DISCLAIMER: i don't own and CSI, i don't own any Xena except my action figure collection, this was written for fun not for profit.
SPOILERS/WARNING: Since I made it up there are no real spoilers for CSI, some for Xena but if you don't know how the show ended…well i think it's been long enough now.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By layla


Part 2

Sara had left Catherine in the interview room, she needed to look at all of the information they had so far, she needed to see it all laid out in front of her in order to make some real sense out of all of this. She knew everything they had pointed to one person who walked away from that cabana, she knew where the evidence pointed but still in her heart she couldn't believe it. She had looked into Carissa's eyes and she did not see a killer. She saw a woman shattered with the greatest loss she could ever feel. She saw the ghost of herself if she ever lost Catherine. There was no way Carissa killed her lover and Sara needed to prove it.

She knew everything she was thinking went against the way they were trained to process the evidence she knew the dangers of jumping to conclusions due to emotion and not facts, but she had no other way, not this time. She hurried her way through the lab getting copies of everything they had turned up so far. She flew into the DNA lab telling Mia she had a sample to compare to the unidentified female sample. She rushed back out just as quickly; she had more stops to make.

As she entered each lab she knew she was receiving quizzical looks from the techs, she knew they probably thought she'd gone nuts . . . again, but she also knew they would give her what she wanted. Whether they had crushes on her, or had just figured out it was best to stay on her good side the lab rats rarely questioned Sara. They knew when she was deep in a case they barely registered on her radar except to be a help or a hindrance and it was always safer for them to be a help.

She gathered the fingerprints, the information off the pc, the trace results on the body paint, the crime scene photos, the murder weapon, the autopsy report and headed to her favorite layout room. Sara had her own space, not because she had an office, but because she had staked a claim years ago and no one had bothered to question it. She had picked the one layout room that was a bit out of the way, it wasn't as convenient as some of the others because it was further away from the labs, but she liked it that way; it was quiet and got very little foot traffic. That meant she wouldn't be bothered, she could have a moment to think.

She flipped on the overhead lights and the layout table and began spreading all the puzzle pieces out before her. The photos were lined up along the top of the table the sword they found on the scene was in the middle, lying next to it in its plastic evidence bag was the murder weapon. Sara took a moment to look over it, it was a perfect replica of the chakram, it had the two tones of metal, the mother of pearl inlay, the deadly sharp edge. When she lifted it up it was perfectly balanced and amazingly lightweight. Someone, probably Marsha, had spent and exorbitant amount of money having this thing crafted; it was amazing.

Sara could almost see Xena carrying this deadly weapon into battle, slaughtering her enemies with one expert throw. She could feel power behind this thing; she had held many murder weapons in her hands, knives, guns, pipes, even a sword once but none had ever felt like this. As she looked at it she took a moment to look past the craftsmanship, the uniqueness to see the actual thing and almost immediately a question popped into Sara's head. If Marsha and Carissa had decided to dress in season six costumes, series finale costumes even, why wasn't her chakram the new design? Why didn't she have the yin yang shaped one from the last two seasons?

It didn't seem like the kind of detail either woman would over look, everything else they wore was exactly as it was from the show, why was this different? It was the first question Sara had asked herself that really seemed critical. She didn't know why yet but she could tell this question was the key to what happened in that cabana.

Catherine had let Sara go; she knew exactly what Sara was going to do. She had worked so many cases with her lover over the years her habits were, by now, almost like clockwork. When Sara left the interview rooms with that look in her eye, the one that spelled determination, dedication, and stay the hell out of her way, Catherine knew where she was going and where to find her. The older woman knew if she went and talked to Brass to retrieve the prints they had just taken from Carissa by the time she got back to the labs Sara would be in her layout room pouring over every detail she could get her hands on. Hopefully once she did that they could get to the truth of the evidence.

It didn't take long for Catherine to find Brass, "So Jim, any thoughts?"

"I don't know what to tell you Catherine, she seemed pretty torn up over the vic's death, but that's hardly the first time someone killed their lover and cried afterwards. Just because she feels bad doesn't mean she didn't do it." Brass had been doing this for way too many years to be swayed by a suspect's tears of remorse.

"Sara seemed pretty convinced." Catherine had decided to trust Sara on this but she still didn't quite know what to make of her reaction to Carissa and she still wanted to know what they had talked about in the hallway. Whatever that woman had said had touched Sara in a very profound way and Catherine couldn't decide if that was reassuring of worrisome.

"Yeah, yeah she did." Brass looked at Catherine with and inscrutable expression and she wondered what he was thinking but also knew he probably wasn't about to share whatever thought it was. If it was about the case he'd tell her, if it was a personal evaluation of Sara he would play his cards close. Brass cared a lot about Sara, but if he was concerned he would talk to her not to her lover.

Catherine opted to end the conversation and head back to the labs, "Do you have the ten-card from Carissa Martin?"

Brass knew the conversation had been effectively ended and he was glad to see Catherine had figured out when he would tell her what he was thinking and when it was hopeless. "Yeah, here you go, but I have a feeling it's only going to show you what you already know. She was the only one there."

"Yeah, I know." Catherine's voice was tinged with a touch of sadness, not for the suspect but for her lover, Sara was not going to take this well. On that note Catherine turned and left, heading back to the warren of labs to find Sara and try and solve this case.

Catherine stood in the doorway of Sara's favorite room watching the younger woman as she poured over the evidence that was laid out before her. She was looking closely at the murder weapon, a small furrow between her brows. She was lost in the evidence her mind racing down paths only she could follow. Catherine knew Sara had no clue she was standing there watching her. There was a time when Catherine had felt guilty for watching Sara, but those times were long over. She now had permission to watch, to learn, to see what it was that made Sara tick. Catherine was fascinated by the way Sara worked. She had such a single minded intensity, it was breathtaking. Catherine knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of that focus and she knew Sara would not stop until this case was done, and done to her satisfaction.

Catherine decided she had been letting her eyes and mind wander over Sara for long enough and coughed lightly to announce her presence. Sara took no notice of the noise, so Catherine tried a little harder. "Sara."

At the sound of her name Sara jumped slightly, "Oh, Catherine, I didn't see you. Did you bring the fingerprints?"

"Yeah, here's Carissa's ten-card. You do know her prints are going to be all over that scene right." Catherine was trying to prepare Sara for their inevitable findings.

"Yes, she admitted to being there, it's hardly conclusive evidence, I'm more interested in the prints on this," she indicated the chakram.

