It was another hot summer day, and the sun beat down mercilessly through the glass windows of the Las Vegas Police Department. Officers and criminals alike sweated in the brutal 120-degree temperature. Gil Grissom, who would feel comfortable even in the icy chill of an Alaskan winter, hardly noticed the heat at all. He had come here from his office in the CSI labs to have lunch with his friend, Captain Jim Brass, a ritual they had about once a month to escape from their respective busy work schedules.
Coming up on Brass’s office, Grissom saw an unfamiliar woman sitting at the aide’s desk. She seemed in her middle years, wearing a gray pantsuit on a bulky body, no makeup, oversized eyeglasses, and a big bun of nondescript brown hair at the nape of her neck. Her hair, pulled back so tightly, made Grissom’s head start to ache just looking at it.
Brass motioned Grissom into the office and rose from behind his desk to greet him. “Gil, I’d like you to meet my temporary secretary. She’ll be handling all the paperwork about the serial killer who’s terrorizing the city right now. Ravi, this is Gil Grissom, night supervisor of the CSI team. Gil, this is Ravel Johanson, better known as Ravi to her friends.”
As Grissom reached out to shake the hand of the woman who had not risen from her chair, he smiled and commented, “A pleasure to meet you, Ravi. I bet if you had been a boy, your name would be Maurice.” She rewarded him with a smile that brightened up her whole face. The woman probably had heard this lame joke many times during her life. However, she did not say another word after her initial greeting and returned to her work. This left a puzzled Grissom to raise one eyebrow at Brass in a silent question.
Brass shook his head, to let him know he would answer all his questions later, not now. As he walked over to sit in one of the visitor’s chairs in front of the desk, Grissom looked down at his right hand. He still could feel the softness of the woman’s hand. It surprised him to see how delicate it had looked and how incredibly masculine it had made him feel, as his larger hand swallowed it. Somehow, it did not match the rest of the woman’s ungainly body, and Grissom vowed to investigate this mysterious woman further. However, lunch was a priority, and he and Brass left for a nearby cafeteria.
Ravi and the mystery of her body would have to wait for another time.
“Jim, what’s going on? Who is she?” Grissom asked this after the two men finished their meals and leaned back for a few minutes of relaxation before heading back to work. “You never had anyone handling your paperwork before, even for bigger cases than this one.”
Brass hesitated, and finally decided his friend would keep the woman’s secret. “Ravi came recommended by a friend in the Phoenix P.D. who knew I would try to keep her safe.”
“Safe from what?” Grissom put down his empty coffee cup to give Brass his undivided attention. He remembered the sudden look of fright that appeared in the woman’s eyes when he entered the room. Grissom did not like to see women frightened, and definitely not of him.
When Brass continued, Grissom felt the heat of anger invading his body. “She no longer could stand her husband’s emotional and physical abuse. The gentle considerate man whom she married when in her late 30s turned, within days, into a brutal wife beater. Ravi didn’t understand this change and for weeks blamed herself, as many women do. She tried to get away from him repeatedly, but he kept finding and dragging her back home. He even threatened to kill her if she reported him to the police, and she believed him. Finally, after one vicious attack, she packed a small suitcase while he was at work. After that, she took a bus to a distant city, trying to hide in its bustling anonymity. Ravi’s ex has been stalking her for over two years, following her from state to state. So far, she’s managed to escape from him, sometimes by mere hours.”
When Brass stopped his uninterrupted monologue at this point to drink from his refilled coffee cup, Grissom sat waiting impatiently for him to continue. Men who abused women were high on his list of people he would enjoy consigning to the deepest pits of hell, more than willing to help them get there.
“Well, Ravi made it to Phoenix before he managed to track her down again. She had contacted a lawyer to start divorce proceedings a year ago, and the receipt of the final decree must have given this bastard a clue to where she was then.” Brass looked across the table at his friend whose eyes had darkened in quiet rage and went on. “Her boss at the P.D. where she worked as a file clerk managed to get her out of that city and headed my way. This was just hours before the man drove up to the police department and opened fire on the people inside, wounding two police officers.” Grissom’s enraged expression at this point caused Brass much sadness for he knew his friend took this woman’s plight personally.
“We’re hoping she managed to shake him this time. She’s found a small apartment in what we know is a safe neighborhood. Gil, she deserves some happiness. I’m going to do all I can to make her comfortable here and hope you’ll do the same.”
