The Wild Life.
Xander looked up when Horatio was let in the next day, waving listlessly. "Hi, Horatio."
"Good morning, Xander. Can I borrow Speed for a few minutes?"
"You can make him go to work if you want. He's pacing without something to do."
"The Chief and I agreed, we want him right here. Especially since we have two leads." Speed stiffened and looked at him. He pulled him into the kitchen to talk to him and Xander had to wince at the sound of breaking glass. Horatio came out a moment later and sat on the table in front of Xander. "Right now, we do know that you were bitten," he said quietly. "We do know, through your grandfather, that it had something to do with your old life. Someone out there who wanted you that badly. We also know that your grandfather's sire intervened. He's not in town at the moment but Patrick did say he was coming back tonight so you'll probably meet him soon. We do know that his sire's right hand man was the one who killed the vampire who tried to eat you but they staked him and took you back to the house because they decided it was too dangerous."
"Is this demonic?"
"No, this was stupid humans not stupid demons," he promised. Xander relaxed at that, it meant the system could get them. "We also know that there was a mole in the department."
"There is one in mine but they haven't said anything about you. I'm talking the bigger, general department."
"One of the patrol guys, Xander," Speed said from the kitchen doorway.
"But I'm nice to them."
"You are," Speed agreed. "But he's probably on the take."
"It's possible," Horatio agreed. He looked at Xander again. "We do not know who the mole is nor do we know who it leads back to but we do have a few leads on who the mole is."
"So we know who saved me and we know why I got put back in the house and why it was set on fire but you don't know who did the demanding, beating, drugging, and putting back?"
"Yet," Horatio cautioned.
"Yet," Xander agreed. Horatio smiled and patted him on the shoulder. "So am I in real danger? Because Grandfather wanted me to go to some spa somewhere in Georgia. He was going to sweettalk your boss into sending one of you guys with me until Speed stopped him."
"Too late for that," he admitted. "Since we can't narrow it down to one threat out of three...."
"I thought we had four," Speed said.
Horatio looked at him and shook his head, then looked at Xander. "Your father had been let go by the FBI for some reason but he's since been found dead, Xander."
"Can I have a party?"
"If you want." That got a grin and a matching one from Horatio. "Good boy. That does only leave a few threats."
"Or an outside threat that didn't like me tainting cops by beating them to make them let it go," he noted. "A few of the officers don't like me, Horatio."
"That is true but I've pretty much ruled out it being an officer. One of them would've beaten you and left you laying somewhere. Maybe burned your house with you in it but probably not beaten you first. The fact that those two went together and drugging was added on top means it's probably not an officer." Xander nodded. "Now, I'm still trying to remind the Chief I need all my people but if I don't, we can send you with either Eric or Ryan. I'll need Speed here."
"I wouldn't mind."
"Good. Then we'll figure that out." He patted him again. "Are you feeling better?"
"Some. We're sure I didn't start the fire, right?"
"No, I don't think you poured gasoline in your dryer then started it," Speed told him. Xander looked confused. "He's still having a bit of short term memory issues, H."
"Which would be a good reason to send him to the spa, so he could heal around a good, peaceful place." Xander shrugged. "You don't like that idea?"
"What do you do at a spa?"
"Point. Would you rather go see Lady Heather?"
"I wouldn't mind going to Vegas again but I don't want to bother her or upset her house."
"I'm sure she wouldn't mind," Speed told him. "I can call her, Xander."
"Do you need Speed back? Like I said, he's pacing and fussing. He's creepily approaching Willow levels of fussing and I'm starting to wonder if his hair's going to suddenly change colors closer to yours."
"I know he is. All good parents would be. The main worry is that if you're here they can try again. That's why we thought getting you out of town for a few days might help." Xander nodded at that, understanding that idea. "So, can we count on you to help?"
"I could go visit Las Vegas," he agreed quietly. "I could use some fun in the casinos."
"Good boy. We'll call Lady Heather and let her make the arrangements for you. That way she can make sure you're not going to interrupt her house." He stroked over his head. "We'll be listening and it won't take that long, Xander." He nodded. "Good boy." He kissed him on the forehead, then smiled. "Try not to cause Grissom too much trouble and don't make Greg call off work."
"Good." He stood up and looked at Speed. "Let's do that?"
"Sure," he agreed, going to find his cellphone and call Lady Heather right then. "It's Speed, is she still awake? No, he's still okay, we're having problems finding the root cause of the threat and we were thinking a vacation might help him heal better." He was handed over once someone got Lady Heather up. "Sorry to wake you." She said something gracious. "We're evacuating Xander so they're more easily exposed and he's safer while he heals. I can do that but he didn't want to disrupt your house so he wanted to stay out there and nearby but not make you baby him. That's what he was saying, yeah." He smirked at his son. "She said you're not an imposition."
"I am because I'm still cranky," Xander reminded him.
"He said he's still cranky from the slight head injury and the drugging they did, Lady Heather. Yeah, that's what he was thinking. Close enough for you to pay attention to him and mother him if you wanted but not close enough that you'd have to interrupt or change your schedule for him. Exactly. Besides, he could use some fun and I'm sure Greg wouldn't mind having him out there for a few days." He smiled. "That'll work. You can make them or we can make them. Either way, Lady Heather. I'm at home and he says I'm fussy. Thanks." He hung up. "She'll call in a very minor favor and get you preferential treatment out to her plus a decent hotel room somewhere other than one of Sam Braun's hotels. She'll also tell Greg but she wanted a full file on what we have, Horatio."
"Agreed. She can protect him very well." They smiled at Xander, who sighed and got up to go pack the new clothes he had bought. "I'll tell his grandfather since he is pacing," Horatio said quietly.
"Oh, I was earlier," he promised. Horatio smiled and nodded. "I know, I'm a good Dad."
"You're an excellent father, Speed. Much better than I'd be. I'd have killed someone by now." He left, going back to the office to check on things, fax that over, and call Patrick.
Xander stepped off the private plane with a yawn, looking at his pseudo-Mom. He walked into her arms and hugged her. "I'm here."
"You're here and safe," she promised, giving him a squeeze. "My poor boy." She led him to her limo and got him inside, then took the folder he had carried from Horatio. "Thank you. You should rest."
"I'll rest tonight."
"That's fine, Xander. As long as you do rest tonight." She gave him a look and got a nod. "Tired?"
"Head still hurts from where they drugged me." He laid down and put his head in her lap, getting petted. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, Xander. You know you're my favorite student in quite a while." She went over the folder, nodding at what they had. "I'm sorry about your father."
"I'm going to throw a party while I'm out here."
"Of course. If that's how you want to remember him."
"Ding dong the bastard's dead?"
"Sounds like a theme to me," she agreed, going back to her petting. She got to the end of the file and put it beside her. "I'll make sure Grissom has this personally, Xander." He yawned and nodded, making her smile. "I've got you set up in a very nice room for the next two weeks. That should give them ample time to find out who did these horrible things."
"Most of the whips and things survived because they were in the cabinet," he said quietly. "Some of my clothes. I had the weapons shielded thankfully. Or else the whole neighborhood would've went up. I'm not sure if I want to restart or not though."
"That is something you'll figure out, my son." She smiled at him. "I remember your hair being this short before."
"They took pinking shears to it."
"Pity but hair does grow." He nodded and yawned again. "Did you know your grandfather's sire was in town?"
"Nope but I didn't really expect him not to try to see me since he was only in LA."
"He's in town but I doubt you have to worry too much about him tonight. Tonight he'll lurk and watch over you. Tomorrow night he might take you to dinner or something."
"Maybe. Could be nice as long as he doesn't want to turn me. I saw what I would be as a vampire and I wasn't pretty. I tortured."
"We all have that side of us under the right circumstances, Xander." He nodded and let himself drift off while her nails worked through his hair and over his scalp. She smiled down at him. When she had dropped him off she called Grissom's cellphone. "Come to me and bring Greg," she ordered. "I have information from Miami that you'll need. It shouldn't take long." She hung up and they went home, barely beating those two there. She did hug Greg. "Master Tim is at the Bellagio," she whispered in his ear, getting a nod. "To my office, gentlemen." She led the way and then handed over the file Horatio had sent. "Xander is the adopted son of Timothy Speedle."
"He's also your last student," Grissom agreed, looking at her. The file did have a picture in it of his bruises. "Is he all right?"
"Slight head injury that's leading to a bit of fuzziness on recently discussions. His body's still healing from the beating and drugging he took." Greg growled at that. "Right now he's resting at the Bellagio."
"I see." He went through it then looked at her. "Do we think they could follow him?"
"Do we think it's the same people that made him do the end-run with Sonny's help?" Greg asked.
"No, they're either in Federal custody or dead. Including his father, Gregory. He was recently found dead in New York."
"Couldn't have happened to a nicer person," Greg told her. She smiled and nodded that she agreed. "How is he really?"
"Tired, edgy. His body's not liking the drugs they pumped him full of but he's healing."
"I'll go see him tomorrow."
"That would be fine," she agreed. "He did ask about you. I would suggest you let him nap tonight, Gregory. He proclaimed he's been a bit cranky."
"I will, Lady Heather."
"Good boy." He smiled and tipped his head, getting a few pets. She smiled at Gil, who looked amused. "It does help him think."
"I'll remember that and let Hodges pet him in the lab." Greg growled. "Sorry." He went back to the folder, then looked at her. "Do they have a suspect?"
"Two. Horatio said to call him, they were chasing one down while he flew out."
"I'll do that then. Thank you, Lady Heather." He stood up and Greg got to his feet as well, kissing her on the cheek. Gil smiled. "I'll make sure he's got a night off to go play with Master Tim while he's here."
"Xander has quite a lot of affection for young Gregory. They're very close friends."
"I applaud it. It can only help focus Greg. He was always focused when he was out here before." That got a grin from Greg. "I'll let you two play. Just don't tell me what you do and don't let it get back to the others." He nodded at her. "Thank you."
"You're welcome and I want a copy back."
"Of course. I'll have your secretary copy it for me." She smiled and nodded, then they left. He looked at Greg once they had their copy and were back in their SUV. "You don't like Hodges that way?"
"We're friends, not like that."
"That's okay, just don't sic Sarah on me."
"I don't think she should know that you fall to your knees for Lady Heather. She's not very comfortable with this whole idea and she's extremely uncomfortable around Master Tim." He started the SUV and drove off. "You get petted?"
"I'm a very tactile person, Grissom. I'm not dating so I need it somehow. Or else I start to bounce even worse."
"We'll have to set you up on better dates then. Once Master Tim's gone." Greg shifted at that. "I don't care, Greg. I don't care what sort of relationship you have with him. I'm not the one who'd pick on you for whatever you two did in private. That might be Nick but I'm not sure. I don't know if he's ever dealt with an officer who was bi in the past. I know Master Tim made him a bit uncomfortable."
"That's because he's combat trained and Nick can sense the predator vibes. He froze like a bunny rabbit next to a snake."
"He did," he agreed. "That is a good observation and analogy. What about Warrick?"
"He's a 'whatever works for you, just don't ask me to watch' guy. He probably doesn't get into handcuffs with his ladies unless they get pushy."
"Quite possibly. Any observations on Catherine?"
"She's been through her wild phase and she's not going back. Her words."
Grissom smiled at that. "That's probably a good thing considering where her past led her." He pulled back into the station. "Let's brief the team and Brass."
"Sure." They headed inside, comfortable that Greg had his things and Grissom respected that boundary but he'd probably use it if Greg got out of hand some year. Greg went to get Brass while Grissom got the others. He leaned in Brass's office. "Grissom's doing a short briefing you should hear too."
"Master Tim's back in town healing from where his house got burned with him in it after he was beaten and drugged."
"On my way," he sighed, pouring some more coffee and following. They were the last ones in there. "The kid okay?"
"He'll be fine." Grissom looked at his team. "Lady Heather called to give us a file from Miami. Her student Master Tim was beaten, drugged, then put into his house before it was set on fire. He's out here healing. This is what they know so far and we'll be checking later to see if they've got any new leads in case they come out here looking for him." He passed down the folder and watched their reactions. Brass liked the kid, respected him for the obvious training and protective nature he had, but he was a bit wary that his mental state could slip. The others...pretty much as Greg had said. "He's where, Greg?"
"Bellagio napping tonight."
"So you're going to hang with him tomorrow night if you've got the night off?" Catherine asked. "I know you two are friends."
"We are and I'm going to be hanging with him as often as I can," he agreed, grinning at her. "I like Master Tim. He's a nice guy who respects me for my mind." That got a snort from Nick. "He does."
"He likes you for more than that, Greggo," Nick said patiently.
"Yeah, but he's still wobbling on that subject. I asked." Nick shivered at that. "Anyway. Lady Heather said he's got some fuzzy mental issues with recent conversations. So probably a good head injury in there as well."
"That's a lot of drugs," Warrick offered when he got it. "He okay?"
"Coming down. I'm sure they wouldn't have sent him if he wasn't all right," Grissom reminded him. "Remember, he's also CSI Speedle's adopted son."
"The whole lab down there is like a family and I'm betting even the nice ones are swearing about this," Greg offered. Grissom nodded.
"Calleigh's probably ready to peel paint with her tongue," Catherine agreed.
Greg smiled. "I got an email from Ryan down there. He gave Horatio one of the whips that survived the fire. Had to use it on an officer who couldn't tell the difference between a dom and a prostitute but he gave it to Horatio, who tried it out in the halls and got their IAB guy Stetler." Grissom smothered a laugh at that.
"Is he going to cause problems?" Brass asked.
"I think that was an accidentally on purpose," Catherine offered. "Eric was complaining the guy was so far up Horatio's jockeys for no reason he couldn't even sit without making Stetler squeak." That got more laughs from Grissom and from Brass too. "Exactly. Probably some longing there that he's repressing."
"Well, maybe the boy'll help him with that," Warrick said as he passed the file down to Sarah and Catherine. "He need a protection detail? Because I volunteer Greg. He's going to be there anyway."
"Not at this point but we should be aware that this is going on. She said they told her they had it narrowed down to two leads. I'm not sure how or who yet."
"I'm sure we'll get an update tomorrow at the latest," Brass offered, taking the file to look over. "That's a lot of drugs," he agreed.
"Ryan said it had been in the lidocaine cream that's commonly used after spankings and things," Greg offered. "They found it covering the bruises on his face."
"So it got mixed in specially?" Brass asked. Greg nodded. "Interesting. Anything else?"
"It's not about how he nearly got sold the last time. They're all in federal custody but his father, who was recently found dead."
"Excuse me, sold?" Sarah asked.
"Yeah, sold. His parents decided to sell him," Greg told her. "Showed up on his doorstep with his new owners while he was still in New York. Sold him for about sixty grand. He managed to get away and get to the people his adoptive parents had watching him in New York, who were with the Feds for dinner for some reason, and they saved him from being taken. It's kinda an interesting story that even involves thugs."
"Thugs?" Warrick asked with a smile. "Like rapper thugs?" That sounded like the boy they had all met when he protectively hovered over Lady Heather while they had been investigating her daughter's death.
"Like gangster, runs drugs, used to own the neighborhood he lived in thugs, Warrick. Thugs thugs. Original thugs not new style thugs with rhythm."
Warrick moaned. "He went to a thug for help?" Nick asked.
"Yeah, he had a peace treaty with him. They had a real 'don't bother me and I won't make your life a living hell' agreement according to him."
Brass looked at him. "I'm going to not nominate you for any protection detail. You're a bit too close, Sanders."
"That's great. But you'd react on that instead of on your training."
"He's the one who worked on my gun training when I hesitated," he said dryly. "Not like I had to do much shooting at the DNA before, Brass."
"Oh. Never mind." He handed the folder back. "How likely is it that they'll follow?"
"We're not sure yet. It depends on the root cause," Grissom offered. "I know Lady Heather had those maternal stress lines again." Greg nodded. "I can almost guarantee you he will be fighting back if someone comes but in his current state he's probably got a headache and he's cranky."
"Self proclaimed cranky," Greg reminded him.
"True, she did say that."
"I hope they catch him soon. The kid was polite but kinda odd," Sarah offered.
Greg looked at her. "You worked in California, right?" She nodded. "He's from Sunnydale." She shuddered. "Exactly. He was part of their protection detail."
"Gotcha. Okay, so he's clear on self-protection probably. We can deal with that. Are we going to ask a unit to swing by there more often?" Brass nodded. "That's fine then. Let me know if you need me to help." The others nodded. "Any other new business?"
"Lady Heather got a death threat," Greg said, handing over the envelope she had handed him while he was being petted. He slid it down to Grissom. "She slipped it to me. I think she may think that her office is bugged."
"That kid is going to go off on someone," Warrick said. "He treats Lady Heather like his mother."
"No, ya think?" Greg asked dryly. "Just think, Master Tim's nearly a marksman, likes and knows how to use explosives, and likes artillery." They all shuddered. "Calleigh is still probably removing the guns from his former house. He had a guarded, shielded, and metal encased gun vault."
"Define artillery?" Brass asked.
"He let me see what Giles got sent and passed on. He had a grenade launcher. An old bazooka. About ten rifles, at least ten pounds of explosives, mostly plastic explosives but I think I saw a small box that was marked TNT. Not to mention all the stuff he had in storage away from the house, all the handguns, and the sword collection." Brass's jaw dropped. "Maybe Bobby should ask Calleigh if she's got any castoffs. Xander's usually really nice about that stuff. I know he donated anything she could save to the department as exemplars."
"Did any other houses go up?" Catherine asked.
"No, that's why it was encased in metal and very heavily shielded. His email to me said his next one was going underground if he had the choice."
"Bobby?" Grissom called. He came out of his lab and walked into the break room. "Call Calleigh down in Miami if you want any of the things they got out of Master Tim's weapons collection. When his house exploded they found a few things that were probably less than legal."
"I know he had the new Smith and Wesson you were looking at," Greg offered, looking back at him with a grin. "He sent me a picture of him petting it. He coos at his and cleans them all once a week."
"Thanks, guys, and it's not even my birthday."
"Get us an update too," Warrick ordered. That got a nod and he went to call down there. "He pets his guns?"
"Yeah, he calls his swords his babies. He likes weapons. He said they've been better to him than his former habit with women. They wanted to kill him."
Nick just nodded. "He is joking?"
"No. His prom date used to torture men and nearly killed him after seven hours of sex. Speed had to rescue him." Catherine giggled. "That came from Speed. He dated someone named Anyanka?" Sarah and Catherine both flinched at that name. "That was his prom date. So no, not kidding. But hey, ya know, he turned in a lot of sexual predators and serial killers to SVU while he was in New York. They all like him."
"Crap," Nick said in awe.
"He's worse than you are," Warrick said, patting him on the back. "We won't let you two go anywhere alone, Nickie. Don't worry." Nick turned and hit him on the arm, making him laugh. "We'll send Greg with you two."
Bobby came back up with a list he had printed out. "She said I can have anything without a star next to it," he offered, handing it to Grissom. "I'd need a bigger cabinet."
Grissom looked then at Greg. "How did he get a World War II era machine gun?"
"Giles. The Watchers sent it to Giles since he was a field operative and Giles hates things that came later than crossbows."
"Are they terrorists?" Bobby asked.
"No, they're stated mission is to rid the world of vampires," Greg told him. "That's how he got the guns, the explosives, all that stuff." Bobby and a few others blinked at that. "They're British. They've been together since about the date of writing. They all hunt vampires and demons."
"So, Master Tim was guarding them for him because he's a crank?" Catherine asked.
"Giles used to mentor him, he knew he liked weapons so he let him have them."
"Uh-huh. Does Master Tim hunt vampires?"
"He survived Sunnydale," Sarah said quietly. "There's no telling what he used to hunt." Bobby nodded at that. "You've heard?"
"Oh, yeah. I interviewed for a position in their department. It went to some woman named Burns?"
"Master Tim's adoptive mother," Greg told him. "She's in Seattle now. She and Tim Speedle adopted him. She's the one who hit all the guys from New York during the convention."
"That's one spitfire I could appreciate," Bobby offered. "Introduce me, Greg?"
"Sure. Next time we're all in the same area." That got a smile. "Did she include the artillery?"
"No, she said that was illegal to own so she had to put that in for destruction or testing to see the destruction radius. She's hoping for the former. In which case can I go help, Grissom?"
"Sure." He handed it back. "Get what you can, Bobby." That got a sweet grin and a nod. "Greg, ask Master Tim if he'd be willing to donate more to the department directly next time."
"Sure. I have *no* idea what he's got in storage." That got some shudders from Brass. "He's a great guy."
"Yeah, but I just foresaw Sam Braun getting in his face again."
"Poor Rampart," Nick agreed.
"Well, in Vegas, destruction is just another show," Warrick reminded them. "We done?" Grissom nodded. "Thanks for the head's up, boss." He headed out to the morgue, Nick behind him. Catherine and Sarah headed to their respective labs.
Greg looked at Grissom. "I'm open, do I have anything?"
"Go with Brass on his next one." That got a nod and Brass nodded to. They went to work on paperwork until something came in while Grissom relaxed for a minute. Someone in Miami needed to look over the boy's shoulder more carefully. He wasn't even twenty yet!
Xander looked at the bellhop the next morning. "Where's the desk?" It got pointed at. "Thanks." He headed that way. "Any messages for Harris, or Master Tim?" She looked stunned and he grinned. "I'm recuperating."
"There are two messages for you, Master Tim." She handed them over. One was a simple message and one was an envelope. "Also there was a young man who called a few times but didn't want to disturb you."
"The LVPD lab's ballistics tech. He probably wants into the weapon's collection. Thank you." He walked off reading the simple message from Lady Heather that she'd see him later tonight to have him checked over for medical things by her personal doctor. He smiled at that and opened the other one. Inside was a heavy sheet of paper, very fine. You could barely feel the pattern of the fibers used to make it. On it was a simple message.
//This is so you look decent when I take you out to dinner tonight, Grandson. Seven. The nice steak place inside your hotel. Be dressed appropriately. Your Grandsire.//
Xander looked at the card, then around. "Huh." He walked back to the desk. "Can you run this and see how much is on it?"
She ran it and looked at him. "Ten thousand, sir."
"Thank you. Shopping? My grandfather's husband wants to meet me for dinner at the steak place?"
She smiled and pointed at a sign. "Go through there, sir. You should be able to find something suitable. I would suggest a suit."
"Thank you, miss." He walked that way, tucking the messages into his front pocket on one side and the card into the other. He looked at the shops, frowning. He didn't do upscale very well. He did find a toss-away cellphone machine and inserted the card to get a decent amount of minutes. Then he called Lady Heather. "This is my temporary cell number," he reported. "That's correct. Thank you. Tell her I've got dinner with my grandfather's sire tonight at seven. I'll be over directly after that if she still wants me to come over tonight. Thank you, Hillary." He hung up and called Greg's phone from memory, getting him.
"Where am I going shopping? Just under ten grand. No, Grandfather's sire wants to have dinner and then Lady Heather wants to see me. That's what I was thinking. Oh, if you hear from Bobby, I'm awake, this is my temporary number; yes, Calleigh can wade through my collection in the storage area. I'm sure Eric can get her into it. Yes he can help her. I liked Bobby when you introduced us. Just don't let him take everything." He smiled. "That's a good idea. If you want. I won't make you take me shopping, Gregory." He smiled. "Then I'm at the Bellagio and I can meet you out front after I get some coffee, dear." He hung up and went that way, slipping back into his life very easily. Even if he was sore at the moment. "I hate being burned," he complained to himself as he walked. One of the guards looked at him. "My house was set on fire with me in it."
"Lady Heather told us, Master Tim. Did you need a car?"
"No, I have a friend locally who's coming to take me somewhere to shop." He smiled. "But thank you."
"You're welcome. Have a good day, sir."
"You as well." He popped in for coffee and walked out to find Greg waiting. "Were you in the parking lot?" he teased. Greg nodded. "You should've called to come up, Greg. I would've let you watch my cable for a while."
"I'll remember that. So, major shopping?" Xander handed over both notes. "Hmm. Suit. I know a good place and it'll be stylish." He drove them off, taking the coffee Xander handed him. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He settled into the seat and buckled up. "Any new news from Miami?"
"There was a small update but no, not yet," he admitted. "We'll know soon."
"Good. I don't want to have to go hurt someone."
Greg pulled over to look at him. "I'm not sure I want to go into that topic."
Xander stroked his cheek. "It was my decision, Greg. Not yours. You tossed out an idea not knowing I would use it. You had no idea that I had fought for years to protect others and that I had flexible ethics when my family was involved." Greg nodded, accepting that. "It is not your fault. It is fully my fault and I admit it was my fault and my wrong. It was fully my bad." Greg smiled at that, relaxing again. "Okay?" Greg nodded. "Good. Now, I look like a dork in suits."
Greg grinned. "We can make sure you don't. Even I have *one* I don't quite look like a dork in." He drove them off again, taking him to where he had gotten his favorite suit. He played with his hair. "I hate this."
"I liked it shorter, spikier, and messier," Xander agreed. "Then again, I've got to do something about mine. I couldn't stand to sit up that long for the last few days."
"We can do that after we get you a suit," Greg promised, leading him inside. The salesman smiled at them. "This is Lady Heather's student Master Tim. He's having a special dinner tonight and needs to look less than dorky."
"Of course. This way, Master Tim." He led him to the more dark, serious suits. Two were picked out for him and he tried them on. He looked at Greg, who wobbled. "They are on special this week," he offered.
Xander looked at him himself, then nodded. "I look fine," he decided.
"You do look hot," Greg agreed. "Maybe others will fall at your feet." Xander gave him a telling look. "Outside of the demesne." He grinned sweetly. "Get them, Master Tim."
