The doors of Romanello Enterprises swung open and in waltzed Mr. Michael Romanello himself. All the chatter, ramblings and general atmosphere died down immediately. He was a well-built man, late forties, very successful and practically oozing money out of his pockets as he walked. He wasn't particularly kind, and he definitely didn't look it. Everyone sat up straight in their chairs and adopted a professional demeanor, even if, on the inside, they were practically shaking. He surveyed the room around him with disdain. Something was wrong...someone was missing. Someone new. He sat down and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers.
"Alright, Rob," He grumbled, eyeing a tall, thin, rake of a man next to him. "Where is she?"
Rob looked around, utterly bewildered. "Where is who, Sir?" Stupid question, probably.
Michael Romanello tore his hand away from his face and slammed it against the table, and all round the table, gasps and shocked whispers could be heard. "The new girl! Susan, Jane, Alice, Nicole...whatever her name is. Where is she? We're in talks over a new feature and we need her to do the article, Rob. God damn it. If I wasn't here, this place would fall directly to pieces, isn't that right, Maggie?" He shifted his gaze to a short, strikingly-featured girl with straight, black hair and a constant pout.
"Uh, yes, Sir?" Maggie stammered. She was new, and had been getting asked questions like this for over a month now. Romanello Enterprises was a hugely successful magazine publisher located directly in Florida, and probably the best, too, with all of the best-sellers on their list. Their newest addition was a real life magazine, giving readers a proper insight into the world of detectives, cops, firefighters, surgeons, chefs and other such heroic people. Michael was the editor, as luck would have it.
"Yes, is right! Now, I expect one-hundred percent from all of my staff, is that clear?" He stood up, hands on hips. Everyone nodded and replied, 'yes, Sir'. "So, is it any wonder why I'm not best pleased about this?" Everyone looked at each other and nodded. He sat down again and frowned. He was about to rant and rave again, when a tall, dark-haired woman entered the room. Her auburn hair was long, fly-about, curled lightly in the most natural way, with a limp strand falling across her forehead, masquerading as a fringe. Her face was kind, and her pale, milky skin only added to her beauty. Her eyes were a startling, haunting brown which sometimes shone black. Her lips were full, and probably the fantasy of most of the men she had ever had any dealings with. Her neck was long, and it lead down to a full yet slender, curvaceous figure. If you were to ask her how to describe her looks, however, she would've said she was plain. And far from perfect, which she really was. She had been standing at the door for a few seconds now, trying her best to grip her bag, a clipboard, a cup of coffee and a book in her arms, which wasn't an easy feat with everyone staring at her. She sauntered over to the table and set the coffee down in front of Mr. Romanello.
"Sorry, I'm late, Sir. The girl in the shop had problems with the guy in line before me. Won't happen again." She stated, setting down the clipboard at her seat next to the boss-man.
"Thank you, Angela. Make sure it doesn't." Michael cleared his throat and took the lid off of his coffee.
"Actually, uh, it's Addison. Addison Craig." The woman sat down in her chair and folded her knees. The grey pencil-skirt she had chosen that morning did nothing but give her grief. It was too tight, for one. And she couldn't bend down very far for fear of a rip.
Michael nodded. "I see. Well, now that we're all here...I'd like to get started. Now, Dave, I have a bone to pick with you..." And so Michael went on, and on about all the 'bones he had to pick' with each and every member of staff. Lily was new, so she hadn't quite experienced his wrath just yet, and everyone felt for her, just knowing that it was coming any day soon. The meeting went on for ages, and Addison couldn't wait to back to her work. Becoming a journalist had always been her number one ambition in life. At first, when she was younger, she wrote because she enjoyed it, and then she discovered that she actually had a talent. She wrote a ton of articles for random college magazines, weekly woman's magazines and a few newspapers. Eventually, she applied for a place in the inimitable Romanello Enterprises and got the job as a weekly columnist. She began twirling a strand of hair around her pencil and sighed to herself. The meetings were undeniably, mind-numbingly boring. Until Michael averted his attentions to her. "Alright, you...I've got a task for you." He rifled through his big box of tricks...mainly papers, notes and staples. She snapped back to life and smiled, lightly, taking the sheet of paper from her boss's hand. "Now, I've been granted permission to poke around the life of Miami Dade Police Department's finest; Horatio Caine and his team of CSIs. Now, I've seen you do this before, Miss Craig, and I liked your work. You interacted well with the team, they liked you, you knew when to keep to yourself and, most of all, I liked your turn of phrase, so...are you up for it?"
Addison studied the paper. Michael was right. She had done something similar to this once before with a team of firefighters. It was hard work, but, at the very end of her day, it was satisfying. "Uh..." She cocked her head to the side, considering everything. "I guess...yeah, alright. How long will it take?"