“What can I do?” Grissom asked slowly, getting himself under control. “I could always use a secretary for my paperwork, and this would get her out of the police department itself.”
“Let me discuss it with her and get back to you by tomorrow.” With this, Brass stood up to return to work, thankful for the friendship of the quiet man walking out of the cafeteria beside him. He knew down to his bones that Ravi could not have a better protector than Gil Grissom.
The next morning after a long night’s work, Grissom was just stepping out of his shower when he heard the front doorbell ringing. He quickly wrapped a baby-blue bath towel around his middle and walked through his home, leaving wet footprints from the bathroom to the front door. Grissom ran his fingers through his still damp curls, trying to get out the last of the water, and rubbed his hand over his face, wondering if he needed to trim his beard soon.
Holding on to the towel with one hand, he opened the door to find Brass and Ravi waiting patiently for him. As they came inside, with Ravi closing the door behind them, Brass smirked at Grissom’s discomfort. Ravi quietly asked, “Do you need help with that?” She pointed to the towel that was slowly slipping out of Grissom’s grasp.
The small towel still covered all essential parts, but just barely at this point. It left exposed his muscular body, from head to just below the waist and from bare toes up to high on his thighs. This amused Brass, pleased the now smiling woman, and caused growing embarrassment of the almost naked man.
Grissom turned and quickly headed for his bedroom, commenting over his shoulder, “Just grab a coffee in the kitchen while I get dressed.”
“Don’t do it on my account,” Brass called out seriously but with a devilish look in his eyes.
“Or mine!” Ravi tried to stop smiling at the sight of the handsome man ducking out of sight, but failed miserably. Many long months had passed since she had felt like smiling, and this man had caused her to do it twice in 24 hours. What was it about him that she found so appealing?
A now almost dressed Grissom came out of his room. His short-sleeved blue shirt, still not fully buttoned, brought out the brilliant blue of his eyes. He filled out his tight black slacks magnificently to the delight of the woman watching him cross the room towards them. She was finding it harder and harder to resist this man. Thank goodness, she thought, I’ve made myself so unattractive he won’t notice me.
“Gil, we’ve talked it over, and Ravi agrees that working for you instead of inside the police department probably would be safer…if you still want her.” Brass looked across the kitchen table to gauge Grissom’s reaction to this. He had already noticed the other man had guessed something was odd about Ravi’s appearance and knew that Gil, indeed, did want her.
After the three of them had discussed the working terms and when Ravi would start at CSI, Brass stood up before leaving. He stopped midway to the door, as if remembering something and looked at his wristwatch. “Gil, I forgot I have to meet with the sheriff in 15 minutes. Can you give Ravi a lift home? Her car’s back at the department. She couldn’t start it for some reason, so I promised I’d drive her to her apartment. It’s only about half an hour away from here, across town.”
“Sure, just let me get some shoes on.” Grissom went into his bedroom and quickly returned to escort both visitors outside. Brass got into his Taurus while Ravi and Grissom aimed for the huge SUV parked outside the townhouse. As Grissom’s hands went around her waist to help her into the high vehicle, it surprised him to find the bulky clothes masked a more slender waist than he had expected to feel. What other pleasures did her clothes hide?
He decided he would do his best to find out.
Two weeks passed since that early morning meeting at Grissom’s home, and Ravi settled in nicely with the rest of the CSI members. The men more or less ignored her. The women, not sensing a threat from her, greeted her each evening but left her alone for the rest of the shift. Her only interaction was with her temporary supervisor, and this was only to find out what paperwork he wanted expedited next. She quickly discovered this piled up unattended when Grissom was nose deep in some experiment.
She would never forget the time she was searching once again for her missing boss, only to find him in a lab examining a bag of rancid smelling stomach contents from a recently dead wildcat. At first, the thought was the animal killed and then ate a man. This man’s hunting partner shot and killed the wildcat, but Grissom proved the animal was innocent. The hunting partner was now on trial for first-degree murder, thanks to Grissom’s perseverance in following the evidence.
