2004-06-03 - 5:12 p.m.

Chapter 6

Sara woke on the sofa with a slight smile. Gil had thrown what appeared to be a very expensive lightweight tapestry over her to keep her warm while she slept. Trina came to Sara as she sat up.

She signed as she spoke, although Gil was not in the room “Good morning. Did you get any sleep?” Sara’s lopsided smile and then, “Some, we talked pretty late.” “I saw the light, Gil was always a night creature.” Sara shrugged, “You get used to the hours.” “A different perspective of the world than most people.” “I guess. This is, ah, beautiful, but I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a sofa throw, is there somewhere you’d like me to put it?”

Trina smiled the patient smile of a tolerant mother. “Gil doesn’t understand ornamental things. He would always try to find use for the art I would keep at home. It wasn’t until he was old enough to appreciate classical music that he began to grasp my desire to keep beautiful things. Would you mind just draping it over the chair by the window?”

“Sure.”

Outside Gil was transplanting a tree for his mother. Sara stood and watched him, blue t-shirt and jeans, covered in dirt, the sun glistening in his silver grey hair. Her focus settled on his forearms, strong and tan, despite his nocturnal lifestyle. Trina approached from behind, “He requires patience, but he’s worth it.” Sara considered this. “I’m sure he’d say it takes a lot of patience to deal with me too.” “And I know he’d say you’re worth it.”

Sara looked down but smiled.

“Please, sit.” Trina motioned to the chair over which Sara had placed the tapestry, she retrieved two bottles of water from the fridge, handed one to Sara and then took the chair opposite. Both were turned to facilitate face-to-face discussion while providing an excellent view of the back yard. Trina spoke softly, “I’m sorry for what you’ve been through because of my sons.” “Son. This isn’t Gil’s fault.” “Beyond this, you’ve suffered because of him. My son and I keep no secrets. It hurt him to keep you at arms length, but maybe now you see why.” Sara didn’t expect this but seized the opportunity to unravel a little of the Grissom mystery.

“I always just assumed it was work, he is my supervisor. I can understand how it would be difficult for him.” “Being your supervisor was his idea wasn’t it?” “I guess it was.”

“He talked about you for a long time before you moved to Las Vegas. I had only heard him talk about one other girl for so long. I encourage him to pursue you but he felt it would only end badly.” “Because of Miles.” “Mostly, yes. Asking you to come work in Vegas was hard for him. He’s afraid to bring anything important too close, Miles would always destroy it. I guess in the end you were worth the risk.”

Sara sat back, watched Grissom stretch and squint in the sunlight and then return to the gardening. She licked her lips and spoke slowly, more to herself than Trina, “I was sure it was work. I was so pissed at him because he didn’t think I was worth risking a job.” Her voice trailed off and she shook her head.

“Maybe you should take him out a cold drink, he’s not used to all this yard work.”

“Uh, yeah, okay.”

Gil heard the door shut behind her but didn’t look up. “I brought you a drink, you looked hot.”

He missed the eyebrow raise that accompanied the comment. “Thanks, give me just a sec.”

Gil patted down some fresh earth around the transplant and then stood, slowly, one hand on his back.

“Backache?”

“Getting old.” He took the water bottle, their hands almost sparking when the brushed.

“That’s crap.”

“Older, then. I creek.”

She studied his face. He hadn’t shaved. It was the first time she’d seen him with stubble. Normally he was professional and clean-shaven. She liked stubble in general but it had never occurred to her to imagine him with it, it seemed very Un-Grissomlike. It pleased her to see how well it looked on him. Together with the jeans and dirt it suited him very well. This was a Gil she could get used to.

“I love your mom.”

A tender smile from him, “She’s great. She didn’t tell you embarrassing stories did she?”

“Only one or two.”

Gil’s cell phone rang from the bench. She picked it up and handed it to him, noticing that the caller ID said “Morgue”. She wandered the garden pretending to look at the flowers while catching one side of the conversation. She noted that the man who kept no secrets from only one woman turned so that his back was to the window behind which his mother sat watching them.

“Grissom.”

A long pause.

“Long term abuse. I did know, yes.”

“I don’t know when.”

“A California address?”

“Thanks. Sara’s…We are okay.”

He hung up the phone. “Doc Robbins wanted me to tell you hello.”

Sara leaned into a flower, “Hello Doc Robbins.” It felt like a silly thing to say when she knew he was no longer on the phone.

When Grissom didn’t say anything else she stood up tall and faced him, “Is something wrong? Something else I mean.”

He licked his lips, thought for a moment before answering. “The Doc had some questions about Miles autopsy.”

She knew prying could make him shut down completely but she couldn’t help herself.

“What kind of questions? Why are they even doing an autopsy…we know how he died.”

“They wanted to cover me, I guess, in case there’s ever an inquiry about it being a bad shooting.”

Sara slipped her fingers around his wrist, a move that made him start a little and then watch her closely. She led him to a swing in the far corner of the garden and then sat sideways to face him. “What kind of questions?”

Gil sighed. What he loved most about Sara, her inquisitive nature, her unrelenting search for the truth now focused on him. He knew better than to fight it.

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