Title: Sexual Kinetics
Summary: He'd learned a long time ago that understanding the how of something could help him figure out the why. Knowing the why was key to identifying the who. Bobby needs Alex's help.
Disclaimer: Still don't own 'em, still wish I did – especially Bobby Goren.
Archive: Anywhere else, just ask
Feedback: Please! It's always welcome
A/N - Although not part of any of the CI shows, this scene was inspired by the one from In the Wee Small Hours where Goren is trying to figure out the judge's "sexual kinetics." (Love that term!) Absolutely no plot! Just an experiment in building sexual tension between the characters … let me know if it works or not.
When had the photos ceased to disturb him? At what point in time had the visual records of violence and brutality become mere pictures offering evidence and clues to some current nightmare? How had it happened that even the worst of the images failed to cause bile to rise in the back of his throat?
Was this detachment the thing that kept him sane, or was it the opposite? Had he somehow developed a form of madness with a slow slide from caring humanity into callous objectivity?
Madness or sanity, whatever it was that allowed Bobby Goren to see a victim instead of a person, it was a characteristic he'd learned to accept, even embrace. On the job, it helped him have the highest solve rate of all the detectives in the Major Case Squad.
But off the job, it couldn't stop the humanity from coming for him on the nights he lay alone in the dark. On those nights, his 'deep understanding of human behavior' would breathe life into the images, allowing him to comprehend and feel more than he ever wanted to know. On those nights, he prayed that justice brought some measure of closure for the families and peace to the persons who were victimized.
On this night, he was in a small conference area off of the squad room with notes, files and pictures spread before him on the table. In particular, he was studying the photos from the scene of discovery and the autopsy for their latest case. The victim, a still unidentified young woman, had been found in Central Park – naked and exposed, but peacefully posed in death with her hands crossed prayer-like on her breastbone. At her head had been a flowering shrub – her tombstone.
Results of the autopsy indicated a quick but gentle death, following a rough and violent rape. Goren concluded that her killer was motivated solely by the sex acts. The murder was necessary only as a means of self-preservation – he didn't enjoy the killing.
The autopsy also showed that the victim had very unusual and distinctive patterns of bruising on her body. Goren wanted to figure out how each and every one of them had been caused. He'd learned a long time ago that understanding the how of something could help him figure out the why. Knowing the why – the motivation – was key to identifying the who.
He needed help with this.
Goren got up from the table, walked to the doorway and looked out to where his partner, Alexandra Eames, was sitting at her desk. Alex was studiously reviewing notes from what had seemed like a hundred phone calls he'd heard her making that afternoon. "Eames," he waited for her to look up then motioned for her to join him in the conference room before turning to walk back to the table. Goren then began positioning the specific photos he wanted to see.
Glancing at her leaning in the doorway, he asked, "Are you up for some role playing?"
"Depends on the role," she replied evasively.
"You get to play the victim."
"Before or after death."
"Uh … during," he said while pulling chairs away from the table.
"Bobby, don't let anyone say you don't know how to show a girl a good time."
That brought a smile to his face. Eames always seemed to know when he was burrowing too deep into the minds of suspects. Her sharp teasing and incisive wit kept him grounded in this world, and often times amused at the expense of their latest suspect.
"I want to … figure out her bruising," he waved her over to the table. "See here … on her wrists? These are the marks from the cord he used to tie her," Goren trailed his hand over the photos. "But there's also more extensive bruising."
"As if he grabbed her wrists after she was tied," Eames cocked her head to get a better view.
"Exactly." Bobby didn't know why, but he was still surprised at how quickly Eames could pick up the trail of his thoughts and immediately follow alongside. "And look … she has bruises on one hip, but not the other … and the fronts of her thighs, but also the small of her back." He brought his fingers to his lips and rubbed them back and forth in a subconscious gesture he had when he was mulling over something.
"I want to try something," he reached for Eames' arm and guided her to stand in front of him, positioning her with her back to the table so he could see the pictures. "How tall are you?"
"Five three, barefoot."
"She was …" he looked down at his notes, "quite a bit taller than you."
