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Title: Backtrack Creek, Chapter 3
Pairings: Ryan Wolfe / Eric Delko,
Greg Sanders / Nick Stokes
Disclaimer: Not mine, etc.

Summary: A deranged serial killer is terrorising a small isolated town of Backtrack Creek. CSI Ryan Wolfe, detective Vartann and Greg Sanders, a pesky reporter, end up in the middle of it, and there is no shortage of suspects.

Can officer Stokes shrug off his accent as well as he shrugged off his past? Did doctor Woods arrive into town with a hidden agenda? What happened to the third little piggy? Is Eric simply a sleazebag, or a sleazebag with a murderous streak? What is Greg planning with his newfound information? Is it possible for Speedle and soap to co-habit peacefully under the same roof?


Chapter 1     Chapter 2

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Chapter 3


”Why the hell haven’t you buried them yet?” Vartann lunged himself through the door and gasped in the fresh air. Ryan, Stokes, and doctor Woods gave him space to rebuilt his dignity as much as a man can after vomiting on the floor.

”We haven’t located the next of kin for all of them.” Woods explained and rubbed Vartann`s back in soothing circles. ”The ones we’ve found weren’t that interested to know what we do with their death relatives.” Her tone carried a heavy amount of anger. ”None of the victims seemed to have close connections, except Brass. Grissom was familiar with people, but he wasn’t really close to anyone. He was more into his insects than human beings.”

”Unless they’re paid.”
”Yes.” She almost cracked a smile at the comment. ”Everyone knew about that. Girls talk and gossip flies. He was single and he treated the girl well, so no one really cared.”

”Except Sara.” Stokes grinned. He snapped the lights off and closed the door. ”One of the deputies. She’s our mandatory town feminist.”
”You make it sound like a bad thing.” Woods giggled girlishly. ”She’s a nice girl, when you get past that lack of any mental filters. And some people here still have problems with women in law enforcement.”
”Well, Sara’s not making it any easier for herself. Remember that speech she made at the diner, about how vegetarians smell better when they decompose?”

”I haven’t noticed much difference.” Woods pulled her jacket tighter around herself. ”I have to get going. You boys have any more questions?”

“Not that I can think of.” Ryan answered and gave Vartann a sympathetic glance. The man was still looking greener than he should. “Thanks for making time for us.”

“Anytime. I don’t even let my kids out after dark anymore. I know all the victims were grown-ups, but things like that get on everyone’s nerves.” Woods eyed the empty main road. “Especially in a place like this. People aren’t used to this sort of things, so if you don’t find the guy soon…”

“There will be a mass panic.” Ryan stated. “People are scared and they might do things they wouldn’t normally do.”

“I just hope this ends before more people get killed.” She sighed heavily. “I moved here because I wanted to get away from dealing with death day after day.” She pulled her car keys from her pocket and gave the three men a quick smile. “Call me if you need me.”

Vartann kept his head down, trying to force the bile down, and didn’t look up until he heard the car driving away.
“First time I’ve ever thrown up on some dame’s shoes.”

“It was bad.” Ryan agreed and then specified. “I mean the bodies. And seven killings in three weeks… That’s a hell of a pace, if he takes the time to cover his tracks. The time between killings is totally random.”

“Maybe it’s about the victims.” Stokes mused. “The first ones were just passing by, and no one around here knew them and wouldn’t have missed them if they hadn’t been found.”
“Yeah, but he leaves them to be found… What’s the dumping area like? The description we got was kinda vague.”
“In the woods. We got some trails and a few camping areas, all the locals know them. All the bodies were left close, so they could almost be seen from the trail.”

“So either he wanted them to be discovered quickly, or maybe he didn’t have the physical strength to drag it further into the woods.”
“Cutting someone’s throat doesn’t take that much strength if the victim isn’t struggling.” The expression on Stokes’s face darkened. “And you can drive a car close to the beginning of the trail, so it could have just as well been a woman.”
“Some of those victims were big guys, it would take a strong woman to subdue them.”

“Have you seen our local women?”
“Not yet.”
“When you go to the diner, take a good look at Lindsay. She looks like a sweet little thing, but I’ve seen her lifting those big crates of stuff when the delivery truck comes.” Stokes chuckled and locked the door behind them. “Never say anything bad about her chilli, or she may kick you out all by herself.”
“I’ll remember that.”
“Speaking of food, you’ll probably want to get some dinner and some rest-”

“Yeah.” Ryan glanced at Vartann, whose colour had taken a turn to the grey-ish side of green. “Maybe you should go lie down a bit. I’ll get something from the diner and meet you at the motel.”

“I’m fine-” Vartann had to cut his complaints short, and press his palm over his mouth. He leaned heavily against the railing and waited for the wave of nausea to go away again.

“Yeah, you’re fine.” Ryan deadpanned, offering the man a steadying hand.
“I’ll make sure he gets to your room.” Stokes offered. “You can get some food from Ms. Holton’s place.”
“What’s that?”

“The other one of two places where you can get a decent meal around here. The diner closed half an hour ago.” Stokes informed them. “Lindsay’s place is a one woman operation, so she can’t keep it open around the clock. Old Ms. Holton’s place is at the end of the street, you can see it from here.” He pointed at the distant spot on the end of the main road, just on the edge of the town centre.

