For Disclaimer see Default Chapter

Chapter Thirteen – Remedial Action

On their way back to Vegas Grissom and Sara didn' talk much. But this time it felt right, they felt comfortable, calm and serene. The akwardness or their ususal silent moments were gone completely. From time to time Grissom side glanced at her and she answered with that Sara smile and this special look of her dark brown eyes.

I still don't have a clue what to do about that, but I'll try to figure it out. I promise, Sara. He remembered how the Debbie Marlin case one year ago affected him personally as the victim beared an eerie resemblance to Sara. Dr Lurie had killed her, because Debbie moved on without him. Grissom mused what would happen if a relationship with Sara wouldn't work out. At least I have put 'Sara' and 'relationship' in context, making progress here, Grissom smirked. And I'm not Dr Lurie, he reminded himself, although he was left with the unpleasant remainder of comprehension for Lurie's deed.

Nevertheless he had been a single for the greater part of his life, not used to have people around, close to him or even living with him. Neither did he know if he actually could get used to having somebody. And not to forget the age difference, he sighed, what besides their job could they probably have in common, what do I even know about that girl? No, not a girl, she's all woman. Do I even deserve to be loved like this? Grissom wondered. What does she see in me?

He must have said that last thought aloud, because Sara answered in a soft tone. "Time will tell, Gris, uh, Gil. I will have to get used to your name though." She smiled. "Let's find out. At first we should think about how to handle 'this' when we are back at the lab. I mean, if you could decide to stay. We are still the number two lab in the country. You told me that. So, if not for the career, stay for the challenge. And because of me." Sara added.

"Sounds familiar", Grissom nodded. "This is exactly what I told Sophia, uh, I mean without the 'because of me part' of course", he added quickly when he saw Sara frowning. "She turned down this opportunity, didn't even think about it. But you're right, I'm not making the same mistake here, I'm going to stay, at leat for a while, you satisfied?"

"Yeah, Gil. At least, in that respect I am. That's a start." Sara answered in such a seducing tone, that he his heart missed the beat. At the same time her hand gently queezed his leg and moved upwards. In such a way distracted he simply overesteered the Tahoe and almost lost control. He pulled over and stopped the car, took a deep breath and looked at her.

"Hey, you are not going to kill us, are you Gil. You will not get off that lightly." Sara softly patted his cheek and kissed him firmly and very promising.

Under her kiss he whispered "No, I would never do anything again to hurt you, Sara." Then he simply gave up and they lost themselves in their emotions.

Catherine had made some important phone calls. Although he didn't like to involve Sam Braun in her plan, but she needed him to get a reservation for the presisent's suite at the Tangiers. Sam didn't ask for the reason or as a matter of fact for the payment, he just instructed one of his staff members to hand her the key card once she arrived.

She ordered an extraordinary seafood dinner to be served at the suite, as she knew that Ecklie would like it. Then Catherine went home for a dress-to-kill. When she got herself prepared she called him on his cell phone.

Ecklie just started discussing with his wife over flowers and fertilizer, he had to buy for their garden when his cell phone rang. Somehow relieved about the interuption he stopped her talking by raising a hand "Wait, business." he explained and closed the door behind him. . "Hey, Conrad!" Catherine said. "Oh, uh, hello, Willows. What's the matter? You have the lab under control, do you?"

"Yes, Conrad. Everything is cool. That's not the reason I'm calling you. I really didn't have the opportunity to thank you for the promotion, you know. I was wondering if you want to have dinner with me tonight. At the Tangiers? How about seafood? Let's celebrate. I owe you." Cath added in a promising tone.

"Uh, yes. Of course. I, I'm flattered." Ecklie cleared his throat, blushed although nobody was watching him. He rubbed his face and felt sweat on his upper lip. Oh, my. he thought, that's even better than my wildest fantasy . The seduction of Catherine Willows. How many times had he dreamt of doing her in versatile variations. "See you at eight." He managed to answer.

He went to take a shower and changed into one of his brand new made-to-measure suits. "I'm on a case, high-profile, my attendance is needed. I'll have to go." Elusively he kissed his wife on her cheek and left without another word. In his mind he was already thinking about different scenarios involving a certain staff member.

Catherine looked in the mirror and nodded satisfied with the result. For this special occation she dressed up, rather sexed up in a red 'something', or should she say 'nothing', because it was definitely more showing more than hiding. Ecklie will so like this, she smirked remembering him staring in her neckline every how so often. She knew the game.