Shaking her head to remove the memories of the man who claimed many of her recent thoughts, Ravi got back to work, trying to organize the files of open cases strewn all over the big desk. She only looked up when Grissom returned to his office muttering beneath his breath. Knowing he was not even aware she was there, she smiled at the colorful adjectives he was using to describe the sheriff. The man recently dropped by to chat with Grissom about a recent bungled court case involving the swing shift supervisor. Catherine was a friend of Grissom’s, and he didn’t like anyone to bad-mouth any of his friends, even if it was the sheriff. When he spoke a particularly inaccurate obscenity the sheriff could do to his body, physically impossible as far as she knew, her giggle warned Grissom that he was not alone in his office.
“Did you hear all of that?” He looked a bit ashamed of his language in front of a woman, even though he had not seen her sitting quietly at his desk. However, her amused look dissolved this feeling and gave him a warm glow all over instead. Why does this woman make me feel like an inexperienced young boy and a randy male all at the same time? He wondered this as he watched Ravi get up from behind the desk and walk over to the file cabinets on the back wall. Again, he noticed how gracefully she walked, another contradiction he could not explain.
When his phone rang, Grissom reached for it while sitting down behind his desk in the still warm chair. On hearing the worried voice of his friend on the other end, he took his eyes off the woman and concentrated on what Brass was saying. He heard, “Is Ravi there?”
“Yes, did you want to speak to her?” About to ask her to come and talk with Brass, Grissom heard from Brass a vehement “No!” He stopped himself as he listened to the next chilling words coming over the phone line.
“Just let her know that her ex is in town and is looking for her. I’m on my way over to your office now to see what we can do to protect her from the bastard.” With this, Brass rang off, leaving a stunned Grissom holding the now dead phone. Ravi looked over at him and turned pale as she guessed the subject of the call.
“He found me again, didn’t he?” Seeing the answer in his face, she gathered her purse from where she had put it hours ago and started for the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Grissom got these abrupt words out before she could get more than a few steps and walked around his desk to stop her from leaving. “When Jim gets here we’ll figure something out.” He reached her and slowly walked her back to sit back on his chair. He casually leaned on a corner of the desk. While they waited for Brass, he kept up a stream of small talk to try to keep her from jumping up and running out of the room, as he knew she wanted to do.
Ten minutes later, Brass came down the corridor to the office, followed by two armed police officers. Seeing this, Grissom stood up, poised to argue since he knew what the plan Brass had come up with might be. Leaving the two men to stand outside, the husky captain walked around the desk to where Ravi was waiting to hear what she needed to do next.
“I’ve asked these officers to drive you home now where you can pack. They then will stay outside guarding the apartment until you’re ready to have them take you to the bus station. I’ve already contacted a friend on the police force in Los Angeles who’s expecting you and has a job waiting.”
“I’m driving her home, not them.” This softly spoken announcement from Grissom surprised everyone, especially Ravi since she thought he would be glad to get rid of her and her problems. However, knowing that she would be able to see him at least for another half hour or so softened the blow of leaving people she had learned to care about.
Grissom took a firm hold of her arm, as if to keep her from fighting his decision, and walked her out to his SUV. Brass and the two police officers followed him. As the SUV and the police car with the two police officers inside drove away, Brass stood there in the parking lot. He sadly wished there was more he could have done for this woman other than shuffling her off to the care of someone in a distant city. He returned to his Taurus, determined at least to try to find her ex and arrest him for the attempted murder back in Phoenix, and perhaps even for the stalking of Ravi.
On the drive to her apartment, Grissom and Ravi were silent as each dreaded the moment when they would no longer see each other. She had fallen under the spell of this man without his once trying even to kiss her. Meanwhile, he knew there was more to her than the outward disguise she showed to the rest of the world. He glanced over at her as they neared her apartment and gently put his hand on the side of her face.
“Will you write me and let you know how you’re doing? I don’t think you know how much I’ve….” Unable to admit he’d come to care for this strange woman who was leaving his life forever, Grissom left the sentence hanging. After that, both continued the silent drive, unaware of the other’s true feelings.
After he pulled up in front of her apartment, Grissom got out to open the passenger side door for one last chance to be with her. He deeply regretted not spending the time to find out what the true woman was like under that hideous fašade, but it was too late now. Once she entered her apartment with the two police officers stationed outside, Grissom started the engine of his SUV and drove away, with a feeling of emptiness he had never experienced before.
