DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special Thanks to mrswoman for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Wendy looked over the fingerprint findings and then read over the results of her tests, cross-referencing the DNA from the oral swab of the victim to the DNA found in the condom.
"Holy shit, Mandy. It's an exact match; it's the same contributor. Coupled with your fingerprint results, it's got to be . . ."
Mandy shuffled forward and placed her hand over her friend's mouth, glancing around nervously. "Shh! We've got to be careful with this information."
"Mmffff." Wendy attempted to acknowledge that she understood the need for secrecy.
"Oh, sorry." Mandy smiled and removed her hand.
Wendy tugged her friend further into the DNA lab. "We've got to find someone who won't be intimidated, someone who won't try to sweep our findings under the carpet, someone who'll follow through with this."
Mandy shrugged. "What about Grissom?"
"He'd be perfect except he's not well liked by the powers that be. Someone could accuse him of being disgruntled or finally getting fed up with the whole bureaucracy."
"Well then, who else is there?" Mandy sighed. If they couldn't find the right person, the entire case could blow up in their faces.
Wendy looked out in the corridor, deep in thought, just as Sofia Curtis turned the corner. The detective held her head high as she swung her arms in sync with her hips, confidence exuding from her every pore. Wendy smiled as she watched Sofia strut towards them.
Quickly striding towards the doorway of the lab, Wendy knew she'd found the ideal person to confide in.
The detective turned towards Wendy and tilted her head in question. "Something I can do for you, Wendy?"
"Um, have you got a moment? Mandy and I have a big problem that only you can help us with."
Sofia smiled brightly and headed into the lab. Wendy took the detective by the arm and quickly ushered her to a waiting Mandy.
Sofia sat on a stool in the DNA lab, reading over the two women's findings. The beginnings of a smirk began to form in the corner of her mouth, and Wendy found herself staring at the beautiful detective.
A chuckle from Sofia brought her out of her trance. "Are you sure the fingerprints and DNA came from the condom found at the scene?"
"Yes." The reply echoed in stereo, eliciting a huge smile from the detective.
"Well, well . . ." Sofia began only to be interrupted by a voice coming from the hallway.
"Mandy? Are you busy? I need you to check something for me." Catherine stood in the doorway, looking curiously at the three women.
"Huh? Oh sure, Catherine." Mandy handed the fingerprint results to Wendy and started for the door.
Catherine waited for the lab technician to walk past her before following her down the hallway. A quick glance back at Sofia and Wendy didn't go unnoticed by the detective.
"Is this Catherine's case?"
"No, it's Greg's which makes me even more nervous. It wouldn't take much to rattle him."
Sofia reached over and rubbed Wendy's arm. Goosebumps immediately sprang up at the soft touch.
"Don't worry, Wendy. I'll get Brass involved, and we'll get to the bottom of this. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will stop us from finding out what really happened."
Wendy smiled uneasily. She just wished that someone else had been handed the evidence. She needed her job.
Sofia immediately picked up on the young woman's distress. "Hey, it'll be okay, really. You've got to trust me." The detective slid her hand down Wendy's arm and took hold of the other woman's hand, squeezing lightly to offer reassurance.
Wendy gazed longingly at their joined hands, noting how well they fit together. Sofia rotated her hand slightly until their fingers were interlaced, and Wendy looked up to an encouraging smile.
"I won't let anyone go after you. You've done your job, now let me do mine."
"Okay." Wendy returned the smile. "I trust you, Sofia."
Brass stood inside the viewing room, waiting for the interrogation to begin. The suspect was obviously pissed off as he sat beside his lawyer with a scowl on his face. The two interrogators had yet to make an appearance.
"Are you sure it's okay that I'm here?"
Brass smiled at the skittish technician. "Sofia wanted you to see the interview, just don't expect this to become an everyday occurrence."
"Oh, I won't. Um, are you sure he can't see me?"
"No, he can't. He knows someone's back here, but he doesn't know who. In just a few minutes, he's not going to care either. He's going to be too focused on what's being said."
Both viewers turned towards the glass as the door to the interrogation room opened, revealing Catherine and Sofia. The two women walked confidently into the room as they took a seat across from the suspect.
"Hello, Conrad." Catherine smiled sweetly, her tone belying her good wishes.
"This is complete hogwash, Catherine. I'm going to have someone's job when this is all over with."
Brass leaned towards Wendy. "Don't listen to him. He's got to put on this act; it's expected of him."
Wendy nodded as Sofia began her line of questioning. "Where were you two nights ago around 11:00 p.m.?"
"At home." Ecklie answered, matter-of-factly.
"Alone?" Catherine asked with a smirk. "Can someone corroborate your story?"
"You know damn well that I'm divorced, Catherine. Of course, I was alone."
"Now, now, Conrad. Catherine's just doing her job. So, if you would, answer the question please."
"Yes, I was alone. Now, you tell me why the hell I'm here."
"Oh, you don't know?" Sofia reached into a file and pulled out a photo of the victim, the deep bruising around her neck implying that she'd been strangled.
"Do you recognize her?"
Ecklie looked down at the picture and pushed it back across the table. "No. Should I?"
Sofia glared at her former boss. "Well, your fingerprints, along with the victim's, were found on a condom which was surprisingly still inside her. What happened, Conrad? Couldn't keep your hard-on? Or were you too small for the big, bad condom?"