"A month. Every day. Now, Lieutenant Caine says he and his team would be more than happy to have you. Besides, the only things people know about the MDPD is whatever that Erica Sikes from the news has to say. And that just won't do, so get right on it." Michael was about to turn back to Rob and start questioning him over the men's health section of the magazine, but Addison stopped him.
"Whoa, wait - a month? You want me to stalk Horatio Caine's team of CSIs, for one whole month?" Oh, that sounded like Hell. She hated forensics and she hated dealing with crime. Give her surgeons any day.
Michael creased his brows, looking very stern indeed. "Yes. A month." Oh, God. He meant business. "Will there be a problem?"
"No, Sir. Not at all." Addison flashed him a quick smile and looked down at her clipboard. He nodded and then he turned to Rob. Addison spent the rest of the meeting cursing her talents and wishing she'd gotten there earlier.
"Good. You start on Monday. Griselda or whatever her name is has the details. Rob, I want that article about STDs done by Tuesday, Sarah, take Tom, investigate that nurse who poisoned her brother and...no. That's it. Get me more cookery recipes and things." He folded his arms and sat forward, eyeing everyone in the room who, in turn, gazed back at him with a look of astonishment. "Well? What are you waiting for? Go!"
Everyone immediately got up and clutched at their clipboards and notes. Addison sighed and got up, lethargically. "I hate forensics." She muttered to herself as she stood up.
"What was that, Craig?" Michael arched one eyebrow. Addison smiled, brightly. He was far too observant for his own good. He must've had sonic hearing or something like it.
"Oh, uh, nothing, Sir." And then she left, hurriedly.
Ah, well. No point in complaining about it now. She had a job to do.
Monday happened to roll around ten times faster than Addison would've wanted. She had prepared herself as best she could, but it still wasn't enough. At eight-eleven, she decided she was going to be late, despite all of her efforts. She scrambled into the bathroom, had a shower that lasted for fifteen minutes, brushed her teeth, dried her flowing, dark hair, curled it lightly and got dressed in a tight, black skirt, a white blouse that gathered in all the right places and a pair of black and white kitten-heel shoes. She went right up close to the mirror and put on some eyeliner, but neglected to do the rest of her make-up. She took one glance in the mirror, decided that, for now, it was as good as it could get, and then she scrambled out to her car. She was supposed to meet Horatio and the team at eight-thirty, and she was definitely going to be late. It was yet another sunny day in Miami, one that Addison hadn't really witnessed at her previous residence in Scotland. She was born in Florida, but her family were all of Scottish origin, and often went back to visit. Addison really wished that she would've developed some sort of a Scottish brogue, but it wasn't to be. She was more American-sounding than anyone else in the family. She never really knew that part of her family. She was an only child, but it never got her down. She was thoroughly independent, and she refused to have anyone holding her back. Addison sighed happily as she parked the car outside of the MDPD at long last. She unplugged herself from the seat-belt and opened the door. Upon opening the door, she found a tall, blonde girl with a nail-file in hand at the reception desk.
"Hi, there...uh, is Horatio Caine around? I was supposed to meet him at eight-thirty, but I got held up. My name's Addison Craig."
The blonde woman had a quick look through her note-book and smiled. "Yes, down the hall, to your left, he's in interrogation room two. Have a nice day."
"Thanks." Addison nodded and headed off down the hall, to her left and into interrogation room two. It was huge, was the first thing she noticed. The stream of light coming in through the massive window was the next and then the tall-ish man with his head cocked to the side was the third. There were several other people in the room and Addison had never felt so nervous. She cleared her throat and shut the door. "Uh, hi...I'm Addison Craig...you're Horatio Caine, right?" She extended her hand out to the red-headed man in a suit. She'd seen him once before in a newspaper. He smirked slightly and nodded.
"Yes, I am. Good to meet you, Miss Craig. Sit down." He turned around and had a swift look out of the window, head once again tilted to the floor. Addison crossed the room and sat down at the table, next to the rest of the 'team'. She bit her lip and smiled, uneasily. There was a dark-skinned woman across from her with a large, friendly smile and very nice hair; next to her was a thin, blonde woman with sparkling blue eyes and ruby-red lips that naturally curved upwards; the next man at the head of the table was balding, again smiling easily. There was a dark-haired girl with a pen in the corner of her mouth, who simply looked up and nodded. Then there was Horatio and next to her was a tall man...very charming smile, cropped hair, nice hazel eyes, well-tanned, lots of muscle. Yikes. Stupidly, she let her eyes linger on him for a good two seconds longer than she should have. "So, Miss Craig...you've been working for Mr. Romanello for two months now, I understand. Have you ever done anything like this before?" Horatio asked, observing the window behind her quickly.
