Chapter 1

"Cookie, I need your help," Jim Brass said into his phone,

"Dad… Is everything okay?" Sara asked concern evident in her voice.

It was not every day he was called Dad. Sara was only one person that had ever called him that. It wasn't always, just when she was worried about him or if she had good news to share.

"I'm fine, except, remember how I told you I had a new CSI starting today…?" Jim hesitated not wanting to say the next part, "…she was shot."

"Oh no… will she be okay?" Sara asked him.

"We're not sure yet. She's still in surgery. The thing is the shooting could have been avoided, one of my guys left her alone at their scene to take care of who knows what," the anger could now be heard in Jim's voice as he thought of Warrick. "I need an unbiased person to investigate… I want that person to be you."

"But… are you sure? There are so many more experienced people out there. I'm still only a CSI level 2. Are you sure I'm the right person for the job?" Sara asked unsure.

"Cookie, don't doubt yourself. I trust you. You have more talent in your little toe than most people have in their whole body," Jim boasted.

"I think you may be a little biased yourself there," Sara laughed slightly.

"No I'm not. You are special and you know it. You over came so much to get into Harvard and finish top of your class. You had labs all of the country after you before you even graduated…" he reminded her. "…and I seem to remember a call last week, something about the FBI. I've talked to the under Sherriff already, as we speak he is on the phone with your superiors requesting your assistance.'

"You're making it hard for me to say no," Sara told him.

"That was the plan. I haven't seen you in months, and though I wish it was under better circumstances, I miss you and want to see you again." Jim told her.

"That's your fault for moving to Vegas," Sara reminded him

"Which was your fault for leaving me and going off to college," Jim shot back.

It was an old argument between them. Not something they took seriously but a way to joke around the fact that they no longer got to see each other as much as they would have liked.

"Okay, okay. I give up I'll come," Sara tried to sound not happy but was having trouble keeping the grin off her face.

She hadn't seen Jim since Christmas when they had both driven to Bakersfield, California, the halfway point between their two cities, to spend a couple of hours together on Christmas day. They had yet to miss a Christmas together in all the years they had known each other, so even if it was just for a couple of hours the time was precious to them both.

"That's my girl. I have a ticket waiting for you at the airport. Flight leaves in four hours, I will meet you on this side," he told her.

"Confidence has never been an issue with you, has it? You knew I would say yes," Sara sighed. "…am I really that predictable?"

"Only to me. I'll see you in a few hours," Jim said.

They ended the call. Sara sat down on her couch looking around her small apartment. She didn't have much. Even though she had lived there for over two years it had never really felt like home. There was only one place that had ever truly felt like home and that was during those few years she had shared with Jim Brass. It would not be hard to leave… just to come back. Slowly she got up and headed into her bedroom to pack.