Thanks for reading and I hope you all had a nice week. I hope you enjoy this chapter and please let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with CSI: NY.
Another victim had washed up on the beach and the connections to her and the teams' first victim were too similar to be construed as coincidence. Everyone was working as quickly as they could to try and find something that could lead them to the killer, and Stella had assigned Jolene the task of trying to find out where the women could have eaten the chocolate and damiana concoction that they both had shortly before they died. After two hours of analysis and searching, Jolene had a 'eureka' moment and went in search of Mac. She found him standing in the hall outside his office talking to Danny.
"Mac," she said excitedly as she rushed down the hall and her boss and co-worker looked at her.
"What's up, Jo?" Mac asked and Jolene smiled.
"I think I got something," she said as she opened the file in her hands. "The damiana in our vics' stomachs was combined with the most expensive dark chocolate on the market," she continued as she handed the file to Mac.
"Who sells it?" he asked and Jolene shook her head.
"No one," she said and Mac and Danny both gave her questioning looks, which made her smile grow. "It's not on the market yet and only one company makes the combination. They're premiering it tonight at a show in lower Manhattan."
"I want you, Stella, and Flack to go there tonight," Mac said. "Find us some answers."
"You got it, Mac," she said before she took the file from him and went in search of her fellow CSI.
"This is every hormonal woman's dream," Jolene said as they walked past the tables and tables of various chocolates, earning a laugh from Stella and a look from Don, who decided it was best to ignore her comment.
"It's freezing in here," Don said and Jolene rolled her eyes and Stella laughed lightly again.
"Chocolate melts at blood temperature," Stella said. "The cold keeps their clothes on," she finished as they came to a stop to watch the women walk the runway.
"Very good to know," Don said as he glanced at Jolene.
"Don't let that give you any ideas, Donald," she said softly when she caught him looking at her in her peripheral vision and he smirked before he too returned his eyes to the women walking along the raised platform.
"So, I hear you guys have an inspector in house," Don said.
"Yeah, I think at some point she worked with Mac. They were both up for his job," Stella said and Jolene laughed lightly.
"I'm pretty sure they worked together if their banter at the beach when our first vic washed up was any indication," Jolene supplied as she tilted her head in wonder at why someone would want to make clothing out of chocolate.
"He doesn't mind her looking over his shoulder?" Don asked as he looked between the two women.
"Actually, it's weird," Stella said, drawing Jolene's attention to her, "he seems to be fine with it."
"She pretty? This inspector?" Don asked quickly and Jolene's eyes went to him as he looked at Stella, who rolled her eyes and Jolene nudged his arm as he smirked and looked down at her. "I'm just saying," he said with a slight shrug. Jolene shook her head and rolled her eyes before she crossed her arms over her chest and looked back at the stage.
"And now for the ultimate in chocolate here's Damiana," the announcer said and Jolene's eyes went to the African American woman walking down the runway.
"That would be what we're looking for right?" Jolene asked and Stella nodded.
"Yeah, that's our girl," Stella said and the trio quickly made their way to the end of the runway. Stella was leading and Jolene was taking up the rear.
"Hey Project Runway," Don said and the woman looked at him. "Who did your dress?" he asked and the woman's eyes flickered to Jolene and Stella who looked up at her expectantly.
"Charles Kohl," the woman said before she pointed towards a table with a man and several rather beautiful women and one man surrounding him. They thanked her and headed towards the man.
"People were having sex on the couch, on the floor, in the kitchen. It was a revelation," the man was saying as he fed one of the women a piece of chocolate.
"Charles Kohl?" Don asked and the man slowly turned around. He smiled at Stella who was standing between Don and Jolene before his eyes settled on Jolene. He pushed off from the table and drew closer to her, holding out a box of chocolate.
"Do you care to blow your mind?" he asked her seductively and she raised an eyebrow before she noticed Don tense where he stood. However, Jolene didn't need to say anything, Stella took care of the matter for her.
"Care to blow yours?" she asked holding up the morgue photos of their victims. The man's face fell and he slowly lowered the box in front of him.
"You recognize either of those women, Mr. Kohl?" Don asked, his voice tight.
"Never seen them before," he said far too quickly as he looked away from the photos and at Don.
"You sure about that?" Don asked.
"Yeah, I'm sure," the man responded quickly once more.
"That's funny," Stella said and the man looked at her. "The one thing these two ladies have in common is that their last meal was your damiana chocolate."
"And since it's not on the market yet, we were wondering how they got it," Don said, glaring slightly at the man.
"Look around," Charles said. "I have dozens of employees and they all work here at the factory. They all had access to samples."
"We'll need a list," Jolene said and Charles turned his eyes to her.
"And you'll need a warrant," he said with a smile that just rubbed her the wrong way. "You sure you don't want a sample?" he asked as he held the box of chocolate out to Jolene.
"Thanks, but no thanks," she said before she turned around and started walking away with Don and Stella following close behind. Somehow Jolene ended up walking between the two of them and she felt Don put his right hand on her back as they walked.
"Chocolate factory aside, Charlie's lying," Don said knowingly.
"Yeah, like any good designer I'm sure he gave a few previews," Stella said. "Why don't you run him through the system and see if he has any priors?" Don nodded as he lowered his hand from Jolene's back and grabbed a piece of chocolate from the table they passed. "Does it blow your mind?" Stella asked jokingly and Jolene laughed as Don looked at Stella with a shrug.
"I have a feeling when you run him, you're going to find something on that guy," Jolene said to Don once they were outside and heading towards his sedan.
"What makes you say that?" Stella asked.