"Yes, I have...I worked with a group of firefighters on my first week, and I've been writing these kind of things since. I worked with surgeons, too, but it wasn't very pleasant." She blinked and leant forward to match the guy-next-to-her's position. He glanced at her, and she caught it out of the side of her eye and quickly smiled at him. Gosh, he was nice. And those arms!
Horatio's eyes stayed focused on the sheet of paper in front of him, where he read Addison's previous work avidly. She was a good writer, and she seemed civil enough. Smiled a lot. "Alright, well, we'd better get started." He stood up and walked over to the tanned man at the head of the table. "Eric, I'll let you start."
Eric stood up and smiled. "I'm Eric Delko, I'm twenty-seven, CSI level two...I'm Cuban and, uh, welcome, I guess." He smiled, and sat back down again. Thank God that was over. The nice-haired lady stood up next.
"I'm Alexx Woods, I'm a medical examiner and it's lovely to meet you, Addison." Alexx smiled and sat back down again.
"Likewise." Addison grinned. Already, she liked Alexx, who seemed warm and friendly. Next to introduce themselves was the bald-guy, Frank Tripp. A detective, southern. Kinda edgy. The ruby-red-lipped blonde stood up next.
"Hi there, I'm Calliegh Duquesne, I was born in Louisiana, and I'm a ballistics expert." She spoke so modestly, emphasizing the word 'expert'. "Welcome to the team."
The next person was Maxine Valera, a lab-tech, very quiet, very mousy and Addison decided that she was the sort that always held everything in. And then there was the hazel-eyed, muscle-bound thing of beauty sat next to her.
"Uh, I'm Ryan Wolfe, I've got a B.S. in chemistry and I'm a CSI level one. Hi." He smiled and extended his hand. Thankfully, he never bothered to get up, which was refreshing. Addison accepted his hand and grinned, slightly speechless.
"Hi." Her own words astounded her. "So, uh, where do we start?" She turned back to Horatio and blinked, as if trying to remove Ryan from her eyesight. No way that image was going away in a hurry.
"Well, I'm sure Eric here will show you around and then you can start doing your thing. Myself and Frank have somewhere we have to be, don't we Frank?" Horatio opened the door and Frank shot up out of the chair. They had an appointment at Cobalt Drive, trying to catch two suspects in the act of drug-dealing. "Good luck, Miss Craig."
"Yeah, thanks." Addison stood up and collected whatever odds and ends of papers that were lying around. "So...who's showing me around, then?"
Both Ryan and Eric stood up, eyebrows raised, hands on hips. "I will." They said in unison, and then shot each other a glare. Addison smiled and nodded.
"Cute...two guys arguing over me. Uh, Calleigh, why don't you come as well? You know...if you're not busy or anything." Really, the idea of heading off with Ryan Wolfe and Eric Delko was making her slightly nervous, what with the amount of testosterone flying around, and she thought that maybe if she had a female there, too, then she'd be alright. Calliegh stood up and grinned.
"I'd love to." So Calleigh, Ryan, Eric and Addison headed out on a tour of he lab, leaving Valera and Alexx and whomever else to get back to their own business. This was going to be a long day.
Ryan Wolfe sighed as he tailed Delko and Calliegh, and that really pretty journalist that, no doubt, he would get blamed for hiring. Delko always had him pegged as the fame-seeking tart that he really wasn't. Just because Erica Sikes had recently become slightly possessive about him, it didn't mean he went about asking to be put all over the news. This girl...Addison Craig. There was something about her. She seemed nervous, but rightly so. But gorgeous! Those eyes...the wavy hair...the figure...wow. Just - wow. He heard Calliegh rambling on in front of him, but he was intently focused on Addison. She was taking everything in, writing stuff down and still managing to have a sense of humour. He could plainly see that he was now in competition with Delko, who, if he was standing in front of Addison wearing nothing but a cheesy grin, couldn't have been any more obvious. No doubt Addison was probably interested, too. Suddenly, they all ceased walking and all turned round to look at Ryan, who furrowed his brows and glanced around, wondering if something had gone off behind him that he was unaware of.
"What? What is it?"
Eric looked down at the ground and smiled. "Dude, she asked you a question." He shot Addison a smile and turned round. Sometimes Eric despaired for his friend. Ryan widened his eyes.
"Yeah, sorry, I was thinking about...nevermind, uh, what did you ask me?" Ryan folded his arms and sauntered along next to Addison. She blushed, wildly, and looked up at him.
"Your eye...uh, you got shot, right?" Addison remembered seeing it on the news a few weeks back, and she was almost sure it was written about somewhere.
Ryan nodded. He never liked talking about the eye-accident, and it never came up with either Delko or Calleigh, and all possible signs of infection had left him long ago. "Yeah. Two months ago. I'm fine, though." He waved the thought away as if it were a taboo subject. Addison nodded and returned to getting interrogated by Delko.
