DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
WARNING: This story contains scenes of bloody violence. Reader discretion is advised.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Awaking with a start from another one of her nightmares, Grayson's copper eyes blinked open rapidly, and sweat dripping down her body as she gasped quietly into the room. Looking around she took a moment to get her bearings before slipping out from underneath a snoring Sonia and padded to her closet. Dressing quickly in track pants, and a sports bra, Grayson sat down pulling on black Nike Shox and tying her shoes before grabbing her IPOD off the shelf and exiting the room quietly. Looking back in she whistled softly for Adonis and Echo to follow her.
After kissing her sleeping brother who was passed out cold on one of their large couches, Grayson wrote a small note for her brother assuming he would wake first.
I've gone running. I have my phone with me. Adonis and Echo came along.
Picking up her keys and cell phone, Grayson lead the dogs down stairs into the garage. Taking her Range Rover out of the lift, the assassin drove quietly to the beach while deep in thought.
Hearing one of the garage doors shut, since some of the windows were open, Jordan sat up looking around for his sister. Walking into the kitchen, he read her note, before crumpling it and throwing it away. Grayson only went running' when she had too many things on her mind.
Sighing and opening the refrigerator, he began to pull out bacon, eggs, pancake batter, and grits. If he didn't do something with his hands and soon, he'd go mad from worry.
The door to his room opened and closed quietly and Calleigh made her way into the kitchen, smiling as she caught her first glimpse of Jordan.
"Morning Bear. Did you sleep well?"
"Not really. Nightmares." He grumbled, pouring eggs into the pan, hearing them steam up; he started pouring the pancake batter onto the griddle, while the eggs and bacon were cooking. Fixing Calleigh a quick bowl of cheese grits to tide her over until the real meal was ready, Jordan turned back to the stove.
Walking over to the young man, Calleigh rubbed her hand against his back. "Do you need to talk about it? What can I do to help you?"
"I have nightmares all the time, though Grayson has more than her fair share, what with her line of work. I only see our parents die again and again, I imagine my sister sees the same, but mixed with the faces of all the lives she's taken." The large Italian flipped over the pancakes, keeping his eyes downcast on the stove, his movements robotic and unanimated.
Reaching out, Calleigh took the griddle out of his hand and directed him to a barstool. "Jordan, I'm not gonna lie to you. I have no idea, what your life has been like, but I can help you though this if you will let me. I'm here for you to talk to anytime."
Sitting on the stool, he placed his elbows on the table, hanging his head in his large hands, trying not to become upset, but failing miserably. "I don't have Grayson's strength for this... "
"For what Jordan. What do you need to have strength for?" Leaning against the big man, Calleigh offered him her strength.
"To watch the kind of family we deserve walk away from us, and never knowing if we'll see them again." He sighed looking down at her tiny form, how could so much strength and passion be encompassed in such a tiny person?
Smiling up at him, Calleigh sighed. "We will always be here if you need us, Jordan. Whenever you get free of your grandfather, we will welcome you back into our lives."
Pulling the small blonde into another one of his large hugs, Jordan buried his face in her hair. He understood how Natalia loved her wife so much. What wasn't to love? Strength, compassion, beauty, and a heart that was big enough to swallow the city whole. "We love you. I know Gray doesn't know how to say it, but we love you." He hugged her tighter.
Swallowing hard, the blonde hugged him back as hard as she could. "We love you too Jordan. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."
"Gray has gone running... I don't know what we're going to say to Sonia when she wakes up and realizes she's gone." He scratched behind his ear after letting her go and looking towards his sister's bedroom door. "She took the dogs, so she could be gone awhile..." He moved around finishing breakfast and sliding it across the wooden island to Calleigh. "Here you go Cousin."
Natalia slowly made her way out of Jordan's bedroom. "Morning."
Calleigh jumped up and offered her stool to her wife. "Morning my love. Can I get you some breakfast?"
Shaking her head, Natalia declined. "I must have a stomach flu, because it's all messed up this morning. I'll just take a piece of toast and some juice, if you don't mind."
Moving around his family, Jordan handed Natalia a piece of warm toast that had just finished and a glass of orange juice, smiling at her. "Since your Grayson's favorite, you get to explain to Sonia where her girlfriend went..." he chuckled.
"Aw gee thanks. How long has she been gone?" Natalia took a bit out of her toast as she went around to get her vitamins.
"About fifteen minutes. She went to the beach to go running, most likely to clear her head since she took both dogs with her." Pulling the vitamins down for Natalia, setting them down in front of her with another large smile. "And you are her favorite."
Calleigh was about to say something when her phone that was in the living room went off. Getting off the stool, she walked over and opened it up. "Hello... Hey Horatio... How are you doing?" She turned slightly towards Natalia, looking at her for a moment before she turned away. "Yes sir... I understand... I can be there in about an hour... Okay... I'll see you then."
Cocking his head to the side, Jordan observed her. "What's wrong?"
Closing the phone, the blonde took a moment before she turned around to face them. "Horatio wants me to go in to clarify some reports. It should take more than a few hours. Can you drive me or do you want Ryan to come and pick me up."
Even though he couldn't shake the feeling she wasn't telling him everything, Jordan nodded. "Let me go change and grab my keys."
"Are you going to call Grayson before you go?" Natalia asked.
"Why don't you call her?" Jordan smiled and handed his cousin his cell phone. "Favorite." He smirked and disappeared into his bedroom.
Opening the phone, Natalia chirped Grayson. "Grayson?"
"Yes ma'am..." Came the breathless and husky reply slicing over the silence of the relative calm of the morning.
"Morning Slick... Listen, Horatio has called Calleigh to go down to the station to go over some reports and Jordan's gonna drive her... Just thought that you should know."
"As long as Jolly Green Giant is with her, she should be safe for the most part. Plus she's going to be in cop central, even though I might not feel safe there, she will." Grayson's voice was still out of breath, but she sounded more relaxed then she had in the past few days.
Smiling Natalia continued. "Are you gonna head back this way then?"
"Only to change... I need to do some legwork... Is Sonia awake yet?" The young assassin sounded a little hesitant.
"No, not yet. Did you want me to wake her?"
"NO! I mean no you don't have too... I'll just text her and hopefully we can meet up later." Her cousin's voice was laced with tension and dread.
Turning around to look at her wife, Natalia's eyebrow arched. "Okay, don't forget that she and I are going to the stables around three."
"I haven't forgotten, tell her that I'm sorry I wasn't there when she woke up... I just needed to get some things off my chest. I will see her tonight." Grayson's voice sounded defeated and faraway.
Making sure that she could see Grayson's bedroom door, the brunette continued. "Gray, do you want me to have a talk with her? I don't mind."
"I started it, so I must finish it." Her voice echoed across the room, several meanings could have been taken. "I wouldn't want you to have to bear that burden for me."
"Grayson, we are family and while you look out for us, Calleigh, and I look out for you. Let me talk with her and I'll see if I can feel her out for you, okay?"
"Talia... I.. I would rather do it myself please." Sighing across the line, she added one more after thought. "I wouldn't want my loved ones doing my dirty work for me, next thing I know you're going to be stealing from old ladies and giving children strange candy..." She laughed quietly before ending the chirp.
"Real funny there Grayson." Natalia muttered before she turned to Calleigh.
Pulling her wife into her arms, Natalia pinned her wife between her own body and the countertop. Natalia leaned forward kissing her softly for a few stolen moments, then she leaned back to look into shimmering jade eyes. "Horatio must need something important Cal."
Keeping an eye peeled for Jordan, Calleigh whispered. "He said that he wants to talk about Jordan Jeffries."
Her eyes widening in shock, Natalia grasped Calleigh's hands in her own. "What are you going to tell him baby?"
Shaking her head, Calleigh answered. "I don't know. I'll just see what he has to say and go one from there. I just need to find out what he knows."
Rubbing her wife's back, Natalia bit her lip thinking. "It's a federal matter, he can't know that much. When we talked last, he asked about Jordan. Apparently, his alias is listed as well as his real name." Natalia looked back at Calleigh.
"Well, the only thing that I will tell him is to confirm or deny what he tells me. I need to change clothes before I go so as soon as Jordan get's out, I'll change and then we'll go." Leaning forward, Calleigh reclaimed Natalia's lips with her own. "Hmm, I do love your kisses."
"Good, they're yours forever." Natalia hummed through the kiss, smiling the whole time, Calleigh always had the ability to keep her fears at bay with a simple kiss. After a few moments, Jordan walked out dressed in blue jeans and a 311-band t-shirt, pushing sunglasses onto his handsome face, his index fingers twirling keys in a circular motion.
"Let me go change real quick and I'll be ready to go." Calleigh stole another kiss before rushing off to Jordan's room. Turning to her cousin, Natalia hugged the young man. "You drive careful okay. And call Ryan before you get to the department to have him meet Calleigh outside."
Returning the hug with enthusiasm, Jordan wished his sister would hug him like this. "I will, it's you I'm more worried about." Pulling a can of mace out of his pocket, he placed it in her hand. "Even if you're not sure, just spray anyway." He kissed her forehead softly, and then smiled down at her once again. "You look so much like our mother it's unnerving sometimes."
Rising up on her toes, Natalia placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, whispering. "I think that your mother would be proud of how you're taking care of your sister. I know that I would be."
"I take my sisters philosophy on what our parents would and wouldn't be proud of. We try not to dwell on it because we'll never know what our parents would think of us now.." He smiled and hugged her again before pulling out a water bottle from under the cabinet.
Smiling, Natalia shook her head. "Well, I'm going to believe that they would be proud of you, and I'm sticking to it."
"Hmmm." Was all he said, sounding identical his sister who often made the same noise when she didn't feel like answering someone back. He leaned against the counter waiting on Calleigh. "So you and Sonia are going riding huh?"
Leaning next to him, Natalia answered. "Yeah, thought that we could get to know each other a bit better. Would you mind if she rode Picasso?"
"Not at all...Spending time together which will be in vain... for the most part. I just don't think that Sonia is even right for Grayson, she seems to only want the physical."
Sighing, Natalia had to agree. "Part of me wants that to be true so that she won't be too hurt when Grayson breaks it off."
Calleigh walked out wearing her favorite color, all black. "Ready when you are Big Boy."
"Be still my beating heart, I do love you in black babe." Natalia purred.
"You two are so cute it makes my teeth hurt..." Jordan covered his mouth and jaw in mock displays of pain before kissing Natalia on the cheek one last time and making his way towards the elevator.
Wrapping her arms around her wife's waist, Calleigh held her close for a moment before following Jordan out. "I shouldn't be gone long, I hope. If you leave before I get back, make sure that you take that with you." Nodding towards the pepper spray that Jordan had given her.
"I love you, Calleigh DuVista.." Natalia reluctantly let their fingers separate and she waved goodbye at her retreating wife.
"Right back at ya babe. A whole heapin' bunch." Calleigh blew her a kiss as she jogged down the stairs.
After finishing her standard six-mile run and a call from her cousin, Grayson loaded up Adonis and Echo into the cargo bay of the Rover. Making sure the large window was down, she pulled out into traffic. Fifteen minutes later, she pulled into the Complex, parking the luxury vehicle and letting the dogs out. Whistling to herself quietly, all three souls gravitated towards the elevator, waiting patiently while it rode to the second story. Grayson lifted the gate, her eyes gravitating towards Natalia.
"Morning Sweaty Slick... Did ya have a good run?" Natalia joked as the young woman open the gate. Her sport bra was damp with sweat while the dogs and her pants were covered with sand.
Watching her cousin clean up breakfast that had apparently been delicious, Grayson smiled patting her neck and chest with a towel. "Cleared up some things. How was breakfast?" Her tone was curious, while her eyes once again flickered to Natalia's stomach before back to her face smiling, casually thankful of the reflective lenses on her black Oakley Gascans.
