DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: "Unusual Suspect"; "Spellbound"

The Interlude
By Ann


We make excellent time on our drive to the cabin. At first, I felt a little guilty when Greg called and asked if I would like to use the cabin he had rented since he was tied up working a case involving the murder of a psychic. He explained he was going to lose his deposit anyway, so I may as well go in his place and get some rest. I was finally persuaded when he informed me he had specifically asked for this case and he wasn't disappointed about missing the trip.

I step out of the car and stretch the moment the engine shuts off. Three hours in a car is a bit much for me, but I'm glad we're so far away from the city. The log cabin is set back off the main road and is located right on the lake. There are no other cabins in view so we will be able to enjoy the solitude.

Sofia walks around the car and pulls me into a hug. She kisses me softly and says "This place is beautiful. I can't believe we finally have some time off together. It was nice of Greg to offer you the cabin. I'm glad you decided to take him up on it."

I smile and place my arm around her waist as we walk side by side up the steps. I unlock the door and walk across the threshold. The interior is quite spacious with a fully furnished kitchen and dining area along with a living room with a woodstove. The bedroom is located upstairs in the loft area.

We walk over to the rear sliding door to find a deck with furniture and a hot tub. There is a stone path leading down to the lake where a small boat is tied to the dock. Maybe we'll have time to take it out before we leave.

Sofia suggests we bring in our things and then take a nap. She has been like a mother hen ever since the Vollmer case. I have to admit I haven't been sleeping very well since Hannah informed me her brother was the one responsible for Stacy's death and callously pointed out that he can never be tried again. I still can't believe she played me so well. I shake my head to clear my thoughts as I follow Sofia out to the car.

We finally get all our things in and Sofia suggests I go upstairs and get a head start on my nap. She promises to join me as soon as she unloads our groceries. I start to protest when she raises her eyebrow. I drop my head like a scolded puppy and turn for the stairs.

I climb up the stairs and strip off my clothes. I crawl into the queen size bed and hug the other pillow close. It's a very poor substitute for my usual pillow, but it will have to do until Sofia joins me. Within minutes, I fall asleep.

Once again my dreams are filled with images of Hannah. Each time I am duped by something she says or does. Stacy's voice keeps chanting "Why? Why did you let him go free? You had him and you let him go." I bolt up in bed covered in sweat. Sofia reaches up and pulls me back down to her. Hugging me close, she whispers "Sh, baby. It's okay. I'm here with you."

My heart finally stops pounding as I pull back and look into Sofia's blue eyes. I stroke her face gently as I wordlessly beg for her to make me forget. She gets the message as she leans forward and takes possession of my mouth. She spears her tongue into my mouth as her hands freely roam over my body.

Sofia maneuvers me onto my back as she begins to navigate her way down my body with her lips. Stopping at my breast, she pulls my nipple into her mouth while her hand has worked its way to my opening. She continues to tease me with her fingers as she moves to my other breast. I pull on her hair to get her attention. "Please baby I need you." She looks into my eyes as she thrusts two fingers into me.

I reach behind her head and bring her face back up to me. She leans down and kisses me roughly as her fingers pick up speed. As I begin to tighten around her fingers, she lets go of my mouth and looks into my eyes. "Sara, forget about everything else. It's just you and me. Come for me baby. Come for me." My body shivers and convulses as I come.

Sofia pulls her fingers from me and slowly licks them clean. It is clearly the most erotic sight I've ever seen. She then leans down and gently kisses me. I move to reverse our positions when she stops me. "Sara, as much as I want you to make love to me, I think we need talk about your dreams. You can't go on like this anymore. Please, talk to me. I love you and want to help you."

I have been avoiding this conversation for days, but I know Sofia is right. I need to exorcise these demons. Perhaps this is the ideal place for confessions. I ask her to lie down and I put my head on her shoulder while she draws me near. I look out the picture window at the trees by the lake. Watching the leaves move in the gentle breeze, I begin to relate my thoughts and feelings.

I tell her about Hannah and how I understood her problems. I could see how she was always picked on because she was extremely intelligent and teenagers can be especially cruel. I truly thought she orchestrated the so-called prank and put the sodium hydroxide in the shower head. I thought this was a case of brains vs. brawn and I went for the brains.

I relate a bit about my own childhood, but I save the more gruesome memories for another day. I slowly begin to relax in Sofia's arms as she runs her fingers through my hair. Eventually, I fall asleep once more. Only this time I feel light and free.

I awake near dusk and reach for Sofia. Finding an empty bed, I get up and put on a pair of sweats and a long sleeve t-shirt. I make my way down the stairs to find Sofia in the kitchen. I take a seat at the bar and she smiles when she sees me. "Hey, you look rested. Any more bad dreams?" I smile and shake my head no.

