Jim gathered the scattered photos and dropped them into an Evidence envelope. Grissom had taken off like his shorts were on fire: obviously something important was happening.
Jim drew a hand over his tired face and reached for the phone; he punched in the numbers and waited, listening to the rings.
Jim smiled. "Hey, you."
"Jim?" On the other end, Nick smiled. "When are you coming home?" he asked. "It's getting lonely around here without you, if you know what I mean."
Jim laughed, for what felt like the first time in days. "I think you need to come back to work soon," he said, "you don't have nearly enough to do."
"If you came here, we could do lots of stuff together," Nick said teasingly.
"I'll be home soon, promise. I, ah...I got some things to tie up here."
Nick, ever alert to his lover's moods, latched on. "What's going on?"
"It's nothing, it's..."
"Jim, don't bullshit me. Not after everything we've been through."
"He's taking pictures, Nicky...of the victims. The, uh...the perp's taking pictures of them." He forced himself to breathe. "And sending them to me."
"What? Jim, are you serious? Man, that's sick!"
"Yeah, it's sick, it's...they're addressed to me, Nick. The pictures."
There was a long silence, then, "So this is personal. Is that what you're telling me?"
"That settles it. I'm coming back to work first thing tomorrow."
"Nicky, I don't---"
"Jim, this isn't your decision, man! Now come home. You should have clocked off hours ago."
Suddenly it was exactly where he wanted to be. "I'll be there in five minutes," he said.
Jim sighed and relaxed back into the pillows. He reached out a lazy arm and drew Nick close.
"Good?" The Texan's voice caressed his ear.
"No, it was horrible," Jim shot back. "I hated every minute of it. Couldn't you tell?"
"Must have been the groaning that gave you away," Nick quipped. He leaned in and pressed his mouth against Jim's neck. "So when are you gonna tell me?"
Jim's heart began a savage rhythm in his chest: He knows...he saw Grissom put his hands on you...he knows everything... "What do you mean?"
"Was she in the pictures? Was Janice..."
"Yeah." Jim forced himself to sound normal. "Can we not talk about it?"
"Come here." Nick drew Jim into his arms and covered them both with the eiderdown. "Go to sleep, baby. I love you."