"Fine, how much?"
"We're running a sale this week, sir. Two full suits for seven hundred in that line." Xander looked impressed and nodded, handing over the card. It got run and they fitted them to him. That let them look at accessories, including a new wallet and watch. The fitter brought them out to let him try them on. Xander nodded that they fit so they were bagged up. "Have a good dinner tonight, sir."
"Thank you." He smiled and led Greg out with the bags. "Thank you for the help, Gregory."
"Welcome," he said with an impish grin. He got them into the car and headed off. "Wear the green one tonight?"
"I'll think about it."
"You looked hotter in it."
"Hmm. I'll take your word. I still think I'm ugly now and then."
Greg reached over to hold his hand. "You're not." He gave his hand a squeeze. "Now, you should have lunch. It's nearly lunch time." He pulled them into somewhere and got out with him, taking him inside. "Two for non." That got a nod and they were shown to a table, where Xander nearly squealed in delight over the selections on the menu. "I thought you'd like it here." Xander smiled at him and ordered a lot of food. He hadn't eaten really well for the last few days. He also paid for both their meals. "Do we need to do more shopping?"
"I did some. Jeans and t-shirts mostly since I think I'm going to be living out of a hotel room for a few weeks."
"Because Dad can't have sex with me in the house."
"Point," Greg admitted. "I'm sure you'll find somewhere nice pretty soon, Xander." Xander smiled at him. "Am I allowed?"
"We're not working with you. It's allowed," he agreed quietly. Greg beamed and dug into his lunch. "I wonder why he wants to meet me. I mean, he's stalked me a bit but he's my grandfather's sire. He's been annoying Angel for weeks."
"You said once Angel-taunting was a fun game," Greg reminded him.
"It is. Deadboy is a fun toy." He ate a bite and considered it. "You sure the green instead of the dark red?"
"I liked you better in the green. The red made you look just a hair more sinister." That got a smile and a small blush. "Which I know you're not. You're usually a very good boy."
"I try so hard," Xander agreed with a wink and a grin. He'd let Greg help him dress later. It was a good and fun time for the rest of the afternoon. Greg talked him into riding some coasters with him at the indoor amusement park after his haircut.
Xander walked up to the front of the restaurant, checking himself over. He looked at the hostess. "My grandfather's husband is supposed to meet me at seven. I'm not sure what name he put it under."
"Harris. Or Master Tim."
"It is here under Harris," he agreed, smiling at him. "This way, sir." She led him that way, leaving him at a table near a middle aged looking man in a dark suit.
Xander looked at him. "I expected you to be older," he said in greeting.
The older man looked at him. "Sit, Xander." Xander sat down. "Grandfather's husband?"
"Not like I can say sire around normal people."
"Good point." He looked him over. "You look good in that. Armani?"
"A small shop Greg knew," he admitted. "Much less costly and I look better."
"You do." He looked him over again then into his eyes. "How's your head?"
"Hurts some. Not as bad today."
"Good." He smiled and sipped his wine. "Get whatever you want."
"I'm going to assume you're having a very rare steak?" he teased.
"I am." He smirked at him. "You are greatly like your grandfather. That's where the smartass gene came from."
"He said I'm as stubborn as he is too."
"Good. It's a good thing. It leads to survival." He reached over to stroke down one of the inky, soft spikes that Greg had styled his shorter hair into. "You finally got a trim?"
"Greg made me."
"Good. I like this Greg. Your mate?"
Xander shook his head. "I'm not sure about that yet."
"Hmm. What about what I could give you?" he asked quietly.
Xander looked at him, then sipped his wine, putting the glass aside. He looked at him again. "I saw what I would be like if I was turned," he said quietly. "I was one of the banes of the universe."
"I heard." He saluted him. "That is not necessarily the way you'd go. That could have been who turned you. His children were known for their brutality. I am not."
"Or it could be the spirits that like me," he quipped lightly since the waitress was coming over. "Can I have a t-bone medium?" She nodded, writing that down. "Salad to start so I don't make a pig of myself."
"Of course, sir. Potato?"
"No thank you. I had fries for lunch." She nodded and took his menu, turning to the other man.
"I'll have the same cut, very rare. Just this side of mooing."
"No thank you. Bring me some bread to nibble."
"Sticks, rolls, or we do have breaded cheese, onions, or crab meat sticks."
"Sticks please." She nodded and left. He looked at him. "You have good taste."
"Lady Heather taught me." That got a smile. "She's like another Mom to me."
"She has good taste." He rearranged another spike of hair. "I heard that you don't want to be spoiled?"
"If you're going to be in my life, I want you to be there just because you want to be there for me. Not to spoil me, not to carry on the line, none of that. The same as Grandfather wasn't allowed to spoil me at first."
"Good. I like that attitude. I also like how you told him off about helping you start your shop."
"I wanted to make it on my own, not because Granddad was behind me, but because they liked *me*."
"I agree. That's a good attitude to take, though you do take it a bit too far. He pouted for weeks that you'd only let him buy you a candy bar."
Xander shrugged. "I'm sorry but it skews how I see people. Think about my father, Grandsire. Think about what he told me about strings."
"I heard a few times." He gave him a gentle smile. "It is a reasonable attitude with what occurred between them, Xander. I'd hope we wouldn't have that war with you?"
"I haven't demanded anything but some attention. I don't intend on it. Did he pay off my mortgage? I thought I had insurance specifically for that. Timmy said the agent said something about it being paid off."
"You did. He actually bought your mortgage when he heard you took out one. You were paying him directly. The insurance you carried for it paid off the rest for you and then you carried separate on the building and your business equipment." Xander nodded at that. "So you should be hearing from them sometime soon."
"Gordon had me sign forms letting them go to Daddy while I was recovering out here."
"Good. That shows some sense. I always liked Gordon." He took another sip of his wine while their appetizers were brought, getting a nod. The waitress smiled and walked off again. He looked at him. "Unfortunately we do feel that now is the time to break some of your stated wishes, Xander. Right now you need the help to get back on your feet."
Xander slumped back against the back of his seat. "I'm not sure if I want to restart, Grandsire. I had a few problems."
"Someone wanting you to pay protection?"
"No, women hitting on me." That got a smile. "I'm sure you've heard about my disastrous love life. I think that's why I've been so hesitant and careful since I switched batting hands."
"Possibly." He ate a piece of bred. "Eat." Xander poured on the dressing and dug in, still frowning a bit. "What would you do instead? The life of the idle rich would drive you insane."
"I don't know. I'm still considering my options. I was going to give myself time to heal and grieve then make that decision. I'm still having some tingling in my right hand. That's my whip hand and I don't know why."
"Probably a pinched nerve. Mention that to your stepmother tonight."
"I planned on it. I still don't want spoiled but I'll let you two help me find a house. Not buy it but help me find a house." That got a smile. "If I do go back to both jobs I'm going to schedule myself less clients. Where I had compressed them to a few days a week I was overloaded. If someone ran long I missed a meal." He ate another bite and leaned back again. "You're still taunting Angel?"
"Of course. He's great fun. Him and that law firm he's presently batting at like a cub playing with his mother." He ate another bite and gave him a look. "I am glad you don't hunt any longer, Xander."
"Unless it's necessary," he corrected.
"Of course." He smiled at him. "Then all bets are off and your grandfather would send guards with you." He saw a woman staring at them and stared back. She looked away coyly. "I've never understood why some women want to watch two men," he said dryly.
"I figure it's the same desire some men have for lesbians."
"True." He looked at him again. "You'll let us buy you a house?"
"No..." he said slowly, then smirked. "I'll let you help me *find* a house. I'll let you guys give me a loan that I'll pay back for whatever the insurance doesn't cover. I will not let you two buy me a house."
"Too late," he said dryly. "It's safe. He'll be showing it to your parents and family down there tonight." He grinned. "Don agreed it was a good idea." Xander moaned and shook his head. "I don't care, Grandson." He fed him a bite of breadstick. "I don't care if you did eat your weight at lunch. Eat." Xander dug in again. "You'll be allowed to pay him back if you insist, though he will pout. Greatly." He tipped Xander's face up. "He knows you need a safe spot, Xander. This is your safe spot. That way you have time to figure out what you want to do. You could even try college for a year."
"I know. Though it does come in handy." He stroked his cheek. "Eat."
"I am. You're nagging," Xander teased back. He ate another bite. "Where is the house?"
"I'm not exactly certain. I know you'll have a pool and a view of the ocean. Other than that I have no clue." Xander gaped. "Really." He shrugged. "My tastes run more to European castle designs. His tastes run more toward his time's version of 'home'. Angel's apparently run toward mausoleums. The idiot boy bought an abandoned hotel. By the way, your ex is fine so far."
"I got an email complaining that she's getting visions now. I put her and Speed together to talk about them." He chuckled at that. "Dad still swears at them."
"As do I now and then when your grandfather gets them." He smiled when their steaks came, watching his grandson clean his first plate then dig into the steak. He did coax Xander into finishing his single glass of wine as well. He was proud of the boy but he would have to overcome that one hurdle around partying people, especially in Miami.
Lady Heather stormed into the police station the next morning. "Where is Grissom?" she demanded coolly.
"Home?" the receptionist suggested.
"No, he's not." She paged him and he came out looking confused. "Where is my boy, Grissom?"
He blinked. "Last time I heard he and Greg were going to go out after they saw you last night. Didn't they?"
"Okay. Have you called his hotel?"
"They *giggled* and said *she* doesn't want to be disturbed."
"Uh-huh. All right, I'll send ...." She glared. "I'll take someone over to check on him, Lady Heather."
The receptionist cleared her throat and handed over a message. "The nice sounding man said to give you that tonight, Mr. Grissom. Since you're talking about Master Tim it might be relevant."
"Thank you." He read the short note then handed it to her. "I do believe he got into trouble." She growled and snapped her fingers, motioning him to follow her. Which he did because he knew she would pull him out by his ear, if not something more delicate. They made it back to the hotel and she stomped up to the boy's room, pounding on the door. One of the guards came up and Gil pulled his ID out, shaking his head. "This is Lady Heather."
"Did no one call you guys about the woman who committed suicide?" he asked hesitantly. She turned to glare at him. "Okay. From the top then. Master Tim is a very nice young man. He had dinner last night and his grandfather...."
"Grandsire, Grandfather's husband sort of," Grissom told him. Greg had babbled that at him while he was waiting on Xander to be checked over.
"Oh, okay. Well, he gave him some wine. Apparently your boy doesn't drink, Lady Heather?" She shook her head, her lips pursed. "Well, when he came back from visiting you, your car dropped him off with the other young man and they apparently went to the Club Rome." She moaned. "I'm not sure what happened but we suspected he was mightily drunk when each of the young men came in with a different woman. That was at about nine this morning. The one with Master Tim was flashing a very nice ring. Then his Grandsire came in through the VIP entrance and headed up here. We have film of her leaving the suite and running off the top of the rooftop gardens. She left a suicide note and your son was still snoring greatly. His Grandsire said he had forgotten the boy didn't drink and he had been drugged during a kidnaping?"
"He has no tolerance for alcohol and it probably reacted to the last drugs in his system," Grissom offered, thinking about it. "Are the two young men all right?" The guard nodded. "The other young woman?"
"She was led off for a statement about the first woman and she pulled an officer's gun in the lobby to shoot herself," he admitted. "She did that when she saw the men walking in wearing FBI jackets." Grissom looked amused at that. "They said something about assassins? They came up to interrogate your young men, Lady Heather, but they were unconscious by that time and Master Tim's grandsire nearly threw one through an unbreakable window so they said they'd be back tonight."
"Thank you," she said more calmly. "That does explain the phone call I got earlier. Would you please let us in? His grandsire sleeps like the dead."
"Of course." He let them in and got out of the way after a quick look around. Everything was still fairly neat and clean. There was a woman's dress over the back of a chair but no other obvious signs of a party. "They're probably in the bedroom." She stormed that way, slamming the door open.
Grissom looked at him. "I'd like an official report to send home with him in case this has repercussions. Would you mind?"
"Not at all, sir. I can get that for you by dinner tonight. Will you be here or at the station?"
"I'll be at the lab. Send it to me. I'm the graveyard supervisor."
"Of course." He bowed and backed out, heading to tell his boss that.
Grissom walked in and shut the door, walking around the slumbering vampire in the corner. He leaned into the bedroom, smiling at the cuteness of the two boys curled together like puppies. "Are they all right?"
"Fine. Or so it appears. They won't wake up."
"If it reacted strongly enough to make him that uncautious, he's going to have a hangover, Lady Heather."
"True." She frowned and went out to kick the vampire until he growled and woke up. "What happened to Xander?" she demanded.
"You know how we should never let him date women?" She grimaced but nodded. "I wasn't watching close enough. She slipped liquor into his fruity mixed virgin drink at the club. Both of them. Very strong liquor. She decided he was a good cover for the moment to get her away from the FBI." He yawned. "Her student decided to pick Greg since they were clearly together and they wouldn't care. So they got married at eight-forty-eight this morning." She gaped in horror, Grissom had to catch her before she fell down. "Exactly. An assassin and her student. The FBI was tracking them and I'm sure you heard about what happened in the lobby. The one who ran off the roof knew I knew who and what she was. She was not pleased when I called the FBI on her. I'm sure they're going to be growling at Xander later; the same as I'm sure he'll growl back. I had forgotten he *never* drinks. Ever."
"He was also drugged during the ordeal the other day," Grissom offered. "What sort of drunk was he?"
"A bit hyper but fun and bouncy. He and Greg had a lot of fun while they were being fed liquor without realizing it. It was not their fault, Lady Heather." She snorted. "It was not. I will intercede and talk to the FBI so you don't have to." She nodded at that. "He's fine and I was at fault. His grandfather is going to smack me around for ages for this."
Xander leaned in the doorway of the bedroom, giving them a bleary look. "We'll talk about why I have fuzzy memories later. Right now, I have a headache. I want to be beheaded. It's very early, very bright, and if this is a migraine I hope it comes with a stroke. Please be a bit more quiet before I snap and shoot at people." He closed the bedroom door, going to curl up with Greg some more.
Lady Heather rolled her eyes. "I will be telling Timothy about this debacle and your place in it," she informed him.
"I would expect nothing less," he assured her. "Except maybe to be spanked until I confessed myself."
"No, in that case I would make you tell Horatio and let Horatio punish you in front of Timothy," she assured him. She shot him a scathing look then went to baby her boys. They needed her.
Grissom looked at him. "Run," he advised. "After you talk to the FBI."
"I'll be back in Miami." He got up and headed out to go the darker routes back to his own hotel.
Don Flack opened up the morning paper the next morning and blinked at the headline. Not great. So he went to news that usually cheered him up. The odd news. He smiled at the first story. The second made him chuckle. The third made him choke. He read it again, slower this time. He called his uncle. "Patrick, please tell me that's not about Xander in the New York Times?" he begged. The 'I can't do that, but my sire is a dead man when I see him' didn't cheer him up any. "You have to warn them not to read the papers." He got hung up while his uncle was laughing. "Oh, God." He called Mac. "Did you read the Times?" He got another groan and hung up on. He called back. "That was Xander!" He nodded. "The oddly enough third story? That was Xander. Yeah, someone needs to make sure they don't read it in Miami. Lady Heather's got to be throwing fits." He hung up and called Horatio. "Do not let Speed read the Times today," he said slowly and clearly.
Horatio looked at his phone then at his computer. "Why, Don? Is it something I should stock up on aspirin about?" He logged onto the Times' server and did a name search, because only one person could be in the Times in their little family, finding a news story that did not make him happy. "Don?" he asked quietly. "Am I seeing what I think I am?" The 'yes' made his stomach knot. "Thank you for the warning." He hung up and printed it off, then he paged Eric. "Keep Speed out of the office today," he ordered when Eric leaned in.
"Um, too late, H. He's already seen the Times. He's already dented his locker, your locker, Calleigh's locker, and even she can't calm him down so she handcuffed him to the railing in the shower. Did Xander really marry an assassin?"
"He did and apparently Gregory married her apprentice." He gave him a look. "I think I need to wear off some energy."
"Sure, you and the whip have fun," he agreed, closing the door on his way out. He went to check on Speed, finding Frank trying to calm him down. "It won't work. His boy got married in Las Vegas, then she died."
"No, his grandsire got him drunk, didn't watch him later when she slipped him more liquor because my boy does... not... drink," Speed growled. "She loaded him up to use him as a cover, and when his grandsire found out he called the FBI. She ran off the building and her apprentice grabbed an officer's gun so she could commit suicide. I'm going to kill his grandsire then I'm going to spank Xander for being stupid! Right after I get Greg! Now let me out of these!"
"Hell no," Frank said, backing up slowly. "He's gotta be fine."
Eric nodded. "He would be. Someone called Horatio so he found the story." Speed growled more. "Want the whip? Horatio's probably getting his couch again." The growl got louder. "Okay, we're going to let you calm down some more," he agreed, backing out with Frank.
Calleigh looked at them. "He still growling?"
"He is," Eric agreed.
"I'm going to run the other way when someone lets him free."
"What's going on?" Ryan asked as he came in smiling. "Ooh, did something happen? A hummer get crashed?"
"No, Xander married an assassin who got him very drunk out in Vegas," Calleigh said. "Greg Sanders married her assistant. They're both fine and both assassins committed suicide when his grandsire called the FBI."
"Does this mean that...." He paused then winced and shook his head. "If he's married to an assassin, does that mean he's her *legal* husband? As in all her files will be his to hand over? All that stuff?" Everyone stared at him. "Yeah, that's why I was wincing."
"He'll do the right thing," Eric reminded him.
"Which assassin?" Ryan asked.
"Um, Lady Death?" Calleigh said. "Her and her apprentice?"
Ryan started to giggle. "Oh, shit, he's not going to be dealing with the Feds, but he has very good tastes. She was a beautiful little spider. But she's wanted by Interpol." He walked off giggling.
"Aw, crap," Frank said, shaking his head. "Hey, Horatio?" A glass door broke. "I think he heard."
Calleigh looked up then nodded. "Yeah, that was his office door. Though he's got someone in there." They all turned to look as Rick Stetler ran out covering his back as best he could with his hands. They all clapped at that. Horatio came out to glare at hem. "Did you hear who she was?"
Horatio just nodded and smacked the whip into the glass wall behind him. "Anyone want to borrow this? It's incredibly freeing."
"No thanks. But I'm staying far out of range today," Frank offered with a grin. "Wolfe walked off giggling."
"He would," Horatio said dryly. "Mr. Wolfe?"
Ryan came out of Trace. "No way in hell am I getting near you, Horatio, but she supposedly had some very pretty real estate that's probably now Xander's. Plus Interpol will be showing up sometime soon to get him to let them into her things like her black book and files. Can I go to Greece with him?"
"No, Mr. Wolfe. Speed can go to Greece with him."
"Hey!" Calleigh complained. "I should get to go if he does! He's my stepson!"
Eric nudged her with an elbow. "With your luck, Xander will find a hottie there and make you watch him flirt and date him."
She looked at him. "As long as it's not a woman, I wouldn't care!"
Ryan giggled again. "What?" Frank Tripp demanded. "You're high?"
"No, I did a report on her back in my criminology classes." He went to pull it up off his home computer by remote then printed it out and brought it back. "Everything Interpol knew on her. Maybe Eric can go to Russia to that house since he speaks the language?"
"Not funny, Mr. Wolfe."
Eric glanced through it then looked at him. "H, it's worse than that." He handed it up to him then ran for cover. Horatio read it and growled. "Now we know why Ryan was giggling."
"We do," Calleigh agreed. "Run and hide, Ryan." He jogged off. She looked at Frank. "Horatio, I'll let you give that to Speed. I'm getting with Bobby out in Vegas about the rest of the stuff Xander had in storage."
Eric snickered. "I just dumped most of it in there. You'll have to climb over the swords, Calleigh."
"He said we could borrow them."
"You should call him, maybe he'll give you his wife's stuff."
"Maybe," Horatio agreed. "Go do something useful for society, people." They scattered and he went back to torture his couch some more. He had a sudden evil thought and got the small box of treats Xander had given him. He put on a nice 'I'm sorry I whipped you by accident' note and sent it with a wary looking officer down to IAB. Then he cackled and went to get to work.
"Horatio, the Chief said you're to put the whip up," Frank called from his desk. "At home."
"It's in my desk."
"He said at home."
"I need to bring it with me when I go help Xander clean out the explosives he's got in storage, Frank," he said as he walked past him. Frank whimpered. "Calleigh?"
"Yes, Horatio?" she called from her desk.
"You wanted in the storage area?"
"Sure." She came out with the instructions Xander had written out for Eric. "Let's go." She smiled.
"We need to see if he's going to hand over anything from his new wife."
"We should. Why are you happy suddenly?" she asked.
Horatio just smiled. "I passed on some treats I got sent."
"Oh, God, you fed someone Xander's cooking," Speed said from behind them. Horatio just smirked at him. "H, I'm all for being mean to Stetler, but that's evil. Do you need a vacation?"
"Hey, you can go to Greece with Xander," he offered. "I'll be the dutiful escort." Calleigh glared at him. "We'll take a joint team. You and Bobby. Me and Horatio. Giggle boy and Greg?"
"Sounds good," Horatio agreed. He was still in a happy yet slightly evil mood. He could share some of his future vacation with others. He heard a cleared throat and turned, finding someone with an FBI suit on. "What?"
"Is my son," Speed said patiently. "He's still in Las Vegas recovering."
"We heard that," the agent agreed, smiling. "We'd like to take over that investigation?"
"Got the whip, H?" Speed asked. Horatio untucked it from his back beltline and handed it over. Speed used it on him, driving him off. "You leave my son the fuck alone!" he yelled as he ran off. "We handle Xander! Us, New York, and Vegas! Or else I'm siccing Aiden on you!"
Calleigh took the whip. "Thank you, dear. Saved me from having to break bad. Let's let Frank hold that for a while, okay?" She handed it to Frank. "Let's go look at his storage area and then we'll talk about Greece." She walked off trying to keep a positive mental image. The men around here were going insane. Xander was never going to be allowed to date another woman again because bad things happened when he did. She knew it was related. It wasn't the boy's fault, it was the woman's fault. That's what was wrong, evil women. Fortunately she was a good woman so she wasn't affected. She only wanted to mother the poor kid. Like Lady Heather did. "Do we think I'd make a good domme?"
Speed shook his head. "No. You hate to see blood or people in pain, Calleigh."
"Oh, okay. I was just thinking it was the fault of evil women but good women all seem to want to mother Xander. Me, Aiden, Stella, Lady Heather. Alexx."
"Don't make that comparison in front of Alexx," Speed warned, shaking his head. "If you do, let us run." He patted her on the back. "So, the storage area or are we calling Xander first?"
"Let's call him first," Calleigh suggested. She pulled out her phone to call out to the hotel. She had looked it up when she found out where they were sticking him. "Hi, Mr. Harris's room please? Yes, Master Tim's. I'm his stepmother, sweetie. He'll take the call. Please." She waited while it was put through. "Lady Heather. Is he awake?" She smiled. "No, we were wondering about what he was going to do about his wife's things. Like any weapons she might have and we're pretty sure the FBI will want to get into her files. That's what we were thinking. Ryan did a report on her in his classes. Yeah, a few houses, some weapons, other things. Which is why we were wanting to know. Oh, let him know we're going to go to his storage area." She said that to someone and she heard Xander whining. "Tough. With the stuff we found in his house? We're going to go clean out the illegal stuff. I'm sure he does. Because we found about thirty pounds of explosives and three grenade launchers." She smiled when she yelled at him. He relented. "Now, we were going to make plans to go with him to look at his new house in Greece to see what things are there. So have him call us later after he's done with the suits." She smiled. "Oh, tell him his gift of candy to Horatio was used. So was his whip today. His Daddy had to be handcuffed to a shower railing until he calmed down."
"He made the Times," Horatio said blandly.
"He made the New York Times." She giggled. "I figured it was someone other than you or Greg's friends that put it in there. Sure, we'll talk tonight. No, I've decided it's the fault of bad women. That's why Xander is never allowed to date another woman again unless she's a good woman and the women around him have met her, vetted her, done a background check, and then chaperone them the first two times. Except for if they get together for sex." She grinned. "That works for me too. Sure. Thanks, Lady Heather." She hung up. "Xander said we could take the illegal stuff Giles sent him to hold for him. We are not to touch his swords. We'll talk later after she's done teaching certain agents manners. But she did like the idea of a group outing." She smiled sweetly. "Who's driving?"
"I am," Horatio ordered. "You and Speed can argue about taking another one."
"I'm riding with you, H. She's scary," he complained as he followed the boss out.
Horatio looked at him. "You're living with her," he noted once they were alone in the elevator. "Greece?"
"Greece, Russia, works for me. Sounds like a vacation."
"Me too. Maybe we can get Eric to teach us some phrases if he can't come."
"Maybe," he agreed. "You know, Stella speaks Greek."
"She does. Danny speaks Italian according to Xander." That got a grin. "We'll have to see where she's got stuff. We'll have to act quickly before any of her associates hear and try to stop us from getting it to the propr hands." They walked outside to his hummer. "Where are we heading?"
"The art and antique storage area."
"That is very secure." He slid in to drive and put on his sunglasses before sliding in the key. "I believe that is an FBI agent."
"Too bad the whip's inside." He rolled down the window. "We're talking with Xander tonight," he called. "Until then, go away. We'll work out how to get the proper materials to the right hands."
"He's my son! If he's going to Greece, I'm going with him!"
"Fine," he complained.
