Author's Note: Something happened in the chapter titles for chapters 1, 2 & 3. IGNORE the chapter numbers for those three--the story is in correct order!!
Setting: Early Season 3— Sam and Martin have already gone to the wedding, but the story starts about the time of "Trials" (3.9)—yes, I know, I moved the wedding for the sake of storytelling. So basically, all's right in the world—especially with Sam and Martin open about their relationship.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Rating: PG-13 for situations not suited for children
I'll be simul-positng on Destined so don't be confused.
Summary: Someone doesn't think Samantha and Martin's relationship is a good thing…and will do whatever it takes to have what he wants.
The Friday morning after her and Martin's long weekend in DC for his cousin's wedding, Samantha walked back to her desk, gratefully sipped her coffee, closed her eyes and urged the caffeine to speed its way through her veins. "Late night?" a voice whispered seductively in her ear. She opened her brown eyes to meet his blue ones, "Early morning," she countered just as seductively.
Martin laughed throatily on his way to his own desk, smiling to see she brought him a cup as well.
Jack was upstairs in a meeting and with no new cases Danny, Vivian, Martin and Samantha worked quietly at their own desks completing several cases worth of back paperwork. After a couple of hours, Samantha stretched loudly and was rewarded with three chuckles. "Break time?" she asked, turning her chair.
Vivian also stretched—silently—and nodded in agreement, "Definitely! I need something more than old coffee! Whose turn is it?"
"Danny's!" Martin quickly replied.
"Yeah, it's my turn," he said as he stood and rotated his head to ease the neck muscles, "What does everyone want?" Danny headed to the elevators with the list of orders in hand. He was about to head into the elevator when a delivery guy asked for Sam Spade. Danny quickly signed for the package and headed back to the bullpen.
"Hey, either that was the fastest bagel run in history or you forgot your wallet," Martin teased.
Danny shook his head, "Nah, I haven't gone yet. I just wanted to bring Sam her package," and he handed her a long white flower box tied with a red ribbon.
"Who sent it?" Sam asked, looking at Martin.
"Don't look here, Sam," Martin held his hands up, "You don't like getting flowers for flowers' sake."
Vivian came closer, "Is there a card?"
Samantha looked the package over, "Not on the outside." She set the box on the table and undid the ribbon. She opened the box and gasping she quickly buried her face in Martin's chest.
Danny reached over and plucked the small card from the dead roses. He handled it carefully as to not damage any fingerprints left on the envelope. He pulled the card, read it and blanched.
Vivian took it from his fingers and read aloud, "'I haven't forgotten you. Why have you forgotten me? Look for me soon!'" She swallowed and then went into FBI mode, all thoughts of a mid-morning snack forgotten, "Danny, take all this over to forensics. See if they can get anything off the box or the card. Martin, stay here with Samantha, but call up to Jack."
"Where are you going?" Martin asked as she gathered up her badge and gun.
"I'm going to find that delivery guy!"
Martin just nodded and reached for a phone, "Jack? Sorry to disturb your meeting, but we've got a little situation down here."
"What's so important to disrupt a meeting with Olczyk and Van Doren?" he asked gruffly.
"Sam's got a stalker," he said quietly.
"I'll be down in ten."
"Thanks, Jack," Martin hung up and eased into a chair, pulling Samantha onto his lap. His shirt was quite damp, but it didn't matter. He rubbed her back and tried to reassure her, "It'll be alright. We'll find him."
After nearly ten minutes Samantha pulled back and looked him in the eyes, "I'm happy. Why does something always happen when I'm happy?" she asked quietly.
"I don't know Sam," he replied honestly. "But we won't stop until we figure out who this creep is and stop him. You know that, right?"
She nodded, "Yeah. I just wish that…"
"It was clean," Danny interrupted. "Nothing on the box, the card, the envelope, nothing. I'm sorry, Sam," Danny sank into a chair. "Viv back yet?"
At that moment, Jack walked in. He took in a dejected Danny, a worried Martin and a weepy Samantha, "Ok, fill me in."
Martin nodded to Danny to speak, "Ok, so I was about to go for a bagel run when this delivery guy walked off the elevator…and Viv's not back from interviewing yet," he finished summing up the morning's events.
"Right," Jack ran his hand across his face, "Let's go back over some of our cases—see if anything pops."
Martin kissed Sam's temple and helped her into her own chair, "I'll go grab the last 12 monthly case lists and get started."
Danny handed Sam a box of tissue and gave her shoulder a squeeze, "I'll start looking from our first cases, ok?"
"I want you to think of anything—no matter how trivial—that might have seemed out of place lately," Jack directed Sam. "Nothing's too small at this point. And let me know when Viv gets back." He headed off to his office and closed the door.
