Gathering Storm.

Chapter One

"So now we're the AG's private group of detectives." Jane grumbled as he trotted behind Lisbon, giving every impression of being a well trained, faithful, consultant.

"Rosalind Kelly is the AG's older sister, when her gardener found the victim she phoned her brother who contacted Hightower and…"

"…and Hightower could smell her next promotion." Jane interrupted, "lets hope the AG doesn't have a pet loving, maiden aunt or we'll be wasting our time looking for lost cats." Rigsby snickered his approval of Jane's observations, Lisbon's reprimand was drowned out by a distance clap of thunder. All eyes looked heavenly-ward to where a thick, grey sky rolled overhead, a storm was brewing, had been for the past two days, but so far, it just made the atmosphere heavy and oppressive. The air so full of static electricity, it almost crackled. Lisbon changed tactic.

"Okay, so sometimes we get caught in the crossfire of the big wigs, but that's just life, if you can't learn to live with it, then your working in the wrong department." Her words were aimed at her whole team but she looked pointedly in Jane's direction. "Understand." She added, Rigsby, Cho and Van Pelt murmured their agreement, Jane was silent. "Jane…?" Jane turned and looked quizzically at her. "Sorry, I wasn't listening, what did you say?" Lisbon snorted, never sure if he really did zone out sometimes or whether, by ignoring her question, he could avoid being forced to agree with something he didn't actually agree with.

"Forget it, just remember, Mrs Kelly, AG's sister, kid gloves time."

"And I forgot to practise my curtsey." Jane received a death glare from Lisbon and another snigger from Rigsby. Lisbon's reprimand, this time, was drown out by the unnaturally loud voice of Rosalind Kelly as she hurried towards them.

"About time you got here Agent Lisbon, it's almost two hours since I contacted my brother, he said he would treat this as a matter of utmost urgency, send his best team…."she stopped talking to coldly sweep her gaze over Lisbon, her changing facial expression showed how unimpressed she was with her brother's 'best team', "…well you're here now so you'd better start doing whatever it is you do, the girl is over here, please sort this out quickly I have a party planned this afternoon and I don't want to have to cancel." Mrs Kelly turned on her heels and walk quickly away.

Jane smiled his amusement as he watched the woman, who obviously believed the lie you can't be too rich or too thin, head for a cluster of trees. He leaned forward to whisper close to Lisbon's ear. "You're lucky she didn't turn you to stone, I'll lay money she bullied her brother and still knows which buttons to press." He started to walk away, Lisbon grabbed him by the arm.

"Jane promise me, best behaviour…no wrong… exceptional behaviour, just for today, just with this case, please." Jane gently removed her hand from his arm, smiling.

"I'm always on my best behaviour Lisbon, always."

Rigsby had to choke back another snigger.

"One more noise out of you Rigsby…" Lisbon snarled, not taking her eyes from Jane, "…and you'll be a permanent desk jockey."

"Better get this show on the road." Jane called, as he used the diversion to stroll towards the trees where Rosalind Kelly, big sister to the AG, waited, actually tapping her foot with barely suppressed impatience.

The girl hung upside down from the oldest tree in the copse originally planted by Rosalind's grandfather-in-law. Her foot was caught in the fork of a branch, so stopping her body from breaking free and falling to the grass beneath. She looked, Jane decided, taking in her highly colourful overall, like an extremely morbid piñata, just waiting to be hit with a large stick before splitting open and depositing a rainbow of sweets to the expectant children below. He had enough sense to keep this observation to himself. He glanced across at the 'expectant children' two local police officers, the M.D. - an overweight middle aged man who was sweating profusely in the humid heat - and a small Mexican gardener whose skin was as green as the grass he was slumped on.

The M.D. mopped his face with a square of cotton, already soaking wet, and became professional.

"Single shot in the back, through and through, she would have died instantly."


"Sometime last night, difficult in this heat to give a more accurate time, hopefully after the autopsy I'll be able to give you more." Dr. Bains couldn't wait to return to his lovely cool morgue. "Can we cut her down now?" Lisbon glanced over to the Mexican gardener.

"Is he alright?" Bains followed her glazed and his face softened.

"First corpse, lost his breakfast, he'll be alright."

"Alright enough to interview?" Bains moved closer, lowering his voice.

"He's caught up in the excitement of finding a body, helping the police, not so good with the actual messiness of the whole thing." He looked again at the corpse piñata, having hung for hours, the blood that was left in the girl had pooled to the lowest point, her face was purple, and stark contrast to the white of her legs, showing through the ladders in her brown pantyhose. Blood had matted her black hair into a strange point, witch-hat of a style. Her bright coloured overall had also snagged on one of the smaller branches so had defied gravity and stayed covering her thighs. Bains repeated his question. "Can we cut her down now?"

"Just give my team a few minutes."

"Okay Agent Lisbon, I'll just check on Peter." He ambled over to the slumped gardener and eased his bulk down beside him. Lisbon smiled briefly to herself, Bains was a obese, middle age man who didn't wear enough deodorant, but she like him, he cared about the well being of the living, rather than just interested in the dead.

"Okay lets get this done as quickly as possible, give the poor girl some dignity." Lisbon became cold and businesslike, her only way of coping in such situations, "Jane, what have you got for me?"

Silence. Lisbon, unused firstly to having to ask her usually chatty consultant for his input, and secondly, not receiving a reply when she did lower herself to ask. Worried. She twisted her head to look over to where Jane stood, hands in pockets, head tilted slightly, staring at the girl. There was sometime in his look, a slight paling of his skin, a stillness that usually only came over him when he was looking at a 'Red John' victim. Lisbon stared again at the corpse, checking she hadn't missed anything. Shot once in the back, no mutilation, no red smiley face painted in blood on the trunk of the tree or on the ground close by. No, not a Red John then why her consultants strange reaction?

"Jane." She called his name a little louder, moving towards him and touching lightly on his left arm. His eyes glanced down at her but she could tell by their deadness, he wasn't seeing her.

"Do you have a problem?" She spoke low, so no-one else could hear her concern, squeezing his arm as she did. His lips moved slight without producing sound, then the switch went back on, life returned to his eyes and he swallowed.

"She's a petty thief."

"Oh?" Now he was back, Lisbon released her light grip on his arm and looked back to the corpse, trying to see what he did, what sign that announced she was a thief. She worn no jewellery, no purse hung from the body or lay unnoticed in the grass. Lisbon made a note to look for it.

"I suppose that comment is based on her colour." One of the silent policeman, who, up to that point, had been standing around watching the show, spoke up, moving towards Jane aggressively as he did. Cho reposition himself protectively in front of Jane, who although barely glanced at the suddenly aggrieved law officer, noted that he was of Latino origins, Cuban or similar. At that moment, he didn't care enough to cold read him any deeper. The girl hanging from the tree was also of similar racial group.

Rosalind's loud voice piped up. "I'd been warned by my brother that your consultant was difficult, I didn't realise he was racist. Maybe it would be better if this was left to the local police to sort out." She was quickly trying to distance herself from anything or anyone who might taint her. Her reputation was all important and must not be sullied by even breathing the same air as a white racist. Jane was used to being the centre of attention but the looks he was receiving, unsettled him. Even the green faced gardener was frowning in his direction. Jane sighed and looked down at his shoes. Lisbon held her breath, usually that was the signal he was about to shot them all down in a blaze of well chosen, insulting words. He looked again at the girl still hanging from the tree, sighed again and spoke to the air.

"She is wearing a perfume by Annick Goutal called Eau d'hadrien, it's very expensive and our victim doesn't look to be in the wage bracket to be able to afford it. Also she reeks of it, she's been using it as a cover smell."

"Cover smell?" Lisbon queried, thankful that Jane was, seemed, to be behaving himself.

"She works in an odorous environment, so, she sprays herself regularly to try and blanket out the horrible smells with the perfume. If she had any idea how much Eau d'hadrien cost she wouldn't cover herself in it, it would be kept for special occasions, ergo, she stole it."

"Maybe it was a gift from a boyfriend." The law officer wasn't convinced. Jane stared straight at him.

"If you spent over fifteen hundred bucks on a small bottle of perfume, wouldn't you give a few hints to the recipient of how much it cost, especially if she started to treat it like it came from Wal-Marts bargain bin." There was silence from the aggrieved police office. "I'll take the silence as agreement."

"Maybe her boyfriend stole it." He wasn't giving up that easily.

"Okay fine, she's the girlfriend of a petty thief, happy now." There was a strange edge in Jane's voice that gave Lisbon nervous butterflies.

"The smelly environment, any ideas?" She asked turning the conversation.

"Well, morgue comes to mind, but she's dressed too brightly."

"She could just be a maid." Rosalind commented.

Jane turned on her. "If your maid reeked of one of your expensive perfumes, would she still be working for you?"

"Probably not." Jane gave the AG's sister a keep-out-of-what-you-don't-understand look that actually made her blush slightly under her perfect makeup. Lisbon gulped, Jane was on a roll and in seconds he could suddenly explode and as usual, her job was the one on the line. He needed to be reigned in.

"So, her job?"

"Yeah, the outfits too bright for undertaking, apart from the blood it looks very clean, so nothing that deals with rubbish or anything really messy. Either working with children or the elderly, children tend to smell okay, once their diapers are changed, my guess, the elderly. Probably a nursing home at the cheaper end of the market."

"Anything else?"

"No, not at the moment." Lisbon moved closer to Jane, lowering her voice.

"You haven't looked at her properly." Jane had stayed a good six foot away from the blooded tree garland, he usually went so close he could count the individual hairs that grew out of moles.