“I saw that before, but I thought it was a funeral parlour.”
“It used to be, her husband run it there for decades. When he died, she set up her own little business. She’s never made profit, but she says it feels nice to cook for people like she used to do for her family. All her kids moved out of here years ago and it keeps her going. She can open the place when she feels like it and when she’s well enough. It’s more like a hobby.”

“I guess it beats being alone at home, waiting for kids to come for a visit.”
“Yeah, and she’s the best cook in  town. She puts the lights on in the front room when she`s open, that’s her only sign.”
“Let me make a stab in the dark.” Ryan interrupted. “All the locals know the sign.”
“Yeah. It sounds kinda macabre to eat in the old funeral home, but it`s actually a nice place-”

Vartann`s shade of green was changing once again.

“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about death and funerals for a while.” Ryan helped Vartann up and Stokes assisted him to the street. “Thanks for doing this.”

“No problem.” Stokes started walking Vartann slowly to the motel, and Ryan headed down the street. The skyline was painted into a canvas of red and orange, and he took his time enjoying the fresh air after their meeting at the morgue. He shoved his hands to his pockets and used the lit windows as his beacon.

“Hey! Wait for me!”

Ryan startled and twirled around. The man from the garage was jogging down the street, this time wrapped up in a warm hoodie. He reached Ryan and flashed him a wide grin.

“I thought it was you. Where are we going?”
“I don`t know about you, but I`m going to go get some food.”
“From Holton’s? Great, I’ll play the tour guide.”
“It`s right there.”
“You could get lost. One road systems can be really tricky.”

“I think I’ll take the risk.” Ryan turned to leave, but the man grabbed his arm.
“Just gimme a minute, okay?”
“You got thirty seconds.”
“I wanted to apologise.” Delko dropped the flirty grin. “I was kinda straightforward.”
“Yeah, you were.”
“Seriously, you were giving me looks, and I thought: What the hell and why not.”
“I wasn’t giving you looks.”
“You were.”
“Fine. Apology accepted, bye bye.” He continued his walk, but to his annoyance, Delko followed him few steps behind.

“So, you got a name?”
“Why?”
“You already heard mine.”
“I’ve also seen you with your shirt off, but it doesn’t mean I’ll strip so we can be even.”
“Come on, I said I’m sorry.”

Ryan sighed and send a glare over his shoulder.
“Wolfe.”
“Can I call you Wolfie?”
“No.”
“Then you better gimme your first name.”
“Why do you want to know?”
“No reason.” Delko chuckled and took a few quicker steps, so they were walking side by side. “I like Wolfie, so who needs first names?”
“Ryan.” Ryan groaned out the name and kept his eyes fixed to the lit windows ahead of them.

“Ryan… Ryan Wolfe…” Delko`s smirk was back on his lips. “I like Wolfie better.”

“Well, I don’t.” They reached the front door and Ryan pulled it open. “I’m here, safe and sound. You’re guide duty is over.”
“So we are… Then we can have a cup of coffee.”
“Together?”
“You’re gonna have to wait a while for food anyway. It’s a lot less boring when I’m around.”
“I can believe that. How bout you tell me why you’re following me?”

“I told you. You gave me looks and-”
“We already agreed on that.”
“And I may have come on too hard, but I can be a good boy.”
“Tell me one thing.” Ryan nailed him a with a sharp look. “Are you always like this? Is this some kinda thing you do when new people come to town?”
“No, but there’s not exactly a lot of people to choose from around here. One hundred and something residents, and when you cut out everyone, who`s too young, too old or too ugly, there isn’t that many left!”

“So I was old enough and not too ugly?”
“I didn’t mean that!”
“Then what did you mean?”
“I meant…” A look of sheer embarrassment took over Delko`s face and a part of Ryan enjoyed the role reversal.
“What?”
“It’s been a while since anyone’s caught my attention, so I just went for it.”
“How long is a while?”
“Do I need to say it?”
“Yeah.”

Delko whispered something, and blushed as much as a man of his complexion could.

“What was that?”
“You heard me.”
“I didn’t.”

Delko repeated the mumbled confession, but it was still too low for Ryan to hear.

“I still didn’t hear that.”
“A year, okay?!” Eric erupted and looked around to be sure no one had heard. He lowered his voice and leaned closer. “A year. I’ve spent a year with my right hand. Did you hear me now?”

“Yeah, but I’m not sure if I believe you.” Ryan chuckled, but the embarrassment on the mechanic’s face was a clear sign that it had been the truth. Ryan couldn’t help grinning just a little bit. “Okay.”

“Okay what?”
“Okay, I’ll have a cup of coffee with you, but then I gotta go. I got a vomiting colleague waiting in our room.”


Chapter 4

 


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
alligator138
Sep. 27th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
A vomiting colleague. No wonder Ryan would rather have coffee with Eric! *lol* Poor Vartann.

Is Lindsay NY Lindsay or Catherine's daughter Lindsay? I was trying to work it out, but small and sweet but strong kind of describes them both.
finnishsphinx
Sep. 27th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
NY Lindsay.Somehow I can definitely picture her asa sturdy country girl lifting heavy stuff and kicking men out of her diner ;) LOL (Well, when she came into the show, she WAS a country girl from Montana, so it`s not that far away from the truth.)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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