"It'll be a joint CSI venture," he said smugly. That got a grumble. "Now, you can either disappear or I can go get the whip again." He jogged off. "Good." He rolled back up the window as Horatio backed out of his parking spot. "We need another on in the office."
"He had some nice riding crops."
"Yeah, but a whip can go a longer distance," he said plainly. "I know he's got a nice six foot one somewhere."
"Hmm. That would be a nice gift for the office. I can see Yelina using it as well to reduce her stress."
"Yeah but I want to be far, far away," Speed reminded him.
"Me as well, Speed." He pulled onto the street and headed off. When they got there they had to wait on Calleigh to get them into the storage cell. After seven layers of security they looked at the mess. "Eric did just toss things." Speed waded in and started to straighten up the swords and bags. They finally made it to the guns and Calleigh sighed in defeat. "Almost nothing," Horatio agreed.
"Um, guys, are we not seeing the gap behind the cabinets?" Speed asked. Horatio stepped back then smirked, helping him move one. They stared at the stash back there. "Hmm. Giles is in deep shit when I find him next time. Let's make sure this is his only one." He went to talk to the site's manager just in case Xander had another one. It wasn't in the same pod but they had the same passcodes. He let Calleigh handle that one while they got into the other one. Horatio nearly swooned. "My boy is very bad," he said, shaking his head.
Horatio nodded. "He is. I don't have that much room in the hummer."
"We can get a U-Haul."
"I'll get a truck." He walked outside to call since he couldn't get a signal. "Robin, Horatio. No, I'm good. Small issue. You know about Speedle's son?" He smiled. "That one, yes. Well, in his former town there is a higher than average death rate and they had a protection society out there. Which got fed weapons by a group in Britain, but Xander was watching over the weapons because the person in charge was hunting vampires. Exactly. So he's been hoarding everything the man sent him, including some explosives. Yes. I could use a truck," he sighed. "No, no bombs. He can, the same person taught him, but he's not. He did agree that we could clean out his storage areas because it was getting to be a bit much to store safely. Probably worried about a break-in." He looked inside then nodded. "We need a truck." He smiled. "That's where we are. Thank you." He hung up and walked back inside. "Someone had tipped them off that there were explosives here. I told her about Giles hunting vampires and Xander keeping the weapons away from him."
"Good. I think we should keep all weapons away from Giles. And Spike." He dove in to help Calleigh sort things out. The new head of the bomb squad walked in and gasped. "I know Giles. It's good to keep weapons from Giles. He really does think he's hunting vampires. So we've kept it away from Giles. Xander takes very good care of it but with the fire we had a lot of stuff we didn't realize Giles had sent him."
"I'd hope so." She was led to the other room and moaned. "I've got a truck coming. He's handing it over?" Horatio nodded. "Where is he?"
He looked at her. "Did you read the New York Times today?" She whimpered. "The third odd news story was Xander."
"That poor boy."
"We're going to go ransack her houses with him," Calleigh said brightly. She looked. "Damn."
Speed ducked and stared at her, making sure she wasn't going to hit him this time. He slowly relaxed. "It was necessary at times out there. It was the desert and there were snakes," he explained.
Robin just shook her head and let her boys come in to get it, letting Horatio sign the paperwork. "We'll get rid of this for him. Next time this Giles guy sends him explosives, have him call you, you call us, and we'll destroy it immediately." He nodded. "Thank you."
"At least he put it here and not someplace where there's only a padlock," Speed offered.
"True. I like this boy. Can he use the swords?" Speed nodded. "Same guy?" Speed nodded again. "Understood. What about the other one?"
"Oh, I'm taking that," Calleigh said brightly. "Giles sent him artillery." She let her see and just got a nod and Robin walking away to finish loading up the explosives. When they were alone she looked at the men. "Xander is a pack rat. Has anyone else noticed that?" Speed nodded. "What is with all the jerky?"
"He makes it. It's one of the few things he can make well," Speed offered. "But it is some evil stuff. You will have the runs for about a week but afterward you can even eat his cooking."
"That's not the only side-effect," Horatio muttered.
Calleigh pulled a piece out of a bag marked 'mild' and nibbled, then she grabbed her water. "That's mild?"
"Yeah, spicy has dried and ground peppers added to the sauce," he agreed. He timed it. "I'll ride back with her," he offered.
Horatio gave him a look. "She can wait until we've unloaded things into the locker." He nodded and got back to work loading what they were taking into the hummers. Horatio shook his head. But he did take another piece. Last time had been...interesting.
They got back and Horatio waved as Calleigh and Speed went out for lunch. Eric came out to join him, giving him an odd look. "Where are they going?"
"Lunch. You should try some of Xander's jerky, Eric."
"Is this like a cult thing?"
"After a week of eating it and your stomach protesting you can even eat Xander's cooking." Eric shuddered. "It does have some interesting side effects." He walked off to have some private time in his office. He didn't like the lower digestive system side effects but he could get to like the other one. Even if Ryan did try to interrupt his working on his control.
Lady Heather slammed the door behind the stupid little man she had just dealt with. "There, it's done."
"Thank you," Xander said weakly. "She had things where?"
"I'm still waiting on the file but according to Ryan's reports: Greece, Russia, and Brazil."
"Hmm." He nodded and closed his eyes again. "If drunks have hangovers like this, why don't they quit drinking?"
"They drink more to cure the hangover," Greg said, sounding sleepy. "You okay?"
"Me either." He looked at Lady Heather. "I'm sorry."
"You will be."
"Yes, ma'am. Can it wait until I'm not going to get sick on whoever paddles me?"
She grimaced and nodded. "That would be for the best." She sat down. "Boys, there has been talk about who will go with Xander to what place to see what needs to be turned over and what can be given to the different departments, plus what Xander would like to keep."
"Stella can go to Greece with us. I can see the point of having someone who spoke the native language," Xander agreed, looking at her, eyes only half open. "If I had realized I had more than that glass of wine with dinner I would have stopped myself and Greg."
"I know you would have. Now you know."
"Yup and I'm not liking it." He ran to get sick again. Greg joined him a minute later, sickened by the noise.
She sighed and ordered them something subtle for lunch. Fruit soup should calm their poor stomachs and heads.
Greg came out and rested his head against her knee, on his knees, looking miserable. "I'm so sorry, Lady Heather," he whispered. "I couldn't taste it either. By the time I felt tipsy I'd had about four drinks and was impaired."
"That may mitigate some of the punishment," she admitted.
"Can we see what they gave us? I've never had a hangover this bad. I've had moonshine that nearly killed me and it wasn't this bad." He licked his lips. "Please?"
"Grissom gathered the contents of your stomach to have run after you got sick the first time," she admitted. She called him. "Do we know what they were fed yesterday?" She listened, then shuddered. "No wonder they're so ill. Thank you, Gil. We are talking about who will accompany them to see their new estates and to hand over things to the proper people. I've heard Greece, Russia, and Brazil mentioned," she offered. "She did have a lot of weapons as well." She smiled. "I think they would be willing to split that with you and some of the people in New York, Gil. Perhaps you three should get together to talk when we have their files." She smiled. "That's fine. No, I'm having a very light fruit soup sent up." Greg ran to be sick again. "Thank you." She hung up. "Boys, that was ninety percent alcohol they fed you," she called. "Made off wine dregs."
"Eww," Xander called. "I'm never drinking again."
"Good idea," she agreed quietly. Two files were shoved under the door so she went to gather them. They would make some light reading and Patrick did have some fantastic sources he could call on for information.
Horatio initiated the three-way call. "Boys, we do have a situation that is best handled by us before the FBI gets their greedy little paws into it," he announced.
"Xander is more than willing to let others come with him and share among the three labs," Grissom assured him.
"Okay, apparently I'm behind on some news. What did Xander do this time?" Mac asked, sounding tolerantly fond.
"Didn't read the paper this morning, Mac?" Horatio asked. Mac moaned. "Did we ever find out who put it in there?"
"His grandfather's sire," Grissom said. "He admitted it to Lady Heather when he came back with the FBI in tow. Xander let her handle it and only nodded and moaned at them because he's still hung over after a day and a half." He cleared his throat. "Okay, we have the files out here. There are houses in Rio, that's a condo. There's a house in Russia, on the Black sea. There's a house in Cypriot. That's her main residence. There's also small apartments in Istanbul and Paris and she's rented something in Asia but they said that's only a warehouse and the locals are insistent they're busting that. It says she's got a variety of weapons on her record, including some archaic. She had about a hundred and fifty kills to her name."
"Which assassin was this?" Mac asked.
"Lady Death," Grissom said. "Plus her apprentice, who loved guns apparently."
"Okay, so we need to hit Xander's new houses, clear out the weapons and files, then do something with them?" Mac offered.
"Basically but there is no way we're letting Xander go out on his own. His father and I agreed on this already. It was suggested that we go in teams due to her having people who would also want those things. Especially since it made the Times."
"So, a guard to do the files and a ballistics tech to do the weapons?" Mac suggested.
"A guard on Xander," Grissom ordered. "He's still a bit wobbly from that head injury, Horatio, and the fermented wine dregs didn't help. His blood alcohol was .233 when we got to them."
"Fortunately he's got alcoholic parents," Horatio offered. "All right, so Xander, a guard, a CSI for the files, and a ballistics person? What about the native languages?"
"Xander agreed if there was a house in Greece they could bring Stella to translate. Which means we can work that into the plan as either his guard or the CSI doing the files," Grissom offered.
"I'd almost want pairs for safety reason," Mac offered. "Xander and a guard, two CSI guards if we could handle it, and then a ballistics tech? I'd take one of those spots, I know mine won't want to go."
"Calleigh is demanding to go on one of them," Horatio assured them.
"Bobby's all but drooled when she asked him," Grissom said, sounding like he was smiling. "Okay, Xander and Greg. That way they can watch each other's backs and I only have to worry about Nick drawing trouble. Horatio, you do one of the file runs, take the one in Greece with Stella, take either Calleigh or Bobby."
"I'll take Calleigh and Speed... Are you sure Greg wants to come?"
"No. But he should go. Why?"
"Speed wants to go."
"Hmm. Well... Who's going to be left in the lab?"
"Ryan and Eric," he admitted. "Speed?" He leaned in. "Did you have your heart set on Greece?" He shrugged. "Does she have her heart set on Greece?" He nodded. "Do you have your heart set on going with her to one of them?"
"I don't mind but she might. Cal?" She came out of DNA, looking up at him. "We're setting teams."
"You're going to need a few extra hands in Cypriot," she told him. "That's her main file area and I'm going to look at her weapons storage area. She lives on a tip of the island or something, and she's got an underground bunker for weapons."
"Okay." He looked at Horatio. "Send me to Cypriot with Xander, she'll do ballistics...."
"Stella since she speaks the language," Horatio agreed. "That should be enough."
"I'd hope," Speed agreed.
"Then send Xander and Greg to Brazil," Grissom said. "I'll send Bobby down there with them just in case. Then who gets Russia?"
"I do," Mac offered. "I'll take Russia as the ballistics person. We can have Eric since I heard he speaks it?" he asked.
"He does, his father's Russian," Horatio agreed. "I'll take guard that time."
"Perk of the job?" Speed taunted.
"Of course. Did you want to visit the Black Sea?"
"Not really. Let Greg go." He shrugged and walked off.
"That is the idea and it would keep them both out of trouble," Grissom agreed. "By the way, his grandfather's sire is babying both boys now. He likes Greg. Said he'd turn him in a heartbeat if he asked."
"I'd hate to see Greg as a nearly immortal being," Horatio offered. "He'd bounce us all for eternity." Mac snickered at that. "All right, so that's the plan so far. Any other little houses? Should we hit the apartments maybe?"
"I'll send Don and Danny to one," Mac offered.
"I can send Warrick and Catherine to one," Grissom agreed. "She'd love Paris."
"Danny would think it was mushy but he might like Istanbul," Mac agreed. "Okay, now all we need is official permission."
"The FBI has stated as long as they get the proper files they'll let us handle it and they conferenced in Interpol to make sure we weren't going to have fits. They're going to let the one and a half hour marriage be seen as legal so they have access to the information," Grissom told them. "They're more than happy to watch our backs and let us do the grunt work."
"Of course they are. It keeps their boys and girls working on their things," Horatio agreed. "How long should it take to clear out a house?"
"A week?" Mac suggested. "That's not too long and if we had to have an extra few days we could arrange for the weekend for travel time anyway."
"True. I like that idea. If we get done early that would give us a reasonable amount of time lounging around as well."
"Also true," Mac agreed, sounding happy. "Grissom, can you be without Greg for that long?"
"That would be fine. It's better if he's doing this and he will learn from working with other CSIs. That's the way Greg is. Plus the vacation would do him good anyway."
"Good," Horatio agreed. "Mac, let me know if you have problems or sic the FBI on your boss."
"Agreed. Have fun with that."
Horatio chuckled. "I have one of Xander's whips in the office. He gave it to me as a present. It is very cathartic." The other two supervisors chuckled at that, both sounding like they were having their own evil moment. "Have a good night, guys." He hung up and called his boss. "Sir, did you read the New York Times today?" He leaned back. "Xander, Speedle's son, was the third oddly enough story." He waited while he looked at that one then groaned. "Exactly, and the FBI is getting pushy to get into her things since she committed suicide. Since he'll have spouse's rights, they're letting him go empty the houses under CSI control. Because Lady Heather and Grissom made them like it, sir. No, we do have a plan worked out.
"It'd mean I'd lose some people for a week and probably both weekends. No, the main house is in Cypriot, including the main armory. So the plan is that Speedle, Duquesne, and I would go to that one with one of the CSIs out of New York who speaks Greek. We're planning on a week plus travel time. Then the other two CSI teams that Xander's worked with would do support for the other houses but I'd be going to the one in Russia with him because we didn't have another good guard to watch him. She was an assassin, Chief. Exactly, and that's part of why we worry about Xander. No, he doesn't drink and Grissom said she fed them wine dregs somehow. Badly hungover, yes, sir. Lady Heather is presently hovering."
He smiled. "Well, I could decide to be nice and only take the whip to my couch from now on." He laughed at the implication that he had poisoned him. "No, Xander gave those to me and I know he'd never poison me, sir. He likes me." He smirked. "Is he all right?" He nodded. That proved that Xander's cooking was poisonous. "No, it was some homemade treats he made me. He doesn't usually cook. That would be acceptable. No, spread out. The first and the third. That would be all the time we'd have. Las Vegas is sending their ballistics tech for the one in Brazil and Mac Taylor is going to the third house with us since it's in Russia and we don't know what sort of situation we may run into. Of course, sir.
"Thank you. We're not sure why she picked him but Xander has had a bad habit of dating dangerous women. That's why we're encouraging him to go from bi to fully gay, sir. It's just safer for the boy." He smirked. "Thank you, sir, and I will have a nice time in Cyrpiot, plus send you reports as needed. Of course. That's why we only planned a week, sir. Enough time to do that and it doesn't look like a gratuitous vacation. I think we can figure something out about the airfare, yes. Thank you, sir." He hung up then he called Xander's grandfather. "I need a favor," he said in greeting. "I didn't know you worked for him, Gordon." He smirked. "Xander got married to an assassin for an hour and a half before she committed suicide. Yes, that incident. No, the FBI wants her files. We three CSI departments believe Xander will never travel alone again."
Gordon told Patrick that, who agreed. "But the Chief said he won't pay for airfare. Might you ask Fredro, your medical consultant, if we can borrow his plane?" He smiled. "Thank you, Gordon. I'll be here or at home. No, we have it worked out. He'll have a guard, there'll be CSI going to do the files as well as guard him, separately, and a ballistics person as well since she liked weapons. I'll be here. Thank you. Cypriot, Brazil, Russia by the Black Sea. Someone from each city. We can handle airfare to a central location." He smiled. "That would work. Apartments in Istanbul and Paris are going to the other two teams." He nodded. "Those would better leave from New York. However you think best, I'll let you ask Ethan for me. Just let me know soon because she's got to have people who would want into her files and weapons. Thank you, Gordon." He hung up and relaxed. It was a good thing he knew Ethan and had plenty of blackmail material on him.
Mac looked at his gathered team, plus Flack, the next morning. "All right, there is a bit of news. Who did not read the Times yesterday and realize that one oddly enough story was Xander?" Lindsey raised her hand. "It was. The FBI and Interpol are going to push for Xander's rights so we can get into their files. We have worked out who's going to which house. As it is, Stella, you will be going with the group to Cypriot since you speak Greek. You can work the files while Speedle watches his boy. You'll have Horatio with you since that's the main house she used. Duquesne will be there to do ballistics. Going to Brazil will be Greg Sanders as guard, Bobby Dawson out of Las Vegas as ballistics, and he decided he'd send Hawkes as their file person. You can have Greg help you if you need it, if not, have a happy vacation. Going to Russia is me, Eric Delko, and Horatio with Xander. There's also two apartments to be ransacked, Danny and Don are going to Istanbul and Grissom's sending Warrick and Catherine to Paris," he announced. "Sorry, Lindsey, if there was another one you could go."
"That's fine, I don't like to travel that much. How long are you going for?"
"We figured each spot should take about a week. Cypriot is the main one so it may take the associated weekends. Horatio's arranging for travel details through a friend that has a private plane."
"Who did he marry?" Don asked.
"Lady Death. Sanders got hitched to her apprentice," Danny said dryly. "Talked to Ryan, who's still probably giggling over this being such a Xander thing to do."
"It is," Mac agreed. "Anyone disputing where they're going?" No one said a word. "Do remember to pack sunscreen. Stella, Horatio said at the early morning follow-up we did that yours is on the tip of an island. I don't know if it matters or not to you."
"I like the sea," she agreed, shrugging. "A paid working vacation to the Mediterranean? Try to make me not go, Mac."
"Danny, Don, any qualms?"
"Istanbul need shots?" Don asked.
"I don't know, the health department would. I suggest you all make that call today."
"I'll do that," Hawkes assured them. That got smiles. "Anything else?" That got a head shake. "I'll be going to look over her files?"
"Looking for evidence, memoirs, other locations. Yes."
"Okay, I can do that. If we get done early I get at least a day on the beach, right?"
"You do," Mac agreed, smiling at him, "but you're still going armed, just in case."
"Understandable really," Danny agreed. "When are we going?"
"Starting this weekend. Cypriot team goes late Friday night so you can sleep on the plane. Brazil goes when they get back. They'll be landing in Miami the Sunday of the next weekend so we'll need to get you down there, Hawkes. When they drop you guys off, it'll be up here and the Russian trip will leave from New York, then we'll come back and Danny and Don leave, then they come back after four days, sorry it's only an apartment." Danny waved it off. "Then the last group to Paris goes and comes back to Vegas since that's who's going."
"So I need a plane ticket to Miami for that Sunday, right?" Mac nodded. "Got it covered, Mac."
"I can probably get you reimbursed."
"For a free trip to Brazil?" Hawkes snorted. "I can fly coach and make it even cheaper." Mac smiled at that. "Do I have that Saturday on?"
"I don't know yet. I haven't finished the schedules."
"Allow for jetlag, I always get it," Stella reminded him.
"I know. I will. Anything else?"
"I keep thinking 'Aiden warned us not to let the boy date'," Danny offered. "Now we know why."
Don hit him on the arm. "Dumbass. For that you should make sure Aiden knows."
"Oh, no, I'm not that brave nor am I wearing armor. Xander can tell his own mother he married an assassin for almost two hours."
"Maybe that's why someone put it in the Times," Lindsey suggested.
They all considered that then nodded. That had probably been a wise move on their part. It meant Aiden stayed out of hitting distance.
Xander looked at the passport in his hands then at his grandsire. "You got me a passport?"
"You'll need one and I had it a while back when I heard you were going on a road trip." He smiled. "I thought I might casually bump into you, explain some things, see if you wanted to go to Europe with me."
"Wow." He looked at it again then at his grandsire again. "I still don't like you guys spoiling me with a house."
"I know, Grandson." He patted him on the head. "We'll talk after you get back from Russia." Xander beamed at that. "Be a good boy overseas?"
"Of course." He grinned. "I heard Greg's going?"
"Your father will be meeting you in Cypriot. As will Horatio and Calleigh, plus that very pretty Stella. You know, if your grandfather wasn't so sick you might've had a fourth grandmother."
Xander shivered. "I like Stella but she nags."
"I know. He likes them fiery. Don's aunt was a harridan." He stroked over his hair. "Now, make us proud, Grandson."
"No picking up foreign women."
"No picking up women at all," Greg said from his corner of the room.
"Daddy will watch over us."
"He's only going to Cypriot. Greg will be your escort at the other places." Xander pouted. "He does have to work, Xander."
"I know. But I can tell him all about it and take a lot of pictures when I'm not helping you guys work."
"You can," Greg agreed. "So, I'm hitting Brazil with that group and then Russia?"
"Yes, and the Russian group is top heavy," he warned. "Mac Taylor is going as ballistics support and Horatio is going as the official files person."
"That's fine. I can learn from them," Greg promised. "We'll be good boys."
"Good." He smiled. "Then you should both be attired better." They groaned. "Go shopping, boys."
"I have clothes to crawl around in and the two suits," Xander pointed out. "What more do I need? They'll expect tourists to be in jeans."
"Go get some pretty new leathers, Xander."
He wobbled then nodded and looked at Greg, who shrugged and went with him. He leaned back in his chair, pinching the bridge of his nose. He'd have a few hours of peace from the pheromones floating off those two. He wondered if Xander knew Greg wanted him... The boy did read others very well so he probably did he decided. Brazil could be romantic so maybe Gregory would make his move. Finally!
Grissom looked at his team that night. "All right, due to the aborted marriage of Master Tim's, we're going to be allowed to help him hand over evidence on his dead wife."
"They were married how long?" Nick joked.
"An hour and a half," Bobby joked. "Almost a record by Vegas standards."
"That's so cold, guys," Warrick complained. "She got them so drunk they were numb."
"Hodges ran the stuff from their stomach. Ninety percent alcohol," Bobby told him. They all groaned and Nick held his stomach. "Master Tim doesn't drink. He had alcoholic parents according to Greg. He doesn't even have the occasional beer with wings, guys."
"Greg said it acted slow enough that he didn't taste or feel it until the fourth drink and by then it was too late," Grissom agreed. "But that's not why we're here. The hangover is now gone, after two days. They're both fine, and we're going to be helping with the cleaning effort. Team two is going to Brazil not this Sunday coming but the one after that. You'll need to get to Miami and the Chief said he'd reimburse you for airfare, Bobby. You and Greg both. Arrange it however. You'll meet the plane down there and go to Brazil to her second usual house and weapons storage. We have no idea what's down there or how massive it is." That got nods. "You'll be going with CSI Hawkes out of New York and Greg is going as Master Tim's guard. He'll help either of you who need it and he can learn anything he wants from Hawkes. Just make sure Xander does not go out alone. Ever." That got a nod. "You're the lighter group really. The third group going to Russia is Mac Taylor and Horatio Caine with Eric Delko since he speaks the language."
"Works for me," Bobby agreed. "I should pack shorts for how long?"
"A week." He looked at Catherine. "The Brazil trip gets back, the Russia trip goes, the four day excursion to the apartment in Istanbul goes, then comes to pick you and Warrick up for four days looting her apartment in Paris, Catherine."
"Can't," Warrick said. "I can't leave the country, Gris."
"Why not?" Nick asked.
"They have my passport blocked due to that deal Grissom made for me with the judge."
"Oh." He grimaced. "Still?" Warrick nodded. "Okay. Catherine would you like to take me, Sarah, or Nick? We don't want you alone in case there's trouble. We're fairly certain there'll be people who'll want into her things."
"Four days in Paris?" she teased. Grissom smirked and nodded. "Sarah?"
"No thanks. I don't like traveling that much."
"I wouldn't mind. Four days?" Grissom nodded. "At least I've got a passport." He looked at Bobby then back at Grissom. "We don't get ballistics?"
"We don't think there are any but there might be files. Four days was seen to be enough time to clean it out and at least get one night out." That got a nod. "The plane will be picking you up here and dropping you back here."
"Are we going with the spouse?" Nick asked.
"No. He's not hitting either apartment. Just the three main houses. By then he'll know what needs to be done and he can sign paperwork to sell them or whatever." That got nods. "Yours should be safer but I can't be certain."
"Our badges and paperwork from the FBI means we can carry our guns legally," Catherine reminded him.
"Which you'll have. The FBI and Interpol have agreed with Lady Heather. It's better if we do it this way. It'll be done more quietly. It'll look like Xander's spoiling his family."
"Xander?" Bobby asked.
"That's Master Tim's real name," Catherine told him. He nodded at that. "Okay, and Greg is where?"
"Greg is with him. I want someone guarding them and his grandsire is doing it."
"Grandsire?" Catherine asked.
"Do you want the easy or the harder explanation?"
"Harder," Warrick said, looking at him.
"His grandfather was turned. It's his sire. The easy one is that it's his grandfather's husband."
"Ah. I'll take the second," Nick said, getting up. "We good?" That got nods. "Bobby, you might need shots."
"Got 'em already. Greg gave me a head's up." He smirked at them, looking very smug. "I'll be thinking of you around all the beautiful women."
"Hope you have time for the pretty girls in skimpy bikinis," Catherine joked.
"Oh, no, the reason Greg is going is to make sure the boy doesn't defend us himself," Bobby promised with a small chuckle. "Because he would."
"He'd drive you guys nuts trying to help," Nick taunted.
"Hey, he's got a good hand with the weapons and an eye for beauty. I wouldn't mind if we could talk the boy into the ballistics lab."
Grissom shuddered and walked off shaking his head at the thought of Xander, bouncy, happy, sleeping with Greg Xander, in his ballistics lab.
