CSI: Old Friends


Turbulence on landing was rough, especially for a private jet. My attention left the magazine I was browsing to look out at the Las Vegas landing strip. Dusk in the desert. The bright, twinkling lights glowed in the distance. How had I gotten talked into this one?

"Jessa, ready to go?" my fiancee's voice broke into my thoughts.

Looking into his chocolate brown eyes, I knew. He could ask me for almost anything and I would agree. I loved this man.

"Yes, Eric. Let's go." Standing up from the plush seat, I took his offered hand. As Eric bent his head down and I tilted my face up to his. Our lips met, simply a brush. Stepping back, I grabbed my tote and holding Eric's hand departed from my father's company plane.

Outside the climate controlled jet, the air was stifling. A few hundred yards from the plane waited our ride to the hotel. The driver held open the rear passenger door for us to enter the comfort of the cool limo.

"I don't know if I am ever going to get used to this type of travel. It is so different from the coach travel I was used to." Eric whispered to me.

Smiling I assured him, "It will come to you." It was amazing that he wasn't used to the pampered life yet. We had been together for the past four years. Ever since meeting in The University of Texas at a frat party, we had been almost inseperatable. Then, last July 4th, he surprised my family and myself when he finally proposed. Of course I accepted, and my family was thrilled.

Eric may not have been blue blooded, but he worked hard for what he had. His parents died when he was 15, in a horrible car accident. After being passed around from relative to relative for a year, he found a home with his spinster Aunt Ella. She was the first stable, and loving home he had since his parents died. He worked hard to get good grades, and ended up being awarded a full scholarship to The University of Texas. In college, even after we met, his school work came first. By the time we graduated, he had been recruited to a great PR firm. Now he was quickly climbing the latter of success. Within a year of working at the firm, he made Vice President. I was immensely proud of him.

I, on the other hand, am a rich princess. OK, not in a bad way. My father is a stereotypical Texan. He made a killing in oil, and was smart enough not to put all his eggs in one basket. So now he has an empire. I, being his only daughter, get to be pampered and spoiled in some ways, but my parents made sure that I was always level headed. I went to public school, I rode the bus. I also had a closet full of Prada, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabana. My parents raised both me and my two older brothers to be self respecting and respectful individuals. However, I traveled first class all the way. I got used to having a plane filled only with my family, myself, and the people paid to wait on us. Eric was new to it all.

"So where are you, Jessa?" Eric murmured to me.

Blinking away my thoughts, I answered, looking into his eyes, "Right here beside you, Eric."

The limo made its way through the strip. The lights flashing past on the way to the hotel.

"I have a question for you?" I said to Eric.

"What's that?"

"Why did you want to have our engagement festivities in Vegas?" I laughed.

Eric watched me laugh and responded with, " Well I thought you and everyone else could use a break, and this is a very fun place. I figured you and the family and our friends could relax, catch some shows, gamble, you know release the pressure."

"Ah, you don't want us crazy Texans too stressed, what with all the weapons we have available." I joked. Eric laughed with me and hugged me close.

"We just need a little break and a weekend in Vegas with everyone just relaxing is going to do everyone a world of good." I agreed as the driver pulled into the hotel. First class of course, we were guided directly inside and ushered to our suite.

Inside the beautifully decorated rooms awaited our luggage. Also waiting was a lovely welcome basket from the hotel, inside was fresh fruit, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of champagne. Beside the basket sat a lovely floral arrangement. I walked to the basket and grabbed a handful of grapes. Munching on the grapes, I turned to Eric and asked if he wanted a class of wine or champagne.

Within three steps he was in front of me. Taking the grapes from my hand, he lifted my chin so I was looking up at him. "Wine wasn't what I had in mind." With that he took my mouth. I suckled on his bottom lip as his tongue licked at my lip. My hands roamed his neck, holding him to me. Moaning, he broke the kiss.

"Wha--Why did you stop?" I stuttered out in a haze of lust.

Reaching down, he lifted me into his arms and carried me into the bedroom. The bedroom was prepared ahead of time I realized. There were dozens of candles lit and the bed was turned down. He lowered me slowly to the bed as his lips claimed mine. My hands went to work at trying to remove his shirt from his chest. I needed, I wanted him naked. He was tugging on the thin straps of my sundress as I kicked my feet free of the sandals they wore. My fingers gave up on trying to coax the buttons of his shirt out of the holes, and my hands tore it open, buttons popping off.