"I don't need to… do you need me for anything else?"

"We have to gather evidence, interview the gardener, AG's sister."

"You don't need me for that."

"Your input is always helpful."

"The gardener didn't do it, look at him, he's not going to be able to keep solids down for days, and Mrs. 'my brothers the AG so I'm someone important'. She wouldn't have done anything that might interfere with her party arrangements."

"What's wrong with you Jane, why are you acting like this?"

"This is best behaviour."

"No…" she stared at him until he turned his head away, "there's something else going on, what is it?" Jane bit his lip as he thought, the essence of a good lie was to hide it in a smoke screen of truth.

"Oh." He swept his hand across his forehead as if he was in pain. "It's this brewing storm, I've never feel good when the air is so oppressive." He smiled briefly at Lisbon. "I think it's all the static electricity, shorts me out. I'll be fine once it rains." Lisbon nodded once, he did look pale.

"Go and wait in the van, there's a bottle of Advil in the glove compartment, water as well."

"Thanks." Lisbon stared again, this time Jane meet her eyes.

"You sure that's all that bothering you?"

"What else is there?"

"I can never be sure with you Jane."

"Oh well, I like to keep an air of mystery about me."

"Go and take the tablets, we shouldn't be that long."

"Okay boss." He turned and started to retrace his steps back to the SUV, moving quickly away from the dead girl hanging lifeless in the trees, and more importantly, moving away from the smell of her.

Smells. So many memories that smells evoke in the sub-conscious. One whiff of freshly cut grass and you can be transport back to childhood, the smell of summer, freedom from school, hours spent playing with friends in the local park. The tang of sea brine with a hint of seaweed, long, hot beach holidays with family, picnics and sandcastles. Baby powder, the pure innocent smell of a newborn, the overwhelming emotions as you hold your first child. A waft of Eau d'hadrien, the delicate mix of lemons, grapefruit and cypress, the smell of your wife's favourite perfume, the perfume she used on those special occasion, when she dressed up and looked more than a million dollars. The smell of it on her warm, welcoming skin, when she lay naked in bed, smiling her welcoming smile. The fresh scent of Eau d'hadrien mixed with the copper stink of fresh blood, the first thing you were aware of as you stood in the open doorway of your bedroom, trying to take in the devastation that Red John's visit had wrought to your beloved family. Eau d'hadrien, he had not smelt it since that night and today, with the sky heavy with trapped rain, he had smelt it again, and just for good measure, just because the fates really hated him, mingled with the smell of blood from a murdered girl.

By the time Jane reached the SUV, tears had damped his cheeks and he really did need Lisbon's painkillers.

Chapter Two

"How did he behave?" Lisbon jerked up from her paperwork, having not hear Hightower's entrance. "Should I brace myself for a complaint from Mrs Kelly?"

"I don't think so Ma'am."

"So he had enough sense to behave around the AG's sister?"

"He was very professional."

"Any leads?"

"We believe the Jane Doe works for a nursing home of some description, Rigsby is working his way through the phone book, Cho and Van Pelt are canvassing the area around Mrs Kelly's home, see if we can find any witnesses."

"And golden boy?"

"He's thinking."

"Does he always think lying down, with his eyes closed?"

"Yes, always." Lisbon felt more protective of Jane than usual, so her tone of voice held a note of defiance.

"Okay then, as long as his system works, I want this case cleared up as quickly as possible, we both know it's one that would normally slip under the radar as far as this department is concerned."

"Yes Ma'am, it's amazing what some people can achieve if they have the right phone numbers in their memory."

"Well, she is the AG's sister." Lisbon made a show of looking back at the paperwork on her desk.

"AG got a big family has he, any more siblings, or maybe maiden aunts?"

"I understand your anger Agent Lisbon, this case is beneath your team, agreed, I get it, but think on, a favour for the AG, even if it is for his sister, can only be useful to us. Working with Jane means we will, someday, need favours from people in high places."

"Yes Ma'am."

"I'll leave you too it." A clap of thunder sounded immediately overhead, so loud it set off some of the car alarms in the car park opposite the CBI building. "God I wish this storm would break."

Lisbon glanced in the direction of Jane's couch, blocked from actual view by the walls of her office, but she knew where it was.

"So do I Ma'am, so do I."

Rigsby's temper was slowly growing with every negative phone call he made.

"I never realised there was so many old people's homes in Sacramento."

"Aging population Rigsby." Jane told him sleepily from his couch.

"I thought they all retired to Florida."

"Not everyone has that kind of money." Jane's voice was growing quieter as if he were slipping into sleep. Rigsby found the next number listed on the seven pages of tightly printed details and, frowning in the direction of his colleague, thumped out the numbers on the keypad. When an automated voice informed him that the number was not recognised, he slammed the phone down with such force the whole unit fell off the table and clattered to the wood floor. He was pleased to notice that the noise made Jane jump.

"Sorry if I woke you Jane, I'll try and make less noise with my silly working, wasting time trying to solve this murder, don't want to interrupt your beauty sleep."

"You know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit."

"I do believe you have mentioned that once or twice."

"Not getting enough sex Rigsby?" The tall agent immediately blushed a deep red.

"That's really none of your business Jane."

"It is if your getting so jumpy you keep dropping things and making so much unnecessary noise."

"This is a place of work Jane, not a doss house."

Jane sighed loudly as he pulled himself slowly out of the comfort of his leather couch. He went over to the mostly unused telephone on his never used desk and punch in a number.

"Dr. Bains, yes it's Patrick Jane, quick question…"

Rigsby finished up yet another negative call, rubbed his sweaty hands through his hair and wondered if it was too late to return to the arson department. A bottle of his favourite cold drink was placed on the desk in front of his eyes along with the biggest snicker bar the office vending machine had to offer. Rigsby took the bottle, unscrewed the top and glugged down half the bottle. "Thanks Jane." A post-it note was then stuck on the telephone. Rigsby pulled it off, reading a phone number in Jane's writing.

"What's this?"

"It might help." Rigsby looked up hopefully.

"Is this the number of the nursing home where Jane Doe worked."

"No, I'm not that good, well not today, it's the number of the company who produce the overall she was wearing. Can't see too many people choosing that mixture of colours, purple, green, sky blue and yellow, yuck." Jane did an whole body shiver at the thought. "They probably keep records."

"Thanks Jane," Rigsby now felt guilty. "I'm sorry how I spoke to you just now." Jane waved the apology aside.

"Eat your candy bar and make your phone call, I'll be on the couch if you need me again."

"Thanks again, you might have saved me hours."

"I was protecting the phone, don't think Lisbon would be too happy if you broke it, budget cuts."

"Yeah, right," Rigsby started gently pressing the numbers on his keypad. "Where did you get this number from Jane?"

"Label inside the overall itself, took one phone call to the M.A. can I please go back to sleep now?" Rigsby didn't answer he was too busy talking to a very helpful woman, who proceeded to give him, the names and numbers of the only two customers in Sacramento who requested such a mixture of colours in their staff uniforms.

Chapter Three

Her name had been Rosa Cartwright, she was 30, a widow and had worked at the Samuel Barnes Nursing home for the Elderly for the last eighteen months. She had been a good worker, never late, never sick. Nobody knew much about her, she kept herself to herself, did her job, rarely smiled and never socialized with any of the other employees. Her next shift wasn't until six o'clock that evening, so even in death, she hadn't yet been late for work.

Lisbon listen intently to the words the haggard woman in front of her was saying, she asked a few relevant questions, questions that she could have asked in her sleep, inside she was wondering how quickly she could leave this woman's office and get back to her car. Back out in the clean fresh air, away from the noxious stink that hung over the whole building. The over whelming stench of stale urine. Once again, Jane had been right.

A brown folder was push across the desk to Lisbon. "Everything I know about Rosa is in there, your welcome to it, if that's all Agent Lisbon, I need to try and cover Rosa's shift."

Lisbon glance quickly at the information inside the folder, noted the woman's home address and realised she had been found dead over a hour away from there.

"One last question, what car did Rosa drive?"

"She didn't, Agent Lisbon, she took the bus."

"She didn't have a car?"

"As far as I know, she couldn't drive."

Lisbon sat in the clean air of the CBI issued car and read through the file. Usually she would have brought Jane to interview the manageress of the Samuel Barnes Nursing home, but he still didn't seem right, so she had left him, asleep, in the air conditioned cool of the CBI building.

Rosa Cartwright had been running away from her murderer, the M.A. had updated Lisbon on the results of the autopsy before she left the office. Rosa had been shot at close range with a .38, there was no evidence of sexual activity either forced or willing, she had a multitude of cuts and bruises that told the story of her desperate attempt to escape from her pursuer. She had died sometime between midnight and three the previous evening. Her body had been found wearing one shoe, its partner had finally been found near a hole in the fencing that surround Rosalind Kelly's fancy house. No purse, so far, had turned up. There seemed no reason, from reading Rosa's personal file, why she should be in that part of Sacramento at night. Rosa had married an American citizen, so even though she had been born in Mexico, she was legal and had all the necessary paperwork, or so the tick boxes on the forms in her file stated. Next step was looking around Rosa's home and for that, Lisbon did need Jane, she dug out her cell and selected the correct number.

Lisbon beat the rest of her team to the block of run down apartments where Rosa Cartwright called home. She sat in the cool of her car sipping from a bottle of chilled water and quickly eating a bear claw whilst she waited. She had just licked the last of the sugar from her fingers and placed the empty bottle into the glove compartment as a CBI SUV swung in and parked beside her. Sated from her sugary snack, she greeted her team with a cheerful smile.