"It was good. Can I fix you something? I know that you must be starved after you run. I won't take me but a moment or two." Natalia offered. "I can fix it while you're in the shower."
"I'm actually starving to tell you the truth, so that would be nice of you, Natalia." Grayson hated to start referring to Natalia in her full name; they had to start distancing themselves from the situation. Her emotions would only cause problems, and she needed to keep that thin veil between them for her own safety as well as Natalia's and Calleigh's. Whistling to the dogs to get them towards her room, knowing Sonia was probably waiting for her already.
"Is there anything special that you want?"
"Whatever you choose is fine for me." The assassin said flatly, waving her hand in the general direction of her body, she excused herself with a short hand gesture.
Pulling open the large vault door to her bedroom, Adonis and Echo rushed in past her towards the bathroom and into the shower, barking loudly making a horrible echo. "Quiet!" She hissed as she pushed the door open further, walking into the room.
"Well, I was wondering what could get you out of bed away from me, and now I see that it's your dogs. That's pretty bad for my ego babe." Sonia purred as she stretched her body out on the bed.
"Actually, I couldn't sleep to tell you the truth... I know that you have to work today, not to mention you looked a little worn out..." Grayson smiled weakly, moving towards the bathroom.
Standing up and walking towards Grayson naked, Sonia swayed her hips in what she thought was an enticing manner as she draped her arms around Grayson's neck. "You forget that I'm going riding this afternoon with Natalia, and I don't have to be at Del's until six."
Gulping hard, Grayson's eyes slid downward before she could stop herself. 'Damn it.' There wasn't really any reason to tell Sonia to back off, she liked her a lot, and she was nice.
Leaning forward, Sonia pressed herself against the young Italian, not caring if she was sweaty. "Would you care for some help in the shower? I'm sure that there is sand where there shouldn't be."
Stumbling over her own words, all Grayson could do was stare, what the hell was wrong with her? Women weren't anything new to her; she'd be a lesbian for years. Why all of a sudden did she start becoming so distracted by this girl in particular? The Italians hands slid up Sonia's back, marveling at the smooth texture. "Um... I mean... I guess I am a little dirty..." Grayson's blushed at the implication of her own words.
Leaning forward to run her tongue over Grayson's neck, Sonia murmured. "Baby, you can be as dirty as you want with me."
Taking Sonia by the hand, Grayson lead her backwards into the bathroom, kissing her softly the whole time. Breaking the kiss, she began to trail her lips down Sonia's neck. "Undress me." Her voice was deep and gruff, just the barest tinge of lust tainting her deep voice.
Reaching down, Sonia hooked her fingers underneath the sweaty sports bra and tugged upwards, allowing Gray's breasts to spring free. Her eyes darken as the nipples harden as she watched.
"I guess it's lucky for you I'm an exhibitionist in the purest sense of the word." Grayson backed up, deciding to see what Sonia was really made of. Peeling herself out of a thong and track pants, Grayson stood in all her glory. Again walking backwards, she turned on the shower, letting the cool water temper her over heated skin before turning it to warm. Her eyes never left Sonia's.
Reaching for some of the liquid soap that was left from the previous occupant, Sonia quickly worked up a lather and took a step forward to begin cleaning the body standing in front of her.
Watching Sonia reverently touch her skin like some dangerous god was a little bit of a turn on, Grayson had to admit. The way she traced over her ab muscles, down to her hips, her thighs, even the muscles on her lower back were paid special attention. Leaning her head back, groaning under the water, Grayson pulled Sonia against her. Leaning down to plunder the Latina's lips in a raw kiss.
Snaking her tongue into Grayson's warm mouth. Sonia moaned as she felt the hands move possessively down her body.
Pressing the smaller body in her arms against the wall, Grayson pressed her deadly body flush up against Sonia's. Kissing and biting on her bottom lip before tugging it once and letting it go, Grayson ran her hands down Sonia's chest, her hands gravitating towards the beautiful breasts in front of her. Kneading the soft flesh, her lips were drawn to dusky nipples before she realized it; she tasted them with her mouth.
Sonia pressed as much of herself as she could into Grayson's mouth, while threading her fingers in her head, holding her right where she was. 'Damn this woman has a talented tongue.'
Letting her hands continue to trace over a well-sculpted back, Grayson crushed their hips together. Her mouth began to trail downwards, nipping occasionally, but the bites were followed with a warm tongue and gentle kisses.
Groaning, Sonia demanded. "Put your mouth on me, damn it."
"Don't rush me...." Grayson growled from somewhere near Sonia's hips, as her mouth gravitated towards the inside of her thigh after pushing the limb over her shoulder. Grayson's hands reached up to tease and flick the Latina's nipples before pinching them lightly.
Trying to force Grayson into going where she wanted her to go, Sonia tried squirming to get herself into the right position.
Stopping completely, Grayson pinned her hips against the wall. "Stop trying to control me." Staring up hard at Sonia.
Silently fuming, Sonia pressed her hands against the wall, signally her submission, but wanting to get her own way. There were times that she really wanted to force this young woman, but there was something in her that was scared to.
Smiling before trailing her kisses around her belly button, Grayson dipped her tongue inside before sliding down to kiss where Sonia obviously wanted her to go. Wrapping her lips around her clit, Grayson flicked it softly with her tongue before starting to trace small designs over and over again, her hands on Sonia's hips, lifting her up into her mouth.
Sonia began to move against Grayson's mouth. This is what she wanted. This is how she had hoped that she would wake up, instead of alone in a great big bed.
Slipping three fingers gently inside of Sonia, Grayson stood up, placing herself between Sonia's legs, and kissing her roughly. Growling in her throat at the way Sonia's body seemed to welcome her deeper and deeper with each thrust.
With her hips meeting each thrust of Grayson's fingers, Sonia groaned into her mouth as her hands scratched up her back.
Pushing her hips behind each thrust, Grayson would bring her up high, but back off every time, making her groan in surrender beneath her own sculpted body. Her lips greedily kissed their way across Sonia's chin to her ear. "God, you're so wet..." she growled.
"Is that the best that you got? Come on baby, I know you have more for me." Sonia taunted.
Grabbing Sonia's left leg, the assassin pulled her legs further apart before wrapping the leg around her hip, curling her fingers hard, she began to slam them in and out of Sonia at a rougher harder pace. "Did you have something particular in mind?" She teased back.
Closing her eyes, Sonia bared her teeth in a feral manner. "No... This... Will... Do... For... Now."
Smirking down at the gritting of her teeth, Grayson bit the Latina's bottom lip hard enough to make her wince. "Did I say you could close your eyes?" She found that spot just underneath her fingertips, teasing it ever so softly. She would curl her fingers, and rub upward before pulling all the way out to repeat the motion over and over again, but steering clear of Sonia's clit, not wanting her to tumble over the edge just yet.
"Damn it Grayson!" Sonia thrust her hips harder against Grayson's palm, trying to hit the spot that she needed. Growling in frustration, she reached down to touch herself.
Grayson grabbed the Latina's wrist in her own hand, pinning it above her head. She smiled, sucking the earlobe into her hot mouth, flicking it with her tongue. Pushing her hips harder behind her hand, each thrust lifting Sonia harder and higher against the wall and the deadly body pinned to her own.
All Sonia could do was to thrust as hard and fast as she could to get herself off as it felt like Grayson was going to take her own sweet time in getting her there.
"Stop trying to fight me all the time... just surrender... everyone does..." Grayson smirked again, her mouth devouring Sonia's in a rough possessive kiss. "You wanted a bad girl." Her thumb reached up to rub Sonia's clit in a slow circular motion.
Watching the woman come apart in her arms, Grayson's smile widened to an obscene degree. She didn't need therapy, if she could continue to make women crumble at her hands, who cared? Letting Sonia come down gently in her arms, she kissed her softly before washing her gently and handing her a towel, while she stayed in the shower to rinse the dogs off. Minutes later, she stepped out of the shower on her own, toweling Adonis and Echo down to make them somewhat cleaner.
Wrapped up in her towel, leaning against the sink, Sonia asked. "Why are you like that? Why do you make me plead?"
"Sometimes the only way I can feel in control is to have someone surrender theirs to me..." Grayson sighed before standing up and walking past Sonia, trying to get dressed in time for her appointments for the day.
Hanging her head, Sonia thought for a moment before joining her lover in the bedroom and began to dress. "Is it still okay if I go riding with Natalia?"
Turning around, she sighed, looking at Sonia really for the first time that morning. "I do not control you in that way Sonia... you don't belong to me like some sort of possession or pet. You're free to do as you wish." She took her face in her hands, making the beautiful Latina look at her.
"I know what it's like for someone to own you in that kind of way, and I wouldn't want that for you... Sonia... I care about you... I don't want to hurt you if I can help it."
Staring into the dark eyes that seemed to change as she watched, Sonia sighed. "That's what you're going to do though, isn't it? I'm not what you want...oh I may be what you want right now, but not in the long run."
Dropping her hands as if burned, the assassin let Sonia say what she wanted, because a part of her knew that no matter what, that's exactly what would happen. She knew she was still in love with Quinn, that much was obvious, but Sonia distracted her. Picking out an Armani skirt suit, with matching heels, Grayson dropped the towel, pulling on dark purple lace underwear and panties.
"When we started, I thought that I just wanted to have a good time, but the more I got to know you, the more I wanted to be with you. I want what Calleigh and Natalia have, and I thought that I might have it with you." Turning away, Sonia reached for her shirt, pulling it over her head.
Dressing in the suit quickly, Grayson pulled her hair into a half pony tail, the lower sections of her hair hanging down while the top half jutted out like Achilles. Turning around, she stopped Sonia. "I wish like hell I could give that to you... I don't know if I can... I'm sorry... Have fun today." Grayson kissed her softly on the cheek before walking out to eat the breakfast Natalia had cooked for her.
Sitting down on the bed, Sonia looked at her hands, wondering what had done and what could she do to get this woman to stay in her life.
Letting the heels she was wearing signal her arrival to her cousin, Grayson slid into the barstool directly behind Natalia, smiling flatly.
Natalia turned around and placed a plate with pancakes, hash browns, and bacon in front of her cousin. "I hope that this fills you up."
Nodding and taking the plate, pulling it closer, Grayson looked at herself in the reflection of the sub zero freezer, and concluded that most of her cuts, bruises and other unsightly marks had completely faded, always thankful for her amazing immune system. "My appetite is legendary." Grayson smiled, thinking of the shower moments before, but it quickly faded to a deep thoughtful brooding visage, her brows knitting together.
Leaning her elbows against the counter, Natalia rested her chin in her hands. "Is there anything that I can help you with?"
Taking a moment to chew the food, she barely stopped the moan of appreciation from slipping through her deep berry colored lips. Swallowing and looking at Natalia, her eyes were burnished copper, intensity crackling behind a guarded facade. It was the equivalent of being stared at by a deadly force of nature. "Natalia..." She looked behind her before continuing. "I like Sonia, but I can't give her what she wants, what she deserves.... I also know what Jordan told you last night. After this engagement, we must part ways..." Her face was a blank mask of indifference, except for the fire burning in her eyes, making them like burning pennies in the morning sun.
"Like we told Jordan last night, you do whatever you have to do when all of this is over, and when you are finished with whatever you have to do, both Calleigh and I will be waiting for you both."
Placing her hands on top of Natalia's, Grayson drew them into her own, holding them gently, she admired Natalia's engagement ring. Both women had fine taste in jewelry, as she'd looked upon both rings several times. Deep down, she knew what it was that Sonia really desired a wife, children, a home, a normal life. Quinn deserved the same thing, so many women before and after had deserved it as well, but it was impossible to tell them the truth, opting instead for a convenient lie. It still haunted her the way Sonia had commented on how she always said the perfect things. Life wasn't perfect, life was messy, it was complicated, and it was sometimes very violent. "This is why I have to leave." Grayson had made sure to say I, and not we. She fingered the wedding ring and smiled at the way it caught the light.