"Am I getting anyone anything but postcards? If so, let me know," Nick ordered as he headed off to his first case of the night.
"Me too," Catherine agreed.
"I'm cheap, people so don't expect anything bigger than a t-shirt," Bobby offered. "I don't make that much." He headed back to his lab.
"Maybe he'll bring Grissom back some new bugs," Warrick said, heading out to his case.
Sarah shook her head. "Eww. Poor Bobby. A week with him and Greg?" She went to work as well after she got a bottle of water.
Yelina looked at Horatio during his briefing on the trips. "Do any of them speak Portugese?"
"Bobby speaks Spanish."
"Depending on where she lives in the city that might not be enough," she warned.
"Did you want to go, Yelina?"
"I wouldn't mind and it might do my son some good to have a short vacation."
"I'll see if I can add you." She smiled at that. "You're right, it might do Ray Junior good to do some traveling."
"Xander's usually a pretty level-headed kid, so he'd help watch out for him," Speed agreed.
"As long as my son didn't learn to use a whip," Yelina said dryly.
"No, I don't think he'd like it very much," Horatio offered. She smiled at that. Frank pouted. "What, Frank?"
"I can't go?"
"If we find another one you and Lindsey Monroe out of New York are tops on the list to go, with Ryan right behind you."
"Actually, I speak Portugese," Ryan offered. "And Spanish."
"That is not in your file, Mr. Wolfe."
"Nor will it be because I like to keep those things hidden since I'm only on the third book."
"We could use it now and then," Eric said impatiently.
"When it came up I'd have volunteered, Eric."
"Fine. Did you want to go to Brazil?"
"No." That got a smile from Yelina. "I don't need the vacation and I'm not one for beaches that way." That got a nod. "But I can be on the list depending on where the other one is. I'll even go with Montana."
Horatio gave him an amused look. "You correspond with who up there?"
"Danny. Danny, Greg, and I all email each other all the time." He looked at Frank. "Expect at least one rendition of 'we don't have that in Montana' from her if you go with her."
"I'll keep that in mind. Off the farm?"
"She's a good tech, but she and Danny do not get along all that well."
"I'll keep that in mind too. Any hint of other spots, Horatio?"
"There's a warehouse in Asia but the locals are demanding the right to bust it themselves. They don't like the FBI or Interpol."
"Sure. If you can, I wouldn't mind a beachy sort of paradise."
"I'll see what I can do, Frank." He looked at Yelina. "You'll be leaving from here. I'll hitch the plane back up to New York to leave for the Russia trip."
"Of course. Do you need shots?"
"Not that I'm aware of but I'll be calling someone in the health department today, as should everyone else who is going somewhere." That got nods and the meeting broke up. "Mr. Wolfe." He stayed back and looked at him. "You don't want to go to Brazil?"
"I hear it's beautiful but no. Bikinis aren't my thing. If they were I'd be scoping the beach all day every day, Horatio." He gave him a look. "I prefer the mind and personality over the package." He walked off again. He decided he wasn't jealous. Though he might have liked to go to Istanbul or Paris. That was more his sort of vacation.
Horatio shook his head. "Next crossover we get to New York, he is going with me," he decided. He'd probably love working with Stella. His phone rang and he opened it. "Caine." He listened then moaned. "Was that *Greg's* idea, Lady Heather?" He hummed. "I'd prefer spanking. No, I want Xander to behave out there and rest, not go out and have wicked and illicit fun. Also, have you looked at his arm? Speed said he mentioned he was having problems with one of them. Of course. How bad was it?" He sat down, shaking his head. "Thank you for letting me know, Lady Heather. I'll tell Speed." He hung up. "Speed!" he called. He came jogging back. "Lady Heather lost the boys last night but said they were just fine. Greg and Xander decided to hit a strip club, a gay one."
"Okay," Speed said slowly. "I know he did a few turns on the pole in New York for extra cash."
Horatio nodded. "This time too. Got hit on a lot. Got flirted with a lot. Greg had to pull him away from another woman who was making his hackles rise. Greg told her he had Nick's female fanclub radar and that one was nearly the president." Speed sat down again, looking at him, hands on the table, together so tightly the knuckles were white. "He called Grissom to ask if they knew anything about her. She tried to take your son hostage and Xander spanked her there in the club. She gave herself up and confessed everything when he was done with her."
"Another one?" he asked tiredly.
"No, not like that. She was the more traditional black widow. She thought he was very well off from his stripping career. She was looking for good sex for a while."
Speed nodded at that. "From what I've heard she'd have died in bed."
"No, she tried to charm Brass but Xander swatted her again. She's still fixated on him. But she did confess and couldn't walk right when he was done with her. Lady Heather said he was still quite impressive and Greg was even a bit warm when he was done with her."
"I don't mind him and Greg. I like Greg. Greg's a nice guy." He shook his head. "Is she going to haunt him?"
"As far as I know she's still alive."
"Not that way, Horatio."
"We do not know but Grissom has sicced Catherine on her to make her see sense. That's how we found out she was going for sex this time and not wealth."
"Okay then. Is he in trouble for the public spanking?"
"No, he got tipped quite a lot for the floor show. Apparently you have a very nice present coming according to Lady Heather. Greg helped him pick it out."
"Sure." He just nodded at that and got up, heading up to the roof to rant in peace.
Frank leaned in. "Chief's coming. What happened now?"
"The boys slipped their leash and went to a strip club."
"They're young men. They do that. Hopefully a gay one?" Horatio nodded. "Good! That way he can't pick up any more evil women!"
"Greg talked him into doing another open pole competition, which he won. He got propositioned by one of the women and ended up going back into Master mode because she was a black widow looking for sex instead of wealth this round, Frank." Frank moaned. "Apparently the floor show of him spanking her and making her confess was highly thought of. So Speed has a present coming from all the tips he got after that."
"Roof probably. She said Xander is heading to New York to do the initial paperwork with Interpol at the Greek embassy. I should warn Mac."
"That's mean, Horatio. Warn them." He walked off shaking his head. That boy was a bit wild. Someone needed to put a leash on him.
Horatio called Mac and found his phone busy. So maybe Lady Heather was warning him. The Chief walked in and he went over the travel arrangements. It would mean the least amount of reimbursement for all of them.
Xander snuck up behind Don Flack carefully, winking at one guy who stared at him. Then he pounced him to hug. "Lunch, Uncle Don?" he teased.
Don got free and looked at him. "You're supposed to be in Las Vegas."
"I brought some of it with me. We're doing paperwork with the Greek embassy. Want lunch?"
"Sure." He checked his watch. "It's only ten."
"You've got a busy afternoon with meetings."
"Good point. Hey, boss, going to lunch," he called. She gave him a look and he pointed at Xander. "He said I have meetings all afternoon."
Xander looked at him and nodded. "He does. Grandfather's on the way up to talk about the stuff he's doing locally for charity. He said he cleared it with your boss."
"He can't do it tonight?" Don complained.
"No. Ethan's working on him tonight. Or else I'd have a dinner date too." Don snorted but walked off with him, sending a text message to warn someone in CSI. Then another one when they got to the restaurant. Just in case. Xander gave him a knowing look. "I'm being good and I'll be at the Greek embassy all afternoon, Don."
"Good. Where are you staying?"
"Grandfather's place. He insisted after I had to spank the black widow last night and make her confess." Don shivered at that image. "In the middle of the strip club Greg and I went to."
"Someone let you two out alone?" he demanded, sitting down when the hostess pointed at their table. He got up and walked over to their real one, that one had food already.
"It was a gay strip club."
"Good! We like you dating men, Xander. It's safer." Xander snorted but put his napkin over his lap and they looked at the menus. "You're getting it, right?" Xander put the card his grandsire had given him on the table. "Okay." He looked at it. "That's a nice balance," he said when he saw the post-it stuck to the back. Xander took it back and put it into his shirt pocket. "Patrick?"
"I haven't met him."
"You will be this week sometime. Probably once Granddad's gone," he admitted. "He's avoiding being swatted for not watching Greg and I play that first night."
Don nodded. "I'm going to add my own," he assured him. "What did they give you?"
"This really strong wine dregs stuff. Not a clue otherwise." Stella came in and joined them. He kissed her on the cheek. "I can get yours too, dear. Are you going to the Greek embassy with me?"
"I hope I don't need a chaperone."
"You do, Xander," Don assured him. "Where is this place?"
"Upper East Side."
"We'll have the address by tonight," Stella assured him. Xander gave her a look. "Just in case, Xander."
"Fine. Did the lady I had to spank last night get out?"
"Not with her kill count," she snorted. "Danny got an email from Greg this morning," she told Don. "He won the open pole competition."
"Then he's definitely getting lunch," Don said happily.
"Most of it went to a present for Daddy," he defended. "The rest went for chocolates for Mom."
"That's sweet," Stella promised, smiling at him. Someone walked by them and dropped an envelope beside Xander but kept walking. "Huh. I didn't know you were in covert intelligence." The other man snickered at that but he paid his bill and left.
Xander opened it. "The address, keys, and another gift card for some reason," he admitted, looking at it. "Huh." He shrugged and put it inside the same shirt pocket. Stella took the envelope to look over, noting the address into her phone. Mac sent back a 'got it' and she put the envelope back. "Gee, thanks, guys."
"Suck it up," Don ordered. "So, gay strip club and an open pole night?"
"I met Greg after Lady Heather suggested I go have fun one night and I ended up trying my hand because the ones doing that one were kinda pitiful." He grinned. "I won that one too," he said proudly. "Greg was watching." That got twin smiles. "Anyway, Grandsire said to go have fun last night so we did. We went to the same place and Greg talked me into it, with the owner asking too. So I did and I won, then she came over and started to make eyes at me."
"Greg's email said he had bad woman sensing radar thanks to Nick out there," Stella told Don.
"Yup. So he pinged her on his 'dar and called his boss, who looked her up and told him what she was wanted for. He sent Brass, who is kinda grumpy but a pretty decent guy. Greg told me and I led her on a bit but she was being stubborn so I mentioned I'm a Master and she giggled and said I could spank her anytime. So I did. I broke her then made her kneel and confess everything to Brass. He was very appreciative of the paperwork I gave him." He smiled sweetly. "She still tipped me and then the other patrons tipped me for the floor show which was why Mom got chocolate and Daddy got the new present." He ducked behind his menu again.
Don and Stella shared looks then Don shook his head quickly. "So, lunch," she agreed. "Um, what's good here, Don? I haven't eaten here in a while."
"The..." Hawkes came in. "We doing your lunch too?"
"You are because Sonny's outside," he said quietly. Xander looked at him. "You don't have the same truce anymore, Xander."
"Let him try shit," he snorted. He got back to his menu reading. "Hmm. Number eight? I skipped breakfast," he said at the looks sent at his menu.
"That would be a filling breakfast," Don agreed. The waitress came over so he gave Hawkes his menu. "Number two, coffee."
"I'll have the same, no mayo, and a diet soda, no ice," Stella ordered.
"I'll have the chicken caesar salad, dressing on the side," Hawkes offered. "Water with lemon."
Xander looked at her and smiled. "Number eight, regular soda." He handed his menu over and she smiled back before walking off. He looked at them. "So, are we going to have some fun as well as work? I can help with the ballistics stuff."
"I'm sure you will be," Stella agreed. "Where is Greg?"
"He had to work tonight. Grandsire sent me out here by myself."
"I've been thinking, Xander. Why don't you let Patrick give you a bodyguard?"
"I don't need one." The three cops all snickered and nodded. "I don't," he pouted. "I'm being good most of the time. I never get into trouble at home."
"So, a bodyguard when you're on vacation?" Hawkes suggested. "That might be nice. It'd give you someone to talk to if you're out alone."
"What, can't I get away from you?" Sonny demanded when he paused by the table.
Xander looked at him. "I had to register my record setting quick marriage, Sonny. Sorry. Then I'm heading to Greece so you'll have New York to yourself again." Sonny snorted.
"That story in the Times was him," Hawkes said. Sonny laughed louder at that, walking off laughing. "Record setting?"
"It was. I beat the old record by five minutes and that one was a homicide. For a quickie marriage where the bride committed suicide I beat it by nearly a day. Greg's went later or he'd have it."
"They keep track of those things out there?" Stella demanded.
Xander nodded. "Yup. Someone does. I got presented a certificate and everything." Don hung his head, shaking it. "I was married for one hour and thirty-three minutes."
Hawkes patted him on the back. "Some day you'll have a real relationship."
"I know. I'm wondering who got to laugh out in Sunnydale. I haven't heard anyone out there screaming about it yet. I should brag to Cordy tonight."
Stella shook her head. "Don't, Xander. Please." She patted his hand. "We'll be able to hear the screaming without the phone." Their lunches came with the check, a blatant hint that someone was worried about them. Stella adjusted her jacket to show her badge and the waitress relaxed. She looked at him. "So, stocked up on sunscreen?"
"Of course. My moisturizer has it in there already." Don gave him an odd look. "I was raised by girls. I can still do a pretty good face masque too."
"I'm sure you can. At least you had two years of Speed being a guy around you."
"I did. Which is why I can help him fix his bike's engine," he said proudly. "Stella, if we get any time off you're more than welcome to come tramping around with me. Daddy and stepmom are probably going to be doing a lot of couply things if there's not a lot of work."
"Sure. That way you're not allowed out alone." He groaned. "Really, dear. Before another one comes."
He looked at her. "I'm not going to the Masters convention in Monaco."
"No room at the inn. I always hear about them too late."
"There's got to be a newsletter or something," Don teased.
"I know. But they started taking reservations last year. I've decided to go to next year's." That got a smile. "It's on a cruise ship." Hawkes smiled at that. "Lady Heather isn't going to that one so I'll be on my own there."
"I'm sure we can get you someone to go with you," Don promised. He dug in, eating heartily. Even though it was early he was hungry. "When did Patrick say this about the meeting?"
"Last night when he was yelling at Grandsire for letting us out by ourselves."
"About what you're going to be doing while he pulls back from life a bit for a while."
"Oh, okay. What about yours?"
"I told him I'd donate wherever he wanted me to but I still don't want his money. I'd rather have him. He just sighed and walked off shaking his head. Grandsire said he was pouting about not letting him help me when I started my business down there."
"Well, he probably expected you to ask his opinion or something," Stella offered.
"Grandsire said I'm a lot like Grandfather," he admitted. "Just as stubborn and independent." Don smiled at that. "He said that was a good thing but it drove him nuts."
Don nodded. "Patrick said he found you a new house." Xander grimaced at that. "Have you seen it?" He shook his head. "Then let him help you decorate it, Xander. Use the insurance to buy the stuff but let him help you pick it out. He'd probably like that and it's good, quality time in a not-really-shopping way." Xander let a gentle, soft smile out at that. "Plus he could spoil you with a lamp or something." That got a nod. "How long are you going to be home for?"
"Two whole days before we fly to Cypriot."
"Wow," Hawkes said. "Does your new place have any furniture?"
"I got told there's a very good king size bed but otherwise no. No bedframe or anything."
"So you can have him help you," Don agreed. "He'd probably like that." Xander grinned. "Plus you could let your Dad help you arrange it."
"True. I can. Plus throw a welcome home party when we get back." That got nods and smiles. "Good idea, Don, thank you."
"Welcome. Do I get a pat on the head?"
Xander grinned. "I might have to charge you for that," he taunted. "Anyone who comes to me for playing gets charged." Don snickered and leaned back, shaking his head. "I did."
"I'm sure you did," he agreed. "You never were a dom who went after the people who did it for fun."
"Nope, I see it as therapy. Though I did help two different couples conceive," he said proudly. "They needed the extra 'oomph' to make it happen because they were being bland and nothing was coming of it." He ate another bite when Stella choked. "I didn't watch."
"Good!" She sipped her soda.
Hawkes smiled at him. "I always found the different reasons people went toward an alternate like that instead of the traditional paths to be interesting."
"A lot of what I did was basically therapy, Sheldon. The only difference is that people came to me because they couldn't admit that they had these issues without someone making them. I also did a lot of tactile therapy. A lot of the guys I worked with had that deficiency but couldn't admit that to a wife or anyone. Or they were single and not getting enough so it was making them depressed or edgy. I had this great furry blanket that I could wrap them in and hold them there if they needed it. Or I could use it in conjunction with other methods."
He nodded. "Tactile expression is one of the first we learn but men often are robbed of it by the societal expectations of what it means to be a man."
"Huh?" Don asked.
"Men don't cuddle," Stella translated.
"Oh. I do." He shrugged. "Women like it, it feels nice, gets me more dates. I like cuddling but I can do without the chick flicks." He ate another bite and Sheldon nodded at that.
"A lot of what I did was satisfying that need that some of my clients didn't have," Xander told him. "Or that they couldn't admit that they needed."
"I can see how that could be handy," Don agreed, nodding some. He ate another bite. "I don't know about you guys but I've got a limited lunch."
Stella checked her watch then looked at him. "All I have to do is take Xander to the Greek Embassy."
Hawkes smiled. "I'm ducking out for mine." He ate another bite. "I got the early call this morning." Xander patted him on the back. "Not your fault."
"No but it still sucks. I hate it when Dad had those." He got back to eating so he wouldn't hold them up. There'd be time to chat with Don and everyone over their upcoming things.
Xander landed at the airport and smiled at the man there to meet him. "Hi, Gordon. How's Grandfather?"
"He's good. A bit tired today."
"Shoot. I was going to ask if he wanted to help me pick out stuff for the house." Gordon looked stunned. "I'm not going to let him buy it for me, but help me pick it out. I like his favorite chair."
Gordon smiled. "That is a very good idea, Xander, and it might get him out of the house tonight. I've already told your father I'm bringing you out there tonight and he can have you tomorrow since he'll have you for the next eleven days." He helped him get his two bags and led him out to the limo. The boy got in and settled in. The bags got put into the trunk. Your father adored his new jacket."
"I thought he might and it's a good use of those tips," he said happily. "I got Mom some chocolate."
"I'm sure she enjoyed it."
"She called up moaning and whimpering but did say thank you," he agreed happily. Gordon smiled at that. "Is he really badly tired or just headachy tired?"
"Mostly headache tired. The Mayor is being pushy."
"Can I fire my bazooka up his ass?"
"No. I wish but no. He'll be elected out of office this time." He winked at him and the driver took off, taking them to the house out by Star Island. "I like your hair like that."
"Greg helped me get a haircut. Grandsire played with it during dinner, he kept arranging the spikes." That got a smile. "I try harder to be good at home."
"I know you do." He gave him a pat. "What were you thinking about for the decorating scheme?"
"I like semi-goth but not fully goth. I like wood. I like his favorite chair he sits in when we talk."
"I didn't think you'd be that traditional in your styles."
"Does that mean my new house is all glass and chrome?"
"No, it's a house, Xander. Not a modern showpiece. If it helps, Horatio thought it was very homey." Xander relaxed. "Your father was out in the everglades on a case so we let Horatio make the final decision." That got a shy smile. "Ah, the crush lives on."
"Wouldn't you crush on that man?"
Gordon groaned and shifted, nodding. "I did when I first met him a few years back," he admitted. "He's very strong and very alive."
"It's like a pulse that floats out of him and draws you," Xander agreed. "Plus that hair." Gordon smiled at him. "I'm allowed."
"I know you are," he promised. "He's a bit older than you but he's also steady. He'd stop that wild vacation problem of yours."
"I'm only nineteen."
"I know you are. But when you hit twenty you'll have to settle down," he teased.
Xander snorted. "Right! I'm sure you've seen that phenomenon called Spring Break?" Gordon snickered and nodded. "Some of them are nearly ancient at twenty-five."
"They are," he agreed. "They're making the most of their fading youth." The older man gave him a hug. "We do enjoy you, Xander. Never change."
"Then I wouldn't be a Xander."
"Point." He smiled at him and messed up his hair but Xander fixed it again. "Fine, you be a bit vain."
"A good dom is always in control, even when things around him are in shambles and he only wants to cry," he retorted. "Even if it's all an act."
"Good." He handed over two envelopes from his briefcase. "The insurance money after it paid off the rest of the mortgage."
"Can we deposit it?"
"Those are the deposit tickets, Xander. Your father and I put it into your account for you. Also here." He handed over a new checkbook and debit card. "Those are yours." Xander smiled and hugged him. "We knew the other stuff got burned."
"It did," he sighed. "Were they mad at my storage areas?"
"I think Horatio went home to have a headache that night," he offered. "Calleigh had some fun with the Russian made guns."
"I like them. They're good."
"They are," he agreed. They pulled through the gate and into the driveway and he hung back to watch the boy work.
Xander walked into the house, finding his grandfather in his study. He walked up to him and gave him a hug. "Would you go furniture shopping with me?" His grandfather gave him a stunned look. "You can't spoil me by buying everything but I wanted your opinion when I got stuck." He gave him a hopeful smile. "I like your meeting chair."
"I would be delighted. Do you want to eat first?"
"I nibbled on the plane and I had a good lunch," he promised happily. His grandfather went to change clothes and came out to meet him at the car. "Gordon, are you coming?"
"No, I'll let this be your personal time together," he said, smiling at him. Patrick caught the hint and smiled back. "Paul, take them were we got his last chair." That got a nod and the car rolled off. "Let's hope Xander lets him have some input."
"Can we stop to look at the new house first? That way I know where I'm putting the master bedroom?" That got a smile and a nod, his grandfather taking his hand to hold. "Grandsire said a few times I was just like you."
"Had there been gay strip clubs in my day I probably would have went but I never had good rhythm." Xander blushed at that. "Did you have fun?" Xander nodded. "Good. Teased them all?"
"Of course," he agreed happily. "With just enough dom thrown in to make them beg too." His grandfather laughed but started to cough. "Are you sure you can go tonight? We can wait."
"I can go tonight, Xander. It's fine." He smiled at him. "It was dust. I haven't used them that much in a while." Xander grinned at him. "You aren't planning on going to the event in Monaco?"
"I heard about it too late. There's no open rooms. I'm going next year, it'll be on a cruise."
"Good. Traveling is always good for a soul."
"Grandsire got me a passport. He said he had planned on running into me on my roadtrip then telling me about this stuff before going to Europe and inviting me."
"He probably would have," he agreed. "You two got along well?"
"He said we're so much alike it's like a memory some days, only I wear more leather and have better hair." His grandfather smiled at him. "He did. He said I'm just as stubborn and pushy when I want something."
"You are," he agreed. They pulled into a small gate. "It's not a huge house, Xander."
"Which I didn't want."
"Good." He smiled at him. "You're not going to complain?"
"I did plenty of that at Greg but he pointed out you were finding me a new safe haven. Which I do appreciate. I could always use one of those." That got a smile. "But I should probably pay you back."
"It'll be fine, Grandson. It was nearly nothing compared to what I spend a year in clothes." Xander nodded, accepting that. It did make him feel better. The same as the small lie Patrick had told salved his own pride. It wasn't a cheap house but it wasn't the grand mansion he had wanted to give his only grandson. The way his face lit up was a great gift however. Xander just smiled and stared at his house. He went to open the door, letting Patrick undo the alarm. Then they toured the empty rooms. He could see the decorating going on in his mind and how he stared at the view out the master bedroom's window. "You don't have beach access up here," he said quietly. "You could probably tramp down to one though."
"The view of the water is better than the beach," he said, turning to hug him as hard as he could. "I love it." That got a squeeze. "Thank you, Grandfather."
"You're welcome, Xander. Now, let's get you something to sleep on when you come back." They did the last few bedrooms then left to go furniture shopping. Xander picked out the first few things without his help. He was almost frustrated but he knew his grandson wanted him with him today. He had asked. He saw why when Xander got stuck after the first few easy things. He did not have an eye for beauty yet. He gently steered him over to a bed. It was a pine four poster bed. Xander looked back at him. "You'll want to grace the view, Xander, not detract from it."
"What about for that second bedroom? It looks out on the trees."
"It does," he agreed happily. Xander led him by the wrist to the two he had been frustrated by but his grandfather pulled him away from the grand metal creations to a simpler metal one. It still had scrollwork but it wasn't as heavy feeling and looking. Xander looked at him. "You'll need it to be lighter so you can appreciate the view."
"I was going to put the bed scooted more toward the bathroom on the other side."
"That's the dressing area."
"Okay, the sink place." His grandfather nodded. "Then put a sitting area in front of the windows. I wasn't sure a couch would be high enough though. I can't really see putting a hammock there."
"You can put one of those off the porch, Xander. Did you not see that those windows opened?" He nodded. "The bottom part that's the wall also swings out." Xander gave him an awed look. He smiled. "That way you don't block any of the view."
Xander nodded and pointed at an iron and wood bed. It was simple but it had the scrollwork and design that was drawing Xander. They picked a coordinating dresser in a neutral shade of wood. The seating area was harder. Nothing was very comfortable in the styles he liked so he led the boy to a set of more modern sitting areas. It had slashes of colors through the dark blue fabric but it looked comfortable. Xander sat down and it was good by his smile. "This or the single chair?"
"Get the love seat, Xander. That way you have room to cuddle when you finally find someone special," he said. Xander grinned at that and they went on to find the rest for the other bedrooms and the study downstairs. He noticed he wasn't leaving himself somewhere to work from home. "Not going to restart?"
"I'm still considering it. I'm still having problems with my right hand. My last two fingers are nearly numb after whatever they did to me." He looked down then at him. "Besides, I want some privacy this time. Last time I had a client that decided to snoop while waiting on her turn and I wanted to spank her for going into my personal apartment. If I do, I'll rent somewhere closer to the center of town." That got a nod and a smile. "It'll cost more but I'll be happier and safer there than inviting them into my home. Last time I got hit on by so many women, Grandfather."
