WHISPERS

A CSI Miami FanFic

By NiteJasmine

Lt. Caine has been kidnapped by a brutal killer seeking revenge, and intent on destroying him and everything he loves. Fighting for survival, Horatio must find a way to stay alive long enough for help to find him…

Then Horatio learns that the new love of his life, Cassandra Cordell, has also fallen victim to his captor's sadistic hands… is she still alive or has this madman taken yet another love from him?

Rated M for strong language and graphic violence.

I don't own any characters from CSI Miami, I just borrow them on occasion…

3PM - Miami

Carlos Montigo leaned his massive frame back against the large heavy metal desk, one of the only things left in the middle of the large dusty room. He looked around the sparsely lit expanse and a crooked smile came to his face. This was going exactly as he had planned and dreamed about for so long… He wiped his hands on the already bloody towel and lit a cigarette, then took his time smoking it, listening to the heavy labored breathing coming from the other side of the room, and soaking it all in…

This was a perfect location… perched up in the middle of the 8th floor of an old condemned office building. Demolition had been started, but the developer had gone broke, and the crumbling building had been just sitting here for over 2 years. Nobody in the shady area ever gave this old dilapidated building a second thought, it was dangerous, and had become just a part of the landscape of this run-down neighborhood. It was a forgotten part of Miami.

He eyed his prized prey and another smug grin came to his face. The great Horatio Caine was finally right here, right now, and at his mercy. The strong Lieutenant was bound to a small metal chair, by his own handcuffs and several wraps of duct tape. He was bruised and bloody from the beating, but he was definitely not broken… not yet anyway. And way up here, nobody was going to hear the screams…

Kidnapping the savvy, street-smart Lieutenant had been no easy task. But he had managed to get the upper hand by plunging the sedative-filled needle into the back of Horatio's shoulder, and it was only a couple seconds before the drug kicked in and the CSI legend sagged to the floor unconscious.

Once he had gotten Caine up here and had allowed him some time to wake up, he had rushed headlong into a rather long and enthusiastic rout of tearing into his helpless captive with absolute abandon, hammering him with heavy blows, inflicting as much pain onto this man as he could. But, stopping to catch his breath, Carlos had realized that he didn't want to rush this… he had waited far too long for this moment, and he wanted to relish and savor absolutely every second of this red-haired policeman's anguish, before Carlos finally decided to end the trouble-maker's life once and for all. He would have his revenge. For all those years in that hell hole of a prison. All because of him. Yeah, he would have his revenge tonight.

Carlos took a deep breath, tossed his cigarette down onto the concrete floor and crushed it out with the heel of his heavy boot. He toyed with a few of the other items on the desk, Horatio's cell phone, badge, and Sig 9mm pistol. He chuckled, and flung the Sig across the room on the opposite direction, where it skittered across the cement flooring and disappeared from sight. He tucked the cell phone and badge into his jeans pockets. Nice souvenirs. Then he picked up his own gun and slowly strolled back towards his blue-eyed captive again. Carlos realized just how much he was really enjoying this. He was really going to make Caine pay, and pay dearly. And he was just getting started.

"Hey there, Lieutenant Caine," he growled, grabbing at a tuft of the man's red hair and yanking his face upward, eliciting a soft grunt from the restrained cop. "You're not falling asleep on me are you?"

Horatio forced his eyes to half-open, still trying to hide the level of severe pain he was feeling. His bruised and battered body was starting to betray him though. He knew the sadistic man was enjoying his pain, and he also knew with the savage beating he had already endured, that his reserves were quickly being tapped. Horatio knew that if his captor kept up the current pace of brutality, he wasn't sure how much longer he could stay conscious. And losing consciousness was a fairly sure signing of his own death warrant. Once Carlos ran out of fuel for his vengeful fire, Horatio would be finished off without hesitation. And he could only shudder internally at the thought of where this maniac's rage would target next. His son? His team? His love? No. Somehow he had to protect them, no matter what. Through the gathering fog of pain, Horatio struggled to conjure up some means of escape, some thread of a plan, but so far he had absolutely nothing but hope. He knew that that every Law Enforcement Department in the entire City of Miami was out diligently looking for him. He could only hope that one of them would find him, before it was too late.

"I must admit, Horatio," his captor purred to him, "you've held up OK so far."

Carlos leaned in close to Horatio's ear before whispering his words. "But you have a long way to go before you will match how long your pretty little girlfriend lasted."

Horatio's mind spun. No. Not Cassie. That can't be. No...

Carlos intently watched his prisoner's face, knowing he had hit a major nerve.