"The women I love most deserve a normal life. They deserve happiness, safety, some semblance of reality that isn't tainted by this horrific world we're forced to live in... Have fun today Mrs. DuVista." Bringing her cousins hand to her lips, she placed a small respectful kiss to the knuckles. Standing up and leaving her breakfast, Grayson reached over, pulling a black Smith and Wesson out of the drawer and sliding it under the suit jacket into the holster. "I have a meeting that will require some finesse. I've delayed this particular course of action for as long as possible. Jacinto will be watching you from afar." Leaving the room in a silent walk down the stairs, Grayson left for the day.
Natalia started to clear away Grayson's plate, when Sonia walked into the kitchen, looking down. "Hey, would you care for some breakfast?"
"Suddenly, I've lost my desire for food..." Sighing and sitting down in the stool Grayson had just vacated Sonia stared at the table top, then feeling her temper start to flair. "It's like she has no soul."
Taking a deep breath, Natalia calmly placed the dirty dishes in the sink before turning around. "Be careful that you don't say something that you might regret later. You don't know anything about her. Have you even taken the time to really get to know her, or are you just basing this on the time that you've spent in bed?"
Covering her face with her hands, Sonia bit her lip, nodding. Taking a moment to collect her volatile thoughts, Sonia tried again. "I'll admit in the beginning, all I saw was a body carved from perfection and a face that could make angels literally cry... In the beginning yes, it was only about time between the sheets. I thought it had turned into something more, I guess I was wrong." Her head stayed down.
Natalia didn't move. "Grayson is a very complicated woman and I'm not sure that she's exactly what you're looking for. Her life is difficult right now, and I honestly don't know when it will get any better."
"It doesn't change the fact that I still want to be with her, despite all that." She replied. "I mean, look at her, can you blame me for wanting to be near her?"
"You shouldn't base any relationship just on looks. Those will fade in time, but it's love, trust and honesty that makes everything last."
"I want to someday fall in love with her, I already trust her as much as she'll let me, but she won't be honest with me Natalia. So I guess I'll just let her come to me, if she ever does." Sonia stood up. "Let's get out of here before I start crying all over the fucking counter top."
Grabbing the can of pepper spray, Natalia followed the young woman over to the elevator, pulling the gate down, and pressing the button. As they got to the ground floor, Natalia walked over to Sonia's jeep. "I'm afraid that I'm gonna have to ask that you drive. I hope that you don't mind."
Walking up the sidewalk to the department, Calleigh felt like she had a target painted on her back. Straightening her posture, she calmly walked in and headed towards Horatio's office.
Standing in the hallway holding a file on an open case, Horatio raised his eyes to meet Calleigh's as she walked down the hallway towards his office. "Good morning Calleigh." He smiled, opening his office door, looking sideways at her.
"Morning Horatio. How are things going here?" Calleigh walked through the door and went to stand in front of his desk.
"Without my three best people on the job, things are not going as smoothly as normal." Horatio walked around her, motioning that she should sit down while he sat down behind the desk. His arctic blue eyes locked with hers, trying to make the situation get a read on the woman sitting across from him.
Sitting down, Calleigh took a moment and cleared her throat. "How can I help you Horatio?"
"I need to know what you can tell me about this Jordan Jeffries."
Softly Calleigh answered. "He's a friend that is helping Natalia and I out with Eric. Why do you ask?"
Sighing, Horatio looked down at his desk for a moment. "It has come to my attention that Jordan Jeffries is actually one of many aliases for Jordan Cerano of the Cerano crime family. This is a crime family that is one of the largest, most lucrative in the world. Their reaches are endless, politicians, police officers, lawyers, judges, foreign officials. They have their hands in every pocket that will take them."
"How did you find this out?"
"Dade County has just received a new smoking gun, or pistol I should say. The new ADA came down to tell me bluntly to keep my nose out the federal investigation, but I asked around anyway." His voice was concerned, both of his hands clasped on the desk in front of him.
Taking a deep breath, Calleigh kept her face as impassive as she could. "Does Jordan Jeffries... I mean Cerano have a record?"
"No, but he does have a sister that does. Her name is Grayson, and she's a professional killer. No charges have ever been able to stick to her because of her family's connections. From what I've been led to understand, is that she's been trained by the best, and she now is the best." Looking at the woman whom he thought as a daughter, Horatio sighed. "Is there anything that you can tell me about either one of them, anything at all?"
Standing up and moving over to the window, Calleigh closed her eyes. "Horatio, I don't know what I can tell you. The situation with Eric isn't resolved yet, but I hope that it will soon be. And I know that I'm asking a lot, but I'm asking you to trust me, trust in me and Natalia and as soon as we can let you know about anything at all, we will."
Cool blue eyes stared into composed green eyes for a moment before Horatio smiled. "Just please be careful, the both of you, and call me if you need anything at all. I'll keep an ear out here and will give you a heads up when I can."
Standing, the older man went around the desk and hugged his friend. "You can always go down to ballistics and see if things are up to your standards while you've been out, if you want."
Grinning, Calleigh laughed. "You sure to do know how to get to a woman's heart, Horatio."
"Just yours Calleigh. Just yours."
After dropping Calleigh off at the police station and watching as Ryan met her at the door, Jordan pulled his Jeep out into traffic. Thankful for the automatic responses driving gave him; he took his time allow what was happening to wash over him. They had a family besides their Grandfather, someone who wasn't interested in controlling them, or using them for personal gain. It was almost a relief at first, but as always, anyone they wanted to be around was a cursed soul. Jordan would give anything for someone to take out their Grandfather, let him die of a fucking heart attack, anything to kill that bastard. Normally Jordan wouldn't even think about wishing ill of someone, but this was another story.
As for Eric and Benedict, they would receive their punishment, no doubt about it. Jordan knew his sister was a complete machine. Half doomed from the very beginning to be a monster in the making. As a child before their parent's death, Grayson was stubborn as a pig at best. After their parents were killed, she became the unstoppable force she was now, but through time, it took her soul, her love, her ability to think beyond logic and go forward with her feelings. He thought of all of her nicknames, since it was traditional that she have one, she instead, had gained several after traveling the world as a professional killer. There wasn't anywhere anyone could hide, if she went calling. In the beginning, they had just called her Jinx, if your paths crossed; it was bad luck for any involved. But of course, with each engagement, came different sets of rules, different demands for the way the targets were disposed of, as well as different countries with different kinds of respect and fear for her. In the Congo, the Amazon, anywhere tropical, they referred to his sister as the Caiman, a saltwater and freshwater dwelling crocodile that could leap out of the water six feet in the air snatching monkeys and birds out of trees. Down under, she was just the Lone Wolf, several men had tried to proposition her in a bar to help her, and she had made it quite clear that was not happening. The Americans just called her The Executioner, for the rest of the civilized world had started calling her the same. Her methods may have been messy for the governments to see, but they were thought out to precision and with her client's wishes in mind. Eric was a fucking dead man, and Benedict would have a piece of the pie if not the whole God forsake bakery.
Pulling into Eric's back alley, Jordan picked the lock quietly after making sure no one was home. He headed straight back to the room Grayson had mentioned before a few days ago. Opening it the same way he had done with the back door, Jordan whistled softly at the display of sheer obsession brought on by Eric's psychotic infatuation. And then it hit him, he'd seen these kinds of photos before, especially the angles. Shaking his head, disregarding the thought as he started peeling photos off the walls, trying his best not to look at them. After finishing stripping the walls bare, Jordan dragged the mess towards the fireplace, tossing it all in after dousing it with lighter fluid, he lit a match, and tossed it casually on top of disgusting display. Fire was always so pretty in his opinion, even in its devastating wake; it was almost simplistic in its beauty. Sighing, he backed out of the house and locked the door behind him. Grayson had asked him to do this, telling him the more they pushed Eric, the quicker he would respond and seek her out instead of the girls. The girls, he laughed to himself despite the current circumstances. Both he and his sister had a nasty habit of having humor at the worst moments. He'd seen Grayson almost throw up from laughing so hard after went into a building with sixty armed guards waiting for her, only to walk out twenty minutes later with her Target over her shoulder out cold and the building ablaze in the light of the early morning.
Taking his time to drive to his cousin's house, Jordan dreaded what he would find; both he and his sister knew things were slowly unraveling in Eric's mind. Grayson and Jordan had sat down a few nights ago, discussing what was making Eric so completely driven to sheer insanity. His sister had expressed that he had dated Natalia previously, most likely to make Calleigh jealous, which had not done a things as they weren't interested in each other at the time, not to mention that if the bullet was heading down instead of just straight through He shuddered at the thought. With the bullet moving down, eventually his reasoning, his basic human need for survival, his ability to feel pain, all these things would disappear. You couldn't reason with a man who didn't have any reason to stop himself.
Opening Natalia and Calleigh's front door, the smell hit him first, a sweet almost tempting and exotic smell. Flowers, his eyes widened, running into the kitchen, he almost threw up all over the floor. Covering the entire living room, kitchen, every visible surface were Carolina Jasmine, Roses, White Lilly's, beautiful, thought out displays. Walking slowly into the kitchen, Jordan noticed the vanilla envelope, flipping it open; he had to shut his eyes as the powerful images rendered him unable to look at them for a moment. Black and white photos were not Eric's style, he like color, the vivid imagery.
Opening his eyes, he spread the photos out on the available countertop that wasn't covered in flowers. There was a picture of Calleigh and Natalia in what could only be described as a very compromising position in the back seat of his sister's Rover, it looked like a secluded park around them. In red marker written across the bottom of the picture were the words "The brunette reminds me of you in all the right ways, but Eric can have the blonde..." Next was a photo of Sonia smiling at himself, they were at Del's for lunch. It was the last photo that made it quite clear who had taken the photos in the first place. It was a picture of his sister, standing in her black silk bra and panties, dripping wet, in the DuVista's back yard, having just gotten out of the pool. What the photographer had written on the bottom of the photograph made his stomach roll again in fear and rage. 'I almost took you right then and there ' The Benedict was back with a vengeance, and apparently, Eric was his new best friend.
"Three thousand dollars for anyone who has information on Eric Delko." Grayson growled, her deep voice bouncing off the sides of the empty warehouse. Fifteen men sat behind a long disposable table, with cigars in hand and beers or bottles of whiskey in front of them. Gang leaders, Cartel leaders, hit men, anyone that would know anything about everyone around them was seated in front of her.
"That's a lot of money for a cop's head." Whispered some man behind her. Her eyes narrowed and before anyone could stop her, she backhanded him hard across the face. The unknown male dropped to his knees, holding his face starting up at her in rage. "Did I say I wanted his head? NO. I want information." Looking up, she locked eyes with each man, making her point very clear. It was obvious these men were terrified of her. Why the hell else would the warehouse floor be swept clean of dirt and god knows what else, just so her expensive footwear wouldn't be ruined. When she'd walked in, they'd handed her a glass of her favorite bourbon. Crooked men were often more afraid of her than the law abiding citizen, but with good reason. "Don't waste my time gentlemen. You know how short my temper is..." Smiling psychotically as her phone began to ring.
Holding out her hand behind her, Tanner placed the cell phone in her palm. "Cerano."
"Grayson! Benedict is back! He's Eric's partner! I went to Natty and Cal's house, he left them flowers! He took their pictures, he's been doing all of Eric's foot work!" Jordan's voice bellowed over the line, making her hold the phone perfectly still. As still as her now quivering body would allow.
"Call Calleigh, get to the beach immediately. I will meet you there." She ended the phone call in a calm deadly voice.