Pulling into his townhouse’s driveway half an hour later, his eyes spotted a strap showing from underneath the passenger seat. Stopping the SUV and pulling the item out, he saw it was Ravi’s purse. She had accidentally left it behind in her haste to reach her apartment and safety. He quickly reversed out of his driveway and headed back to return the purse that contained all her money and important papers.
At the end of this second half hour’s drive, he pulled up in front of her apartment next to the waiting police car. Upon noticing that he couldn’t see either officer, he decided they must be inside helping Ravi pack her few belongings. He grabbed her purse and started walking up the pathway to her door, only to stumble over the feet of one of the police officers partially hidden behind a bottlebrush bush. Next to him was the body of the second man, both covered in blood and obviously dead.
Staring in horror, first down at the two men and then towards the door standing wide open with a broken lock hanging down, Grissom froze in place, unable to move his feet, breaking into a run as he heard a scream of pain. He crashed through the doorway, almost falling over a huge man bending over the partially clothed woman.
Ravi, who had been changing into travel clothes and was wearing only her underpants and bra when her ex broke down the door, huddled in the fetal position. She was trying to protect her body from the blows the furious man was raining down on her. His mouth was spewing out filth at her, blaming her for all his troubles. He screamed at Ravi about already killing two men to get to her and started to unzip and lower his trousers.
When he bent down to pull her legs apart, a furious bear of a man knocked him off his feet. Grissom would have shocked his friends if they had seen this total loss of control. After punching his fists repeatedly into the man’s face, Grissom managed to get to his feet and pulled the other man up with him. As he stole a glance at the woman still on the floor, this gave his opponent a momentary advantage. The still enraged man managed to pull away, and then picked up the heavy black landline phone from a nearby table. He slammed it against the side of Grissom’s head multiple times in quick succession. One brutal blow following another until Grissom finally crashed to the floor, unconscious.
With Grissom lying next to Ravi, her ex gave her one last hate-filled glance and stepped over the third man he figured he had killed. As he disappeared out the front door, he left two blood-soaked people behind.
Time passed. Outside birds were singing, and passing traffic made a muted rumble while the two people on the floor remained unconscious. Ravi was the first to stir. She slowly looked around and cautiously and painfully rose to her knees. A low moan of anguish came out of her as she caught sight of the battered man lying covered in blood next to her. Fearing he too was dead like the men her ex had already killed outside, she put her fingers to his neck. A wave of relief washed over her reassured by his steady and strong pulse.
Grissom slowly began to move and opened his eyes to look up into the face of the woman he had just rescued. He gave a silent prayer of thanks that they both had survived this ordeal. Gathering his remaining strength, he lurched to his feet then helped Ravi to hers.
“I think we better get out of here just in case your ex is still hanging around. Don’t bother to finish packing, just let’s get out to the SUV now!” Putting words into action, Grissom took off his shirt and placed it around Ravi’s bare shoulders. He quickly walked with her out to his nearby vehicle.
As the SUV raced down the street away from the recent scene of violence, the huge man came out from behind the bottlebrush bush that also contained the bodies of the police officers. With a menacing smile on his face, he rounded the corner to his waiting car and took off after the SUV.
He silently vowed that if he could not have her, no one would.
Driving across town, Grissom called Brass on his cell to let him know what had happened to his two men. Usually he would not have left the scene of a crime, but getting Ravi away from her murderous ex seemed more important. He caught Brass at the CSI unit talking with Warrick and Catherine and asked all three of them to meet him at his townhouse. Brass quickly agreed that Grissom had made the right choice to get Ravi away from danger. The stunned captain hung up only to once again use his phone to arrange for someone to go to his dead officers. Brass, Warrick, and Catherine then left for whatever faced them at their friend’s home.
Once more pulling into his driveway, Grissom looked over at Ravi who had been quiet all during the half hour trip. He moved quickly out of the vehicle and to the other side to open her door. As he did, she slumped out, again unconscious, into his waiting arms. He heard footsteps racing towards him and looked up to see Warrick coming to help him. Brass and Catherine stood waiting at the front door, shocked expressions on their faces.
“I’m fine, Warrick”, Grissom said as the other man reached to take the half-naked woman from him. “She’s not heavy, trust me on that.” With Warrick staying close to him in case he did need help, Grissom walked towards Catherine. She had taken a few steps to meet the two men coming up the walkway. Grissom shifted Ravi slightly against his bare chest and asked Catherine to reach into his shirt pocket for his house key. She noticed his shirt covered a nearly naked Ravi. Removing the key, being careful not to touch the injured woman, Catherine unlocked the door and let them all into the privacy of his secluded home.
