IntersectionsAuthor's Note: So, I owe all of you a huge apology for this chapter being so incredibly late. My Energizer Plot Bunny just suddenly...died, and I had to find someway to recharge and figure out how I wanted this to go. But I'm now back in the saddle and hopefully we won't have any more long pauses between updates. Anyway, your reviews have been beyond amazing and helped me get motivated, so thanks!
This chapter is dedicated to Mieka, for correctly identifying the quote as being from the movie "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" and that it came from Season 2, Episode 17 of Buffy. Congrats!
One last side note, check out this totally kickass banner that Touch of the Wind made for this story! Thank you so much! IntersectionsFinally on to the chapter!
Disclaimer: Still own nothing.
Greg woke up covered in sweat, and Xander. Sometime during their sleep the other man, who was much broader if not taller, had rolled over on top of him and was currently plastered over Greg’s body radiating heat. He was also pressing hard into Greg’s bladder, which was violently protesting the action.
He shoved at Xander’s shoulder gently but firmly, and thankfully, with the muttered phrase, “No more butt-monkey,” Xander moved off him, still sound asleep. Shaking his head at his lover’s weirdness, he climbed out of bed and padded off to the bathroom.
Finished, he came back into his bedroom and just stood there for a minute, looking down at the man in his bed. He let his eyes roam over the large form sprawled face down and half covered across his sheets, lingering on the many scars found everywhere on his body.
As a CSI Greg had seen a lot of different types of wounds and it bothered him that he couldn’t identify half of the scars on Xander’s skin. The mystery that surrounded the other man grew deeper with every day and his corresponding frustration at Xander’s avoidance rose as well. Soon, I’ll find out soon.
Shaking off the darker thoughts, he traced over Xander’s body again, this time focusing on the aesthetics- the broad shoulders and muscled back that tapered down to a slim waist, the firm biceps and triceps in the arms half buried under his pillows, the strong swimmer’s legs and his surprisingly delicate feet. And all of it topped off by a head of dark brown, wavy hair that stood out vividly against the soft cream of his sheets.
Xander’s head was turned on its side, bushy eyebrow rising over the scarred pit that used to contain his left eye. Greg’s small smile and arousal disappeared as he stared somberly at that devastating injury.
He didn’t quite know what he expected to find under the eye-patch, but those horrific scars had not entered his mind even after seeing the other marks on Xander’s body. If he didn’t know better, he would have thought that those scars were made by someone’s fingers digging the eye out of his face. His need to know how (and by whom
?) his lover had been hurt almost overwhelmed him and he swallowed hard.
“You just gonna stand there and watch me all day?”
Greg jumped a foot in the air, a squeak of surprise involuntarily escaping him. Although he hadn’t so much as twitched, Xander’s voice came out distinct, if a bit muffled, from under the pillows. He rolled over suddenly, his one eye clear and sharp even as his body stayed completely relaxed.
Heart still pounding, Greg demanded, “How the hell did you know I was watching you? How long have you been awake?”
Without answering him, Xander raised his arms above his head and gave a full body stretch, momentarily derailing Greg’s thoughts as he stared greedily at the bronze skin pulling and moving over the long, smooth muscles of his lover’s body. Shaking his head clear, he glared at Xander.
The man on the bed gave him an cheeky grin, as if he knew exactly where Greg’s mind had just been and said, “Don’t you know it’s rude to stare?” When Greg’s glare just gained intensity, Xander laughed and his smile turned more mischievous.
“Greg, I live with almost thirty teenage girls, who make it their sworn duty to torture me however they can. I used to wake up to find a circle of them standing around my bed in the morning, having picked the lock I had on the door. I got very used to sleeping lightly. Of course, that only continued for so long.” Xander’s smile was positively wicked.
His curiosity piqued despite himself, Greg asked, “How exactly did you stop them, if they could already pick your lock?”
Xander laughed, “What do girls want more than anything at that age? Especially when a lot of them live together in a dormitory style arrangement?”
After a minute Greg started to smile and he and Xander said at the same instant, “Bathroom time.”
“I told each of them they had exactly five minutes a day to shower and get ready in the morning or I’d come in there and pull them out myself. Of course, I personally didn’t go in, but after I made Makemba go in and drag four of them out by their hair, they got the message.”
Greg grinned in admiration, “Pretty ingenious there, Xander Harris.”
His lover smirked back at him, “Yeah, I thought so too.” He cocked an eyebrow, “Is there a reason you’re still standing there? Aren’t you cold?”
