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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Kristina K
Relentless rain poured down the entire day and all throughout the night. Maybe it wanted to wash away all the terrible things that happened in Vegas in the last 24 hours. It was a bad day, a heavy shift. One of those that make you start to doubt if it's even worth it, this struggle with crime and evil. To watch a person die right in front of you, to be the one to pull the trigger the image embeds itself into your mind and it's unlikely it'll ever fade. I promised myself I'd never cry or let myself fall apart because of the job I have to do every day. That day, sitting in the locker room after shift, left alone with my own thoughts, I almost broke that promise.
I don't know how I ended up in front of her apartment. I don't even know how I managed to remember the address since I only saw it once, by glance, reading her file. Another thing I shouldn't have done. The rain was falling hard against the roof and the hood of the car, the wipers working full speed in an attempt to clear the view through the windshield.
I saw the light on in her apartment.
I didn't try to shield from the rain; it felt good - comforting, purifying - as it poured down my face, drenching my clothes and soaking through to my skin. Slowly, I went over to the building and walked in.
I found myself in front of her door, knocking softly until I heard shuffling on the other side and then turning of the key in the lock. I'm sure my face had the same surprised look as hers when I realized that I'm standing in front of her at 3 AM, and for what reason?
I was the last person she expected to see. It's not like we were friends or anything. Just colleagues. Professionally attached. She stood motionless and mute for what seemed like eternity with the door wide open and her hand attached to the knob. Her eyes studied me and my forlorn look, the drenched clothes and sadness written all over my features.
She moved to the side, just a bit, and tilted her head to the side to invite me in. I nodded my head in appreciation and entered.
Her apartment was small and warm, dimly lit and the air was laced with a faint scent of lavender. On the coffee table I noticed a slowly burning incense stick.
"You're soaked," she said and I turned to look at her. "You should " she pointed at my clothes, "I'll get you a towel," and then she turned to walk away.
"Sara " my broken voice stopped her. She stood buried in her tracks waiting for me to continue, without looking at me.
I took a few steps and moved closer to her, touched her shoulder and made her turn around to face me. She was utterly confused and waiting for me to say something. I would have if I were able to put one coherent sentence together. Instead, I just silently prayed she couldn't hear the sound of my heart thumping against my chest, because to me it was as loud as thunder.
She wanted to say something but I stopped her by reaching for her hand and taking it in mine, lacing my fingers with hers and squeezing it gently. Her lips parted. Her eyes scanned my face in attempt to read my intentions. If I could, I would have made love to her with my eyes, but instead I leaned in and kissed her.
So warm. So soft and apricot flavored. I could feel the scent and the taste of the fruit on her. Tea. She must have been drinking it.
A second passed. Two, three, then five. She didn't pull away, but she didn't return the kiss either. I breathed in, and then out, trying to take in the more of her I could. When she finally did pull away, I saw a look of utter surprise in her eyes and I braced myself for her reaction.
Will she slap me?
Sara blinked and swallowed hard, her eyes locked with mine. We stood like that for the longest time without speaking a word until I realized I was still holding her hand. I released it but somehow her fingers stuck to mine, unwilling to let go.
With her other hand, Sara reached for mine, her fingers traveling up my arm and across the shoulder. I took in a sharp breath when her fingers touched the back of my neck. She closed her eyes and then pulled me back in. As on a cloud, as in a dream, I stepped closer and she drew me in for another kiss. She took my lips with hers, slowly, gently, as if we were kissing for the first time in our lives.
My arms snaked around her waist, her tongue slowly slipped past my lips and I let out an inaudible gasp.
The second she broke the kiss and I melted into her embrace, the dam I held up for forever cracked, and a sobbing shudder burst out of me. Her arms squeezed tightly around my shoulders, the heat of her welcoming body bringing comfort to my iced soul.
"Just let it out," she whispered against my ear.
The next thing I know, it was morning and the rain had stopped.
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