"Why, Jessica, I never knew you had that in you." Eric chuckled against his lips. My body was finally free of the sundress and the only thing left between us and complete nudity was my panties and his pants. My hands worked at his zipper and his hand moved to remove my panties. Seconds later our bodies were bare, and then he covered me. My breasts pressed against his chest as we tangled together. I kissed his neck and licked across his chest coming back to his mouth. Eric broke the kiss and together we guided his raging cock into me. I felt myself tighten around him and he started to move. Harder he pounded into me, as I clutched at his shoulders and drug my nails down his back. Grabbing his ass, I urged him on. His hands worked into my hair and with a tug he had me over the edge as he ravaged my exposed neck. As I came, my pussy clutched around his dick. Within a few more stokes he was spilling his hot cum inside me.

"Ummm, I really needed that." I moaned into his mouth as a made myself more comfortable. He spooned against me. Our bodies were slick with sweat. We fell asleep.

Waking up, I realized that I was alone. Eric had pulled the sheet up around me and blew out all the candles. Where was he? I got up out of bed and walked to the bathroom. Turning on the tap, I tested the water and after adjusting the temperature and adding bath salts and bubble bath, I walked out to the living area of the suite. There was a note on the stand by the basket. It read, "Hey honey, you looked so sweet lying there sleeping that I couldn't bring myself to disturb you. I have too much energy to stay in the room. Going to play some craps, be back after while. Love you, Eric." I smiled to myself and started back to the bathroom. Halfway there, there was a knock on the door.

Lucky I grabbed my robe, I thought as I went to the door. "Who's there?" I asked making sure the robe was tied well and everything was covered. "Ms. Clarington?" called from behind the door. Looking out the peephole, I saw two people, a man and a woman both dressed in dark clothes. The man's jacket had a patch on the chest that said Las Vegas CSI.

Opening the door, I asked, "Yes I am Jessica Clarington, who are you?"

The woman, older than me but very attractive, answered with, "I am Katherine and this is Gil Grissom with the Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigators. We thought the police would have already been here. May we come in?" She finished while taking in my state of undress. Remembering that I was undressed and preparing for a bath, I excused myself telling them that I had to turn off the bathtub water and allowing them to enter our suite.

I turned off the water, and made sure I was modestly covered by the hotel bath robe (which on my five foot tall frame, managed to cover me from neck to ankle). Returning from the bathroom, I realized that Katherine had said that the police had supposed to have been here. Was something wrong in the hotel? I wasn't prepared for what they told me when I sat down.

"Ms. Clarington, we just talked to the police and they decided that we should go ahead and tell you the reason for our being here. I, we are extremely sorry to inform you that your fiancee, Eric Shell, was found dead in another room here in the hotel." Katherine told me in a mix of professionalism and actual sympathy.

I felt myself go numb. Eric, dead? How can that be? He wrote me a note that he was going to gamble for awhile and come back to me. How could he be gone?

"Ms. Clarington? Are you alright? Is there someone we can call to be with you?"

Looking up to face these strangers. Strangers that just pulled the rug out from under my life, I took a deep breath and asked for the one person I new was already in Las Vegas. "Nick Stokes. I think you both know him. He works for the CSI here."

Gil looked at Katherine with blatant curiosity. "Nick and I are both from the same area of Texas, he was great friends with my older brothers. Please, can he come be with me?" I asked still holding on to my tears.

"Yes, of course. I will go ahead and call Nick up." Gil murmured. He got up from his seat and walked out toward the door so he could have privacy with the call.

"Katherine? May I ask something?" I asked closing my eyes.

"You can ask, but I am not sure that I will be able to answer." Katherine sat down next to me on the couch.

"You said that Eric was in another hotel room? I don't understand, when I woke up from my nap, there was a note. Eric wrote that he was going to play craps and would be back later. Why would he have been in another hotel room? Are there private games or something?" I asked genuinely curious since it made no sense to me.

"Well there have been private games that occur in hotel rooms, but we aren't sure exactly what the case is with Eric just yet." She answered me honestly, and yet I felt she was holding something back. Gil returned to the sitting area.