Ecklie flew to his feet. "This is ridiculous. I've never seen that woman before in my life, and for your information, Detective Curtis, I've had no complaints from my sexual partners."
The lawyer reached up and pulled his client back down in the chair, whispering feverishly in Ecklie's ear, begging him to keep calm.
Catherine opened her kit and removed a swab, flipping the cover open and turning towards Ecklie. "Your turn to open wide, Conrad."
"You'll need a court order, Ms. Willows." The lawyer crossed his arms and smugly informed the CSI.
Sofia slapped an official looking document on the table. Placing both hands on the surface, she leaned menacingly towards the two men.
"Here's the court order." Tilting her head, Sofia raised an eyebrow and smiled. "Now, open wide, Ecklie."
Behind the glass, Wendy was having a difficult time keeping up with the interrogation. Her eyes kept straying to Sofia as she watched the detective's every move, trying very hard not to imagine how controlling the blonde would be in the bedroom. Wendy visibly shivered at the thoughts that kept her from concentrating on the interview.
"You okay?" Brass whispered, not taking his eyes off the table, but still aware of his surroundings.
"Yeah, just a little chill is all." Wendy attempted to explain away her preoccupation.
Brass grinned knowingly. "She's damned sexy, isn't she? Especially when she's got a suspect on the ropes, but the best of all is when she's out in the streets. She uses those sunglasses almost as if they're a weapon, and that toothpick, gawd."
Wendy almost melted at the images Brass presented, but instead, she turned a deep crimson shade and tried to focus on the other room where Catherine seemed to be taking her time, swabbing the inside of Ecklie's mouth.
The CSI pulled the swab from her superior's mouth and closed it with a loud snap.
"When we match your DNA to the sperm inside the condom and the victim's mouth, I'd say you're going to be in need of another alibi, Conrad."
"Catherine's right, you know. Why don't you just tell us what happened?"
Ecklie stared at the surface of the table, remaining stubbornly silent.
Sofia sighed loudly. "Let me see if I can set the scene. You're at home, all alone, and get the sudden urge for companionship. So, you drive down the strip, looking for a hooker or two. You spot Tara Colter and pull over and approach her. You make a deal, get out of your car, and go into the alley where she sucks you off. How am I doing so far?"
Ecklie flinched at Sofia's every word, not acknowledging or denying her claims. Moving closer to Ecklie, Sofia sat on the edge of the table and folded her arms.
"Now, here's where things aren't so clear. Personally, I believe that was the end of your transaction, but you wanted more. Tara probably asked for more money, and you struck her, leaving a nice bruise on her cheek. I'd imagine you scared the shit out of her, so she agreed to your terms, but insisted on using a condom. Did she supply it or did you?"
Ecklie bit his lip, not saying a word. Sofia looked at Catherine and shrugged, continuing her tale.
"I think she probably did and even assisted you in putting it on, thus the two sets of fingerprints. You shoved yourself into her and then shoved her against the wall, giving her abrasions on her back and shoulders. That's when you got soft; huh, Conrad? You got soft and slipped out of her, leaving the too large condom inside with your fingerprints and your sperm from earlier. Did she laugh at you? Did she make you so mad that you strangled her?"
"Yes, damn it! The bitch laughed, but I showed her. I showed her!" Ecklie hit the top of the table with such force, Catherine's kit fell onto the floor.
Tears filled Wendy's eyes, and she fled the room.
A knock sounded on the door, and Wendy froze, staring at the entrance. The interrogation had shaken her so badly; she'd jumped in her car, driven directly home, and crawled under the blanket on her couch. All these years, she knew her work was responsible for putting the guilty behind bars, but she'd never really thought too much about the victim when the case was closed.
"C'mon, Wendy. I know you're in there. Please, open the door." Sofia's voice went from demanding to soft, pulling at Wendy's heartstrings. She hesitated just a moment before she pushed the blanket aside and moved to the door. Running her fingers through her hair, she turned the deadbolt and opened the door.
Sofia stood on the other side with a sad smile. Removing the intimidating sunglasses Brass had spoken of earlier, she held out a small bouquet of flowers. Wendy took the offering and stepped back, allowing Sofia to enter.
"Um, let me put these in some water."
Sofia nodded, and Wendy turned towards the kitchen. She quickly secured a vase and filled it three quarters with water before, with shaky hands, placing the flowers in the vase. A pair of arms wrapped around her middle, and she was thankful that she hadn't lifted the vase from the sink.
"Hey, you okay?" A low voice whispered into her ear, eliciting a full body shiver. Sofia was going to be the death of her.
"I'm sorry; I shouldn't have let you see the interrogation. I just thought you needed to see firsthand that Ecklie wouldn't be able to hurt you. I didn't realize how it might affect you. I don't suppose you'll let me buy you a coffee to say I'm sorry."
Wendy leaned back into the strong body and closed her eyes. She could easily give into anything Sofia asked of her.
"Or maybe even dinner?"
Wendy hesitated; did she want the hassle of a work related relationship? When Sofia turned her around to face her, pulling her against her hard body and looking at her with those sexy, bedroom eyes, just waiting for an answer, Wendy knew it was too late; she was already a goner.
Return to C.S.I. Fiction
Return to Main Page