Calleigh hung up her phone and got out of Eric's Hummer. "I'm glad that today's over. A triple homicide it not the way I wanted to end it. Hopefully tonight will be better."
Eric was unloading some equipment. "Why, you got a hot date or something? Let me guess, Jake is supposed to take you out for dinner."
Pulling out a plastic storage box, she sighed. "Don't start Eric. I know how you feel about him."
She was about to say more when Eric got a call over the radio. He walked to the front of the Hummer to take it and Calleigh got a voice mail notification so she called it. Her blood froze as she listened to Natalia and then to Jake. Whirling around, she walked up to the driver's side of the Hummer. "Give me the keys. I've got to go."
Eric shook his head. "You can't, something else has come up. Someone took Natalia from her car. Mrs. Delgado, her neighbor called in and said that she watched it happen. We've got to go there right now."
Running around, she got in and called Horatio at the same time. She barely gave him the chance to say his name before she gasped out. "He has her Horatio. Jake has Natalia. He took her from her car in front of her house and that was about 5 minutes ago. I need a BOLA and an APB on his car right now. She was leaving me a voice mail when he grabbed her."
"Calleigh, I'll meet you at Natalia's. Don't worry. We'll find them."
Hanging up the phone, Calleigh turned to Eric. "Go faster, now."
The way that she said it, made Eric's hair stand on end, so that's exactly what he did, he went faster.
They arrived at Natalia's the same time as Horatio and a squad car. Calleigh barely gave Eric time to stop before she jumped out and ran to Natalia's car. Yanking open the passenger side door, Natalia's cell phone fell to the ground. "He left her phone. We can't track her. His phone doesn't have GPS. He's real paranoid about that. I don't even think that his car has a tracking system."
Horatio reached out. "Let me hear the voice mail."
Dialing and handing the phone to him, Calleigh reached into the car and pulled out the rose. She walked to the front of the car with her back to everyone. 'Please, please be safe. I swear if he hurts you, I'll kill him.'
"Calleigh, come with me. We're going to Jake's. Maybe he has taken her there. Eric, stay here and process. Call me if you find anything. If not, meet back at the station."
Calleigh ran over to Horatio's champagne colored Hummer, climbed in and they were quickly on their way to meet another patrol car at the second location. During the ride, Calleigh stared straight, not saying anything, but her right foot was tapping a staccato on the floor.
"Lt. Hale is heading in to pull everything that they have to see if they can help. She's going to meet us back at the station."
Calleigh's answer was to keep a steady beat with her foot.
They arrived at Jake's apartment along with the patrol car and Ryan trailing close behind. Horatio jumped out saying, "Come with us. Apartment 12, ground floor. I want one of you on the back now. We are looking for Jake Berkley and Natalia Boa Vista. Both are police officers, but Berkley is dirty and has taken Natalia hostage. No shooting unless it's absolutely necessary."
Kicking open the door, they rushed in, but no one was there. "Ryan, I want you to stay here and process. I want you to see if you can find anything that might give us a clue to where he might take her. We're going to head back to the station."
"I don't know where to look Horatio. What do we do now? What do I do?"
Horatio pulled the Hummer over, turned to Calleigh, took her hands in his and gazed intently in here eyes. "We'll find her Calleigh. Don't you worry, we will get her back. But we also need to get our story straight. We can't let IA find out that Natalia knew about the investigation. They don't know about the two of you and we need to keep it that way."
Calleigh interrupted. "What are we going to tell them?"
"I've contacted someone in Homeland Security and they're going to provide a cover story for us. They are going to say that they asked Natalia to go through all recent cases involving arms dealing and foreign agents and those two cases that Natalia pulled up qualify. They are going to send someone to the station to assist us."
A call came in on his cell phone, interrupting what he was going to say next.
"Caine. Where? Ok, here's what we need to do. Go process the car and then check all outgoing flights ... You did. Anything? Ok, we'll be there as soon as we can." He hung up the phone and took off. "They found his car. It's been abandoned near the airport. There have been no reports of anyone matching Jake nor Natalia's description getting on any flights, but there are enough hotels down there, that they could be holed up in one of them. I want to get to the station and talk with Internal Affairs to see what they know."
