One Way Or Another

Chapter 26

08/30/2005 Early Tuesday morning 1:00AM

Chapter Twenty-Six

Reilly sat at the computer next to Archie in the A/V lab helping him run through the camera footage from all the cameras he had access to that the group could have passed in the Tahoe. She was going on fumes and even Archie could see she was about to fall off her seat.

"Look Reilly, you need to lay down for a little bit; you're barely staying upright there." Archie said. "You're not gonna be any help to us or Nick if you fall off that chair. Besides, if Nick found out I let you fall, he'd break my face and I'm kinda partial to it." He added smiling at her. "Look, I'll call in some favors and see what other cameras I can get access to, maybe we'll get lucky."

Reilly smiled and was about to decline when Grissom came into the room catching what Archie had just said. "He's right Reilly. You need to go make use of the couch in my office. Now." When he saw she was about to refuse him too, he added, "If you don't go, I'll call Sam and have her come back here and take you home. Something tells me besides Nick, Sam is the only other person you'll listen to." He smiled at her.

"Funny, Gil. Okay. I'll go lay down, but only if you promise to call me if anything and I mean anything comes up." She said as she got to her feet.

"Of course. Which reminds me. I came in here to tell you that they abandoned the Tahoe and stole a Bronco at a bar near the industrial park. Jim just called and the owner of the Bronco witnessed it. She saw Nick drop something before they put him in the car. Turned out to be your sonogram. She swears it wasn't accidental; his hands were still cuffed behind him and he had to work hard to get the picture out of his vest pocket without being seen."

Reilly looked at him. It bothered her that Nick was still cuffed and it brought pain to her heart to think that he was still in their hands. "There's no way he'd just leave that photo. If he even suspected he was going to die, he'd have hung onto it. It means that much to him." She said as she thought about this for a moment. "If Nick left it on purpose then Gil, he's trying to tell us they don't plan on killing him. At least not yet. They need him alive."

"I think you're right. They need Nick alive." Grissom looked at her. "The good thing is he's alive and we need to hold onto that." He reached out and squeezed her hand. "It's what we've got right now."

Reilly looked up at the man and smiled back at him. "Thanks Gil." Both turned then to see Greg come trotting into the room. Hey Greg." Reilly said to him.

"Hey Reilly." He smiled at her. "Grissom, I've got the visitor logs for the four prisoners and need to see if we can find anything on them."

"I'll take them and start on them." Reilly said, reaching for the pages.

Greg started to hand them over to her when Grissom and Archie both said, "No!" Almost in unison. Greg and Reilly both started at that.

"Sorry. I won't get started on them." Reilly said. "I've been grounded. Naptime." She added rubbing her tummy.

"Exactly." Grissom said. "Go now and try and rest."

"I'll start working on the pages if you need me to, Grissom. I can multi-task." He reached out to Greg for the logs while keeping eye contact with Reilly. He'd let her know if he found anything. They watched out for each other.

"I've got something for Wendy, too. I need the book and this piece of paper printed." Greg said as he handed the bagged paper to show Grissom. "Then I can start running the DNA. Me or Catherine should have more in a couple hours. And I think Sara's still waiting on Doc Robbins autopsy report."

"Great." Reilly said as Greg left the room and headed for Wendy's lab. "I'll just go get started on that nap. Remember-" she started to say.

"We'll call you if we get anything." Grissom finished for her, smiling.

"Ha ha." She said smiling as she walked out of the lab.

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Brass and Vega stood talking to the blonde woman whose Bronco had been taken while Warrick bent over the area where her car had been parked. He had already bagged the sonogram, but as he knelt down checking the parking area, he noticed a rather large pool of fresh oil in the gravel lot.

Vega jogged over to see what Warrick had and knelt down beside him. "Whatta you got, Warrick?"

"Looks like an oil leak. Do you know if the woman's car had a leak?"

Vega consulted his notes. "Um… yeah, it does. She works here at the bar and her boyfriend just noticed it yesterday but she had to get to work so he didn't get it fixed. She had added fresh oil to get to work and was sure it would need more before she drove home. So these guys won't get far unless they figure out the car has a problem. They'll have to either keep filling it or abandon it and we don't have any reports of it being abandoned yet. I'll call in for some help, maybe we can follow the leak. It's a pretty big leak."

Warrick smiled for the first time since getting to this scene; if they could follow this leak, they had a good chance of finding Nick. "Well call. I'm gonna start following it. Have a car follow me closing off the road." He said as he reached into his kit for a stack of numbered cones, and placing one at the first spot in front of him he snapped a picture of it. He started looking around and found the next drops about twenty feet away and so he began his trek.