So he had come for her one last time. It had been two years since she'd heard from him last, flowers and photographs were defiantly his style. Her heartbeat almost completely stopped as she closed her eyes, her breath roared in her ears. Everything around her disappeared.
Things had just reached the worst level of hell.
Snapping her eyes open, she grabbed the man she'd just slapped by the neck. "This is what happens to anyone that touches Eric or his partner without my permission." She gripped the back of his neck, bringing the man's face down so hard it split the table in front of them clear in two.
Blood began pouring from his face from various cuts, and pieces of wood jutting out of his face, Grayson dropped him like a broken toy she'd lost interest in. Tanner handed her a towel, and she wiped her hands on looking at each man one last time, satisfied with the looks of fear on their faces. "Make it a cool half a million, and I want him alive."
Leaning against his car on the access road, Jacinto watched Sonia and Natalia walk along the beach with the horses, leading them by the reins. Sonia and Natalia were both stunning women, he thought this blonde had excellent taste in women. The blonde was a bombshell as well.
Looking at the time, he dialed Grayson deciding to let her know he had made to the designated spot to watch her friends.
"Hey Cerano?" He asked when he heard her pick up.
All he heard back was static. Hmm. He hung up and dialed again. Still no answer, just static.
Finally after another try, he finally got through, but her voice was echoing horribly.
"Jac Dangerous Find.." Jacinto stared at the phone.
"Cerano what are you talking about? You're cutting out?" Jacinto called out, maybe if he talked louder, she could hear him.
Suddenly he was grabbed and thrown against the side of his truck. Pain burst along his spine as the cell phone clattered out of his hands.
"Your boss can't help you now." A gruff voice bit out, as Jacinto felt pain descend down his right arm as it was twisted at a horrible angle. "You can however, can give her my regards."
Then everything went black.
Grayson's eyebrows reached impossible levels as she heard Eric's voice over Jacinto's line. He'd found them, and there was no one there to stop him.
Pushing her foot down harder on the pedal of the Ferrari, Grayson heard the super charger kick on, and she pushed the button for the stability control to be off. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw buildings, people, and street signs blur.
Dialing Natalia frantically, Grayson received no answer every time she called. Screaming in frustration, she dialed Sonia, when the phone was finally answered, what she heard chilled her to the bone. "Mmmm Sonia... I can see why your girlfriend likes you so much..." Grayson's vision narrowed and a veil of red was all she saw. "And Natalia... it's been so long, miss me, baby?" The phone went dead and the assassin could feel tears streaming down her face.
"Ryan, I really appreciate you driving me to the stables. I want to surprise Natalia as she isn't expecting to see me until later tonight." Calleigh reached over to pat him on the arm.
Smiling at his friend, Ryan carefully maneuvered between the cars as he pulled into the parking lot, and waited as Calleigh got out and walked up to the barn, and headed for the DuVista stalls. Beltran heard Calleigh's voice, stuck his head over his door, and softly neighed. Walking up to her horse, Calleigh rubbed his soft muzzle and scratched between his ears. "Hello handsome, you wanna go find your girlfriend."
"Hello Miss Calleigh." Tommy the groom walked up. "You just missed Miss Natalia and her guest. They left here about fifteen minutes ago."
Opening the stall door, Calleigh went inside with Beltran's halter and fitted it over his head, then led her stallion out. Reaching for the blanket, she noticed that Tommy was shaking his phone. "What's the matter?"
Closing his phone and opening it back up again, Tommy tried to dial out, but when the call was about to go through, there would either be static or the call would drop. "I can't seem to get a signal, and I want to call a friend."
As she was about to place the blanket over her horse's back, there was a shout and a clatter of hooves. Looking up, she was shocked to see Adonia and Picasso galloping in without their riders. Her heart leaped into her throat, as she realized that Natalia was in danger.
Sliding the halter past an attentive Beltran, Calleigh threw the reins over his head, forgoing the saddle. In a move, she'd only seen Grayson do, grabbed a fist full of mane, and swung herself onto the stallions back.
Barely touching her heels to his side, Calleigh pulled her gun out of the holster at her side, as Beltran tore, off down towards beach.
Leaning the horses down the beach, Natalia and Sonia were silent, each lost in their own thoughts. They had left the trail and had decided to walk for a bit.
Eric watched from up above the beach on the access road, looking down at Jacinto, he kicked him hard in the ribs. The man was out cold, but instinctively curled in on himself, Eric hated criminals. That's why he'd chosen another cop to help him; the cop had wanted Grayson for his own. Which suited Eric just fine, he wanted as far away from that crazy bitch as humanly possible.
Natalia thought that she felt her phone vibrate, but when she pulled it out of her pocket, she saw that it didn't have a signal, so she put it away.
"What wrong?" Sonia asked.
Shaking her head, the brunette answered. "Nothing, I thought that I had a call."
Eric sits on the edge of the beach a moment before putting his rented Tundra into 4wd. He's had her watched a few times and knew that she usually came here alone, but today he had the added bonus of the bitch's girlfriend. He revved the engine out of earshot, and hit the gas, zooming onto the beach, about a half-mile away still, a loaded gun next to him, not his issued weapon.
Picasso and Adonia's ears heard the engine first, and they turned in that direction, alerting the women, whose heads jerked around when the noise finally registered with them.
Grinning, Eric slammed on the brakes, letting the truck slide the last final feet into the sand. Pushing the door open hard, he lifted the gun in the air, firing a shot, which of course terrified both of the horses who reared easily, yanking the reins from the women's hands, before tearing down the beach and out of sight.
Sonia's phone rang, looking for it; she saw it several feet away. Pushing her body away from Natalia, Sonia dove for it. Oh Thank You God, it was Grayson. Pushing the talk button for the speakerphone, she hoped her girlfriend could hear them.
Eric grabbed the Latina by the bicep hauling her to her feet, knocking the phone out of her hand. "Mmmm Sonia... I can see why your little girlfriend likes you so much." He shook her hard before slamming her body into the tailgate of his truck, Eric pulled out a pair of handcuffs slapping them on her wrist effectively trapping her to the truck since the other cuff was now secured to the cargo bar on the truck. He turned and grabbed Natalia by the hair hauling her to her feet, ignoring her cries of protest. "And Natalia... it's been so long, miss me, baby?"
Backing away from someone she didn't even recognize anymore, Natalia began to try to reason with Eric. "Eric... What do you want?"
"It's obvious Natalia... I want Calleigh. You have what's mine." He wrenched her head hard to the side, backing her into the side of his truck.
"Ow... This won't get Calleigh to change her mind, Eric. If I'm out of the picture, she still won't come to you." Natalia pleaded.
"If I get rid of you, there is no one else keeping her from me. That bitch you hired to protect the both of you has an admirer." He grinned, his other hand wrapping slowly around her throat.
Her hands scratched at his, trying to claw them away from her neck, and Sonia was screaming at him to stop.
"He told me all about your beloved cousin, Natalia... he's tracked her for years. He will take Grayson the way I will take Calleigh, any way we can have her." He smiled squeezing slower and slower before releasing her a bit, tempted to hear her answer. He looked at Sonia smiling. "Don't worry honey; I'll take good care of your girlfriend for you."
Taking in a deep breath, Natalia ground out. "You will never have Calleigh. Never. Please Eric, think about this. You don't want to hurt either one of us."
"Actually, it's all part of the plan. Dispose of you, Calleigh is mine, not to mention getting rid of Sonia all fits into his plan. We want Grayson as crazy and as deeply off the edge as we can get her... "He smiled pulling her hair harder, as he pulled out his gun, putting it against her forehead. "Say goodbye Natalia..."
Reaching into her pocket, Natalia pulled out the can of pepper spray and aimed it at his face, turning her head away so that she wouldn't get any of the remnants. Pressing the button, she heard him scream before one of his fist glanced off her head, knocking her off her feet
Dropping to his knees, Eric covered his face, screaming in pain, his eye were on fire. Scrambling as far away from them as he could, diving towards the ocean to use the salt water to neutralize the burning in his eye.
Sonia reached into her hair, pulling out a bobby pin; she knew how to pick handcuffs almost as well as she could pick someone's pocket. Getting herself free, she ran past Eric, pulling Natalia into her arms, away from Eric who was screaming in the sand.
Grabbing his pistol, Eric slammed it into the back of Sonia's head, watching her buckle in the sand. Laughing, he grabbed Natalia again, throwing her head against the side of the truck bed. Her head bounced sickly off the side of the fiberglass, her eyes rolled back into her skull as she went unconscious at his feet.
Eric grinned as he once again brought up his gun and slowly sighted down the barrel. "I'll lie to Calleigh and tell her your last words were of her." Suddenly a shot rang out and ricocheted off the hood of his truck.
Turning he came face to face with Calleigh's service issue weapon pointed at the middle of his face. Raising the gun, he smiled, holding it over his head by the tips of his fingers. "Hey baby, did you miss me?" Laughing at her murderous expression.
"Get the fuck away from my wife, Eric. If you don't, I will kill you right here." Calleigh voice was as cold as steel. As much as she wanted to look down to see if Natalia was breathing, she didn't dare. She knew that the moment she took her eyes off of him, he would try something outrageous.
"Your wife? Let me show you how a real man can change you Calleigh... Besides where's your little bodyguard?" He smiled, backing away from Natalia.
Slowly moving around the front of the truck, Calleigh put herself between the crazed man and Natalia. There was no way that she was going to let him get close to her again.
Just like his partner had taught him, he ducked under her arm, punching her hard in the side, knocking the wind from her lungs and the gun from her hand. When he went to grab her, he heard the yell from across the beach, turning around, his heart stopped as he stared at Grayson from half a mile away.
Calleigh gasped, trying to catch her breath, lifting up her head, she watched as Grayson ran down the beach towards them.
Looking from Calleigh to Natalia, then back to Grayson, Eric completely ignored Sonia, and raced as fast as he could towards his truck, putting it in reverse and flooring it. The wheels spun uselessly, screaming in rage, he slammed his hands down on the wheel again and again, when finally the tires caught traction, catapulting the truck down the beach and out of sight. Finally reaching the trio of women, Grayson fell to her knees, checking Natalia for injuries after she made sure Sonia and Calleigh were fine for the most part.
Scrambling on her hands and knees over to her wife, Calleigh brushed Grayson's hands away, wanting to check for herself that she was alright.
Understanding Calleigh's need to be the one to touch her, Grayson backed away to Sonia's side, holding her quivering body in her arms. "Babe, are you okay?" Sonia nodded, burying her face in Grayson's neck as she began to cry brokenly. Opening her cell phone, she tried to call Jordan twice before it got through. "Get to the beach by the stables. Call 911. I need you here now... I have to leave!"
She closed the phone, looking down at Sonia sadly. "Babe, I have to leave... I can't be here... You'll be okay. Jordan will be here in a few minutes. All three of you go to the hospital, Do Not Leave The Hospital. Do you understand me?" Tears staining her face, Sonia only nodded, confused as to why her girlfriend had to leave them.
Calleigh was holding Natalia's hand, afraid to move her head, in case she had neck injuries. Looking up at Grayson, Her eyes were filled with tears, but as hard as Grayson had ever seen them. "I don't care how you do it; you get that son of a bitch. I want him to experience pain. Do you understand what I am saying?"
Warily walking towards Calleigh to kneel in front of her, she tried to touch Natalia's face before looking back at her cousin's wife. "Calleigh..."
Growling, Calleigh pushed her away. "You don't get to touch her. I offered you myself... all you had to do was to keep her safe. I would have done anything... everything you would have asked, no matter how vile it would have been... all I asked was that you keep her safe. And you didn't do it. What good are you?" By the end of her speech, the blonde was yelling.