"Nick will be right up. He didn't realize that you were here. So Ms. Clarington, what brought you and your fiancee to Las Vegas?" Gil asked curiously.

"It was Eric's idea. He thought that instead of a regular engagement party this weekend would help the wedding party and our family and friends relax. I don't know why he picked here honestly, I have never been here before." I answered feeling the pain come rushing to me. "God, if we had just had the stupid engagement party back home, he would still be alive." I thought out loud as the tears came.

I heard someone knock at the door as I sat there sobbing. Nick's voice broke through my tears and then he was beside me. I turned into his arms and he held me as I cried.

"Oh, Jessa, I am so sorry. I would have been up here first if I had known it was you." He whispered as he stroked my back.

"Why, Nick, why did this have to happen to us? We are, were so happy. Eric is, god was, the sweetest man I ever dated." I moaned into his shoulder. After letting go with my grief, I started to calm down while Nick soothed me just holding me and rubbing my back. I am not sure how much time had passed, but I realized that crying wasn't going to help and I needed to be strong. Sitting up, Nick handed me some tissues. I wiped my face and realized that Gil and Katherine were still in the room. Something was wrong, why were the CSI interested if Eric died…Unless Eric didn't die of natural causes.

Taking a ragged breath, I asked something that I dreaded to know the answer to. "How did Eric die?"

"He was murdered, Jessa." Nick said, holding my hand, the same hand that wore the ring Eric had given me a month before. Looking down, the tears still falling, I couldn't believe it. My Eric, murdered. Why, what had he ever done to deserve this?

"I hate to do this, Ms. Clarington, but the police are here and they need to ask you some questions." Gil said breaking the quiet of my thoughts.

"Yes, of course. Ask me anything. Just find who did this to him." I said trying to stop the cascade of tears that felt like would envelope me at any time.

"This is Lt. Brass, of the LVPD. He will be asking you the questions." Nick introduced.

"Will you stay with me, Nick?" I asked not wanting him to go.

"If it is alright with Lt. Brass, I will." He promised.

"That would be fine, Ms. Clarington." Lt. Brass intercepted. "Now, I am sorry about your loss, but I do have some questions for you about your fiancee. If that is ok with you?"

"Again, yes, ask anything. Just find the person who took him from me." I agreed again.

"OK, well what brought you to Las Vegas?"

I explained how Eric had sold me on the idea of an engagement celebration weekend instead of a party at home. He asked if either of us had ever been to Vegas before. I said that while I hadn't I thought that perhaps Eric had before. I wasn't sure when but I thought that he had mentioned that he had visited the city before. He inquired whether or not we had been intimate prior to him leaving for the evening. I told him honestly that yes, we had, but that Eric always showered afterward and would have been dressed in different clothes than what I had last seen him in. In fact, I said his travel clothes were in the bedroom on the floor. He asked if they could have those clothes for evidence and I said go ahead take them if you need them. He asked if I thought Eric had ever been unfaithful. No, never. Eric loved me and wasn't the type of man who would do something like that. He asked if Eric had any financial problems. I said I couldn't understand how he could, he was a Vice President of a very impressive firm. I admitted, however, that I didn't know his bank account balance or his pay. I felt so cold, so broken, talking about Eric in the past tense.

"Ms. Clarington, when will your family arrive in Las Vegas?" Lt. Brass asked. Looking very worried about my well being.

"Tomorrow, Eric wanted us to have time alone before everyone else got here." I answered shivering.

"Jessa, do you have anyone with you tonight?" Nick asked with concern.

"No, I don't. Mom and Daddy won't be here until morning and everyone else is due by noon. Should I call everyone and tell the m to stay home?" I asked, not knowing what would be the appropriate thing to do.

"I will call, Joey, he will take care of everything." Nick said, referring to my oldest brother. "I think your parents and brothers will want to be here, and my sister too. However the rest might not be a good idea."

I agreed and Gil and Katherine looked at me as though they needed something else. "Ms. Clarington, I hate to ask, but can we get some samples from you. It will make it easier to process evidence if we can rule your DNA and transfer to Eric first." I agreed and they swabbed my mouth took hair and other samples and they left.

"Nick, I hate to ask you this, but…" I started.

