooting a glare at Vince, who held up a tabloid with a grin.

She glanced at Crowe as he passed her with a glare of disapproval, which was par for the course.

“Oh man,” Frost said with concern as Cavanaugh marched towards an unaware Rizzoli with an unhappy look on his scrunched face and the same tabloid in his hand.

“Would you mind telling me what the hell you were thinking, Rizzoli?!?” He barked, pushing the tabloid in her face. 

Her eyes scanned the tabloid and widened.  “Love and Murder!  Famous Pianist and Detective begin torrid love affair during murder investigation.”  Several pictures showed the two women standing closely together; one of which where she had her hand at Martha Calderón’s back as the pianist leaned into her ear to tell her something at the reception that looked unfortunately . . . intimate.  Then there was a grainer picture where they ascended her apartment building stairs, with her hand at Martha’s back.

As Jane frowned and took a breath to respond, he held up a hand.  “NO!  Don’t answer that.  It’s pretty clear you weren’t thinking.  I’ve already gotten phone calls from the Police Chief, District Attorney, and Mayor about this mess!” he barked, making her wince.  “And now, because you weren’t thinking and allowed the Paparazzi to get these, I have to play damage control.  I’m sick and tired of having to defend you to them, Rizzoli!  Effective immediately, you’re off that case.”  With a growl, Cavanaugh did an about face and stormed back to his office.

“Fuck me,” Jane moaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. 

“Wasn’t that what got you in trouble in the first place, Rizzoli?” Crowe snickered as he leaned back in his chair with a smirk, earning a glare.

She tamped down her desire to shoot Crowe, even though she was pretty sure a jury of her peers would have considered it justifiable homicide.  She just shook her head as she sat down at her desk.  Pressing her palms to her eyes, she tried to avoid the headache she felt coming on; she was unsuccessful.

“Incoming!” Frost announced as Angela marched into the bullpen with a copy of the tabloid.

“Jane!  What were you thinking!!”


“Oh God, not you too!” Jane bemoaned as she walked into Maura’s office and spied the tabloid sitting on her desk.

“Me too, what?”  Maura asked in confusion, watching Jane sluggishly drag herself to the couch and plop herself down.

“Go ahead, I’ve heard everyone else’s opinion on the article.  Let’er rip,” Jane moaned, throwing her forearm over her eyes.

Maura looked down at the paper and tilted her head.  “You are very photogenic.” 

Jane lowered her arm and looked at her.  “Really??  I’m photogenic?  Is that all you have to say on the subject?”  The lack of response annoyed her for some reason.

Maura thought a second.  “Yes.  I believe so.”

“You’re not going to say I shouldn’t have brought her home with me??” Jane challenged, searching her face for . . . something.

Maura paused before answering.  “Why would I?”

Jane rolled her eyes.  “Oh, no reason.  No reason at all,” she said testily, wishing . . . wishing she didn’t keep looking for something that wasn’t there.

“Jane.  I trust you did what you thought was best for Ms. Calderón at the time.  What do you want me to say?”  Maura said, sincerely puzzled.

“I don’t know!” Jane groaned with honest frustration and sighed.  “I’ve been kicked off the case,” she offered dejectedly.

“Well, considering the appearance of impropriety, while unfortunate, it is understandable.”

Jane shook her head as she tiredly stood and started to leave. 

“Jane,” Maura called out to her with concern, wanting to help her upset friend but not knowing how.

Jane stopped in the doorway and rested her hand on the frame.  “It’s ok, Maura.   I didn’t mean to dump on you with this,” she said absently with an apologetic smile.  “And I appreciate the vote of confidence in my character.”

“That goes without question, Jane,” Maura said with conviction.

“Thanks.  But it’s kind of ridiculous right?  Thinking someone like Martha Calderón would actually want to be involved, let alone have a torrid love affair, with someone like me,” Jane joked weakly and left Maura wishing she understood her friend’s odd behavior and surprising words.


At lunchtime, Maura left her office to find Jane, hoping that treating her to a nice lunch might cheer her up.  When she arrived at the bullpen, she noted only Jane and Detective Crowe.  Frost and Korsak were probably on the Symphony Hall case, she considered.  Then she frowned with disapproval when she heard Detective Crowe taunting Jane; she could see Jane was struggling to ignore him from her clear tenseness. 

