One Way Or Another

Chapter 28

08/30/2005 4:00AM-5:00AM

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Nick moaned lightly in his sleep.

Reilly was sitting at the bar exactly where Brass had said she would be. Funny that Brass knew which bar she'd be in, but Nick hadn't thought to ask him how he knew before heading off to do Sam a huge favor by dragging her mother back to the hotel. The woman was impossible; she was rude, arrogant and she was not on Nick's list of favorite people, but after talking to Sam, Nick had learned why this case was so important to Reilly. So he had agreed to come find her and bring her back if he could and he knew he was an idiot for agreeing to do this. He was just too nice.

Nick had learned that it was important to Reilly to find her goddaughter, Lexie, before she'd been gone too long, but she hadn't; Lexie had been held by her kidnapper for over three days, so the possibility of finding her alive had been remote at best. But Reilly had found her; just not in time to stop Lexie from being assaulted repeatedly by her kidnapper.

And because of that, Reilly had felt like she had failed Lexie, or at least that's what Sam thought. Reilly took every case she had to heart, but more so when it was family. And no matter what his personal feelings were for the woman, he felt Sam was right. Reilly had looked and acted to him like she had failed Lexie. When Reilly had taken off without telling anyone, he had started to feel for her.

After Reilly had left the hospital, Sam had started worrying about her and she had begged Nick of all people to please find her. And Brass had pointed him to this bar down the street from the hospital, and now here Nick stood as he watched the woman he really didn't like all that much down a shot in one swallow. She was beautiful though, Nick thought. Her hair was so shiny and her eyes. He didn't even know how to explain her eyes. They mesmerized him.

He sighed as he walked over to Reilly and quietly sat down on the bar stool next to hers and ordered a beer from the bartender. Reilly had turned those emerald green eyes of hers on him.

"What are you doing here? Are you following me?" She'd said.

Damn her eyes Nick thought, that's it, I'm done for.

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Catherine was in the print lab helping Wendy; she had lifted DNA samples from the prints Wendy was currently running from the note, the book and those brought in by Brass from the Tahoe.

Brass had brought in all the evidence Warrick had collected so that Warrick and Vega could follow the oil leak from the Bronco. There were no unidentifiable prints on the sonogram so it had been set aside for now while all the other prints lifted were being run.

Sara had shared with Catherine Doc Robbins preliminary autopsy findings and was there now to observe the actual autopsy. She would call if anything showed up.

Greg was helping Hodges run the trace samples found at the jail crime scene, from Waller's body, the Tahoe and the prisoners' jail cells. He was waiting to help Catherine with the DNA swabs collected from the prints.

Everyone was working hard on trying to find Nick and Catherine and Wendy were surprised when they discovered something pop up in AFIS. They ran the prints twice to be sure and Catherine grabbed the printouts and ran to find Brass and Grissom. She had Wendy take possession of the print DNA and get it to Greg and told her to tell him to run that DNA first and to fill him in on what they'd just found out from the prints.

This was a major break in the case and someone had some major explaining to do.

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Archie looked up from the call he was on to see Catherine run out of Wendy's lab. "Hey, Brad, looks like something's up here with the prints we found… No, I'm not sure what prints – Reilly will know – I'll have her call you. Can you see exactly what our lab is running on your end? Yeah? Cool… okay get me the camera footage ASAP and I owe you one. Okay. Great – bye." Archie ended his call and then he sent a text to Reilly's cell with the cryptic message of Cath – 911. She would know what he meant.

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The woman sat on the sofa in the beautiful penthouse suite she was staying in at the Excalibur. She was waiting for her phone to ring. She'd been watching the news about the jailbreak since it had happened. They were reporting CSI Nicholas Stokes had been taken hostage during the escape.

"Poor Nicky." She said out loud as she smiled to herself.

When her cell rang and she saw the caller ID she continued smiling as she answered it. "Hello, sis… yes I'm watching the news right now… yes we have Nicky… We meet with them at 9AM… are you almost here? Yes? Good… no – no problems. Everything went like clockwork. I talked to John about thirty minutes ago. Soon Nick Stokes will be all yours." She continued talking for a few more minutes before ending the call.

Her sister would be there soon and then she'd be back with John and her sister would be back with Nick. Everything was perfect. Soon Nick Stokes, your life as you have previously known it will end.

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Catherine, you're sure about these results?" Brass asked, looking up from the paper in his hands. He looked between Catherine and Grissom as they all stood in Brass' office.