Without hesitation, Grissom carried Ravi into his bedroom and laid her gently down on his double bed. Catherine came into the room soon afterwards with a wet towel in her hand to start cleaning Ravi’s cuts and bruises. Warrick grabbed a loudly protesting Grissom and practically dragged him into the bathroom to attend to his wounds, particularly the still bleeding head wound. Brass had stayed out in the living room, too upset at what had happened to be of much help to anyone. The death of his two police officers still hadn’t fully sunk in. However, the sight of the brutalized woman and the bloody appearance of his friend had shaken him down to his core. Somehow, although it wasn’t true, he felt responsible for their conditions.
Upon turning over the woman on her stomach, Catherine removed the wrinkled shirt to examine Ravi’s naked back. What she saw made her wince and call Warrick back from the bathroom to check it out. A freshly bandaged and cleaned-up Grissom, who had grumbled all the time Warrick had been doing this, followed him. Even the blood that had transferred from Ravi onto his bare chest as he carried her no longer was there.
Catherine carefully unsnapped the bra and removed it to better show the two men the outline of a dark bruise caused by a shoe, high up on the woman’s back. She looked up in amazement as Grissom used a word to describe the attacker. She had once heard a drunken longshoreman use that word during her stripper days’ while visiting San Francisco. She didn’t realize that her good friend even knew the word, much less its meaning. Despite the seriousness of what they were looking at, she let a small smile cross her face.
Leaving him sitting at the edge of the bed smoothing back Ravi’s long hair, no longer a prisoner in a bun, Catherine touched the top of his bowed head as a mother would to her child. She quietly followed Warrick out to the living room where Brass was waiting for them. Grissom finally took his eyes off the almost naked woman lying in his bed as she drifted from unconsciousness into a healing sleep. He was honest enough with himself to admit he had wanted her in his bed for some time but not this way. Noticing that his three companions were no longer in the room, he got up and slowly walked out to join them, knowing there was nothing further he could do for Ravi until she woke up.
Grissom took the hot mug of coffee that Catherine handed him and sipped from it almost absently, memories of the last hour invading his thoughts. Sitting at the kitchen table with his friends, his body was there, but his mind was still with the injured woman sleeping in the next room. For the first time, he had seen her as she really was, without the disguise of a dowdy older woman as a barrier.
There had been only small lacy feminine underwear between him and her nearly naked body as he had sat alone next to her on his bed. Before he had joined the others, he had placed a light sheet over her. The sight of her gentle curves, covered by soft skin that cried out for a man’s touch, remained burned into his brain. Only the presence of the others kept him from returning to his bedroom and gathering the woman into his arms again.
“Gil! Gil, did you hear me?” As if through deep water, he heard Catherine speaking to him. Erotic thoughts of being with Ravi immediately disappeared, and he harshly crashed back to reality.
“Yes, Cath, what were you saying?” Catherine looked at him as if guessing his recent thoughts. She had known the gentle so-called science nerd for years and had never seen him react this way to a woman before. He had had his little flings with women, of course, but none had brought out this protective side of him. She found it rather endearing, not to mention a bit exciting. It also surprised her to find she envied the other woman.
He had once come to her own defense, it was true, when Eddie had manhandled her in the lab, but it had been more as a friend than a potential lover. Suddenly seeing Grissom with fresh eyes, Catherine licked her bottom lip and tried to remember what she had been saying.
Warrick looked at Grissom with understanding and a touch of amusement. His own woman caused him to daydream like that at times. Seeing Grissom falling under the spell of the beauty asleep in the other room made him feel closer to the older man. He knew Gris would give his life for her and prayed it wouldn’t come to that. It wouldn’t if I have anything to say about it, Warrick promised silently, as losing Gris would be like losing my father again.
By now, it was almost noon, and the various people needed to return home for sleep before going back to work later that evening. Brass was the first to leave since he still had ahead of him the difficult task of notifying the families of his two officers about their murders. This was a part of the job he hated; he usually was able to have someone else do it. However, since he felt guilty about assigning them a duty that caused their deaths, he owed it to them to handle this personally. With one last private conversation with Warrick, he said his good-byes and left to wait outside for Catherine.
