DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By sinjenkai


Part 8

Once again, the ringing phone woke the occupants of the bed, but this time Natalia reached over and answered it.


Horatio's soft voice came through the receiver.

"Good morning Natalia. Just wanted to let you know that I don't need you to come until this evening. I also need Calleigh to come in to go over the audio from yesterday. I think that it would be better if she also came in this evening when there aren't as many people around."

"Not a problem Horatio. I'll make sure that she's there, but if you need me to come in sooner, just let me know."

"That's ok. Ryan is back and we've got it covered, but thank you for the offer. I'll see you later."

After hanging up the phone, Natalia turned back to snuggle up to Calleigh. Throwing an arm across the small waist and pulling the lithe body closer, she barely contained the moan that threatened to erupt.

A sleep filled voice drifted back. "What time is it?"

"Early babe. Go back to sleep. Horatio wants us both to go in tonight. He wants you to go over the audio from yesterday."

Suddenly the blonde was twisting in her arms, turning so that she faced Natalia.

"So what you're telling me is that we have the whole day to ourselves, right?"

"Yes, I am."

Nibbling on the soft skin of Natalia's neck, Calleigh murmured. "So what would you like to do today?"

Leaning her head back to expose more of herself, Natalia purred. "Anything that your heart desires, my love."

"Mmm. Right now I desire more of this."

Sliding her hands underneath Natalia's shirt, Calleigh slowly pushed it up and over Natalia's head. Then slowly she lowered her head until she met silky skin and began nibbling her way down the very toned body. As Calleigh came to Natalia's shorts, she quickly removed them and continued her descent. Slickness greeted her and in her mind, she thought, 'Breakfast of Champions'.

Laving her tongue against the tight little nub, Calleigh wrapped her arms around Natalia's thighs to hold her still. Humming a bit and then twisting her tongue in different directions, kept Natalia's body humming in its own fashion.

Reaching down with one hand to tangle her fingers in golden hair, Natalia fisted the sheet with her other hand just to try to maintain the edge. She arched as Calleigh slid in two fingers and curled them against the tiny ridges. Gasping out Calleigh's name, Natalia matched her thrust for thrust.

Rising up while adding a third digit, Calleigh licked and teased her way up the undulating body until she could give Natalia a blistering kiss.

Moaning, as she tasted herself in Calleigh's kiss, Natalia reached down and thrust two fingers into her wife. Calleigh was so wet that when they slid in, and all she could do was moan with pleasure.

They quickly fell into a rhythm and were soon teetering on the edge of release when at the same time; each flicked the tiny little nub of nerves and screamed out each other's name. Calleigh collapsed into Natalia's embrace, muttering something intelligible while pressing soft kisses along Natalia's neck. All Natalia could do was to hold her wife while trying to catch her own breath.

The sounds of heavy breathing intermingled with content sighs and a few moans filled the room for the next few minutes.

"I think that was a very good start on a good morning. What do you think darlin'?"

Tracing lazy patterns on Calleigh's back, Natalia had to agree.

"Babe, every morning with you is a good morning. So now that we have fulfilled your desires, what would you like to do for the rest of the day?"

Laughing Calleigh replied. "Darlin' Talia, I hate to tell you that we have not come anywhere close to fulfilling my desires and probably won't in the next sixty to seventy years, but don't let that stop us from trying."

"That good to hear because I have quite a few more that will take at least that long too. So are you ready to get out of the house for a while. I know that you're probably going stir crazy by now."

Calleigh's face became solemn, and she took a deep breath before saying. "I'm not sure if I'm ready to go out yet. Remember the ride home from the hospital? All the noises coming from all directions really did a number on me. I don't know if I can handle that again."

Turning so that she could look at her wife, Natalia gently caressed her face. "I know that admitting that was really hard for you and I also know that you're not going to let that stop you. I'm not going to leave you alone for a moment so we'll get through this together as usual. So how about going to the Miami Fruit and Spice Park? You've said that you wanted you go again and it's pretty quiet there."

Unerring Calleigh found Natalia's lips with her own. "That sounds like a plan to me. And they have plenty of places where I can sit down if I get too tired."