"He just gives off that creepy vibe," Jolene said. "The way he was trying to be seductive with the chocolate was just odd. I mean, I love chocolate as much as the next girl, but I'm not going to count on it to get me going, if you know what I mean." Stella smiled and spared a glance at Don before she climbed into the backseat of the car, laughing quietly to herself. Jolene blushed as she realized what she said and looked at Don, who was grinning as he stood on the other side of the car. "Shut up," she said as she opened the front passenger door.
"I didn't say anything," Don said and Jolene scoffed.
"You don't have to," Jolene said as she climbed in and as Don's laughter echoed outside before he too climbed in and the trio were on their way back to the lab.
"Come on, Jo, don't be like this," Don said as he followed Jolene into her apartment. She looked at him as he closed the door behind him.
"I can't believe I said that in front of Stella, and you were no help," Jolene said as she put her bag and keys down on the dining room table.
"Stella knows we're seeing each other, Jo, and it's not like we were making out in the middle of the squad room," Don said. "Besides, Stella took what you said and ran with it. I didn't say anything." He walked over to her and gently took her face into his hands. "You're making a big deal out of nothing, and Stella won't think any different of you." Jolene looked up at him and into his soft blue eyes. She found it really hard to stay mad at him, and he was right.
"Fine, but we've got to learn to be a little more careful," she said. "I don't want our relationship to transfer over into work. Work is work and when we're here or at your place and we're like this," she paused as she put her hands on his waist and his hands moved to her shoulders, "I want this to be special."
"It is special, Jo," he said, "but you'll get no promise from me about not checking you out on a scene. You're always bending over something or squatting, it's kind of hard not to look." Jolene laughed before she smacked his side and Don grinned before he leaned down and kissed her. She sighed softly against his lips before she pulled back slightly.
"Let's move in together," she said as she looked up at him and he let out a light laugh.
"What?" he asked, but her face remained serious and his smile slid from his face. "You're serious," he said and she nodded.
"We're always staying that night together anymore, and I figure one of us could sublet our apartment to Stella. She's still looking for a place, and we'd be helping her out," she reasoned.
"You've thought this through?" he asked and she blushed lightly as she bit her lower lip before she nodded.
"What do you say?" she asked. She put her hands on his chest and looked up at him expectantly. "Do you want to take that next step with me?"
"Jo, you know I want to take all the next steps with you," Don said, his hands going back to her face and she smiled.
"So, the question is who moves in with whom?" she asked.
"My place is closer to work," he said.
"But my place is bigger and no offense, but my stuff is nicer," she said and he smiled before he pulled her in for a chaste kiss.
"I'm going to guess you want me to move in here with you," he said as his lips hovered over hers and their gazes held.
"Yeah," she breathed and he smiled.
"All right," he said and she laughed lightly before she slid her hands up his chest and around his neck to pull his lips down to hers and kissed him chastely.
"I love you," she whispered.
"Love you too, Jo," he said back before he kissed her once more and for a few hours the couple put the weight of the last two days behind them and enjoyed each other because tomorrow was another day in their attempts to stop a serial killer.
"Why do you smell like cocoa powder?" Jolene asked Stella the following day as she ran into the other woman as she was heading into trace.
"Kohl decided he wanted to run when Don and I went to bring him in for questioning this morning at his factory," Stella said and Jolene raised an eyebrow.
"You two okay?" Jolene asked and Stella laughed.
"Other than Don complaining about what his dry cleaning bill is going to be, yeah, we're both fine," Stella said and Jolene smiled. "Where you headed?"
"To check in with Lindsey about the piece of gravestone she found," Jolene said. "She was running it through to try and ID the other trace on the stone." Stella nodded and Jolene decided that it was as good a time as any to bring up her and Don's discussion from the night before. "Hey, Stel, are you still looking for a place?" Jolene asked and Stella nodded.
"Yeah, why?" Stella asked and Jolene glanced around them before lowering her tone to speak.
"Don is going to be moving into my place, and we were wondering if you wanted to sub-let his apartment?" Jolene asked and Stella's dark eyebrows rose practically to her hairline.
"Wow, um, Jo, that was unexpected," Stella said with a light laugh and Jolene joined her.
"I know," Jolene said. "There's no pressure or anything," she said gesturing with her hands. "I just wanted to give you the offer. If you want to, you and Don can iron out the details." Stella gave the younger woman in front of her a smile before she reached out and put a hand on Jolene's shoulder. Never in all the time that she had known Don did she think he would ever settle down enough to actually have the type of relationship he had with Jolene, and he knew the change in the homicide detective was thanks in part to the southern spitfire in front of her.
"Thank you, Jo," she said as she lowered her hand. "I'll talk to Don." Jolene smiled and nodded her head.
"Good," Jolene said. "I've been worried about you at that hotel." Stella laughed as the two started towards trace only to run into Sheldon as he rushed from the room.
"We got a lead on the gravestone," Sheldon said. "It came from the graveyard in St. Angelo's church."
"Isn't that the church that was near ground zero and a fallen tree protected the church from the falling debris?" Jolene asked with a slight frown and the detective and former ME around her gave her curious looks.
"Where were you ten minutes ago? It would have saved us a search," Sheldon said with a smile and Jolene shrugged.
"Ten minutes ago, I was probably in the elevator," Jolene said and Sheldon scoffed while Stella smirked.
"Don is rubbing off on you," Stella said quietly, making Jolene blush. "Get Mac and we'll head out there," Stella said to Sheldon, who nodded and quickly went down the corridor.
"He is not," Jolene defended herself as the two women headed towards the elevators, "I've always been a smartass."
"Yeah, well, now it's more noticeable," Stella said, which made Jolene smile.