"Usual routine, anything we can discover about Rosa, friends, especially any boyfriends, arguments, falling out with neighbours. So far all we know is Rosa kept herself to herself and wore stolen perfume." Up to that point, Jane had been managing quite well, he had put into place all his defences, going through many of the needless facts he kept in his memory palace, just to bury the experiences of that morning. To swamp it with other memories. Bury it deep beneath the names of every film that began with the letter 'A'.

Lisbon mentioned perfume and Jane's face tightened, as his well-built defences suddenly crumbled. Lisbon noticed, she always noticed, but his lie had been believed.

"Storm will break soon Jane."

"Yeah." He gave a brief smile to appease his worried colleague. "Shall we go and root through all Rosa belongings, try and discover her deep, dark secrets."

The apartment block, that held Rosa Cartwright's home, consisted of eight units, four on the bottom and four on the top. No thought had gone into the design of the building, it was as if someone had put four boxes in a line and added another four above them. Access to the first floor was by a set of metal, open-backed stairs on the far right and a wide walkway that led passed the four front doors. Jane followed the rest of the team up the stairs, making mental notes of everything he saw. Rosa's apartment was number 8 at the very end. There was no building super so access was going to be difficult, unless Jane had a bent paperclip on him.

A beautiful white wicker chair sat outside the first apartment they passed, the tall back fanned out and a round pale blue, velvet cushion, stopped anyone who sat in it from being uncomfortable. Jane glanced at the chair and consigned it to memory. On the wall outside the next apartment was a small oak bench, unassuming but it oozed quality. Jane felt a small shiver go through him, he tried to ignore it. The next apartment's door was open and the sounds of a baby crying could easily be heard. A bright blue doormat cover with dancing fairies, winked up at him. Jane started to feel very slight sick.

"Jane." Lisbon's tone was impatient.

"Coming." He moved quickly to be with the rest of the team, pointedly refusing to look at a large white, wrought iron, freestanding, shelving unit, which took up the whole back wall beside Rosa's apartment. The unit was covered in healthy pepper, chilli and tomato plants, each one growing out of an extremely expensive, white china, plant pot.

"There's no key and if we wait for the official locksmith we could be here hours." Lisbon wasn't going to actually ask him to pick the lock, but the implication was there.

"Sure." He had the door open in just over a minute, usually it would have taken him seconds, the lock was so cheap and flimsy, but his hand was shaking.

"Right, Jane and I will check this out, the rest of you, start door knocking, Van Pelt you can take the neighbour with the crying baby."

Rosa's apartment was as hot and oppressive as an oven, mindful of Jane's fragile state, Lisbon pushed open windows and turned on the single electric fan they found in the tiny lounge. Rosa had very few possessions, but what she did have screamed quality, the large flat screen television, professional attached to the wall. A cream colour, soft leather couch and matching chair, a solid wood occasional table. Jane stood nervously just inside the door, glancing at every single item in the room, his heart in his throat. As he failed to recognise anything, his pulse slowed and he started to feel that maybe his memory wasn't quite as good as he believe. Happier now, he moved to the centre of the lounge and began to study everything intently, looking for information that would tell him everything he needed to know about Rosa Cartwright.

Rosa had been a thorough cleaner, not a speck of dust marred the surfaces of the furniture, the screen of the large television sparked, even the thick rug placed in front of the couch was completely lint free. There was nothing in the room that told him of Rosa, no pictures, no address book, no nick-knacks. The room was so impersonal they could have been standing in the showroom of a furniture store. There wasn't even a telephone.

"Check out the rest of the apartment." Lisbon instructed Jane as she began pulling open drawers. Jane made his way back through to the single bedroom, stood in the doorway and slowly scanned the room, single bed - obviously had no desire for company, bedside table, once again, no telephone, quality lamp with mock tiffany shade. Alarm clock, electric. The room came with a built in wardrobe which he opened and noted the small amount of clothes within, he lifted out a pair of jeans, checked the label. They were a designer pair, retail at least three hundred. Rosa Cartwright had expensive tastes and somewhere, she had the money to indulge it.

"See if you can find an address book." Lisbon called from the lounge. Jane moved over to the bedside table and opened one of the three drawers. Book of fiction, candy bar, box of earplugs. Second drawer, underwear, he closed that one quickly. Third drawer, packets of unopened pantyhose, rolled washed pantyhose, white socks. The small bathroom gave no insight into the life of Rosa Cartwright apart from which brand of pain killer she preferred and she used tampax. Jane moved onto the tiny kitchen, the small fridge held a selection of fruit, salads and individual cuts of good quality steak. As Jane was working his way through her cupboards, Lisbon stood watching.


"She didn't drink, no alcohol anywhere, not even beer in the fridge. Small quantity of make-up in the bathroom…."

"Any sign of that perfume you mentioned?" Jane's heartbeat rose, he kept his voice even.

"That would be in her purse, carried it with her."

"Of course, needed it for work."

"Any sign of a purse?"

"Not yet, we're still looking." Jane nodded and closed the last of the cupboard doors, then face Lisbon."


"There's nothing, no pictures, very little clothes, no ornaments, she lived off salad, fruit and very good quality steak. She liked to eat chocolate whilst reading trashy novels. She was house proud and somehow she could get her hands on a lot more money than she would have been paid looking after the old folks."

"And that's it?" Jane just shrugged.

"Boss…." Van Pelts voice called from the open front door.

"In here." In seconds the redhead was standing in the kitchen, glancing around at everything.

"This is a really nice apartment, for the area." She commented.

"I think you find it's the stuff in here that makes it nice." Jane pointed out. Grace looked around again.

"Yes it is, how can she afford this? I can't afford a television like that?" She indicated with her head back into the lounge.

"Well that's something we have to find out, it's probably the reason she was shot. Any leads from the neighbours?" Lisbon waited as Grace opened her note book. She reeled of the names of everyone who lived in the apartment block and all the details she Cho and Rigsby had gleaned from them. As she spoke Jane was aware of the sound of a baby's crying coming through the thin walls. Now he understood the box of earplugs in the bedside cabinet.

"What did next door have to say?" He interrupted.

"Oh she's so upset, I thought maybe…" Grace looked directly at him, he was known for his abilities at calming distressed babies, children and women, "…that she could be interviewed when she calmed down a bit."

"Okay, good work Van Pelt, round up Cho and Rigsby, take a break, get some food, Jane and I'll will interview - what's her name?" Van Pelt consulted her notebook again.

"Shanna Mosco."

"Right, we'll interview Mrs…."


"Fine, Miss Mosco, met back in the office to compare notes." Lisbon glanced again around the kitchen, there wasn't even a pin board to put unpaid bills or reminders. The whole apartment had yielded nothing that could give more of an insight into Rosa Cartwright. Nothing that was except, she had access to more money than her job would have paid, how had she come by these other funds, had it been, in some way, illegal?

Chapter Four

Shanna Mosco's front door was propped open and from inside silence, the baby had stopped crying.

"Miss Mosco." Lisbon called out, not wanting to be rude and just walk in. Jane stared straight ahead, refusing to look at the fairy patterned door mat.

"In here." A soft voice with a southern drawl called. It was followed by the sound of someone blowing their nose. Lisbon and Jane followed the sound and found a plump blond woman sitting on a white wicker sofa in an identical apartment to Rosa Cartwright.

"Miss Mosco, I'm sorry to bother you after you have had such a shock, but I need to ask you some questions." Lisbon went into her spill after introducing herself and Jane.

"That's alright honey, the red-haired girl told me you would need to speak to me, I just can't believe this has happened to Rosa, I know this type of thing is on the news every single day, but Rosa was such a lovely woman."

"You knew her well?"

"We moved in on the same day, kept almost colliding on the walkway as we took in our few boxes. Decided to join forces and help each other, I helped her she then helped me."

"How long ago was this?"

"Oh, well over a year ago, I'd just found out I was carrying…." she stopped to smiled down at the baby laying happily by her feet, drooling over a rusk. "I supposed I'd hoped carrying all the furniture in would bring on a miscarriage, I feel just evil even saying that, but at the time having a baby was the last thing I needed." Guilt seemed to wash over Shanna, she stooped and quickly gathered the baby onto her lap. The baby dropped its rusk and started to grizzle.

Jane had not been listening to the interaction, he had stayed just inside the doorway and was trying desperately hard not to notice the furniture that fought for space in the small apartment. Unlike Rosa's minimalist approach, Shanna had gone down the 'more is better' interior-design and filled the room. There were photographs on every surface, small tables, figurines, glass bowls, the walls were full of frame pictures, some well known tacky prints of crying children and laughing clowns, a few more tasteful drawings. Jane glanced for a split second at the overfilled walls and he instantly recognised two of the drawings, he took a few slow steadying breaths, hoping Lisbon wouldn't notice. The baby's grizzling had grown into a fully-fledge wail, drowning out any noise he might make, also making further interviewing of Shanna impossible.

"Oh I'm sorry about this Agent Lisbon, Libby's teething, one minute she's all sweetness the next, well…" she smiled down indulgently at the baby, now turning a shade of puce, then turned her attention of Jane. "Could you hand me her Bunny Bear?" She nodded towards a large footstool whose lid could not close because of the toys inside. Jane stooped and lifted the lid, flattened amongst the toys lay a pink bear wearing a white dress printed with small cerise rabbits. It was a high quality, extra soft, cuddly toy, made exclusively for one of the most upmarket toy shops in San Francisco and extremely expensive. Jane's heart just stopped beating as he looked down at the child's toy he was unconsciously squeezing in his hand. As he held the toy he swept his gaze quickly around the room, this time taking in the size, shape and make of every item his eyes briefly rested on.

