DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: As always I'm ever so grateful to Ann, thank you for helping me to set my story free.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Genie in a bottle
Sofia put her hands on Sara's shoulders and brought her lips within a whisper of the investigator's. "I've waited for you for so long."
The brunette trembled all over as her senses raced at maximum speed. "I never thought..."
"God, don't you know?" Sofia gasped. "Must I tell you how much I want you?"
Sara moaned as the blonde dropped her hands to her hips and pulled her close. Then, with their bodies pressed tightly together, Sofia brought her mouth to Sara's, and with a groan, she parted the brunette's lips and explored her way hungrily.
Desire swept through Sara's body, and she clutched Sofia's shoulders for support, uncertain how much longer she could stand. No one had kissed her this way. She'd never wanted anyone to kiss her this way; her self-control was her armor, and now she felt it slowly slipping away until her fear was finally able to creep in, putting an immediate halt to her lust.
"No," Sara gasped, yanking her mouth away and pushing the blonde back. With her last shred of willpower, Sofia forced herself to stop.
"Sofia . . . ," Sara begged pitifully.
"I want you, and I know you want me too, please don't fight this, Sara," Sofia whispered, closing the distance between them once again.
Their eyes met in the darkness, so close that they breathed the same air. Sara tried her best to fight it, but the expression in Sofia's eyes tugged at her heartstrings and she eventually gave in, taking everything the blonde had to offer.
With Sara's surrender, Sofia lifted the brunette against her, forcing the investigator to twine her legs around the detective's waist for balance, and Sofia held the trembling woman in her arms as she moved towards the bedroom.
"I'm not done with you yet," Sofia promised huskily as she increased her stride.
"You're dangerous, Detective," Sara murmured, pushing her body even closer to Sofia's as another wave of lust rushed through her.
Sara struggled to focus on the blonde's face as Sofia lowered her onto the bed. With eyes almost purple instead of blue, Sofia looked wild, fierce, and passionate, and that look alone was almost enough to send Sara off into endless space.
A loud ringing penetrated her brain, forcing Sofia to open her eyes.
"Hello," she mumbled, vaguely aware of her own arousal.
"Sofia, it's Jim. I'm sorry to call you at this hour, but it's Sara."
Anxiety slammed into the pit of her stomach, and Sofia felt the phone fall from her fingers as she rolled onto her back, her hand slowly gliding to the other side of her bed and finding nothing but sheer emptiness. It had all been a dream.
On her way to meet Brass at the precinct, Sofia's mind lingered to the moment she had last been with Sara, only two days earlier.
Sara had slowly sipped her coffee, and with no one else in the lab's break room, she'd sat on the couch and stretched her legs out in front of her. Today was her birthday, and although she could care less, it had become a day of contemplation. Life's events had passed her mind's eye, and there was always the memory of that one specific birthday party, the one where her father was killed by her mother.
Feelings of melancholy had overpowered the brunette, and she was lost in her own thoughts, completely unaware of the fuss behind her.
"Surprise," several voices enthusiastically cried out, and Sara had quickly jumped to her feet, spilling most of her coffee onto her jeans.
Not knowing whether she should be happy, sad or mad, all Sara could mumble was, "How did you guys know?"
"As I recall, there was this person who once said to me," Sofia had explained, grinning while making her way to the confused brunette, "you're the detective, go detect. So, I did and I uncovered that today is your birthday."
Before Sara could reply, Sofia had given her a soft kiss on the cheek, totally unaware of its effect on the brunette as a vibrating sensation had made its way along Sara's spine.
Greg had interrupted the unexpected moment of intimacy by grabbing Sara by her arm and pulling her away from the detective, exclaiming that a surprise awaited her at the diner across the street from the lab.
A huge chocolate cake with one burning candle had welcomed Sara at the diner, and the sight of her favorite delicacy brought a smile to her face. She'd shaken off her sad feelings, and her eyes had immediately sought out Sofia's, gleaning understanding that this, too, was the result of the detective's search.
Never letting her eyes leave Sara, Sofia had realized some time ago that she'd fallen in love with the beautiful, but enigmatic, woman, and she still wasn't sure how to act upon her feelings. All she knew was that she didn't want to lose their seemingly fragile friendship.