"I know, dear. I heard those complaints." He patted him on the back. "Do we want a table?"
"Maybe for outside. I can't see the point of having a formal dining room inside. It's not like I'd use it. I can use that space if I take on someone personal and private to my service."
"Good point." He led him to the outdoor furniture, not liking his choice but Xander added some very soft pillows onto it. It made it comfortable again. They checked out with their lists and it came up a bit more than he wanted to spend so Patrick smiled and got the few finishing touches, like lamps and bookcases. The special touches that made it a home instead of a showplace. Xander gave him a shy smile and he smiled back. "You did need it, Grandson. Also, I saw a statue I think would go well somewhere else. Can I use that as my welcoming gift?"
"You don't have to."
"I know." He gave them the address. "The master bedroom already has mattresses for that bedframe. Use the ones in there." That got a nod. "Call that number and I'll have someone come let you in. Come along, Xander." He led him off, taking him to look at the statue he had seen. It was a beautifully done brass male figurine. The living room had brass colored accents in the lamps and mirrors they had chosen so it would go very nicely. He smiled at his grandson's blush at the very graphic and anatomically correct figure. "For among the books. We can nestle it among the candles as well. When they're lit for ambiance it'll look wonderful, almost like it's moving."
"As long as it doesn't move if it's not supposed to. I did steal some of Giles' books."
"I heard his rant, Grandson." He pointed at the figure and the clerk came over to get it, letting him look it over. "Hmm, even a bit rare. One of five hundred made. Not an antique yet but it could be in a few generations."
"That would require someone around me having kids."
"Someone will some year," he advised, smiling at him. "Perhaps even you."
"That would mean I'd have to break the vow not to touch another woman."
"True, but we'll see what happens." He handed it back. "Wrap it for him please." That got a nod and he handed over his credit card. The clerk ran it and let him sign the slip then he took the stout box it had been wrapped and put in. "There. Now, who are you going to get to help you arrange things?"
"Daddy but you can help and suggest."
"I'd like that." He smiled at him. "Come along, Cook is waiting dinner by now probably." Xander gave him a sheepish look. "She does worry since she can see every muscle in your body, Grandson." He took him back to his house for the night and let Gordon put the statue safely aside so it could be put into the house. "We'll have a small decorating party when he gets back from seeing his former spouse's things," he offered, handing over his notes of where things went. "Let them in and do whatever but we'll be rearranging."
"Of course, Patrick." He smiled at Xander, who grinned back. "You eat dinner. You're too thin. How are you going to find a good man being that thin?"
"I was kinda hoping he'd be drawn to my muscles and see past them to what little brains I had." His grandfather swatted him. "I know I'm not really smart."
"Just because you and books aren't the best of friends does not mean you're not smart, Xander." His grandfather led him into the dining room where they had a proper dinner waiting on them. Plus his sire. "You snuck back in?" he asked dryly.
"Of course I did. It's my house." He smiled at Xander. "I will never let you have alcohol again."
"I didn't have any at the club."
"You didn't?" Xander shook his head. "How did you move like that without it?"
"I found out long ago strong sugars and coke work funny in my system. It's nearly the same as a happy high." He grinned and sat down, smiling at his grandfather. "Are you saying grace since I don't?"
"I am." He said his own and his sire bowed his head. Xander stayed silent out of respect, which got him smiled at. "Cook?" She bustled out with dinner for them. Smaller portions for the vampires but a real one for Xander, who smiled and patted her on the arm before digging in. "He took me shopping for the house, let me help guide some of his tastes. He decorates more like you than me. Older looking woods, some metal accents. Heavier pieces but with softness in the cushions."
"Good. I look forward to seeing how it comes together." Xander grinned at him. "My own welcoming gift will be there by then."
"You guys bought me the house. I don't need more. I'll be spoiled."
"So?" his grandsire asked. "You'd rather I go spoil Angel with it?" Xander dropped his fork and nearly fell onto the floor while he cackled. He smirked at his childe. "I think he likes that idea."
"You and your picking nature," he sighed, shaking his head. "Leave the poor, deluded boy alone, Raphael."
"I'm sorry but King Angst, Mr.-I-have-a-soul-so-therefore-I-must-torture-others-by- angsting-over-my-past-deeds is very much in need of a swift kick, Patrick."
Xander nodded. "He is. He was jealous of me because I got to romp and play with Buffy in school. Did he know about that out clause on the soul spell?" Raphael nodded, smirking at him. "Huh, and he's old enough to know what happy feels like or should be anyway. So *why* did he lose it for Buffy's seventeenth birthday and why did I end up having to send him to hell?"
"Literally?" Patrick asked, nearly dropping his own fork.
"Buffy couldn't defeat him, he was opening a portal that would eat the world, it could only be closed by his blood. Willow said she was going to resoul him and I never told her because I knew she'd never stop him. He apparently got it back long enough for a longing look at Buffy before she had to stab him to close the portal with his body in it. Then she ran away over what she had done."
"Hmm. I should ask him about that," Raphael noted. "That would be good for your research, Patrick."
"I can go ask him myself," he said dryly.
"Just don't let him know I'm here," Xander sighed. "He'll growl and call me useless some more."
"A useless boy could not have changed Giles' battle plans, gotten others involved when they had no real desire to be there, and then led the battle during graduation and won," his grandfather said firmly. "Get that out of your mind, Xander. He was very wrong about you."
"I know that and you know that, but his opinion will never change. His, Spike's, Giles', Buffy's."
"Then they're not worth the stress," his grandsire said simply. "I had someone watching the Watcher when you revealed that we're family. I got to see his two day tirade on tape and then his drinking binge when he worried that we'd go attack his little darling slayer."
"But you're not like that," Xander pointed out.
"I know that. In case you hadn't noticed, the world has a lot more vampires than the ones who're driven insane by your former town or those who are power hungry like Angelus was when he was younger. All of the Master's lines were brutal beasts," his grandsire instructed. "Not all of us are."
"Dracula is an arrogant bastard," Patrick reminded him blandly. "That is the sin most of us do have. Arrogance in thinking that we have the right to immortality with the demon that resides in us."
"Then what about someone like Spike?" Xander asked. "He's coldly a killer and enjoys it, but he took care of Dru for decades when she was weak and trapped in her visions. She was so looney she thought I was her kitten. His young life wasn't filled with that sort of lust for power and blood, not until he was turned."
"And tortured," Raphael cautioned. "Angel and Druscilla saw something in him that spoke to them, said he could be like them. That is why they turned the mildly gentle boy instead of simply eating him. Then they tortured him to get the Spike you see today. He was always fiercely passionate about what was his." Xander stared at him. "You see it now with Druscilla. Vampires are generally the same as they were in life, only our ethics have been skewed by the thing that enlivens us and the fact that we have to feed on others to live. Before you mention it, Angelus is a very weak vampire for feeding on animals. I could beat him easily but I choose not to because *someone's* got to get him help before he becomes the poster boy for vampires everywhere. The fact that some who were evil were turned, like Angelus was, means that someone has bad taste in children."
"He was very brutal in his young life," Raphael agreed. "I know one who knew how he tormented the village under his father's rule. How he raped many young women who didn't desire him. How he killed one for it. The demon that inhabits him simply fed on those urges to make him Angelus. The soul spell simply removed that a step more so he had to think about what he had done. It gave him a conscience. Or else all those people who hunt others who adore you are soulless as well," he finished.
"Actually I think a few were," Xander told him.
"A soul is like the good angel on your shoulder, reminding you that it's not always wise to do things," Patrick told him. "People can ignore it or break that voice. Personally I think a few of them broke their souls. They may have pieces but they're battered and bloody somewhere inside them. Where we were both men of thought and reason, we kept most of that. It gives us the chance to think and to realize that most vampires drink three pints and kill a body. I can live on one and keep them alive."
"As can I," Raphael agreed. "I can supplement when I feel tired or weak. There are always volunteers, Xander. Who do you think started the goth craze? There have always been those willing to come across or volunteer. I was one once." He smiled and sipped his wine. "Eat, before you waste away in Greece."
"Or Brazil or Russia," Xander teased. "I'm going to have to sell those places so I don't have to pay taxes on them."
"Keep one for vacations," his grandfather instructed. "That way you have a safe haven to go to outside of the US."
"None of those places are places I'd consider for a safe haven. Athens, Rome, well, maybe not Rome, but parts of Italy, but not Cypriot. I had to look that up on the map."
"You feel more in touch with the ancient rites," his grandfather agreed. "Those places would speak to you. Cypriot is also ancient, Grandson."
"Yeah, but it doesn't resonate. Florence and Venice do when I see pictures of them. It's like they hum to me. There's a small town outside of Rome that did when I saw it on tv during a travel special. They were visiting their markets on their way through."
"Egypt?" his grandsire asked. Xander shook his head. "Not at all?"
"I get a shiver of dread almost. Maybe it's because being gay was banned and you could be killed for it."
"It's possible. Or it's possible that the Greek versions of the faith resonate better with your soul," Patrick offered. "Have you ever met a Greek Orthodox priest?"
"I have. He and I had a similar talk and he said there's some of the old ways still alive in the villages where he came from, just cloaked in new terms." That got a nod. "He said I'd probably feel torn about Istanbul, but at home in the old parts of the city."
"Perhaps," his grandsire admitted. "There is that apartment."
"Danny and Don are going to clean it out."
"That doesn't mean you can't visit," Patrick said dryly.
"I think we've all proven vacations are bad for Xanders." He ate another bite without having to be told to.
"I think it will depend on who is with you," his grandfather offered. "Your father is not quite the party animal that Greg is. He enjoys his nights out but not the same way or as often." Xander nodded at that. "Though that Delko boy would make a fantastic bottom slut if he'd turn."
"I don't want to have that thought about Eric."
"Sorry." Both vampires smiled at the boy. Raphael took another sip of his wine. "We have got to find you a decent boyfriend, Grandson. Greg is nice. Very sweet," he told Patrick.
"I met him."
"I watched him baby Xander and Xander baby him. It would definitely be a relationship of mutual care and affection." Xander blushed at that. "But I think now and then Xander needs someone who can give him a firmer, guiding hand."
"That's a debate I'm still having with myself," Xander told him. "That and if I can actually have sex with a guy."
"You can and you will enjoy it," Patrick assured him. "I have seen many young men who want but are unsure. Most of them turn out to be enthusiastic about it, especially being on the bottom. They find it freeing to not be the one giving all the orders."
"That's what worries me about Greg. Our other relationship. I don't want to confuse the two or have to draw firm lines or even abuse the privileges I get when I'm helping him."
"That can be a tricky slope. He would end up your slave instead of your boyfriend," Patrick agreed.
"But isn't most of what Greg really needs tactile contact and affection?" Raphael asked. "I noticed both you and Lady Heather petting the young man." Xander nodded. "Then he would get the same from you while dating, yes?"
"But there's still that prior relationship and the boundaries we had to draw because of that. If he has other issues, I'd have to go back to that and it would blur and probably hurt a real relationship with him. Again making him my permanent sub instead of my lover."
"True," Patrick agreed. "It could happen. You would have to be very careful not to cross that line."
"And me, being raised by girls, I want to follow the fairytale and drown in it, not wade in slowly and carefully, inch by inch."
Raphael smiled. "Then you could always try your hand for Horatio. He is very much your type and he would gladly let you be as wild as you wanted at home. You could tease him in public. You could do anything you wanted to that man and he would soak it in. But you wouldn't get to tease others."
Xander nodded. "Maybe I need to talk them into a trio with me," he sighed.
Patrick smiled at his sire. "May I have some of your time tonight?"
"I was thinking the same thing. That is a very warmth inducing mental image."
"No mental porn about your grandson," Xander teased.
"Fine. We'll put someone else in there. Delko?"
"He would do," Patrick agreed, smiling back.
Xander finished his dinner. "I'm going to call Daddy and make sure he's okay."
"They're having sex tonight, son."
"Okay." He headed off to his room, letting them have some privacy while he had an intense mental fantasy about that trio as well. Though he'd want to be in the middle. He could just imagine those hands.... He shivered and went to take a warm shower so the water could mask some of the noise he'd be making.
Xander smiled as Horatio got onto the plane last, waving at the seat near him. "This way I can talk to someone since Daddy's reading again."
"If you want," he agreed. He buckled himself in, nodding at the stewardess that came with the private flight. "Have you gotten to see the new house yet?"
"I have and you picked the perfect choice. Thank you, Horatio."
"The other was larger and more impersonal," he offered but he was smiling. The look on the boy's face told him all he needed to know. "When are you throwing an open house?"
"When we all get back, Daddy, Grandfather, and I are going to spend a night arranging things at the house and then I'll have one." Speed looked over the top of his book at him. "Please? It'll all be there, it'll be shifting stuff at the most."
"I don't mind. It's a good way to spend time making the house more yourself than some professional decorator's wet dream." He went back to his book. "Patrick told me he took you furniture shopping."
"No, I drug him with me. He bought me a statue for the house and a few lamps since the insurance didn't cover everything that I liked." Speed grinned at him. "I still have the no spoiling rule."
"I like that rule. It lets you get closer to them without expecting anything on either side." He smiled at Horatio. "We'll cater the welcoming party," he promised.
"Did the guy you gave my cookies to get sick?" he asked.
"Violently, for a week," Speed agreed dryly. "But it was Stetler so that's all right." He weathered Calleigh's swat to his arm. "It is." He smiled at her. "You did pack that bikini, right?" She nodded. "Good. I'm sure we can manage one day in the sun."
"I had a question. How are we getting the guns back into the US without the FBI throwing fits?" Stella asked.
Xander looked at her. "I said so." She gave him a dirty look. "Really. That and I told them I'm donating them to various departments. I'm a gun collector, and I'm in the New York and Miami systems as a collector. Speaking of, I've got to move the swords back to my study and a few in the living room."
"How are you going to decorate with swords, Xander?"
"They're pretty," he said with a shrug. "They can be hung up, leaned here and there, things like that." She nodded once at that. "It's a guy thing to play with swords, Calleigh."
"I realized the phallic nature of them, Xander. Kinda hard not to." He giggled at that. "What about your gun collection?"
"We will be checking for more input by Mr. Giles and his explosives collection," Horatio warned.
"Can't I have some?"
"Some is not the seventy-five pounds of explosives we removed from your second storage area, Xander," Horatio assured him.
"Uh-huh." He gave him a look. "I did call to talk to him with Speed's help."
"Yeah, he said a few of those he had no idea about. Getting it directly from the Council?" Speed asked.
"Um, no, but I was translating some things into demon for someone. That one I was keeping it out of the hands of kooks who'd use it on someone."
"Uh-huh," Calleigh said, giving him a look. "Who?"
"The guy who runs Tentacles."
"The demon bar?" Speed asked. Xander nodded. "Why does he have weapons? He's a peaceful demon."
"He's got a fascination for older weapons. That's where I got the WW II machine gun. He loves military and ancient weapons. He offered me a catapult. Had to turn him down, no place for it."
Horatio stroked over Xander's hair, hearing the quiet groan under the roar of the jet's engines as they started to taxi out. "We'll talk about your growing collection, Xander. Make sure you won't get into trouble for it."
"He said I absolutely could not have his new LANS system."
"You have nowhere to store it," Horatio agreed. He quit petting him and saw the look in his eyes. "You should rest. It's a long flight and you're going to have a stressful month."
Xander smiled. "I'm used to stressful months. Oh, Daddy, someone told Sonny. He sent me a 'so sorry you got married' card."
Speed snorted. "Did you tell Danny?"
"I didn't but Greg did. Greg claims he's the president of my fanclub. He, Ryan, and Danny are the only official members so far."
"I love you enough to be a fan of you," he promised, smiling at him. "But you're never going to be allowed out alone ever again, Xander."
"I wasn't alone."
"Yeah and someone's already spanked Greg for the open pole suggestion," Speed promised.
"But I was good and he was enjoying me being pretty up there."
Speed gave him a look, shifting as the plane took off. "Do we perhaps like Greg *that* way?" he asked. Xander shrugged but ducked his head. "The only one?"
"No, there's a few choices that I can get loud about," he admitted.
"We'll talk later in the bedroom. For now, try to rest. It's going to be a long month and traveling is almost always tiring. Not to mention dealing with officials and relators."
"What happens if I like one of the houses?"
"You can get somewhere close by without the same connotations," Calleigh reminded him. "Also probably cheaper to cover the taxes."
"Maybe. I'm more drawn to Greece and some of the ancient areas out that way. I got told by the other areas I like I might like Old Istanbul."
"You might," Speed agreed. "We'll have them take pictures of the apartments and the views so you can see if you like those." Xander smiled and nodded. "Now, curl up on Horatio's shoulder and talk to him about why that jerky of yours is evil."
Xander looked at him. "It's not, even though it makes Daddy horny. The marinade is a really good muscle relaxant too. I used to use it for the really stubborn cramps on us three." Horatio smiled at that. "You stink a lot but it's a great muscle rub."
"I wouldn't mind trying that sometime. How is your hand?"
"I've still got tingles in the last two fingers on my right hand. Since that's my whip hand I'm not sure if I can be as precise as I was. I was known as a technician with whips and instruments. I did a lot of that and tactile breaking."
"You specialize?" Horatio asked.
"We all do in our way. Some people are better at obedience training. Some with training their people like dogs. Some of us won't get into the hardcore instrument play. Some of them do it for more sexual reasons. Some of them like doing it for dinner theater S&M like in some of the show clubs. There's one in New York where you can actually put on a stage act during dinner. Steven got asked by one of his subs to do that so I got to help," he said proudly. "We choreographed it. We named it. We picked out music for the background." That got a smile. "He called it 'Training The Next Generation' and had himself giving me orders and teaching me a new technique on his sub."
"Interesting. Did the sub like that?"
"He had a lot of fun. Steven was one who was more...involved with his subs than I am. His were submissives to him. I see mine more as clients. I do breaking so they can let whatever it is go. I break them basically." That got a nod. "Steven got into sex play now and then. A lot more gratification play than I ever did. Though I did help two couples conceive. They came in to play that way because the normal way wasn't doing it for them."
"On which side?"
"One of each. One of them was a younger woman and the guy wasn't quite as impressive as he used to be so she wanted to tie him down and make him beg for it. He liked that idea. I had to work him up to what they wanted to do but I did and she did conceive that last session. They also paid me a grand a session for that privilege." Horatio gaped. "My real clients, the ones who *needed* me only paid fifty. What you'd pay a therapist. That one that I had to get really rough on to make him break it was the only one he needed. He felt that he got what he deserved and his wife was able to help him with the rest while she babied his welts. It worked well for them." They finally leveled out and Xander tipped his seat back, getting a smile from Horatio. "I've had guys who have been punishing themselves for years. Those ones were in my phone and I've already sent messages to them that I'd be back for them but not for the general public once I settled back in. Them I can trust to come out to the house and not break my peace and privacy. I'll use the dining room for that since I can't see the need for an indoor table with the back porch I have." That got another gentle smile. "I did get a table for outside. Plus a new cabinet for the dining room so I can hide all that stuff from casual snoopers during parties and things."
"That might be a good idea. Alexx is still not comfortable with that idea, Xander," Calleigh warned.
"I know. She'd probably be really unhappy that one of my clients was African-American as well but he's been doing this for years. He knew exactly what he needed from me and I gave it to him plus a bit extra to expand his boundaries. He might be retiring from it soon because he said he's getting better." That got a smile. "I never flaunt the life in front of others."
"Half of Las Vegas called you Master Tim," she reminded him.
"Half of Las Vegas knew me as that before, Calleigh. I separate my private and work lives. Lady Heather introduced me as Master Tim everywhere we went so they'd get used to me. Only one person asked me if Tim was my real name and I told them it was in tribute to Dad. They said that was sweet and left it there because they know you don't ask a dom his real name unless you're a friend."
"So friends can call you Xander but to those who don't know you're Master Tim," Speed agreed. "One of the officers asked me if you were a Junior." Xander grinned. "I told him no, your thing was more languages than science."
"Science is scary."
"It's not," Horatio offered.
"He and science didn't get along well in school," Tim assured him. "I had to walk him through it and it didn't help that much."
"I still like the story about how he passed Biology with a D-minus because he had to be given an automatic A for Willow puking on his frog," Stella teased. Xander nodded. Speed snickered at that. "He said she had a frog phobia."
"Still has," Speed agreed. "Remember him talking about Anya?" She nodded. "Psycho nympho has a phobia of bunnies. Claim's they're furry and have twitchy noses that're more demonic than her."
"Your prom date is strange," Calleigh told Xander. Who nodded. "How is she doing?"
"Still pouting that she can't teach the new boyfriend to give oral sex for hours." Horatio coughed at that and Stella blushed. "Sorry, I am an oral guy. I like my mouth. That's why I babble."
"Someone kiss you to stop you yet?" Stella teased.
"If you did that would make you evil and then Calleigh would have to shove you out of the plane for trying to kill us all," he said, looking totally serious. "Then Mac would spank me."
"Probably true," she agreed, nodding at that. "Horatio, if he starts to babble you get to kiss him."
"If he wants," he taunted back. He noticed how Xander reacted. He knew exactly what the boy was thinking. That one afternoon he had fallen asleep on him had been very educational. "So, did you have any nice dates with Greg while you were out there?"
"It's always fun with Greg but I've got other worries if we start dating," he offered. "I've talked to Greg about them," he said when his father looked over. He knew his grandfathers wouldn't say anything to anyone, except maybe to talk to Greg about his thoughts on this, but he had told him he had talked to his grandfathers about that stuff. He agreed another ear would be good and gave him permission to talk to either his father or Horatio but not around everyone else. After all, Greg was talking to Lady Heather about it. "I've got a few people I've thought about asking but it might get awkward with either one," he admitted. "But they're too unique to say I can find it elsewhere at the club. Oh, Speed, you might tell Eric that both grandfathers think he'd be cute as a bottom boy."
Speed coughed at that and Calleigh blushed. "I'm so going to tease him when I see him next time."
"The really odd thing was, Grandfathers and I were talking and somehow I suggested the dreaded threesome idea so I wouldn't have to go through these doubts and issues and they decided to switch me with him for their own personal thoughts."
Speed unbuckled and got up, pulling his son to the bedroom in the back of the plane, shutting them in. He got them settled onto the bed, cuddling up with his son. "Who do you like?" he demanded.
Xander played with his shirt button. "Greg. But there's the problem where I almost thought about a long-term sub contract with him. And, um, someone in the other room but Grandfather *really* likes Stella. Grandsire said that she'd be the perfect woman for him if he was younger."
Speed made him look at him. "You like Horatio?" Xander swallowed and nodded. He considered it. "That'd be one fiery match but he'd protect you and he'd finally have someone to protect him." He looked at him again. "You'd make him play and quit working himself to death, plus make him happier. I can definitely see him like that." He smiled at him. "That's one big step to take though. That would be two alphas together."
Xander nodded. "Which is one of the thoughts I have. But I want to do what Willow did, Daddy. I want to drown in love. I can't do that with Greg. I'd have to step so carefully so we wouldn't ruin the other relationship if he needed it."
"True. That would be some careful tapdancing until you got into a pattern and then that might get boring for both of you." He stroked through his hair. "I like this look he got you." He smiled at him. "I think you and Horatio would be a killer match, Xander. But are you willing to be the weaker one for him?"
"He got me to break when you couldn't, Daddy."
"I know. I knew then." He stroked over his hair again then looked into his eyes. "I think you and Horatio would be good for more than in the bedrooms. I think he'd be able to hold you together if something happened to one of us. Greg would hold on, be a buoy in the water for you. Horatio's like an anchor." He smiled. "Though you're right, that threesome, hotter with you than Eric." Xander blushed bright red and hid his face in his father's shoulder. "I know. It's almost a scary thought. You haven't gotten past kissing, have you?" He shook his head, not removing it. "Well, maybe we can do something about that."
"Daddy, please. He wouldn't like me. I'm not smart. I'm dumb muscle, not like him."
"You ever put yourself down again and I'm spanking you," Speed warned. Someone tapped on the door. "What?" The stewardess leaned in. "We're just talking. My son's got a few decisions he's thinking about. Like college." She nodded and left them alone. He looked at him. "I have a solution to that. Try for languages. It is a thing you can do." Xander frowned at him. "It's not homework intensive in the major. You like languages. It does have a future as a translator and things. The other crap we'd help you with. I'd like it if you went for something like a profiler but that's a lot of school and you can minor in it or physical therapy if you wanted. That would build on your massage licenses." Xander looked interested. "It would also prove how smart you really are, son." Xander relaxed against him again. "Will you try it for a year? Keep your private clients but try school?" Xander nodded, yawning against him. "I know, I'm comfy. Can I hint at Horatio?" Xander shook his head quickly. "Please? If he knows he can think about it."
"The day someone shot at him Eric drug him over and I think I had one of those noisy dreams Mom teased me about with him there."
"Oooh. Well then at least he knows. He hasn't shown one way or the other has he?" Xander shook his head. "What did Patrick say?"
"They liked the threesome idea."
"It is very hot," Horatio agreed as he came in. He locked the door behind him. He came over to sit on the foot of the bed. "I also knew what you were thinking before then, Xander. You stare."
"Me either," Speed offered. "Horatio, you'd finally have someone who got possessive over you, who wanted to protect you just as much as you protected them. You'd quit working yourself to death and go live life. It'd be good for you."
"It might but I'm still old enough to be his father."
"Not really," Xander admitted.
"Yeah he is, I know how old he is," Speed assured him. "If he had you in high school." Horatio gave him a look. "Really."
