"Excuse me. I'm here to see Greg Sanders."
Maria Emmers looked up from her desk where she had been completing some paper work. A man who looked to be in his forties stood before her. He was dressed in a polo t-shirt and khaki pants, holding a wind jacket in his arms. The receptionist blinked, momentarily thrown off by the man who was standing in front of her desk.
"Greg Sanders, sir? May I know what this is about?"
"It's just a personal call."
"Of course, sir. But I need to see some identification. For security reasons."
The man cocked an eyebrow but nodded.
Maria waited as the man pulled out some ID and took it from him to note the name down in the visitors' log, before handing it back.
"I'll page him, sir. Please take a seat through there."
The man strode over to the couch in the adjoining room and sat down. Maria was just about to pick up the phone when she heard two familiar voices.
"...the company and her alibi checked out. We need to go back to the evidence."
"We haven't really placed her in the car at the time of the crash. We should look at the car again."
Maria stood up and leaned forward to look round the corner.
Greg paused in his discussion with Sara and turned to looked at Maria.
"I was just about to page you. You have a visitor waiting for you."
"For me? Is it regarding a case?"
"No. He said it's personal. His name is..." Maria looked down at the log and then up. "Victor Spencer."
Maria saw Greg's easy smile drop. She waited for him to say something or move towards her but he just stood there for a few long seconds.
Maria noticed Sara looking at Greg too, mirroring her own confusion.
"Greg? You ok?"
Greg blinked as if realizing he had zoned out a bit.
"What? Yeah, sure."
"So should I tell him you are busy or..." Maria asked, feeling uncertain.
"Oh, it's ok. I've got it. Sara, I'll see you in the garage in a few minutes?"
"Yeah," Sara agreed and looked curiously at Greg once more before turning and walking away.
"Thanks Maria," Greg said before walking into the visitors' room.
Maria sat back down at her desk but watched through the glass door covertly. She saw Greg approach the man and say something, speaking softly. The man jumped off the couch and pulled Greg into a bear hug which, Maria noticed, was not returned. They continued talking for a few more minutes and then Greg took a notepad and a pen from his pocket and scribbled something on a piece of paper. Maria saw the man take the paper from Greg and step towards Greg again. This time Greg stepped away to show the man out of the visitors' room. The man just smiled and then walked past Greg and out of the visitors' room, leaving the crime lab. Maria looked away when the man passed her but then turned back to watch Greg, who was still standing at the same spot. Greg was looking down at his shoes, in deep thought. A few long seconds later, he walked out of the visitors' room and past her, to head back into the lab.
Maria couldn't help it.
"Greg, everything ok?"
Greg seemed surprised by her question but recovered quickly.
"Yeah. Of course."
"Are you sure?" Maria asked again, sensing the heavy mood of her colleague.
Greg grinned widely at her.
"Well no. You still refuse to go out with me!"
Maria smiled and shook her head. Maybe it was nothing if Greg could still flirt like always.
"Right! Forget I asked!"
Greg grinned at her before walking away.
Maria smiled and shook her head again before turning her attention back to her work.
Nick entered the locker room and hesitated for a second before resolutely walking towards his locker and where Greg, all dressed to leave, sat on the bench.
"Hey," Nick greeted, his voice an intimate softness.
Greg seemed to come out of some deep thought as he blinked up at Nick.
"Oh, hey Nick."
"So, how was your shift? Didn't see you around much."
"Yeah. I was in the garage for the most part, picking
apart a car."
"Find what you were looking for?" Nick asked, removing his belongings from his locker.
Nick let the silence drag for a while, hoping Greg would say something but he began to get impatient.
"So, you want to come over to my place?"
The offer was made with great effort at nonchalance but even Nick could hear the underlying meaning just from the tone of his voice. So much for nonchalance.
Greg smiled up at Nick.
"For a repeat performance?" he asked, coyly, cocking his eyebrow.
Nick couldn't help but smile back.
"Or a better one."
Greg glanced at the closer door of the locker room before standing up and moving closer to Nick such that personal space was just a breathing space. Nick could smell the combined scent of hair products, coffee and pure Greg which Nick had been surprised to learn the previous night, smelled like citrus. It was a heady mixture which sent sharp, clear memories of entwined limbs and labored breath from the previous day.
"Mmm. Like the sound of that but I can't," Greg whispered.
Nick did not expect that.
"Oh," he said pulling away from Greg.
"Nick, it's not like..."
"It's ok, Greg. I get it."
"No, I don't think you do. I didn't mean it like I can't ever," Greg rushed to clarify. "I just can't tonight. I need to meet someone today and settle some matters. I don't know how long I'll take but...if it's ok with you, I can come by after? If you want?"