The thought of Natalia being alone with Jake in a hotel room brought unwanted images to Calleigh's mind. She knew that Jake had a cruel streak and she began to imagine what he might do to her if he found out about them being a couple. Angrily, she shook her head to get rid of those thoughts.
By the time they drove up to the station, Calleigh had her emotions in check as well as she could and was able to portray a very calm and collected woman. Walking into the conference room, the two found Alexx watching a heated discussion between two women. One was Kate Watson from Homeland Security and the other was Sam Hale from Internal Affairs.
"Homeland doesn't have any reason to be here. This is our problem and we will handle it our way."
Horatio interrupted Lt. Hale. "I believe that Homeland Security has jurisdiction over any investigation that might concern terrorists. Isn't that right, Ms. Watson?"
"That's right. We asked CSI Boa Vista to go through all the recent files, and evidently Jake Berkley had them flagged to let him know if anyone went through them. She hadn't had the chance to let us know what she found, so we can just guess that he has no idea about who's investigating him. We just need to concentrate on getting Boa Vista back safe."
Alexx spoke up. "Eric's just called in and said that there wasn't anything interesting found in the car. No blood, just Jake's and Natalia's fingerprints. He did find someone who saw Jake pull Natalia from the car and cross the road, but they didn't see where they were headed. They're going to start doing a door to door at the hotels near by, but there are so many that it's going to take awhile."
Calleigh made her way over to Alexx. "Hey, can I borrow your office keys for a bit?"
"Sure. Anything I can help you with?" As the ME pulled out her keys.
Taking the keys from Alexx, Calleigh replied. "No, just need some time alone. I won't be long."
She quickly walked downstairs into the darkened morgue and unlocked the office door. Shutting the door and locking it behind her, she walked towards the sofa that she and Natalia had been on earlier. She refused to cry. She thought she could control all of her emotions, all except anger. She slowly dropped to her knees while letting out a guttural moan that turned into a yell. Leaning back against her heels, she yelled for a few minutes, getting out her frustrations, anger, and even though she didn't want to admit it, her fears.
Outside the morgue, Horatio stood listening. He knew Calleigh would never want anyone to know what she was going through. When the sounds stopped, he walked back to the conference room.
Calleigh slowly got up off the floor, taking several deep breaths to center herself. She knew that when she walked out of that room, she had to have her game face on. She couldn't let anyone know what she was going through. Taking one final breath, she unlocked the door and walked back towards the conference room. When she came in, she saw Horatio.
"Not yet, but we will probably get some soon. How are you holding up?"
She took another deep breath. "I'm ok. I just need to find her."
"We will Calleigh. We will."
And with that, they both walked towards the conference room.
Jake had checked them into a cheap motel near the airport. He told the desk clerk that he was protecting a witness and that there might be people who were pretending to be police officers looking for him. He arranged for the clerk to call the room if that should happen. He also asked that a bottle of whiskey be sent up to the room. "It's been a long day and she needs a drink." On the way to their room, he took a roll of duct tape off of a service cart.
Unlocking the room door Jake pushed Natalia inside. Locking the door, he pulled the only chair in the room close to the bed. "Sit down." He unlocked the handcuffs and proceeded to tape her hands to the chair.
"Now you and I are going to have a little chat, and you're going to tell me everything that you know. If I like the answers, you'll go free tomorrow. And if I don't, you're not going to like what happens. So tell me, who had you pull my files?"
Natalia had a lot of time to come up with a story. She knew she had to make it sound good. "Homeland Security. Like I said before, it wasn't just your files. I'm supposed to go through all the files for the past year that pertains to arms sales, foreign agents or anything similar. Yours were just the ones that I started with."
There was a knock at the door. Jake opened it slightly to see room service with a bottle of whiskey and a bucket of ice. He grabbed the bottle and tipped the waiter. Closing the door, he opened the whiskey and took a long swig. "Why did they ask you to go through the cases? Don't they have their own people.?"
"Yeah, but if you remember, I used to work for the F.B.I. and they knew that they could trust me. That I could keep quiet."
Jake leaned in close. "Who did you report to?"