"Wendy ran the prints twice." Catherine said nodding her head at Brass. "Prints from the note, the book, one of the guns found in the Tahoe, and the front passenger door handles inside and out, have one person's prints in common; prisoner John Smith. The prints from the note, the book and the gun all have another person's prints in common; Clark County Detention Center night supervisor Roger Coleman." Catherine smiled as she repeated the results. "That means Coleman either lied about the evidence for whatever reason or is in on the jailbreak."

"That's good enough for me. I'll have him brought in for questioning." Brass said as he picked up the receiver of his desk phone.

"Wait. You might want to have this information first." Grissom said as he handed Brass another piece of paper from Catherine he'd been reading over.

When Brass read it he asked, "This for real?"

"As real as it gets. When Coleman's prints came up, a cross-referenced file also popped up showing he has a relative whose prints are in AFIS for a felony assault. The charges were dropped, but because of Coleman's status with law enforcement, the file stays attached to all of his files. The prints belong to his daughter who works at the Excalibur; Lauren Hall Coleman." Catherine replied as her cell phone began to ring. After checking the caller ID she chose to ignore it.

"Lauren Hall Coleman? As in Nick's ex-girlfriend?" Reilly asked from the doorway of Brass' office. She'd gotten Archie's text and had followed Catherine.

"Reilly, you can't sneak up on people like that. It's nerve-wracking." Brass shot at her. "You're gonna give me a heart attack one of these days."

"Yeah Jim, gotcha. Don't sneak up on you. Won't do it again, promise." Reilly replied sarcastically as she moved into the office. "Now, what about Lauren?"

Grissom answered her. "Seems she's the daughter of CCDC night supervisor Roger Coleman. Her prints popped up with a connection to his which we lifted off the book."

"Yeah and that's not all." Greg said as he came running into the office behind Reilly. "I've got the DNA results of the DNA from the prints Catherine gave me to rush."

"What did you find?" Catherine asked.

"The book only had two sets of prints which confirmed only Coleman and Smith handled the book, but as you know the note had 4 sets of prints – one set Coleman and one set Smith. The other two were not found in AFIS by you, but I was able to isolate the DNA from the two."

"What did you find out?" Grissom asked.

"One set is male with 9 alials in common with Coleman probably a brother, father or son. The other set was female with 7 alials in common with John Smith. Neither donor was found in CODIS." Greg paused before continuing. "Coleman and Smith are not related to each other and neither are the two donors, but they are related to each of these two men. Which means we have at least two other players here that are helping Smith and the other prisoners from the outside."

"Brass have Lauren picked up too." Grissom said. "Greg it appears the female donor isn't Lauren since she's related to Coleman, not Smith, but can you run comparison DNA tests to determine if either of the two unidentified donors has any relatives besides Coleman and Smith that are in any of our systems? Check all systems whether criminal or not. We need to widen our search grid a bit."

"Sure." Greg said as he hurried out of the room to start researching.

"Guys, you know Lauren's been harassing both me and Nick lately; she's involved somehow, I know it." Reilly said as she thought back to all the things Lauren had said and done. The girl's not right, Nick.

"I'm beginning to believe she's in this up to her neck." Brass said as he hung up his desk phone.

"Catherine, spread the word, we meet in thirty minutes in the evidence room. We need to get everyone on the same page here." Grissom instructed. "Reilly, I want you to help me with the visitors' logs we left with Archie. We need to see if anyone visited any of the prisoners that could be our outside players in this game."

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Catherine knew that if Lauren worked for a hotel/casino and was related to someone in law enforcement then Catherine knew someone who might know who the unknown DNA belonged to. Their equipment in the lab was fast, but sometimes old-fashioned leg work was what would get you the answer you needed a lot sooner.

"Sara, I'm going to run an errand; I'll be back soon. Can you cover for me?" Catherine asked the other woman as she decided to follow a hunch.

Sara looked at Catherine from her stance at the evidence table. "Sure, but where are you going? We have a meeting."

"I'm gonna sort of talk to an informant."

"Informant? You have an informant?" Sara asked confused.

"Yeah I do. If I'm not back in thirty minutes, I'll call and report in."

"Who's your informant?" Sara asked.

"Sam." Catherine said as she walked out of the room.

Sara was slightly confused then she smiled. If anyone knew the secrets of Las Vegas, it was Sam. Whatever happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas… and it stayed with Sam Braun.

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