One Way Or Another

Chapter 30

08/30/2005 Same day same time

Chapter Thirty

"I mean you keep saying Smith and I understand why, because he's the one with all the ties; all the connections to something or someone, but for appearances it looks to be Thompson is in charge of everything. Maybe Smith actually in charge and he's using Thompson and Jameson as fall guys?" Sam continued to question.

"You're right Sam," Reilly said. "Smith is in charge. He set it all up with Coleman and Lauren and the unknown male and female on the outside. But we still do not know why they targeted CSI and Nick. Gil had to call Nick and Warrick in early to replace two CSIs out sick from swing shift. So how would any of them know Nick would be called in?"

"We still have too many questions without enough answers and we're getting closer to this supposed meeting time." Grissom added, looking up at the clock in the room.

"Well, I know the book was not supposed to be out of the library; they don't show it being currently checked out to any inmate, so maybe Coleman either took it to pass the note to Smith or Smith took it to get a noted passed from someone. I'm leaning towards Smith taking it because Coleman's prints are not on the note, only his male relative. I'm at a loss to the female relative of Smith's being known by the male relative of Coleman's though, but that's the logical assumption that the two outsiders know each of the men and each other. The writing on the note isn't Coleman's or Smith's." Greg stated as he picked up the bagged note and Reilly reached out to take it.

"What does one mill mean?" Reilly asked as she studied the piece of paper. "This writing is definitely female; Sam could this possibly be Lauren's writing?" She asked her daughter as she allowed Sam to handle the evidence bag.

While Sam is studying the writing, Greg said, "Archie hasn't come up with anything on businesses or names that have mill in their title or as a nickname. Nothing comes up in anything on street names either. There is old Mill Road outside of town on the outskirts, but there aren't any buildings there and nothing even starts with a one, let alone only a one."

"I'm no handwriting expert and I only saw Lauren sign her own name, but her L's and H's are pretty distinctive and since neither is in this note, I can't be sure, but I don't think this is her handwriting." Sam thought about it as she handed the note back to her mother. "Could one mill be short for one million like in money?" She asked. When all eyes turned to look at her, she became embarrassed. "What? Was that a stupid question?"

Grissom smiled at Sam. "No Sam that was not a stupid question. In fact that was an amazing question and so simple. Why none of I didn't even think that is beyond me."

"And we should have; great question Sam." Greg said as he winked at a still blushing Sam.

"Down boy; mother in the room." Reilly told Greg, but she smiled at him to let him know she was just teasing. "Okay so maybe Smith and the other two have a meeting at 9AM to pick up one million for something they have or will have by then?"

"Possibly, but do they have something that's worth a million dollars?" Sara asked doubtful. "They're prisoners who just escaped; they have nothing in the jail, so they have to either have it with them or they had stashed it before going in and need to get it."

"Not likely. If they stashed it before going to jail it would mean they either were in it together or they joined forces to help whoever stashed it before going to jail and divide up the loot and from our research the three never knew each other before meeting in jail." Grissom supplied as he noted Brass had walked back into the room.

"Well, what were they in jail for?" Sam asked.

"Thompson was awaiting trial on manslaughter charges. He was a bouncer at a bar and beat up a guy pretty bad. Jameson was arrested on his third DUI; his drug of choice marijuana and lots of tequila chasers. And Smith was also awaiting trial on manslaughter charges. He got into an argument with his former boss and he claims he 'accidentally' ran him over in his car. Twice. Once forward and once backward." Brass said. "They're all a bunch of winners if you ask me."

"Yeah, Smith and Thompson seem like really nice guys and Jameson… well he sounds like an idiot. I don't see him sharing the same lunch table as the other two." Greg said. "So where would they get something worth one million between the time they break out of jail and 9AM this morning?" He questioned.

Reilly's face suddenly went white as it dawned on her. "Oh, God it's so simple. They took it with them when they broke out." She said.

"Took what?" Greg asked, not understanding. He looked closely at Reilly and then he got it too. "Oh, God you're right they did." He added as he realized what she meant.

"Took what?" Sara repeated. "Help us less than smarter people with what you two are getting at here."