Sofia opens the refrigerator and hands me a beer. She continues to work on what appears to be a vegetarian pizza. Finishing her masterpiece, she places it into the oven and sets the timer. Turning to me, she says "We have about fifteen minutes until the pizza is ready. Want to take a quick look at the lake?"

As an answer, I stand and hold out my hand. She takes it as we move to the sliding glass doors. We walk onto the deck and down the steps. The lake is clear and smooth. The breeze lightly blows as we stand hip to hip with our arms around each other's waist. We look out on the water and silently enjoy each other's company.

Sofia is the first person I've ever been with who both enjoys and understands the need for solitude. I don't know why some people think every minute of every day needs to be used for idle chatter. It is refreshing to have a partner who can communicate with me without words.

We stand in silence for about ten minutes before heading back to the cabin. When we walk up the steps, Sofia looks over to the hot tub and says "Too bad we didn't bring bathing suits." I smile and respond "I'd say it was a good thing we didn't. Ever gone skinny dipping in a hot tub?" She grins widely as she looks back at the tub.

We eat our pizza and drink another beer. I insist on washing dishes since Sofia cooked the meal. She goes over to the living room area and turns on the satellite TV. I join her as she channel surfs through the menu. I vote for "Body of Evidence" on Court TV, but Sofia quickly hits the button for AMC.

I watch as the opening credits of the movie of her choice begin to roll—Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Haggerty . . . oh no, not this movie. "Sofia, I am not going to sit here and watch the antics of Bill Murray as he tries to drive the psychiatrist, Richard Dreyfuss, insane. This has got to be the stupidest movie ever made."

I reach for the remote but Sofia quickly switches it to her other hand. "Yes, we are going to watch "What About, Bob?" It is better than watching some crime scene investigation. We're on a mini-vacation and I don't want to see anything remotely resembling a crime."

I mumble "Then we shouldn't watch this movie because it was certainly a crime that it was made." Sofia turns and tackles me on the sofa and begins to tickle me relentlessly. I finally am able to flip us over and hold her down. We finally stop laughing as I look down into her eyes. Leaning forward, I passionately kiss her. Thoughts of Bill Murray take a backseat as I plan to tease Sofia unmercifully as payback for the tickling match.

Sofia screams her release midway into the family vacation. I have to admit; this is the first time I have enjoyed this movie.

We fall asleep on the couch before the end of the movie. I wake with a crick in my neck and roll onto the floor while Sofia continues to sleep like the dead. I turn off the TV and contemplate leaving Sofia on the couch. She does look comfortable.

Visions of me alone in the bed fill my head as I turn my attention back to Sofia. I kneel down and gently brush the hair from her face. I softly say "Sofia. It's time to get up and go to bed." She swats my hand and replies "I'm already in bed. Go away." I look down at my sleeping beauty. Her hair is in disarray, her shirt is on backwards, and her pants are lying on the end of the couch.

I try once more to nicely wake her "Sofia, there is a nice queen size bed upstairs. It is much more comfortable than this lumpy couch. Your back is going to regret it if you sleep on this couch all night." She sleepily answers "Go away. Back's fine."

There is only one more option although I have never tried it before. If I can't manage it, I'll just leave her on the couch. Of course, she'll probably give me hell in the morning. I sure hope all my weightlifting pays off.

I reach down and place one arm under her knee and the other behind her back. If I drop her, I am toast. I'm surprised how easily it is to lift her. She has actually helped a little by hooking her arm around my back and burrowing her head in my chest. Now, if I can just navigate the stairs.

I am halfway up the stairs when Sofia begins to squirm in my arms. If I lose my grip, we'll both be rolling down these stairs and be in for a world of hurt. I softly whisper "Go back to sleep, baby. I'm just taking you to bed." She nods and settles down. I breathe a sigh of relief and quickly move up the stairs.

I place her in the bed and start to stand to get undressed. Sofia reaches up and with amazing strength pulls me down on top of her. I roll over and she follows. Now I'm pinned beneath a softly snoring Sofia. I finally give up and decide to sleep in my clothes.

I awake the next morning to a weight on my chest and breathing in my ear. I try to disengage from Sofia, but I only manage to move a couple of inches. If I don't get to the bathroom in the next few minutes, I'm going to have an unavoidable accident.

Stroking Sofia's back, I softly whisper "Sofia, you need to let me get up for a minute. I'll come back when I'm done." She mumbles "Promise?" I answer with a yes, and she releases me. Who knew it was that easy?

I take care of business and decide to step into the shower. Quickly rinsing off, I return to the bedroom to find Sofia sprawled diagonally across the bed. It certainly didn't take her long to take full possession of the bed. I shake my head and move down the stairs.

I am halfway through breakfast preparation when Sofia makes an appearance. She kisses me on the cheek on the way over to the coffeemaker. I've learned not to try to initiate a conversation with her until she's had at least a half a cup of coffee.

