Chapter One

Catlin Todd drove her silver BMW into her parking spot and walked into the elevator. She pushed the button which would lead her to the bullpen. Before the doors could close, a hand stopped it and a body walked in. "Morning Kate!" Anthony Dinozzo said, giving her his trademark smile that could light up any room. "Good morning Tony." Kate yawned back without looking at him look at her.

A soft ding sounded and the elevator doors opened up. Kate pushed slightly past Tony on her way out of the elevator and walked to her desk. Shaking his head a little, he moved his way to his desk. "Dinozzo. Your late." Gibbs stated, walking into the bullpen with his usual cup of coffee. His blue eyes lit up a little when Tony tried to think of what to say. "Yeah, sorry bout that. I was...It won't happen again." Tony said half stuttering.

Almost a minute later, the boss-man as Abby liked to call him jumped from his desk and tossed the van's keys to Tony who caught it instinctively. "Dinozzo. Get the car. We got a dead marine." Gibbs yelled while walking fast paced toward the elevator. Kate reached for her gun and followed Gibbs into the elevator, Tony and McGee behind her.

Gibbs walked out of the car and practically ran to the crime scene that was marked off with the yellow tape. The sight of the mangled body got to Kate the minute she saw it. The woman had apparently been raped. She had scratches all across her pale face. Kate momentarily looked away before turning back to snap pictures of the victim. Tony noticed a shudder from Kate and rested his hand on her shoulder. Giving her a reassuring look he continued to look for evidence. He noticed a large butcher knife on the carpet.

"Oh my god!" Kate gasped. The body which had multiple bruised on it's face, ribs, ankles and wrists had two more surprises that Kate didn't notice until that moment. First, her ring finger had been clumsily sawed off with the knife found on the carpet. Second, a gruesome likeness of a rose was carved into her forehead deep enough to see the bone. "Kate!" Tony's voice had more concern than command. He side-stepped towards her after bagging up the knife. "I'm fine." Kate commented still taking pictures. Tony gave her a wired look and went back to collecting evidence. The caringness of Tony surprised Kate beyond words. "Do we have an ID on the victim yet?" Gibbs said after talking to the worried couple who found the body. "Corrine Dane!" McGee piped up after furiously typing on his computer. "Ducky and Palmer are on the way. Palmer missed a turn." He spoke once again, silently chuckling to himself.

A few minutes later, a big van pulled up outside the house and Ducky and Palmer stepped outside arguing. "You told me to go right!" Palmer said turning red. "I said right go left. And you gave me the map and that's what it said." Ducky yelled backing towards the crime scene to check on the body. "You had the map upside down the entire time!" Palmer's voice tried to maintain it's volume.

Before Ducky could respond, Gibbs sauntered up and gave the two a questioning look before moving on. Leading him up to the body, Gibbs looked ahead to where Tony and Kate were bantering about who knows what. Ducky bent down on his knees to closely examine the body. "Time of death?" The silver-gray haired man questioned. "Hard to say. Around 1 p.m. I would guess. Can't tell much until we get her back to the lab." Ducky looked down at the body again. "It's time to get you to your new home, my dear."