"You're right Calleigh. I'm sorry that I couldn't protect either one of you..." Grayson locked eyes with the blonde; she knew she was right. Standing up and backing away from the trio of women she had failed to protect, Grayson took off back up the beach towards her parked car.
"Where do you think that you're going?" Calleigh shouted. "Where's Jordan?"
"At the top of the beach with an ambulance, damn it! Don't leave the fucking hospital if you know what's good for you..." Sneering in a way she really didn't feel, Grayson sought to hide behind the mask she'd spent twenty years building. Behind the mask, she wore her emotions raggedly, her heart was torn open, and it was bleeding all over the white sand around them. She'd failed yet again, to protect the people she loved. Turning away she ran.
Flooding down the beach in a storm of activity, a three man medical team descended upon Calleigh, Natalia, and Sonia. Jordan stared impassively behind reflective lenses, watching all of the commotion, not exactly sure who to go to first. Wishing he had his sister's logical mind, Jordan knew he couldn't quite pull off her cold indifference to the world.
Looking up at Jordan, Calleigh could see the pain that he was feeling in the way that he was standing, even though she couldn't see his eyes. Calling out to him, she bade him to come over. "Jordan, this isn't your fault."
"Then who's fault would it be Calleigh?" He questioned brokenly, his voice not being able to withstand the sympathy in her voice. Shame was all he felt at the moment, he knew his sister must have felt the same, if not worse than he did.
Her lip snarling, Calleigh growled out. "You don't want me to answer that right now."
"And you don't want to know my response." He spit back, just as harshly.
"I don't have time for this right now Jordan. I'll talk with you at the hospital. You will be there right?" Calleigh asked.
"If you're implying anything in that statement I'd be inclined to say something back. But yes, I won't leave your side." It seemed to be an effort to remain respectful to the blonde at that moment. He knew he would feel the same if that was his wife laying on a stretcher, but he couldn't stop the nagging image of Grayson's half crazed face as she'd driven by him on the access road after he'd arrived.
Wiping her hand across her face, Calleigh sighed. "I'm sorry Jordan; I'll talk with you at the hospital." With that, the blonde got into the back of the ambulance and it roared off towards the hospital.
Climbing into the back of Sonia's ambulance, he looked at her wrist that was now wrapped tight in a split. "Are you okay Sonia?" He looked down at her with warm chocolate brown eyes, identical to his sisters.
"Where did Grayson go Jordan? Why did she leave me?" Sonia tearfully asked.
Glaring at the medic, who was trying to escape the massive man sitting so close to the beautiful Latina woman. The paramedic shut the divider giving them privacy. Taking Sonia's uninjured hand in his bear like grasp, he spoke softly to her. "Sonia... She left to protect you. Grayson can't be seen by anyone who could implicate her in anything, I'm sure you've realized she's not exactly the most forth coming person about our past and our future." He looked so lost at that moment.
Closing her eyes in pain, Sonia could not grasp the reason why Grayson had left. She thought that she meant something to her, even if it was just a little bit.
"But I know she'd give a lot of things up, even her own safety, if that's all that was a stake, to be here Sonia." Jordan put his arms around her, knowing the both of them were worried to death about Grayson.
"The only way I'm leaving this woman, is if you shove me out of the back of this damn thing. Want to give it a try?" Jordan arched an eyebrow, letting his massive muscles flex beneath his shirt, hoping it was a scary enough move to frighten the paramedic into leaving them alone.
The man turned back around and Jordan soon felt the vehicle moving. He clasped Sonia's good hand in his and held it the entire ride.
Jordan wasn't allowed into Sonia's observation room since he wasn't family, and even though he could claim relation to Natalia, it would be a huge blunder and a direct flare for their Grandfather to show up unannounced and heavily armed. This was the last thing they needed, so sitting down with a disgusting excuse for a cup of coffee, the large Italian man waited patiently.
Calleigh held onto to Natalia's hand the entire ride to the hospital, softly talking to her; asking her to open her eyes, but she never did. Now she was standing as close as she could to Natalia's bed as doctors and nurses examined her wife.
Opening her eyelids and examining them with a small flashlight, he smiled. "I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass, she's out cold, but she's just unconscious, from what we can tell, she's completely fine except for damaged vocal cords and a bruised bronchial tube." Opening up his clipboard, he wrote down several tests he wanted run by the various nurses milling around him and hooking the woman to several monitors.
"How long will she be out?" Calleigh asked worriedly.
"She should wake up any-" He was cut off by the brunette's eyes fluttering open in a dazed fashion. "minute." He smiled and looked down at the woman. "Ma'am, I'm Doctor O'Conner, please don't speak... your throat isn't in the best shape. Squeeze me hand if you understand me?" Dr.. O'Conner's handsome face looked at her warmly.
Natalia squeezed while looking around the room for her wife.
Taking a step forward, Calleigh got into her line of sight. "I'm right here, baby. Everything is going to be all right."
Natalia's sigh was audible in the room and the doctor smiled at them once more. "I will give you some time to talk...well one of you can talk. the other one can only write..." He held his hand out to a nurse who had retrieved several dry erase markers. not to mention a small dry erase board for Natalia to write on. "Once the painkillers take effect we will be back to run some tests, your partner can stay with you. I do believe a large man outside also made it quite clear when you two are done, he wanted to see both of you."
Quickly Natalia wrote on the board. "Talk To Dr.. Alone Please." Turning it around, she showed them both.
"Natalia.. " Calleigh started, but quickly realized that her wife needed privacy and she needed to put Natalia's needs before her own. Nodding quietly, she kissed her cheek softly before going out to join Jordan in the waiting room.
Looking up and seeing Calleigh walk out of Natalia's private room, Jordan stood automatically, meeting her halfway across the room and leading her to a quiet corner away from the late afternoon crowd in the emergency room.
"She's awake. She has damage to her vocal cords and to the bronchial tube, but other than that, she's fine." Calleigh said as she collapsed into a chair and closed her eyes. "I hate this fucking hospital."
"Sounds familiar. Sonia is being looked at right now, the paramedic assured me for the most part she's fine, but the wrist was broken completely in half. Being handcuffed to a truck bed and trying to reach Natalia apparently did a number on her." Jordan sat down next to her, looking straightforward.
Sighing, Calleigh opened her eyes. "I guess I need to go talk to her, and assure her that we'll take care of all the costs." Rubbing her palms on her thighs, she made like she was going to stand.
Putting an arm across Calleigh's chest, stopping her dead in her chair, his voice was flat. "Grayson will take care of that. We have a system for anyone that's hurt near her. Sonia will receive a large amount of money. She's also incredibly upset about Grayson leaving her. So I don't think she's in the mood to talk either."
Turning her head so that she could take a good look at the young man sitting next to her, Calleigh saw the worry lines, but also saw the hardness in his eyes. "Spit it out Jordan. What are you holding back?"
He turned to look at Calleigh straight in the eye, wanting her to know the gravity of the situation. "I found out whose Eric's partner is. I went to your house to make sure everything was okay since you were in a safe spot for the time being. When I got there, all I saw was flowers; every surface was covered in the kitchen and living room. Also There were three black and white photographs that were labeled for Grayson." His voice was bursting at the seams with stress and fear.
Clenching her jaw, Calleigh took a couple of deep breaths through her nose, trying to calm herself before she said something to set Jordan off. "Go ahead."
"The first photograph was a picture of you and Natalia in the back of her Rover. The second was of me and Sonia talking at Del's the first day she met Grayson, and the third was of Grayson completely by herself, standing outside of your pool, dripping wet in her underwear. At the bottom of that photo were the words 'I almost took you right then and there..' Calleigh. The Benedict is back." Jordan held her hands, trying to keep her still for a moment. He wasn't going to tell her about what was written on the bottom of their picture. They didn't need that kind of stress right now.
"Where are the pictures right now and how in the hell did he get into our house? I thought that Grayson's security was top of the line. Can't she do..." Calleigh stopped herself before she said anything more.
"Quiet. Everything has been burned, from your house and from Eric's. Grayson has put a bounty out on Eric's head, half a million dollars for anyone who can capture him alive or give her information." Jordan snarled at her. "Stop thinking about yourself; Grayson can't even do that. She has to worry about you, about Natalia, about Sonia, about me, about our Grandfather, about Benedict, and Stefan, not to mention Eric is still at large." He bared his teeth. "So think before you claim she can do nothing when it's all she can do."
Calleigh looked at him, silently, trying to gauge him. "You're lying. There is no way that you destroyed those pictures before you had a chance to show them to Grayson. I don't care about the ones with you or Grayson, but I want to see the one of me and Natalia. As for your information, and I want you to think about this before you answer, I wasn't thinking about myself. My wife and your sister's girlfriend are lying in there injured because we trusted Grayson to protect us. It doesn't matter whether or not we're family. That doesn't even begin to come into the equation. We were clients first. We gave Grayson the chance to back out, hell, we gave you both the chance. You could have suggested someone else take over, but neither one of you did. So don't get all defensive on me, I'm just telling you the truth."
Narrowing his eyes, the sunglasses clutched in his hand were instantly crushed under his massive grip. Jordan let loose a long sigh. "I'm not trying to be defensive Calleigh. I'm sorry that all of this has happened to you, both of us are. We are trying our hardest to protect you... It's not enough.. " His gaze narrowed further as soon as he saw Calleigh's boss come out of the elevator and head their way.
"Oh shit, I haven't had the chance to tell you, but Horatio knows about you. I mean, who you are, so if you want to stay, you can." Calleigh placed a hand on Jordan's arm.
"My sister is the only one with the inability to be in a hospital Calleigh." He growled, his natural instinct was to yank Calleigh away from police officers. How futile it would be, since not only was she a police officer, but her wife was one as well, and there were bound to be cops flooding the floor in moments. "Good afternoon Lt. Caine..."Jordan stood and moved out of the way so Horatio could speak to Calleigh directly.
"Mr. Jeffries... Calleigh, may I talk with you privately?" Horatio asked.
Smiling blankly. "It's Cerano, as I'm sure you know... Mrs. DuVista, I'll be over here if you need me.." Jordan left them moving across the room to stand guard by Natalia's door, refusing to move even for the nurse until he looked at her closely.
Watching the young man post himself next to what Horatio assumed was Natalia's room, he then turned back to his friend. "How's Natalia? What happened."
Leaning her head back against the wall, Calleigh closed her eyes once more before answering. "She's okay. She was unconscious for a while, but they say that there's not permanent damage, She does however have damage to her vocal cords and bronchial tube. She's in with the doctor right now."
Sitting beside her, Horatio waited, as he knew that Calleigh would tell him in her own time.
Turning her head to look at her boss, Calleigh finally continued. "It was Eric. He somehow got past Natalia's bodyguard and attacked her." Sighing, she decided to come as clean as she could. "About a week ago, Eric assaulted me in the back parking lot at work. I didn't report it because I didn't want him losing his job, and at the time, I honestly didn't think that it would end up being this complicated."
"We never do Calleigh, we never do." Was Horatio's soft reply.
"Well, when Eric drove off, he left behind a gym bag and it was filled with files. He had our personnel files Horatio. Both Natalia's and mine. He also had Natalia's file from her psychiatrist's visits so he knows exactly which buttons to push to get a reaction out of her. There was also a file under someone else's name, but it was obviously Eric and it showed that the bullet is in his head has started moving, and should be removed. That's what's causing his personality change, he just can't control himself." Calleigh explained.
Sighing, Horatio looked down at his hands as they twirled around his sunglasses. "Where are the files now? I would like very much to see them."
Sitting up and rotating her shoulders to get the kinks out, Calleigh answered. "They are locked up in Ballistics in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. If you really want to see them, I can go get them if you wouldn't mind getting an officer to drive me. I would ask Ryan, but I don't see him here yet."