"I have to go," Sofia had said as she slid next to the birthday girl. "I've got a present for you, but you must wait to open it until you're at home."
The detective had gently taken Sara's hands and carefully placed a gift wrapped box in her palms. Impulsively, the blonde had kissed Sara again, and she'd left without saying another word, leaving a very surprised brunette behind.
Sofia parked her car recklessly at the curb in front of the department and made her way rapidly into the squad room where she found Brass and three other colleagues waiting.
"Okay, people now that we're all here; listen up," Brass started. "Two hours ago, CSI Sidle, was called to a crime scene at the MGM Grand. She never showed up, and her cell phone has obviously been turned off."
Picking up a tape from the squad's lectern, Brass continued "This is footage of the lab's parking lot in which you'll see CSI Sidle leaving." Turning the equipment on, the five of them gathered around the screen.
A dismayed Sofia saw a glimpse of Sara's face from behind the windshield of the Denali as she waited to pull into the street. Signaling to the left, the truck came to a stop after only a few feet. Barely noticeable at the top corner of the screen, the passenger's door was quickly opened, and an unknown person climbed into Sara's vehicle.
Trying very hard to contain her emotions, Sofia flatly pointed out, "All cars are equipped with a GPS so it shouldn't be too difficult to trace its signal." Jim picked up his detective's anguish nevertheless and made a mental note to speak to Sofia alone after he concluded the briefing.
"The signal stopped 30 miles outside of Henderson, and local PD has already checked it out. The truck was abandoned, obviously without a trace of Sara." Brass voiced what the blonde already knew, especially since two and half hours had passed without any word from the investigator, but expressing it herself would simply have been too confronting; Sara was missing.
Miles away, Sara sat on the cement floor of a dark room, her hands tied behind her back and her legs bound together. Panic crept in, grabbing her by the throat, and the brunette desperately focused on regulating her breathing just to try to stay calm.
It all happened so fast. A gun was pointed at her face, and as a result, she'd only seen a glimpse of her assailant. A blunt threat made her think twice about looking at her abductor, even from the corner of her eye.
After a few minutes, Sara regained some control, and in her mind, she drifted off to one of the happiest moments of her life; the day Sofia had given her a gift on her birthday accompanied by a second kiss.
After Sofia had left the diner, Sara had experienced an unexpected loneliness, and all she'd wanted to do was to go home and open Sofia's present.
Finally, in the solitude of her apartment, Sara had carefully opened the wrapping paper. A little card was adjusted on top of the box, and she'd recognized Sofia's elegant handwriting immediately:
"I'm a genie in a bottle;
I can make your wish come true;
All you have to do is rub my belly in just the right way."
Inside the box laid the tiniest decanter made of the most delicate glass-ceramic Sara had ever seen. Tears filled her eyes as she wondered if she would ever find the nerve to express the one wish she wanted more than anything to come true; to share her life and love with Sofia.
Meanwhile, at the lab, a very frustrated Nick slumped into the chair in Catherine's office and, he exclaimed his distress as he slammed a case file on the desk.
"Warrick and I examined every square inch of Sara's truck, and believe it or not, we came up zilch. No hairs, no fingerprints, no nothing. Whoever did this knew what he was doing."
"What about the oil stain and the tire tread found next to Sara's car?" Catherine asked coolly while scanning through Sara's outstanding case files in search of a clue or anything that could possibly shed some light on Sara's abduction.
"Hodges is working on the oil trace, and Warrick is scanning the database," Nick replied gloomily, and with a big sigh, the tired investigator pushed himself to his feet. "I'll check it out," he said over his shoulder, leaving Catherine's office to make his way to the trace lab.
"Hey, Nick," Catherine called after him. "Just hang it there, it's going to be a long day, but we will find her, believe me, we will," she offered encouragingly.
Nodding his head, Nick exited just as Greg came bursting into Catherine's office. "Hey Catherine, look what I found on the internet," he almost shouted as he handed her a copy of a news clipping. "Wasn't it Sara testimony that made this case a slam dunk?"
With a curious expression, Catherine read the headline, 'Child molester slain in prison.'
Ten hours had passed since Sara's disappearance, and Sofia slammed her hands on Brass' desk in frustration. With jaws clenched and a set of piercing eyes focused on her captain, she protested, "You are not taking me off this case, Jim. I'm perfectly capable of handling it."
