2004-06-18 - 12:21 p.m.

Chapter 8

She gave him a few minutes, tried to slow the butterflies in her stomach that responded in time with the ragged breaths that warmed her wrist. Finally she spoke, her voice more firm than she expected. “I heard you say something to Doc Robbins about an address?” It wasn’t entirely a question, but it was more than a statement.

Now he took her hand away from his face, held it in his own and brought both to rest on his thigh. He looked at her a long moment, “That is my problem.” Exasperated she sighed hard and tilted her head at him, “I had thought maybe we were in this together.”

Her anger took her somewhat by surprise but it flared through her hot and thick. She would not allow him to close her off, not after all of this. She deserved to be a part of whatever journey he was about to begin. Her hand moved out of his almost on it’s own.

“Sara,” It was the voice she hated, his ‘let’s be patient with irrational Sara’ voice. “This is not work. This is my life.”

Cut by that she stood and walked away. He couldn’t follow her, there was too much he had to understand himself before he could make sense of it for her.

When she reached the house she turned back to him, “It’s my life too. This isn’t a case I’m working Grissom,” his last name, uttered for the first time since the ordeal, she used it pointedly. “This is how my life changed, this is how I was raped, how I could have died. It’s not just about you.”

He sat on the swing, too heavy to move. Letting her anger wash over him and seep into his pores. He deserved and accepted it.

Inside Sara threw clothes into a bag, ignoring the pain, both physical and mental. Trina cleared her throat as she entered the guest room, not wanting to intrude but knowing that her intercession was necessary. Sara turned; her face streaked with tears and faced her. “Thank you, for your hospitality Mrs. Grissom, but I think that I should go.”

“Where?”

Sara blinked. “I’m sorry?”

Trina sat on the edge of the bed “Go where? You can’t hide from your truth. I know the difficulties of dealing with the brothers Grimm, but trying to escape only prolongs the inevitable.”

Sara dropped onto the bed. “Which is?”

“You are in love with my son. My son is in love with you. His twin did something unforgivable to you. He will carry his love for you as guilt and you will carry your love for him as anger until you both lift your heads and work together.” Sara smiled. “Gil’s very lucky to have such an insightful mother.”

“Yes, I am.” He was at the door. He looked at Sara’s half packed bag. “Please, don’t go.”

“Will you tell me the whole story? Tell me about the address?”

“Will you promise to trust me when I ask you to let me do some things on my own?”

“We’ll work on it.” Sara sniffed. Trina signed to her son, “Address?”

“I need a drink. Let’s all get a drink and sit down.”

Seated around her small kitchen table the three sipped mimosas, which Trina had mixed expertly.

“This seems like the wrong thing to be drinking for a serious conversation.” Sara stated, swirling her glass on the table. “It’s too early in the day to justify anything else.” Trina replied reasonably.

Sara thought that with all they’d been through in the past few days they didn’t really need justification for a drink or two but kept that thought to herself as Gil began to bring his mother up to date about Doc Robbins’s findings.

“…And then he told me that Brass had uncovered an address for Miles, here in California. Said that they were going to send some uniforms out to have a look thought I might want to be present.”

“Uniforms?” Sara was on her feet. “Not criminalists? Not detectives…uniforms?”

“They don’t know what you know about him Sara. They only know that he held me captive in my home and that he…” his words trailed off, he cleared his throat and finished “hurt you.”

“Raped me.”

“Yes.”

Trina’s eyes followed the conversation as best she could but as Sara became more agitated she spoke rapidly and was difficult to read.

“Hasn’t Brass, hasn’t someone been to your apartment? Haven’t they seen the photos, the video?”

“I don’t know. I’d guess they have. I don’t know that there won’t be more people at my brother’s place; I just know that the word the Doc used was uniforms. Could have been a slip.”

Trina looked at her son, “Where?”

He had hoped she wouldn’t ask. He had hoped to keep this to himself entirely and never let her know how close he had been. His mind had already made assumptions and connections that he knew hers would follow. There was no point in lying now they had come this far. “Parker Road.”

A chill traveled Sara’s spine when she saw the raw fear in Trina’s eyes. Gil held his mothers hands and her gaze, “Mama, it’s done.” Her jaw quivered and she excused herself. Drink in hand the elegant woman walked shoulders squared. Drawn to her full height she went behind a door Sara hadn’t noticed before.

“Meditation room. Safe room. Sanctuary.” Gil explained with a small shrug. He expected this.

When he was small his mother had kept a room she referred to as “Sanctuary” off limits to her children. As a boy he imagined all sorts of magical things that might have happened in the room. When the nightmares began, around the time he was 7 his mother allowed him entrance to her private space. It had been filled then with books, candles and quiet music. The music he had not understood, she couldn’t hear it and the bass too light to be appreciated through vibration. When he questioned her she answered simply “I know it is there and that is enough.”

Over the years the room had become full of artwork, light, aromatherapy candles, more books, massage oils and equipment. There were rubbing stones and water gardens, bonsai trees and many other plants.

As Miles had grown so had the room. Eventually Gil installed all of the mechanics required to make it a safe room- steel walls, locks, codes, and cameras. Only two people knew the secrets of that room and they were both in need of sanctuary now as much as ever.

Gil looked at Sara, read her thoughts. He had become her sanctuary and safety and in a strange way, she had become his.

She brought him back to the moment, “Parker Road. I take it that’s not far?”

“Less than a 20 minute drive. It’s the closest thing to back woods as you get around here.”

“When are we going?”

“Sara,” there was that voice again. “There’s no reason for you to go. You don’t have anything to prove here.”

She kept her voice calm, “There are a million reasons for me to go, not the least of which is this, if I don’t go my imagination will make things progressively worse for the rest of my life. I can go, know and be done.”

“You’ve been hurt enough by this. I don’t know what we’ll find.”

She perched the chair next to his. “No more games Gil. I’m laying it down here and now. I can do this if I know you’ll be next to me. I need to know that when I get there I can reach out and take your hand if I need to. I need to know that you won’t turn away in case someone sees us. I need to know that if I wake up in a cold sweat because I see myself in that house or in my own apartment I can open my eyes and find you nearby, just like last night. I know you stayed outside my room for a reason, I know you slept on the chair so you would be there if I woke on the sofa. I need to know that’s not going to change for awhile.”

The right side of his mouth twisted. It was nearly a smile, could have been without the sadness in his eyes. He stroked his hand lightly along her bruised wrist, up her bruised arm and then traced her bruised lips with a fingertip, “I’m here honey, and I’m not turning away. I’ll be as close as you can stand to keep me.”

Her eyes closed and she felt relief flood through her, his touch was as much a promise as his words.

“When can we go?” she returned to the question.

“Whenever you feel ready.”

“What about your mother?”

“She’ll stay in there awhile.”

Sara stood. “Let’s get to it.”

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