Sara took Carissa's prints from Catherine's hand. "Let's take this over to the print lab and find out what matches up." They quickly secured the evidence and walked together to the print lab. With practiced, quick motions Sara scanned Carissa's prints into the system and waited for the computer to draw a conclusive match.

It didn't take long for the results to come in, her prints matched the ones found in the hotel suite and the cabana, they also matched one of the sets of the prints on the murder weapon. The had now eliminated two of the sets of prints they had found on the chakram, there was still another set, a slightly smudged sample that was unaccounted for and there was still that green print from the suite.

"So, nothing surprising about these results, Sara," Catherine wanted to know where they were headed now. She knew that once she had signed on to trust Sara's instincts she wasn't really so much in charge anymore.

"Nope, I didn't expect the prints to create more questions, the questions I have are about something different." Sara was thinking about a dozen steps ahead of where she was, Catherine could tell by the look that anyone else would read as distraction.

"Okay, so what are your questions? I can see that brain of yours working." Catherine sometimes had to remind Sara that the mere mortals of the world needed a little guidance once in awhile.

"The only way for someone to leave no evidence behind is if they weren't actually there. We have been assuming that the murder weapon was with Marsha when she was murdered, that it was a weapon of opportunity, with maybe a little metaphor mixed in. The problem is that's the wrong chakram. There is no way that was the weapon Marsha intended to wear."

"Okay, slow down Sara, that is Xena's weapon right? Why wouldn't Marsha have that as part of her costume? Not to mention the one that was used to kill her was custom made, you know she spent a pretty penny on it." Catherine was having a hard time seeing what Sara was trying to tell her.

"It's the wrong chakram, Catherine. Every other detail of their costumes was perfect, Marsha prided herself on the authenticity and detail of her costumes, there's no way she would dress up to walk around with Gabrielle from A Friend in Need with that chakram, it just wouldn't happen. The chakram design had changed in season five, she would have carried the new one," at this moment she really wished she'd made Catherine watch more Xena. She was having trouble explaining every detail. She knew she was getting close to how this all went down and stopping to explain every nuance of the show was really throwing off her rhythm.

"So let me get this clear, we now have two new questions. Why this 'old' chakram was anywhere near our victim and where is the one she should have had? Am I right?" Catherine was maybe a step behind her lovers rapid fire synapses but she was doing her best to catch up as quickly as she could.

"Exactly," Sara could hardly contain her relief that Catherine understood her, "we need to find out more about that murder weapon."

"So I guess that leads us back to Carissa, she's the only person we've got who might have some answers." Catherine wasn't really looking forward to talking to the woman again. Something about her and Sara's interaction still disturbed her.

"So are we heading back to the hotel?" Sara knew they were close, she could feel it.

"Sounds like it, I doubt she'd be too thrilled to be back here so soon, but Sara, remember she is still a suspect, nothing we've found has ruled her out," Catherine knew she was treading on thin ice reminding Sara of this but she trusted her lover to take it in the way it was intended.

"I know Catherine; I really am trying to do my job. I just know there's another answer." Sara had long since battled her demons that caused defensiveness to be her initial response whenever Catherine questioned her, but she had to fight the urge all the same. She knew she was in dangerous territory on this case, she knew she was emotionally involved and that Catherine was looking out for all of them each time she reminded Sara of what there job really was. As much as she wanted Catherine to just accept her view she understood why she couldn't. She could trust Sara not to go off the deep end but that had to be as far as it went.

Catherine and Sara arrived at Carissa's new hotel suite about twenty minutes later. They had handed the evidence off to Nick and Warrick to evaluate, giving them strict instructions to look for anything they could find about the chakram. They also left the two partial prints in Warrick's gifted hands knowing that if anyone could put them together and get some answers it was him. His comment about getting a print off the air was not entirely ego.

Sara knocked on the door and they stood waiting for the blonde woman to answer. They heard her moving toward the door and saw it open just as much as the chain would allow. "Can I help you?"

"It's Catherine Willows and Sara Sidle, from the crime lab. We came across something and you are our only connection to the victim's life. Can we come in and ask you a few more questions?" Catherine knew she had to take the lead on this. Sara was already too involved in this case; she couldn't let her lead Carissa to what she wanted to hear.

Carissa shut the door enough to undo the chain and opened it letting the two women pass into the room. "Please, have a seat. The hotel was nice enough to give me another suit since I'm not allowed back into the other one until it is released. The officers were nice enough to get some of my clothes for me. After everything that's happened I just couldn't wear….." Carissa voice faded out. She was now dressed in street clothes, soft, well worn blue jeans and a light tank top. She looked much smaller and more fragile without the costume, as though these clothes were not what she felt at home in.

Catherine opted to get down to business. "Have you seen this before?" She held out a photo of the chakram that had killed Marsha.

"Yes, that's the chakram, if it's Marsha's I would be interested to know how you got a hold of it. It would seem to be the one that was stolen from our house a few months ago, but I would have to see it in person to know for certain." Carissa looked up at the two CSIs expectantly, as if waiting for the next question.

Before Catherine could ask her next question Sara interjected, "What do you mean 'the' chakram? There are thousands out there." It didn't seem to Sara that the use of that word had been a slip up.

"Yes, there are thousands of props out there, but none of them are like Marsha's. This one was not a prop, it was a weapon, she purchased it from an antiquities dealer a couple of years ago," Carissa seemed to be holding something back.

"Antiquities? You mean this is an actual historical piece?" Sara couldn't keep the incredulity out of her voice.

At this Catherine decided she had to comment. "You are trying to tell us that this is not just something that came out of a fantasy television show? Are you serious?"

"I know it is difficult to believe, and to be honest, I don't really care if you believe me or not. That is pretty irrelevant to me. The important thing is that this was Marsha's and it was stolen from our house. If you contact the LAPD they will have a case number. We reported the break in as soon as we found out the chakram was gone. There was little evidence after the robbery and they had no leads last I heard. Whether or not you take me seriously as to the origins of that weapon is of no real concern, I would, however, like to know where you found it." Carissa spoke as though she was used to needing to defend herself when discussing certain aspects of her life, and she would not take any crap from either CSI.

Before Catherine could say anything Sara spoke up, "This was the weapon used to kill Marsha."

Catherine raised an eyebrow and looked over at Sara, actively reminding herself that she had told her lover she would trust her in this case. She wasn't sure where Sara was taking this but she figured it was too late to take the information back.

Both women watched Carissa as this knowledge sank in; her shoulders slumped as if this new information was somehow heavier than any she had already taken in. Her eyes darkened with more sadness and anger as she spoke, "you have got too be wrong. You mean to tell me someone broke into our house months ago and waited until now to attack? And when they did, they killed her like that, with her own weapon." Carissa stood and began pacing.