“Just enjoying the view,” Greg gave Xander a smirk of his own. That said, he was suddenly aware of the goose bumps on his skin, and he crawled back onto the bed and collapsed on top of Xander.
“Oof, yet another difference between girls and boys- Jesus, you’re heavy!”
Greg poked Xander in the side, “Did you just call me fat?”
Xander’s voice was sugary sweet and sarcastic, “Of course not, snookums, you know I worship each and every one of your many pounds.”
Following the poke with a soft slap, Greg said, “Stop that, you goof. And shut up while you’re at it, I want to wallow for a while.” With a small sigh, Greg settled down deeper into Xander’s arms, which tightened slightly and then his hands started to stroke over his bare back.
When he realized that Xander was caressing scar tissue, he tensed slightly and shifted uncomfortably. Xander’s hand came up to hit the back of Greg’s head which rested on his chest and said, “Your turn to knock it off, we hashed that out last night. If you can love my hideous visage, I sure as hell can deal with your battle scars. So relax.”
Greg opened his mouth, then closed it again and gave up and let himself go boneless. Xander’s hands returned to their gentle sweeping and Greg was lulled into a drowsy daze, listening to Xander’s heartbeat and steady breathing.
Long minutes later he blinked slowly and murmured, “This is nice.”
The chest underneath his head rose and fell as Xander sighed, “Yeah, it is.” Half a second later, the gentle hands turned on him and attacked all of his most sensitive spots, tickling him mercilessly.
Snapped out of his daze abruptly, Greg let out a shout of laughter and tried to squirm away. When that didn’t work, he retaliated and launched his own attack, still laughing breathlessly.
They rolled over in the bed wrestling for position, until Xander pulled a complicated move and Greg found himself pinned to the bed, heaving for breath. Xander’s grinning face hovered above him, also panting. Greg pouted, “That wasn’t nice.”
The grin just widened, “Well no, but it sure was fun!”
Greg struggled lightly against Xander’s hold, prompting him to lean more heavily down onto him and soon their entire bodies were flush up against each other. With a wicked grin, Greg deliberately rolled his hips up into Xander’s, letting the other man feel his growing arousal.
The mood changed in an instant; Xander’s eye widening and growing darker, while a flush started to crawl up his neck. Still staring him in the eye, Xander’s lower body pressed back down and they started to rock slowly, the friction making a rolling wave of pleasure crawl up Greg’s spine.
His hands still pinned, he tilted his chin up towards Xander’s face, lips parted. With a short moan, Xander leaned down and plundered his mouth, his hands falling lax on Greg’s wrists. Quickly taking advantage, Greg pulled free and immediately wrapped his arms around Xander’s neck, burying his hands in Xander’s hair as he continued to kiss the hell out of him and they continued to move against each other.
The kiss broke as the pleasure started to build higher and sharper, their pace increasing all the while. They panted into each other’s mouths, sweat pouring off their bodies. As their boxers became hopelessly twisted, Greg gave a growl of frustration and reached down and tried to tear them off the other man, needing, wanting, craving
Getting the idea quickly, Xander tried to do the same for him and the next several minutes were uncontrolled chaos as they tried to get rid of the offending articles of clothing while still trying to kiss and grope at the same time.
The first press of their now naked bodies made them both gasp. Twisting his body, Greg flipped them over so he was now on top of Xander, sinking down into the cradle of his hips. One hand went down to grip Xander’s thigh, readjusting the angle of how they moved together, while the other went back into Xander’s sweaty hair.
Xander’s hands were just as busy, tracing over his chest and then down his back, finally cupping his ass, forcing a groan from Greg. Shuddering, he leaned down to kiss him again, their rhythm escalating even more.
Greg felt like he was burning up from the inside, like he couldn’t get enough of Xander’s feel, Xander’s taste. He broke away from that intoxicating mouth and dipped his head to lap at the salty sweat that had pooled in Xander’s collarbone. Xander’s moan was tight and stunned and his hands tightened convulsively on Greg’s ass, driving him down harder into Xander. They gasped in unison again, rhythm going wild.
With each whimper, each shudder, each thrust, Greg rose higher and higher, twisting upward in a spiral of ecstasy. As he moved down Xander’s chest he realized his lips were moving, registered the pleas and prayers he was murmuring over and over, to Xander, to God, to his own straining body, to please, please
let him come.