Natalia tried to lean away, but couldn't. "I hadn't talked to anyone yet. I didn't have enough information to report."
"So you mean to tell me that you hadn't made the connection between me and the rest of it? What do you take me for, a complete idiot." And with that he backhanded her across the face. The force of the blow almost knocked the chair over and Natalia tasted blood.
"Now let's try again. Who did you tell?"
Taking a deep breath, Natalia tried again. "I haven't talked with anyone yet. I stayed late last night looking through files and hadn't figured out that you were selling weapons until you came to see me."
Jake leaned back. "Well, you hid it well. I just had the suspicion that you figured it out and I was right, as usual. Who exactly asked you to look at the cases?"
"Katie was involved with that case where Calleigh got shot right?"
She nodded her head. "I think so. Can I ask you a question?"
He leaned back against the bed's headboard. "Sure. If you're brave enough to ask it, I'll answer."
She seemed to think about his response before asking. "Did you kill George Kornspan because Calleigh was there and you thought that he might talk or did you shoot him because he shot her?"
He took another long swig from the bottle. "Damn! You are brave. I shot Ole' George because I couldn't depend that he wasn't going to talk. He was too concerned about losing his company. Even though I kept telling him that he could make ten times the amount working with me. I didn't think that he would shoot Calleigh. I'm just glad that she was wearing a vest. Now you talk about a brave woman, that's Calleigh. Tough as nails, but a wildcat in bed. You would never think that looking at her would ya?"
Natalia tried to keep a blank face, but he saw the tightening of her jaw. "You've got a crush on my Calleigh, don't ya? A lot of people do, but she came running back to me. Too bad that all of this came up before I had a chance to talk to her. I know that she would've come with me."
"You've got to be kidding. Calleigh would never go with you. She's too honorable a person to desert her job, her friends and who she is. There's no amount of money that she would do that for. She would have seen through you pretty soon and left you in the dust. She can do oh so much better than you."
Natalia realized that she had gone too far as soon as the words were out of her mouth and saw him bolt off the bed. She tried to move her head, but he caught her with a right cross that left her dazed.
He put his face inches away from hers. "Shut up. You're wrong. She would've come with me."
She could feel his breath against her face, so she took the chance that he would be directly in front of her and threw her head forward in an attempt to head butt him. She got lucky and connected with his nose, breaking it. Blood sprayed everywhere. He grabbed his nose with one hand and used the other to deliver another backhand, this one hard enough to knock her out and the chair over. He stumbled into the bathroom to grab a washcloth, soaking it in cold water and applying it to his nose. Tilting his head back, it took him about five minutes to get the bleeding to stop.
When he finally did, he walked back into the room to look at Natalia. 'Damn, that's one spunky bitch.' Picking the chair up, he dragged it to the far side of the room, turned on the television and settled back on the bed with the remainder of the whiskey.
It was thirty minutes later that Natalia began to come around. She moaned and licked her lips, tasting blood again. Her left eye was closed and it felt like her eye socket was broken. She knew that feeling from Nick. She opened her right eye to see Jake watching her.
"Good to see you've woken up. Do you want to go get cleaned up? Because you look like shit."
Natalia kept the retort of 'you don't look too much better' to herself and just said, "Yes please."
"You gonna behave and not try anything funny, right?"
He got up off the bed, pulling a knife out of his pocket, flicking it open and cutting the tape from around her wrists. "You've got ten minutes in the bathroom to do what you have to do and get back out here. There aren't any windows in there so I know you can't get away. Go on."
She slowly got up off the chair and made her way into the tiny room, shutting and locking the door behind her. She walked over to the sink, turned on the cold water and grabbed the remaining washcloth. Examining her face, she had to agree with Jake, she looked like shit. Her left eye was completely closed and turning blue, her lip was split and she could tell that her eye socket was indeed broken as she could feel the bones move under her fingertips as she gently probed. She washed away as much blood as she could and after a few more minutes taking care of other needs, she walked back out into the room.
She walked back to the chair and sat down, waiting for Jake to tell her what to do.
He walked over to her. "Hold out your hands."
She did and he used the tape to tape them together. "Get on the other bed and try to rest. We'll be leaving soon."