"Good, let's get up then and get this show on the road."

After take care of the usual morning needs, they started to get ready. Natalia got herself dressed first and then they both spent time trying to find a pair of pants that would fit over her cast. Finally, they decided to use an old pair of Natalia's jeans and had to use a belt and roll up the bottoms.

Calleigh made her way to the garage door while Natalia grabbed Calleigh's new cane and the darkest pair of sunglasses that they had. Pausing at the door, Calleigh took a deep breath to center herself before getting into the car. She really wasn't looking forward to the drive, but Natalia was right. She wasn't going to let this stand in her way. This was just something else that she had to get over like so many other things in her past.

After getting into the car and starting off, Natalia asked her if she wanted the windows up or down. After thinking for a moment, Calleigh asked them to be down and she was soon glad that she did. With them down, it seemed that the sounds weren't as confusing with the wind blowing through her hair. She could actually focus on the wind instead of the noise and it helped a lot. And at the stop signs, Natalia described what was going on so she was able to put the actions with the sounds.

As Natalia was describing why a dog was barking up a storm because it was trying to get to a dropped ice cream cone, she realized once again how much she took her sight for granted. She picked up the hand that was lying on her thigh and brought it to her lips for a kiss.

They were soon walking in to the Fruit and Spice Park, listening to the birds sing and enjoying the sounds of nature. Natalia read the brochure she had noticed on the way in that told them about the different varieties of bananas, mangos and other fruit that were in the park. It also told them that they could eat any fruit that were on the ground, but she wasn't too sure about that.

They were enjoying just taking their time walking down a pathway when a voice came from behind them.

"Natalia, is that you?"

Turning around, Natalia saw Jethro, the night A/V tech.

"Hi Jethro. How are you?"

"I'm good. I didn't know that you come here."

Natalia motioned to Calleigh. "We decided that it had been too long since our last visit so just decided to enjoy a day in the park."

"It's good to see you out, Ms. Duquesne."

"It's Calleigh, Jethro. And it's good to be out."

Jethro took a step back as to walk away. "Well, I'll leave you ladies to enjoy your day, but Natalia, I am still looking forward to our coffee date."

"I'll let you know as soon as I can on that. You have a good day also."

And with that, Natalia put Calleigh's hand in the crook of her arm to guide her on down the pathway.

As they were walking away, Jethro watched them closely and frowned at their closeness. After a few minutes, he turned and continued on his way with a thoughtful look on his face.

After walking through the park, Calleigh was glad when they finally made it to the gift shop so she could rest a bit while Natalia was going through the items for sale.  Taking off the sunglasses, she ran her fingers through her hair, trying to straighten it from the wind.

Natalia came and knelt by the bench that Calleigh was sitting on.

"Hey babe. I picked us up some jalapeno jelly, some mango preserves and a cookbook that I can't wait to try out. So what would you like to do now? Are you hungry?"

Calleigh got a mischievous look on her face. "Yeah, I could eat something right about now. What I ate earlier only sated a different appetite. So how about let's grabbing a sandwich someplace and then we can go find a hot tub."

Running her fingers through Calleigh's golden hair, Natalia replied. "What you ate earlier just curbed my appetite for a while, but the rest of it sounds like a plan to me. How about going to Bettina's for lunch?"

The sound of their favorite sandwich shop sounded good to Calleigh so off they went. After enjoying a very leisurely lunch of sandwiches and a couple of beers, they went and looked at hot tubs. Finally, they decided on one with a built in lounger, plenty of water jets and extras. By the time that they finished, it was time to head over to the department for Calleigh to listen to the audio.

After parking the car, they got out and walked through the side entrance. As soon as they walked in, they saw Horatio and Ryan.

"How are you this afternoon, ladies?" Horatio drawled.

Turning in the direction of his voice, Calleigh answered. "We're doing great Horatio. She dragged me out of the house and it's been a fantastic day. How has it been here?"

Ryan jumped in. "Thankfully it's been rather slow, but we definitely miss you. Eric will be upset that he's not here. He's still in court."