"Jessa, I am staying with you tonight," he finished. "I just need to head out for about an hour. I will call Joey, get a change of clothes and be right back." I also knew he had to confer with the rest of his CSI team and the police. I agreed and then Lt. Brass assured me that there would be an officer outside my door until Nick returned.

"OK, thank you for all your help and concern." I said as I walked the four of them to the door. Glancing outside I saw that I actually had two uniformed police officers outside.

After closing the door and locking it. I stumbled back to the bedroom and throwing myself on the bed allowed the pain to overtake me again. Eric, gone. No more kisses, no more strong arms holding me in the night, no more waves of passion, my heart was breaking. Slowly I pulled myself up and new I needed to clean myself up and get dressed. Walking into the bathroom I saw the cooling water in the bathtub. Reaching down I let it drain. I stepped into the shower, where I knew Eric had taken his last shower. It still held the scent of his shower wash. Masculine, musky, Eric. I turned on the hot water and stepped under the flow barely feeling the heat. I was so cold. I washed away the residue from the last time Eric and I would ever make love and scoured the hair that he lovingly pulled. Turning my back to the steady flow of hot water, still not feeling the heat. I could tell it was hot, I saw the steam, but felt barely none of the heat. I lost track of time and didn't realize it until I heard someone pounding on the door. Stepping out of the shower in a daze I made my way to the front door in only a towel.

"JESSA, JESSA. Answer the door, Jess." I heard Nicks voice desperately calling.

I opened the door and Nick stood looking like he was ready to tear the door down. Seeing me he released a deep breath. "My God, Jess, are you ok?" He asked as he rushed inside the door carrying a small overnight bag.

"My world just stopped spinning, Nick. What do you think, am I ok?" I asked quietly.

Looking at my legs and shoulders that weren't covered by the towel, his eyes took on a more concerned look. "Jess, what did you do to yourself?"

"What? Nothing I took a shower." I said, not thinking of how hot the water was.

"Jess, your legs, your shoulders, honey, they are blood red." Nick said staring at my beet colored legs. Looking up into my face, he saw that I didn't feel the pain. "Come on, lets get you some lotion on them." He led me into the bedroom and asked me where my lotion was packed.

I pointed to my overnight bag where all my cosmetics were stored. He opened it and rummaged until he found a bottle of my scented lotion. Sitting me down on the still unmade bed he poured some lotion out on his hand and asked for my arm. I extended my arm and watched as he lathered up the reddened skin. I could barely feel his touch, but I watched as he gently rubbed the lotion into my red flesh. Nick rubbed both of my arms and then did my legs up to where the towel covered. When he was finished, he told me that he was going into the sitting room and asked if I could lotion the rest of me and get dressed.

"Yes, Nick, I think so." I murmured. He walked out the door with a sympathetic glance.

Slowly I lowered my towel and rubbed my lotion into my skin on my belly, my upper thighs, and my chest. I realized that I couldn't reach my back. "Nick, could you come in here, I can't reach my back." I yelled. "Sure," he called back. I covered my front the best I could while leaving my back exposed. He walked in and took the lotion from me. With tenderness, he lathered my back. "OK, I think that does it." Nick replied. "I will wait in there for you." He left and I dressed. I put on my silk pajamas and pulled my wet hair into a high pony tail. I couldn't believe how numb I felt. Would I always fee so damn numb? I walked out into the sitting room.

Nick was sitting on the couch, watching television at a very low level. The news was on and I saw our hotel on it. I realized that it was a report on Eric's death. Sighing I walked over to the couch and flopped down beside him. "Is it normal to be so numb?" I asked as he turned the television off.

"Yes, Jess, it is normal to take this hard." Nick said, pulling me into his arms. Holding me he told me that it would be normal to be angry, normal to be hurt, normal to fall apart. His talking soothed me and I stopped crying.

"I think that I am empty," I whispered, sitting up. I felt like my tears would never come back. Now I started to hurt. Literally, my legs and arms and well all of me were on fire. "Ouch, I think I over did it in the shower." Nick pulled away, afraid of hurting me more.

"Do you want me to call the hotel doctor?" Nick asked, concern filled his voice.

"No, no. I think it is just tender, not really hurting, just a little sore." I promised. "So Nick, tell me, what should I expect? I mean am I a suspect?"

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