THIS IS THE FINAL CHAPTER. REGARDS, THANKS AND BEST WISHES GO OUT TO ALL THE PEOPLE MENTIONED IN CHAPTER FOUR - I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THEM FOR THEIR REVIEWS AND SUPPORT, BECAUSE WITHOUT THEM, I DON'T THINK I WOULD HAVE CONTINUED THE STORY.
"Sara, could you meet me in Grissom's office in five minutes?" Catherine popped her head around the door of the break room, startling Sara, who was sitting in her corner doing a crossword.
Nick and Warrick exchanged glances. "Ooh, what you been up to now?" Warrick crowed.
"Aw, come on, it can't have been too bad, otherwise boss man would have come in here instead," Nick drawled.
Sara wasn't so sure. Knowing her work history, she would have preferred to see Grissom than Catherine, considering the two women could sometimes clash.
Sara knocked on the door to Grissom's office with some trepidation, not expecting Grissom to open it.
"Come in and have a seat," he said, holding the door open for her. She saw Catherine standing behind Grissom's desk.
"Have I done something?" Sara asked uncertainly.
Catherine and Grissom exchanged a look, and Grissom spoke. "Due to the nature of our relationship now, I don't feel it would be appropriate if I were your supervisor. I spoke to Catherine about the situation, and we both agreed that it would be better if she were your direct superior. I'm still running night-shift, and I'll still do all your paperwork, but I'd have to consult with her on your evaluations. You can still work with me, and the others, on cases, but we figured this way we might be able to save ourselves trouble higher up, with people like Ecklie and Carvallo."
Sara nodded slowly, taking it all in. "So nothing has changed, really. This is just a formality?"
Catherine nodded. "But if you go over my head to Grissom, like I know you've wanted to before ….".
"Cath, leave her alone. That was one case, a traumatic one, okay? It won't happen again." Grissom turned to Sara. "If you go over Cath's head, I will finally have to take disciplinarian action. You'll either get fired or lose your job. You understand?"
Sara nodded again. "That was one moment of frustration when I threatened to go over your head," she told Catherine. "I promise I won't even contemplate it."
Catherine nodded and smiled. "Despite our clashes, I know you're a perfectly good CSI, okay? Just don't go mad." Catherine looked at Grissom. "I'm gonna go, Archie had some information on that case for us."
Grissom nodded and waited for Catherine to leave. When she did, he smiled at Sara. "I'm sorry about the tough line, but it was the only way I could persuade Catherine to supervise." He stood by his desk playing with his glasses.
Sara rose from the chair and approached the desk, leaning forward and supporting herself by planting both hands on the flat surface. "It's okay. I appreciate that you're taking these steps to prevent us from being separated permanently." She checked her watch. "I'm going to have to go early, if that's okay."
Grissom raised an eyebrow. "Birthday surprise?" he asked.
"Maybe," Sara replied.
"Ask your new boss," he told her.
"Cath, I'm sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if I could leave a bit early today." Sara found Catherine going over a bloodstained shirt.
"Why?" Catherine didn't look up, but continued to focus on the piece of bloody evidence before her eyes.
"It's Gil's birthday, isn't it? I have a couple of things I need to pick up and get sorted before he comes home," Sara replied, looking over Catherine's shoulder.
Catherine jabbed the air in front of the shirt with a latex-coated finger. "There's something that's bugging me, but I can't put my finger on it."
"Suspect said he found the vic face down on top of the floor. The floor in question has a distict embossed pattern. If the vic had bled out at the scene, there would a pattern on this shirt but there isn't."
Catherine cocked her head to the left, analysing the shirt. "Fair enough, but how would that explain the blood pool found at the scene?"
Sara picked up one of the crime scene photos Nick had taken. "The pooling doesn't look consistent with the injury. It's very neat, there's no blood spatter. The guy got stabbed in the carotid, as well as multiple wounds to the chest, we think, so there should be major arterial spray. It looks like the killer has taken the vic's blood, maybe drawn it out with a syringe, put it in a vial, and spread it out underneath the body."
Catherine nodded in realisation. "Yeah, there was no blood on the walls at all. Totally clean."
"Has Doc Robbins done the autopsy yet?"
"I'll go and ask him to check for any needle punctures and lividity."
"You know what that means, don't you?" Catherine asked in despair. Sara nodded, and they both uttered the words "We need to look for a primary crime scene."
"You can go when you've paid a visit to our friend Doc Robbins the coroner," Catherine said.
"Thanks," Sara replied in gratitude.
"I'm just glad you guys have finally sorted yourselves out, it was getting pretty damn tiring being around a couple of hormonal co-workers. I know he's sincere about this, though," Catherine told her.
"Uh, thanks," Sara said, unsure of what else she could say.
"I wasn't expecting all this," Grissom told Sara back at his apartment. When she had left work, she had gone to pick up a first edition hardback biography of Edmund Locard, and also stopped by 'Victoria's Secret.'