He located a flat brown nipple and latched on, nipping it harshly before laving it with his tongue. Xander jolted and the frantic pace stuttered as he quivered. Greg let go to blow a stream of cool air over the peak and that was it for Xander, body going rigid and still for a half second before a sharp sound escaped his lips and he came explosively, body convulsing.
Driven over the edge by the sight and sound and feel
, Greg followed almost immediately, a mangled version of Xander’s name emerging as his world went white in bliss. He barely caught himself from collapsing outright, managing a more controlled fall down onto Xander’s heaving chest. They lay there, trying to remember how to breathe.
Greg’s body was sweaty, sticky, overheated and limp as a noodle and he felt utterly fantastic. Somewhere in the back of his head he knew he should move so he and Xander wouldn’t be stuck together but at the moment he really couldn’t care less.
“Hey, Greg.” Xander’s voice was hoarse.
“Yeah, Xander.” So was his.
“You remember when we started this and I said it was gonna be fun?”
“Man, I was soooo
The vibrations of Greg’s laughter echoed through Xander’s body.
Greg practically floated into the lab that night, well aware of the huge grin he had on his face and not caring in the least. Between the soul baring and the fast but fabulous sex, Greg was incredibly mellow, both mentally and physically.
A small chuckle escaped him as he thought about how both he and Xander had fallen asleep in the afterglow and had woken up completely glued together. They’d about killed themselves laughing as they hobbled to the shower to un-stick themselves. Like Xander said, dating each other was fun.
“Whoa, Greg, watch that smile there! Have pity on those poor people who aren’t getting any!” Nick’s Texan drawl was smug and long-suffering at once as Greg entered the break room.
Greg’s smirk was wicked, “Nah, don’t think I can do that, Nick. Have to keep reminding people of the hot man I bagged.” His smile grew goofy again without his control.
Nick shook his head in defeat, “Man, you have got it bad. I’m happy for you though, you look good.” Shadows passed through his eyes briefly before he gave Greg a smile.
His return smile was kind, “Thanks.”
Out of all the CSI’s, he knew Nick understood the best what he’d gone through and had even offered to talk to him about ‘trauma in the line of duty’ if he ever needed it. Since Xander it wasn’t necessary but the offer was still appreciated.
Greg looked around at the empty room, “So where is everyone? I didn’t see anyone on the way in either.”
“Double homicide on the Strip, they’re already out working.” Grissom’s voice came from behind him. “As for you two, I’ve got a kidnapping on Ogden, off the Maryland Parkway. Thirteen year old girl, taken from her bed, parents didn’t hear a thing. Sorry it’s just the two of you, but we just found out one of the homicide victims is the mayor’s niece. Good luck, call if you need the help.” He pushed the case file into Greg’s hands and disappeared.
Greg’s eyebrows rose, “Grissom paying attention to politics?”
Nick shook his head, “Doubt it, I think he’s just finally realized it’s easier to get the high publicity cases done as efficiently as possible so he doesn’t have to deal with Ecklie or the Sheriff.”
He gave a short, sharp laugh, “Yeah, that makes more sense.”
Switching the subject, Greg looked over at Nick and asked, “You ready for this?” The question wasn’t a completely idle one; after Nick’s own kidnapping and then Cassie he was allowed to be a little sensitive, something that wouldn’t have even occurred to Grissom when handing out cases.
Nick simply said, “I’ll be fine, Greg, let’s just go find this girl.”
Greg nodded once and they made their way out the door.
“Ma’am, if you’d go through it one more time for us that would be great, every little detail could be a clue in getting your daughter back as quickly as possible.” Nick’s voice was soothing and the drawl had strengthened slightly.
Greg smiled at the window ledge he was processing for fingerprints; Nick could charm the details out of a one-night stand a woman had had ten years ago while standing next to her husband. It was amazing on distraught parents, of which these certainly fell in that category. The police detective that had accompanied them stayed quiet, seeing Nick’s success with the middle-aged couple.
The daughter, Kathryn, had vanished somewhere between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., when the father had gotten up to go the bathroom and discovered her missing. The house itself was a simple two storey, with the parents’ bedroom only about fifteen feet from the daughter’s, so the fact that they hadn’t heard a thing was unusual.
The mother’s voice rose in distress and frustration, “No, no, no! Kathryn does not have a boyfriend or even a best friend that she would sneak out to visit at night! She’s a quiet girl and very shy- we keep pushing her to join a sport or find a club at school to join but she’d rather just stay at home and read. She’d never do anything like this!”