“So do pianist’s fingers really hit all the right notes, Rizzoli?  Like the G-spot??” Crowe chuckled.  “Was she finger-licking good?”

Maura winced, hurrying her step towards Jane, hoping her presence would help tamp down Crowe’s rude remarks as it usually did.

“So Rizzoli, what does Dr. Isles think of you …”

“That’s it!” Jane blurted and shot out of her chair. 

“Jane!  Lunch!  Now!”  Maura called out crisply, swiftly going to Jane’s side, grabbing her arm and pulling her away.

“She’s not even the least bit concerned with your cheating?!?” Crowe smirked.  Jane stopped in her tracks, almost causing Maura to stumble.

“Jane,” Maura said firmly, causing Jane to pause as she felt Maura’s firm hand on her arm again.  “Please.”

Jane took an irritated breath and nodded, causing Maura to sigh with relief.

As they started to leave, Crowe called out “Does Jane beg and roll over too, Doc?” He chuckled, highly amused with himself.  Maura stiffened and stopped.  Jane looked at her with surprise. 

“Does your lap dog fetch your paper?  Or do other tricks?”

“Come on, Maura.  Before I lose my appetite,” Jane said softly, placing a hand at Maura’s back and ushering her out of the battle zone.

“Sorry,” Maura quietly said, irritated she let him get to her.  “Equating you to a trained pet was just . . . infuriating,” she said, making Jane smile.

“Can I have a cheeseburger?” Jane quickly blurted excitedly.  “Huh?  Huh?  Can I can I can I?” she begged, looking hopeful.

“Jane,” Maura said with exasperation.  “I suppose it is an exaggeration to call you anything close to trained,” she said dryly, gaining a hurt pout.  “Yes you MAY have a cheeseburger,” she offered with a chuckle.

“Awesome!” Jane said with a fist pump.

“Yes, you are,” Maura said earnestly, causing Jane’s smile to fade as she looked at her sincere friend.  “And Detective Crowe is intimidated by that.”

Maura could see thanks and unfounded uncertainty in Jane’s dark eyes, just before her gaze broke away.

“I’m starving,” Jane said suddenly.  “Let’s go!”


“I was very surprised when my mother showed up at my front door,” Maura relayed, sipping her iced tea. 

“I wish I would be surprised,” Jane said dryly and ate a French fry.  Her mood had improved considerably with the consumption of the high caloric, fat-laden meal, Maura noted with mixed feelings.

“We had the oddest conversation,” Maura admitted with a perplexed look.

“See!  That’s what you get when you start talking with your mother,” Jane said sagely, waggling a French fry at her. 

Maura glanced at her friend with a small amused smile.  “Don’t play with your food.”

“Just getting your money’s worth,” Jane said, waggling the fry at her again before eating it with a satisfied smile.

Choosing to ignore her antics, Maura continued.  “Mother had been convinced you were on a date to the Symphony, which I concluded to be unlikely,” Maura shrugged and picked at her salad.

“Thanks a lot!  I could have been on a date . . . to the Symphony,” Jane said, insulted.

“Jane, I realize that - but merely concluded it was unlikely,” she explained to appease her sensitive friend.

“Oh.  Well that sounds soooo much better.”

Maura frowned.  “Have you not stated that you’re suspicious of any activity that requires you to wear uncomfortable clothes?”

“It would be a special occasion, cause I am more comfortable in casual clothes - but I’d have gone to the Symphony . . . with the right person,” Jane said with a frown.

Maura blinked, recalling her mother’s similar comment.

“So why was your mother convinced I had a date to the Symphony?” Jane asked, still  mildly annoyed with Maura’s conclusion . . . and that it was right.

“Angela told her,” she said with a shrug and sipped her tea.

“What??” Jane said with surprise, gaining a confused look from Maura, which prompted Jane to explain.  “Don’t you think it odd that my mother and your mother are talking so much?”

“Why would it be odd?  We’re friends.  It would make sense our mothers could be friends too,” Maura offered reasonably.  “What?” she asked, seeing a confused look on Jane’s face.

“Ma knew I wasn’t on a date . . . oh GOD,” Jane said, rolling her eyes.

“Jane,” Maura said with frustration, not understanding Jane’s dramatic behavior.

“Ma told her I was on a date because I haven’t had one in ages and she’s worried your mother will think your best friend is a loser,” Jane lamented.

