About a month later…

Sara checked her mailbox and found the usual assortment of circulars, junk mail and bills. Nestled between all of that, something caught her eye. After she was in her apartment, she sat down to sort through the mail. Most went into the trash.

When she got to the pink envelope, she was intrigued. There was no return address, but she knew whom it was from. Her name and address was written in a distinctly feminine style. It was from Catherine.

'What could Catherine have sent? I just left her and there hasn't been anything out of the ordinary that has happened lately.' Sara thought to herself.

She opened the envelope and found that an invitation for a slumber party was inside. It said there would be activities and games.

"A slumber party? What is Catherine thinking? We are grown women! Honestly, Catherine, you really expected me to come?" Sara said aloud to the empty apartment.

Then to herself, she thought, 'When I see her at work tonight, I will just let her know that I am not really into that sort of thing.'

That night, she and Catherine were assigned to work together on a 4-19 in Summerlin. As they drove, Catherine decided she would try to get Sara to talk.

"How are you feeling?"

"I am feeling okay. I think I am back to normal."

"So, you will be coming to my house for the slumber party?"

Sara was taken aback by the question. "Well, I was actually going to talk about that with you. I think I am going to pass on it."

When Catherine responded, she sounded somewhat sad, "Aww…why not? It's going to be lots of fun. I am planning lots of things to keep us busy."

"Just drop it, Cath. It's not my thing."

"Come on, Sara. You will have lots of fun. It won't just be you and me. I know for sure that Wendy and Mandy are going to be there. I have even invited Judy and Sophia."

"No, Catherine."

"Let me ask you a question, Sara."

"Okay, go ahead."

"This is just a wild guess. You haven't been to a slumber party before have you?"

Sara shook her head and whispered. "No."

"And I bet, you are nervous and afraid?"

Sara nodded shyly. "When I was little, I was never allowed to have anyone come over. Not that I would have wanted to. After I was placed in foster care, I didn't have a lot of friends and would not have known what to do at one anyway."

Catherine nodded and smiled. "Why don't you give it a try?" Catherine moved her hand until it was resting on Sara's.

"Ok. I will give it a try." Sara said quietly.

It was now late in the afternoon of the party. Sara was still nervous as she threw some things she thought she might need into a bag. She picked up her cell phone and hit Catherine's number on the speed dial.

"Hi, Sara! What's up?" Catherine questioned. "Are you sure that I don't need to bring food or anything?"

"I am sure. It's all taken care of. Now, get ready to have some fun. You can start by getting yourself over here."

"Ok, mom." Sara giggled.

Once Sara arrived, her uneasiness let up a bit. Sara got out and walked up to the door. Before she could even knock, Catherine opened the door and welcomed her in. "You are the first to arrive. Why don't you come in and make yourself comfy?"

Catherine had the house decorated in pink and black. There were balloons and food was set out. Catherine showed her where she could put her things. "So, are you ready for a night full of fun?"

Sara, who was sitting on the couch, replied nervously, "I think so."

Catherine moved closer to Sara. "Sara, I want you to know that if at anytime tonight you are feeling overwhelmed and need some space to yourself, then my bedroom will be available. I want you to have fun, but I realize you are taking a major step by being here."

Sara whispered "Thank you."

Before long, the other women of CSI arrived and the party was going. The first thing that Catherine had them do was to play a game of Monopoly.

After Sara was declared the winner, Catherine gathered them in the kitchen. "Now, we are going to have a baking contest. We are going to have 3 teams of 2 people each. In this basket, there are a variety of recipes. Each team will select one and you have two hours to complete it. All the supplies are available. Pots and pans are in the bottom cabinets. Food is in the pantry and refrigerator."

Judy and Wendy paired up and ended up with a three-berry kuchen. Mandy and Sophia got together and had to make a chocolate raspberry layer cake. That left Sara with Catherine and they drew a tiramisu. Catherine whispered to Sara, "No worries. I actually make this frequently. One of my father's chefs taught me a way to do it with less hassle."

While the cakes were baking in the oven, Catherine had arranged for a friend to come over and give them all a spa treatment. "Catherine, can you excuse me for a moment?" Sara asked.

