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Title: Backtrack Creek, Chapter 7
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     Chapter 4     Chapter 5     Chapter 6  

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Chapter 7

Ryan and Nick were met by two women as soon as they walked into the bullpen. Both women had paused in mid-motion and  wore expressions that were closer to guilty kids than anything else.

“We were gonna call you from the scene. Honestly.” The shorter one with a short dark hair assured. “We just got a call about another body.”

“Same location?”
“Yeah, the schoolteacher, whatever her name was, wanted to get some stuff done before the kids got to school, so she was early. Took the shortcut and there it was. We already called doctor Woods, she’ll meet us there.” She gave Ryan a quick glare. “Sorry, but we’re pretty busy.”

“This is Ryan Wolfe.” Nick introduced. “The crime scene investigator they sent.” He considered his next words, but then went on. “His partner came too, but-”

“But we really should get going.” Ryan interrupted. “We can talk about him later.”

Nick didn’t question him, instead he thought it would be better to direct the conversation to another direction.
“Ryan, meet Sara Siddle, and over there-”

“Sofia Curtis.” The blond grabbed Ryan’s hand and gave it a strong shaking. “And Henry’s back there in the achieves, trying to make some kind of sense out of that mess.”
“Just four people?” Ryan wondered out loud.
“Yeah, now that Brass is sliced and diced.” Sofia strapped on her gun holster and walked to the door with Sara in tow. "You know the area, we`ll meet you there." They walked out before Nick had time to say anything.

“Are they always like that?”
“Yeah.” Nick nodded with a small amount of amusement. “They’re good cops, but more pigheaded than my father’s old mare.” He looked at Ryan and a small frown returned. “Are you sure you can handle this?”
“Vartann disappeared sometime last night, the body was found this morning. Believe me, I can handle going there and analysing the scene, but I can’t handle not knowing.”

“I could go there first to identify him-”
“No, I worked with him on and off ever since I started at the lab.” Ryan seemed to pull his back straight, and forced his face into a neutral mask of professionalism. “Are you gonna go get the last musketeer?”

“Henry?” Nick let out a husky laughter. “He doesn’t work well outside. When he first started working here, his mother came with him and gave Brass a two hours lecture about all the needs his little baby might have. That lady is so scary, even Brass had to sit down and listen. She gave him a three page list of Henry’s allergies and a seven page list of things that could upset her sweet little angel. Things like doors slamming, paper cuts, squirrels-”

Ryan couldn’t help it. He started laughing, and couldn’t stop even when he was beginning to get short of breath. He grabbed the edge of the nearest desk and fell down on the chair, gasping for air and wiping moisture from his eyes.  

“Are you okay?”
“Yeah…” Ryan panted out. “Thanks, I really needed a good laugh.” He pushed himself up from the chair and picked up his kit from the floor.

“Thank Henry’s mother, that was a true story.” Nick added, but it felt like a lousy punch line. He followed Ryan out of the station and locked the doors behind them, leaving the sheltered clerk to re-organise the archives.

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Greg looked around, but no one was paying much attention to him. Only few people were strolling down the main street, and they were too engaged in their own errands to notice him. The cold wind of the morning had given him an excuse to wrap a thick woollen scarf tightly around his neck, hiding the lower half of his face.

On one side a voice sounding just like Danny kept telling him how a good reporter would do anything for a story, even when it included several dead bodies and the possibility of physical harm. On the other side another voice sounded suspiciously like their editor, telling him to stick to observing and investigating, and leave the dangerous parts to cops, because he didn’t want to explain to the police and the public how some stupid stunt got one of his people killed. Danny’s side kept telling Greg how he could just say he got lost, if someone caught him and wanted to know what he was doing snooping around.

The other voice wanted to know how many tourists got lost first thing in the morning, and ended up wandering outside a brothel, that advertised their late night special, but not their breakfast. Due to the nightly nature of their business, the whole building looked deserted: Curtains were shut and the only sign of life had been a hand reaching out, just long enough to grab the morning paper from the porch.