Horatio offered a suggestion. "Ryan, why don't you escort Calleigh to the A/V lab and go over the recording with her. The fewer people that know about what's going on with Stetler the better. And Natalia, I could use your help in the lab."

Natalia placed Calleigh's hand on Ryan's arm. "I'll be by in a bit to pick you up. I won't be long."

Slowly and carefully, Ryan made their way to the A/V lab. After a few moments, Calleigh gave a small laugh.

"Ryan, I've just spent the day walking around a park and shopping so I promise that we can walk at a normal pace, but I do appreciate the thought."

Chuckling Ryan replied. "Well, I wasn't sure and I was actually afraid that I was the one going to trip over my own two feet."

They walked into the A/V Lab as Jethro was just about to sit down. He looked up as they walked through the entrance.

"Hello again Calleigh, I hope that you had a good time at the park. I've got the audio that Horatio ready for you. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but we can clean it up as we go."

Ryan interrupted. "Actually Jethro, I'm going to have to ask that you let me work on this one. With the sensitive nature of the recording, Horatio decided to limit the people working on it and since I'm already involved, it just makes sense."

Pushing his chair back while standing up, Jethro helped Calleigh take her seat before answering.

"Not a problem. I'm used to this happening a lot, but if you need anything, just let me know. I'll be in the next room down the hall."

Calleigh reached up and brushed her hand against his arm.

"Thank you Jethro. I know how hard it is to walk away sometimes. We really appreciate it."

"You're more than welcome."

And with that, he walked out and Ryan sat down at the console. Before he could start, he turned to Calleigh and cleared his throat.

"Before we really get into this, I just want to let you know that if you or Natalia ever need anything, I don't want you to hesitate to ask me."

"Thank you, that's so nice of you. We'll be sure to let you know. Now would you mind if I listened to the audio alone first and then I can tell you where to stop it at?"

Handing her a pair of headphones, Ryan stated that he understood and waited for Calleigh to tell him to start the audio. He watched her as she listened and observed the emotions as they flickered briefly across her face.

Calleigh listened to the recording and replayed the scene in her mind as it went on. As she listened to Natalia, she was amazed at the cold fury that she heard. She didn't remember that from the day before, but then again, she was trying to breathe.

When it was finished, Calleigh sat there for a moment fully taking in what had transpired. She hadn't realized how sensitive the microphones were, in that they picked up everything that was said on the patio. She would definitely have to remember that in the future.

Finally turning to Ryan, Calleigh removed the headphones and asked him to start at the beginning and they both listened. After telling him where to stop, Calleigh then asked if he would play the video and describe what he saw. He agreed and proceeded to do so. When he came to the part where Stetler picked up the cane, swinging it like a bat and following her out onto the patio, Calleigh gasped.

"I knew that he hit me, but hearing you talk about it is unnerving. I don't know if I will ever be able to repay you for all of your help in this Ryan."

Ryan turned to her, taking one of her hands in his.

"I know that we haven't always seen eye to eye on everything, but I do want you to know that you can count on me for anything."

Squeezing his hand, Calleigh swallowed the lump that rose in her throat and nodded her head.

Clearing his throat once more, Ryan stood up with the finalized copy of the recording while handing her the original.

"I'm going to take this to Horatio. Do you want me to walk you to Natalia's lab or do you want to stay here?"

"I think that I'll stay here. If you want to tell Natalia that I'm ready when she is, and then you can let Jethro know that he can come back in so he can finish his work, that would be alright."

He agreed and soon Jethro was walking back in and sitting down.

"I hope that us being in here didn't put you behind schedule, Jethro."

"No, don't worry about it. The night shift is slow sometimes so I can catch up quickly. Hope that you don't mind if I go ahead and get to work."

She didn't, so she was soon listening to an undercover drug buy that had gone down in a dance club and Jethro was slowly peeling away the layers of music to get to the voices. After painstakingly adjusting tones, noise levels and filters, he had a perfectly clear recording that would stand up in any court.

As he saved the file, Calleigh stopped him.

"Jethro, would you mind going back about thirty seconds and let me hear it again?"