"I was wondering did Marsha have another chakram, the later style. We didn't find one on her and it seemed odd to me that the two of you would dress in last season costumes and not have one," Sara asked the question feeling like this conversation was resulting in more ambiguity rather than clarity.

"Yes, of course she had one; it was more of a prop. She did have it custom made so it would divide into two parts and had more realistic weight too it, but it wasn't anything compared to her other one. As to where it was, she had it with her at the cabana when I left, as we have established, what happened after that is as much a mystery to me as it is to you." Carissa's sadness again became apparent as she sat back down resting her head in her hand.

Sara spoke, her voice gentle, trying to get the woman to tell them anything that might help them come up with a suspect who wasn't sitting in the room, "Is there anything you can tell us about the chakram, about the break in, anything that might give us some direction?"

Carissa looked up at Sara, "You are a Xena fan, aren't you?"

Sara looked back quizzically, "Yeah," her voice indicated more of a question than a statement.

"You know how the creators of the show slipped in bits about the 'Xena Scrolls'. Well, they weren't entirely making it up. There were actually archeologists named Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas. I know, I know, it all sounds so stupid and you wouldn't be the first not to believe me, but I swear I'm telling you the truth. Janice was my great aunt. And yes before you ask and think I'm crazy Marsha was related to Melinda, she was cousins with Marsha's great-grandmother, which, I believe makes them third cousins once removed or something equally obscure. They really did uncover the Xena scrolls, or at least tales of an ancient warrior and her lover. Needless to say, the show did not always do them justice, as amazing as the show was. My great-aunt and her partner had many relics, many of which were lost when they died, there were some problems with the estate and family squabbles. Many of the things they had found were simply sold to the highest bidder; the chakram was one of them. Marsha and I actually met trying to recover it at an auction house in Sydney. Neither of us were successful on that trip, it took another year before Marsha managed to purchase it from the person who had won the auction."

Catherine was lost, she had no idea what Carissa was talking about, but it was obviously of some significance since Sara was completely engrossed in the tale. She began asking questions as though everything made perfect sense, "But, this was the original style chakram, why wasn't it the new style?"

"Remember, the creators of the show had other things to work with, like the pregnancy of their lead actor, they had to make it all work out somehow. I'm fairly certain that most of season five came out of their heads not from any scrolls I've seen, and by the time the made season six they could follow the scrolls again and just change the detail of the chakram. Regardless, Xena had exactly one style of chakram, the one Marsha had, the one that was stolen from our home. It was the real thing, no props, no make-believe. I know how fantastical this all sounds and you would hardly be the first people to assume I'm nuts, but what I've told you is the truth, more of it than I usually share. I don't know if any of this will help but you asked, so there you go. In the end, it's all about whomever it was that broke into our house and stole a piece of family history and then used it to kill my wife." The last sentence was spoken with a kind of finality.

Catherine decided it was well past time for her to bring this conversation back to reality, "I'm sure this family history lesson has been quite fascinating but we are dealing with the here and now, your wife is dead, someone killed her. So far all the evidence we have indicates you were the last one anywhere near her. You claim the murder weapon was stolen from your house months ago, which means you couldn't have been the one to use it. Right now I want answers not fairy tales. So just tell us if you have any idea who broke into your house." Catherine's tone brooked no argument; this conversation was over unless it was about something to answer their questions. She obviously didn't give a damn about family history, or this show. In fact, at this point, there was doubt the subject of Xena would ever be allowed to come up again.

Carissa looked from Sara to Catherine and a sad, knowing smile found its way to her lips. She understood, clearly, why Sara had said she understood about soul mates; Catherine was obviously the outspoken light to Sara's quiet dark. "I'm sorry, Ms. Willows. I know none of this means anything to you, and makes little sense, but I have a feeling your partner understands some of the importance. As far as who broke into my house, the only thing I have to go on is nothing really, and nothing that you could do anything with, you work in facts and evidence not the hunches of your prime suspect."

This time Sara was the one who spoke, "anything you can tell us may be helpful, I've told you no matter how insignificant it may seem it could make all the difference."

"I didn't really think about it until you asked me what it was Jillian and I were fighting about when you saw us. It didn't sound any different than her usual tacky need for attention but after everything that's happened I thought about it again. She said she knew I'd be coming back to her soon, that all that was left for me with Marsha were broken homes and broken hearts. That's exactly how she worded it, 'broken homes and broken hearts' and something about the way she said it sent chills up and down my spine. She was damn true to her costume in that moment; I think that's why I slapped her. For the first time in a long time, she got under my skin. It's not proof; it's not enough for you to question her. It's just a feeling. And honestly, I have a hard time imagining Jillian doing something this horrible, I really did love her once, just not as much as she wanted…or as much as I wanted. I truly am sorry I can't be of more help."

"I do know how difficult this is for you; we appreciate everything you've told us, it is more helpful than you know. For now I think we have enough to move forward, we'll leave you alone, but I'll keep you posted on what we find. I know it won't really make things better right now, but I will do my best to get some answers for you." Sara reached out and took Carissa's hand giving it a reassuring, honest squeeze before standing and turning toward the door hoping Catherine would continue to trust her and follow her into the hall.

Sara got her wish as Catherine stood as well giving Carissa the barest of nods before heading out after Sara. "So did all that story telling in there mean something to you that I completely missed?"

"Yes, actually, some things about the case and some about…other things that we can talk about later. Right now there are a few things we need to look into, first is getting a hold of crazy Callisto's fingerprints and running them against the only set of unknowns we have and second we need to contact LAPD about the break in and confirm that part of her story and finally we need to run some more tests on that chakram." Sara was quickly heading to that place where her brain was ahead of the rest of her and she didn't want to have to race to catch up.

"Okay, slow down Sara, let me get on the same page, or at least the same chapter. I understand why you want to get Jillian's fingerprints, the jilted ex is always a person to rule out, and I want to confirm with the cops in LA as well, but we've already run the standard tests on the murder weapon. All the blood on it belonged to our victim, her prints, Carissa's prints, and a smudged unknown are all that are on it, that and the fact that it's sharp enough to kill what else do you need?"

"I need to know if the rest of her story is even a little bit true, at least the age of the weapon if nothing else, maybe what it's made from…anything." Sara didn't say any more. She didn't really expect Catherine to understand that part and Sara just wasn't ready to explain further.