"The toy Jane." Lisbon's voice rose above the sound of the now screaming child. She couldn't understand why her consultant seemed so transfix with a pink teddy bear that looked quite old and grubby, and for some reason, had a strange pattern made of knots of blue cotton on its paws. Wordless, Jane handed the bear to Lisbon, who passed it quickly to Shanna. Within seconds of having her favourite toy, baby Libby was gurgling happily to herself.

"May I use your bathroom?" Jane's voice sound husky, as if he was experience trouble just speaking.

"Sure Honey," Shanna waved her hand in the general direction of the bathroom, her full concentration on her child, Lisbon watched every step Jane made as he left the room, her forehead creased with worry.

Jane stood looking at himself in the mirror above the small basin. He was trembling so much he had to support himself on the wood of the vanity unit. He didn't believe in coincidences, there was a logical reason behind everything, so what, he kept asking himself, was the reason for Shanna Mosco to have his belongings dotted around her room? Why was his white wicker chair, complete with blue cushion, sitting outside the first apartment he had passed? How had his designer oak bench made its way to the next apartment? Why had Rosa been growing tomatoes on his wife's wrought iron stand, out of her special china plant pots, and how, how had his daughter's favourite pink teddy, the one she always taken to bed, the one with the magic embroidered paws, found its way into the cubby arms of a teething Libby.

A play date that had gone wrong, his beautiful daughter somehow found her way into the bedroom of her little friend's older brother, and started to watch the DVD he was engrossed in. Gremlins. That night she experience the first nightmare. It had taken over an hour to calm her, the following night she had insisted on sleeping with them, after a week something had to be done. She had been too young to understand the concept of films and fiction, so a beautiful pink teddy had been purchased and his wife, so clever with most things, had placed rows of 'French knots' in a random pattern on the bears paws. This, his daughter had been told, in hush tones, was a special spell, as long as she slept with her magical teddy bear, no night monsters would ever harm her. If she felt the least bit afraid in the dark, she was to gently rub her fingers over the raised embroidery and the spell would strength.

It had worked. No more nightmares, no more gremlins, no more play dates in houses with older brothers. Her magic teddy bear had worked until she had been taken by the biggest monster of them all - Red John.

Tears rolled down Jane's face, he wanted to rush back out into Shanna Mosco crowded, overheated lounge, grabbed the teddy out of the baby's hand and hold it to his face, to breath in the smell of the false fur in the blind hope that somewhere, amongst the fibres, was the lingering smell of his daughter. He didn't, he stayed in the small bathroom, gripping onto the vanity unit and trying to steady his breathing. He could not fold, if he allowed himself to release the emotions welling inside him, he wouldn't stop, he wouldn't be able to control himself and then, back to the white room, back to the kind, caring Dr Sophie Miller. He knew deep inside, if he broke down again, that would be it. No more CBI, no more Lisbon, no more chance of revenging his family. His days would be filled with talking through his feelings and macramé.

The realization that then Red John would have won, gave him the strength to centre himself, to wash the tears from his face and leave the bathroom, white faced but composed. Lisbon looked across at him the minute he returned to the lounge, her face a question - are you okay? Jane ignored her concerned and smiled instead at Shanna.

"You have a lovely home. Did it come furnished?" Shanna looked up from amusing Libby with the teddy.

"No, these apartments are rented unfurnished, cheaper that way." Jane deliberately made himself pick up a silver picture frame, it contained a photo of red face, exhausted Shanna, holding her newly born daughter. It should have contained a photo of his wedding.

"Well, you do have some beautiful things." Shanna blushed and smiled, unused to such complements.

"Oh, I can't take the credit for that Mr. Jane, Rosa was the one with the eye."

"Rosa's apartment is very sparse."

"Yes well, after the fire Rosa didn't go in much for things."

"Fire?" This was news to Lisbon,

"I assumed you knew, about two years ago Rosa lost everything in a fire, including her husband. She had a lovely home, so she said, beautiful things, a kind, generous husband, lost it all in one night, only had the night gown she was standing in."

"Did they ever discover how the fire started?" Lisbon's thoughts were racing, maybe there was another side to Rosa Cartwright, a side that meant someone had been after her. "Was it arson?"

Lisbon's new theory was shot down.

"No, her husband fell asleep with a cigarette still burning, I believe he had been drinking."

Jane was uninterested in the fire, though it did explain why Rosa obviously didn't drink.

"So Rosa advised you what to buy?" Shanna had lost the thread of what he was on about and looked quizzically at him. "To furnish your apartment."

"No, Rosa got it all for me, she helped furnish every ones apartment in the block. It was her hobby, going around yard sales, goodwill stores, even walked the streets on bin days to see what people were throwing out. She had a real eye."

"And she gave it too you."

"No, she ran it like a small business, we bought the items off her, she charged me hardly anything." Lisbon made notes, couldn't really see where Jane was going with this questioning.

"Did you see her with anybody who didn't live in this block…."Lisbon asked

"How did she get the larger items to you?" Jane over spoke Lisbon's question. He waved a hand towards the wicker couch that had been the partner to the chair outside the first apartment. "We know she didn't drive, and you can't carry that home on a bus."

"Oh her friend helped, she used to turn up with the bits in the back of a gardener's pickup. She told me they worked together at the nursing home."

"Do you have a name for this friend?" Lisbon had something now she could use.

"No, sorry, she never said."


"Oh about nineteen, tall, thin, face full of spots, white, had one of those cropped haircuts. Never said much, used to off load the furniture then drive away as quickly as possible."

Shanna could give them no more useful information so they thanked her and left.

"Are you going to tell me what is going on, or am I being left in the dark as usually." Lisbon asked as soon as Shanna had closed her door.

"I'm trying to solve a murdered, thought that was obvious."

"All the questions on soft furnishing, that is going to solve this one is it?"

"I'm not sure yet, but the spotty youth driving the pick-up might be a lead. We know where to find him, the nursing home."

"Great, another visit to the sweet smelling Samuel Barnes Home for the elderly, can't wait." Lisbon unselfconsciously wrinkled her noise at the thought.

"You could always try putting some cold cure vapour gel under your nostrils, it's a trick the CSI use."

"Oh so now I have to go around stinking of Vicks."

"Choice is yours Lisbon, could you drop me back at the office first though."

"Oh no, your coming with me, I need you to help with spotty youth." Jane made a big thing of looking at Lisbon's watch, it was a shade passed three o'clock. Too early to call it a day. Jane needed time. Spotty youth was young and would soon crack under Lisbon's questioning, within minutes he would spill a tale of breaking into storage units and stealing the contents. How many storage units, Jane could not even guess at, but eventually the top CBI investigation team would be at the door of his storage unit, wanting to know what was missing, expecting him to rummaged through boxes that had been hastily packed and sealed eight years ago. No, he still wasn't strong enough for that. They would have to be moved so when Lisbon and the team came knocking on his door, the cupboard would be bare. Let them think it had all been stolen. He hadn't killed Rosa, his belongings made no difference to the investigation, so they could stay out of it.

He need time.

They had now reached the car and Lisbon was in, buckled up, with the engine running, waiting.

"Get in Jane." Jane glanced down at his shoes then straight into Lisbon's eyes.

"No, I'm calling it a day."

"Jane, Hightower wanted this case closed quickly, I'm sure Rosa's friend holds the key. It will take an hour to get to the home, we could have this solved by six."

"Well don't let me stop you." He turned and began walking away from the car and a growing irate Lisbon, away from the apartment block mostly furnished with his memories. Lisbon could move fast when required, she was out of the car and beside him in seconds.

"Jane I know your pissed about being little more than the AG's personal detective, we all are, but we are supposed to be a team. Rosa's friend might be young, he might fold easily, he could also be one of those stroppy teenagers who believes the whole world owes them, and refuse to say a word to us. I need your help." Jane almost folded, this was Lisbon asking.

"Then leave it until the morning, this storm would have broken by then, the air will be fresher. Everything will look different, feel different." Lisbon's face softened.

"I know your not feeling well Jane, but this is a murder investigation."

"I am aware of that." He needed the night, he needed to empty what was left in the storage unit and hid it away in another dark, secret cave, rented by the month, no questions asked. There was also a chance, a slim one, that spotty youth might recognise him from the many photo's that were boxed away. The picture frame that had surrounded one of his wedding photos was now in Shanna's apartment, proving that his box of memories had been violated. He could imagine Lisbon's reaction if spotty youth suddenly blurted out 'wait a minute aren't you the groom from the wedding photos?'

"I promise we'll stop on the way for iced tea and painkillers," she swept both her hands towards the open door of the car, an invitation, "shall we?"

"I'll see you tomorrow Lisbon." Lisbon signed and headed back to the car, she had tried but his face was set, she knew when she was beaten.

Chapter Five

Spotty Youth's name was Corey Sinclair and since helping Rosa to deliver second hand furniture to Shanna, he must have found the correct mix of soap and antibacterial gel, for his skin was clear and smooth and he had all the signs of growing into a handsome man. He was also extremely helpful. As soon as Lisbon introduced herself to him, as he was pruning a large rose tree, he had smile briefly and commented that he had wondered how long it would take for them to arrested him.

Lisbon had explained that she just wanted to ask him some questions about his friendship with Rosa Cartwright.

"Then you'll arrest me." He spoke as if he wasn't bothered.

Sitting in the interview room, Rigsby standing in the corner, the air-conditioning on full, Lisbon started the questioning.

"How did you know Rosa Cartwright?"

She had approached him one night, about eighteen months ago, as he was getting into the pick-up, 'Did he want to make a few extra bucks?' He was young, the gardening work hardly paid and there was a motorbike he lusted after.