Standing, Horatio motioned towards a plain-clothes officer. "This is Officer Paul Judas and he can drive you over and back.
A tall man with cold cruel ice blue orbs for eyes and platinum blonde hair, slicked back walked through the crowd of civilians. Officer Judas was a plain-clothes detective, but that didn't stop him from dressing in expensive slacks and a nice dress shirt, his badge gleamed on his belt in the afternoon sun. "Afternoon." was all he said in way of greeting.
Sticking out her hand, Calleigh welcomed him. "Nice to meet you. If you can just give me a few minutes, I'll be right with you. I want to say good bye to Natalia." Turning back to her boss, she reaffirmed. "Horatio, you're going to stay here until I get back right?"
"There's nowhere else I need to be Calleigh. I'll keep a close eye on Natalia." Horatio assured the blonde.
Shaking her hand quietly, Det. Judas kept his eyes glued to Jordan's massive hulking form that was standing in front of a doorway. "The pleasure is all mine, I promise you." The smile he gave her didn't quite reach his eyes. .
Going over to Natalia's door, Calleigh place a hand on Jordan's arm, explaining to him what she was about to do.
Jordan turned to stare at the police officer closely, something about him seemed so familiar. "Grayson is the nurse that just walked in to the room. She's waiting for the both of you." He told her blankly.
Taking a deep breath, Calleigh pushed opened the door and walked into Natalia's room. "Hey Darlin', how are you feeling? Did the doctor give you something for the pain?" The blonde ignored the other person for the moment.
Standing with her back to both of them, Grayson stared out the window at the city lights in the distance. Scratching the back of her head, she looked down at her scrubs and lab coat rolling her eyes, white and pink weren't really her colors.
Natalia smiled back at Calleigh and wrote on the board that she was fine and that they had given her something for the pain that was working well for the moment.
Holding onto Natalia's hand, Calleigh leaned over and brushed her hair away from her eyes. "Are you sure that you're alright? Is there anything that I can get you?"
Kissing the inside of her wife's palm, Natalia shook her head, that she needed nothing other than to have Calleigh near her, which she wrote on the board for her wife to see.
Still holding onto Natalia's hand, Calleigh turned to Grayson. "Okay, what's up?"
Not turning around, Grayson crossed her arms. "The bounty is now a million dollars American, cash, for any information on Eric... or his partner." Her voice went soft at the last part of her sentence, gathering her strength she carried on. "Jacinto is downstairs waiting, we're leaving after I talk to Sonia. He has a dislocated soldier, but he's agreed to help since half of Miami is now under my control..." Turning around, she growled at both of them. She handed Natalia a piece of paper from her lab coat. "This is how you reach Stefan if Eric isn't apprehended by tomorrow morning."
Natalia didn't even look at the paper before she ripped it up. Grabbing the board, she wrote. "I won't call."
"What do you mean that you have Miami under your control?" Calleigh pressed the young woman. "Why didn't you do this sooner."
Grayson wanted to grab Calleigh by the throat and bash her head, but instead she smiled grimly. "Because, as I recall killing wasn't allowed. The rules of engagement have changed as have the flexibility of my constraints. If I can't protect Natalia..what good am I?" The cruel smile faltered a little bit before she turned to look back at Natalia. "If you won't call, I'll do it."
Taking a deep breath, Calleigh tried to keep her own temper squashed. "Grayson, I'm not in your line of work. I don't know the ins and outs of it. What I'm asking is that you explain to us why this route wasn't taken first. It can't be because we didn't allow you to kill Eric. I'm sure that there has been a time when killing wasn't asked for."
"I had to kill four gang leaders this morning that wouldn't hand over their informants in the police department. I need those men to tell me about crooked cops and who's helping Eric." Becoming frustrated with how dense everyone was being around her, she needed the handcuffs off. Without complete freedom, everyone was going to die, these rules and regulations were destroying her ability to do her job. That's what had made her the best, her ability to do anything and everything it took to get the job done.
"Do you want to tell her why you need to know about crooked cops, and have you told her what was found at our house." Calleigh asked.
The jaw muscles in Grayson's strong chin twitched as she looked at Natalia. "Benedict is back. He's been to your house, he's been to Eric's house. That's why I had to come to the hospital, normally I wouldn't risk this, but things have changed. He's Eric's partner... " Internally, Grayson was screaming every word she was saying quietly.
"Tell her about the pictures and why you need to know about crooked cops?" Calleigh pressed her. "No more hiding information. We need to know everything. Give us this and we'll give you something."
"There is nothing from you that I want or that I need, so stop offering yourselves and whatever it is you think I need because I'm done." Grayson turned around striding to the door, she stopped before pulling it open. "Three pictures, lots of flowers, a little reminder of where I stand on his agenda." She turned around, tears streaming down her face. "The first picture was of you both in my Rover, the second was of Sonia and Jordan at Del's, the third was of myself outside after just getting out of your pool. I am scared, I don't know who to trust or who to kill. I am doing the best I can, I just hope it's good enough to save all of us, or at least three of us."
Natalia wrote on the board. "I want to see our pic." She turned it so Grayson could read, as she turned her face towards Calleigh. They stared at each other for a few moments, before Calleigh whispered. "Are you sure?" Natalia nodded her head slightly.
Leaning forward, Calleigh placed a gentle kiss against her wife's lips. Turning to the Italian standing at the doorway, Calleigh spoke two words. "Kill him."
Grayson immediately stopped crying, she looked down at herself, straightening her appearance, making sure, each hair was in the perfect place before she pulled a scrub cap on over her hair and pulled the clipboard off the edge of Natalia's bed. "Any particular way you want him to die?" Fathomless black eyes gazed back at Calleigh's, no emotion, no light, no human feeling was reflected in Grayson's black gaze.
Calleigh kissed Natalia's knuckles before she released her hand to walk over to stand directly in front of Grayson, staring into her black eyes. Quietly so that Natalia couldn't hear she whispered. "I don't care how you do it. Just make sure that he knows that it's because he put his hands on my wife that he dies. Don't forget to tell Jordan that we want to see the picture." Turning away, she went back to her wife.
The only sign that Grayson had left the room was the swinging of the door and the soft click as it shut.
Natalia sighed, looking at her wife, the only way things could get any worse were if the twins Grandfather involved himself or Stefan or both. Grasping Calleigh's hand tightly in her own, she began to write. "Talk to me please Cal."
Sitting on the side of the bed, Calleigh looked at her wife. "Horatio is outside and he knows about Jordan. He did some digging around and knows that he's a Cerano. He also knows that he doesn't have a record, and I believe that the only reason that he hasn't pulled him in for questioning is our relationship. Also, I told Horatio everything that I could about all of this mess, except for Grayson, but I'm quite sure that he's figured that out. Horatio wants the files that I have in Ballistics, so he having a plain clothes officer drive me to the department to get them."
Looking down, Natalia took a deep breath and wrote slowly on the board before turning it to face Calleigh. "What if Benedict kills her? What then?"
Calleigh looked down to their joined hands for a long moment before she answered. "Then I turn in my badge and hunt him down. She's family."
Shaking her head violently, Natalia wrote again on the board. 'Let it go. Revenge has already destroyed one woman in my life, don't let it destroy you too. Be careful.' She looked back at Calleigh, tears streaming down her face.
Leaning forward, Calleigh kissed away every single tear, murmuring her love throughout. "I won't be long. You won't even miss me. Do you want me to get Jordan in here with you?"
Grabbing the front of her wife's shirt, the brunette glared deep into Calleigh's jade eyes. Without words, her message was clearly conveyed I MEAN IT. She kissed her passionately before nodding and letting her go.
Placing her hand over her heart, Calleigh whispered. "I love you Natalia." Then she turned and walked out.
Stopping in front of Jordan, she said. "She wants you to go and keep her company while I'm gone. I shouldn't be too long."
Pulling the photographs out of the back of his shirt, they had been folded, but the images were crisp and clear, as were the words. Jordan stared down at her silently, and kissed the top of her head before disappearing into Natalia's room.
Turning towards Horatio and Officer Judas, Calleigh stated. "Let's go. I don't want to be away from her too long."
Calleigh said good-bye to Horatio with a silent hug and a promise of being quick, then both police officers rode silently the elevator down to the parking level. Calleigh followed Judas to his unmarked town car. "May I make an observation, ma'am?" Judas asked politely.
Calleigh nodded wearily, knowing it was most likely something to do with her relationship with Natalia. Turning, she stared into cruel eyes, as the man smiled down at her in a similar fashion. "I hope your wife likes my pictures." Laughing, he brought a taser up against her side, watching her go limp, he then pushed her body into the car, shutting the door silently.
Moaning, Calleigh came to and found that her hands and feet were bound and that there was something over her mouth. Moving her head, she saw that she was in her own home, surrounded by flowers with Officer Judas and Eric standing over her.
"Rise and shine beautiful..." Judas leaned down, squatting next to Calleigh, running a hand over her cheek, tracing over the duct tape he smiled widely. Growling, Eric shoved him hard against the wall away from Calleigh. "She's mine, Judas..." Officer Judas laughed at Eric, smiling again. "Relax you can have her, as long as you help me with Grayson.." His eyes slid to Calleigh's. "I should of known she wouldn't be able to resist two beautiful women."
Calleigh eyes blazed her hatred for both of the men as she struggled in vain to escape from her bonds.
"Stop struggling..." Eric picked her up and threw her onto the couch. "I hate it when you fight me, you know that baby..." Judas smiled at Eric before shaking his hand. "Tomorrow at dawn, we can steal Grayson from Sonia's... I know she has to want to drive that slut home." He looked back at Calleigh in a bored fashion. "Have fun.." He left them through the front door without another word.
Staring down at Calleigh's struggling form, Eric sat in a chair opposite from her, pulling out the same weapon from earlier that day, putting on a silencer. "Your psychotic little bodyguard is going to be taken care of, Natalia is in the hospital with that giant excuse for another bodyguard, and you're here with me... all alone... with no one to interrupt us." He smiled.
Leaning over her and resting the gun on his knee, Delko grabbed several photographs off countertop and held them so Calleigh could see. They were incredibly graphic pictures of the couple doing various sexual activities. "I hope you'll be that flexible with me."
"You know... I don't like it when your quiet." Eric ripped the duct tape off her mouth, laughing loudly.
Gasping as the tape was removed, Calleigh spit in his face. "Go ahead and kill me. I'd rather be dead that have you lay one finger on me."
"No, no, no ... I want you alive and full of fire when I finally get what I've been waiting years for... Calleigh, baby couldn't you see? I only wanted Natalia so you would notice me... I can see you've used her in the same way." He grabbed her by the hair hard, yanking her to her feet, wiping his face.
Calleigh tried a different tactic to reason with her friend. "Eric, stop and think about what you are doing. This isn't like you at all. All of this is because of the bullet moving in your head. I know that you are stronger than this. Fight it. You really don't want to do this."
"That's the thing Calleigh, I really do." He shoved her against the wall, burying his face in her neck, taking a deep breath. "I love you so much..."
Sucking in a deep breath, Calleigh waited until he brought his head back to look at her before she head-butted his nose, breaking it. "Fuck you Eric and your dirty cop friend too."
Dropping Calleigh on the ground, Eric covered his face in pain, walking into the kitchen, he got a dishtowel and put ice on his face, covering it. "I'm trying very hard not to lose my cool and just rip your clothes off... Calleigh. Stop pushing me... or I'll make it last longer... because I'm not going to kill you." Eric hissed at her form on the floor as he sat back down in his chair. "And I promise to do the same with Natalia and Grayson."
Struggling to get herself in a sitting position, the blonde snarled back at him. "You had better do whatever you're going to do quick then. I guess that you didn't know about the million dollar bounty out of your life did ya? I guess that Judas conveniently forgot to tell you that."