When Ecklie arrived he was led to the president's suite which made him feel a bit akward. Then Catherine opened the door and he stood stunned, gasping for breath, overwhelmed by her appearance. "Uh, Cath. You, uh, look great." Cath took his hand and invited him in. He looked around and nodded in appreciation. The table had been nicely decorated and a seafood buffet was waiting for them.

While they were eating Catherine seemed to enjoy his conversation. He tried his best to please her and to control his desire. "Catherine," Ecklie sighed, "I'm really impressed, you know how to show your gratitude. So what's this all about?"

Catherine moved around the table and began to play with his so badly reciding hair and whispered in his ear "Let's find out, Conrad." She took both of his hands and led him to the couch. His hands started to reach out and embrace her, but she stopped his movement.

"You listen first." Catherine said in a soft tone, knowing that he was expecting everything else than what she would do and say right now. She was sitting very close to him which made him sweat. He could feel the heat.

Suddenly she straightened. With cold eyes and icy voice she began "Conrad. We have to talk." Her change in behavior left him confused and startled. He opened his mouth but she shut him up.

"I ask you to re-install Grissom in his old position. He should be graveyard shift supervisor. Not me. I can work with him and under his purview. That won't be a factor, in fact has never has been for me. Also I'm going to stay with the nightshift, namely as a team supervisor. You will not interfere with the team's constellation, that would be Gil's and probably my responsibility. If not, Conrad, please take me serious, myself and also the team will resign completely and you will have to replace all of us." Catherine watched him carefully with her arms crossed.

Ecklie replied in anger "What the heck, Willows? Who do you think you are? "He scoffed. "You wanted a promotion, you got it, you're going to pay for it. Now you want to turn back the clock? What is it all about? Afraid of Grissom? Or got people in the way? They will never follow you, right? I cannot believe that you think that everybody will leave."

"I do." Catherine answered simply. When Grissom remains demoted, I'm going to quit. And as a matter of fact so will Brown, Stokes, Sanders and even Brass. And I'm not even sure that Gil is going to stay. And with him gone, I wouldn't expect Sidle to hang around. If this is what you want go ahead." She ended upset.

"Cath, I don't believe you."

"Than you have to believe us," a door opened and there stood Brass and the others. "Are you sure, Conrad, that you want to have it like this? We go all the way if it is necessary." Warrick, Greg and Nick nodded when Jim Brass gave it to Ecklie.

"You know what?" Ecklie shouted upset. "I'm going to report you all. That's not only insubordinate, that's blackmail."

"I have to agree to that, Conrad." Brass said. "But think about our fellow colleagues from human resource department. They will be going to start asking questions about why a whole team left together. I'm not sure that this will put you in good perspective here. Bad, if somebody finds out that it's all your fault. You think, that you are going to stay in your position, if this is going to happen? I don't think so. But that's just me." Brass smirked.

Conrad Ecklie slowly nodded. Defeated he answered. "Well, you won. This time. So it be. Catherine you make sure that nothing of, hm, this intermezzo leaves this room. I'll take care for the paperwork and you keep it low profile. Grissom's going to be back."

Ecklie slammed the door and left the team looking at each other. After a few seconds silence they started to cheer out loud.

"Alright, guys. Back to work. Shift's already started. Let's roll!" Catherine and Jim reminded the rest of them.

When Grissom and Sara got to the lab later that evening everything was quiet. Everybody seemed busy. Sara went into the locker room and found Warrick and Nick joking. "Hey guys, what's up. What can be funny in these times?"

"Hi, Sar! How was your trip? You, uh, you are, hm, can I dare to say? You are glowing." Nick smiled. "No, I'm not." She answered briskly. "Well, I have the feeling that somebody came out of the closet on something, so to say." Warrick answered instead.

"Oh, hi, Sara." Greg greeted "You look…uh. Haven't seen that for a while. You look actually happy. Has it something to to with…?" He teased.

"Shut up, Greg. Guys, stop it. Will you please?" She asked and raised her hands.

"Break room, all, now!" Catherine waved at them.

They gathered in the break room and stood in awkward silence. Brass joined them and they waited for Cath to speak up all business.

Grissom entered the room. "Hi, all. Jim. "He nodded. "There you are. Cath , I was looking for you. We have to talk. We need to talk."

"Yes, BOSS!" Catherine said simply. Grissom raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth but stood dumbfounded. Sara immediately got it and smiled brightly. He looked at Nicky, Greg, Warrick and Jim who were smiling at him too.

Catherine took his arm and pulled him out of the room. Grissom looked back, smiled benignly and shook his head. "Missed me that much, dear, huh? You have to tell me everything."

"So have you, Honey." Catherine prompted and led him into HIS office.