She got up from the chair and lied down on the far side of the spare bed away from him. Soon she was in a light sleep and he was still watching television.
Calleigh had taken a shower and changed clothes. Now dressed all in black she was prowling the halls of the station like a caged Florida Panther. Alexx tried to get her to eat something, but it wouldn't stay down. She was running on pure anger. She felt like she wanted to go scream again, when Horatio came out of the conference room and walked up to her.
"We've got it narrowed down to a two block radius. Let's head down there."
Growling out, "Finally." She took off at a dead run to his Hummer with everyone else following in her wake.
Thankfully the ride was quick. When they reached the area, everyone got out of their vehicles and paired up. Horatio & Calleigh tried one motel with no success and were headed towards the next one. The 'Airway's Inn' had seen better days, but at least it looked clean. They walked in, showed the clerk pictures of Natalia and Jake and asked if he had seen either one of them. Licking his lips, the clerk said no. Horatio thanked the man and walked out. Calleigh, who was watching the clerk out of the corner of her eye saw him make a phone call, covering the mouth piece like he was whispering.
"They're here Horatio."
"I know. Let's walk a ways to see where they are."
Unfortunately, as soon as they turned their back to the motel, Jake opened the door to his room and pulled Natalia along behind him. They almost made it to the back of the motel when Calleigh turned around and saw them.
"Jake! Stop!" And took off running after them. Horatio was only a few steps behind as he was calling to others on his radio.
Jake headed for a construction site on the next block, pulling Natalia along with him, picking her up as she tripped, trying to slow them down. "Do that again and I'll shoot you where you stand." He got them into a service elevator and headed towards the top. Calleigh was right behind him and got into the remaining elevator. Looking up she saw them get off on the top floor.
Jake headed to the other side, hoping that there would be another elevator that he could use to get down, but instead he found himself trapped.
He whirled around near the edge of the building, yanking Natalia in front of him to see Calleigh about a hundred feet away pointing her gun at him. He put his gun to Natalia's head. "Step away Calleigh. I don't think that you want to see your friend's brains all over this building."
Calleigh took one look at Natalia and almost lost it right there. "Still hitting women I see, Jake. Looks like she gives as good as she gets. You've never looked better."
"Very funny Calleigh. Now drop your gun or she gets it."
Calleigh sighted down the barrel of her gun. "Not going to happen Jake. You're not going anywhere, but jail. You kill her, I kill you, and it's all over. You let her go and at least you'll live another day."
"How about this. I let her go, you come with me and we'll spend the rest of our lives living the high life."
"Like I said, not going to happen. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and I wouldn't be able to if I was with you."
When she said that, Jake saw red and moved the gun to point towards her. Taking aim, Calleigh shot the gun out of his hand.
Cursing and shaking his hand to get the feeling to return. "Damn Calleigh! That was a lucky shot."
Natalia gave a short laugh and Calleigh mirrored the reaction. "They don't call me the 'Bullet Girl' for nothing Jake. Now let her go."
Jake pulled Natalia directly in front of him to hide taking out his knife and flicking it open. Holding it to her neck, he mocked Calleigh. "Ok, Bullet Girl. Shoot this out of my hand. You can't, can you? Because you'll hit her. Now put your gun down, or I'll slit her throat and you can watch her bleed to death." With that, he sliced her neck just enough to make her bleed.
Calleigh tried one last time. "Jake, let her go. There are only two ways that you are going to get off of the roof. Both end with you dropping the knife, because if you kill her, I swear to God, I'll kill you."
"You couldn't kill me Calleigh, and you know it."
Sighting down the barrel once more, she asked. "Are you sure Jake? Are you sure?"
The air became so thick, they could have cut it with Jake's knife. After a moment hesitation, he slowly lowered the knife and released Natalia, giving her a slight shove. "Ok, you win. Take her."
Natalia stumbled and fell to her knees. She looked over to Calleigh with love in her eyes and Calleigh for a brief instant, returned the look.
"Get up Nat, and come to me."
But Jake had seen the flash of love on Calleigh's face and it dawned on him that they were lovers. It all made sense to him now. He grew so mad, he literally saw red, and lost it. He whispered. "If I can't, she won't."
