Nick walked down the hall reading through a file in his hands. Without looking, he turned into the DNA lab.
“You wanted to see me Catherine?” he asked as he stopped. He looked up with a smile.
It faded when he found Wendy sitting on a stool crying silent tears. Catherine stood nearby, holding a box of tissues in one hand and papers in her other. Wendy took the box from her, saying something too quiet for Nick to hear.
“I’m pulling you off the Dean Nolan case,” Catherine told him. “Is that the case file?”
Nick closed the file. “No. It’s another case. Why are you pulling me off the Nolan case?”
“Did you know Sara requested a DNA test on Dean Nolan and the woman?”
“Yeah. I still think it was a waste of time. We got what we needed on his fingerprints.”
“Well… It’s a good thing she did.” Catherine shook her head a little. “Or not.” She hesitated. “The results are… Surprising in bad way.”
Nick glanced at Wendy. “Surprising how?”
“Dean’s DNA matches yours. He’s your twin.”
Nick laughed both because she was absolutely certain she was right and he was absolutely certain she was wrong. He would know if he had a twin, or even had one at birth; his parents would have told him about it. But in all his years, the subject never was brought up and that’s how certain he was Catherine was wrong. This would make for a light ribbing joke some other day, but for now he had to convince her she was wrong, and so was the DNA test.
“Catherine, I do not have a twin. I would know if I did, and I don’t. You know, I’ve heard that there are those rare instance where people have similar DNA, but that doesn’t mean they’re related. That’s probably the case here. Like a chance in a gazillion, but it’s the only possible answer.”
“Wendy ran the test four times. His DNA isn’t similar to yours, it is an exact match, and that one in a gazillion chance is possible except right now, because even in that case the match would not 100 percent match. That means that this man is your twin. I don’t know how your parents wouldn’t have known or why they wouldn’t have told you about him, but the fact is, Nicky, Dean Nolan is your twin brother.” Catherine held the sheets that showed the DNA results that showed the match coming up with Nick’s profile four times in a row. “And I can’t have you working a case of someone you’re related to, even if you’ve never met them.”
Nick pulled the papers away and read them. He could feel his anger rising. It started in his legs and moved at a steady pace into his face.
“Nick?” Catherine said.
“Are you all right?”
Nick glared at her – although the glare was intended for someone else. “I just found out I have a twin brother and my parents have lied to me for thirty-seven years.” He threw the papers on the counter and walked out, adding, “I’m great!”
Catherine turned to Wendy. The tears had stopped at least.
“Now you. What’s going on, Wendy? Why are you upset about the Mindy Bimms results?”
She looked at Catherine. “We didn’t get any hits on her.” She started crying again. “We still don’t know who she is.”
Catherine put her arm around her, trying to comfort her even if she didn’t understand why the lab tech was so upset by the lack of results.
“We haven’t given up yet, Wendy. Hang in there.”
Sara found Nick at the end of the top deck of the parking garage, sitting on the corner the guard wall with his feet dangling over the ground five stories below. She hated when he sat on ledges like that, but she admired his lack of fear. Sara leaned on wall, staring at the street under his feet. There were few people out in the early morning hours.
“Word’s spread fast,” she told him. “Wendy told Hodges, he told everyone.”
“You won the bet, I guess.”
Sara shook her head. “Forget the bet. That was just us joking around. You were convinced there was no relation, and I was too. I ran his DNA because I thought he might have done some larger crime that wasn’t showing up on his record. I’m sorry, Nick. I didn’t meant of this to happen.”
“I’m not mad at you, Sara. You were right and you were doing your job. There’s no fault there.”
She looked across Las Vegas. She realized they were facing east and in an hour, the sun would start rising above the hills.
“His parents finally contacted me,” Sara told him. “They are in Sydney and should be here in four days.”
“Why didn’t they adopt us both?” Nick whispered. “His parents or mine. Why did they split us up?”
“Maybe you should ask your parents.”
He sat up straight as if she’d smacked him. He looked at her. “Go get the case file. We’re going to Texas.” He swung his legs around and hopped off the wall, heading for the door.
Sara stood for a minute.
She trotted to catch up. “We can’t go to Texas.”
“My parents have information important to this case. We have to talk to them.”
“We can’t just go to Texas! Catherine will never—”
“We’ll call her when we’re there.”
“We have no jurisdiction in Texas!”
He stopped, staring at her. He looked driven in a way that he could do just about anything, but she move away. She opened this can of worms and she wasn't about to let him go off the edge alone - even if she was a little scared about what edge that might be right now.
“His parents are four days away; mine are three hours. And I don’t need jurisdiction to find out why parents kept this secret from me.”
“Let’s just wait for Dean’s parents.”
“I’m not pissed at Dean’s parents.”
She heaved a sigh. “So this is a personal vendetta, not actual evidence collection?”
“For me, yes; for you it could be evidence. So anything I find out without you present you can’t use.” He started walking again. “I’m going to Texas. You want to come, fine. You want to wait and talk to Dean’s parents, that’s fine too.”
She looked out across Las Vegas. Sara turned and followed him. They could be in Texas in three hours, and they might be able to figure out who murdered Nick’s twin sooner.
“We’re telling Catherine before we leave, Nick. At least can you do that?”
“Make it quick. I’ll wait out front for twenty minutes, and then I'm going home to get answers!”
Sara jogged to catch with him.
Wendy trotted up to Langston. He was looking at something through the microscope.
“Yes, Wendy?” he asked.
“Hey… How did you know it was me?” she asked.
“Your shampoo has a very distinct smell of lilac and you’re the only woman in the lab that uses it.”
She smiled. “Oh. Hey, I was wondering if you’d ran her prints in the international database.”
He glanced at her. “I have not.”
“Oh. Well, could you?”
He smiled. “No. I have to finish this trace sample first. But I would appreciate it if you would do it for me.”
“Can I run her DNA profile through the other databases too?”
“Wendy,” Langston stood up. “I would appreciate any help you can give me with Mindy Bimms’ case. Just don’t take the initiative to interview anyone. I have to do that.”
“I won’t. Thank you, Doctor Langston.”
He nodded once with a smile. She turned and trotted away. Across from him, Henry appeared from behind a gas chromatograph.
“I thought you said the case was a dead end?”
Langston turned back to the microscope. “No. I said that I had reached a dead end. But I’m open to any avenue of assistance I can get.”
“You never ordered a tox screen on her.”
“We have no reason for one.”
“Yes, but wouldn’t it be helpful.”
Langston pulled his head back and smiled. “Henry, why don’t you go run a tox screen for me?”
He jumped up and left to do that.
Langston chuckled a little and went back to work.