"Alright, let's look into the immediate case, and worry about verifying the story later." Catherine knew there was more going on in Sara's head than she was willing to discuss as of yet; she also knew they'd get there sooner or later. As they shut the door behind them and headed down the hall Catherine began speaking again.

"So, Sara, how should we go about getting prints from the ex?" Catherine was interested in how they were going to pull this off.

"When I talked to her, she pretended she didn't know Marsha very well, that she had only seen her at the conventions. We now know this was a lie, so I'm thinking little lie, big lie. I think we should call Brass and have him bring her down to the station so we can have a chat," Sara could feel the pieces falling together, she knew they were close.

"Sounds like a plan, why don't I call him and then we can head back and check in with LAPD and find out if Warrick has gotten that print together," Catherine wasn't sure how all of this would come together but she had a feeling they were almost there.

Twenty minutes later they arrived back at the lab. On the drive over Catherine had called Brass and explained the situation to him and he had agreed they had enough to have an informal chat with Jillian Martin, and depending on what that turned up they could ask her for her prints.

Now they just needed to wait for the call from Brass, in the meantime they headed to the print lab to find Warrick. As they entered he was sitting at the computer terminal his brow lightly furrowed as he tried to tie two pieces of a print into one.

"Any luck?" Catherine spoke first.

"Well, I managed to get usable partials from the sword and the print you took from the desk, nice work by the way, and now I'm just trying to see how they fit together. There is a line where the edge of the sword met the desk that renders the middle of the print totally worthless but it looks like the finger pressed into the paint at an angle so the print from the desk shows more than the one on the sword. From what I've been able to do it looks like the two parts fit together like this," as he spoke the moved the smaller partial to match the lower portion of the print from the desk lining up the few visible ridges into an almost complete print, "Bingo."

"Does it have enough usable points to prove identity?" Sara needed the answer to that question.

"Yeah, if we find a match it will hold up, but all this will prove is that someone else was in the hotel room, the print on the sword was transfer, it won't put anybody at the scene we didn't already know about," Warrick didn't understand why this was so important to Sara.

"I know that but it's a step and that's what I need right now," Sara offered no further explanation.

"Warrick," Catherine spoke this time, "do you think you can work on the smudged prints from the murder weapon, I have a hunch this print and those are the same." If you asked Catherine would not be able to tell you the exact moment she began to agree with Sara about Carissa's involvement but it seemed she was now on the same page as Sara.

"One step ahead of you boss, I already took the unidentified prints from the murder weapon. I don't know if I'm going to get anything off of them, they are pretty smudged but I've been working on them. Now that this print has been put together I can focus on these. I'll let you know as soon as I find something," even as he spoke his attention returned to the prints in front of him.

"Thanks Warrick, we'll be waiting for your page," Sara motioned to Catherine and they both turned and headed to find Nick and see what he found out about the murder weapon.

In the trace lab, even before they entered the women could hear Nick's voice raised in frustration, "This just doesn't make any damn sense."

"Something wrong Nicky?" Catherine asked as they came through the doorway.

"Yes something is wrong. Either this machine is busted or I've forgotten how it works. Damn it," Nick was obviously not happy.

"What's it giving you?" Sara's curiosity quickly got the better of her.

"That's just it; it's not giving me anything. I put in the weight, density, hardness, everything I could come up with on this weapon, twice, and this thing keeps telling me it has no match for the metal in this weapon. Nothing, I don't understand." Nick looked at Sara as though someone had just kicked his puppy.

"So what you are saying is that this is made from no known metal or alloy."

"Either that or I need to find a new day job," Nick responded.

Sara took a glance at the numbers Nick had entered into the computer and nothing looked out of the ordinary, no glaring errors. She didn't really want to believe the story behind this chakram, it reminded her too much of how eagerly she had wanted to believe in spontaneous human combustion. But this evidence or lack there of, seemed too much of a coincidence not to mean something.

"Okay, so if Marsha had gotten this custom made it would have to be in the data base, it's not like new metals are just created by craftsmen every day. So how do we explain the fact that this thing is not in any of our databases?" Sara knew she had to be the one to ask the question, if she just stated her thoughts not even Catherine would take them seriously.

"I don't have an answer for you, Nicky you keep trying to figure out this mystery. I'm going to call LAPD and find out as much as I can about that break in," Catherine wasn't ready to head off on flights of fancy about the murder weapon, she needed facts not fiction. She also needed something to tell her she wasn't crazy for starting to agree with Sara on this.

Sara was slightly disappointed that Catherine hadn't offered an answer to her question but she also knew her partner was entirely too pragmatic to make fanciful leaps at this point. They had to rule out a lot of possibilities before Catherine would suggest the weapon was thousands of years old. She watched as Catherine left the lab and headed toward her office to call the LA cops. As she disappeared from sight Sara turned around and began helping Nick rerun the tests. She had nothing else to do until she got a call from either Brass or Warrick, and besides, she really needed to know.

An hour later Nick and Sara were no closer to figuring out what the chakram was made from. It was obvious this was no prop, they had compared it to everything in their databases, they had even tested it for radioactivity, they had run everything they could think of and still had nothing.

"I just don't get it Sara. This thing was used to kill someone, shoved into her chest and according to all of our information it shouldn't even exist," Nick frustration was starting to show, clearly. He hated being stumped.

"These databases are set up with all of the possible elements, anything that could be a component. If it's not here, it's something that hasn't been defined yet or something so rare or old no one has cataloged it." After all the tests they had run this really was not as illogical as it sounded.

"Are you implying that we have found a weapon forged from a new element Sara?" Nick couldn't hide his incredulity.

"I don't know what I'm implying Nick, but we sure as hell haven't turned up any easy answers." Sara was fairly certain she knew what this was, and she knew there was no way anyone was going to believe her. How could she explain the metal of Hephaestus to people who lived off of physical evidence? There was no way she could make them believe this had been forged by the hands of an ancient god to be given to a warrior. But at least now Sara was certain Carissa had been telling her the truth.

Sara's thoughts were interrupted by the shrill ringing of her cell phone, "Sidle."

*Sara, it's Brass, I have your crazy blonde in the interview room, I already called Catherine and she's on her way.*

"Excellent, I'll be right there." Sara quickly returned her phone to the clip on her belt and bid Nick a fond farewell. She almost felt like telling him to give up on this little mystery but she figured he wouldn't listen anyway.

As she hurried down the hallway she saw Catherine up ahead of her. "Hey Cath, find out anything interesting from LAPD?"