He did and Calleigh titled her head, listening intently stopping him at a certain spot.

"There, can you take out the voices slowly and bring up the background?

Backing that segment again, Jethro did as she asked and was surprised as another conversation started to filter through.

"I hear it. Give me a minute and I'll have it isolated."

Again, Jethro did what he did best and they soon have another conversation on record, except this one was planning a murder. With what they heard, Calleigh had Jethro call up Frank Tripp and gave him the information.

After he hung up the phone, Jethro turned back to Calleigh.

"That was amazing. I didn't even hear anything. You can come and hang out here anytime that you want."

"I might just have to do that."

Calleigh played with a pen that was nearby and a sparkle caught his eye. Before he could make a comment, Natalia walked in.

"No, you won't. You're going to get you sight back soon and be back at work. Ryan said that you were done. Are you ready for me to drive you home?"

"Yeah, I'm getting rather tired."

Natalia took a hold of Calleigh's elbow to help her stand and as she did so, a light glittered off her hand, attracting Jethro's attention. Squinting to take a closer look, as it came into focus, his eyes went wide quickly before he schooled his face back to normal.

"Well, Jethro. I thank you once again for your help and for letting me sit in with you. It was a true learning experience."

"It was my pleasure Calleigh. You are welcome here anytime. I can always use an extra pair of sharp ears. I hope that you ladies have a very nice evening."

Natalia placed Calleigh's hand to the back of her upper arm, as this was the way that they discovered that it was easier for Calleigh to follow.

"Jethro, we'll get together for coffee later on this week, I promise."

"Not to worry, Natalia. Things will happen the way that they are supposed to happen."

And with that, Natalia led Calleigh towards the outside while Jethro watched them leave. He stared in that direction for a long time before he turned back to his console and returned to work.

Getting into the car, Calleigh gave a deep sigh and leaned her head against the headrest. Reaching out, she found Natalia's free hand and twined their fingers together.

"Thank you for a lovely day, darlin'. I'm so glad that you dragged me out. I didn't realize how cooped up I felt until I actually got outside."

Pulling their joined hands to her lips so that she could kiss her wife's, Natalia responded.

"I had a great time too babe. Listen, I talked with Horatio and he brought me up to date with what is going on with Stetler. He has offered to plead guilty and accept twenty years in prison. He would not be put in general population and nor be eligible for parole for at least fifteen years. He has also consented not to press charges against me for assault. All he wants is nothing to be reported in the news. He's willing to disappear without fuss."

Calleigh had turned her head in Natalia's direction when she had kissed her hand, but then had faced forward while Natalia was talking. She was quiet for rest of the ride home and when they had gotten home, she told Natalia that she was going out on the patio for a while to think.

Natalia let her go, knowing that she needed time alone, so she went into the kitchen to fix them a late dinner.

Calleigh sat out on the patio listening to the night sounds, just letting them wash over her while her mind was hurtling out of control. She wanted Stetler to pay for what he had done, not just to her, but also to the entire team throughout the years. He had put them through public humiliation on so many occasions and for such trivial reasons that, he could have easily investigated and solved. However, his ego, his pride, refused to let even him think that he was passed over because he wasn't good enough. He had sullied so many people's reputations and now all he really wanted was to keep his.

Standing up, Calleigh slowly made her way inside, listening carefully as she walked through the patio doors. There were sounds coming from the kitchen so she headed in that direction and then Natalia's voice floated on the air.

"Dinner won't be ready for about another fifteen minutes if you want to take a shower."

Quietly Calleigh answered. "That sounds good. Would you care to join me?"

"It would be my pleasure babe. Let me turn this down a bit and I'll be right there."

Turning, Calleigh made her way to the bedroom, unbuttoning her shirt as she went. As she got into the bathroom, she pulled it from her shoulders and dropped it in the dirty clothes hamper, joined by her bra and she was attempting to pull off the jeans when Natalia came in.

Kneeling, Natalia gently pulled the jeans past Calleigh's cast and helped her step out of them. Standing, she reached in and turned on the shower as Calleigh removed the remaining piece of clothing. Quickly wrapping the cast in plastic, Natalia took a step back and started removing her own clothes as Calleigh got into the shower.