Greg gathered his courage, waved off the unwanted advisors, and walked across the street, taking one more careful look at the front windows.

He slipped into the small narrow gap between the houses, that he assumed would lead behind the building. It was too narrow to be called an alley, but he couldn’t find a better word for it than gap. He had a feeling that building regulations would never allow it in larger cities, but the houses looked old enough to predate most of the safety and fire regulations. He followed the peeling wooden wall to the backyard, which was mostly filled with clotheslines. A wide assortment of ladies undergarments was floating in the wind, and some of them made it very obvious they were meant to be used as a work uniform. The ladies of the night were presumably catching up on their beauty sleep, as only one was piling up garments onto the clothesline.

Greg took a step back, staying carefully behind the corner and out of sight. The woman had her back to him, but her body language told a lot about her mood. She seemed jittery, her hands fluttering nervously as she placed few more clothing pins on the drying frills to keep them from escaping with the growing wind.

Two large hands landed on her shoulders, making her jump up.

“Don’t scare me like that!” She turned around and now Greg could see her face. Like Danny had said, Catherine Willows had undoubtedly been a beautiful woman. Now she appeared to be a human equivalent to a restored ruin: Cracks were visible and marks of time showed through, no matter how much new paint was used to cover it.

“I just got back. I took the pick-up for a spin so they can’t follow the tire tracks.” The man explained. His voice was deep and husky, and the tiredness of his tone was clear. “Last night was too close.”

“I know.” Willows sighed and dumped the basket of laundry to the ground. “But I had to.”
“Yeah, but this getting out of control. Screw loyalty, you can’t go on doing this.”
“Loyalty?” She scoffed. “To you or to him?”
“If you don’t do something, we’re all in the same mess.”
“We’re already in the same mess.” She picked up her laundry basket and walked past him to the back porch. “And you’re the one, who’s main prize might be a lifetime as the resident bitch of cellblock E, so don’t even think about walking out on me now.”

“You think you’re so innocent?” The man grabbed her by the arm and yanked her back, holding her still. “People around here may turn a blind eye to you running a whorehouse, but it doesn’t go like that with death guys.”

Greg pulled back slowly, silently complimenting himself on the fact that he had worn his old sneakers, that didn’t make much noise. He moved as quietly as he could, tracking back his own steps, listening to the two people arguing. He might be crazy enough to take risks for his job, but he wasn’t crazy enough to stay and get caught.

As soon as he got back to the street, he galloped across it, to the safety of a small group of housewives with their strollers. They were chatting in front of display window, and only gave him a quick glare when he hurried past them.

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“If you want, we can take him to the morgue and you can process him there.” Alexx offered and placed a comforting hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “I’m done, so we can move him now.”

“I can do this.” Ryan shook his head, but kept his eyes on his kit. “The scene should be processed as soon as possible. The mold of the tire track should be ready by now and-”
“Baby, I’ve had to work on people I knew. Not anyone I worked with, but people I had met face to face.  Pretending you don’t know him only makes it harder.”

“I think this is done.” Ryan peeled off the plaster moud and placed it in a plastic container. He got up from the ground and turned around.

There was only one thing left to process.

He followed the yellow tape back to the edge of the woods. He had worked around the victim, trying to prepare himself for it. He had focused on his work and hadn’t even looked at the body laying on the thick moss. He crouched down on one knee next to the body and took his first good look at it.

The cut of the throat had been deep, and the head hung back in an unnatural position. He had obviously been dragged by his feet, and the blood had dribbled across his face. The man’s shirt was torn, and his trousers were laying a few feet away from the body.

Ryan opened his kit and pulled out a new pair of gloves. He removed the old ones, thinking it was at least one thing he could do for Vartann. He deserved to be processed with a clean new pair of gloves, not the same ones Ryan had already used while processing the scene. 

He pulled the new pair of white latex gloves on, and started processing the victim.

Chapter 8



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
Henrys momLOL!!! Greg is going to get his pretty ass in heaps of trouble. Let's hope Nick can tame that crazy boy!! Great job, love!!
Oct. 11th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
Thanks, honey :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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