Carlos released his fist full of red hair with a sadistic laugh, and reached back to drag another metal chair over. Horatio heard the legs scrape against the cement floor as his brain struggled to process what he had just heard. Could this monster have really hurt Cassie? His thoughts were interrupted by another savage impact of a gun butt to his abdomen, causing multi-colored lights to flash in his eyes as he coughed and struggled to keep breathing. His lungs felt like they were on fire as he gasped to pull air into his bruised lungs.

Carlos leaned back, satisfied with the intensity of that little pistol whip, and slung one leg over the seat, straddling the chair backwards. He leaned forward against the low back, still keeping the gun in his right hand trained on the Lieutenant, but draping the other arm across the chair back and settling his chin down, enjoying the sight of his captive struggle for air and trying to mask the fearful panic at hearing his beloved girlfriend's fate.

"You wanna hear what I did to her?" He asked with a joyful grin. "Sweet little Cassandra?"

He paused to let the sound of her name permeate the air. A familiar smirk came to his face before he went on.

I'll be happy to tell you a-a-a-all about it, every detail. Even how long it took her to finally stop screaming..." Carlos paused again, and seeing the clear anguish on Horatio's face, he threw his head back and began to laugh.

The statement had hit Horatio like a ton of bricks. A flood of snapshot images of the last year rapidly flashed through his mind. Cassandra. Cassie. His Cassie. Meeting the tall brunette businesswoman at a fundraiser. The sophisticated shyness of her asking him out for dinner. The lilting sound of her voice as they talked for hours. The brilliance of her disarming smile. The way her eyes sparkled at him in candlelight. The joy of discovering a brilliant, charming, understanding and fascinating woman. The taste of her sultry kisses. The delicious sounds she made in the heated throes of passion. The warm calming effect of her arms wrapped around him… Cassie….

He could not bear even the thought of losing another woman that he loved… so dearly and so completely…

All his mind could keep repeating was no… no… no… He closed his eyes and tried to push those thoughts from his mind. The sound of his captor laughing out loud infuriated him, but there was nothing he could do about it.

Carlos soon quieted down and refocused. Horatio braced himself as best as he could for what he was coming. He now had a new focus… he had to hang on… had to not only survive, but had to save his Cassie… had to…

"She was a strong one, yes?" Carlos smiled. "Tougher than one would think for such a pretty girl."

Horatio stared at the cement floor and tried to control his breathing.

"She could take a lot of hard punches, and still keep fighting. It took a while to really wear her down," Carlos paused and cocked his head, disappointed at the distant glassy stare that his whipping boy had adopted. Maybe it was time to share some of the graphic details. That should get this uppity righteous cop's attention…

"You know, she didn't scream much," Carlos said evenly, leveling his eyes at Horatio's stock still form. "Well, not right away…"

Still nothing.

"But later, after all those hours, the pain was just too great. And she screeched and howled like a scalded dog…"

Horatio fixed his gaze at a single spot on the floor, trying to shut everything else out. Can't let him get into my head this way… Can't…

Carlos began to feel the first stings of frustration. He needed his vengeance fuelled. By fear, by blood, by screams, by pain, by helplessness, anything. He needed to feed off of the raw emotions of his victims. But this damn cop was shutting down.

Carlos spent the next twenty minutes spelling out everything he had done to Horatio's beloved Cassie, in graphic detail. And through it all, the red-haired cop had not broken down. Carlos began to feel pure rage blossoming up within him. Finally, he reached his boiling point.

Carlos stood up quickly and kicked his own metal chair across the room, impacting the far wall with such force that it sent up small plumes of gray smoke and sprayed several small shards of concrete in every direction.

"Do you hear me?" Carlos boomed. "Are you fucking listening to me, you arrogant prick?"

He impulsively wound up and delivered a heavy back-fist, connecting squarely with Horatio's right jaw. It snapped the bound man's head hard to the left, and brought up a fresh stream of blood from his mouth which spattered across the cold floor. Horatio's vision blurred and his head spun, but he managed to keep his grasp on the real world and not black out.

Finally tired of this game, Carlos made his decision. He took a few steps away from his gasping captive, then turned to face the chair-bound man again, reveling in the sight of the cop's pain and helplessness. He grinned again.

"Bottom line is, Lieutenant Caine," Carlos offered through his sinister grin, "your lovey-dovey girlfriend is dead. Yep, dead. I killed her myself when I was done with her."

He waited for the desired effect. And he got it. Horatio gasped softly and hung his head.

It was as if Carlos had hit him with another brutal back-fist. But it touched off an inner rage as well. Horatio gritted his teeth and gathered up every ounce of strength he had. He sat up, and fixed a blazing glare at his captor.

"And you," Horatio fumed through small, ragged breaths, "are going… to die… for that." His piercing gaze never wavered. "I.. am looking… at a dead man."

This was NOT the kind of outcome Carlos wad been looking for. Not at all. This cop was supposed to be sobbing and pleading and utterly broken… OK. Enough of this bullshit. Time for this damn uppity stubborn cop to die. Time to make him pay. Time to get his revenge.

