I Shot the Sheriff

Disclaimer: Don't own CSI.

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Ch8: Strained Secrets

Finn and Greg sat across from Nigel, as he nervously fidgeted in his handcuffs and chains. Finn knew that Greg wanted to ring Nigel's neck, the usual mild mannered Greg was obviously mad.

"How's my friend Nick?" Nigel asked folding his hands together looking at Greg seeing him get agitated.

"We know, you know who is behind this? Who hurt Nick…" Finn said but was interrupted by an angry Greg.

"Tell us!" Greg said slamming his fists in the table.

"Where's the fun in that? I thought I was helping you guys…" Nigel chuckled as he continued to fidget. "Those in the public eye should be held to a higher standard." Nigel said in a southern accent looking at them. Greg felt shivers go up his spine, remembering Nick say those exact words years earlier.

"Nick's words…" Greg whispered to Finn feeling like he was in shellshock.

"I just want to talk to him… I bet he is feeling quiet down in the dumps, right about now…" Nigel said sitting back.

Meanwhile… Nick wipes his face upset, trying to overcome the waves of nervous nausea that hit him. These people that he thought of like a family were going to not trust him and alienate him just like his real family. Its takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a moment to ruin it.

"I'm so embarrassed… and ashamed…" Nick said rubbing his face. DB nodded finally feeling like they were getting somewhere.

"Nick, you need to put everything aside and think about yourself, and your safety because the people you are trying to protect aren't." DB said and Nick nodded.

"You're right… you're right…" Nick nodded as he fought tears. "I'm going to get sick…" Nick said abruptly leaving running to the bathroom. DB followed him hearing Nick get sick in one of the stalls.

"Everyone out." DB ordered everyone out as Nick stumbled out of the stall rinsing his face. He stumbled back and slid down the wall.

"I'm so sorry…" Nick mumbled as he rubbed his face.

"Let's just start at the beginning."

"You can't tell anyone. I'm so serious, DB."

"I'll use discretion…" DB said and Nick knew that that was going to be the best it would get. "Let's just start at the beginning…"

I was at that stupid mandatory campaign dinner sitting at the bar drinking. Estelle started texting me and we were arguing, which we had just seem to be doing a lot of especially lately. I was started to think that the sheriff knew that maybe Estelle had said something or left something out in the open and her mom saw it. At the dinner I felt like the sheriff was following me around from a far, I caught her stares a couple times. It was just really weird, and Estelle wasn't making it any easier. Then she came and sat next to me just to confirm my worst fears.

"I know about you and my daughter…" She said while ordering another drink. I was shell shocked I didn't know what to do or say, I was caught or rather we were caught except I was in her crosshairs. I just stared at my drink, I was already feeling quiet buzzed, and thought no need to make a bad situation worse. "You're a disgusting pig… my daughter is twenty six…"

"Actually… she's twenty seven… we just celebrated her birthday…" I said smiling, don't ask me why but it was probably cause I had a few beers before this and they were started to kick in. I immediately regretted my words as she leaned closer to me I could feel how angry she was and I knew if we were in any other spot, she probably would have killed me.

"I can't technically fire you over this but I will look through your file and that of the team and believe me I will find something." She threatened, and she got my attention. I was cornered, I didn't know what to do. "Good… I got your attention, if you want to keep your job and your so called misfit team together… you will break up with my daughter." I wiped my face, you have to believe me that I didn't know what to do. "…right now!"

She had got me, I was drunk, emotionally drained with all the problems here at the lab and Estelle. After she told me she lost the baby, she just kept pushing and pushing me away. I wanted to be there for, I tried to be there for her, I really did but she didn't want me too. We were headed for disaster or breakup anyway… so I gave in and called her. It was the hardest phone call that I've ever made. Once I hung up the phone she smiled at me.

"Good work, if you ever go by my family again. I will make this job I living hell and break up your team faster than you could ever realize." She whispered in my ear leaving. I don't really remember too much after that except sulking my sorrows at the bar.

"I was really upset. It just seemed like everything had fallen apart around the same time… I woke up the next morning in her bed, which sealed my fate in scumbag-ville," he said, he wasn't sure how he felt telling DB there was no telling if this even took the target off Nick's back. However DB knew Nick was being genuine but still didn't understand.

"Who's bed?" DB asked.

"The sheriff's…" Nick said deeply ashamed, refusing to make eye contact with DB. He could feel the disappointment in his eyes.

"Did you… did you have sex with her?" DB asked almost fearing the answer.

"I don't know…" Nick rubbing his faces showing his anxiety. "I don't remember and I usually remember stuff like that. I hope I didn't but when I woke up she was pushing me out of her bed, telling me that I had to leave because her husband was home… I really don't think I did though and I'm really not just saying that. There's no way I wanted you guys or Estelle or anyone to find out… I'm sorry…" Nick said hiding his face he was officially spent. He was an emotional rag doll.

"Wow…" DB said trying to take in everything. Nick had been pressured to break up with his girlfriend from her mother and his boss, he had been lied to by that girlfriend, threatened into not speaking, and possibility slept with his boss.

"I thought that this was going to be forgotten. I hadn't talked to Estelle in like three months until I went to the club the night I got attacked. I subconsciously knew that there was going to be trouble after Morgan and I rescued that little boy… I just thought I'd have more time…" Nick said disappointed.

"You still didn't hesitate to go and get him." DB said reassuring him.

"What kind of man would I have been if I let that little boy drown because I wanted to try and save myself?" Nick asked with an extra conviction in his voice. Nick grabbed his head as he took a deep breath and slowly looked back up at DB. "So, what happens now?" Nick asked looking at DB.

"I… I don't know… but we are going to catch this guy." DB said trying to match Nick's conviction.

"I would have taken care of her and the baby, I was so excited and happy when she told me." Nick said quietly looking at the wall as a tear rolled freely down his cheek. He was still in shock, almost denial. "She says I didn't bat an eye when she told me, but inside I felt helpless and devastated. I didn't know how to react… I don't know why she did that…" Nick said covering his face as he finally broke down.

What did you think? Sometimes the fear of what could have been or what might of happened, can scare us more than what actually did happened. How do you feel about the sheriff's action? or Estelle's? or Nick's? Does Nick still have a reason to stay at the lab now that the secret is out? Will his worst fears come to reality?