"Not what, who." Reilly looked up at her. "They took Nick. They're going to trade him for the money. They know someone who wants him specifically and is paying them for getting him, plus they get out of jail. That's why they need him alive and Nick knows their plan; they must have told him after they escaped." Reilly knew in her heart she was right. "That's why Nick left the sonogram, he knew what they were going to do and he needed to get it across to us somehow. Nick's been the target this whole time."

"Who would want Nick?" Sam asked. When Reilly turned to look at her, she added, "I don't mean like that!" She sighed. "You know what I mean."

"I don't know why for sure, but maybe Lauren does; if she'll talk. I don't think she can get that kind of money, but she has to know something." Reilly tried to take it all in. "I don't know who could want him that badly to pay for him. And you all know what I mean by that too!"

"Greg go run financials on Coleman and Lauren just to see if anything is possible with them." Grissom instructed the younger CSI.

"You got it." Greg answered as he headed out the door while Brass turned to answer his ringing cell.

After talking for a few minutes, Brass turned around. "Coleman has been picked up by Detective Vartann and he's been served the warrant. His place is currently being swept and Detective O'Riley is on his way to Lauren's condo now."

They continued discussing the evidence on the table when Sara's cell rang. "It's Catherine." She announced as she answered the phone. "Hey Cath… you got something?" Sara listened for a moment then her eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open.

XXXXX

Jackie Monroe took the elevator up to the penthouse suite where her sister was staying and let herself into her room. She met her sister's eyes from across the room as the women went to each other for a fierce embrace. Allyson Monroe-Hendler had missed her sister and she was glad she was finally here.

"Jackie, it's so good to have you back finally." Allyson said to her older sister. "It's been too long." She smiled as she hugged her sister.

"I'm so happy to be here and away from that awful place." Jackie replied. "And I can't wait to have my Nicky back. Is everything set?"

"Yes. We meet at the motel at 9AM and pick up Nick then John will see to the two cons with him. He's worked hard to set up Lauren and her father for all of this. Our brother is so smart."

"I'm getting so excited; it's been a long time since I last saw Nicky and now we can be together again. No more doctors to deal with." The older woman's soft southern drawl became more noticeable as she talked of Nick and if one knew how to look you could almost see the insanity lurking behind her brown eyes.

XXXXX

"Hey Cath… you got something?" Sara listened for a moment then her eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. "Are you positive?"

Everyone in the room was listening to Sara's side of the conversation, but still they were at a loss as to what new revelation was forthcoming. Greg came in as Sara was talking to Catherine, but didn't understand why everyone was looking so spellbound.

"Okay, Catherine." Sara paused in her call to look at everyone. "The male DNA from the note that's related to Coleman; Catherine says Sam knows who it probably belongs to." Sara took a deep breath. "She went to Sam Braun and asked him since he knows everything going on practically and he says Coleman has a son, Jason." After seeing all the blank stares she added, "We know him better as Jason Hendler."

That brought Grissom and Brass' heads up. Reilly noticed the name got Greg's attention as well. "Who is Jason Hendler?" She asked.

"Jason Hendler was married to Amy Hendler. We arrested her a few years back for murdering Jason's first girlfriend, Fay Green." Grissom explained.

"Sam's positive Coleman and Jason are related?" Brass asked Sara.

Sara nodded as she picked up a pen and a pad of paper to jot down the rest of what Catherine was telling her then she ended the call.

"Amy Hendler is the woman who held Nick at gunpoint and almost killed him?" Reilly asked. She remembered Nick telling her about that ordeal.

"Yes." Grissom answered. "And as far as we know, she's still in prison."

"So how does Sam Braun know Jason Hendler?" Brass asked.

"Catherine said that Sam knows him through some real estate deals. Sam hired Jason to buy the land for a new casino he's building in Reno." Sara read from her pad of notes. "Jason divorced Amy after she went to prison and has since remarried. Allyson Monroe is from Dallas, Texas. I'm gonna go run her name and see what I can find. She's from Texas so maybe she is the mystery woman and knows something about Nick's past." Sara said as she excused herself and left the lab.

"If Jason knows and works for Sam Braun, he has access to a million easy; and saying Coleman's his father that makes Lauren his half-sister at the least and he could give her the money for Nick." Brass said. "I think that gives me a reason to have Jason Hendler brought in for questioning.

"That's highly probable, as their financials alone do not show either Coleman or Lauren having anything near a million at their disposal." Greg added.

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