Greg grinned back.
"I want too! Ok then. I er.. I'll see later then."
They both stood there, with matching silly grins on their faces. For a moment Nick felt like he had back in high school when Cathy Rosenburg had agreed to go steady with him. Only this time it was Greg Sanders and it felt so much better.
"I better make a move," Greg said, brushing past Nick, palming his stomach as he moved. "The sooner I get over this meeting, the sooner I can get to your place."
"Then by all means, hurry."
Nick saw Greg wink at him before leaving the locker room. Nick couldn't stop smiling all the way home.
When Nick came to work later that night, he didn't feel like even conjuring up a smile for passing colleagues who greeted him. Greg had not come by as he had promised and he hadn't even called. Nick knew a brush-off when he saw one and he couldn't help but be surprised to be on receiving end of one. Especially from Greg as the latter had really seemed sincere to him. Nick was disappointed because he had been ready to pursue a relationship with Greg. Apparently, Greg had just wanted a one-night-stand.
Nick stored his belongings in the locker before heading to the meeting room where the rest would be. He wanted to see Greg and hoped he would get some kind of explanation but he was also pissed off enough to not want to talk to Greg and just start on whatever new case he got.
Everyone was in the room, except for Greg and Grissom. Nick greeted the rest of the CSIs and had just taken a seat, when Grissom walked in with his file.
"Warrick, Sara. Female victim. Reported missing yesterday. Her car was found by the Winsor an hour ago."
"Got it," Sara, said, getting up with Warrick to get a move on.
"Greg, Catherine...where's Greg?"
Just then the door swung open and Greg rushed in.
"Sorry, I'm late."
"Greg? What happened to you!?" Catherine exclaimed.
Greg had a slightly swollen eye and a nasty cut on his cheek.
"I had an accident with a fist. But it's no big deal and I don't want to talk about it. I'm fine."
"That looks really nasty, man," Warrick stated.
"It looks worse than it feels. Trust me."
"Has your doctor cleared you?"
"I er... didn't go to the hospital. I mean, it just a small cut and..."
Nick expected Grissom's next few words.
"Greg, I'm not having you contaminate crime scene with an open wound. I'm not going to assign you a case. I want you to get the hospital and get that cut checked out. Then report back to me."
"Go, Greg." Grissom said and turned back to the other CSIs. "Catherine, you will solo on the suicide over at..."
Nick didn't hear the rest of Grissom's words and watched as Greg's shoulders slumped as he walked out of the room followed by Sara and Warrick, who patted his shoulder and said something reassuringly. Nick, now, really wanted to talk to Greg. He barely heard Grissom's instructions before taking the case file and hurrying out of the room and the lab, towards the parking lot.
"Greg! Wait up!"
Greg stopped and turned, waiting for Nick to catch up.
"Nick, I'm sorry. I know I should have called to tell you I couldn't come but..."
"Forget that. What happened, G?" Nick asked, raising his hand to tilt Greg's chin up so that he could have better view. Nick hissed as he saw how deep it was. He saw a distinct square shape to the cut.
"I kind of don't want to talk about it now," Greg sighed, pulling away from Nick's hand.
"Ok. But I hope you gave the asshole as good as you got at least."
"Are you kidding? The muay thai lessons are totally paying off. I think I bruised his hand with my face," Greg said with a smile which Nick noted did not reach his eyes. "Aren't you on a case?"
Nick wanted to stay but knew he could not.
"Yeah, I have to go but...we need to talk, Greg. After shift?"
Greg smiled at Nick and lowered his voice.
"Not just talk, I hope."
The smoky gaze sent his way made Nick's stomach jump. He had a sudden urge to kiss Greg but their location wasn't exactly suitable. Reining in his desire, Nick just smiled and squeezed Greg's arm, before brushing past him and heading over to the hummer. He watched Greg in the rear view mirror as he pulled out of the parking lot, feeling an overwhelming sense of protectiveness for the younger man. His hands tightened over the steering wheel imagining it to be the neck of the bastard who had hit Greg.
It was much later in the shift that Nick found out who had hit Greg but he wished he hadn't found out that way.
He had been walking from the AV lab to the layout room when he saw a man arguing with Maria, the front desk receptionist. Maria was looking hassled and worried as the man started leaning over her desk menacingly.
"Excuse me, sir. What's the problem?" Nick asked, stepping up to the desk, to Maria's relief.
"Who the hell are you?" the man spat, glaring at Nick.
"I'm Nick Stokes. I'm a criminalist here. May I know what's the problem?"