"Yeah babe, but not as much as I would have liked," Catherine stopped allowing Sara to catch up to her in a few long strides, "The break-in was reported and investigated but they haven't been able to come up with anything. They had looked into Jillian Martin but they couldn't tie her to it. There were no usable prints, no fibers, nothing just a broken window and a short circuited security system. They only looked at Jillian because of the past problems they had with her. There was a record of the incident Carissa told us about, it would seem the 'not so friendly persuasion' ended with Jillian having a broken arm and a restraining order against her."

"Is that restraining order still in place?" Sara wondered if they could use this as leverage in the interview.

"No, this happened three years ago and since nothing happened after it was issued they had no reason to renew the TRO. But it still gives us proof she knew Marsha as more of a passing acquaintance, that's something." As Catherine spoke the two women continued down the hall.

"Am I wrong or are you starting to sound like you agree with me, that Carissa didn't do it," Sara was curious if something had changed.

"I don't know yet Sara, but there is something about her that just doesn't make me think killer. Talking to her, there are plenty of suspects who feel remorse but she is in such a different place than that. I'm not saying I'm ready to turn my back on the evidence, those smudged prints could still turn out to match Marsha or Carissa, but I don't think that's the only story going on here anymore," Catherine knew there was something else going on both with their suspects and with Sara. The first they would work out shortly, the latter she had plenty of time to figure out.

Sara looked over at her lover as they walked through the halls taking a moment as they shared a companionable silence to marvel at her luck. Her conversations with Carissa had not only allowed her mind to travel the twists and turns of this case they had also brought her thoughts on her relationship to the fore. Sara truly had found her soul mate in Catherine. They complimented each other in so many ways Sara had stopped counting. Where she was reclusive Catherine was extroverted, where she was quiet Catherine was outspoken, where she would retreat Catherine would advance. It wasn't so much that they were opposites, though to the casual observer they were, just that they brought out the best in each other. They challenged each other to be their best, to think, to know. They made each other's souls grow. Together there was no question they were both more than they were apart. With that thought Sara decided that as soon as this case was wrapped up and they were home she needed to find a way to let Catherine know all of this.

Catherine knew she was being watched. She could feel Sara's gaze as they walked down the hall, could almost hear the wheels turning in Sara's head as she processed whatever it was she saw when she looked at her blonde lover. That warm gaze alone was enough to let Catherine know Sara loved her. It really was incredible how much she could feel without being physically touched. Closing out their more personal thoughts, they turned the last couple of corners to enter the interview area and Catherine opened the door to talk with Jillian Martin.

Brass was waiting with her and from the tension in the air it was fairly obvious she wasn't thrilled about being here. The blonde looked up at Sara and Catherine when they entered, anger flashing in her eyes. She was still in costume but it seemed her sword had been taken away. "So, does anyone want to tell me why the hell you brought me down here?"

Catherine took the lead, "Well, Ms. Martin we had some more questions for you. It would seem you weren't exactly forthright with us earlier."

"What? I told you that Marsha person's name, what's the matter was it not her. You know all of those Xenas look alike," the level of disdain in her voice made what could have been a humorous comment, anything but.

"You see, that's just it. You refer to Marsha as though you've never met her, when, in fact, you knew her far better than that. In fact your ex knew her exceptionally well." Catherine had a hunch that statement would not make Jillian very happy, and the angrier she got the more likely they were to find out information they had no other access to.

An almost pained look crossed Jillian's face. "Carissa is not my ex, she still loves me. We were a family; you don't just take away someone's family; that kind of love doesn't just go away." Sara thought for a brief moment that this woman had picked an appropriate costume. She almost had that twisted, petulant child sound that Callisto managed to pull off whenever she talked about Xena.

"But didn't Carissa leave you five years ago? That seems like an awfully long time to be with someone when the love of your life wanted you back." Catherine was curious exactly what Jillian's reasoning behind that was.

"She was afraid of what we shared, afraid of its power. I knew if I made it clear to her I was here for her she'd come back to me. I'd waited for five years, for that kind of love I would have waited forever. I know I didn't tell you I knew Marsha, but that's just because I don't give a shit about her. She's nothing but a thief who stole my wife, my true love."

This time Sara spoke, "Carissa tells a different story, she says Marsha was the love of her life. She wished you happiness but she didn't love you. But I'm sure she already told you that on the night you showed up at their house and had to be physically subdued."

"That bitch got in a lucky shot. She knew I was right, that's why they got the court order to keep me away. She knew if I talked to Carissa I'd get her back. Xena had nothing on me." Jillian was starting to show the cockiness she had shown when she started hitting on Sara earlier. The memory of their earlier interaction brought another question to Sara's mind.

"If you were so intent on waiting for your true love, why were you hitting on me right after she turned you down?"

"I still have needs; it was just a spur of the moment thing, besides you probably weren't worth it." At this Sara can sense Catherine tensing up beside her ready to take this woman out for her implication, that knowledge gave Sara strength.

"You'll never know if I was worth it, you'll just have to live with the mystery. Now tell me the truth, if you were just waiting for Carissa, why hit on me? Were you just pissed because she slapped you, did you want to make her jealous, did you figure killing her wife had ruined your chances, what was it?" Sara knew this tactic was risky but she was trying to piss Jillian off as much as Catherine had been a few minutes earlier.

"Look, I don't know what you think I did but I was nowhere near Marsha when she died. I can't stand to be within fifty feet of that self-righteous, self-important bitch. Hitting on you was obviously a big mistake, a lapse of judgment."

"My mistake, I just thought something pretty big must have happened to get Carissa to even talk to you after all this time. She said she hadn't talked to you in months before today, and she seemed pretty pleased about that fact."

Jillian's eyes started to go cold. It was possible they had pushed her just a bit too far. When she spoke again her voice was as chilly as her eyes. "If there is a point to why you brought me down here, I would appreciate you getting to it. If you had anything to actually link me to this crime you would have done it. How about we cut the crap and you ask me for what you need so I can turn you down and get the fuck out of here."

"All we need are your fingerprints, and I suggest you don't turn us down unless you want to see the wrong side of a holding cell for the next twenty-four hours." Catherine's voice was equally cold, she didn't like the way this woman talked to Sara and she didn't like the underlying feeling of menace that had begun radiating from this woman.

"I don't think my prints will give you what you want, but fine, take them. Only an idiot leaves behind something as obvious as prints. If I had done this there wouldn't be any prints." The cocky look had returned to Jillian's eyes but her voice made the costume she wore almost too real. Sara had to shake off the feeling of sitting in a room with someone as crazy and broken as Callisto.