"College, Speed. I didn't get held back."
"Sorry." He grinned. He shifted but Xander clung to him. "I'm going to give you two a chance to talk. This is one of those things you have to talk about. Girls are right about that much." He slid out of the clutching grasp and looked at Horatio. "If you two do and you hurt my son, I'm having you eaten. I'll have Willow help me." He got a nod and left them alone, letting Horatio lock the door behind him.
Horatio came back to the bed and sat on the foot of it again. "I'm still too old for you, Xander."
"Yes, really," he countered. "But I do see a lot of traits that I do like."
"I know you haven't had any practical experience. Which is one of the reasons I'm so wary."
"Once or twice."
"Am I the sort you might like?"
"Yes," he said, smiling at him. "Quite a lot. Though I do have some reservations and Greg is one of them. I'm fairly possessive. I'm not sure I can share you with someone so close to you that way. Your clients I wouldn't care about. I know that's not sexual for you but I do know that you were thinking about that step with Greg and probably could slip very easily into it but you'd never be able to go back to your old relationship."
"I joked during dinner my first night back that the perfect answer is a threesome."
Horatio smiled but he shook his head. "Not my thing, Xander. Not really. What's mine is mine. All mine. I'm very possessive. Which is why I still need to think and you still need to think because you would be mine and I would be topping you most of the time." Xander shivered at that and his breathing quickened. "Most nights." He watched his reactions. "Days off as well. You'd be mine."
"Would you move in?"
"I might think about. I have my house and you have yours. We'd have to work on that."
"I want to keep mine, Horatio. It means a lot to me that he bought it for me."
"Which is something I appreciate, Xander. You take people you love very deeply into you. Which is why you have to be careful. My family means everything to me. I would and have killed to protect my family." Xander nodded, staring into his eyes. "We're very alike in that way, Xander, but I'm not sure I could handle having a concubine who came down a few times a year for a week of getting cuddled and petted. So I have to think and you have to think." He smiled and stroked over his hand, watching his body jump to attention at that. "While we're doing this it'll give us a good chance to get to know each other as more than 'Speed's son the dom who cracks bad jokes' and 'Daddy's friend'."
"Do you think it's odd I call him Daddy? Sonny picked on me."
"Sonny's an asshole and his opinion only means something to those he's hired. I doubt his mother even takes him seriously." Xander relaxed at that. "It's clear that you're clinging to Speed so you can't lose him. When you're starving and you suddenly get food, the first person who tries to take it will get hurt. That's natural to every species, Xander."
"He told you about her?"
"He did." He shifted closer. "I've seen similar before."
"Is that how you knew Ethan well enough to blackmail his plane out of him?" Horatio nodded. "Did you?"
"I did. Mine wasn't quite as accidental." He smiled at him. "I was dabbling. I was a stupid, young teenager looking for a way out of my family and gangs never held any lure for me." He stroked his hand again, watching his whole body twitch. "When Greg touches you do you get the same feeling?"
"I get warmth, like a blanket on a cool desert night," he admitted quietly. They hit a patch of turbulence and he clutched onto him. "I hate that."
"Shh, I'm here," he soothed. "We will not crash." Xander relaxed slowly but he did relax. "What do you feel when I touch you?"
"Protection but also there's a live current. I think that's your latent magic and mine though." He shrugged. "That's more theoretical than I ever really got. Willow told me about power attraction."
"No I think this goes deeper. That's why people are drawn to Ethan." Xander relaxed at that and he realized the boy had worried about that. "I do like you for your very quick mind, Xander. In some ways seeing you is like a mirror of myself. In some ways it's like seeing a bright burst of light for the future. If we did, we'd probably spend some time fighting. And making love. Sometimes even on the same day." Xander blushed but he didn't seem too bothered by that. "But you do have to be aware I have never had that sort of casual relationship you dreamed about. That is not the man I am." Xander nodded. "Then why did you dream about it?"
"Probably the only way I could have you," he mumbled.
"Well, you're worthy to be a guilty secret but I don't keep those. Too many people go looking for them and then I have to take the time to deal with them. It gets annoying when Rick tries to get that far up my ass." That got a small smirk. "It does." He patted him on the hand again. "For right now, we both have to think. Both of us about Greg at the moment, then we can talk some more."
"Can I talk to Lady Heather and Daddy?"
"All you want," he promised. "I think you should talk to them. They've been around the relationship dance a few more times than either of us."
"Would you talk to her too? I know Greg is."
"I can. Though I think she knows what I have doubts about. She reads people very well. So do you. That is one skill you do have. That's how you get them to break."
"You got me to."
"I remember. You needed it. I will be there if you need me. You're already family, Xander." Xander moved closer slowly, letting him hug the boy. "We'll figure it out. We'll be together in Russia with Mac," he soothed. "We'll spend some of that time talking amongst us." Xander nodded and Horatio gave him a squeeze. The boy was still clinging. It was a warm feeling. He had to shift and Xander wrapped his legs around his waist. "Not on a plane, Xander. Not today." Xander nodded, putting his face in his shoulder to sniff. "When you were out there did you and Greg sleep together?"
"While we were both drunk and then hung over we curled up in the same bed," he admitted quietly. "He makes a nice pillow. He's very cuddly in his sleep." Horatio smiled at that. "Do you cuddle?"
"Often. Not all the time like Greg seems to need but often." Xander looked at him. "We'll work it out." Xander nodded. "Good boy." Xander's head tipped a bit up, staring into his eyes. So he did it back. He could read him so easily now. He gave him the kiss he was wanting and Xander moaned against him, shifting on his lap to be in a better position for him. Horatio pulled back and looked at him again. "You will make a very happy bottom," he said quietly. "We'll figure it out." Xander nodded, going back to his cuddle. Horatio smiled. "Did you need this?"
"Please. Just for a few more minutes. Otherwise I'll have to get noisy in the bathroom."
"Noisy?" he teased. "Louder than the jet?"
"According to Mom, yeah." Horatio chuckled and gave him a squeeze. Someone tapped. "Getting a hug."
"Let me in," Speed ordered. Xander concentrated and the door opened. "Thanks." He looked at them then at the door. "No magic on the plane. We don't know what Ethan's cast on here."
"Ethan's more attuned to the ground and blood. Like I am water." He went back to his cuddle. "He's just as good as you are for a cuddle."
Speed smiled and came over to get his back, which made Horatio smile. "I told the girls you two were talking about the Greg stuff. They've sworn not to say anything."
"Thank you," Xander said.
"He looks good like that," Speed offered to Horatio.
"He's comfortable in my lap too. He's better than a cat." Xander giggled at that. "We do have to talk about Greg."
"You do," he agreed. "With Greg." He looked at them then at Horatio again. "I don't think it's the problem you think it is, Horatio. The same as I don't think it is for Xander. I think Greg will easily fall back into the mindset if he needs that but what Greg needs is a lot more affection." He stroked over Xander's hair. "Like what he gets from us." He looked at Xander, seeing the sated smile on his sleeping face. He looked at Horatio, who glanced down. "He's done that to me a few times. It's because it's so rare it's special to him. He never sleeps well unless he's being held."
"I'll keep that in mind."
"Then keep in mind that Greg wouldn't take him from you. Greg would join him with you. Greg would get the middle spot on the bed." He shrugged. "That way he got more than enough cuddles. By the way, he's as good at giving them as he is receiving and even you, Horatio Caine, could use one now and then. Now, let's put him down and then we'll go rejoin the nosy creatures in the other room."
"Noisy dreams?" he teased.
"Aiden caught him masturbating once. She teased him mercilessly about how loud he was. She eventually had to back it off to just noisy because he was so embarrassed he couldn't face down anyone else because he thought they heard him."
"I've never met anyone that loud."
"Oh, he can be. I still like how he was embarrassed when he told me about the you/Eric/Greg threesome that Patrick and his sire went off on so they wouldn't have to see him."
Horatio shivered. "I like Eric but not that much. He'd miss women."
"He might." They unwound Xander and put him to bed. "We'll have to listen for nightmares." Horatio looked at him. "He's had some violent ones since he started being able to dream, Horatio. Now and then he's got screaming, fighting, ends up hurting himself to get away ones that you can't seem to wake him from. Those he never gets when he's napping with you. He woke Calleigh one night, which is nearly impossible."
"Is that how she got the bruise?"
"Yeah, he flailed. She's fine. She got me up and I laid down next to him and held him. It usually works. That's why Aiden sent him to Mac, so he could work on the PTSD issues."
"Understood. We all have those."
"Yours make you wake up sweating and screaming my name, Horatio. His make him see the world going to hell."
"He told me all of it, Speed."
"Good. Then maybe we won't have one today. Traveling always makes him uneasy." He got up and they left Xander in there. Horatio put his jacket over Xander's chest, giving him a partial blanket and letting him be surrounded by scent.
Horatio looked at the villa in front of them. It was still whole. It was a beautiful place. It was the sort of place most people thought about retiring to. It had gorgeous views. It was soothing to him. Xander looked at him and smiled. "It's nice here."
"It's also not too far from a real city, Vasilikos, and we're on the safer side of the island," Speed offered. "But the village was nice and relatively close."
"It is but not quite my style." He smiled. "Too sculpted. Too rigid." He headed up to the door with her keys that had been in her purse. It took him a few tries but he got them into the house. He waved a hand, letting them walk in first. Horatio went first, hand on his gun just in case. When he came back the rest of them came in. "Okay. According to rumors she's got a bunker under the house," Xander told Calleigh. "Her office is probably facing that way," he offered, pointing to the horizon. "She said she liked sunsets instead of sunrises. She was 'another day done and it's all good' person instead of 'another night gone and the sun will banish the shadows for a while' person." That got a nod and Speed went to check the cabinets to see what they'd need to pick up to eat. Since Xander wasn't allowed anywhere near the kitchen. Xander found the tv and turned it on, then down. "Someone was deaf," he complained. He flipped and kept flipping. "Man, I didn't know they had satellites that had over six hundred stations yet," he complained. "Hey, naked hockey." He blinked. "Aren't they cold? Daddy, where do they play naked hockey?" he called.
Speed came in to look, tipping his head to get a better look. "Yeah, that's real skin, not skin colored fabric. She jiggles just right. Damn. Aren't they cold?" he asked finally. Then he felt really old suddenly. That 'put on a sweater I'm cold' feeling was not for someone his age.
"You'd think so but no one's blue or shivering. Stella?" She came in and groaned, walking off. "Where do they play naked hockey?"
"Tape that for Don, he likes hockey," she called.
Xander looked at the TIVO and got it turned on and programmed to get the current show and the other ones of it. Then his favorite ones. "Hey, they got Brit TV."
Speed patted his back. "Sure, kid. You tape them and we'll take the tapes home." He walked off, going to find Calleigh and Horatio. "He found naked hockey."
"Field or ice?" Calleigh asked.
"Aren't they cold little men with no teeth?"
"Women and no, apparently not. No goosebumps you could see and you can *see*." She went to look, then came back shaking her head. "See?"
"I did. That's odd. Naked women playing ice hockey. Huh. I wonder if we can get that in the states for Eric."
"Eric would definitely pay fifty dollars for one match," Horatio agreed.
"Eric would pay to be their trainer," Speed reminded him. "Even if he did have to learn how to play hockey." They heard Xander's squeal and hurried out, finding it being him on the tv. "Whoa. Son? Explanations?"
"Not a clue, Daddy." He read the information section. "Huh, club tapes from strip clubs around the world." He flipped back to the picture. "I didn't do too bad."
"No, you didn't," Speed admitted. "Shitload better than I can."
"Me too," Calleigh agreed. She walked off before she could have bad thoughts about her stepson. "Stella, they found a station that shows strip club tapes and we saw one of Xander's few times on the pole." She went to watch the last song's worth. "Speed, do we need groceries? If so, take him with you."
"Sure." He hauled Xander up and outside to their car to go to the market. "You really did look good."
"It was fun teasing them," he said with a wicked grin. "I like being a tease."
"You certainly are," he agreed, backing out and heading to town.
"Daddy, wrong side of the road," Xander reminded him. "Left side!"
"Oh, yeah." He switched back to like it was at home. "I keep forgetting that part of Europe drives British."
"You've been here before?"
"Once for six weeks on a study abroad thing. I went to England." He grinned and sped off, heading down into the village to get some food. Plus to watch Xander get his first taste of other cultures. Xander was examining everything and buying little gifts for everyone already. Including something cutesy for Ryan that he would probably giggle at. They had a lot of fun and stayed a lot longer than they should. They came back to find Stella staring and waiting on them. "We went shopping."
"That's fine. I need food after that show. No wonder he won the open pole competition. They were running back to back winners from the club. He had three in there."
"Three?" Speed asked. Xander nodded. "How many were this last trip?"
"One. The other two were while I was training. My last night I won my second one." He grinned as he helped carry things into the house.
"It was good too, he made the whole room beg," Stella told him. "Including someone on the Most Wanted list. I called in the tip already." That got a smirk. "He does attract them."
"He does," he agreed, carrying more fruits into the house. "I'm making fruit and meat tonight. If you object the nearest fast food place was twelve miles past the village. Xander asked about coffee." Horatio laughed from somewhere in the house. "He did."
"No, she saw Xander." He came out with a picture that was printed off. It showed him in his leathers. It was the picture from Lady Heather's site.
"We did find the all strip club channel," Xander said with a small shrug.
"Obviously." He gave him a look and then went back to his searching. "She knew Xander before they met and married," Horatio called. "She had him bookmarked four times." He came out with another picture and Speed blinked at that one of Xander shirtless and his leather pants undone and starting to slip down his hips. You could see pubic hair starting to come out of the opening. "That was one of the ones bookmarked.
Speed held it up for Xander, who shrugged. "Well, he looks very well built in that," Stella decided. "Anything else on her computer, Horatio?"
"A lot. Plus the filing cabinets. Calleigh, how is the bunker?"
"Can't get in yet. There's a keypad."
Xander let her lead him down there and did something to the wires, letting it open. He grinned. "The things you learn when someone locks themselves in a pressurized chamber." He peeked in and 'ooohed', heading in. "Toys!" he squealed, opening cabinets. "Can I keep whatever you guys don't want? She has a really neat rifle."
"No," Horatio called, coming down to join the two staring people. They all looked at the guns, even Speed, who noticed the other door. Horatio looked at Speed's back because he opened it and froze. He blinked. "Oh, dear," he sighed.
Xander looked over Speed's shoulder, then let out an ear-piercing squeal and ran to hug the tank. "TOYS!"
"Um, should we call the Greek military?" Stella asked.
"There's the Akrotiri UK base on the other side of us," Speed offered. "We're about halfway between it and Vasilikos." He went to call their FBI contact from the kitchen while he went back to preparing dinner. "No, Xander, that is one toy you can't keep," he called when he was on hold. He smiled when the voice complained. "Sorry, Xander just found a tank," he said. "No, not like gas tank. Like tank! Like Tank Girl tank. Yes, like Patton tank. Only more recent than that I think. Has Army on it and serial numbers." He nodded. "That's what we were wondering. Well, there is the UK base nearby," he offered. "Or the Greek authorities." He shrugged. "Whatever you guys want. Xander may not bring a tank back to Miami."
"What about the jet?" Xander called from the basement stairs. "Can we keep the jet?"
"You're not licensed to fly an F-18," Stella called. "Someone call Mac!"
"Stella wanted us to call Mac since there's also a combat jet," Speed said. "Whatever you guys want. Xander can't keep the jet or bring the tank to Miami. Actually he has pretty good hand/eye coordination," he admitted. "He probably could learn how to fly it."
"NO!" Horatio yelled. "He may not bring an F-18 to Miami."
"Meany," Xander called. Horatio apparently glared at him because he slunk off. Then he squealed a few minutes later. "WE CAN GIVE ETHAN BACK HIS PLANE!"
Speed moaned. "Who do you want to come get this stuff?" he asked. "We'll be here. Send someone. Thank you." He hung up. "We're getting someone from NCIS."
"Which is?" Stella asked.
"Naval Criminal Investigative Services," Horatio told her. He shook his head until Xander bounced up the stairs and drug him back down to look at the things in the further part of the hanger. "How did she get a tank down here?" he complained. Xander opened the hanger door. "They'd still have to airlift it." Xander hit the other button and a ramp moved out from the cliff face. "I see." He retracted it and walked off to look at the private jet. It was just as nice as the one they were borrowing. A bit bigger. He found another door and walked in, whimpering at the gold in there. "Oh no. This is going to get messy," he complained, closing the door and walking out, hitting the button to close the hanger door. "Speed, are you still on with our contact?"
"Mac." He handed over the phone.
"Mac, Horatio. Tell someone she got paid in gold." He hung up and went to find the stash of aspirin. Every assassin had to have *some* somewhere. He found it in the master bedroom and took three then paused to look around. The sunken bathtub faced a moving wall. He opened them and saw it facing the same view as the office. It was a beautiful view. Speed came in and looked then at him. "You two take this room."
"Thanks." He grinned and went to tell Calleigh that. She came in to see. Horatio got out of the way, letting her have it. Tim showed her the view and she cooed, starting the tub. He slammed the door shut.
Horatio went out to the kitchen. "Speed and Calleigh are soaking out the jet lag."
"Works for me," Stella agreed. "There's two bedrooms left." Xander shrugged. "I'm not sleeping with you, Xander." She patted him on the head. "You might get attached." She went to pick her room.
Xander looked at Horatio. "I can sleep on the couch."
"So can I."
"Flip you for it?"
Horatio looked at him. "We'll figure that out later." Xander nodded and headed for the kitchen. "Ah!" He stopped him and turned him around. "Go write down the make, model, and serial number of every single handgun downstairs for Calleigh." Xander bounced to the office to find pen and paper then went down there to do that and check them for cleaning or not. Horatio went to deal with dinner. Until someone in a pressed uniform came to the door and nearly saluted him. "Officer."
"Lieutenant Caine," he introduced dryly. "Xander?" he called. He bounced back up the stairs and saluted the guy back, getting a nod. "This is the spouse of the former owner."
"I got briefed, sir. I was asked to check on what you have."
"Okay," Xander agreed, taking his hand and leading him down there. He let him pause to look at the guns, then showed him the artillery. "Calleigh is ballistics in Miami and we're talking with New York's felony crime lab and Las Vegas's too."
"Good!" he agreed in his cute Australian accent. He walked into the next area and moaned. "How did she get a tank in here?"
"There's a hanger door and an extendable ramp."
"Oh, good." He climbed up to look in the cockpit. "Fully here and lists as armed," he complained, going up to look into the tank. "This too." He came out of the tank and looked at him. "Any other surprises?" Horatio nodded at the other door so he walked through and squeaked. "Of course she had to be paid in gold." He walked out to call his boss. "Sir. Fully armed and able to work tank and F-18. Yes, sir. Some artillery but we have competent ballistics persons from the US here. Sir, remember that report that made you laugh about the assassin? I'm at her house with her last spouse, sir. Yes, sir. That case, sir. Thank you, sir. I'll let them know, sir." He hung up and pushed in a long distance number. "Sir, Sergeant Major Chris Toffers, sir. Yes, sir. Cyprus, Akrotiri Base Sir. By Vasilisok presently. You were alerted to an assassin who has weapons she should not? Sir, did you or anyone on your team read the New York Times a few weeks back about a female assassin marrying someone then committing suicide an hour and a half later?"
"One hour and thirty-three minutes," Xander offered. He took the phone. "Hi, this is Xander Harris. Lady Death married me right before she jumped off the top of that hotel. Yeah, that's what we're doing. I don't know why she wanted the fully armed tank and F- 18 but they're really pretty and I'm told I'm not allowed to bring them back to Miami so if you guys want this, come get it before we leave in a week. If not, we can let the nice guy with the really cute accent take it." He grinned. "Hey, I've got enough to do dealing with the my height pile of gold bars in the other room and sightseeing since this is my first time overseas. No, we've got CSI here to deal with the files and the guns. Duquesne. From Miami. You can come ask us in person if you want. I don't know, there's another door." He jogged over to the one he had spotted behind the tank and opened it slowly, finding a light switch. He held up the phone when the agent saw and let out a low moan of longing. Then he hung up.
"Hey, Horatio, you might want to come look at the big drums of stuff marked TATP and the big blob of plastique on top of it. Or else I am!" He walked in to look at it, then hummed. "Get me some wire cutters please?" The guy frowned at him. "Now!" he snapped. The man went to look. He came back with a pair. "Huh." He looked again, walking around it. "Okay, two choices. Let's chase this. Hmm, battery, computer. Battery then computer," he decided. He cut one and the Sergeant Major squealed again. He gave him a look. "Yes, I've played with these before." He looked at the other one then cut it, then pulled the detonator cap. He walked off, handing it to Horatio, who apparently didn't hear him by the look on his face. "I yelled," he offered. "You might want to check that computer down there considering it's connected to a mainframe like I haven't seen in years since Willow accidentally let a demon onto the internet and it inhabited one to come after her because she was his perfect mate." He walked off again. "Bomb's gone," he called. "Big huge computer thingy downstairs."
Horatio stuck the knife he was using in the cutting board and went to look, coming back a minute later. "Good work, Xander. Next time, yell louder!" he ordered. He went outside to calm himself down and trace the last wire he had found from the computer that had been drilled out here. He stomped on the switch in the driveway and all the alarms in the house quit reading them and went to 'safe' mode. He went back inside. "We missed a trigger on the alarm system," he called. "It's safe now."
Speed came out in a towel. "Who disarmed the bomb?" he asked. Horatio pointed at Xander. "I know my son is not cooking."
"I'm chopping it's not the same," he defended.
Speed walked out and pulled Xander, knife and all, about of the kitchen. "Thank you, son. How big of a bomb?"
"Made the military guy moan." He smiled. "And there's a big computer thingy down there too."
"Thingy like a mainframe?"
"Remember the story about the demon Willow released on the internet?"
"One of those thingies."
"The demon or the mainframe?"
"Mainframe," Horatio offered. "New IBM blade servers. Probably holds more information than we can crunch in a year." He came out to get the knife from Xander and check what he had been doing then got back to cooking.
"Cute towel, Speed, I didn't realize you were that furry," Stella said as she came back out, clearly redressed. "Bomb?"
"There's a pressure plate in the driveway to render the alarms safe," Horatio said blandly. "Yes, he disarmed the bomb."
"We're talking the military guy right?" she asked hopefully.
"No," Speed and Horatio sighed in unison, Speed shaking his head. "Plastique?" Xander nodded. "Show me." Xander led him down there by the wrist, finding the Sergeant Major leaning out the hanger door panting for fresh air. "Go get a drink, officer." He leaned in the room with the bomb. "Damn," he said in awe. "Okay. What's under the trap door?"
Xander shrugged and went to check then giggled. "Money," he said, holding some up. "Did you get to see the pretty room?"
"No, I didn't. Show me." Xander drug him across the hanger, past the private jet, which got a small moan, and into the end storage cavern. He blinked at the pile of gold. "I'm getting a *great* present this year, Xander."
"Okay." He hugged him. "I love you, Daddy, and you'd get one anyway." He checked around and found another smaller door. "Huh, a window." He opened it and found a bird's nest. "Carrier pigeons?"
"Possibly. We'll find a way to track it."
"Put one of those GPS thingies on it."
"We might be able to do that," he agreed. He went back upstairs shaking his head. "We found carrier pigeons, bearer bonds, currency in many different country's colors, and the officer is presently mid panic attack out the hanger door." He drug Calleigh off. "We'll need a computer tech here, Horatio."
Horatio called back the last number on the cellphone. "Who am I speaking with? This is Lieutenant Caine from Miami. I'm with Mr. Harris. Because we just found a very new server right behind a bomb and on top of a lot of international currency," he said blandly. "IBM blade server. Looked like serial wired to me. No, we disarmed the bomb. I don't know. Xander's talking to CSI Bonasera out of New York about tracking the carrier pigeons. Xander, the flat, black boxes in the server. How many were there?"
"I think ten. Want me to go check?"
"That's all right. There were three mainframe looking cases?"
"Yup and they each had the bottom two spots open. There was one other spot in one that was open about midway and one in the top left spot in the series."
"He said there's two open spots on each case and two additional ones. That might help, yes. Carrier pigeons?"
"Can we put a GPS thingy on them and see where they go?"
"We can," Horatio agreed. "That would be a good way to teach you how to use that system, Xander." He listened. "That would be more than acceptable, Agent Gibbs. We look forward to your assistance. Do you want me to feed the officer who's having a panic attack or should he go back to base and come back with you? We're halfway between the base on the side pointing toward Egypt and Italy and Vasilikos. That's fine, trace this phone if you need to." He smiled. "Even better. Yes, she's in the bath. They've found a great many things and he's agreed to donate anything he can to our three departments. Of course she'll share. She'll pout but she'll share. We know there's another two houses but we're not sure what's in them yet. We're doing those over the next two weeks and then the minor apartments we know about the week and a half after that. Of course we can keep you in the loop. Why did the FBI hand it over? Ah, Abby. I've heard of her. That would be more than acceptable. We'll be here, at least one of us. Thank you, Agent Gibbs." He hung up. "Sergeant Major, NCIS is flying to your base tonight," he called. "Go back there and lead them back out here."
"Yes, sir," he agreed, jogging up the stairs. "I closed the hanger door but another pigeon flew in and landed in front of me so I took the note," he offered, handing it over. "With flight times they'll probably be here early tomorrow morning our time, sir."
"That's fine, we can handle that." He nodded and left. Horatio looked at the note. "Hmm. Looks like a love letter. We'll have to track them," he agreed, putting the note aside. Xander went to dig around in the office, coming out with a pair of pliers and his own phone. "What are you doing?"