"The problem is I want to see Greg Sanders and she is not letting me."
Maria shook her head in disgust.
"I told you, Mr. Spencer. Mr. Sanders is not available at the moment. If you leave your number..."
"The boy won't call me. I know he is here and I'm not leaving until he sees me!"
The man was shouting by now and inevitably, a small crowd of lab personnel gathered, including Grissom.
"What is going on here! Who is this man and why is he yelling? Nick?"
Nick was about to speak when he saw Greg push through the crowd.
"Grissom. I'm sorry. I'll take care of this," Greg muttered, as he grabbed hold of the man's arm and tried to pull him away.
"Oh, so now, you're free to speak to me uh? Now you're available uh?" the man taunted Greg.
"Just shut up and come with me!" Greg hissed, trying to pull the man away.
The man pulled his arm free and smirked at Greg.
"Why Greg? Don't want your co-workers to know who I am? You're ashamed or something?"
Greg looked like he was about lose it as he looked at his colleagues who were looking at him with unabashed curiosity. Nick wanted to help him but before he could do anything, he heard Grissom speak up.
"Ok, people! The county isn't paying you to stand around and gawk. Get back to work."
The order was immediately obeyed as the crowd dispersed within seconds even though they were whispering among themselves. Grissom then turned back to Greg and the man.
"Greg, can you handle this or should we get security?"
The man scoffed.
"What? You want to arrest me? That would look good! Having the father of your CSI arrested?"
Nick looked at Greg in surprise. Greg had closed his eyes and was shaking his head.
"I thought your name was Spencer?" Nick asked, looking at Maria, who was still gawking as they were standing right in front of her desk, for confirmation.
"Yeah. Greg here took his mother's maiden name. Didn't want to have any connection to me, huh Greg? Ashamed of my name, huh? That's a laugh when I should be the one ashamed of you!"
"Just shut the hell up, Victor, and get out! I've had enough. I heard the bullshit you wanted to tell me yesterday and I'm not buying it. So go back to your hole and stop bothering me. You're not getting a cent from me. Is that clear enough for you or do you need a restraining order to knock it into your thick skull?"
Spencer raised his fist and came towards Greg. Nick's first instinct was to stop him but he didn't have to. Greg had grabbed Spencer's forearm and pushed him away, causing the man to stumble back.
"Not this time, Victor."
Spencer dropped his fist but not before Nick saw the signet ring, with its square shape, on his finger. Nick's eyes were immediately drawn to Greg's cheek and the healing cut.
"Fine, boy! You keep your faggot money! Probably crawling with AIDS germs or something anyway. Anyway, it's just matter of time before you get some faggot disease and die! Then, I'll fucking dance over your grave, you ungrateful bastard!" Spencer spat, then flipped Greg the finger before storming out.
Grissom was the first to speak after that.
"Greg, there's only two hours till your shift is over. Head home and rest."
Nick expected Greg to argue but was surprised when Greg just nodded tiredly.
"Thanks Grissom," he said. "And I'm sorry about that."
"Put the blame where it belongs, Greg," Grissom said. "And it's not here."
Greg managed a small smile before turning to walk towards the locker room. Nick just watched him go.
Nick wondered how welcome he would be when he stood outside Greg's door a few hours later. He knew Greg probably did not want to see him after having had Nick as an audience to his family drama, but Nick couldn't help but want to talk to Greg. Things felt off between them now since Nick knew something private about Greg's life and not because Greg had chosen to let him know. Plus the thing between them was still new and that just added to the awkwardness.
So when Greg opened the door with a grin, Nick's pre-formed apologies died on his lips.
"About time. Shift ended two hours ago! What took you so long?"
"Oh...I didn't think you wanted me to come here."
"Why would you...oh...because of what happened with Spencer? I'm already over it. Come in. I've got brunch ready."
Nick followed Greg into the kitchen and sat down, watching Greg get plates and a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches from the oven. They sat down in silence and ate, both tired but famished.
Nick wanted to ask so many things but he didn't know how to broach on the topic. It seemed like a sensitive topic but Greg at the same time seemed dismissive about it. Should he ask or just follow Greg's cue and ignore the issue of Greg's father.
Greg leaned back in his chair and watched Nick.
"Go on and ask. I can almost see the question marks over your head."
"If you don't want to talk about it, we don't have to. You can tell me to mind my own business."
"Nick, I don't want to talk about my father but not because I'm touchy about him or anything. I just don't see the point of wasting my breath discussing a sleaze ball like him. But it doesn't bother me to tell you the facts."
Nick shook his head.
"I don't get how you can be so blasť about him. Especially after he..." Nick eyes were drawn to the gauze on Greg's cheek.