"Just look at yourself, Sofia, you're not yourself. You haven't been yourself since you heard about Sara's abduction."
"Yes, I care about Sara, and I don't want her to get hurt anymore than she probably already is, but that doesn't mean I can't do my job," the blonde almost cried out.
The ringing of the phone interrupted their conversation, and an aggravated Brass picked up the receiver. Sofia took the opportunity to step away from the desk and purposefully turned her back to her superior, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself.
Deep down, she knew Jim had a point, but he'd have to lock her up before she'd allow herself to be taken off this case. How could she not do everything in her power to find the one person she loved most in the world?
With great effort, the blonde detective managed to dig deep to gain control of her emotions just as the captain completed his call.
"We're on our way." Brass ended the call excitedly. "Come on, Sofia, the guys at the lab may have a breakthrough."
Walking from the room, Brass quickly noticed that Sofia wasn't on his tail, and he turned to find her still standing in his office with an expectant look on her face. Slowly, he made his way back to her.
"Just be careful, Sofie; I don't want anything to happen to you as well," Brass said in a surprisingly gentle tone, and without any further comment, the two detectives made their way to the lab.
The desert sun radiated mercilessly through the window of the room where Sara had been held for the past fourteen hours. The brunette was exhausted; she had cried her lungs out for the longest time, but it seemed she was all alone since no one had come to look for her.
Just when she drifted off to a restless form of sleep, the door was opened with a bang, and Sara abruptly awoke.
"Here, drink this, not that you deserve it," an unfamiliar voice said, kicking Sara between the ribs. A bottle was pushed hard against her mouth, but without a whimper, Sara gratefully gulped down the water as fast as she could.
"Remember me?" the man hissed in Sara's ear, leaving the stench of alcohol behind.
The brunette didn't have a single clue to the man's identity; apparent terror preventing her from forming any type of coherent thought.
"Well, to jog your memory, Miss Investigator, it was you who entrapped my brother, Steve Jackson, but not me, Frank, remember?" Grabbing Sara by the arms, Frank spat, "With your tiny pieces of evidence, ever so cleverly presented to the jury. Ring a bell?"
Forcing Sara to look him in the eye, Frank callously stated, "Now, my brother is dead because of your hocus-pocus-shit, and now, you are going to pay the price."
Back in the lab, Sofia paced up and down the layout room, listening intently to the facts Nick presented.
"Correct me if I'm wrong," Sofia summarized flatly. "You think Sara's abduction is related to the Jackson case based on an oil stain and a tire impression?"
"And this," Catherine interrupted, showing the detective the news clipping Greg had given her earlier. "Going through the Jackson file again, we found these photographs," the strawberry blonde investigator continued.
Brass and Sofia simultaneously moved toward the illuminated table and looked at several detailed pictures of an oil stain and a couple of impressions of tire treads.
"It all matched the evidence we found next to Sara's car," Nick resolutely cut in. "Records show that Jackson owned a standard pickup, but we never found the vehicle at the time."
Catherine breathlessly finished, "We know Jackson has a twin brother, and evidence suggested that he, too, was at the crime scene, but he was never apprehended. Now Steve is dead, and who else is there to get even with if you want to revenge the death of your brother?"
The question lingered in the air, and every one of them knew the unspoken answer.
"How do we know where to look? We weren't capable of finding this Frank character in the first place, and now we suddenly know where he is?" Brass asked skeptically.
Catherine sighed heavily before answering, "We're not sure, and it's a long shot, but Warrick went through several city records and found out that their mother once owned a house near Lake Mead, just outside of Henderson."
"It's all we have; call Vega, tell him to call the others, and let's go," Sofia spoke fiercely, but a tiny voice nagged at the back of her head, almost mocking her, 'What if they're wrong, what if Sara wasn't there?'
Arriving at the house near Lake Mead, Sofia killed the engine of her car the moment she saw a red truck parked next to the house, and she let the car roll slowly forward until it came to a complete stop. She was soon joined by four other detectives, and the group approached the house in complete silence, signaling one another to cover the perimeter.