'Was it drugs?' He asked, he had promised his mother he would never, ever, dabble in drugs, he loved his mother.

'No, it wasn't drugs.' So he had driven Rosa to a local McDonalds where she bought him a meal and as he ate, brought out a list. It was the names of six patients slowly dying in the home. Four woman and two men who no one visited but whose home contents at that moment, sat mouldering in storage units, paid monthly from their bank accounts. In the event of their death, the payments to the storage unit would cease and eventually the contents would be auction off by the storage company, to pay the back rent. Rosa knew people who were in desperate need of things, furniture, bedding, cooking pots. What was wrong with taking the contents of the storage units and giving it to people who had a use for them. The old people in the nursing home no longer needed it. She would redistribute it to those who did. It wasn't stealing, Rosa had explained, it was almost like being Robin Hood.

'So where was his few bucks going to come from?'

If they happened across some items that were worth more than a few bucks, she would sell them and use the money to pay him, cover the cost of his gas and time.

He had agreed.

It had been so easy. Rosa's dead husband had been a locksmith, or so Rosa told him, anyway, he had taught Rosa how to pick locks. They had near enough emptied the first six storage units, rented by those original patients. She had been true to her word, the furniture went to people who were in need, so did the bed linen and kitchen utensils. She had gone through the old people's life time of possessions carefully. Sorting into piles, anything that could be sold, items to be given away, even piles that went to goodwill stores. Rosa even kept separate very personal items, photos, keepsakes. These she had left in the storage units in case long lost relations finally cared enough to look. The initial six had all died and no relations had even come to their funerals, let alone wondered what happen to their stuff. So it had continued. After the first six, Rosa discovered other residents with storage units. She started to go to the units alone, sort through the belongings then get Corey to come with his pickup truck. They would load up, then do the rounds of delivering. Rosa got to the stage where she was taking orders. Looking for things that people required. Things changed just over a year ago, she started to break in to other storage units. Ones that didn't belong to the residents at the Samuel Barnes Nursing home. She like to root through peoples belongings, look at their pictures.

"She stole from these strangers."

No all, some units it was obvious were always being visited, things removed, new stuff put in. She never took anything from those. But other units. Well the boxes would be thick with dust, no footprints in the dirt on the floor. Those people didn't need the stuff they stored, so, as far as Rosa was concerned, if they didn't need it, why should they keep it, when other people had need.

Lisbon sighed. What Rosa Cartwright had been doing was theft, but for the life of her, she couldn't see how it might lead to her murder. She pushed a piece of paper and a pen across the table to Corey.

"Write down as many of the storage units addresses you can remember."

"There were loads."

"Do you're best."

"How long do you think I'll get?"

"I don't know, at the moment we don't even know if any of the people you and Rosa ripped off are aware of the thefts, if no one has made a report then, there is no crime."

"Mum will be pleased, she was so cross to find out what I had been doing. Told me theft was theft, it made no difference if I was stealing stuff no one seemed to want. Made me stop immediately."

"So you confessed to your mother?"

"No, she asked how I had managed to get enough money to buy the motorbike." Rigsby was suddenly interested. He hadn't envisaged much money being made from stealing peoples unwanted junk.

"How much was the bike?" He asked.

"Fifteen grand." Lisbon raised her eyebrows, suddenly remembering the expensive items in Rosa's apartment.

"What did you find, a stash of drug money, the results of a bank robbery?" Big money could easily lead to murder. The two went hand in hand.

"Nothing like that, Rosa had a good eye, she knew quality when she saw it, you'd be surprised what some people stored away, just protected with a padlock."

"Give me an example."

"Silver picture frames, jewellery, designer clothes, antiques, loads of different stuff. Rosa would sell the good stuff and split the money with me."

"Not quite Robin Hood." Corey blushed.

"That's what my mother said, she even made me sell the bike and give the money to a homeless charity."

"But she didn't advise you to tell the police."


"So when you told Rosa you couldn't help anymore, was there an argument?"

"No, she took it very well. I promised I wouldn't tell anyone."

"So you didn't get in a fight, maybe pull out a gun to frighten her, gun went off accidental?" Corey's face paled.

"You think I killed her, no, no, it was four months ago I pulled out, she found herself another Little John." He was starting to get quite agitated. "I wouldn't hurt Rosa." He was almost sobbing. Lisbon gathered her files together.

"It alright Corey, try and remember all the addresses, Rigsby here will get you a soda and then he'll take you home."

Lisbon and Rigsby left Corey to his list of storage units and stood in the corridor outside the interview room.

"Do you think he did it, falling out amongst thieves?" Lisbon shook her head.

"He's a mummy's boy, he didn't mind helping Rosa but I don't think he would hurt her, I doubt if he is capable of doing any harm to anyone or anything."

"Jane would know, he would have asked one question and then told us Corey's complete life story. Where is he?"

"Oh, he decided to call it a day."

"What this early." Lisbon could see Rigsby felt aggrieved that Jane had been allowed the afternoon off and he hadn't.

"He wasn't feeling well."

"Oh, right, so what is he really up to? One of his scams?"

"No, it's this heavy weather, doesn't agree with him."



"Strange, he's never seemed to have problems in the past."

"Well, he's getting older."

"And you believed him?" Lisbon turned her special look onto him, the one usually reserved for Jane.

"Are you questioning my authority Rigsby?" The big man immediately back down under the intense glare.

"No of course not boss." He hastily changed tactics. "It was amazing how he knew what perfume Rosa Cartwright was wearing, name, price, everything, I only find out the name if I'm having to buy a present for a girlfriend. His memory is something else."

Chapter Six

Albert Heyer was not a happy man, he had managed to sweat through three shirts and hoped, for the sake of his laundry bill, that the storm would break that night. The air-conditioner servicing his small office was extremely noisy and completely useless. He had been overjoyed when, finally, he could pack up and head for home where, waiting patiently for him, was a brand new, super quiet, air-conditioning unit that worked like a dream.

He had made it all the way to his parked car, had the door open when a female voice called to him, asking him to stop. The small dark haired female then introduced herself as Agent Teresa Lisbon from CBI and they needed to ask him some questioning concerning the storage unit facility he managed.

Corey Sinclair had drawn up quite a list of names and it had taken two hours to just find all the addresses and pinpoint them onto a map of the area. It had be hoped by Van Pelt, Rigsby and Cho that Lisbon would then tell them to go home, get some rest, start afresh in the morning. No such luck. Lisbon has decided that they could fit in visiting one of the storage units before calling it a night and had chosen the one closest to where Rosa Cartwright had been found hanging in a tree.

Albert had tried to be helpful, yes he could give them the names of all his one hundred customers, no there wasn't any night security, there used to be but money was tight and well, none of the customers seemed to mind that the service had been quietly dropped. As he lead Agent Lisbon and her team back to the oven box of an office for the up-to-date list of customers, he turned around to ask what this was all about, and spotted a thin slice of light coming from under the door of a previously, never visited, unit.

"Strange." He stopped and looked again to make sure he was seeing correctly.

"What's strange Mr. Heyer?" Lisbon asked.

"That unit there, number 33." He pointed so no mistake could be made. "Never seen anyone in there, but a lights on." Lisbon exchange glances with her team, instantly dropping the timber of her voice to barely above a whisper.

"Could be Rosa's new partner." They had had no luck discovering who Corey's replacement had been. "Do the units have any other entrances or exits apart from the main door?"

"No, what's this about Agent Lisbon?"

"Mr. Heyer, Agent Van Pelt will explain what's happening whilst you find her that list of names." Lisbon waited until Van Pelt and the civilian were out of sight before turning to Cho and Rigsby.

"Who ever is in there could well be Rosa's murderer." She explained as they hurried back to the SUV for bullet proof vests. "She was shot with a 38 so be careful."

The bulbs supplied to the storage unit were low wattage and gave a minimum light, the door opened on silent hinges so it was easily for the three to slip unnoticed into the unit. At first it seem as no one was in the large, extremely hot, metal container. But then a shadowy figure could be just seen standing, stock still, near the back, looking at something in his hands. Cho and Rigsby didn't need to be ordered by Lisbon, one went right the other left, Lisbon moved determinedly through the pathway of boxes, careful not to make any noise and give her presence away. She held her glock out straight, never once taking her eyes away from the statue like figure.

She could tell it was a man, medium height, slender, he was wearing a baseball cap, jeans and a white t-shirt. What he was holding was in shadow, it could have been anything, books, an ornament, a 38 calibre revolver. Cho and Rigsby had managed to moved silently beyond the figure and now three guns were trained on the man, who was still completely unaware of them.

"CBI. Hands in the air where I can see them." Lisbon shouted. The man either hadn't hear her or was planning something. Lisbon could not take a chance and motioned to Rigsby who flew across the warehouse catching the figure mid-section and crashed both of them to the floor.

Lisbon hurried forward and pressed her glock against the back of the man's neck.

"CBI. Hands where I can see them." She repeated. Rigsby was slowly standing up, dusty himself down. Cho bent and patted the man down, checking for weapons.

"He's clean." The man still did not speak or move. Lisbon bent down and removed the baseball cap, exposing a head of golden curls.

Golden curls. She glance to where the man's left hand was flat down on the filthy concrete floor and spotted the thin golden band.

"Jane?" All three agents exchanged looks before looking again at their consultant still silent and unmoving on the floor.

"Christ Rigsby, how hard did you hit him?" Lisbon quickly holster her gun and with Cho's help, turned Jane over, expecting to find he had been knocked out. Jane's eyes were open and he stared directly up at her, his face was taunt with suppressed rage.