Staring hard at the blonde for a moment, he put the gun against her forehead. "What the fuck are you talking about?" He snarled back at her, wrapping a hand around her throat, but not tightening it. "You better tell me everything too, or I'll spend even more time on Natalia than I do on you!"
Grinning, Calleigh answered him. "Grayson put a million dollar bounty out on your lousy hide. Dead or alive... Well, actually that's not true. She wants you brought to her alive so that she can take her time killing you. And just so you know, Natalia and I had originally asked for you to be brought in alive, but after your last little assault, we decided, 'what the hell', and told Grayson to kill you."
Screaming in rage and fear, Eric picked Calleigh up and threw her through the coffee table, making it shatter and her body lay amongst the glass. Staring down at her, he picked up the couch and flipped it over, shooting it with his gun, anything to stop him from killing Calleigh. How dare Natalia demand that sick animal to kill him? He turned around and grabbed Calleigh by the throat, lifting her body into the air, while blood dripped from the tiny cuts on her body. "You wouldn't dare do that...," he growled in her face, but far enough away, so she couldn't head butt again.
Rasping out, she said. "Hell, I'd take you to her myself if I could." Swinging her legs, she caught in him the groin.
Eric dropped Calleigh at once, holding between his legs, the gun skittered across the floor away from him as he lay gasping painfully on the floor. He began crawling towards the gun, as soon as he could feel his balls again, Calleigh was going to scream his name in more ways than one.
Rolling over, Calleigh got hold of the gun and pointed in his direction. "Get the fuck away. You take one more step and I swear that I'll shoot you."
"You can't kill me Calleigh. We belong together..." He smiled as blood poured into his nose and mouth, dripping onto the beautiful tile of Calleigh and Natalia's home.
"Take a step and find out. Please. Take a step." Calleigh whispered.
"Actually I believe the duty of killing him falls to me, Calleigh." Grayson's whiskey and honey voice dripped with sarcasm and hate as the assassin walked into the room slowly, her hands clasped behind her back. Half of the woman's face was encased in black reflective sunglasses, even though it was dark outside, she even wore dark faded jeans and a black long sleeve tee shirt that was skintight over a bulletproof vest.
"Damn, Grayson. You take all the fun out of everything." Calleigh's relief was evident in her voice and on her face, even though her aim never wavered.
Walking up behind her cousin's wife, Grayson's black leather gloved hands slid down Calleigh's arm, pushing the gun down, away from Eric. "That's what I hear." She smiled before pulling a knife out of her pocket and handing it to Calleigh. "Here, cut yourself loose, while I reacquaint myself with Natalia's ex-boyfriend." Grayson smirked, her black lenses turning to Eric who was trying to get as far away from the assassin as possible.
Slicing through the tape on her wrists, the blonde quickly cut through her ankle bonds and removed the tape. "Just make sure that you wash your hands after you touch him. I wouldn't want you catching any diseases. And if you don't mid, try to make this as bloodless as possible. I have enough to clean up as it is." Calleigh grinned.
Grayson grabbed Eric by the hair, slamming his face into the marble countertop and then dropping him onto the floor before taking a towel and wiping the blood off the counter. Smiling. "Eric... Eric... Eric... You made a huge mistake attacking a woman." She kicked him hard in the balls laughing. "You made an even bigger mistake attacking my brother... and Natalia." She wrapped on hand around his throat, putting her knee in his chest, she flipped a butterfly knife open, holding it to his only eye that wasn't covered by an eye patch. "And now you're in league with the man that killed my parents tisk, tisk, tisk, bad choices pig, bad choices." She smiled down cruelly.
Getting up off the floor, Calleigh sat down in the chair that Eric had previously sat in. Leaning back, she extended her legs and crossed them at the ankles while steepling her fingers. "Show me how it's done Grayson. Make him squeal like the pig that he is."
Turning to look back at Eric's terrified face, she heard Natalia's voice in her ears. She saw Calleigh's face after seeing Natalia in the hospital, so tiny and withdrawn in herself. She saw Jordan's body laying in the dirt, this had all stemmed from violence, and it was wrong. It was wrong. Turning back around, she looked at the almost gleeful look on the blonde's face, she stood up, letting Eric go.
"It's wrong Calleigh, he should pay for what he's done, but there are so many things in life that are worse than death." She never looked back at Calleigh, choosing instead to stand over Eric, who was still trying to crawl away from her.
"Thank you." Floated on the nighttime air.
Walking away from Eric, she missed him scrambling towards the backdoor and out of the house. Growling, she whipped around as she heard him stumble outside. "Damn it!" she looked back at Calleigh and the blood trickling all over the floor. "Stay here! I WILL COME BACK!" She promised, chasing Eric through the backyard.
All Calleigh could do was to lean her head back against the back of the chair, letting her body sag in relief.
Chasing Eric through the backyard and over the back of the fence, Grayson wasn't quick enough to stop Eric from reversing out of the driveway in a protest of rubber. She pulled a small throwing star out of her back pocket and flipped the tiny switch on the back. She flung the star, watching in satisfaction as it embedded itself in the back of Eric's vehicle. The tracking node blinked as it started to report a signal as Eric drove away. Sighing in frustration that she still didn't have that crazy bastard, she chirped Tanner. "Follow the signal coordinates I'm going to send you. Detain him, don't kill him. I'll see you soon." She ended the chirp bursting through the DuVista's front door and looking for Calleigh.
Calleigh was aware that Grayson came through the front door, but for some reason she couldn't seem to lift her head up the adrenaline rush had worn off, and all she felt was tired. "Did ya catch 'em?"
"No, but he's now sending up a pretty bright flare, I managed to land a throwing star with a tracking node into the back of his vehicle." Grayson looked hard at Calleigh before coming to stand in front of her, taking her hands preparing to help her up. Where was all this blood coming from? The cuts are so tiny, she thought. The assassin's eyebrows creased as she looked at the blonde. "Tanner will catch him and hold him for me until I'm done taking you to the hospital."
"Yeah, I need to see Talia... Gray, something doesn't feel right." Calleigh began to slur her words.
"Calleigh.." Grayson held her face in her hands for a moment, her pupils were dilated, her face was pale, and her skin was clammy. She was losing too much blood, but where was it coming from? Grayson thought to herself, pulling Calleigh to her feet, she saw where it was stemming from. The blonde had a massive gash on her right thigh, an artery must of been nicked, Grayson realized. Yanking off her belt, she wrapped it tightly around Calleigh's leg trying to stop the bleeding as best she could before taking a dishtowel and pressing against the gash. She wrapped the belt tighter, before pulling Calleigh into her arms and lifting her up off the chair. "I'll take you to Natalia.. " They were defiantly going to the hospital.
"I love Talia so much Gray... I don't know what I would do without her." Looking up at the dark haired woman carrying her, the blonde admitted. "I love you too Gray, even though I don't agree with your life... But I understand it. I would do the same thing if something happened to Talia."
"I know Calleigh." The assassin hugged Calleigh tighter to her body as she opened the door to her Ferrari, depositing the blonde in the seat. Calleigh wouldn't remember any of this, losing so much blood was like being drunk without the fun or the hangover. Checking her makeshift bandage quickly, Grayson looked up into Calleigh's eyes. Eric would pay for all of this, if not with his life, with his blood on her hands. Grayson shut the door and jumped over the hood like a Duke brother and ripped open the driver's side door before peeling out of the driveway in a cloud of smoke.
In minutes they were at the hospital with Jordan standing outside, thankfully Horatio was upstairs with Natalia. Grayson opened the passenger side door. "Calleigh, Jordan is going to take you to Natalia. I will see you later okay?" Grayson lifted the blonde into her arms and began walking towards Jordan standing outside with Dr. O'Conner who was waiting impatiently for his next patient.
Calleigh looked over at the Italian woman. "Grayson, promise me that you'll be careful. Talia deserves to have all of her family around her, and she loves you very much."
Handing her cousin-in-law easily into Jordan's arms, she turned to the Dr.. "Bryan, listen... tell them both, after she wakes up... not to leave the hospital without Jordan or their boss. Okay?" The doctor put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it lightly. "Remember, call if your injured, I can be there in an hour to fix you up okay?" He patted her shoulder lightly while she nodded back at him before taking the blonde's hand. Speaking quietly in the blonde's ear, she whispered. "Take care of my family." Leaning back, she squeezed it tightly and then let it go disappearing into the night.
Horatio and Natalia were startled as Natalia's door was pushed open and a bed was wheeled in. "I'm sorry, but this is supposed to be a priv..." Horatio's comment was cut short when he realized that it was Calleigh in the bed.
Looking up as Jordan walked in, he demanded an explanation.
Backing away from the police officer since he knew how bad this was going to look. "The cop you had take Calleigh back to the Lab was crooked. He delivered her to Eric..." Jordan trailed off, he couldn't exactly say my sister saved her and brought her here.
Natalia frantically wrote on the board. "Which officer was it?"
Horatio sighed and looked down at the floor. "Office Paul Judas, he transferred in about six months ago. His record was stellar."
"Of course it was." Jordan sighed, looking at Dr. O'Conner, thankful that his sister had so many connections. The doctor locked eyes with Natalia and then Horatio. "The person who brought her in saved her life... twenty more minutes and she'd... well you get the idea." Dr. Bryan O'Conner waved nurses out of the room while he checked Calleigh's vitals as the morphine began to set in and her eyes opened groggily.
Natalia started to get out of bed, pushing aside both Horatio and Jordan's hands to keep there. Carefully maneuvering her own IV , she made her way over to her wife's bed. Tenderly brushing the hair away from her face, she leaned down to place a gentle kiss on the blonde's forehead.
"Hey Talia... I'm home." Calleigh slurred.
Natalia at that moment more than anything, wished she could speak, cursing Eric, she grabbed her dry erase board ,writing down the words she wanted Jordan to tell her wife. "Natalia is right here Calleigh... you're safe." He whispered, holding her other hand in his bear like grasp. Jordan tried in vain to keep his voice from breaking.
Calleigh tried to focus her eyes on her wife, but everything was fuzzy. "Hey Darlin', we need to get a new sofa and a new coffee table. Eric shot the sofa and I broke the table when I landed on it. Man, was it loud." She started to laugh, but as soon as she closed her eyes, she drifted off to sleep.
Putting his hand on Natalia's shoulder to stop her from speaking, just because he knew how bad it must look. "She's fine, other than the large gash on her thigh and a few minor cuts and scrapes. Plus the already fractured wrist. Her body needs rest from losing all that blood, she'll be woozy for the next few hours. I plan on discharging you both in the morning to Jordan's care." His eyes flickered towards Horatio, daring him to argue with his professional opinion.
Turning towards Natalia, Horatio gently took her by the arm, trying to lead her away from the bed. Natalia shook her head and mouthed. "Say it."
Sighing, Horatio glanced over to Jordan. "I don't think that it is wise for you to stay with this man. What do you really know about him."
Taking the dry erase board off the bed Natalia looked at him long and hard before she began to write slowly. Holding up the board, she had written the words 'He's my cousin... from my mother's side. Until one week ago, I didn't know they even existed.' Natalia took a deep breath while Jordan moved to hold her against his chest, gently looking at Horatio with a sad expression. He knew it was only minutes before Horatio pieced together exactly who had been protecting Natalia and Calleigh these last few days.
Horatio stared at his DNA technician and the young man, holding her in his arms, looking back and forth between the two and slowly a look of realization came over his face. "Grayson Cerano... you've been with her."
Sighing, Jordan nodded while Natalia did the same, she wrote on the board. 'She's my cousin as well, in the past week, she has saved all of our lives at least once.' Natalia held it up for him to see while Jordan explained it to him. "A friend of Natalia and Calleigh's suggested my sister for a simple job of tracking down Eric, bringing him to you, and protecting both of them at the same time. Needless to say, she's been over taxed and doing the best she could." His phone began to vibrate on his hip, looking down he saw that it was a text message from Grayson. 'I Have the Target' was all that it said.
