Hope you enjoy this. It should be approximately four to five chapters. But please, don't hold me to that. I know it won't be as long as my first story.

Sara and Grissom are in the early stages of a relationship, when she receives a phone call that brings back past uh, stuff.

Please review.

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"You can't beat me, Ms. Sidle. You should know that by now."

"I can and I will, Dr. Grissom. You're getting just a touch too smug."

"Put your money where your mouth is."

Sara tossed two quarters into the pile of nickels and dimes on the coffee table, shifted her legs and fixed her opponent with an icy gaze.

Grissom noted the stakes and re-adjusted the worn baseball cap he donned during their games.

"I think you're bluffing." That said, he matched her fifty cents and took a drink of beer. "Call."

"You asked for it." Sara couldn't help the evil grin that erupted as she laid down her hand. "Full house. Jacks over tens."

Grissom cocked his head slightly before laying down four of a kind.

"Alas, my sweet, I win again."

"Oh, that is so not fair, Griss. The one time I get a decent hand and you end up with four dinky little twos. I should know better than to play with you."

"Yes, you should," he grinned and collected his winnings.

"Watch it, buster. 'Play' may extend to include more than just cards. Weren't we progressing to the next step?" Sara smiled seductively.

Grissom's eyebrows shot up in alarm. "We still are, aren't we?" He couldn't help the stammer in his voice.

She shrugged.

"You uh, wouldn't hold this against me?" He was close to perspiring.

"I might not hold anything against you. Ever."

Without hesitation, Grissom returned his winnings to the table and pushed the mound of change toward Sara. "You're a cruel woman, Sidle."

She laughed at his desperation.

"And if I accept this money, just what does that say about my character, Griss?"

He opened his mouth to speak, but her sparkling eyes silenced him.

"Don't push it, Grissom."

He grinned and leaned in for a kiss that quickly escalated.

The phone interrupted their truce and reluctantly, Sara grabbed the portable.

"Hello."

Grissom noticed her body tense as she rose from the sofa. Her expression turned grim. He stood and moved beside her.

"Yeah, OK. No, no, I'm glad you told me. Yeah. No, really, it's OK. I'm fine. Love you too, Mom."

Sara hit the off button and laid the phone on the counter. She rubbed her forehead briefly with her right hand as if trying to forestall a headache.

"What is it, Sara?"

She glanced at him before walking to the stereo and hitting some buttons.

"Nothing, Griss. A friend of my brother's died."

The speakers came to life with Oasis.

"I'm sorry." He struggled to say something, anything else. "Accident?"

"No, uh, suicide." God, the words sounded strange to her ears. Sara could

sense Grissom moving closer to her. "Listen, its no big deal. He was a neighbor. Someone we grew up with." She hit a button on the remote and the sound blared for a moment before dying.

"You all right? Feel like talking?"

"I'm fine, Grissom. I think I'd like some time alone. OK?"

He nodded but wasn't at all sure it was OK. Grissom was more than aware that crowding Sara would only serve to push her farther away.

"Thank you, Griss."

He stepped forward to give her a hug and kiss, only to have her jerk away from him. His eyes expressed the concern he felt.

"Sorry," she said softly. "Just nerves."

She gave him a quick kiss, nearly missing his lips altogether. Grissom was still trying to digest her actions. He studied her as she pulled back, noting her pallor and tension. He didn't want to leave. Finally, he found his voice.

"Call me if you need anything?"

"Yeah," she nodded absently.

Grissom picked-up his jacket and opened the door. Stepping outside, he realized they hadn't been seeing each other long enough for him to insist that she wasn't all right. Three weeks of dating, kissing and touching didn't give him that privilege.

But still, his mind reasoned; they'd been friends for well over ten years. Didn't that afford him the right to be concerned about her behavior? Of course it did. Before he could turn his head, the door closed gently behind him. Out of habit he listened for the click of the lock. Grissom's mind was a mix of emotions that he couldn't begin to decipher. He gripped his keys nervously. Should he go back? No, she needed time. His mind screamed that something was not right. Again, he chastised himself; she needs time.

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Sara flipped through a stack of CD's before finally flinging the pile to the floor. Her mind raced. Mom called. Ben killed himself. Big deal. Damn. Why did he do it? I know why he did it. Fucking bastard. Am I glad he did it? Yeah, I guess so. He deserved it. She felt that. Ben killed himself. Stupid bastard. Why? Sara knew why. He couldn't live with what he was.