"Jane what the hell are you doing here? I could have shot you." She offered him her hand, meaning to help him to his feet, but it was ignored. "How many times do I have to warn you about going off on your own." Whilst she chastised him, Jane pulled himself gingerly off the floor into a sitting position, resting his back against one of the larger storage boxes. When Rigsby had tackled him to the floor, he had thought the ceiling had fallen in. Now he released he had bigger problems than the multitude of bruises that were starting to form.

Lisbon was standing in front of him waiting for answers, and Lisbon was pissed.

But then, so was he.

Trying to buy himself thinking time, he slowly stood and began brushing dirt and grit from his clothes. There was blood coming from grazes on his inner arms, where the soft skin had skidded along the concrete. He stared at the blood now transferred to his palms, then rubbed it down his jeans. Lisbon was watching him like a hawk. Rigsby and Cho had both, silently, slide back into the shadows. Safely out of firing range.

"Well." One word, but all the frustration and anger Lisbon felt at that moment, was contained in it. Jane was saved from answering when Van Pelt's voice called from the door way.

"It's Janes." Lisbon broken eye contact with Jane to swing round on Van Pelt, who at that moment was standing just inside the doorway, waving sheets of paper in the air. "This is the list Mr. Heyer gave me, unit 33, customer, Patrick Jane." Lisbon heard the words the rookie was saying but still needed to see the printed words herself. She bustled forward and took the sheets of paper. Rigsby and Cho, still lurking in the shadows, out of harms way, or at least an angry Lisbon's way, exchanged glances and waited for the brown stuff to hit the fan. They didn't have to wait long. Lisbon turned on her heels and headed back to where Jane was picking up the photo's he had dropped when attacked by Rigsby.

His photo's. All the frames had gone, stolen. Rosa had placed all the photos in one box, kept them safe for the owner, if they ever cared enough to return.

"When were you going to tell me?" Lisbon waved the incriminating sheets so close in front of his face, he felt the edges brush against his skin and moved his body away from them, and her.

"I couldn't see why the knowledge that I rented a storage unit was of any use to this investigation." Lisbon looked closer around the oven hot room, there seemed to be boxes of all sizes but not enough to warrant such a large amount of space to store them. All the boxes were open, there was no furniture to be seen.

"So, even though you were one of Rosa's victims, you didn't consider that knowledge useful. Have you any idea how much time we've wasted searching for someone, anyone who had been ripped off by Rosa, and all along, we could have spoken to you." As she said 'you' Lisbon used the, now rolled, printed lists, as a weapon, and smacked Jane on the bare arm.

"I didn't kill her."

"No, but there's a good chance her new partner may of, and, so far, we know nothing about them, not even if there male or female." Lisbon pulled out her phone. "Well at least we can get crime scene in, dust for prints, we may get lucky and Rosa's partner might be in the system and has left us a calling card." She placed the phone to her ear and waited. Jane's brain was whirling. No way was he going to let those nasty little tech freaks from crime scene poke around in his possessions. They would expect him to stay and watch the show.

"Don't you need my permission?" Lisbon frown at him.


"You don't know this is a crime scene, I haven't said anything is missing."

"Jane its obvious stuffs missing, why rent such a large space for a few boxes…." she turned back to the cell and started to speak to whoever had answered.

"Don't you need a search warrant, or something similar?"

"Only if we don't have the owner's permission." Lisbon was barely taking any notice of him, more interested in giving instructions to CSI.

"Well Senior Agent Lisbon, you don't." Lisbon turned her stare fully onto him.

"I've hit a problem, I'll call you back." She spoke slowly to the CSI, her eyes never leaving Jane's."What did you say Jane." She had heard, she just couldn't believe it. Jane wanted to break the stare, to look away, he couldn't afford to back down.

"I think you heard Teresa." Use her first name, try to soften the blow. Still he repeated. "You don't have my permission."

"You, Patrick Jane, conman and charlatan, a man who takes not a blind bit of notice of proper criminal procedures, suddenly wants to play by the book. A man who makes constant fun of the law, is now going to hide behind it." She stepped close enough so he could feel the heat from her breath on his face. "You make me sick." She turned, picked up the discard list of customers, and stormed away from where Jane stood rigid, almost not breathing. Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt fell in behind her, she turned just before the door. "I will get that court order, and CSI will be here in the morning to dust for prints. Finding Rosa's Cartwright murderer is more important than your privacy." She pulled the switch by the door, turning the warehouse pitch black before disappeared out into the night, kicking the metal door of the warehouse closed behind her. Jane stood, in the dark of the warehouse, listing to the echo left from the slamming metal door. He could hear cars leaving, then thunder sounding in the far distance.

He had pushed Lisbon too far, taken two steps over the line. He always made her job more difficult, but usually she understood why. Tonight. He had given her no explanation. Why? Because at this precise moment in time, he just wasn't capable of verbalising how emotional he felt. He sat down heavily on the floor allowing the oppressive black to blanket him whilst he listened intently to the distance thunder of the approaching storm, anything that might help to blank out his memories.

Chapter seven.

Lisbon lay on her bed watching an old Cary Grant film whilst spooning Ben and Jerry's double choc chip as fast as possible into her mouth. She had showered and changed into her night things, now lay in her beautifully air-conditioned bedroom looking as cool, calm and happy as the heroine in the film. Inside she was seething. On the journey from the CBI headquarters back to her own apartment, she had call Jane every name she could think off, shouted them out at the top of her voice, she had then mixed in all the cuss words she knew and then, just for good measure, all the derogatory insults she had ever heard. And since she had still be a distance from home, gone back and done it all again. Tomorrow everything was going to change. No more nice Teresa. No more understanding Lisbon. No more protecting Jane at the cost of her own sanity. Tomorrow was going to dawn a whole new 'rules are rules' era, and Patrick Jane was not going to like it. Oh no, smarmy conman Patrick Jane, was really, really not going to like it. Well tough. She scrapped around the wax tub to get another half spoon of ice-cream. She should have put the padlock back onto the warehouse door, lock him in for the night, would have served him right. The thought made her snigger. He could have spent the whole night snuggled up with his all important possessions.

The ice cream was dead, she turned and placed the empty tub on the bedside table, moving a figurine of an Irish Leprechaun to make space.

Jane. Show off Jane. Oh yes, knew exactly what perfume the victim was wearing, name, price, everything. Lisbon laughed out loud to herself. Never could name the one she wore, no, Mr. Memory Man couldn't do that, described it, but no brand name, and hers wasn't exactly rare. He didn't even name Van Pelts and she had recognised that one the first time Grace had worn it. Lisbon's smile faded as the detective in her kicked in, Jane never gave brand names to any perfume or men's cologne. Just a description and the type of person who wore them. Rigsby's comment filled her memory. "I only know the names of the perfumes I buy as presents for girlfriends."

Oh god.

Lisbon turned off the television and sat bolt upright on her bed as she thought through the day.

Going to the crime scene. Jane, normal, carefree.

At the crime scene, meeting the AG's bully of a sister. Jane, normal, carefree. Examining the mortal remains of Rosa's Cartwright. Jane, quiet, upset, pale.

Shit, shit, shit. Lisbon couldn't stop herself swearing as everything suddenly slotted into place.

Eau d'hadrien. Jane knew the name, the price. Jane must have bought it.

Jane must have bought it for his wife.

And from the moment he had smelt it on the bloody corpse that had been Rosa Cartwright, he had gone pale, quiet and depressed. He had blamed it on the weather, the oppressive heat, the static electricity in the air.

This wasn't the first storm to hang over Sacramento for days making it almost impossible to be away from air-conditioning for any longer that five minutes. Jane never seemed bothered.

The rest of them could be wilting in the heat, Jane would be swanning about in a three piece suit, grinning. Thinking on through the day. Shanna Mosco's apartment, the turning point in the case, Jane's interest in her furniture. Good quality furniture. Silver picture frames. A pink teddy bear that had made him hurry from the room.

His possessions?

His daughter's teddy bear?

Lisbon turned and looked again at the cheaply made, small Irish Leprechaun, it always lived beside her bed, there so she could see it in the middle of the night. Her mother's family keepsake. One of the only possessions she owed that had been her mothers. How would she have felt to suddenly see it in someone else home. Her lucky Leprechaun, stolen and displayed on a stranger's bedside table.


Rosa Cartwright had broken into Patrick Jane's storage unit, taken his possessions, possessions that, until now, he had not set eyes on since that terrible time, possessions he had not had the strength to sort out. Rosa had gone through them, given some away, sold some.

Rosa Cartwright had taken the perfume that Patrick Jane had bought for his wife and sprayed herself with it before being shot and hung in a tree for Patrick Jane to see. To smell.

No wonder he was upset.

No wonder he didn't want CSI going through what little he had left.

There had been a pile of photos on the box where she had briefly rested the list of names Mr. Heyer had given Van Pelt.

A pile of photos he had been looking at when Rigsby had tackled him to the floor.

Photo's of his family?

Smiling photo's of happier times, probably not looked at since they had been hastily bundled into boxes and sealed with tape.

She had to ring him. Check he was alright. Apologise.

Jane sat in the clinging dark of the warehouse listening to thunder and thinking.

He had been a bastard.

How could he have treated Lisbon so badly. She always had his back, always stood up to him. If he had explained to her what the problem was, she would have understood.

But he was a coward.

He was too big a coward to put the churn of emotions that wracked his body into words.

He was too big a coward to risk the fall out from such a conversation. To discover if once he uncorked the bottle, let out the writhing genie of his suppressed grief, he would ever be able to return it to the deep dark depths.