Alex's look clearly said 'Say it, Buster, and I'm outta here!' Bobby grinned at her. Surprising, really, that she could still be so defensive about her petite size. Apparently a lifetime of proving herself tougher than her appearance was a hard thing to shake. Bobby had been convinced the first time he saw her take down a six-foot-plus carjacker with a painful knee to the groin and a wrenching twist of his arm behind his back. She'd had the guy on the ground and 'cuffed in record time.
"Well," he bobbed his head to shake off the smile and get refocused, "she was five eight. With those boots you're about … five five … five six?" Goren sized her up. "Close enough."
He picked up her wrists, one in each hand, brought them level to his chest where he could see them, then crossed one over the other in the same position as the one used to bind the victim. First he tried gripping both with his right hand, then his left. Neither seemed consistent with what he thought were palm- and finger-shaped bruises in the photos.
"Uh, turn around," he made a circular motion with his index finger, indicating she should face the table. She did it, but not before giving him one of her exasperated looks. He then positioned her hands behind her back, the same way he would 'cuff a prisoner. Again he tried a right-hand grip, then left. Better, but still something didn't seem right. There were marks on the victim's elbows that couldn't be explained if her hands were behind her in this fashion.
He had another thought. "Eames … let me …" Bobby raised her arms above her head, crossed her wrists and clasped them in his left hand. This position left her elbows exposed rather than tucked to her sides. It seemed more likely this was where the victim's hands had been held.
Alex shifted uncomfortably, and he felt the fine bones of her wrists slide beneath her skin – fragile and delicate within his large hand.
"Bobby …" she sounded anxious and started to squirm in his grasp.
"It's a … vulnerable position, I know," Bobby tilted his head so he could see her face. Alex angled her eyes to his and, although he understood the unease he saw there, it bothered him that he was the cause. "Trust me, Eames. I won't hurt you," he reassured her gently. With a deep sigh, Alex stilled and turned back to face the table.
God she smells good. Over the years they had, of course, worked closely enough for him to know the fragrance of her perfume. He had even caught whiffs of her shampoo as he'd hovered above her shoulder when looking at case files or other information on her desk. But being this close, he now detected a more subtle scent – one that was unique to Alex. Something he couldn't identify, but knew he would never forget.
"I… uh. I need to try something else, Eames." He waited for some sign of assent from her, knowing that what he was about to do was a more intimate contact than would normally be comfortable for them.
"Okay," she nodded hesitantly.
Wrapping his right arm across the front of her body, he curled his hand around her left hip. Alex tensed and gave a small cry of surprise in response to the unfamiliar touch but, to her credit, she didn't try to pull away. "Sorry," he muttered.
"It's okay … I didn't expect it. Although why anything you do surprises me anymore …" she let her sentence trail off.
Goren snorted in amusement.
Turning his attention back to the photos, he looked to confirm that the four bruises on the victim's hip could indeed have been from a hand, and the hand would have been in this same position. Lost in thought, Bobby caught himself absently moving his thumb, caressing the hollow at Alex's hip bone. He stilled his hand.
The wrists and the hip. That left the bruises on the victim's thighs and back with some other less obvious marks on her right cheek and elbows. The photos were there, and he knew they held answers, but Bobby couldn't seem to concentrate. His mind wandered to the soft weight in his arms and that damnable scent he couldn't escape.
Then despite the woman he held close, or perhaps because of her position in front of him, he saw it – the final piece. Bobby leaned against Alex's back. He heard her gasp and felt her body stiffen. Using his weight to inch her body forward until her thighs touched the edge of the table, he realized that with enough force, she would be left with two symmetrical, straight-edged bruises.
Bobby looked again at the photos spread before him and tried to stay focused. But the images blurred as his mind and body became distracted by something much more engaging. Alex's body was now molded to his. Her shoulder blades pressed into his chest and her buttocks were cradled against his pelvis. His belt buckle dug into a spot high on the small of her back – with enough pressure it would cause a bruise like the one on the victim. The sonofabitch had kept his pants on.
This was the position the killer had used.
Warm against his body, Alex was still but … poised. Like a rabbit caught unawares in the garden – waiting to see if it was safe. Bobby could feel her hands tremble where he still had them grasped above her head.