Sofia sits at the bar and sips from her mug. She begins to show signs of intelligent life as she ingests more coffee. Finished, she looks at me and asks "How come you didn't come back to bed like you promised?"

Shit. How does she do that? She can barely form a coherent sentence one minute and the next she has a mind like a steel trap. I decide to go for the loving partner approach. "When I came back to the bed, you were sleeping so soundly I didn't have the heart to disturb you."

She gets up and pulls me into a hug. "Thanks, sweetie, but next time wake me. I don't want to miss a minute of our time together. Now, I'm going to take a quick shower and I'll be back in time for breakfast." She kisses me as she leaves. I give myself a pat on the back. I am finally getting the hang of this relationship stuff.

We consume our breakfast and decide to take the boat out. I take the rear when it quickly becomes apparent Sofia has no clue how to use a paddle. She had insisted on the rear, but after we ended up on the shore five times before traveling 50 feet, she handed over the duties to me.

The ride is a bit chilly, but the scenery more than makes up for any discomfort. It's nice to be so far removed from the bright lights and noise of the city. We are going to have to make it a point to do this more often.

Returning to the cabin, I steer us toward the small dock. Sofia starts to stand and reach for the railing before I can warn her about tipping the boat. As she leans forward, I close my eyes and wait for the inevitable.

I sputter to the surface and wipe the frigid water from my eyes. I look around to see Sofia floundering like a fish out of water. I swim my way to her and pull her close. She grabs hold of me as I swim toward the shore. We both collapse on the grass, gasping and panting.

I begin to laugh and find I can't stop. Sofia is clearly not amused. "It's not funny! Why didn't you warn me about standing up? I could have drowned!" All I can do is continue laughing while Sofia gets up and stomps toward the cabin.

I finally pull myself together and wade out in the water to right the capsized boat. I tie the boat to the dock and make my way to the cabin. Opening the door, I hear the shower running upstairs. I quickly strip off my clothes and shoes and leave them on the deck next to Sofia's.

I step into the shower behind Sofia and touch her on the arm. She wheels around and says "Don't touch me." I pull my hand back as if burned and look into Sofia's red eyes. I slowly reach out once again and stroke her face. She leans into my touch and finally falls into me sobbing.

We stand under the hot water holding each other. Sofia mumbles "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap at you. I was scared cause . . ." I wait for the explanation and am met with silence. I pick up the soap and begin to bathe us both. Normally, I would take advantage of this situation and make love to Sofia, but something tells me now is not the time.

I help her from the shower and dry her off. She has remained silent through the entire process. I quickly towel off and lead her to the bedroom.

Sofia has begun to shake uncontrollably. I quickly lift the covers and climb into the bed with her. Spooning her from behind, I pull her close.

About twenty minutes later, Sofia has calmed somewhat. At least the shaking has stopped as she turns over and faces me. For several minutes, she doesn't say a word, but neither of us takes our eyes off the other. Finally, Sofia says "I can't swim."

I school my face into a neutral expression to keep from laughing. I know this isn't funny, but for some reason, I find it humorous. If I know what's good for me, I will maintain a stoic countenance. I wrack my brain for a way to jump start this conversation and settle on "Why did you get into a boat that was going to be floating in the middle of the lake? And why didn't you tell me you couldn't swim?"

Sofia looks down at the comforter and replies "I didn't want you to laugh. I mean, how would it look if a big, bad detective chickened out on a boat ride because she couldn't swim?" She looks directly into my eyes and says "Besides, I believed you would keep me safe."

Well, crap. What do I say to that? I probably would have laughed at the situation, but I would have never laughed at her. Instead I reply to her second revelation. "I'm sorry I gave you a false sense of security, but you stood up so fast I didn't have a chance to warn you. I'm sorry I let you down."

Sofia cups my face and says "You didn't let me down. You didn't waste a second getting to me and bringing me ashore. I'm not disappointed in you. I'm disappointed in me."

I lean forward to meet her lips. We kiss slowly and reverently. I pull Sofia on top of me as we make love for the rest of the morning to reaffirm our love and trust in each other.

I lock the door to the cabin and turn and make my way down the steps toward the car where Sofia is leaning against the hood waiting for me. I walk toward her and pull her into a hug. This is exactly the way we began our little retreat. I think it's appropriate we end it the same way. We've made a pact to try to get away from the hustle and bustle of our jobs at least every couple of months.

Sofia starts the car and turns to me smiling. She reaches out her hand to me and I take it intertwining our fingers. We drive away from our safe haven to return to the chaotic real world. As Sofia squeezes my hand, I realize we will both fare better now that we have each other to lean on. For the first time in recent memory, I look forward to whatever the future brings.

The End

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