“Gil, if you want me to stay, I will,” said Catherine as she looked toward the other room, “or I could go back to her apartment and get her clothes and other items.”
At this, Grissom looked sharply at her and almost shouted, “I don’t want to hear of you going anywhere near her place. That maniac could still be around…” She put up her hands in surrender to show she got his point and to stop yelling at her. He calmed down enough to thank her for the offer of help and asked, “Perhaps tomorrow you can help buy her something to wear with my credit card. Okay?”
“Okay! I’ll give you a call in the morning after my shift to arrange a time.” With that, Catherine gave him a quick peck on the cheek. She followed Brass out since he was giving her a lift home where her daughter would be waiting.
This left only the two men still in the kitchen. “Do you want me to let Ecklie know you won’t be in tonight?” asked Warrick, taking the dirty dishes to the sink. He did this just to keep himself busy while he thought of what Brass had asked of him a few minutes ago. Without hesitation, he agreed to the police captain’s request but now wondered how he would manage it without Grissom finding out. Oh well! He mentally shrugged, I’ll just wing it!
“Would you? I don’t think I can face his questions right now. Just tell him I’ve taken sick and need to stay home for a few days since it might be catching.” Grissom smiled, without any humor rising above his mouth. “It’s not as if I don’t have a few sick days racked up, is it?”
Changing the subject abruptly, he got up from the table to face Warrick. “Are you going to tell me what Jim asked you to do? I won’t have you putting yourself in any danger, you understand?” He narrowed his eyes and glared over at him to say again for emphasis, “Do you understand?”
“Hey, Gris, it was nothing.” Warrick lied smoothly. “All he wanted me to do was to let you know, after he left, that he was going to start proceedings to have Ravi put in protective custody at the station until they catch her ex. If he had told you himself, you might have argued with him about it. That’s all!” He silently congratulated himself on coming up with this explanation so quickly, and Grissom accepted it. At least he dropped the subject.
“I’d better be off, too, as I’m falling asleep on my feet. Need to be sharp for my shift, don’t I, since I’ll be filling in for the big boss?” Warrick yawned widely to illustrate his exhaustion in case Grissom was still suspicious. With one last good-bye handshake with his friend, he left to get into his car. This left Grissom as the sole protection for the sleeping woman against the evil parked unnoticed just down the street.
After everyone had gone, Grissom looked down and realized all this time he was naked from the waist up. Funny how worry about someone can make you forget simple tasks like putting on a shirt, he thought, walking into his bedroom to get a fresh one. As he passed his bed, he looked down at Ravi who was starting to stir out of her deep sleep. He quickly removed his shoes and socks to muffle the nonexistent sound of his steps in the fully carpeted room.
Not wanting her to wake up and find herself alone in a strange room, he first put on a black short-sleeve shirt. Next, he sat down on the edge of the bed, the same place he had been earlier when Catherine had been tending to her wounds. Now Grissom was alone with the woman who, without warning, had become the sun and the moon to him. How this had happened, he didn’t know or even care, as long as she cared at least a little bit for him in return.
Her long brown hair had tangled around her face when she tossed and turned in her sleep. The light sheet he earlier placed over her had slipped off to land on the floor, leaving her body exposed. Grissom reached down to bring the sheet back over her, but slowly his hand grasping it stopped in midair. As he let the sheet fall back onto the carpet, his fingers, seemingly with a mind of their own, moved over her flat stomach, just barely touching the warm bare skin.
They moved lower to just underneath the edge of her lacy pants, a wisp of material he knew he could easily remove in a second. He closed his eyes in frustration, knowing he should not go any further and used every ounce of his moral strength to resist the woman stretched out before him. When Ravi turned a bit in her sleep, this caused his hand to slide even further down between her legs before he realized what was happening.
His head came down towards her face, meaning simply to remove his hand from temptation and give her a brief kiss before leaving to sleep on his sofa in the other room. So much for good intentions!
Finally coming slowly awake, Ravi opened her eyes to find his face only inches from her face, his lips close to hers. “Mr. Grissom?” she whispered.
Not moving and gazing into her sleepy brown eyes, he grinned suddenly. “Ravi, it’s okay to call me Gil now or Gris, if you prefer. With what we’ve gone through today, I think we’ve moved beyond the Mr. Grissom stage, don’t you agree?” Suddenly shy, she could only stare up at him, feeling his warm breath on her cheek; he was that close to her.