The feelings of almost twenty years ago came back with a vengeance. Sara extended her hand and watched the subtle tremor. Damn. How dare he get the last act in all this crap.

Sara had never been much of a drinker. She'd partied in college and knew it could be an excellent escape mechanism. She reached above the fridge and opened the small cabinet. Catherine had brought over a very good brand of vodka shortly after the Hank fiasco. She hadn't heard of a Cosmo until then. Somehow, they'd managed to laugh the day away.

Her hand closed around the bottle and she was surprised that it contained less than half of its original contents. Pulling a glass from the cabinet she filled it with vodka. Sara brought the drink to her lips and took a large swallow.

"Here's to you, Ben."

Her face scrunched into a bitter expression as she swallowed. Quickly, she grabbed a bottle of water to rid her mouth of the alcohol taste.

Sara carried the glass back into the living room, but didn't feel like sitting. She downed the remainder of her drink and offered up her empty glass in a backward toast.

"May you rot in hell."

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Grissom couldn't shake the nagging feeling that he should have said more to Sara. Opening his front door, he tossed the keys on the counter and reached for the phone. No, he thought. She needs time. Space. Sighing, he ran his hand nervously through his hair and crossed to his bedroom.

They had agreed to take their relationship slow. Emotionally and physically. Once they'd admitted mutual feelings for one another, both seemed determined to do whatever necessary to nurture them.

In many ways, Sara and Grissom new each other better than some couples married for years. They seemed to have an innate ability to read and interpret one another. Still, it did little to make up for the fact that both were extremely private people, with guarded pasts.

Sara trusted Grissom with her life and vice versa. Trusting each other with their hearts was another story. So, they took it slowly.

Grissom grabbed the phone once more, before shaking his head and returning it to the table. This had been a rare night off for them. Sara had taken him to her favorite Mexican restaurant for a late dinner. They'd returned to her apartment with the intent of playing a friendly game of poker. Grissom hadn't minded in the least, since their card games usually ended with them on the sofa making out like teenagers.

There had been much flirting and innuendo at dinner and both seemed to sense the need and desire to take their relationship to the next level. Once back at Sara's apartment, they'd relaxed into their routine card game, letting the banter and playfulness begin to seduce them. Then, the telephone rang.

He'd hurriedly gotten over his disappointment at the interruption once the nature of the call became apparent.

Now, as he glanced at his wristwatch, and noted that it was only 1:15 AM, Grissom picked up a book he'd been reading and plopped down on the bed. Maybe he should have stayed, despite her protests. Just to offer comfort. Yeah, like she would have allowed that. Sara was definitely her own person.

Grissom felt his mind drifting, but it was welcomed. He wanted to fall asleep early so he could stop by Sara's before shift.

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It was a few minutes past noon when Grissom knocked on Sara's front door. He was fairly certain she wouldn't mind him showing up unannounced. He'd considered phoning first, but feared she would just brush off his concern.

The first knock went unanswered. Surely she's not still sleeping, Griss thought. After having a night off, it was usually her habit to get up fairly early and catch up on errands before work. Following another couple of raps on the door, it was pulled open by a disheveled looking Sara.

"Hey," he offered her a tentative smile.

"Hey yourself. I wasn't expecting you was I?"

He chuckled at her perplexed look. "No, but I hope I'm welcome anyway."

"Of course, Griss." She motioned him in and promptly yawned. "I would kiss you, except I have morning, afternoon and evening breath."

"No problem." He surveyed the room, noting the pile of playing cards were they'd left them, a mess of CD's spilled across the floor, and a nearly empty fifth of vodka on the kitchen counter. "Rough night?" He asked rather brusquely.

"You could say that. In fact, if I wasn't still a bit drunk, I'd probably be really hung over."

Grissom shot her a questioning look that she either chose to ignore or simply hadn't noticed.

"Why don't you take a shower and I'll start some coffee?"

"Yeah, OK."

"Hungry?"

"God yes," she mumbled. "There may be some waffles in the freezer."

He nodded and watched her disappear into the bedroom. Grissom sighed, knowing there was probably a great deal more to the phone call than he'd first thought.

TBC