"A dead man, huh?" Carlos raged, "You got it all wrong Caine! I'm looking at a dead man!"

Carlos pointed his gun at the glaring figure strapped to the chair, and cocked the hammer. But somehow, that seemed too easy, too quick. He wanted this cop to suffer some more, not just snuff his lights out.

"You know what… Horatio?" Carlos sneered, "I don't need a fucking gun to kill you." He walked over and laid the gun down on the big metal desk. He began rolling up his sleeves, revealing the massive muscles in his huge arms, and slowly stalked back towards his captive victim. He put his hands on his knees and slowly lowered himself down until his face was inches from Horatio's face. The red-haired cop's icy stare never wavered.

"I will kill you… with my bare fucking hands," Carlos whispered. "And very, very slowly…"

Carlos had just began to stand up and reach for the neck of his captive, when, at that very split-second, there was a faint *click* heard… it echoed around the hard cement walls like a ricochet… It was a metallic sound, like the safety on a gun being clicked… both men heard it… and they both froze…

Carlos tore his eyes away from his prey, and slowly moved his field of vision up from the glacial stare of his captive, to the shaded doorway behind Horatio's back. And he could not believe what his eyes were showing him. No… this was not possible… I killed her… She's dead… dead…. DEAD!...

Carlos moved one hand to his waist, intending to pull his gun from his belt, but when his hand felt nothing, he then realized he had left his weapon halfway across the large room, lying on the big metal desk… well out of reach behind him…

His warped brain raced to find a way to buy himself some time to get to his gun…

"Well, well, well…." He said, slowly standing up and halfway raising his hands in mock surrender. "What have we here?"

The first thing he saw was the business end of a 9mm automatic pistol pointed at his face. It was being held steadily by the figure of a woman standing in the doorway. He immediately recognized the woman pointing the weapon at him… it was Cassie. Cassie Cordell. The woman he had brutally beaten to death before going after Caine. Or… so he thought. Clearly, she had not been dead when he had dropped her seemingly lifeless body into a dumpster, because she was standing in front of him with a fucking gun in her hand.

"Get… away… from him…" her raspy voice ordered. Carlos hesitated for a moment, but then realized that backwards would be closer to his waiting weapon. And that was exactly where he wanted to go. He slowly took a few steps backwards, away from Horatio. The gun barrel pointed at him never moved.

Carlos noticed that she was not being very aggressive… the gun was steady, but her voice… her stance… he quickly took it all in… she looked like a train wreck. Reminded him of Sissy Spacek in that movie Carrie. Only all the blood caked all over this woman was all her own. And her voice was thin and slightly hoarse. Probably from all of the screaming she had done. He took a minute and remembered all the punishment he had dealt her, even tormenting her by telling her where her beloved cop boyfriend was going to die. And he smiled to himself. She was badly hurt. She was weak. She shouldn't be too hard to overpower… not in her seriously damaged condition. A plan of attack began to form in his demented brain… if he could just get to his gun…

"Well if it isn't little Cassie… back from the dead I see…" he taunted, seeing the reaction that Horatio had to her name being spoken. But the bruised and bound cop could not turn around enough to see her, nor offer any sort of assistance.

"Next time I kill you," Carlos smirked, "I'm gonna have to make sure you're dead."

He took another couple small steps backwards.

"There won't be a next time… asshole," Cassie managed to say softly. "And that's far enough." She glanced down at Horatio's cuffed hands, then quickly looked back up at Carlos.

"Keys." She demanded flatly.

Carlos slowly reached into his jeans pocket and produced a ring with 2 small shiny silver keys on it. He held them up and dangled them in his fingers while flashing a half-grin at her.

"Oh, you want these, do you?" He grinned. "Well, you're gonna have to come and get them."

She didn't move.

"What's the matter, little girl?" Carlos teased. He was starting to enjoy himself again. This was going to be fun after all.

"You know," Carlos continued, "I don't know if you've looked in a mirror lately, but you…" he made a show of looking her up and down, "…are one big mess."

He pursed his lips. "Tsk, tsk, tsk… awwww. Poor little baby girl. You must be so tired. That big gun looks really heavy. You're probably gonna drop it any second."

He took 3 more steps backwards, closing a lot more of the distance between him and his own gun.

Cassie's gun did lower, just a bit, and Carlos started to laugh out loud.

Then a single shot rang out, nearly deafening in the cavernous room, and Carlos went down, clutching his right leg. His laughter quickly replaced by screams of pain.

"You fucking crazy ass bitch!" he howled, "You fucking shot me! You shot me God Dam it! Holy Fuck!" He was writhing around on the floor, the blood stain on the leg of his jeans getting bigger very quickly. "Oh, I am gonna blow your fucking brains out, bitch! You and your fucking cop boyfriend!"