*I've got to stop looking at these people as characters in a TV show, it's going to make me insane.* Of course, as logical as that thought was Sara had to admit to herself this case had turned out to be fairly bizarre. She was dealing with the descendents of Xena and Gabrielle for crying out loud. Just as her next thought was teasing the back of her brain her cell phone chirped again, she quickly reached for it as Catherine signaled her okay for Sara to step out into the hall.


*Hey Sara,* Warrick's voice sounded over the line, *I've got something on those prints from the murder weapon, it's not a super clear print but the way they were smudged got me to thinking, can you come take a look at this?*

"Yeah, let me tell Cath where I'm headed I'll be right there."

Sara ducked her head back into the interview room and beckoned Catherine out for a moment. As she stood she turned to Brass, "Jim, can you get her prints."

Brass nodded in the affirmative and turned to Jillian preparing to take her down the hall to get her prints. Catherine exited the interview room, "So what was the call Sara?"

"Warrick thinks he may have found something about the prints from the murder weapon, he wanted me to take a look at something. Are we finished here?"

"For now, I sent her off with Brass to have her fingerprints taken. So why don't we go see what Warrick found." Catherine and Sara took off back to the labs further words unnecessary.

"So Warrick, what did you find?" Catherine hoped he had a good theory, because right now she needed something in this case to just make sense and a little straightforward forensic evidence would be a welcome relief.

"I was taking a look at how the prints were left on the weapon and it got me thinking. We assumed the murderer thrust the weapon upwards through the sternum and into the heart. Now, if that were the case the prints would be gripping around the weapon like this," as he spoke he brought up a simulation on the computer screen showing prints reflecting a grip around the weapon four fingers around the weapon thumb around the inside. "The prints I found on the weapon were not lined up that way, not to mention if they had been we would have found other blood on the weapon. There is no way someone could grip this with enough force to shove it into the human chest cavity and not cut themselves on that edge, it is razor sharp. The prints I found were left in a different pattern, they were like this," he again referenced the computer simulation showing four fingers flat on one side and the thumb on the other side, "those prints indicate it was thrown not thrust."

Suddenly light dawned on Sara, "Of course, the reason the murderer didn't leave any evidence behind is because she wasn't in the cabana at all, how did I miss that."

"If she wasn't in the cabana, Sara, why was the place trashed as though a struggle had occurred?" Catherine could definitely see how they had been looking at the wrong angle but she really wanted Sara's full explanation. She loved seeing Sara's mind work.

"Okay, bear with me this is going to cross into the show some so give it a bit to come together. On Xena, there were only a few rare occasions she used the chakram as a stabbing or thrusting weapon, it's always thrown and usually not directly at the intended target. It would ricochet off of towers, trees, pillars, whatever to then hit the target. The flying chakram was signature to any action scene, the killing of the warlord wasn't the exciting part, watching how difficult a shot was made was the fun part. This was stolen from Marsha and Carissa's house months ago, giving the killer plenty of time to practice. And there is no way someone who stole this for the purpose of killing Xena wouldn't have done it just like they did on the show. She needed the metaphor to be perfect. In the cabana the curtains on the far window were half off the window that's the first impact; it then flew back across the room shattering the lamp and then dead on in our victim's chest. The upward motion indicated by the wound is easily explained by the spinning motion of the flying chakram." Sara finished her explanation finally stopping for a breath. It was a rare occasion Sara spoke at such length and with such animation. For their own individual reasons, both Warrick and Catherine had enjoyed it. Catherine because it was rare she got to see the well hidden Sara at work, and Warrick because he liked to know his friends and each time Sara let that out he knew her a little better.

"So our killer threw the weapon from an undetermined distance, bounced it off at least two objects and into the chest of our victim," even if she accepted the theory Catherine couldn't keep the mild disbelief out of her voice, "if this is the case we may have lost any evidence our killer left, we looked in the wrong place, she could have been anywhere around that pool." Catherine could feel frustration taking root, she hated it when they missed something like this, it made her feel like they had failed.

"I think I can narrow it down, I'm going to go take another look at those crime scene photos. I think I know how the chakram came into the cabana." Without another word Sara left the room at top speed.

Catherine couldn't keep the smile off her face as Sara left, her lover was hot on the trail now, god help anyone who gets in her way between here and those photos. "Alright, so you figured out how the weapon was used, are you any closer to figuring out who used it?"

"That's where my news isn't so good, the throwing motion smudged all the prints you can see the blur. The thumb print is the most usable but I can't promise it's actually going to have enough points to make a conclusive match. I'll do my best but I'm not promising anything." As he was speaking Warrick started a search on the thumb print, letting AFIS do the work for him for a moment. After a few moments the computer beeped indicating some sort of match. They both looked at the screen in surprise. The thumb print did have six points in common with a print, one they had scanned in earlier, the partial print from the green paint Warrick had reconstructed.

"Well, isn't that interesting, our killer was in the hotel suit." Catherine wished it was a stronger match but at least it hadn't turned up as a match to Carissa, it helped support her gut feeling and Sara's diehard belief.

"Why don't you see if those match this," both Warrick and Catherine turned in surprise at the sound of Brass' voice from the doorway.

"I thought I would venture down here and turn these over to you, I know how much these could mean," what he didn't say was he knew how important these were to Sara.

"Excellent," Warrick quickly took the ten-card and started scanning in the prints.

"Thank you for bringing these down, Jim."

"You know me, every once in awhile I grow nostalgic for these labs," he said this with a wry grin on his face.

"I can hardly blame you for that," Catherine grinned back at Brass, enjoying a rare moment of camaraderie with the sometimes taciturn detective.

As they waited for Warrick to come up with something on the prints Sara came barreling back into the print lab a sheaf of photos in her hand.

"It was just like I thought; the front window of the cabana was open. I hadn't really thought about it at the time, it made sense for the window to be open on a warm day at the pool, but if you look at the curtains in this photo they are sliced right at the top of the opening," she took the top photo and set it on the table pointing to a tear in the curtain that could have been mistaken for a fold if not looked at closely, "that sets up the angle of entry. If the chakram flew in that window it actually hit the lamp first at this angle," she said pointing to the next photo, "it then took on an upward trajectory knocking down this side of the curtain on the far window sending it directly into the chest of our victim here," she followed the projected pattern into the next photo, "the force of the blow knocked her flat on her back."

"And it looks like I may have found our killer," Warrick spoke up as Sara ended her explanation.

"That thumb print isn't a perfect match; I only managed to get six points clear enough from either print. I don't know that it would hold up against a decent defense attorney. But it does place Jillian with the murder weapon and in their hotel suite." Warrick sounded like he wished he could have offered them something more conclusive.