Sighing, Horatio knew that he should force Natalia to give up Grayson, but he was actually the last person that had any right to do so , as he had gone 'off the grid', so to speak a couple of times on his own agenda. Looking at the group of people in the room, including the Doctor and the sleeping Calleigh, all he could say was. "From now on, just keep me appraised of the situation, and I will try my best to keep the Feds and the new ADA off your backs, but Natalia, this cannot become public knowledge."
"My sister is the only one facing time, if not a needle. I have no record and I have nothing to do with my families violent and illegal activities." Jordan growled protectively. Sighing, he stuck out a hand to the police officer. "Jordan Cerano at your service Lt. Caine...thank you for taking care of my family in our absence." He made it clear that he and Grayson would continue to be around his cousins.
Taking the young man's hand, Horatio admitted to himself that Jordan seemed like a stand up character. "Son, it's nice to meet a member of the DuVista family. Please keep me informed on Natalia and Calleigh's condition." Looking at Calleigh once more before he left, he stated. "Tell her that we will catch Officer Judas." With that, he nodded and left the room.
Shaking his head, Jordan turned to Natalia and then Calleigh. "No he won't... Natalia... Grayson has Eric." He looked down at her, smiling just a bit. Half of their current problem had been solved.
Slowly Natalia turned in Jordan's arms, looking up at him, her eyes wide. Without thinking, she said, "Really?" Her voice was rough, scratchy, and very low. She couldn't believe that it was finally over.
Covering Natalia's mouth with the tips of his rough fingers. "Don't talk, and yes really. She has to ask him a few questions of course about Benedict and she has to finish what the both of you charged her with." Jordan helped Natalia back onto her bed and then pushed the beds together.
Turning on her side so that she was facing Calleigh, Natalia reached out to take her hand. Closing her eyes, tears gently escaped as she could finally relax completely since all of this started. Dr.. O'Conner motioned for Jordan to go outside. "Just for a moment, and then you can come back in."
Nodding, Jordan leaned over to kiss both Calleigh and Natalia's cheeks, mostly the latter's wiping away tears she couldn't stop. "It's over Natalia..." He left the room quietly to stand outside the door.
In an abandoned warehouse on the south side of town near the everglades, Eric Delko was bound and gagged, hanging from his wrists by a meat hook, a foot off the ground. Tanner Raines sat in a chair a few feet away from the spotlight, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer waiting for Grayson to get there.
Eric thrashed against his bonds, trying to get loose.
Laughing, Tanner blew smoke rings in Eric's face, standing up. "I don't know why you're trying to get away... you brought this on yourself." He laughed, slapping Eric hard across the face. "I almost feel bad for you, almost... does the name Cerano ring a bell?" Tanner blew smoke in Eric's face again.
Eye's going wide, Eric screamed into his gag and started throwing his body around, trying in vain to remove himself from the meat hook.
"That would my reaction as well seeing as how you put your hands on her brother, not to mention two of her friends." Tanner punched him hard in the ribs. "That's from my friend Jacinto." Laughing again, he sat back down in his chair, lighting another cigarette and opening his third beer. "Grayson Cerano will be here in a few minutes so sit tight Officer." Tanner thought better of it and pulled the gag out of Eric's mouth. "Feel free to start screaming even though the real fun hasn't even started yet. No one can hear you... I promise." He sat back down.
"Come on man. I can pay you anything that you want. Just let me go. I have friends that can wipe you record clean. What do ya say?" Eric pleaded with the now silent man.
Tanners gaze narrowed and he stepped up close to Eric making sure to get his point across. "There isn't any amount of money or favors in the world that can save you now." He stuffed the gag back into Eric's mouth when he saw Grayson stroll into the warehouse followed by Jacinto who was hauling a Snap On toolbox on wheels with his uninjured arm. The assassin wasn't wearing the black long sleeve shirt anymore, instead she was in jeans, boots, and the bulletproof vest with a gun strapped to her thigh, her features arranged in a gleeful smile.
Eric heard someone coming up behind him, and he closed his eye in dread. This was not how it was supposed to end up. He was supposed to be with Calleigh in bed, having her scream out his name in ecstasy, not him screaming out in pain.
"Officer Delko... so glad you could join us." Grayson patted Eric's shoulder softly, she motioned for Jacinto to put the toolbox a few feet from Eric's dangling body, she reached up and ripped the gag from his mouth.
Taking a deep breath, Eric spit in the young woman's face, showing bravado that he didn't have. "You had better get started, because when Judas finds out I'm here, he's gonna kick your ass."
Reaching forward, Grayson grabbed Eric's broken nose, twisting it hard, laughing at his scream. "I wouldn't bet on that, I've known him much longer than you have my friend. He's left you to me... to suffer your fate at my hands." She opened the toolbox, looking past the blowtorch, instead pulling out a razor blade and a container of iodine mixed with salt and lime.
"Wha..what are you going to do with that?" Eric stuttered, still trying to get himself off the hook.
Taking a moment to examine the razor's edge, she smiled over the glint of the steel. "Well, I was going to slice and dice you like sushi just for fun. But that wouldn't really entertain me... Tanner... cut him down." Grayson nodded towards his hands, putting everything back into the toolbox and laying her pistol on the top of the Snap On logo. "What?" Tanner stared at his boss. "Cut HIM DOWN." She glared, Tanner didn't hesitate this time, cutting the bonds between Eric's hands, letting him drop to the floor, but pulling a gun to keep Eric from running.
Dropping to his knees, Eric struggled to get himself to his feet. Rotating his shoulders, he loosened them up and held up his hands in a fighting position. "Come on bitch. Let's dance one more time. I beat you once, I can do it again."
Laughing and circling Eric's body like a great white shark going in for the kill, Grayson finally spoke. "The first time I was simply allowing myself to be the distraction." Moving so quickly before Tanner could even lower the gun, the assassin struck out with a kick high to Eric's face, making his head snap back with the force of it. Her next blow was a vicious punch to the side of the temple. Grayson danced back out of his reach, bouncing on her toes. "Power without precision is useless."
Stumbling backwards, Eric shook his head, trying to clear his vision. Hunching down lower, he tried to make himself a smaller target, as he slowly went forward.
Moving silently to the side, Grayson spun around, grabbing him by the neck, using his momentum to slam his face into a steel girder. "Where is Judas..." she growled.
Spitting up blood, Eric turned to his aggressor. "Even if I tell you where he is, you'll never catch him. He likes playing with you... Your pictures? He was drooling over them."
Putting on her sunglasses, the assassin grabbed Eric's arm hard in her grasp twisting it slowly in a specific submission hold she began to crank it back, increasing the pressure bit by bit. "Tell him to get in line... WHERE IS HE?" She screamed in his ear.
"I DON"T KNOW, I DON"T KNOW... He always contacted me. If I needed him, I would text him." Eric pleaded, dropping to his knees.
Knowing a cell phone number was useless, Grayson cranked his arm back as hard as she could, smiling as she heard it snap. "On to the fun then..." She began circling him again.
Holding his arm close to his chest, Eric dropped to his knees. "Please no more. I'll text him for you... just don't hurt me any more... I didn't do anything to you." He pleaded again, spitting out more blood.
Squatting down next to him, the professional killer laughed quietly. "That's where you're wrong..." She smiled impassively. "You attacked my family... that alone is punishable by death." She hissed in his ear before slamming his face hard into the ground, over and over again.
"STOP! STOP! What do you mean your family? You mean that big guy that tried to help Calleigh? How was I supposed to know that he was a Cerano?" Eric beseeched.
"I'm talking about Natalia... and Calleigh." She growled again in his ear, she slammed his face as hard as she could into the pavement, effectively knocking him out cold. She stood up and looked at Tanner. "Did you bring what I asked for?" He nodded motioned to the large gift bag behind the spotlight, next to the table. Inside was black wrapping paper and black ribbon. She laughed. "Perfect."
Making sure to keep the collar of her expensive black pea coat up and over her beautiful features, Grayson slipped on sunglasses, walking past hospital security and several police officers. She silently slipped in past all of them and into the private hospital room.
Jordan looked up as he heard the door close. Seeing his sister, he smiled, standing and taking her in a hard bear hug. "Everything finished?"
Taking off her sunglasses, she buried her face in his chest, sighing softly, she nodded even though it was a lie. Judas was still out there waiting, and watching. She looked up at him smiling. "It's finished." She sat down in the chair, sighing tiredly, adjusting the leather gloves on her hands, her knuckles were destroyed from punching Eric so many times. Jordan nodded and put his hand on her shoulder.
Natalia stirred when she heard their voices. "Gray!" was hushed out before she had a chance to think.
The assassin was by Natalia's side in an instant, looking at the bruises on her throat and the dry erase board, she shushed her quietly. "Dr. O'Conner said you're not supposed to be talking... " She whispered.
Reaching for the board, Natalia wrote. 'Eric dead?'
Brushing the hair out of her cousin's eyes, Grayson sat on the bed softly, taking her hand in her own. "He's handcuffed to Horatio's porch. Alive." Sighing again and looking at Calleigh's slumbering form, she looked back to Natalia again. "If I would of killed him, it would cost you both your careers and your freedom. I couldn't do that to you." Looking down, she waited for her cousin to slap her.
Reaching up, Natalia drew down her cousin's face to place a kiss on her cheek. "Thank you." was whispered.
Touching her cheek in shock, Grayson only nodded. "Get some rest. I need to see to Sonia.." she looked over at Jordan who was waiting by the door.
Quickly writing on the board, Natalia turned it so both her cousin could see. 'You take us to home or to Complex tomorrow?'
"Your home is a mess, you'll go to the Complex while I over see renovations to your home, least I can do after the mess I've made of this situation over the last week." Grayson laughed lightly. "I'll be here bright and early in the morning to get the both of you, Jordan will stay the remainder of the night with you just as a precaution."
'We love you' was written in the board before Grayson walked out of the room.
Walking down the hallway, trying to stay as out of sight as possible, Grayson pushed open Sonia's door, walking into her room quietly, removing her sunglasses.
Seeing Sonia asleep in the hospital bed, Grayson knelt by her bedside brushing a few tendrils of hair from her beautiful face. She then placed a kiss on Sonia's temple sitting next to her on the bed.
Stirring at Grayson's touch, Sonia slowly opened her eyes and looked into tearful eyes. "Hi."
"Baby... I'm so sorry I wasn't here sooner... are you okay?" Grayson wiped away a few silent tears and laid down next to Sonia, wrapping her arms around her waist, holding her close.
"I am now... Grayson, who was that man and why did he hurt Natalia?" Sonia snuggled into Grayson's embrace, but still very curious.
Sighing and placing kisses on top of the caramel curls before looking down at her. "He used to work with Calleigh and Natalia. He was shot in the line duty, and the bullet was never removed. It's been moving around in his skull ever since and he became infatuated with Calleigh. I was hired on a bodyguard basis to protect them from Eric, that's his name. He's in custody now and all of you are safe." Knowing it was a lie, Grayson kept a blank face. Until Judas was dead, none of them would be safe.
"Are you going to stay with me tonight?" Sonia voice was getting drowsy.
"I can't leave you." Grayson admitted, pulling Sonia closer to her body, she knew Dr. O'Conner would wake her before any nurses came in. He owed her several favors, because when his son had been jumped by a couple of gang bangers, she had stepped in to make sure the kid was left alone. Dr. O'Conner had promised that if Grayson ever needed anything that he would be there for her, and so far, he hadn't let her down.
The two women were wrapped in each other's embrace and slept the rest of the night through.
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