Vega yelled over to Brass what Warrick was doing and he nodded. Vega grabbed a couple uniforms who then got in their cars to follow Warrick while Vega pulled out his cell for the extra help they would need and then he jogged after Warrick careful of the already placed cones.

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Reilly stood in the bathroom where she had stopped on her way to Grissom's office. She stood there trying hard to fight the burn of the tears that fell from her eyes. At first she had tried to stop crying, but she soon gave up.

She was too tired to stop. She didn't care anymore if someone saw her. She just didn't care right now. She was so tired of all of this; the fear of losing Nick, the fear of being alone if he were taken from her, but most of all she was tired of everything they'd both been through their whole lives. She was tired of the ups and the downs.

It seemed fate had it out for Nick and her. It was like they weren't allowed to be happy. She wasn't allowed to move on and Nick wasn't allowed to stop being a victim. She was tired of fate. She loved Nick and they'd both had enough trauma in their lives. Damn it, they deserved to be happy for once. Just once in their lives.

It didn't seem to matter that Reilly busted her ass trying to do the right thing, trying to do good, trying her damnedest to find as many missing people – children that she could. She felt God owed her at least two happy moments in her life. She had Sam and now she wanted Nick and their baby. She didn't ask for much, but just a little happiness.

She wanted to find Nick – alive and she wanted to have his baby. She wanted to be happy with Nick. She needed to be happy.

She reached into the front pocket of her jeans and pulled out the blue velveteen bag she had found. She'd found it just before she and Sam had gone out and brought a surprise dinner for Nick and their CSI family. She had wanted to surprise Nick and the others.

She knew she shouldn't have taken it, but she couldn't help it. She'd known what it was the minute she'd touched the bag. She'd known she was supposed to take it for some reason and she had wanted to surprise Nick. She was just putting away Nick's laundry when she'd found the engagement ring in it's box in his sock drawer.

She had pulled the bag out and without even looking at the actual ring, she had put it in her pocket to surprise Nick with an answer tonight. She'd been thinking and she also was planning a surprise for him after she knew what her next sonogram would reveal. She had planned to move permanently to Vegas. To be with Nick.

She stuffed the pouch back in her pocket and cleaned herself up the best she could. She took a few deep breaths before she walked out of the restroom and headed for Grissom's office and his couch. She had promised after all and she needed a couple hours of rest for the baby.

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Jameson kept his gun trained on Nick as he lead him to the storage room where Thompson and Smith waited just inside the doorway. The room was relatively small maybe fifteen by fifteen feet and dusty as hell with no windows in here either Nick noticed. Smith led him to the far left back corner of the room where a cot had been set up near some shelves.

The cot was just an old metal army cot with the canvas stretched across the frame to act as a mattress. It wasn't very big, but at least Nick would be somewhat comfortable and that was okay considering the alternative.

"Lay down on your back." Smith ordered Nick as Jameson pushed him towards the cot. Jameson kept his gun on Nick. "No sudden moves, pretty boy. Oops, sorry, I mean Nick." He added, chuckling.

Nick just stood there for a moment looking at the man, this was all just so unreal. He sighed and reluctantly laid down on his back. Smith took the cuffs from Jameson and snapped one around Nick's left wrist and ran the empty cuff through the metal frame bar at the head of the cot then he snapped the empty cuff around Nick's right wrist effectively holding Nick's hands above his head.

While Smith was securing Nick's wrists, Thompson had produced a long length of rope and had moved to the foot of the cot and tied Nick's ankles tightly together and then ran the end of the rope through the metal frame bar at the end of the cot and then back up and through the rope already tied around his ankles.

"There, comfy?" Smith asked smiling down at Nick.

Nick really hated this guy. He chose to ignore him. It didn't matter if he said anything or not, these men were on a mission and he had no say in what was going to happen, so he chose to stay quiet.

"Oh, I almost forgot." Smith said as he reached over to Thompson who was holding a long strip of cloth. "Although I don't know if it matters since you don't seem to be the talkative type." He laughed as he bent down and wrapped the material around Nick's head twice, pulling it tightly between Nick's teeth and then tied it off at the back of his head in a tight knot.

Suddenly it was all just too much for Nick and the fear and despair were finally catching up to him completely. Whatever these men had planned for him it was beginning to sink in that he wasn't going to get away as quickly as he'd hoped and he just wanted to be back with Reilly and his friends. He closed his eyes as he heard the three men leave the room laughing amongst themselves. The last think Nick heard was the sound of the lock on the door clicking into place as he was left alone in the dark.

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