By the time Natalia stepped into the shower, Calleigh was standing under the stream of water with her face upturned. Pouring some shampoo in her palm, Natalia reached out and began to massage Calleigh's scalp.

"Tilt your head back a bit, babe." Natalia softly requested.

Calleigh did and almost started purring, as it felt so good. She followed Natalia softly whispered instructions and allowed her wife to finish washing both her hair and her body. After being rinsed off, she then returned the favor and did the same to her wife with hardly a word spoken. Natalia seemed to know what she needed and gave it to her gladly.

After getting out, drying off and putting on their nightclothes, they headed back to the kitchen. Calleigh set the table while Natalia finished fixing dinner. Soon they were sitting down to grilled roast beef sandwiches and French onion soup.

During dinner, Calleigh was still very quiet and Natalia didn't press her for conversation as she could tell that she still had a lot on her mind.

After they finished, Natalia stood up to clear the table when Calleigh stopped her.

"If you will just put away any leftover soup, I'll clean up. I need to do something right now to occupy my mind."

"Are you sure babe? I don't mind doing it."

Shaking her head, Calleigh insisted. "No, let me do this. I just need to work something out and then everything will ok."

Natalia put away the leftover soup and left Calleigh to do the dishes. Pouring some dish soap into the sink, she made sure that the sink stopper was in before she started the water. As soon as the water reached a certain depth, Calleigh began to wash the dishes and utensils carefully. After carefully rinsing them off, she placed them in the drainer, feeling rather proud of herself for not dropping anything. Draining the water from sink, she then carefully wiped down the counter

and the table, making sure that she covered every inch.

After folding up the towel, Calleigh made her way in to the living room and called out for Natalia. She wasn't surprised when Natalia's voice comes from the sofa.

"I'm right here babe."

"I have another favor to ask of you please."

"Anything hon."

"Would you mind calling Horatio for me? I want to discuss something with him."

Getting up, Natalia found the phone, placed the call and put the phone in Calleigh's hand.

Taking the phone, Calleigh quickly asked Horatio to hold on for a moment as she reached out for Natalia. Holding the phone by her side, she pulled Natalia to her and gave her a quick kiss, then whispered. "I love you."

Natalia gently caressed her face and whispered back. "I love you too."

Taking the phone, Calleigh made her way back outside to sit on the patio. She stayed out for a long while talking to Horatio, asking him to do a couple of favors and making plans for her to go to the

station the next morning.

After hanging up, Calleigh remained out sitting in the dark for quite awhile before getting and going back inside.

"I'm here."

Slowly Calleigh made her way over to the sofa to sit beside her wife. Snuggling up close so that Natalia would wrap her arms around her, Calleigh sighed contently.

After a few minutes, she quietly stated. "Tomorrow I'm coming down to the department to confront Stetler and I would like for the entire team to be there. I'm going to tell him what I've decided to do and would like everyone to know. I know this asking a lot, but I'm asking

you to please not ask me what I'm going to do and for you to trust me."

Kissing the golden hair that was tucked underneath her chin, Natalia whispered.

"Babe, whatever you decide is ok with me. As long as Stetler is out of our lives, I'm good with anything and I'm sure that the rest of them will be also."

"I'm not so sure, but I hope so. Would you mind if we just go to bed and you hold me?"

For her response, Natalia moved so the she was able to pick Calleigh up in her arms, stood up and carried her into the bedroom. Once there, she leaned down and asked Calleigh to pull the bedding back and then gently lowered her to the bed, lying down beside her, Natalia drew her into her

embrace and began stroking her back. Soon they were both asleep.

"Just remember Talia, you married me for better and for worse. And you hate my one liner jokes."

If someone were to look into the dimly lit room, all they would see would be silhouette of someone sitting at a computer keyboard. Now if that shadowy figure would turn toward the person watching them, they would see their eyes that were literally glowing in fury.

"Who does she think she is? Well, she is going to learn how to treat people with respect, if it's the last thing that she does." The shadow mumbled to itself.

Part 9

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