"He would have bent her over the table …"
"No!" she gasped.
"I wasn't g… " Bobby stopped short, frozen by a sound. Alex's breathing. Rapid and shallow. Panting. In a brief flash behind his eyes he saw what she would look like arching beneath him – short, hot breaths warming his skin. God, why did he find that sound exciting? "I won't," he spoke gently against her ear, "Eames, I won't." He closed his eyes and tried to calm his own body, fighting against the familiar stirring low in his groin. Don't do this … not now. Concentrate on the photos.
"Her wrists and face would have been pinned to the table. The bruises on her hip … he would have held tight and pulled her up into him …" Alex whimpered softly and an image of her face-down in his bed came unbidden. Bobby knew he should end this now. "He's tall … six-two, six-four…" And that was it. He could no longer force his mind back to the case when all he could think of was Alex and how her body fit against him.
He swallowed and took a deep breath. "What do you think?" he asked, not really caring about an answer.
A long pause, and then, "It seems right to me," she breathed shakily.
"It feels right to me too," Bobby whispered in her ear.
The weight between his thighs was growing heavier. He knew he should release her – a few moments more and she would feel him. A few moments more and he didn't know if he could stop from pushing his hips into her. He needed to let go …
"Bobby," she whispered and let her head fall back against his shoulder. Her eyes were closed, her neck arched. From this vantage point Bobby could see the pulse point at the hollow of her throat – her heart was racing. He was certain she could feel his own staccato through the thin fabric of his shirt. His eyes trailed up to her mouth, her lips were parted and that sound … If he dipped his head just a few inches, her mouth would be beneath his.
Bobby heard himself groan, but he didn't think he'd spoken her name aloud. Suddenly Alex was struggling to free herself and for a second he instinctively tightened his hold on her, not wanting to release this pleasure from his arms.
As though swimming from a great depth, Bobby felt himself break the surface to the light and air around him and realized someone else was in the room.
"David!" Still fuzzy, but definitely Alex's voice. Bobby finally, reluctantly, released her.
"David, we were just …uh … role playing a crime scene …" flushed and agitated, Alex's voice trailed off as she gestured toward the photos spread upon the table. She looked at Bobby, her eyes frantic and apologetic, before turning back to the stranger. "I'm sorry, I thought I was supposed to meet you at the restaurant … ?"
"Yeah, at seven o'clock." About five foot eleven, blonde hair and blue eyes, he now looked suspiciously at Bobby, obviously confused about what he'd walked in on.
"I … " Alex looked at her watch. "Oh shit! I'm … sorry. I meant to leave here by six-thirty …"
"It's okay," blonde-and-blue-eyed was trying to be understanding. "Do we need to cancel tonight?"
"No!" Alex said a little too anxiously. "Let me get my purse." Then, almost as an afterthought, "Uh … David Sullivan, this is Detective Goren," before she slipped out of the room toward her desk.
"Detective," Sullivan extended his hand and smiled with all the confidence of a man who had just won the woman.
"Bobby," he corrected Sullivan as they shook hands. It was an awkward situation and Bobby hesitated a few seconds before the detective in him kicked in – awkward situations were Goren's specialty. "So, you had dinner plans?"
"Yeah … Veritas."
"Ah … it's a shame," he lied, "I hear it can take months to get a reservation at that place."
"It's okay. They're holding my table," again with that over-the-top confidence. He obviously wanted Bobby to know he held enough clout for one of New York's top restaurants to grant him special privilege.
"Ready?" Alex smiled at Sullivan, but her eyes anxiously darted from him to Bobby and back again.
"Yeah," Sullivan draped his arm across her shoulders. "Nice meeting you, Detective Goren," he said before steering Alex out of the conference room.
"I'll … see you in the morning," her eyes briefly met Bobby's over her shoulder before she turned away and left with Sullivan.
Bobby peered around the conference room doorway toward the elevators in time to see Sullivan lean into Alex, place his hand at the small of her back, and whisper something in her ear that made her smile.
The same ear Bobby's own breath had so recently caressed.