"We can track a phone GPS chip, right?"
"I can always get a better phone," he said with a grin. "This is a nice one but I'm running out of room for new numbers. Besides, I'm sure we can get it back or I can replace the chip." He dug it out and handed it over with a bright grin. "Send back a note saying she's at home."
"I can do that." He looked at the note, then at the chip and the basement door. "We'll send it when we heard from them again. He can wait a few hours. It's getting late."
"Okay. Can I help?"
"No. Out of the kitchen, Xander." Xander went back to watching the strip club channel and trying out some of the moves he was seeing. Horatio watched, then smiled. He could see the merit of the boy practicing, even if he never got to do them in public.
Gibbs walked into the door like he owned the place. Xander looked at him and plainly cocked the gun in front of him. "You gonna use that, kid?"
"Unless you identify yourself and then I'll fuck the hole," he said plainly. "You are?"
"Special Agent Gibbs, NCIS."
"Oh, okay. Next time knock. I'm tracking where the carrier pigeon is going right now since we got a note from one last night." He looked then smiled. "Hey, it's in Istanbul." The female with them came over to see and typed in something. "We have an apartment there that we're going to be looking at in a few weeks," he told her with a grin. She smiled back. "I'm Xander."
"I'm Abby," she said, shaking his hand with a bright smile. "The only federally sanctioned goth lab tech."
"I lived in Sunnydale. You're normal to me." She hugged him and he beamed at the others. "Let go before you go evil. Most of the other women who like me did." She nodded, understanding that. "Okay, let's go see the tank and the plane." He led them downstairs. Tony whimpered. "There's an extendable ramp but I'm not sure how far out it goes or if it can be maneuvered up or down for easier offloading."
"Sure," he agreed weakly. Xander opened the hanger door for him. "Okay. Even better."
"McGee, check out this server while I go over these."
"The guy with the cute accent and really hot ass said they were fully armed and in working order but Horatio won't let me try them out." That got a snicker from the younger guy in the back. "He did. He said I couldn't bring them back to Miami either. You're McGee?" He nodded. "This way." He let him into the room with the bomb and the server. "Yes, it's disarmed."
"Then what's the countdown on the laptop?"
Xander looked then smiled and nodded at the door. "That one. The door will automatically close in ten minutes," he called. "I guess that's her version of a garage remote." He waved a hand. "International currency under the bomb. Do whatever you want. We're all working upstairs once the others get back from the local town office. Horatio wanted to ask a few questions."
"CSI can be like that," he agreed. "I'll work on this, Xander. Thank you."
"Welcome." He grinned and went to nod the other guy the private jet, watching him sigh in pleasure. "It's mine now. I've got to learn how to fly apparently." He opened up the other door to show him the carrier pigeons. "We got one last night with a 'where are you' message. We sent back a 'I'm home but sore and injured, the story was a cover' response and my phone's GPS chip."
"Which is what Abby's tracking," he finished, smiling at him. "Good job."
"Thank you. Is she single?"
He shook his head. "No. Especially not if she'll turn evil." Xander grumbled but walked off. "What are you going to do with the gold, Mr. Harris?"
"Start up an evil empire and get a cat," he called back as he headed back up the stairs to go back to cleaning the weapons. Abby gave him an odd look. "It's soothing to clean them."
"It is." They looked up when someone came in. "Hi." She smiled. "I'm Abby from NCIS." She shook hands.
"The others are downstairs. The Gibbs guy is in the tank, the guy who didn't give me his name is looking at the gold, pigeons, and the private plane. The McGee guy is in the server and bomb room. The pigeon landed in Istanbul."
"Where in Istanbul?" Horatio asked.
"I'm narrowing it down now," Abby offered, going back to that. "Looks like.... Huh. The old prison." She let him see. Then she smiled at the female members. "Can I help?"
"Sure. We've got to go through the stuff in the office to gather information for handover anyway," Stella agreed. "That's Horatio's and my project. Speed's Xander's adoptive father. Calleigh's our ballistics expert on this leg of the trip."
"Cool. I'm Abby, I'm our lab tech. Downstairs is Tony, Timmy, and Gibbs. Gibbs is the grumpy one. The Sergeant Major gave us a map."
"That's fine," Stella agreed, showing her the office. "This is what we're working with. We know there's some that are password protected and we can't get into them."
"I can try and McGee is *really* good with those."
"Even better," Stella agreed.
"MCGEE!" she yelled. "PASSWORDS!" He came jogging up the stairs and came to look, then typed in something, linking them to a site online. She accessed it for him once he was gone and the passwords got cracked for them. "Thank you, Tim."
"Welcome, Abby. Can I have a glass of water?" he asked. Xander handed him the glass and got out of the way. "Any in the fridge?"
"Yes, but Timmy spanks nearly as hard as I do if I touch anything in the kitchen," he offered. "I'm poisonous."
"Really?" he asked with a grin. "That's a talent."
"It's useful in interrogation too," Stella agreed from behind him. "I fed a suspect one of his cookies and they begged for mercy and medical attention. Oh, Xander, Mac used that technique on Sonny. He broke very prettily and then Mac gave him some of your breath spray. He's very sorry. Mac told him he had gotten it off of you but you didn't know." She got the water pitcher out to pour him some. "Out of the kitchen, Xander, before you taint something. Take Speed to look at the grounds and take pictures for the others."
"Sure." He drug his father outside to do that.
"He's his adoptive father so he's here to guard Xander." She saw Horatio finishing the gun Xander had been working on and putting it back together. "He said it was calming."
"It is," Horatio agreed. "I find it very calming." He marked the list on the table, looking it over. "He's done twenty out of the eighty-three handguns we've found. Are there extra panels behind the ones in the open?" Stella shook her head. "That's fine. Calleigh, let's start sorting out the guns into 'going with us' and 'being handed over'." She nodded, going to do that now. "Abby, she's running a test on patterns of destruction from various types of artillery in an urban setting if you wanted to help." She smiled and went to do that. "We're hoping for a database," he told Stella.
"It's a good idea. We could use it now and then." She sipped her own water. "Want the filing cabinets or are you going to do that?"
"I will... come help you until Gbbs is ready to deal with how we're getting things out of there." He stood up. "Just imagine if Mac had been here?"
"He would've yelled at Xander for disarming the bomb," she told him. "He thinks the kid's a bit strange, partially trained, and tragically has combat fatigue at his age."
"All true but he's got a different sort of training out of necessity." He leaned in the basement doorway. "When you're ready to talk about how we're moving those, I'm in the office, Gibbs."
"Sure. There's a switch for evacuation procedures?" Horatio came down the stairs to look at it. They looked at each other then pushed it.
"The server's downloading to a site online, boss," McGee yelled.
"So's up here," Abby yelled.
"We found the road," DiNozzo told him, coming out of the other room. He pulled on the dividing doorway, moving the wall as it collapsed back into a set of panels. "Road. We can get the tank out that way."
"Bomb's still inactive as far as I can tell," McGee called. Horatio went that way just in case. He came out of there. "The money tray just lifted up, boss. It's in a trunk."
"Trunk, like old fashioned, take them to college footlockers?" Tony suggested. He nodded. "What's under the cash?"
"Bearer bonds. Other papers I'm not sure about."
"Sure," Tony agreed. "How long was Lady Death in the business?"
"Since she was twelve according to the FBI," Gibbs noted. "She was thought to be forty when she died."
Horatio came out. "Las Vegas estimated her age at forty-three due to the changes in her body and bones. Thank you for finding that, it makes our job a lot easier. We need to find any mentions of other houses and what she's keeping in Brazil and Russia."
"I speak Russian," Gibbs offered.
"One of my officers is part Cuban and part Russian. He's coming with us. Mac Taylor is coming as our ballistics person and I'm going as Xander's guard."
"Is he careless or that untrained?"
"Neither. He's a trouble magnet," Horatio said, shaking his head. "She found him after he had done an open pole night during his dominant training in Las Vegas. Apparently they get an all strip club channel on the dish here. It's just down the dial from the one that shows naked women playing ice hockey." Tony opened his mouth. "Seriously. Fully naked, ice hockey. Not even thongs."
"I want that dish," Tony complained. His boss popped him one on the head. "I'm a normal guy," Tony complained.
"Xander's TIVOing them all as presents for the CSI going with us to Russia," he said blandly. "I'm sure you can have a copy too."
"Thanks." Gibbs gave him a look. "What?"
"Don't you see enough naked women in a year?"
"Yeah, and? I've never seen them playing hockey."
"Hey, my video's on," Xander called happily.
"What video?" Tony asked.
Horatio moaned. "The all strip club channel shows tapes of open pole night winners. He's won three. There'll be this one, skip three, another one, then one in about four month's worth of routines." Tony went to go watch it with the ladies. He looked at Gibbs. "So far Xander has turned in one pedophile who was going where he was bartending and doing his beginning dominant training because he wasn't doing very well with his aversion therapy and seven serial killers to SVU in New York, plus two other regular killers who fixated on him and wanted him. Xander is from Sunnydale," he said quietly. "He was there during graduation."
"I googled his name for a quick background check. That how he could disarm the bomb?"
"It is, it's also where his interest in weapons came from. It's also why he can use a sword just as well as he can the whips he prefers on his other job."
"He's a full Dom?"
"He finished his training with Lady Heather and she's a very nice lady. Thinks of him like an extra son," Horatio agreed quietly.
"That's a resume," Gibbs agreed, sipping his coffee. "Trouble magnet?"
"Yes. All those killers? He was only in New York from late May to early October, Gibbs."
"That's impressive even for a trouble magnet," he decided. "Sure, we can handle that. Need more help guarding him?"
"No, we're doing one guard for Xander. One CSI after this run to do the files, and one ballistics person to do any weapons we might find. Then two CSI going to the smaller apartments we know about."
"I know someone who would love this house," he admitted.
"He said he doesn't want it."
"I'll let them know. What about the jet?"
"I'm not sure," he admitted. "Xander was thinking it'd be a nice thing to have around. I'm thinking it's an expensive toy to have. But then again there is the gold in the other room if it's not confiscated."
"Shouldn't be. What did the Greek government say?"
"Not a lot when we went in to talk to them earlier. The FBI contacted them when they figured out who had married Xander for an hour and thirty-three minutes before realizing they were going to get her and committing suicide. He went to talk to their embassy in New York about this stuff. They got him visas and things so he could come clean out his wife's possessions, even knowing who she was. He assured them all the information was going to go to all our departments, the FBI, and Interpol, plus them if they wanted copies. We told them we found artillery and were talking with the base and you about them. They said to let them know. I mentioned finding some gold bars and they shrugged. That was in their version of the State Department however."
"I'll make sure it's safe for the kid," Gibbs assured him. "Where's the other two?"
"Rio and on the Black Sea. It's a small resort town." He went to get their plans and show it to him. "Here."
"I've been there. It's a nice town. Very quiet. Like the village we passed through. They notice non-natives. Where did the GPS chip go?"
"It went to Istanbul. To the prison," Horatio told him. "Or so they were saying a few minutes ago."
"Okay, we'll find out who." He went to make that call. "Your plans went very high up," he said twenty minutes later, coming back down the stairs. "Everyone is very happy with this plan, even the Greeks. They said he comes from money?"
"More or less. His grandfather is Patrick Benis," Horatio said quietly. "But the boy just met him this summer due to his father being an asshole."
"That can happen. He's not too spoiled."
"He won't let them buy him things. When he first met them he told them they couldn't buy him more than a candy bar." That got a smile. "He has this thing about owing others."
"Sure, I get that. Send the kid and his father out to do something touristy while the two computer geeks hack into the system and we go over any problems in the plans. You know Taylor?"
"I do. He's running New York's felony lab."
"He's a good man. He'll enjoy the spa town too." That got a smile. "He will." They called Mac to go over the plan, updating him to what they had found. Xander came down to get the footlocker and catalog it in his room, but Speed drug him off to see the other nearby villages like the tourists they were.
Horatio turned Xander over to Greg's care at the private airfield. "The last two days were a vacation and he's well rested," he promised. "But bouncy. Fair warning. Xander, the other plane?"
"They're flying back on it and it'll be landing in Miami tomorrow morning," Xander reminded him. He smiled at Greg. "I've got pictures." Greg sat down next to him. "It had a gorgeous view, Greg. The master suite had a tub with sliding walls so you could look out on the ocean. It was fantastic. Daddy and Calleigh are *so* relaxed. The nice guys at NCIS helped us tons. We've got the stuff for the labs on this plane and the stuff I'm personally keeping on my new one."
"She had a plane?"
"She also had a tank and an F-18," Horatio told him. "She had two sports cars with emergency bags. She had eighty-three handguns and enough artillery to hold a small war, Greg. Plus a lover in Istanbul in the maximum security prison over there."
"She was carrier pigeoning him," Xander said with a grin. "His earlier mug shots looked kinda like me." He smiled at Horatio. "Can you have my stuff put into my basement?"
"I can and will, Xander. Behave in Brazil and call us every night so Speed knows you're okay."
"Yes, Horatio." He smiled and kissed him on the cheek. "I'll be a good boy, I promise."
"Good. You'll have an FBI agent shadowing you in case we have someone to try to break in like we did yesterday." He left, going down to his hummer and Frank after he gave the orders for the cargo and signed the forms for his people to take control of things. He had a word with the airport handler's head guy. "Mr. Harris has another flight coming in tomorrow of things he wanted to keep. It is high security as well. A lot of it is money he found in his former wife's home. I'll be here personally to ride escort with some of my officers. Same starting point." That got a nod and he made a note. "Thank you." He walked off, finding Frank watching things, hands on his hips, gun holster unlatched. "You would not believe what her house was like, Frank."
"We had to call in assistance for the computer system. She had a tank, an F-18, and a private jet. We'll have to do this again tomorrow and put things in Xander's basement. Most of it came to us but he wanted a few things, like the pile of gold bars. Some of the money, an urn."
"Pile of gold bars?" he asked quietly.
"She had been doing this for nearly thirty years, Frank. She earned it. She had over two hundred kills to her name, mostly for political reasons. She earned all of it." Frank just nodded. "So, tomorrow night we get to do this again with Xander's new plane. It'll be going into his basement."
"Sure," he agreed. "We can do that. Wolfe, do not drop that!" he called.
"I'm not!" he called back, sounding cranky. He put it into the truck. "It's not like it's loaded."
"No, thankfully it's not," Calleigh agreed as she joined them with her own boxes. "Okay, we've got two sealed crates, so, Ryan, get in there and stack them against the front wall." He got in to do that, moving things back into a more orderly pile to make room. "Higher, Ryan, big crates." He nodded, doing that. "Already broken down for us, Vegas, and New York," she told Frank proudly. "Ours are the singles. Speed's handcuffed to the computer files." That got a nod and they escorted Speed off the plane, letting him hug Xander and make him promise to behave for Greg and Horatio and bring back something nice for them from Brazil and Russia, plus to call every night. Then he was walked out. Two FBI agents walked out to uncuff him from his briefcase and get their copies out, then handed over the sealed copies to Frank since he was in charge of the off-loading and staging here. It got put into the back with Ryan and his gun, handcuffed to his wrist. Stella walked over with her lists for the FBI of what everyone was getting, getting nods for their copy; that too went to Ryan.
"Miller time," Speed called, waving. He waved at the plane and Xander grinned and waved from the door. The next team loaded and they taxied off since the refueling truck had been working from the other side.
Frank checked the manifest against what they got. "Calleigh, all the guns boxed and things?"
"All but the one on me, Frank. Xander gave it to me personally, it's mine. You pry it from my fingers when you freeze me with liquid nitro and then break my hand." She got into the front of the truck, nodding to the driver once the door was closed by Frank and locked by Frank, who had the only key. Speed waved at them too and she waved back. "Dinner?"
"Sure." The truck moved off and the others rode guard on them all the way back to the station, where Stella took control of the stuff for New York and Warrick took control of the stuff for Vegas since Bobby was now at 50,000 feet heading for Brazil. They got escorted back to the main airport since the station had been a more central location than the going directly there and safer too to unload the truck at. The others flew back with their sealed, wrapped, and marked crates and the rest of them went to settle in for the night and tell Frank how it had went.
Bobby looked at the house in Brazil, then at Xander. "Are we sure it's safe?"
"No but I can go check."
"Ah!" Greg said, stopping him. "Lady Heather said I am to keep you from doing anything stupid, Xander."
"This is what I'm trained to do, Greggy." He grinned and got free, heading casually across the street. He saw the two guys who were watching him and smiled. He pulled out the keys and the same one from Cyprus fit this lock too. "Good job, dear. Glad I married your stupid ass." He found the pressure switch and stepped on it then turned on the lights. "I'm home," he called. "This is now my house. If you're in it, I'm going to shoot you." One of the guys from outside came rushing in and he beat him then looked out at the other and smiled. "Did you want to try too, sweetie? Or don't you think you can beat this gay man?" The man growled and lunged and Xander's new, very nicely conditioned whip he had been working on the whole flight down, and back from Cyprus, snapped out to get him. "Mine, bitch." The man ran off yelping for help.
"Good. All clear. Let me check the basement for the usual bomb. Be right back." He went to check on that and found it was off but he disabled it anyway. He could probably use the practice. Then he skipped back out. "Clear." They came inside. "Office was that way," he said, pointing toward the sunset. "Toys are in the basement. There's an attic so there's no telling what's up there. I'll head there first. Then I'll go help with the toys." He left. "By the way, I can't cook. Speed forbid me to cook a long time ago. They all say I'm poisonous." He headed up to the attic to look at things in there, finding that's where her money stash was. He came down and went downstairs, going to find the evacuation switch. He prowled around the basement, finding all the neat toys she had hidden down here. Bolos. Guns. Knives. A home-made lance. Another car. He petted the hood of the nondescript car and found the switch on the other side. "Watch out!" he called, hitting the switch. Then he went to move the cash up there to the trunk of the car. Bobby whistled at all the guns that were exposed. Xander grinned at him. "Toys."
"Very many toys. I love you, man."
"Cool. Wanna go on a date tonight?"
"I'm still straight, Xander. I meant brotherly love. But you can take Greg."
"Sure. Greg, wanna go out tonight or are we gonna be busy?"
"Work tonight, play tomorrow, or the bosses will kill us," Greg called back. "Then we'll go watch the beach and have dinner."
"Okay. Want help cataloging, Bobby?"
"Sure, I could use that." Greg brought down paper and pens, then went back to downloading the computer. Stella had gotten detailed instructions on what to do from the agents they had worked with in Cyprus. "How was Cypriot?" Bobby asked.
"Good. We were on the Greek side so they called it Cyprus. Beautiful house. Did you see the pictures on the plane?"
"I did. That was an amazing view." Xander grinned and nodded. "What am I going home to?"
"Oh, about this many for each city. Warrick went home with a detailed list. Including those that had serial numbers. I cleaned them all before we packed them in the safe boxes."
"Thanks. That'll save me some time. Is it computerized?"
"No, the system was screwy out there once we hit the evacuation list. I got to type it up."
"That's fine. I can borrow a secretary to input it and the ballistics codes."
"Sure." He grinned and got back to work. "She keeps putting them up dirty. How stupid was she? Poor baby," he told the gun in his hands.
"Maybe it let her know which one she used. After all, they're not sorted by size or anything. Could be by jobs."
"Could be. The other place had gold bars."
"Really cool," Bobby agreed.
Xander smiled and nodded. "Yup. I am definitely throwing down for Christmas next month," he said happily. "Daddy is getting one killer present."
"Guys!" Greg called. That was not a call for help, it was a call for *help*.
Xander opened a drawer and found bullets and preloaded magazines. He checked it, check the guns, then walked up the stairs slapping the clip in. "Hi, who are you?"
"Detective Favares. You?"
"The former owner's temporary last husband." He looked confused. "Talk with Director Atmale I think his name was? The former owner married me. She wasn't a nice woman so we're cleaning up after her and giving all her files to Interpol." The detective laughed. "Your issue. Agent Bobby?" he called loudly. The FBI agent rushed in. "I'm not sure whether he doesn't have a clue or he's on the take. You deal with it. I'm playing with the toys."
"No, not that I've seen. There might be another basement level. Let them know I hit the switch like last time."
"Sure, kid. That encrypted it again?"
"Agent McGee at NCIS is working on that."
"Even better. He's one of the brighter eggheads we've got." He led the detective off to talk with his partner while he got him cleared through the official channels down there. He came back a minute later. "How long for clean up?"
"Two days at the most with the level of guns unless I find a new basement level."
"Probably not here. High water table on this end of town, kid," the agent offered. The detective was walked back in. "He clean?"
"He is. He wasn't told. The guy with the whip marks ran to him for protection."
"Honey, I'm the bi one. If he's that big a princess, why is he in the business he's in? Hell, I've done worse to that to my clients as a dom!"
"He has," Greg agreed. "I've seen him do worse than that to a client who needed it. He's a dom of the therapy school."
The detective looked at him. "I'm sorry the boy bothered you."
"So am I, but I got to try my new whip out," he said with a grin. "I just got it in Cyprus." He let him see it. "I conditioned it on the plane so it might be a bit deeper due to the stiffness."
"That's fine," he agreed. "The woman who lived here married you?"
"Yeah, apparently she tracked me because I did an open pole night during some training time I took in Las Vegas. Did you know that Europe had an all strip club channel? And one that had naked women playing regulation ice hockey?" He looked amused but shook his head. "Apparently the stripper channel was showing open pole winners and she saw me, and I kinda looked like her lover, who is in prison in Istanbul, she was sending carrier pigeon notes to him. But she tracked me down and had me for all of an hour and thirty- three minutes before the FBI was called and she ran off the top of the hotel. Her apprentice grabbed an officer's gun to commit suicide in the lobby. I don't know what she was expecting. She got me so drunk I was limp and she had to carry me to bed."
"You and me both," Greg agreed dryly. "Do we know if her apprentice had anything?"
"Not really," Xander offered. "But I did tell Speed you were entitled to ten percent of what I got." Greg nodded and shrugged at that. "Greg, we found a pile of gold bars as tall as I am and as long as the kitchen," he said patiently. Greg squeaked, eyes wide. "Plus cash."
"Oh. My. God," Greg breathed. "That'd be like winning the lottery." Xander nodded and beamed. "We need to do dinner tomorrow night," he decided, going to brag to Bobby and then Hawkes in the office.
Xander looked at the agents and detective. "Once we've got everything cleaned, we'll seal it, guard it, and then go in pairs on vacation for the rest of the week. But I'm more than willing to kill anyone who breaks in here. Should I call you directly?"
The detective laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. "That is a good joke, sir. We will help you guard the house." He left with the agents to set up a patrol schedule for them.
Xander shrugged and went to help. "Stella left her laptop on the plane for this reason," Xander told Bobby. "That way you can coordinate with the others to see who wants what. The first one was split pretty evenly with Calleigh doling out what she knew she had already and could get hold of. So you guys break this up however you decide. That way no one gets the pouts." That got a nod and they pulled it out to get to work on that. Xander went to look at the furnishings, picking out a lamp he really liked. And then a vase. It was pretty and would go great as a present for Yelina. They went into the trunk of the car too. Greg gave him a knowing look. "Keeping them out of the way."
"Good. How much are we thinking?"
Xander shrugged. "I was going to ask Grandfather and Grandsire to help me break it down into real cash. Then we'd split it that way and spoil others for the holidays."
"Good." He beamed and went back to the kitchen to deal with that stuff. "Does anyone but Xander want to cook?"
"I will," Hawkes agreed. "The download's running so I can start on something." He came out to wash his hands and get to work. The fridge and freezer got looked over. Then the cabinets. "We need some fresh stuff."
"We can go," Xander agreed happily. Greg grinned at him. "We can." He went to get some cash out of the stuff in the trunk of the car, then came back up, handing most of it to Greg. "I'm going to go browse. Dad and I did some of that."
"Sure." They walked out together, waving at the agents. "Going for food."
"Behave, boys. I mean it," Agent Bobby called. He watched them go. They were very cute together.
Xander watched as the new changeover happened in New York. They had some beautiful pictures of Brazil for Mac and Horatio. Greg was still asleep in his seat. "The vase and the luggage is mine," he called. "Plus the blue bag is Greg's and should stay on." That got a nod from Eric and he put that one back. Then they checked the hold. Xander came down to check the suitcases, handing them to Speed since he was there. "Those are heading for home and the vase and the lamp too. The vase is the present." He gave him a cuddle. "I'm having so much fun, Daddy." He beamed. "Greg agreed with my ten percent idea. Put all that into the basement and I love you." He rushed back onto the plane when he saw Horatio looking impatient. "Sorry."
"It's all right, Xander. I don't blame you for getting a cuddle. Did you remember to not send off your personal clothes?" Xander looked hesitant. "Which suitcase was the original one?"
"The clothes got packed around the money. I'll buy more." He smiled. "It's a tourist area I can probably find t-shirts and jeans."
"Probably," Mac agreed. "Horatio, Eric?" Horatio looked at Eric and he came jogging over with his bag and Xander's adjusted bag. "Did Speed pack?" he teased.
"Yup. He knew Xander would do something like pack the presents into his suitcase." He sat down on a reclining seat facing the door and buckled up. "So, how was Cypriot and Brazil?" Horatio sat on Xander's other side and Mac got the couch. Xander handed over the pictures. "Okay, that's a great view," he offered, handing them to Mac as they started to taxi off. "What did you bring me?"
"But my fanclub and relatives get the better presents."
"I'll pick on Ryan until he gives me something."
"You can have some of my jerky," Xander offered.
Eric gave him a look. "Speed warned me about that stuff."