“Please calm down, Mrs. Richardson, I believe you. Now, you say you haven’t received a ransom note or anything of that sort? Do either of you have any enemies or someone that might hold a grudge against you?”
They shook their heads and the father replied, “No, I’m a bartender at the Mirage, we don’t get much more than some disgruntled customers after I’ve cut them off, and Kathie works from home. We’re not incredibly wealthy, we do all right, but it’s not like we could pay a high ransom even had these bastards left a note! Why would they do this?”
Kathie started to cry again and her husband turned to comfort her. Nick looked over at him and they shared a sympathetic glance, before Greg rose from the finished window ledge and approached the parents.
“Hey, why don’t you let Detective Ross take you downstairs and fix you a cup of tea while he writes down your statements and asks just one or two more questions. We’ll finish up here, all right?”
Detective Ross sent him a glare at his presumption, but Greg just raised an eyebrow back and the man shook his head in resignation and herded the still crying couple out of the room.
“Careful there, Greg, it’s not always wise to piss off the cops.” Nick moved further into the room with his kit, heading toward the bed as he spoke.
“Nah, he wants to date one of the lab techs and he’s hoping I’ll put in a good word, so I’ve got a little bit of leverage. And he obviously didn’t have a problem stepping back and letting you question them so I figure his ego isn’t as highly developed as some we’ve seen.”
Nick chuckled, “True. You’ve always got the latest gossip, I don’t know how you do it.”
A smirk appeared on Greg’s face, “I’ve got my ways, none of which I’m telling you.”
He sobered and changed the subject, “I’ve got one semi-clear set of fingerprints on the window ledge, but from the positioning they could be from the girl herself lifting the window up and down. Everything else is hopelessly smudged. Anything unusual on the bed?”
Shaking his head, Nick said, “Not a thing, no obvious hairs that don’t belong and it doesn’t look like there was much of a struggle getting the girl out of the bed, if that’s where she was when the person took her. We can’t be sure that she was even in this room when she disappeared.”
Greg thought for a minute, “The bathroom is between Kathryn’s room and the stairs, right? Could she have gotten up to go the bathroom and somebody caught her there? This room is completely undisturbed and I don’t think the kidnapper came in from this window, so maybe another entry point?”
“Good idea, I’ll go double check the perimeter of the house. Why don’t you process the doors and see if there are any other windows or entrances into the house? I’m not sure how many hits you’ll get off the front door because of all the traffic in and out today but see if you can tell whether the lock has been tampered with at all.” Nick had packed his kit up as he talked, so he and Greg made their way out of Kathryn’s room together.
Three hours later, Greg had a massive headache and was far past frustration and into sheer bewilderment. He had absolutely no idea how the kidnapper had entered the house.
The lock on the front door was not tampered with at all to his knowledge, all the other doors were the same, and all the windows on the bottom floor had reinforced latching mechanisms that hadn’t been touched. He’d taken so many prints that he was able to recognize on sight the ones that must match the three occupants of the house, so often did he see them.Jesus, they must live lonely lives and never entertain, I’ve only found five prints that don’t match the others on the whole house
. He tagged those for first priority, but he had no real hope it would be their guy- too many other innocent explanations, neighbor, friend, plumber, electrician, etc.
He stood up and rolled his head and shoulders, trying to work the kinks out after kneeling and twisting for so long. Deciding he was worthless where he was, he decided to go check on Nick.
Apparently Nick was just baffled, seeing as how he was glaring fiercely at the house with hands on hips when Greg finally found him. He turned to look and Greg and begged, “Please, please tell me you have something because I got nothing. The entire house is pristine, no footprints, no scuff marks, absolutely nothing out of place that shouldn’t be there.”
“Sorry, Nick, I’m just as frustrated as you. And another thing, these people lead incredibly boring lives if the prints are correct, barely any outside of the three of them. I’m just as confused as you are.”
Nick heaved a great sigh. “All right, if you can’t find anything at the crime scene, find something about the motive. Let’s go back to the lab and pull all their financials, talk to the people at the Mirage that work with Mr. Richardson, ask around Kathryn’s school, find anything irregular.”
“I’ll take the Mirage and Kathryn’s school if you pull all the financials- my eyes could use a break from detail work.”
Starting to walk into the house, Nick nodded, “Sure, I’m about ready to sit down, so that’s fine. I’d start with the Mirage, I think Mr. Richardson said something about doing the swing shift, so there should still be people there who know him.”