An unfamiliar feeling spreading up from between her legs alerted her to where his hand still was, gently stroking her rather absently at first, then with more purpose. Even when she was married, her body had never responded like this, rising and falling to the rhythm of his probing fingers.
Seeing her involuntary reaction and unable to force himself away from her, Grissom decided he’d fought against temptation long enough. A man can resist a woman just so long, he told himself, especially when she was lying below him naked. Well, almost naked. He knew she was ready for him, if the heat and moisture surrounding his fingers were any indication.
Reluctantly removing his hand, he stood up and ever so slowly stripped off his shirt, giving Ravi time to object. When she didn’t but just lay there watching him, unable to look away from his tanned muscular chest now exposed for her pleasure, he continued undressing one piece of clothing at a time. Finally, without a word passing between them, he let his now naked and excited body show her what nature had generously given him and that he was about to share with her.
The ringing of the front doorbell rudely interrupted the visual inspection the two were slowly giving each other. Muttering what he would do to the person at the door in vivid and varied detail, he included a running comment about the person’s parentage. A now cooled-off Grissom grabbed a towel, mate to the one first seen on him by Ravi and Brass, and started for the front door. He looked back wistfully at Ravi, who was leaning over the edge of the bed to grab his discarded shirt to cover her naked body.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” he yelled to the person on the other side of the door when the doorbell impatiently rang once more. When he called out, asking who was there, a muffled voice said he was the police wanting to check up on them to see if they were okay.
Without hesitation, Grissom opened the door, knowing Brass still worried about them and expecting to see one of his officers on the other side of the door. Instead, he found himself facing a long sharp knife held aimed towards his heart by Ravi’s dangerous ex husband, a huge and menacing man by any standard. He had at least 50 pounds on Grissom and probably two or more inches. This was not a man to take lightly, especially not now when he was on a rampage about someone else being with Ravi.
Grissom backed up into the living room as the man, Paul Whitcomb by name, advanced towards him leaving the front door wide open behind him. Trying to warn Ravi on this danger, Grissom loudly asked what the man wanted, never letting his glance go towards the bedroom where he knew the terrified woman was hiding.
“I’ve come for my wife, and you better not have touched her.” Taking another step away from the open door, Whitcomb sneered at the man wearing only a blue towel, knowing he had nothing to fear from any hidden weapons. He suddenly opened his eyes wide in utter astonishment and dropped to his knees to stare down at the bloody hole blossoming in his chest. As the now dead man fell to land face down, Grissom saw a smaller hole in his back dripping blood.
With his ears still ringing from the closeness of the gunshot sound, Grissom looked behind the fallen man on his carpet to see Warrick coming up the path towards the door. In his hand was the gun he carried as a CSI when out with Brass as backup to clearing a crime scene. Fearing his legs would give out on him from the shock of being so close to dying, Grissom quickly found a chair and sat down waiting for their shaking to stop. “I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but where the hell did you come from?”
Warrick smiled at the man whose life he had just saved. He explained that Brass asked him to stay behind, well hidden, as a precaution in case the killer showed up. Brass knew he was an excellent shot and would do everything he could to save their friend and his woman.
Brass himself ran up the pathway from where he also had been hiding to join the two men, being sure to close the front door behind him. A look of satisfaction crossed his face as he saw the dead man leaking blood all over the carpet, and he pounded Warrick on his back with a “Good job, Rick! Good job!”
When Ravi slowly walked out of the bedroom, Grissom tried to keep her from seeing what was lying on the floor. She managed to avoid him and only stopped when she reached the blood-soaked body of her ex husband. A shudder went through her. She asked in a voice almost too low for them to hear, “Is it over? Am I finally free of him?”
With no time to answer, Grissom grabbed her as she fainted and started to slip to the floor. In catching her, his towel came loose, and there he stood, naked as a jaybird, holding the love of his life in his arms. His two friends doubled over in laughter at the sight and just in pure relief that it was finally over. Ravi regained consciousness quickly. With the body removed by the coroner, the towel wrapped on more snugly, and the day’s events thoroughly discussed over coffee, Warrick and Brass finally left the townhouse. Only Grissom and Ravi remained to return to what they started before the interruption.
As Shakespeare once said, “All’s well that ends well.”