Title: Loyalty and Deceit

Author: N'kala

Summary: Nick sees something he's not supposed to, and ends up regretting it.
Disclaimer: They ain't mine.
Author's Notes: If you've never read my work before, then be warned. I take some liberties with my stories. Consider yourself warned.


It was unusually cold, the sun having set hours before. Despite the high temperature during the course of the day, the approaching storms had swept the heat away from the city, leaving the people of Las Vegas, Nevada scrambling for heavier clothes.

"'Let's go to Las Vegas during winter'," a mocking voice called out. "'It's in the desert. It'll be nice and warm'. Yeah, good call, 'Lissa."

Green eyes looked daggers at the woman behind her. "How was I supposed to know about the damned weather change? I'm not a freaking meteorologist!"

Lisa Greene rolled her brown eyes to the twinkling stars above. "It's called the Weather Channel, 'Lissa. Heard of it?"

Melissa Howard stopped dead in her tracks, looking down at the ground before her. The shadows from the alley on her left stretched out to the street, but didn't obscure the hand lying limp beneath a pile of trash.

"'Lissa?" Lisa came to a stop beside her. "What . . . oh my God."

The neon lights of the casinos lit the sky so brightly that the flashing blue and red lights from the surrounding squad cars faded into the background. Officers prowled the edges of the scene, awaiting clearance from the CSIs to proceed.

Jim Brass lifted the yellow caution tape roping off the scene and nodded a greeting to Gil Grissom.

"What've we got?" Grissom asked, striding up to the body.

"John Doe, late thirties, took a bullet to the head," Brass replied. "Pair of tourists called it in." He nodded to the two young women talking with an officer.

"Anyone touch anything?" Grissom asked, his gaze focused wholly on the body before him.

"Actually, I think one officer didn't get the chance to yet," Brass shot back. "Shall I call him over?"

The tape lifted again, and two more CSIs appeared, each lugging a silver case.

"Hey, Boss, got your message," Nick Stokes greeted. His brown eyes sparkled with curiosity as they swept over the scene.

"Yeah, got held up on the way," Warrick Brown added. "Traffic was murder."

"Yeah?" Grissom replied. "Tell it to this guy."