By then they’d found the Richardsons, so further conversation stopped as they said goodbye and packed up their kits, promising to keep them updated as often as they could.
Nick got into his Denali, shouting over his shoulder to Greg as he did the same thing with his own car, “Good luck and call me if you find anything interesting.”
Greg called out a “Same to you!” and they drove off in different directions.
“James Richardson? Enemies? You’re kidding me, right? Nicest man here, even if he is a bit quiet. Helped me out last year when I was having problems, good guy.”
“Richardson, nah, no problems, nice guy. If he’s got enemies, they’re not from here.”
“Jim’s a great guy, very reliable and always willing to pick up another shift here and there, help support the family. Poor Kathie, she must be going nuts.”
“Richardson, Richardson, oh yeah, the one that likes to cut off the very drunk ones. He’s all right. Almost got in trouble a few years ago because he would refuse to sell to the drunk kids after a point, but then that 21 year old idiot over at the Bellagio got alcohol poisoning and died, so the higher-ups backed off. He’s a decent guy.”
Greg’s headache was worse. Everyone, from other bartenders to the waitresses to his bosses, liked James Richardson. If the statements hadn’t been just different enough and a few petty complaints hadn’t cropped up from some of the waitresses who were miffed Mr. Richardson hadn’t hit on them, he would have thought it was a conspiracy. As it was he was forced to conclude that there wasn’t anyone here who might hold a grudge large enough to kidnap the man’s daughter.
Jotting down a few more notes, Greg headed back out to the Denali. He checked his watch and decided it wasn’t quite late enough to head over to Kathryn’s school so he headed in the direction of the lab, hoping that Nick had good news.
He didn’t. Nick’s mouth was pinched and his eyes tight. When he saw Greg enter he looked at him with such a pleading look Greg was almost tempted to make a lead up but he just shook his head in defeat.
“So I take it the financial records are just as perfect and boring as the opinions of James Richardson’s coworkers about his character?” His voice was wry.
Nick heaved a sigh, “If they didn’t have occasional splurges here and there and some bad stock decisions a couple years ago I would have thought someone was tampering with their accounts they’re so perfect. I’m about ready to ask them to write a book about how to make good financial decisions over the long run. There are no unexplained sources of money, no transfers of large sums, no regular checks to some anonymous person for a blackmail situation, nada. Nothing. They’re possibly the one normal family in all of Vegas.”
By the end of Nick’s little rant, Greg was hard pressed to keep from laughing, at both the situation and the exasperated petulance that was coming through Nick’s voice.
Nick slumped in his chair and stared off into the distance and said softly, “And meanwhile, Kathryn’s with who-knows-who doing who-knows-what and we have absolutely no leads.”
Greg’s mirth died abruptly, “Yeah, I know. But I still haven’t talked to Kathryn’s school and we should probably check out the mother as well. We know she works at home on the computer- maybe an affair? God, something
slightly shady that might possibly point at a motive. Maybe we can get Archie to do a check on her computer.”
Nick looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, “But how would we convince her parents it was necessary? It would be hard to make it seem like they weren’t suspects in their own daughter’s kidnapping. And it would have to be voluntary, we certainly don’t have enough for a warrant.”
He stopped to laugh bitterly, “Hell, we don’t have anything. No evidence at the crime scene that we can tell except for 5 miscellaneous prints, bedroom completely undisturbed, no trace of foul play anywhere in the entire house. It’s like she vanished into thin air. And we can’t even come up with a reason why anyone would want to take her in the first place.”
Greg stayed silent, just as frustrated as Nick. The other man sighed again, then straightened. “All right, why don’t you go over to the school and see if you can find anything out. Maybe there’s some pervert who hung out around the school and fixated on Kathryn. I’ll see if I can snag the laptop away from Mrs. Richardson and if there’s anything interesting on it. Clock’s ticking for this girl.” He turned back toward the computer with the financial information on it while Greg made for the door.
Kathryn’s middle school was a bust. Par for the course today, it seems,
Greg thought to himself with a sigh. Her teachers all said that Kathryn was a shy girl who didn’t seem to have many friends, although she wasn’t actively disliked. They showed him the playground where the kids exercised; a completely enclosed space where no lurking perverts could possibly spy on the children.
Climbing back into the Denali with tired groan, Greg tried to think of any other obvious holes or things to check out. When he came up empty, he rubbed his gritty eyes and started the engine to drive back to the lab. Maybe, just maybe, Nick had gotten lucky.