But of all the people who might understand, Lisbon was top of the list of one.

He hadn't even given her the chance.

She had spent the whole day worrying about him. Trying to care for him. And he had upset her. For what. Boxes of possession he didn't need. Didn't want. Rosa Cartwright could have stripped the unit out completely, she would have been doing him a favour. In fact, she had already done him a huge favour, all his pictures, his wedding DVD, films of family outings, holidays and birthdays, memories of happier times. They were all placed in one box, ready to be squirreled away in his new apartment, ready for when he was strong enough to look at, ready for when he had killed Red John. That was all he really wanted. Some photos, a few DVD's and his daughter's drawings. The rest was junk, it might be expensive, designer, limited edition, to him, it was junk. Amongst it could be the answer to why Rosa, a slightly misguided, but basically good person, to why she had been killed.

He needed to contact Lisbon, let her know she didn't need a court order or what ever legal mumble jumble she was going after. Let her know he was sorry and she could send in as many CSI techs as she wanted, including the creepy one he really hated.

Jane found his phone in the front pocket of his jeans and studied the screen. There was no signal. Whether it was the fact he was sitting in a very large metal box, or whether it was the static of the storm, he didn't know. He needed to ring Lisbon, he needed to get a signal. Carefully he made his way, through the dark, to the door and out into the heavy night air, lightening illuminated the sky to his right. He did the 'find a signal dance' moving the phone in a 360 degree circle before heading to his left.

A man was standing outside one of the furthest units, smoking, as the lightening cracked again, he was briefly illuminated and Jane read guilt, fear and anger as it flitted across his face. The man's eyes darted over Jane's right shoulder, and Jane's lights went out.

Chapter Eight

Two men were arguing, their voices rising and falling with the emotion of their words.

Could it be Rigsby and Cho?

They never argued.

They might tease each other.

They might have disagreements.

But they had each others back, they never argued.

Why was it so hot? Had the air-conditioning unit broken, had budget cuts gone so far as to cancel the engineering contract that kept the CBI headquarters a pleasant environment to work in.

Why was his couch so uncomfortable?

Why did his head hurt?

Why were his arms trapped behind his back?

What on earth was that terrible smell?

Stupid questions ran through Jane's befuddled mind as his consciousness fought to return.

His head hurt because someone had hit him.

His couch was so uncomfortable because he was lying on a concrete floor.

His arms were behind his back because someone had tied his hands together with plastic zip-lock straps.

It was so hot because he was in a metal storage unit. The terrible smell, something nasty was cooking, something illegal. He was tied up on the floor of a meth lab.

And the men were arguing because one wanted to shoot him and the other didn't.

As all the answers came to him, fear kicked in, his heart began to beat widely and his body demanded more oxygen. He had to keep calm, to keep soundless. If his kidnappers knew he was awake, they would make a hasty decision. The longer they argued, the more information he could glean, and the more information he had, well his weapon of choice was words. At this moment in time, his weapon of choice would have been a 45. But beggars can't be choosers. He would have to make do with information.

They thought he was a cop. How? Wait. He needed answers not more questions.

The only reason he hadn't been shot in the back was because they thought he was a cop.

Pot head, for that's what the man outside the warehouse had been smoking, was all for 'popping him one and dumping the body like we did with the other dude.'

Dude. Not girl. Dude. Rosa's new assistant maybe.

The other man, the one who had tried to cave half his skull in, if his headache was anything to go by, was not flying in the clouds, so more practical. 'We kill a cop, every cop in the city will be after our blood, and they wouldn't stop looking until both of us are residing on death row.'

So what were they going to do with him?

They had already killed two. Jane tried not to grin to himself, great he had solved Rosa's murder without even trying.

These two losers had been cooking meth. Rosa must have stumbled upon them in the same way he had, they saw her and her unnamed assistant. Assistant was shot and Rosa took off, running for her life. They had caught up with her, in Rosalind Kelly's garden trying to hid in a hundred year old tree, and shot her in the back. Leaving her hanging, a bright coloured piñata ready to spill out her secrets. The sad truth, if she had been killed in anyone else garden other than the AG's sister, her death would not have been investigated that thorough, too many murders, not enough manpower. The arguing, apprentice drug lords probably would have gotten away with it.

"So what do we do with this little piggy." The speaker laughed high and loud at his own stupid joke. Obviously the pot smoker.

"I don't know, let me think." Mr. Sober. "Is he awake yet?" There was footsteps drawing closer across the hard concrete. Jane braced himself to continue his pretence of unconciousness, ready for the pain of a kick in the ribs or pull of his hair.

A crack of thunder sound immediately overhead.

The noise exploded around the metal box of the storage unit. Jane jumped.

"Back in the land of the living Curly Joe." Pot head laughed again. Jane groaned, not just at the awful joke but so it would seem he had only just woken up. He was grabbed by the shoulders and hauled into a sitting position. He slumped forward, his chin resting on his chest. Pot head grabbed a handful of hair and yanked Jane's head up. Looking him straight in the eyes.

"Okay cop, why were you sniffing around?"

"I was trying to get a signal." Pot head looked over the top of Jane's head at Mr. Sober standing behind him. Mr. Sober dug a toe in Jane's lower back. "What are you on about?" He growled.

"I was trying to call my girl friend, I couldn't find a signal - the storm - so I was looking for the best spot. The signal seemed stronger near your …" he was going to say meth lab but thought better, "…unit." Jane looked Pot Head straight in the eyes as he spoke, it wasn't as if he was lying, apart from the 'girl friend' bit. Pot Head was high as a kite, if he had been Jane's only captor he might have stood a chance. They hadn't bothered to tie his feet, he could spring up, catch Pot Head on the chin with his head and be off and gone before the man could gather his wits enough to run after him.

Two problems. One, Pot Head's friend, Mr. Sober and two, since they'd sat Jane up he felt so dizzy and nauseous he just wanted to lie back down again. Mr. Sober's next comment only made him feel worse.

"We're going to have to kill him."

"I said that all along. But you have to argue with me, always…" Jane interrupted Pot Head's beef.

"Why?" Pot head stopped speaking and stared at him.

"Because you know everything?"

"Know everything, all I know is someone bash me on the head and I wake up in a meth lab…" he couldn't really ignore the tables full of laboratory equipment, filling the back of the unit. "…with a splitting headache, blurred vision and you two wanting to kill me." He let his head fall forward onto his chest again to emphasis how injured he was. He couldn't look up at the lab rat's faces to see if they had bought his story, but in the sudden silence he could almost hear their brains absorbing this new information. He needed to add one more little piece.

"Why are you referring to me as a cop, I'm not a cop, some great lumbering CBI agent slammed me to the floor just before you attacked me, thought I was trespassing."

"We saw them go into the unit you came out of." Sober had to admit.

"If I was a cop, why did they attack me?" Silence again, the cogs were really turning over. They came to the wrong decision.

"We can shot him, he's not a cop, the other cops won't bother looking into the death too much."

"Yeah." Sober agreed.

Jane swore to himself, he really was off his game, why hadn't he told them he worked for the police, why did he feel the need to lie to people? All he had done was make happy families out of Pot Head and Mr. Sober. They were now both in agreement. Jane would be shot.

"We set fire to this place. No finger prints, no DNA, we'll be home free."

"Yeah, with the chemicals in here, it'll go up like a bomb. Take them forever just to identify Curly Joe."

"Take what we've already made, set up somewhere else. Different town, different state." Yes, Jane had managed to get both singing from the same hymn sheet.

"Okay you got me, I work for CBI, I'm a consultant for the police. You fry me and it won't matter which state you hid in, my friends will find you."

There was no reply to Jane's admission, just the cold metal of a gun barrel pressing into the top of his head, everything stilled around him. He was suddenly aware of the soft patter of rain falling on the metal roof of the warehouse, of his own heart beat, of the quicken breath of Pot Head and the slow, deep breaths of Mr. Sober as he braced himself to pull the trigger.

"Oh crap," Jane suddenly thought, "how the hell did I get myself into this position, again."

A single shot rang out.

Jane slumped forward, the dead weight of Mr. Sober forcing him almost bent double, before he managed to roll out from under the corpse.

Pot Head moved quickly for someone so high. He stooped, grabbed up the gun, and sprinted towards the exit, firing bullets in random directions. Another shot. The running feet stopped. The shooting stopped. Only the sound of the, now torrential, rain on the metal roof, filled the void.

Jane stayed laying on the ground, his eyes tight shut, he didn't want to experience anything. He wanted to fall unconscious and wake up in a plain white room. A life time of voicing your feelings and macramé was a hundred times better than what he had just experienced.

Footsteps running towards him. Someone speaking, but his brain wouldn't let him hear the words. The plastic strapping confining his hands was cut, causing him new pain as his arms, now free, decided to protest about the unnatural position they had been in for hours. Hands were rubbing at his wrists, massaging the blood flow into his arms. Gently probing the bump on the back of his head. His brain finally allowed all his senses to return, sound suddenly crashed in on him, the raging storm outside, the distance sound of police sirens, his harsh ragging breathing, Teresa Lisbon's worried voice. "Jane, I need to get you to hospital." Self-preservation kicked in, his self-preservation that would stop him from being bundled into an ambulance and taken to hell on earth, the local hospital, any hospital. He gingerly pulled himself to a standing, slightly swaying position. Allowing Lisbon to steady him, concentrating so much on staying upright he had ignored her words, tuning back in for the end of the sentence.

"…shit load of paperwork." The profanity shocked him into looking down at Lisbon. She had just shot two men. She had just saved his life. He should be down on his knees kissing the helm of her t-shirt in his thanks.