"We have motive, opportunity, and means that should be enough to get her talking in the interview room. This one's not getting away. We'll just get her to tell us about her grand plan. Callisto never could resist gloating and I don't think, deep down, Jillian is that much different," Sara's voice had a determined edge that dared anyone to think she couldn't get a confession out of this. They didn't have a lot of evidence but she had a couple of theories and just enough to back them up. She was ready.

Catherine looked from Sara to Brass, "Sounds like we have an appointment in the interview room. Did you send her home after getting her prints?"

"No, I had a feeling we'd be talking to her again soon so I left her there with an officer. She wasn't too damn happy about it but I persuaded her to wait."

Catherine never knew what to make of Brass when he said things like that; she figured it was probably best she didn't always know what he meant. He was a good cop, she didn't question that, but she preferred not to know the ins and outs of his persuasive tactics. "Alright then, let's go ask her some questions then."

"So, I've been here half the night, do I need to call my lawyer?" Jillian looked as though she was ready to be even less helpful than she had been before.

Brass spoke first, "You are, of course, within your rights to contact your lawyer at any time and if you wish to do so we will leave you alone until they arrive. However, it is probably in your best interests to talk to these ladies. Lawyers tend to make things messier than they need to be."

Jillian looked at him incredulously, "Messy for you or messy for me?"

"Messy for you Jillian; we know you were there, we know you were in their suite, we know you threw the chakram. A lawyer won't be able to hide those facts. All you've got is your story and us being able to believe you when you tell us why you did it. This is obviously more than a lover's quarrel. You make us understand and that will make the difference, not what your lawyer has to say," Sara watched as her expert manipulation had its effect on Jillian. She wouldn't be calling for a lawyer, she wanted them to know. She needed them to know the whole story, but she wasn't just going to give it up.

"You know I was there, but you don't have any proof of what I did. You need me or you'll never have your answers."

"It's true you hold the rest of the cards Jillian. It's like when Xena had to get Callisto's help to battle Valaska. She had what Xena needed then and you have what we need now," Sara was trying to draw out that part of Jillian that was Callisto, that unstable part. Just as Marsha and Carissa were profoundly connected to Xena and Gabrielle, Sara had her theories about Jillian and her alter-ego.

"Yes, but Callisto let herself get caught, didn't she. She had all the powers of a god and she let a stupid pile of rocks stop her. At least that's what the scroll said. I am inclined to think Gabrielle took a little poetic license with what really happened. You obviously watched the show and I'm sure you've talked to Carissa about her family tree. Otherwise, why would you be here with me? She has always been my weakness," Jillian almost sounded wistful as she spoke of Carissa, "though I bet she didn't think I could do it did she? After everything, she still sees the best in people, believes that they couldn't really do the worst possible thing."

"No, she didn't think you could do it. She thought you were tragic, holding onto the dream of her for so long, but she didn't think you were that violent. Was she right?" Sara needed to get her to say the words. The other woman was treading around the edge of the truth but wasn't saying anything they could actually get her on.

"She wasn't exactly right."

"So what was she wrong about?"

"Did she tell you about her family tree, did she tell you about her illustrious relatives?" As she spoke Jillian looked between Catherine and Sara. "You seem like the type she would have told. She didn't tell just anyone you know."

"Yes, she told us about her family, and Marsha's."

"So you know about the grave robber and the silly southern belle. I'm sure of course you are more of the belief that they had some sort of fantastic adventure, full of romance and intrigue, traveling the globe searching for artifacts to prove the validity of the scrolls. They spent their entire lives chasing that fantasy, chasing the fiction of an ancient bard and her lover. What she didn't tell you is the part I've kept secret, even from her. It's not as though Xena and Gabrielle are the only ancient Greeks whose family tree spans the millennia." Jillian was allowing the bitterness to creep into her voice as she shared her story.

"Are you saying your lineage extends back that far?" Catherine had really hoped that this story would be a straight forward one. She really didn't know if she could take more of this truth is stranger than fiction version of history. She just wanted to catch the bad guy and take her wife home for the day, was that so much to ask?

"Do you think I picked this costume, just because I look so damn hot in it? Do you really think there would be this much passion involved if it wasn't nestled in truth. I mean really, the guys who created that show created Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. They had to get better inspiration from somewhere. Much of what Carissa told you was the truth. What has buried in the fog of history is my family. The one that through the millennia had been hidden, if not actively destroyed, by Xena and her line," anger was filling Jillian's voice, "she killed Callisto's family. I've done the research, I've read the actual scrolls; I've seen them. The only hint you even got on the show was that moment where Janice thought maybe she was a descendent of Callisto. No such luck for her, she was the annoying sidekick. Me however, I scored." She was into her story now.

"My family has been there throughout it all, we've been there trying to avenge the wrongs, to claim what is ours. We were nearly wiped out by some crazy warlord bitch thousands of years ago, and then she's the one that's the hero now. My great-uncle was there with Janice and Mel, he tried to get what should have been ours. He had to make a deal with the Nazi devil but he knew what he was after. Our family deserved the profit and the praise for all that we suffered, we deserved it. Then one day, I met Carissa, beautiful Carissa, and I knew where she came from. All you have to do is look at her to see where the deep end of her gene pool started. I knew I could change it in this generation. I knew I could make it right. I could have the happiness my family had always been denied. I could have the scrolls, I could have the family, I could have it all. And I did, for years I had everything. And then that bitch came along and she took it. She took it all again. One more time in our families' histories she destroyed my family, she broke my heart. There was no way she was going to get away with that, not again, not this time. I had fixed the history. I had gotten what we had always been denied."

Sara sat there stunned, she really hadn't thought it would be this easy, that the truth would come out so readily, and be so close to what her thoughts were. She had thought Jillian was tied into more than just this generations' problem, but she didn't know it was this. She sat back waiting for the rest of the story, waiting to hear the part they needed to offer closure to Carissa and get a killer off the streets.

"She stole all of it, she took my wife, she took my life, she took everything. She was just as bad as her ancient ancestor; she didn't need her sword to kill, to destroy. Just one look from those damnable blue eyes and my Carissa was under her spell and it was over for her. Marsha didn't know it but that was the end for her. This was no television show. She wasn't going to be rescued or resurrected this time. There would be no intervention or commercial break for her. History was coming full circle for her family, and for mine. I didn't go to their house those years ago to get Carissa back; she was lost to me that was obvious. I went to see it, to bide my time. I knew what they had found; I knew they had the chakram and I knew how this was going to end. It was going to end with me the victor for once in history."