"You figured out he was the one who messed up my face yesterday?" Greg asked, then looked down. "That was a shock to me too. Not that he hit me...no. That I didn't see it coming. He had always been free with his fist since I was young. Not just with me but my mom too. I was 10 years old before my mom finally got the courage to leave him. We moved in with Papa Olaf and never looked back. He knew where we were but never came to look for us...probably because he was frightened of Papa Olaf. Do you know Papa Olaf once had friends in the Norwegian mob? Papa O is one enigmatic dude, I tell you!"
"I always wondered why you only ever talked about your Papa Olaf and never about your dad. Now I know why," Nick said.
"Never really had a dad, in a way. Not that it mattered. Papa Olaf was the best stand-in dad any boy could ask for."
"So why did your father come to look for you yesterday? How did he know where you were if you haven't been in contact for years?"
"Remember that reality show that they filmed at the lab a month ago? He saw it and found out I was with the Vegas crime lab. He then decided that he would forget I haven't wanted to talk to him for almost 20 years and that he would look me up for a friendly loan. I told him to screw himself and he screwed up my face instead. Never saw it coming. My finely honed instinct from childhood for avoiding punches have dulled. "
Nick couldn't imagine Greg...his easy-going, happy-go-lucky Greg being an abused child.
"Greg, I...damn, I wish I had punched the bastard when I could."
"Not that it wouldn't have made my day, but he's not even worth the effort. He's a coward. He's got the message and next time I won't give him even a little face time. Besides, at least now the gossip mill will have something to talk about. I feel good to know I've done my part to make work interesting for lab rats at least for a week or two."
Nick shook his head in amazement. Greg Sanders was one amazing guy. That was all there was to it.
Nick impulsively leaned forward and with a hand behind Greg's neck, pulled him into a careful but deep kiss. He pulled away and gently touched Greg's cheek.
"Does it still hurt?"
"Which answer would make you give me the repeat performance you promised?"
"Then it doesn't matter," Greg said before coming off his chair and settling onto Nick's lap. He leaned forward to kiss Nick, his tongue immediately asking for entrance.
Nick enjoyed kissing Greg for his kisses were just like him. Playful with an underlying intensity. Their tongues tangled with and curled around each other, their breath hot on each other's faces. Just as suddenly as the kiss had started, it ended.
Greg pulled Nick up to stand and Nick presumed they were going to the bedroom. Instead Greg pushed Nick to lean against the counter, confusing him.
"Aren't we...?" Nick asked.
"Yeah. But I want taste you now."
Nick's stomach clenched, sending signals to his groin when he saw Greg kneel down in front of him. And when he saw Greg press his mouth into the front of his pants, to catch the zipper between his teeth and pull it down, Nick had to fight to keep his eyes open because the visual threatened to smote his brain.
Nuzzling against the rising erection through the silk boxers with his lips and nose, Greg took a deep breath of Nick and grinned up from where he was kneeling at Nick's feet.
"I just love how you smell."
Nick groaned at the words and the sensation. Greg would be the sexual death of him. He was sure that he was going to die at the prime age of 35 from sex with Greg. Late night talk shows were going to joke about his death and it would all be Greg's fault. But what a way to go.
Greg started to lick Nick through his boxers until the material was soaked not just with saliva but also pre-cum. Nick was moaning softly at the sensation and jumped when Greg blew across the wet material, sending shock waves through Nick's body. Nick was ready to beg when Greg showed mercy and pulled down both the underwear and jeans in one sharp movement.
Nick barely had time to draw breath before Greg started licking the length of Nick's cock, enthusiastically lapping at it with his whole tongue. Greg licked delicately along the length of Nick's cock, tracing the vein along the underside, while he cupped Nick's balls in his hand. He flicked the tip of his tongue over the head, tasting the droplet of salty liquid waiting for him, then nibbled his way back down the shaft till he was nuzzling the sac, which he started to suck.
Nick couldn't stop moaning and tugged at Greg's hair, to divert his attention back to his weeping cock. Greg licked and nibbled his way back to the head of Nick's cock, which was leaking profusely. He lapped at the entire surface, gathering up all the salty liquid and probing the slit with the tip of his tongue in search of more. He opened his mouth slightly, taking in just the tip, and closed his lips around it firmly, sucking gently like a baby on a pacifier.
Nick writhed and fought the urge to fuck Greg's mouth. But Greg seemed to read his mind and opened his mouth a little wider gradually, letting more of Nick's cock slip until Nick slide in all the way. Nick knew he was in danger of coming any moment and that was not the way he wanted to come this time.