"Lisbon I …" his words were drowned out by the arrival of backup, the sirens screams intensifying as they bounced up the metal walls of the warehouses.

"This place is going to be awash any second with police…" Lisbon comment, still supporting him.

"Next movement in the dance." She scowled up at him, he shrugged and winced.

"Lets get you somewhere quiet." They walked silently through the warehouse, Jane barely glanced at the corpse of Pot Head, taken down with a single shot.

"They killed Rosa and her friend."

"You don't say, I would never have worked that out." He had mentioned it only to try and ease any guilty feelings she was having for taking two lives. Her sarcastic reply told him she was too upset to be comforted by such knowledge, and had already raised her emotional defences. He kept silent, retreating into his own mind and allowed his body to be guided out of the building and sat in the front of Lisbon's SUV.

The death dance began in earnest. Jane watched as more and more squad cars, sirens screaming, blue lights flashing, filling the tarmac roads that interspaced the storage units. CSI, the M.E., drug squad, Jane watched through the screen of the SUV as Lisbon directed operations. A small, slight built, dark haired woman, drenched from the still torrential rain, pointing, shouting, instructing. Lead performer with her uniformed backing dancers.

Jane became aware of the strong coppery smell of blood. He glanced down at the white t-shirt he was wearing, it was wet, smudged black with dirt from the concrete floor he had laid on. He pulled down the sun visor and glanced at his reflection.

His curls were flattened with a blood hair gel. Lisbon's head shot had taken the back of Mr. Sober's skull clean off, she had had no choice. Instant death, there had to be no dying twitch that might have cause the trigger on the gun pointing into Jane's head to be pulled.

He was wearing some of Sober's brain matter.

Probably some skull fragments.

Plenty of blood.

He was going to vomit. He couldn't mess up Lisbon's SUV. Hand clamped to his mouth, he moved quicker than he thought able, out of the SUV, through the shadows and down one of the side alleys. He retched twice but his stomach was empty, he hadn't eaten all day and hardly drank. His stomach was giving up nothing but a mouthful of bitter saliva that he spat out, before sinking to the ground in front of the doorway of another soulless warehouse.

The storm had certainly broken, the thunder and lightening had moved on, just leaving rain, heavy, cold, cleansing rain. Jane stayed sitting on the wet tarmac, head bowed onto his raised knees, arms hugging himself. Allowing the rain to wash all traces of the dead drug dealer from his body. Cold, tired, concussed, weakened from the night's events, the locks on his memory palace sprung open. He was swamped with all the memories he had tried all day to bury. The small antique shop where his wife had spied the white wrought iron shelving unit, the identical white plant pots she just had to have to match. The oak bench, the white wicker furniture. All of it, every shopping trip, every comment that had been made. All the memories tumbled out, he could remember everything, what she had been wearing, what they had eaten for lunch on which shopping trip. The joy of an amazing memory, you remember everything, the curse of an amazing memory, you remember everything.

Buying the pink teddy bear. It was one memory too many. He started to cry, to sob silently, hunched over, drenched from the storm, he began to break.

Lisbon was running out of steam. The adrenaline rush from finding, then saving, Jane had kept her going until now, she had no time to think of the two men she had shot. If she had spent time thinking before she had taken the first shot it would be Jane's corspe being removed in the black body bag. If she had turned over and gone to sleep when she hadn't be able to get Jane on his cell, the outcome would have been a lot different. She hadn't, she had done what she always did, gone looking for him, even though part of her had been so angry he hadn't told her the truth, she had worried and fretted, tried ringing again before getting dressed and driving back to the storage units.

His cell phone was discarded on the tarmac a distance away from his own unit. At two in the morning it hadn't taken Einstein to work out which warehouse he was in, the only one with light still showing under the door.

A member of the public would have knocked politely, opened the door and called hello.

Lisbon was a police officer, a Senior Agent with CBI. She didn't knock politely or call hello. She phoned for back up, took out her glock and moved silently, through the warehouse. She had saved Jane's life.

Now he was missing again.

He couldn't just stay in the SUV like she had asked him. No, he had to wander off.

She was cold, wet through, so tired she was having trouble thinking, and now she had to play 'hunt the Jane'. Typical. It was probably the sight of the ambulance she had call for him. He was such a coward where medical help was concerned.

The door of the SUV had been left open, now the passenger seat was wet. She opened her mouth to call his name then thought better of it. He wouldn't answer.

It took her twenty minutes to find him. At first, in the dark, she had walked past the crouched shape, the preliminary glance she gave to the doorway, told her there was a sack in the shadows. Something made her look again and she realised the sack was wearing a white t-shirt.

"Finally," she moved towards him meaning to give vent to her simmering rage, stopping dead in her tracks as she read his body language. He was crying. Sitting in the rain, his head hidden by folded arms rest on raised knees, sobbing.

She had never seen Jane cry before. She didn't know how to handle such displays of emotion. Her first reaction was to return to the water sodden SUV and wait until he felt better and came looking for her. Silently, she turned on her heels and moved away.

She returned minutes later with a red blanket taken from the ambulance still waiting for its reluctant patient.

Jane was aware that someone was placing a blanket around his shoulders. Small hands tucking it into nooks and crevices of his folded body to stop it falling off. Lisbon's hands. The rain was tailing off, the blanket was warm and welcoming. Lisbon stayed crouching beside him, fussing un-necessarily with the blanket, talking quietly to him, telling him what was still waiting to be done at the crime scene, what had already been completely. Nothing he needed to be told, but Lisbon spoke with a gentle tone to her voice, the tone used to comfort a crying child, to comfort a grieving relative.

Lisbon fussed a few more times with the blanket, please to note that Jane seemed to be calming down, his shoulders not shaking so much. She left her hand lightly resting on his arm. She continued talking nonsense about the Medical Examiner that had been sent, the drug squad who had tried to insist they take lead on the investigation. Jane found his breathing slowed and the tears finally stopping. He was empty. He felt calm. He felt cleansed. Somehow he felt stronger.

"You need to go to hospital Jane." Lisbon needed to handle this unknown, emotional Jane, extremely gently.

"No ambulance." His voice was hoarse.

"They didn't wait, I'll take you." Lisbon stood up, gauging the situation. "I'll wait for you in the van."

Chapter Nine.

Teresa Lisbon had treated herself to one of her favour meat ball subs and decided to eat her lunch, outdoors, making the most of the beautiful sunny day. Everything looked brighter and cleaner for last night's storm, and although she was running on empty, no sleep in two days, Lisbon was completely happy. The AG's sister was pleased at the quick resolving of her unexpected foray into the nasty world of drugs and murder, and it seemed if his sister was happy, well the AG was ecstatic, Hightower was walking around, grinning constantly and the love came down the line to the worker bees.

"Well that's a lot better for you than the bear claw you had for lunch yesterday." Lisbon almost choked on her mouthful of meat and bread. Jane sat down on the bench beside her and helped himself to her bottle of water. He looked immaculate in a summer weight light grey, three piece suit. Cleaned shaved, his hair perfect with the sun highlighting the gold in the curls. Lisbon thought, briefly, she must have dreamt the broken, white face man she had driven to hospital in the wee small hours.

"Why are you staring at me, did I cut myself shaving?"

"No, no, it just you look…" she almost said perfect, he was vain enough already and she wasn't going to encourage him, "…quite well, considering."

"Well I may not like hospitals but they do have some good pain killers." He grinned like an idiot at her.

"I thought you were suppose to stay in for at least 24 hours." She glanced at her watch. "It's not even 12."

"They took a few pictures of my head, seems I have a extremely strong skull."

"You signed yourself out didn't you."

"Yeah, but I do have a strong skull, very thick bones, I've never broken one."

"I'll remember that, if ever I need to disable you, use a really thick plank of wood."

"You wouldn't bother with wood Lisbon, you'd just shot me." Jane's voice trailed off as he realised what he just said. Lisbon touched him lightly on the arm.

"Are you really alright." She spoke softly, suddenly serious.

"I'm okay, I've got more bruises from Rigsby than the two meth heads."

"You were lucky."

"Yeah I know, Lisbon…" he stopped, glance down at his shoes before looking her in the eyes, "thank you…"

"Jane…" he held his hand up to stop her.

"…thank you for saving my life, thank you for caring." 'And thank you', he thought, but couldn't verbalize, for sitting with me and saving my sanity'.

"My life would be very boring without you Jane, sane, calm, stress free but boring."

"Yeah, I suppose it would be." His guard was down.

"Are you sure your alright, about everything."

"About my things you mean." God he could read minds, she just nodded.

"Rosa was right, why have things rotting in storage, if other people need them. She did me a big favour, I only ever wanted the memories, she put those all in one box for me. The rest, it can go to goodwill, Shanna can kept all the stuff she has."

"Including the teddy bear?" Jane looked across at her, wordless, he licked sudden dry lips, before replying.

"You worked that one out."

"Well you went so white I though I was going to have to pour cold water on you."

"Um, thanks." He was switching off again, but then he smiled, a rare genuine smile. "Somebody should tell her two of the pictures on her wall are worth over twenty thousand dollars." He stood, amused at Lisbon's sudden open mouth. "She could get some air-conditioning."

"Where are you going?" He was moving away.

"Few chores to do." Lisbon quickly collected the remains of her lunch, including the empty bottle of water that Jane had drunk.

"No, we need you back in the office, important case has come in, highest priority." She still needed to keep an eye on him. Jane stopped and frown at her, she had him.

"Yes, really urgent, Hightower needs the best team." It was difficult keeping the smile from her face. "AG's maiden aunt, lost a cat."