Jillian finally stopped talking. She crossed her arms and sat back in the chair as though she had just achieved a major victory. Catherine was staring at the woman, trying to decipher what she was talking about. Trying to put the pieces together with the little Xena she knew and had gathered from the last few hours. She had to admit, at this point, that she was thrilled Grissom had parted with Sara for this case. This had just gotten too weird for her to follow. Sara had a boat load of information in her head that Catherine had no hope of following. If it had been left to her she would have called Sara in anyway, it sure beat the hell out of spending the next week watching six seasons of Xena just so she could keep track of the players. Now Catherine just had to wait for Sara to ask the critical questions, she knew the younger woman knew how to steer this interview and Catherine was fully willing to let her.

"So, you did this all for family honor and not for Carissa at all then?" Sara could feel that they were on the verge of the confession they so desperately needed.

"In the end I did everything for Carissa, as much as I did it for the redemption of thousands of years of humiliation at the hands of that family. I loved her, more than I've ever loved anyone and she left, but I don't blame her. I know whose fault it was and that is now taken care of. In the end Carissa will be better off alone than she would be with that bitch. My family is redeemed after all this time, and my love is safe, with me or not."

"So we understand why you did what you did, my last question is how?" Sara knew there was no going back, this would get them the words that they needed.

"Three months ago I broke into their house, it was too simple really. One good power surge shorted out the security system, nice leather gloves hid my prints. I walked in and took my prize and walked out. I was amazed at the power I felt when I held it. I knew it would work. I had practiced for years with a chakram I had specially made so this one I could save. It was going to be used for one specific purpose. I only handled it twice; when I took it from the house and when I brought it here. I wouldn't have left any prints on it at all except I had to feel it in my hand when I threw it. I had to know it was me that did this, even if it left a trace of myself behind, I had to know. I broke into their hotel suite; you know that place needs better security, just to make sure I was doing the right thing. I stood in all that opulence, I looked at everything they had and I knew it should have been mine. I could hear them upstairs, so lost in each other they never even heard me. And now I know, and that bitch is dead. My family is avenged, my Carissa is free. Whatever you choose to do to me is irrelevant, whatever happens now means nothing. I know what I did was right."

"That's where you are wrong Jillian. You may think you've brought about some sort of justice but look at where you are. You are alone, shortly that officer over there is going to put cuffs on you and take you away for life, or a needle in your arm. A woman, a hero to some, is dead and the person you claim to love more than life is alone, forever. She will never find again what you took from her. And I can guarantee, she will never, ever forgive you," Sara stood with those last words and turned to Brass, "I think we have everything we need, arrest her." With that Sara turned and left the room. Catherine stood and quickly followed her, knowing Brass would take care of the rest. Their job was done, even if in an unconventional way. They all normally relied exclusively on the forensics they followed the evidence where it led, they did not lead it. And yet here they were a killer caught because of gut instinct and television characters.

Before they went back to the labs Sara pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number she had unconsciously committed to memory.


"Hello Carissa. It's Sara Sidle from the crime lab. I thought you should know, Jillian Martin confessed. She killed Marsha. I know you didn't want that to be true. No one wants to believe someone we were intimate with could be that violent, but I thought you would want to know that the case is closed. It may help you – someday."

*Thank you, Ms. Sidle. I really don't know what I feel right now, but I know you did your best work,* her tone sounded distant, still lost, *go home now, take care of your soul mate, I, once again, have to bury mine. It seems the fate of my family.*

As the line went dead Sara turned to her lover and took her hand as they walked back to the lab. The case was closed, they had their killer and now it was time to let everyone know job well done. Warrick had gotten just enough evidence to push the right buttons and Nicky really needed to give up on that chakram.

Their shift was done and Catherine sat in the locker room changing out of her work clothes contemplating everything that had happened on this shift. About ten hours ago her lover had shown up to help her at what appeared to be a typical, for Vegas anyway, crime scene. From there they had followed a path that had steered them far from the evidence and into what most would see as fiction. It still hurt her brain a bit if she thought about it too hard. As she sat putting her clothes back in her locker she felt a warm body sit on the bench behind her. Long legs stretched on either side of hers and strong arms wrapped around her stomach. As she nestled into the embrace she felt as much as heard the low purr in her ear. "I told you earlier what would happen when we met in the locker room when the case was done." At those words Catherine felt a shiver run the length of her spine settling in between her thighs.

She tried to turn a bit to face her lover but strong arms tightened holding her in place, and what the arms did not stop the continuing voice in her ear did, "I told you I would be lost in you, the funny thing is, I'm always lost in you. That day, years ago now, when I opened a door to see you sitting at a computer terminal I was lost. There was never a question for me after that, I would have waited for you until the end of time. I saw you and my heart, my soul were yours. Sure I resisted, I tried to run and hide from you, from myself, but it was inevitable. I know I tell you I love you. I know I show you I love you, but do you really know Catherine do you really know what I mean when I say that?"

Catherine wasn't sure if Sara really expected her to answer. She hoped not, as her voice was nowhere near working, lost in the knot of emotion in her throat. Sara was not a very verbal person. She preferred actions to words, so it was a rare treat when Sara poured her heart out in this way and it caught Catherine breathless.

"You are the light in my darkness; you are the air that fills my lungs. You are my last sleeping thought and my first waking wish. All I am, all I have, all I ever will be is already yours. Without you I am less, I am not the person I was meant to be. With you I stand more straight, I have more strength. I can be my best self because I am with you. You have seen my best and my worst and loved it all. You are the other half of my heart, you are my soul mate Catherine," as she finished speaking Sara rose from her spot behind Catherine and moved in front of her. She reached out her hands gently cupping Catherine's face. She lost herself, for a moment, in the love and passion she saw in those endless blue depths, until her voice returned. "I love you Catherine, more than I will ever know how to express, more than I can ever hope to explain."

Catherine was lost in the fathomless dark orbs that gazed at her; she was lost in the poetry of Sara's words. Her heart felt as though it was going to burst from her chest as she was filled with love. "Everything you do for me, Sara, shows me the depth of your love. Every time you challenge me, every time you support me, every time you kiss me, I know. I know and sweetheart, I love you with all of me," with her last words Catherine leaned forward to capture Sara's mouth, slowly thoroughly covering that soft full sweetness pouring her heart into each stroke, each brush of lips and tongue.

After endless moments the two lovers separated and Catherine spoke, "Sara, please take me home."

"As you wish."

The End

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