"Not gonna happen," Cassie said evenly, managing to increase her volume enough to be heard. "Now I'll ask you again… keys."

"Fuck you!" He bellowed. Then, in one quick motion, he sprang to his feet, turned and lunged himself towards his gun, reaching it with one meaty hand. He fell to back to the floor while whirling around to bring the barrel up to fire…

Another shot rang out, but not from his gun. A crimson stain appeared in the center of Carlos' chest and began to spread rapidly, and he dropped flat on his back like a rag doll, his dead eyes glazing over, staring straight up at the ceiling. His gun and the small silver keys dropped from his hands and lay on the floor next to his lifeless body.

"Cassie?" Horatio quickly called to her as the smoke was clearing. He felt immense relief that the immediate threat was gone, but he knew they both had some serious injuries and needed some urgent medical attention, pronto.

"Hi… baby…" was her soft reply. Horatio's spirits soared at the sound of her voice.

"Cassie, it's OK sweetheart. Everything's going to be just fine now," he said calmly. "I just need those keys…"

His heart fell as he heard the sound of the woman behind him slide along the doorframe and crumple to the ground, the gun clattering softly on the floor.

"I'm… working… on it…" she gasped, her breathing sounding more and more labored. "I… Can't… breathe…"

"You gotta hang on, Cassie…" Horatio said calmly, trying to keep the worry from his voice. "The keys, sweetheart… Just get me the keys…"

Horatio heard small shuffling noises, and quickly realized that she must be crawling. He admired the fierce determination in her. One of the amazing things about this woman he loved was that she never, ever gave up. His spirits were buoyed up again by the thought of getting them both out of here. She just needed to get him those keys. He could handle the rest.

"That's it, sweetheart," he purred soothingly, "just keep going, you're almost there."

She suddenly appeared beside him, half-crawling, half-dragging herself along the floor. She never looked at him, instead keeping her eyes focused and glued to her target, intent and hell-bent on reaching it.

Horatio finally got a good look at her, and was immediately stunned into silence. His breath caught in his throat, and his heart felt like it dropped all the way down to his feet. She looked terrible. She was covered with cuts and bruises and caked with blood. He shuddered to think what she had already endured, and yet here she was, clawing her way across an abandoned building to save him. He cursed himself for being so fucking helpless as he watched her slowly but steadily make her way to her goal. He had no idea how anyone could even survive such a massive amount of trauma and blood loss, much less still even be conscious.

She finally reached the keys, and without pausing for a second, she reversed direction and began to make her way back to him. Horatio swallowed hard, and found his voice again.

"Good job, Cassie…" he urged softly. "Just a little farther my love. You're doing great…"

Just short of an arm's reach from his feet, she stopped, and her body sagged just a bit as she began gasping for air, her breathing coming in short rapid gasps.

"Come on, Cassie," Horatio called to her, more urgently this time. "Come on sweetheart. Don't stop there. Just a little farther… I'm right here… come on… come to me…"

Cassie's body convulsed into a coughing fit, culminating in her spewing up a fairly impressive amount of blood, which she violently spat out onto the floor in front of her.

Her breathing calmed just a bit. "Ugh… OK… better…" she gasped, then resumed her slow trek towards her man.

Horatio breathed a sigh of relief. "Atta girl, come on love…"

She made her way around behind him, and with considerable effort, slipped the tiny keys into his waiting hand.

It didn't take long of Horatio to spring into action. Completely ignoring his own injuries, he made quick work of getting the cuffs unlocked, and ripped the few shreds of duct tape off in an instant. He launched himself towards his fallen captor, and digging into his pockets he came up with his cell phone.

He snapped it open and punched 911, rattling off instructions as he turned and headed back to where Cassie lay, crumpled on the floor behind the small metal chair.

He laid the phone down on the floor, still open, so the GPS tracking signal could be locked onto, pinpointing their exact location. Then he turned his full attention back to his injured love. He carefully moved the chair out of the way and gently rolled her over. He slipped his arm under her head, cradling her as he settled down beside her. The movement brought a small grunt and low painful moan from her throat. But she seemed to relax in his embrace, comforted by his closeness.

"Shhhh…" he said softly, "it's OK now. I've got you. Don't talk, don't move. Help is on the way. Everything is going to be OK."

He brought his other hand up and gently pulled some blood-soaked hair away from her lovely face. She fluttered her eyes open and gazed up at him, her eyes awash with pain, but he could also see her total trust and deep love for him.

He managed a gentle smile, and leaned down and whispered to her.

"I love you…"

She closed her eyes and he lay there quietly with her, hearing the faint sounds of sirens growing louder by the second. Everything was going to be OK.