She had come back to his and cooked a meal for them both, and they were now in the kitchen doing the washing up.
"Yeah, well I just thought maybe you'd like a nice surprise, a change from whatever it is you normally do celebrate your birthday."
"I'd be sitting in on my own, listening to Rachmaninov, with a glass of Scotch and a book. To be honest, I was kind of wishing we'd be doing that this year. That Locard book looks absolutely wonderful." Standing behind her, he slipped his arms around her waist and into the sink, wiping the plates with a sponge.
Sara swatted one of his hands. "I may make no attempts to socialise you ….".
"But I would like to think that once in a while we do something a little different. I don't mind sitting in quietly - it's what I do most of the time, but a bit of variation's nice."
"Oh, I know," Grissom whispered, his breath warm against the back of her neck. "Thank you."
Sara dried the last of the dishes, and turned to face him. They were in close proximity, the only for Sara to get out from her position was blocked by Grissom, his hands on either side of her. "This remind you of anything?" she breathed.
"Not that I can think of," Grissom replied, looking quizzical.
"Pin me down?" Sara said, raising her eyebrows hopefully.
"Oh, the bed sheet?" He smiled wickedly.
Sara nodded. "If you give me, say, ten minutes, I've just got to go and do something. I'll give you a call when I'm ready."
Grissom had poured himself a Scotch, and had just settled down on the couch with his book when he heard Sara calling him through the bedroom door. "Close your eyes."
"How am I supposed to find the door if I can't see it?" he grumbled.
"It's your apartment, you should know it well enough to be able to find it without walking into anything except a room," Sara called back.
He managed to find the door without sustaining any major injuries and reached for the door handle, pushing the door open. "Can I open my damn eyes before they glue themselves shut?" he asked.
"Not yet." She waited a couple of seconds, watched the frustration build in his face.
Grissom could not bear the suspense. "Okay, I'm opening my ….," he trailed off mid-sentence, having opened his eyes and seen Sara standing in front of him.
She had spent half an hour in 'Victoria's Secret' looking for the right thing for their first time. All the while, she could not help thinking of the case of the ice hockey player. "Can you guess what it is?" she asked, smiling, enjoying toying with him.
He knew straight away. After he asked her what 'Victoria's Secret' was, he hadn't been able to stop imagining what Sara herself would look like in that underwear. "Beauty," he murmured.
Sara nodded. "I figured I'd like to give you something extra special for your birthday."
Grissom closed the gap between them, his hands pressing themselves to her waist. She slipped her arms up onto his shoulders. "Are you sure? You're definitely ready?"
"Yeah. I mean, today's as good a day as any. I've been feeling settled about it the past few days, so I decided I'd save it until tonight. I really appreciate you waiting."
"Well, it wouldn't be any good if you didn't feel confident about what you were doing, would it?" His fingers slid down slowly, underneath the waistband of her panties.
"Are you ready? Obviously, you seem to be ready, at least physically, but what about emotionally? Can you promise that you can give your self to me one hundred per cent? I know it's a lot to ask, but I want to be sure that this means something to you."
"I promise," he answered sincerely, his blue, soulful eyes penetrating hers. "I waited, didn't I? Besides, although I was reluctant to admit it, but you've always had me. Always."
She knew then that he wasn't lying. " Okay, then." She pulled his lips onto hers so suddenly that he almost stumbled, his legs straddling to support himself. He gently pushed her back until her bare legs touched the edge of the bed. Equally gently, Sara sat on the edge, pulling him down on top of her.
"I love you, Sara," he whispered in between kisses.
"I love you too," she replied.
Grissom woke first the next morning. In the night, he and Sara had somehow become disentangled, and now she lay slightly from him, her back to him. He closed the gap, and gently kissed her bare shoulder. He couldn't have wished for anything better last night, not even in his wildest dreams or fantasies. He hadn't had many partners, but even so, knew that what he and Sara had shared was something special.
"Mmm," Sara mumbled groggily. "Whastime?" she grumbled.
"About eight, honey," he answered, resting a hand on her hip. "You okay?"
She turned to face him, her face brightened considerably with a beautiful smile that displayed the gap between her teeth. "I'm great, thanks to you," she replied. She touched his chest with her hand. "What about you?"
The corner of his mouth turned up. To someone else, it may not have been much, but Sara knew Gil was never really one for full-blown smiles. "The same."
"You still dedicated to your promise?"
"If I wasn't before last night, I definitely would be now," he told her honestly. "I meant every word of what I said to you last night."
"Every word?" she asked mischievously.
"Uh huh. Every word," he reiterated. "Come on, honey, we should get ready for work."
"What we going to say if they ask us how your birthday went?"
"Just tell them we had a nice quiet evening in. The only part we'd be lying about is the quiet bit, and we were quiet for most of the evening." He slid his legs out of the covers, and picked his boxers up from the floor. "I'm gonna go and get ready, okay?"
"Leave some hot water for me," she called. She hoped every morning for the rest of her life would be like this.