In the moment, everything seemed to move in slow motion for Calleigh. She realized that Jake had guessed when he brought the knife back for an underhanded throw. She dove to her left, trying to shoot him before he released it, but was too slow. The knife was already on the way into Natalia's back before she got the first shot off. It hit him on his right shoulder. Rising to her knees, Calleigh placed the next shot in his stomach. Standing up and striding towards him, she snarled, "See, told ya." And then shot him in the heart before he toppled over the edge of the building and crashed below.
Rushing over to Natalia, she saw the knife was sticking about mid back on the right side. Kneeling down so that she could see her face, Calleigh saw that Natalia was conscious and whispering her name.
"I'm right here darlin'. I'm right here." Keying her phone, she yelled. "Get me an EMT up here now. We have an officer down."
Before she had time to put down the phone, she could hear someone running across the roof. She looked up in time to see Horatio and Alexx skidding to a halt next to them.
"Help her Alexx, please."
Horatio pulled out a pocket knife and cut the tape from Natalia's wrists and Calleigh gently pulled it away.
"Damn, he hit her lung. She's bleeding bad."
Calleigh brushed the hair away from Natalia's face. "Stay with me darlin'. I need you to stay with me....Natalia?....Natalia?"
The EMTs were running over to them as Alexx told Horatio to get Calleigh away from her so that they could have room. He tried just to pull her, but she wasn't having anything to do with that. So he ended up picking her up and carrying her away from them, with her trying to get out of his grasp the entire time.
"Let me go Horatio. I need to be with her."
"You need to let Alexx and the techs do their job, Calleigh. Just let them do their jobs."
They looked over to the small group just in time to hear Alexx. "She's going into shock. We're losing her."
The morning dawn was shattered again, but not by the sound of bullets this time. This time it was a primal scream of "NO___."
Calleigh looked down at Natalia, running her fingers through her hair. Alexx and the techs had finally stabilized her and they had just gotten her to the hospital. She was to be taken to surgery and Calleigh had just a brief moment with her before they came to take her up. Leaning close, she whispered, "Darlin'. I'm right here waiting for you. Come back to me Natalia."
The attendants came and wheeled Natalia to the surgery suite. Calleigh walked with her as far as she could, holding her hand. When she finally had to let go, she stood at the door watching until they disappeared from view. Calleigh leaned against the wall, sliding down until she was sitting on the floor with her head in her hands, trying to erase the images of Natalia up of the roof. She stayed that way until Horatio came and found her.
Kneeling down beside her, Horatio gently took her hands in his. "Calleigh, Calleigh, look at me."
When she turned her eyes to his, he was taken back by her bleak expression. "There was just so much blood. Too much blood. What do I do now? Tell me how to help her."
The lack of sleep and the fading adrenaline rush had finally caught up with her and she was crashing fast.
"You just need to be positive. She's got a strong will, Calleigh. She wants to come back to you. She won't give up without a fight."
Helping her stand, he took Calleigh into his arms and hugged her. And in him doing so, she lost it and started crying. He stood there and just let her go. After a few minutes, she regained her composure and stepped away.
Before Calleigh had a chance to say anything, Horatio stated. "Don't apologize. I didn't see anything other than one team member worried about another. Now Alexx is in there with her observing, so you know that everything that can be done will be. Now let's go to the waiting room so we can be there when she comes out."
Calleigh walked around the waiting room like an animal on the prowl. When Horatio threatened to handcuff her to a chair, she just looked at him and growled, "Try it."
Smiling he tilted his head, "Just trying to save you from buying another pair of boots. I know how much those cost."
She stopped pacing, giving him a slight smile and then looked worried as Alexx walked in.
"I just came to give you an update. They're still working on her. They've given her four units of blood, but the problem was that the knife also hit her right kidney. They nearly lost her twice, but she's tough. She came back both times. Her left eye socket is broken so they're going to fix that also. Now it's gonna be at least another three hours before she's out so why doesn't Horatio take you somewhere you can control something. I know you baby girl and you need to feel like you are doing something. Horatio, take her to the shooting range and let her loose. That should take the edge off for awhile. Come back in two and a half hours and she should be out soon after."