"So, where do you live?" He asked, abruptly. Ryan rolled his eyes. He wished the two of them would hurry up and rent a room together. It was beginning to get sickening. Addison cleared her throat, arms folded. She wished Ryan would speak up, but it seemed Eric had everything in complete control.
"I live in Miami here, but only for a few months." Seven to be precise. "I moved for my job. Used to live in Massachusetts, but before that, I lived in Scotland til I was four."
"Scotland?" That piqued Calleigh's interest. "Wow. That's a long way away. Do you miss it?"
Addison shrugged. "Actually, I, uh, can't really remember most of it. I visit my grandparents sometimes, but not often." She swallowed. She didn't really like talking about it. "What about you, Calleigh? Texas?"
"Louisiana." Calleigh corrected her. "And yes, I miss it." She laughed, and then they all stopped outside the break room, where Eric practically pulled everyone in and made them drink the coffee. Ryan, thankfully, got seated next to Addison. She glanced up at him and smiled. He returned her smile, wondering if there was a chance that she might be free some night. Then Calleigh started talking about forensics, and what sort of things Addison would be writing about.
"Well, I guess I'll just be surveying what you guys do, and how you do it. I might do a bit about each of you, if that's okay."
"Sure." Calleigh took a sip of her coffee. It slightly resembled motor-oil. "I'm afraid I'm not on a case at the minute, so you won't be getting much work from my end of the stick."
Addison nodded. Eric sat across from her, smiling like a fool. "As soon as I've got one, you'll be the first to know.' Addison didn't like it when guys were too forward. Generally they turned out to be egotistical slime-balls that were only interested in one thing, and it wasn't her mind or her writing skills.
Ryan fought the urge to roll his eyes again. "Hey, I'm supposed to be working with Horatio...uh, why don't I give you a quick luminol test?" He stood up and eyed Addison curiously. Addison arched an eyebrow.
"Luminol?" Apparently being a crime-scene-investigator meant that you had to learn a whole new vocabulary.
"Yeah, it's a substance...it, uh, it lets us know if there's a presence of blood on our evidence. Or at the crime scene." Ryan explained. He thanked the sweet Lord that he hadn't tripped over any of his words. "You up for it?"
Addison grinned and stood up. By Jove she was! "After you."
'The first thing I discovered about the Miami Dade Crime Lab was that everyone is so normal. When I got there, I had images of the CSIs being either nerds, or people that, when they spoke to me, it was as if they were chatting in another language or something. But I was totally wrong. There are three CSIs on Lieutenant Horatio Caine's team; Calleigh Duquesne, Eric Delko and Ryan Wolfe. All of them have different personalities, and they seem to work well together. I had only been there a short while and yet I was heartily welcomed, as if I'd known them my whole life. CSI Wolfe took me into the evidence room and showed me how to do a luminol test. Luminol is a substance that, once sprayed onto a surface, will illuminate the blood, incandescently. It's a very attractive process to watch, and yes, Ryan Wolfe found traces of blood on the evidence, which meant his suspect was now more than his title suggested.'
Addison put her pencil down next to her large, red diary. She had bought it last year and promised herself that she would write in it for her new job. She decided this was as good a time as any to crack it out and start writing. Her day had gone far better than shed expected it to, and she actually enjoyed herself. She definitely enjoyed working with Ryan, and the luminol. He had sprayed it twice on the article of clothing from their suspect, and suddenly it lit up like Las Vegas. All the time, he had explained the process to her, yet she couldn't remember half of what he had said. Sure, she was listening to his voice, the deep, addictive tone, but she hadn't actually let any of it sink in. She swallowed and tapped her pencil against the sheet of paper. After that, they had chatted comfortably for a while, and he was really, really nice. He hadn't flirted brazenly with her like Eric had, which made her wonder in maybe there was a chance that he could be gay. She hoped not, but she'd never had much luck in that department. Addison removed the pencil from between her lips and continued writing.
'Tomorrow, I'll be watching Maxine Valera in the lab. For some strange reason, I'm actually looking forward to it. Maybe forensics aren't as bad as I'd thought.'
She stopped again, and smiled to herself. Maybe it was just that CSI Wolfe that had piqued her interest...she shook her head at herself and put the diary away, pushing aside all thoughts of work.
And of Ryan Wolfe.
A/N: Hello! Okay, this was an utter surprise to me...never expected post it, just thought it would be left in it's folder for a few months until I might have printed it out and hid it in my drawer... :D
Anywho, I only own Addison Craig - although, the name is all down to Speedle's Sweetie, so thanks to her, she rocks and this chapter shall be dedicated solely to her! -, and everyone that works in Romanello Enterprises.
Please review, and I really hope ya'll like it :D
Peace, love and unity,
PS: I was gonna change Miami to New York for where Addison works, but I really haven't a clue about anything New York-ish, and I do know a surprising amount about Florida, so it's all good :D