"Ok, wait," Nick gasped,
Greg didn't let up on his torture.
Nick held Greg's head between his palms, careful not to press on the cut, and pulled Greg away from his cock, hearing the loud slurping noise which only caused his lust to spike.
"Bedroom. Now," Nick panted, pulling Greg up to stand.
Nick kicked off his jeans which lay tangled around his ankles along with his boxers and pulled Greg behind with him, heading for Greg's bedroom with single-minded determination. Once in front of the bed, Nick turned to Greg and started stripping him of his shirt and sweatpants which was already tented and wet just from Greg's enjoyment of his oral worship of Nick.
Once Greg was standing naked in front of him, Nick pushed him down on the bed and hurried to remove his own shirt before blanketing Greg with his body. Greg was already writhing beneath him, trying to hump up against his hard cock. Nick grasped both of Greg's wrist and pulled them over his head, pinning them to the bed. He then leaned down to lick and nibble Greg's neck and chest.
Greg moaned as Nick's attention soon focused on his nipples. Even though they had only hooked up the previous day, Nick already knew that Greg was ultra sensitive there. He sucked and bit at them until they were flushed and standing rigidly at attention, and Greg was gasping helplessly. Nick planned to someday try to make Greg come just from the stimulation to his nipples. But right now, he wanted inside Greg.
"Lube and condoms?" Nick asked, his voice rough with lust.
Greg pointed to the side table, causing Nick to scramble on his knees across the bed to get at the essentials. He dumped both beside Greg and moved between those long, pale thighs, pushing Greg's knees up so that his feet were flat on the bed.
Nick pumped some lube onto his fingers and brought them to Greg's waiting hole, pushing in first with one finger and then another, almost immediately finding the gland judging from Greg's whimper.
Greg moaned and pushed down on Nick's fingers impatiently. After a few more seconds of just two fingers, Greg panted, "What am I? A freaking virgin? Give me more, Nick."
Nick grinned and pushed in three fingers into Greg's clenching hole, feeling the tightness clamp around his digits. Greg pushed back onto Nick's fingers which were driving in deeper and setting off tremors of pleasure through Greg. Nick couldn't wait to get into that heat and he didn't need to, because Greg grabbed a condom and sat up, rushing to tear the packet and roll it onto Nick's hard, dripping cock. They were both breathing so loudly now, the room seemed to echo their harsh breaths.
Once they were both prepared, Greg scrambled to get on his knees, bearing his weight on his forearms and pushing back against Nick.
"Fuck me, Nick!"
Like he had to be told twice. Nick grasped Greg's hips, pulling him backwards even as he thrust in, slamming in to the hilt in one movement. Loud moans of pleasure escaped both men, the momentary pain of Nick's entry barely even registering on Greg's consciousness. Their bodies thrust together, Nick pulling nearly all the way out and pushing back even further on each stroke. He angled his thrusts to strike the gland inside Greg each time, prompting continuous cries of pleasure. Nick gripped Greg's shoulder with one hand to give himself extra leverage, allowing him to penetrate so deep that his groin slammed against Greg's ass. He was harder than he could ever remember being and in the grip of incredible pleasure. Greg was almost incoherent, begging Nick to go faster.
"Fuck! Please! Right there! Please! God!"
Nick didn't even need to jerk Greg off as he fucked him. He had discovered to his amazement that Greg was one of those rare guys who could come just from being fucked. It had been so damn hot and Nick wanted to see it again.
"Nick...god...so good...please....yeah...I'm..." Greg's body tensed as he started to come, wailing with pleasure and clenching even tighter around Nick's cock. The tight heat squeezed Nick, and he thrust in as far as he could, coming so hard he nearly passed out. He could feel his cock pulsing and ejaculating for a few long seconds.
He fell forward, causing Greg to fall flat on the bed as well. Knowing he was too heavy for Greg, Nick pulled away and out of his lover, holding on the condom, Then he pulled it off and leaned forward to dispose of the used rubber in the basket beside the bed. He grabbed some tissues from the box on the nightstand and pulled Greg away from the wet spot on the sheets to help him wipe away the wet cum on his stomach. Greg just sighed in appreciation. Nick then settled onto a pillow and pulled Greg to rest against his chest. Greg hummed with satisfaction and circled Nick's waist with his arms before falling asleep.
Nick lay awake watching Greg sleep, taking in his peaceful expression despite the bruises he bore on his face as well as the very pale remains of the burn scars on his back. Nick knew he was getting one heck of a complex man who came with all kinds of bruises. But what were a few small bruises, whether inside or outside, when it came to love?
Nick closed his eyes, hugged Greg a little closer and felt asleep.