A Faded Fleur De Lis

It had been a long and rough case. Eliot was still favoring his wounds from the fight he'd gotten into with Quinn and Nate had insisted that he go home and get some rest. When Eliot had not come into the office by ten the next morning, Parker volunteered to go check on him.

The lock on his door was tricky, but she enjoyed the challenge and in five minutes she was inside. Just for the hell of it she decided to try and sneak up on him, to see if it were even possible. She was nearly silent as she started up the stairs.

"Parker." Eliot called to her from the loft.

"How did you know it was me?"

"Who else would even bother to try to sneak up on me?"

"Hey, you never know..."

"Plus, you smell like jasmine soap. Stay where you are, I'll be down in a minute. And don't touch anything."

She silently mocked him, mimicking his last order.

"I heard that."

Her eyes widened, "How did you… I didn't..." she sputtered, "That's just..." she pressed her lips in a pout, crossed her arms and wandered over to fireplace to warm up. Standing there, basking in the radiating warmth, she looked over the objects on the mantelpiece. In the center of the wide mahogany board was an antique clock that ticked loudly; it was flanked on either side by small framed portraits of a man and a woman. The woman's frame had a sliver bracelet draped over one corner. Parker leaned closer to study the faded design embossed on the links.

"Careful, if you catch your sweater on fire you'll be a lot warmer than you intended."

Parker startled and spun around, glaring at him, "Jeeze, could you at least make some kind of noise? You scared me half to death."

Eliot quirked an eyebrow at her, the corners of his mouth turned up in a wicked grin.

"Oh, shut up." She reached for the bracelet but Eliot batted her hand away.

"I told you not to touch anything." He grumbled. Eliot carefully removed the bracelet and held it out to her. "It was my mother's."

She gingerly accepted it, "Is that a Fleur De Lis on it?"

"Yes. My mother was born in New Orleans."

"Oh!" Her voice was sad, "It's broken." She handed it back with gentle fingers.

Eliot arranged the silver back across the frame and turned away. "I was seven when my mother got sick." His shoulders slumped, "They wouldn't tell me what was wrong with her but I remember that she coughed a lot."