Inside, Frank Jackson frantically strode the room, expressing his sadistic thoughts freely. "What shall I do, huh? Just shoot you? Or should I rape you first and then shoot you? Oh, yeah, I don't do grown-ups, but I could always use this," Jackson laughed sardonically, waving his gun in the air. "Your choice, Miss Investigator."
Sara didn't respond; she never heard his so-called options, having completely dissociated herself long before her abductor had begun to spout his threats.
However, in the small corridor, Sofia did hear Jackson's horrific alternatives, and without a single thought, she burst into the room, screaming at the top of her lungs "LVPD, drop your gun, you son-of-a-bitch!"
Jackson immediately swung around, his gun pointing directly at Sofia, and the sound of a single shot echoed in the silence of the small room.
Without blinking, Sofia emotionlessly saw Jackson fall to the floor; she'd shot him right between the eyes.
A soft moan caught the blonde's attention, and with two strides, Sofia knelt down next to Sara, gently freeing the injured brunette from her ropes and carefully taking her into her arms as she slowly rocked the investigator back and forth.
"I'm so sorry, sweetie. I'm so sorry," Sofia tearfully whispered.
"What for?" Sara rasped, barely audible.
"For not finding you sooner. I should have found you sooner."
Twenty hours after Sara had gone missing; Sofia slid the key into the brunette's apartment door, gently guiding the distressed woman to her bathroom. Dirt, sweat, blood smears, and urine covered Sara's body, and silently, Sofia helped her to undress.
"Please, don't go," Sara whimpered.
"I'm here, as long as you want me to be," the blonde replied with a choked voice.
After her shower, Sara stood in front of the mirror, slipping her hair behind her ears and taking a good look at her body. A few cuts and bruises covered her ribs and her left thigh. Meeting her own eyes in the mirror, she just stared; she had no recollection of how she sustained any of her injuries.
In the bedroom, Sofia sat on the edge of Sara's bed. She'd ditched her own filthy clothes and had pulled on one of Sara's t-shirts as she waited for the brunette to come out of the bathroom. The blonde felt crushed, the past hours were an emotional rollercoaster, and all she wanted to do was to lay her weary head down.
Sara walked into the room, smiling slightly and asking softly, "Will you stay with me tonight?"
Wordlessly, Sofia slipped into the bed, gesturing for Sara to lie down beside her. When the blonde pulled the covers over them both, Sara whispered, "Will you hold me?"
Sofia turned and drew Sara into her arms, pulling her near. The brunette snuggled into the blonde's warmth and couldn't think of another time in her life that she felt safer than she did right at this moment. Sara sighed and burrowed deeper against Sofia, and sleep overtook the exhausted women instantly.
After a few hours, Sara woke, and without warning, tears began to stream down her face. She immediately reached out and clutched at Sofia for protection.
'Tell me what happened," Sofia whispered in her ear, but Sara only cried harder.
"I'm not sure; I screamed, and I tried to fight him, but he was just too strong. He said something about me killing his brother, and that's the last thing I remember. I was so afraid, and then, then you were there."
Sofia's heart was breaking as Sara continued to weep. "Shhh, it's alright, sweetheart, we're going to get through this, it's going to be alright." Gathering Sara more firmly against her, she made a silent vow to guard the brunette for the rest of her life.
The morning sun tickled her face, and Sofia opened her eyes. Turning, she watched Sara sleep; she almost looked like a child, so innocent, so peaceful. The blonde shifted slowly and stretched her legs before finally climbing out of bed.
Sara lay awake, listening to the noises coming from her kitchen, and a smile lit her face; Sofia. In the most dreadful hours of her life, the thought of the blonde had held her together, and now, feeling like she had a second chance in life, she had no intention of ever letting the detective go. Climbing out of bed, she headed for the kitchen..
Stepping behind Sofia, Sara circled her arms around the blonde's waist. Leaning in close, the brunette whispered in the detective's ear, "If I rub your belly, will my wish come true, genie?"
Sofia turned around slowly and replied teasingly, "Maybe, if you rub it the right way."
Sara slowly started to rub her own belly against Sofia's, keeping her dark eyes locked onto the blonde's blue ones. Desire quickly swept over both of them as they moved even closer to each other.
Before she closed the final distance between them, Sofia promised, "Your wish is granted."
As the two women kissed each other deeply and passionately, the spirit of the genie was set free. Both women's wish had finally come true.
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