"Sure." Catherine responded as Sara walked to her bedroom. Catherine made sure that everyone was taken care of and then went to see about Sara.

Catherine opened the door slightly and saw Sara sitting on the bed. She walked over and sat down next to her. Catherine put her hand on the small of Sara's back and rubbed it. She whispered, "You alright?"

Sara nodded slightly. Catherine questioned, "Did something make you uncomfortable?" Sara nodded again.

"It's the idea of a spa treatment. I was always told that I didn't deserve to have nice things. Even now, when I treat myself to something nice, I feel bad about it."

"Sara, I want you to know that everyone is worthy of nice things, even if it is only once in a while." Catherine looked to Sara and smiled. "And, hey, you deserve it more than anyone."

Sara whispered, almost silently, "You think so?"

"I sure do! Now, do you want to give it a shot?"

"I think I will try it."

"That's my beautiful girl." Catherine said, causing Sara to blush.

Sara and Catherine stood up. Sara surprised Catherine with a hug. "Wow, Sara."

"What?" Sara said in a questioning voice. "It was just a hug. Can't I give you a hug?"

"Of course, you can! It just surprised me is all." Catherine replied. "Thank you for the hug, Sara. How about I return the favor?" Catherine said as she hugged Sara back.

They returned to the party. Sara did not want to get a facial, but did agree to have a manicure. After some coaxing from the others, Sara also had a pedicure.

By this time, the desserts were done. They all voted and decided that Catherine and Sara's tiramisu was the best by far. Catherine leaned over and whispered, "What did I tell you?"

Sara smiled and giggled.

"Okay, everyone take a break from eating these delicious cakes and let's get into our pajamas." Catherine announced.

"You can use the two bathrooms, the guest bedroom or Lindsey's bedroom to change. Me and Sara will use the master bedroom."

"Oh, we will?" Sara replied, smiling.

"Mm-hmm." Catherine smiled back and winked.

When they were in the bedroom, "So, why are we changing in here, together?"

"Because that is what you do at a slumber party. You wear pajamas, silly!"

"I figured that much out. I am a CSI, remember?" Sara laughed. "But, why did you want us in here together?"

"Well," Catherine replied, "I guess I just wanted to be first to see you in your pajamas."

Sara turned her back to Catherine and slipped her shirt over her head. She then removed her bra and put on a t-shirt. She then slipped her jeans off and got into a pair of sweat pants.

"Aww..Sara…" Catherine moaned.

"What?" Sara replied and turned to see Catherine giggling. "What is it, Cath? You act like I…"

"Like what?"

"I… I don't know."

"I should have guessed that is the type of thing you might wear."

"What's wrong with it?" Sara said a bit defensively

Catherine shook her head, "Nothing." She paused, "Let's not get into a fight."

Sara smiled, "Let's not."

As the group sat there drinking wine and eating the cakes, they decided to put a movie in.

Wendy wanted to see a sci-fi movie but was outvoted. Mandy wanted a western. They eventually decided on Pretty Woman.

Catherine brought out extra pillows and blankets. They all joined her in the kitchen to make popcorn. When they had more than enough popcorn and other snacks in bowls. They carried the snacks back to the living room along with sodas. Once everyone was settled, Sophia said, "First one to fall asleep will wake up to a surprise."

Sara looked nervously at Catherine who mouthed the words, "I'll protect you". Sara nodded and smiled.

Sara moved to sit next to Catherine on the couch. Catherine wrapped her arm around Sara, causing Sara to smile just a bit. Before long, everyone had fallen asleep. Sara was the first to wake up the next morning. She decided she would try to fix breakfast for everyone. She only hoped Catherine would be okay with it.

Within an hour, everyone was up and was enjoying the pancakes that Sara had made. "Wow, Sara! These are really great!" Judy said.

Sara blushed because she wasn't really used to compliments. "They're nothing special."

"Oh yes, they are! They are heavenly." Judy replied.

Catherine agreed. "Did you use that pancake mix I had?"

Sara shook her head, "No, these are from scratch."

"You are amazing, Sar." Catherine replied, causing Sara to blush.

After everyone finished, they started to leave. Before long, the only ones left were Sara and Catherine.

"Thanks for coming, Sara!"

"No, thank you, Catherine. Thank you for everything."