And that is exactly what Horatio did. Of course, it was after a brief discussion, which he won and Calleigh was soon at the range, emptying clips into paper targets. The head and heart fields were obliterated from 10 different targets at different ranges. By the time that she turned around to face Horatio, she felt more centered, more in control.
Leaning against the wall with his arms and feet crossed, Horatio stated, "I just don't see why people call you Bullet Girl. It's a mystery to me. You ready to go back?"
Giving him a self satisfied smile, Calleigh nodded her head. "Yeah, I'm ready."
When they got to the hospital and into the waiting room, Alexx and the doctor were just walking in. "Horatio, Calleigh. This is Dr. McManus."
The doctor looked directly at Calleigh. "Your girl is a fighter. We nearly lost her a few times, but she kept coming back. Alexx told me that she gave you the rundown when she came out here before, but there is a bit more I need to add on. We've had to put her into a drug induced coma. She lost a hell of a lost blood and we ended up giving her almost six units. We'll keep her in the coma for a few days and then let her come out naturally. We repaired the eye socket and that shouldn't give her any problems in the future. We'll be taking her to her room in a few minutes and you can see her then."
The doctor walked away and Calleigh walked over to a window to look out. Alexx and Horatio stood there waiting for her, not saying anything. After a couple of minutes, she turned back around and walked over. "I want to thank you both for everything that you've done. I don't know what we would've done without you. I hate to ask for more, but Horatio, I want to take all my vacation days now. I don't want her to be here alone."
Tilting his head, he smiled. "Don't you worry about anything. You take as long as you need. And don't either one of you worry about how things are going to be at work. No one is going to say anything or give you a hard time. Things will be status quo."
Alexx put her two cents in, "And if anyone does, they'll have to answer to me."
It was then that a nurse walked up to them saying that Natalia was in her room and they could see her.
"Go Calleigh. We'll come by later."
She followed the nurse and was soon at Natalia's side. The left side of her face was swollen all the colors of the rainbow. She had IV's and monitors hooked up, but she had never looked more beautiful to Calleigh. She pulled a chair close, but before sitting down, she leaned over to press a kiss on her lover's forehead and whispered in her ear. "I'm right here darlin'. I love you."
Sitting down where she could watch the others woman's face, she took a hold of Natalia's hand and relaxed for the first time in two days. Soon she was sound asleep.
The next four days were the same. Calleigh continually talked to Natalia, reading her the paper, playing their favorite music and even talking about her childhood. She told Natalia more about herself than she had ever told anyone else before. Calleigh knew that Natalia wouldn't remember, but wanted her to know that she wasn't alone and wouldn't be ever again.
The nurses would come in every eight hours and give her a shot for the coma and it tore Calleigh up each time that she had to watch. Sometimes she felt that she would never see Natalia's velvet brown eyes again. But on day five, there were no more drugs so Calleigh had hope that her lover would be waking up soon.
It was day number six and Calleigh was massaging Natalia's legs and feet while telling her what they were going to do once she was out of the hospital.
"We'll go back to Infinite for dinner and then go dancing at the club. I can't wait to show you off, but you've got to come back to me darlin'. I'm getting awfully bored talking to myself." She was moving over to the other leg when she heard a whisper, "I'm back."
Turning to look, she saw the most beautiful pair of velvet brown eyes looking at her.
"Hey darlin'. Welcome back. I've missed you." Leaning over she gave her a gentle kiss, Calleigh stroked her face and literally beamed with the most beautiful smile that Natalia had ever seen.
Natalia smiled. "I've been right here. I heard you talking and just followed your voice. I got lost sometimes, but your voice always found me."
"I'll always find you darln'. I'm not gonna let you out of my sight again. You're mine and you better believe it."
Natalia gave a smile of her own. "I believe it. I just can't believe that you had a coon dog name Mullet when you were eight."
"You heard that?"
"I heard everything and I love you all the more for it."
Calleigh sat down, taking her hand and intertwining their fingers. They spent the rest of the day talking about whatever Natalia could remember. Everything was going to be fine now. They were together and stronger for it.
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