Sam wiped her eyes and grabbed a legal pad and pen. She started listing the small details that she had dismissed out of hand as part of living in New York—as part of living in any big city. At the top of the list were the strange phone calls that she had been receiving this week. Her apartment phone would ring once and then stop. She had tried 69, but as the call didn't fully register, there was no reverse number to reference. At least her cell wasn't plagued with the same calls. Whoever was doing this, only had her home number.
Almost two hours later Vivian returned and in pure frustration, threw her badge at her desk rather than putting it in her drawer as she normally did. The crash brought Jack out of his office and he joined the team in the bullpen for her report.
"What's wrong, Viv?" Martin asked.
She sunk into a chair and accepted the cup of coffee Danny handed her with a quick smile of thanks, "The delivery guy, Pete Jordan, got his orders from the florist. Other than a delivery to this building for Sam, he knows nothing. The florist, on 9th Avenue, was even less help." She took a moment to sip some of the coffee and calm her frustration. "It seems that someone ordered a dozen roses for Samantha a month ago, but paid in cash and left no name on record. The clerk who took the order moved back to Iowa last week, so there's no ID-ing the purchaser. Why the flowers weren't delivered then, no one at the shop seems to know. All they could tell me was that the box turned up on the delivery shelf this morning and they decided to follow though as the order was already paid for. That's all."
"Good work, Vivian," Jack complemented her.
"'Good work'? Like hell! We still don't know a thing except this guy knows where Sam works and her home phone number!" Danny couldn't believe Jack.
Vivian reached over and rubbed his arm, "But we eliminated Pete and the florists. That counts for something."
"Yeah, I guess," Danny threw her a sheepish look, "Sorry if I implied you didn't do something productive, Viv."
"Not to worry, Danny."
"Well, I think I may have found a few possibilities," Martin started. "My first choice is the postal worker from last July."
Samantha's eyes widened in shock, Jasper Hunt had stalked a woman on his route for months before kidnapping her and holding her in his family's cabin upstate.
"Cross him off, Martin," Jack shook his head, "He was my first thought too, but I called Elmira and he's still there—and will be for the next twenty to twenty-five years. What else?"
Martin checked his list, "Aaron Pierson."
"Uh, Martin?" Danny looked puzzled, "I shot him, remember? He's dead."
"Yeah, Danny, I remember," Martin looked to his partner, "But his brother, Alan, isn't."
"So shouldn't Alan come after me?" Danny was puzzled, "Sam wasn't anywhere near the park when I shot Aaron."
"But I interviewed him," Sam said quietly. "I pushed him to do the right thing so we could find that little boy. Alan gave up Aaron and look what happened."
Jack looked around the table, "Let's see where this goes. Danny, take Viv and go check out Alan Pierson's house. Martin, check his phone records. Sam, let's go see if Alan's at work."
"Jack," Martin stopped his boss, "Why doesn't Sam stay here. I'll go with you."
"Do you think she can't handle it?"
Martin looked at Samantha and shook his head, "No, I don't. But why send her out? Why risk it?"
Sam smiled at Martin. She knew he didn't think she was weak and that gave her confidence and warmed her heart.
"I think Samantha needs to come with me on this one," Jack retorted, "Unless you don't feel up to it, Sam."
"I'll be ok," she answered. Leaning over and kissing his cheek, Sam whispered, "Don't worry."
"I always worry."
Jack was halfway to the elevators, "Let's go, Samantha!"
"Don't worry!" she whispered, grabbing her jacket.
Alan Pierson was a dead end. He was at work. Hadn't missed a day since taking a week off after his brother's death. His phone records told a similar story. He had never called Samantha. He didn't even remember her name until she and Jack showed up at his accounting firm. And, according to his secretary, Alan had never even entertained the notion of sending flowers. To anyone. For any occasion. A total dead end.
The team reassembled in the bullpen. "Well, it's almost six. Let's call it a night—hell, let's call it a weekend unless something comes up," Jack closed the file and looked at Sam. "Don't go anywhere alone until we figure this out, ok?"
Martin helped her into her jacket, "Not a problem, Jack. I have no intention of letting her out of my sight." And he led her to the elevators, his hand resting on her lower back.
He would let her think he had forgotten her. He refrained from sending her the teddy bear—maybe in a week or two, when she thought all was back to normal. He refocused the telephoto lens towards her bedroom window and tried to see past the fluttering curtains. Was he with her? Why the hell was she with him? Didn't she understand that she was his and not this interloper's? Just a couple of more days to relax, then he'd spring something else on her. Make her come crawling to him, begging. He smiled to himself and snapped the shutter.