Maura laughed.  “Really, Jane,” she said, shaking her head with amusement.

“I’m serious!  Mothers think differently than normal people.” 

“I’m sure it was just an assumption by my mother.  She’s quite impressed with you actually.”

“Yeah,” Jane scoffed.

“Really, Jane.  She was saying that you were a beautiful, accomplished and very impressive woman who she did not believe would be single for much longer.”

“Oh….” Jane said in a small voice then shrugged. “You did say it was an odd conversation.

“Jane,” Maura exhaled with frustration.


“You are a beautiful, accomplished and very impressive woman,” Maura said emphatically.

Jane looked into Maura’s eyes.  After an awkwardly silent moment, Maura’s gaze dropped.  “I need to go powder my nose.  I’ll be back in a moment and we will continue until you understand what I am saying is true,” Maura scolded, getting up and leaving without waiting for a response.

Jane watched as Maura left; her gait was always graceful with an alluring sway of hips.  She frowned noting two other male customers also taking in the feminine vision.


Jane turned to find fellow dog owner, Gina, approach her with a big smile.

Jane stood with an answering smile.  “Hey!  What brings you to this neck of the woods?”

Gina placed a hand on Jane’s forearm and kissed her cheek, surprising Jane with the casual affection.  “Retirement luncheon.  We’re over in the corner.”

“Rather quiet for an office luncheon,” Jane noted, glancing over at the sedate table.

“Yeah,” she said, rolling her eyes.  “Another reason for me being over here, rather than over there.  I saw you in the paper,” she said with amusement.


“Those tabloids will print anything.”

“So you knew it was not true?” Jane said with a slight frown.

“I didn’t think you’d be the type to mix business with pleasure.  At the risk of your job, anyway.”


When Maura returned to their table, she was surprised to find an attractive blond woman sitting in her chair and speaking with Jane; she would punctuate her comments with touches to Jane’s arm.  As she approached, Jane spotted her and stood with a smile.

“Maura, this is Regina Wilkinson, Gina, this is Doctor Maura Isles, Chief Medical Examiner.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Maura said with a polite smile, holding out a firm hand that Gina shook daintily, still seated in her chair.

Jane noted with amusement the brief look of disapproval that washed over Maura’s face.

“Would you believe we were discussing my new-found notoriety?”  Jane offered.

“Well if you were going to be notorious, I would think a torrid love affair with a celebrated pianist would be the way to go.  Just think of your private concerts,” Gina said with a sly smile and small chuckle.

“I suppose that’s one way of looking at it,” Jane said, scratching the back of her neck.

“Are you going to join us?  We could get another chair,” Maura said with a painfully polite smile, looking pointedly down at her half-eaten salad plate and tea.

“Oh, sorry!” Gina said with a wince and got up.  “Well you enjoy the rest of your meal, ladies.  It was nice meeting you, Maura,” she said, glancing to Maura briefly before focusing on Jane.  “I’ll see you around the neighborhood.  Say hi to Jo for me,” she said, placing a hand on Jane’s arm and giving her a goodbye kiss on the cheek before leaving an uncomfortable Jane and curious Maura alone.

As Maura sat, Jane automatically held the chair for her.

“Close friend of yours?” Maura was compelled to ask, looking at the Detective.

Jane rolled her eyes.  “If she was,” Jane said, leaning down to Maura’s ear “she’d know the concept of respecting personal space.”

Maura smiled slightly, feeling oddly relieved.  She sucked in a surprised breath when Jane gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

“Oh Damn,” Jane blurted miserably.

“Jane, it’s all right, I didn’t . . . ,” Maura said with a small smile, startled when Jane suddenly took off in a sprint out the door and frowned until she realized Jane was in pursuit of someone. 

“Jane??” Maura called out worriedly as she too exited the restaurant, as fast as her Jimmy Choos would allow.  She watched as a car peeled away, leaving Jane to pace back and forth like an angry caged tiger.  “Jane?” she tried again.

“Someone’s following me and taking more pictures!” Jane spat, motioning towards the restaurant.

Maura frowned. 

“I’m so sorry for dragging you into this,” Jane said guiltily.  “Whatever this is,” she added with frustration, motioning towards the direction the car sped off before running her hand through her hair.

“Jane,” Maura said firmly and grabbed her arm.  “You’re not dragging me into anything.”

Next Part

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