He glanced at the clock, hands clenching the steering wheel as he noticed the hour. Kathryn’s chances of living decrease with every minute that passes. God, I hope Nick has something, this must be driving him nuts.
More dark and depressing thoughts swam around in his brain as he maneuvered down the streets to the lab. He pulled up and parked, spying Grissom hurrying out as he did so, obviously intent on something in his hands, his face set in a furious frown. Greg blew out a breath as he tried and failed to catch the older man’s attention. Looks like everyone’s night has been rough.
As soon as he got inside he knew with one look that Nick had hit a wall as well. The Texan’s shoulders looked like they’d taken up permanent residence around his ears and there was a deep furrow between his brows. They stared at each other in gloomy silence for a couple minutes and then Nick looked his watch and grimaced.
“All right, we’re useless to Kathryn right now. Let’s talk to Ecklie and dayshift and tell them what we’ve got and for us to be updated if they find anything. We’ve gotta get some sleep to come back with fresh eyes tonight. I know the double homicide is still pulling lots of press, but let’s put out an AMBER alert and get something out there for this little girl. This obviously isn’t going to be an open and shut case.” Nick’s voice was filled with exhaustion and frustrated anger as he started toward Ecklie’s office.
Greg found himself nodding and following in his wake, his own exhaustion ambushing him. They found Ecklie quickly and the resulting meeting was short but intense as they filled him in on what little they knew and all the unanswered questions still out there. Ecklie gave them a disapproving look at how much they didn’t know, but Greg was hard pressed to care at that point. He wanted to find the girl but he knew he needed sleep more at the moment.
When they were finally released, Greg told Nick he’d see him later and dragged himself back to his car and drove home on autopilot. He fell onto his bed fully clothed and was asleep in minutes.
The shrill ring tone of his cell woke him up out of a dead sleep and he flailed around before grabbing the damn thing off the bedside table. His voice was groggy and hoarse as he muttered, “Hello?”
“Ah, Greg, you sound as bad as I feel. You okay?” Xander’s voice sounded just as bad as his.
Greg rolled over in bed and reached up and scrubbed his face with one hand in a vain effort to make his brain work.
He cleared his throat and answered Xander’s question, “No, not really. Nick and I are on a kidnapping case that’s baffling us at every turn and the clock’s ticking. I’m back on in a couple of hours and you’re the only person to have called so I’m betting they haven’t found anything since I came off.”
Xander’s voice got even quieter, “I’m so sorry Greg, that really sucks. I wish I had some good news for you, but I actually called to say that I might not be able to see you for a few days. One of the girls had an accident and ended up in the hospital so I’m gonna be run a little ragged for a while. She’ll be okay, but it’s always nerve wracking, you know?”
Xander’s sigh was audible over the line, “I’ll miss you though. It was nice waking up with you, even if we were stuck together.”
A ghost of a smile found its way onto Greg’s face. “Yeah, it was. I wish your day had gone better than mine but someone obviously has it out for us. Give a hug to whichever of your little monsters is in the hospital and call me whenever you get the chance, yeah? I want to know she’s really okay.”
Xander’s voice was warm, if still tired, “Yeah, definitely. You do the same all right? I’ll send good luck thoughts over. I’ll talk to you later.”
Nodding his head, Greg yawned and mumbled a, “Thanks, love you, bye,” before thumbing his phone off and nestling back down into the pillows. With one last wistful thought about wanting Xander next to him, he fell back asleep.
The next three days were hell. The day shift had turned up nothing, the Feds had arrived with their usual fanfare and uselessness, and Greg and Nick still had absolutely no idea where Kathryn Richardson was or if she was even alive. Her parents hadn’t received any kind of note and were beyond frantic.
Greg was hanging onto his sanity by his fingernails, using his daily conversations with Xander as a lifeline even though it sounded like his boyfriend was just as miserable as he was. Apparently several of the other girls had now gotten hurt, and while Greg was vaguely aware that there was more to the story he was too tired and stressed out by his own situation to really pay attention.
Then, on the fifth day after Kathryn had disappeared from her bed, Grissom walked into the break room where he and Nick were talking and said grimly, “Another girl is missing. Same MO.”
Catching his breath in horror and despair, he looked at Nick with wide eyes. Seeing the same expression there, they both turned to Grissom and said simultaneously, “We need help.”