"I nearly ripped myself apart when I had some," Horatio told him. "My control was nearly shattered." Greg let out a loud snore and he gave him a fond look. "Did you wear him out, Xander?"
"Yup," he said proudly.
"Are you two....." Mac started to ask.
"He's very close to me but we've got things we've got to work out first if we're going that way. But he is a great friend and a lot of fun to be with, and hang out with, plus he ended up cuddling. He cuddles *very* well. He's like your blanket." Mac smiled at that and he looked at Horatio. "We did a lot of talking."
"Good." He teased some of the spiky hair. "I see he played with your hair on the trip up."
"He got bored over Panama, then fell asleep over the country below Mexico."
"I'm impressed he can sleep through takeoff," Eric complained. Mac smiled at him. "I know, you were probably trained to." Mac nodded. "Have we had any problems?" he asked, starting on the pictures again.
"We were mildly annoyed at the forefront in Brazil. A minor street gang thingy that the apprentice was sleeping with. Well, she was sleeping with most of the gang I guess. They were not impressed with us. Especially when I got to use my new whip on one. He went to whine to the cops. The agents got it straightened out and they didn't come back."
"Good," Mac agreed, looking at him. "Did Hawkes go in first or did Greg?"
"I didn't think Bobby was field trained," Eric noted. "Calleigh didn't say that."
Horatio looked at Xander. "Unlike your father I will spank you," he promised.
"Greg can't. I'm actually trained to hunt, Horatio. I did what I'm trained to. I cleared the house, beat the two bad guys, then let them go play and helped catalog the guns."
"We'll be talking," Horatio promised.
"Next time this happens we'll send a guard specifically for that purpose," Mac agreed. "I'll check with Hawkes to see how well it went."
"I am trained to hunt," Xander repeated. Greg snuffled and curled up against his arm, nuzzling his neck. "Thank you, Greg. It's good someone believes I'm capable."
"I believe you're very capable, Xander," Horatio assured him. "I have since before you disamed the bomb, gave me a situation report on that room, and then pretended to be dumb again." He looked at Mac. "Four barrels of TATP with a wad, not formed, a wad of plastique on top. Xander yells and I don't hear him so he disarms it in front of a British Sergeant Major. Who nearly passed out. Then he comes up to tell me about the computer thingies. When he told the others he left out that they were mainframes, just leaving it at computer thingies."
"Dad knew what I was talking about."
"I'm glad you taught him how to hunt and protected him that way, Xander, but you two nearly have your own language now," Horatio reminded him. "He probably got more from thingy than I did."
Xander looked at him. "You'll learn. He did from exposure. So did Mom."
"What are you getting Aiden for the holidays?" Mac asked.
"That depends on if I can get the cash changed to American and the gold changed out or not."
"If you can't?"
"I'm going to take the last of the gift cards Grandsire gave me and use them on a new necklace. She needs sparkly things. By the way, she's coming down for Solstice, Horatio. Grandfather invited Don down too. Suggested he should bring Stella since he's got a small crush on her."
"If she wouldn't kill me I'd have one too," Eric agreed. "She's one hell of a woman."
"She is," Mac agreed. "She's still mine, Eric." He looked at Xander. "Did your grandfather mention anyone else?"
"Grandsire offered me a new video camera if I could get Eric between Greg and Horatio for even a still picture while they were in bathing suits."
Eric gave him a look then shook his head. "No thanks. I like Horatio, I respect him a lot, I love him like a brother, but that's a thought I don't need."
"Oh, I don't know. That would be one *interesting* bed," Mac offered.
Horatio shook his head. "I agree with Eric's sentiments, Mac. I have much different plans in mind. Thank you anyway." He looked at Xander. "Your grandsire has a very filthy mind."
"I think that's where I get mine from," Xander said, then he grinned. They hit turbulence and he grabbed Horatio's arm, digging in his claws to hold on, and the other hand was on Greg's thigh. "I hate turbulence."
"Calm down," Horatio soothed, moving his hand down to his hand instead of his arm. "Calm down, Xander. I've got you. It's just bumpy air. We won't crash," he soothed, reaching over his other hand to pet him. "It's okay." Xander slowly relaxed and Greg kept snoring into Xander's neck. "I'll have to tell Grissom Greg can sleep through this." Xander giggled a bit but he did relax and let go of his grip on Greg's thigh and loosened his grip on Horatio's hand.
Eric and Mac shared a smile at the very cute couple to be and Xander's other friend that they would work out amongst themselves.
Xander woke up his first morning in his own home and smiled when he saw who was waking him. "Hi," he said quietly, pulling Speed down to cuddle him. "You smell good."
"Thank you. So do you." He sniffed him. "Borrowed Greg's aftershave again?" Xander hummed and nodded. "Want to go over the stuff in the basement?"
"Is Calleigh missing something?"
"No. But I thought you might want to move the stuff for decoration up here and then take a count of what we have in money and stuff." Xander nodded and yawned again. "Jet lag?" Xander shook his head. "Are you sure?"
"Took the Greg cure and slept on the plane back." He snuggled into his father's side. "Are you off today?" Speed nodded. "Good. Be a snooze alarm?" Speed bopped him on the top of the head. "Not that way."
"Go shower and I'll make pancakes." Xander got up for that and headed into his shower, yelling at the cold water. "Ooops, I'll go turn on the hot water heater." He went to do that, giggling the whole way down to the basement. He looked around. Some of the cases of gold was missing. He called once he had the hot water heated. "Gordon, did someone move stuff from Xander's basement?" He nodded. "That's what we were going to do today. No, his former wife had that in her emergency funds." He smiled. "Thank you for trying to spare him but bring it back. We're going to be helping him cash that and some foreign currency out. Of course we're here. No, I just lit the hot water heater. We're up and here. Send it back with one of the non-flammable people, Gordon. Thanks." He hung up and went back up there, finding Xander under his blankets, earning as mile. "Give it twenty."
"Wake me up again."
"Sure. The rest of the stuff will be back. Your grandsire was worried it was from a psycho stalker so it's in their basement."
"Greg gets ten percent."
"Sure." He went to the kitchen to start on the batter. That way it could rest for a few minutes while he went to get Xander back up. Xander trudged into the shower and he went back to start making light, fluffy pancakes for his boy. And him, he hadn't eaten yet. Someone knocked on the door so he went to answer it, looking at the gun in his face then at the person behind it. "You would be?"
"I want what was hers."
"She married Xander. Go away."
"Who?" he demanded.
"Okay, are you here about the assassin or some other woman?"
"The raven haired Goddess! She will be mine! I know this unworthy little worm has her blackmailed into being with him!"
"Um, you do know that Lady Heather is a very famous dominatrix?" he asked, making the man cackle. "Okay, your thing. Master Tim?" A whip came down the stairs and the man shrieked while Speed got out of the way. "He says that you're blackmailing Lady Heather into being with you?"
"She's like my mother, dude, get over it!" he shouted, snapping it at him again. The man took off running but Xander pounced and beat him until Speed went out to stop him and handcuff the guy. Xander panted, glaring at him, getting in one last kick. "You'd better learn, bitch. Lady Heather is like my fucking mother. You are not worthy of her magnificence. You are not worthy to breathe the same air!" A patrol car slowly pulled in. "Get this filth off my lawn before I flay him," he growled.
"Um, sure," the driver agreed, nodding, coming over to get the poor guy on the ground. "You are?"
"The owner," Speed said, giving Xander a hug. He got an odd look. "This is my boy."
"Like boy toy?" the other officer asked.
"Like son, moron," Speed said dryly, glaring at him.
"OOOOH! That's your son! Wow. The last time I saw him he was wearing leather, not nothing." Xander snorted and glared at him. "Sorry, didn't mean to look, Master Tim." He helped the guy into the backseat. "He did what?"
"Pointed the gun in the doorway at me and demanded I hand over the raven haired beauty Xander was clearly blackmailing to sleep with him." The driver looked confused. "Lady Heather. The domme out of Las Vegas."
"I remember her. She was very nice," the driver agreed. "The bruises?"
"Was before I cuffed him," Speed assured them. "He threatened me and Lady Heather, who is like my son's mother. He's also just now getting up."
"I didn't figure your son ran around naked in front of you," the passenger officer assured him. "So, he put a gun in your face?" Speed nodded. "Just knocked on the door?"
"Yeah. Knocked on the door. Demanded I give him what was hers. I thought he was talking about the assassin's stuff." He shrugged. "Turns out he was talking about Lady Heather's love."
"Sure," the driver agreed. "We'll let you take his statement or something." They got in and took him away. Caine could straighten out any irregularities.
Speed waved at the truck coming in. "Put it back in the basement," he ordered, turning Xander around to give him a shove. "Go shower while I cook." He went to check his pancakes. Fortunately he didn't have one in the pan but it needed to be cooled down for a few minutes. He watched the stuff be put back and waved at Gordon when he came in. "They were that worried?" He nodded. "Okay. Ten percent of that goes to Greg."
"If that's what he wants." He looked at Xander when he came down in a short robe and boxers. "How were your trips? Your grandfather wanted a call for you to tell him everything."
Xander smiled and hugged him. "I can babble at him while we work on the inventory." One was handed over. "Cool. Did he cash out any of it on us?"
"No, he thought he'd wait for you to contact him about it and talk about your plans."
"Cash it out, give ten percent to Greg since apparently the apprentice didn't have anything of her own in that stuff, and then buy Christmas presents."
"Good plans," Speed agreed happily. "What is Aiden getting?"
"Sparkly stuff. She deserves sparkly stuff."
"She does," Speed agreed, bringing over the two plates. "There's some batter left if you want some, Gordon."
"That's all right, Speed. I've been up for hours now. You two have a good day and his grandfather is coming over tonight to help you two arrange furniture. Should he bring anything?"
"Food," Speed offered. "Chinese or Mexican, Xander?"
"I don't care. Just not fish."
"Chinese then," Gordon agreed, patting Xander on the head. "You have very soft hair today." He went to check their progress then left behind them.
"You didn't send him the audio files of me babbling about Brazil and Russia?"
"I did but I think he wants to see you talk about it," Speed offered. Xander beamed and got up to get the syrup and butter. It was necessary for pancakes, as necessary as the milk Speed poured for them both.
Horatio looked at the agent who walked into his office. "Did we forget to make copies of something for you?"
"Not as far as I'm aware." He sat down in front of Horatio, who put down his pen. If an FBI agent sat down in front of you and was smiling, he wanted something bad. "In the spirit of the cooperation we've recently enjoyed we wanted to know if you would like to help us bust someone else who is a threat to Mr. Harris's life."
"Why do you need our help?"
"I'm sure by now you've heard what happened when he was sixteen?" Horatio growled. "I see you have and you know that he's left Miami. He's headed to the event in Monaco. All we need you to do is watch him, get proof positive of his ID for us, and then back us up when we come in to arrest him at the end of the convention or at the airport."
"Xander checked, there weren't any rooms left at the conference."
"There aren't, but Lady Heather does have a room she won't be using and we know she has a soft spot for Mr. Harris."
"She trained him," Horatio agreed quietly. "Would this get him shunned?"
"I'd hope not."
"I'd hope not too."
"I wasn't aware he had set up shop again."
"He still has private clients, Agent...."
"Oh, sorry, Special Agent Antoine McCleary." He smiled. "You could discuss this with her. We trust her to be discreet with as many secrets as she hears on a daily basis. This would protect Mr. Harris even further and he is the one who should be shunned because of his conduct."
"Something like that would lead to everyone knowing."
"Which might look bad on him but we think he's recently killed at least another two people. That would bring him to at least fifteen bodies, Lieutenant. I know we're all on the same side and Mr. Harris's safety is one of those things your team especially takes care of."
"I will talk with Mr. Harris and Lady Heather on your behalf. They may hand him over after punishing him."
"If not, we would feel it fully fair that Mr. Harris' boyfriend, CSI Sanders, went with you two if you felt comfortable having him there. It's a small carrot; they must miss each other a lot."
"I'll talk with them and let you know."
"Thank you, that's all I ask." He smiled and shook his hand then left.
Horatio called Lady Heather first. "This is Horatio Caine, is she still out there? I just got asked to intervene with another master's capture." He listened to the news she was on her flight to Monaco. And he groaned. "Thank you. Please, at first contact, tell her to call me immediately. I need to know what to do." He nodded. "Agreed." He hung up and looked up another precinct's number. "Can I speak to Officer Dawsburg please? Lieutenant Caine in Criminalistics." He waited while he was paged. "I need to ask you a question on procedure. No, I have police procedure. This is Master Tim procedure. Please. I'll be in my office barring a catastrophe." He hung up and considered it. Xander had wanted to go but he would not risk having him shunned by some of the first people who had accepted every bit of him without reservation. Besides, could he handle having Greg play Xander's submissive? Having the three of them in the same room had been making everyone sweat in Russia, even Mac. When someone knocked he looked up and waved him in. "Close and lock it please."
He did that. Then he looked at him. "What happened?"
"There was an Agent McCleary here to talk about the serial killer out of LA who you probably got briefed on."
"I nearly spit blood from biting my tongue on the curses. They wanted you to do what?" he asked, getting the point.
"Take Master Tim to Monaco and use the convention to get a positive ID on him then help in his arrest."
"That is some dangerous territory," he warned. "But that's why I'm here, isn't it?" Horatio nodded. He rubbed over his brownish-purple skin and bald head. "Hell, that's a quandary. "I could possibly get away with it. Your guy's boy? He's listed in the same category but not. Did you talk to Lady Heather?"
"She's on a plane headed to Monaco at the moment. He also suggested we could stay with her."
"You two wouldn't be the first set of masters to show up out of the blue and pay for admittance but beg a couch, Lieutenant. Especially with the fire and everything. That's still shaky ground though."
"That's what I'm worried about. I do not want him shunned. The same as I do not want to force her to help us."
"Most of us are seriously upset that this guy is calling himself a master, Lieutenant. He's not, he's a killer. He's nearly a thrill killer. He gets off on it." That got a nod. "I may play and get off if my playmates do but not like that."
"I know," Horatio agreed. "You're about as senior as I know though." His phone rang. "Caine. Not now, Frank. Yes, I'm serious. Why?" He listened then groaned. "Not at the moment. We don't know yet." He hung up. "He's back."
"Feebs like him are like roaches. They should be stomped on until they die or go away. They certainly ruin any party. You know what? I know the guy who trained me isn't on a plane today. Let me call him. Let's see what he says."
"Of course. I'll make that clear." He walked outside to make the call. "This is Dawsburg, I need to speak to Master Barry please. Tell him it's an ethical question and the confession vows apply." He listened to the music while his sub handed over the phone. "Sir. It is. You've heard of that thrill killer in LA?" He smiled. "Yes, sir, the one that Master Tim nearly got sold to as a young thing. He's in Monaco and the FBI want to confirm his identity and arrest him there. No, sir. Master Tim is down here. Because his father works in Caine's crimelab. Yeah, Speedle. I'm thinking they were thinking about sending Caine and Master Tim to Lady Heather but we can't talk to her because she's somewhere on a plane and this could get Master Tim shunned. Caine doesn't want that either." He smiled. "Exactly. He probably couldn't get a room. I know I couldn't." He leaned against the railing. "Which is why the confession vows have to apply in this case. If he heard, he'd leave or he'd try for Master Tim and would end up losing. No, what I was thinking was the retribution laws," he admitted. That got an evil cackle.
"You know that they are. He's seen like I am, an officer on the side of good. I heard about the guy he got in Brazil. He was protecting his sub Gregory. Who would probably be out there too since it is Lady Heather they'd be imposing on." He smiled. "Can you? I know you're not one to break the vows at all but hints would probably save his skin from being shunned or flayed." He nodded. "I'll let Caine know. Actually I think he'd make an intensely focused one but he could never do it for more than one or two subs. Master Tim has put word around that his special clients, the ones who he didn't really charge for sessions, are still welcome to his house and his help. The others he's not sure about. Then I agree and I'll tell him. You'll let me know in a bit?" He smiled and nodded. "Thank you, Master Barry. You have a good weekend with her." He hung up and went back inside, glaring at the agent until he scurried away and forced Duquesne with him. "That's a brave man to pull her out of here that way."
"Very," Horatio agreed. "Do we know anything?"
"We do. Master Barry has been doing this since about electricity started. He did some of Lady Heather's training in her very early days," he offered. "There is an ancient law, a law of retribution. He can claim that on the man. Now, Master Barry doesn't hint, ever. He's never broken a confession vow before, but he will hint this time that it's about retribution in this case. You need to get in touch with Lady Heather and make sure she's got an open couch."
"I've already put in a polite request to call us as soon as humanly possible."
"Good. Then get Master Tim dolled up. He'll need to come off the plane looking like he's there for a purpose, Caine. You and Gregory as well if you're going."
"It was offered to us. I'm not sure if they've talked to his bosses yet."
"Whatever. Getting there late is fine in this case. It'll show you're not there for more than the shopping and this purpose." His phone rang and he heard the noise from the other end. "Want me to step out?"
"No. Lady Heather. A situation was handed to me for my approval. The person who nearly bought Xander when he was sixteen will be in Monaco. FBI. They were suggesting Xander and I, and Gregory if we wanted him as backup." He nodded. "They also suggested you should have a spare couch." He smiled at her assurance she always booked extra space because giving it out equaled favors. "I've been speaking with a senior person in the area here. That's what he was suggesting," he agreed. He nodded. "Do you think Grissom would mind? Because I think we could use your counsel on other matters as well, Lady Heather. That one, yes." She chuckled at that. "I do not want him shunned. At all. You were the first group to unconditionally accept who he is. Even Speed had some reservations about him being a dom. I do not want him shunned for doing the right thing in this case." He nodded at her wise words. "Then you'll see me sometime tomorrow. Thank you." He hung up. "She's agreed with your plan." That got a smile. "Thank you for your assistance."
"Not an issue, Lieutenant. We like Master Tim. He makes your whole team grin at some of the stupid shit that boy gets into. How were the assassin's houses?"
"Beautiful, facing the sunset, filled with weapons." He laughed. "One had a tank." That got a louder laugh and he walked off. "Send him in if you see him."
"Of course. If the great one left anything but pieces." Calleigh gave him a look. "Where's the roach? I mean Fed."
"Break room." She pointed. "You done?"
"Almost but it's gonna be a long weekend."
"Yay," she said flatly. "Another house from the assassin?"
"Not that one." He went into the breakroom and found Wolfe and the agent staring at each other. "Caine's ready for him. Might wanna give Speedle a head's up that they're going to be called in soon."
"Why?" Ryan demanded.
"Long story," he told him.
"Aw, crap, that guy from LA?" he demanded. The dom looked impressed. "We all thought Xander was going to find a way to go to Monaco from Russia." The fed jogged off. "They want him to help capture him?" The officer nodded. "Looks like I'm on this weekend after all."
"No you're not, you're grumpy, go do something to be less grumpy," Calleigh called. "Before I have Xander spank you."
Ryan smirked at her. "I'm a member of his fanclub."
She looked at him. "I'm his stepmother. I trump yours. The only ones higher than me are Horatio, Speed, and Greg."
"Interesting," Ryan offered.
"Very but no comment."
"Sure." He walked off, going to eavesdrop but Eric made him go away too.
Greg looked up from his late scene with Grissom and Nick when the agents ducked under the tape. "Hold it or else I'm going to shoot you all," he ordered. "You do not mess up our crime scenes without a damn good reason!"
Grissom looked at him. But Nick said what they were both thinking. "Are you channeling Master Tim again?"
"Yes." He took a picture of what he was looking at. "Well?" he demanded. One of them looked before carefully moving closer to him. "I'm still waiting," he said as he took another picture.
"The person who Master Tim was nearly sold to and killed by is heading to Monaco. We'd need someone who could back him up and make sure we have a positive identification. It would be you and Lieutenant Caine from Miami with him. You were the carrot." Greg's camera lowered and he looked at him. "You would be leaving tonight sometime probably." The camera nearly got dropped. "Lady Heather has already agreed to back up the plans. We'll need you to help get a positive identification and then back up the arrest when we make it."
Grissom looked at him. "Why Greg?"
"He and Master Tim are known to be close. It was clear while they were traveling under FBI guidance recently. Lieutenant Caine has the experience to back you both up and to make the boy calm down and not hurt others if something should go wrong. Plus, as I said, he was the carrot."
Grissom looked at him. "This would take how long, our Sheriff has already agreed, and he'd be on your payroll for this?"
"The conference or whatever lasts for the next four days. He could fly out to Miami tonight to meet them there and then fly over from there. We're talking to him first but your Sheriff will agree or we'll cut your funding, and if we must pay for his salary during this time we can do that."
"You're making promises?" Nick asked.
"He's killed at least fifteen people. Vulnerable people. We're trying to get him into custody without more lives being lost, including his if they punish him and then hand him to us. Master Tim would be the one who could demand the group punish him or simply hand him over to us to be arrested. He's the best person for this job. It was noted who had the best handle on how he worked and how close CSI Sanders and he were during the trip." Nick gave Greg an appraising look.
"Not like that, pervert," Greg said, frowning back at Nick. Then he looked at the agent. "Has anyone cleared this with Master Tim yet? You will never get him to do anything he doesn't want to do. He out-stubborned Taylor during the Russian part of the trip about going outside when we came under attack by some local mafia guys." Grissom let out a small moan at that. "We were safe but he wanted to go see the water and Mac thought it was a bad idea. He still won after a lot of complaining loudly on Mac's part." He looked at the agent again. "Get permission from Master Tim and then my boss. Then come to me." That got a nod and he carefully walked off the scene and headed to do that.
Horatio stopped by Xander's house, going down into the basement to find the boys working on the piles of money and things. "We need to talk."
"Another house?" Speed asked as he counted.
"The one that you saved him from is in Monaco this weekend." Speed glared at him and Xander jumped up. "Before you ask, I did warn Lady Heather, Xander. I found out when the FBI came to me."
"So they want me to go in and help capture him?"
"Help us make a positive ID and the aid in the capture. Apparently there is right of retribution in the old codes. You survived him so you could claim that and have him handed over if you can prove what he's done." Xander slowly nodded. "They want you, me, and Greg to go. We'd have FBI support the whole time, like we did in Brazil."
"As opposed to the one on the take in Russia?" Horatio nodded. "Would I get in trouble?"
"Not if you went for this reason. If you went solely to arrest him, yes. You'd be breaking silence. If you go in this way it won't get you in trouble. It's a very old rule but you're his only living victim."
"I'd need to do what?"
"We'd have to get Greg here. You'd have to come off the plane being Master Tim. I'd be your backup and we'd discuss that on the flight over. In this case we can be late to the event and Lady Heather has already said she has a couch we can borrow."
Xander considered the implications. "Why can't they get a positive ID without me?"
"That I do not know. They didn't feel free enough to enlighten me on that issue. I checked with a local officer who's been around the local scene for years and he called his mentor, who was one of Lady Heather's early teachers, plus talked with her. The both agreed this was the only way it could be done."
Xander looked at him. "Are we going to spend time talking to Lady Heather?"
"We will," Horatio agreed. "I think it would clarify some thoughts on a few things." Xander smiled at that. "We'd leave tonight, Xander. Could you handle that?" Xander nodded. "Would you like me to tell them yes?"
"I can't let him go on hurting others. I will need the file to have Lady Heather help me present it to the higher people in Europe."
"Agreed." He went to make that call from the kitchen and came back nodding. "It's been set up. We'll be on your plane but they'll provide a pilot. Greg will be out later tonight. We'll fly overnight so we can sleep on the plane and get there early tomorrow."
"Okay," Speed agreed. "That'll work with our schedule today too." Xander smiled at him. "When you get back I'll expect things to be less insane."
"Yes, Daddy." He sat down next to Speed again, hugging his arm. "We can do that, Horatio, and I do have stuff."
"That's good. Let me know when the flight is and what I should pack."
"Wear your suits. It's all comfort with yourself and attitude." Horatio smiled at that and walked out, leaving them alone. Xander shifted over, cuddling into his father's side. "Why do they like me again?"
"You're like an innocence they can't touch even though you came from the same sort of place that spawned most of them."
"Then explain her," he said, waving a hand at the stuff.
Speed looked at him and said very slowly and clearly, "Evil women love you Xander."
"Point." He got back to his counting. "Are you sure this is all there was?"
"This is the same amount of cases. I checked." He looked at him. "What about the stuff from the third house?"
"Huh." He called Mac. "Did you take home the stuff from the third house that I brought back for me? Yeah, that case. Please. I don't care if you have it changed out, Mac. I trust you. Thanks. Oh, I'm copying Don's presents and sending out present packages this afternoon." He hung up and looked at him. "It went home with him."
"That happens I guess. At least I know where to go to get the foreign currency converted." He heard the doorbell and sighed. "What do you want to be that's some interfering Fed?" he complained as he got up and headed upstairs. The federal agent on the other side he knew and was irritated by, and his stunned look just capped it off. "Yes, this is my son's house. What did you need, Agent Insufferable?"
"Um, foreign currency? Someone in the FBI said you brought a lot back?"
"My son was the one in the New York Times story with the assassin."
"So you went to clean out her stashes?" He nodded. "Can I make sure it's real?"
"Sure." He let him in. "Kitchen and then basement. We were going to cash it out and change it back so Xander could buy really great holiday presents."
"How...I thought you died."
"The magic of Sunnydale, Agent Elliot."
"Oh. Okay." He found the basement stairs and went down them. "Sir, I'm Agent Elliot with the Treasury. One of my contacts in the FBI said you had brought home a lot of currency and we wanted to make sure it wasn't counterfeit before you tried to cash it out. Can I check it for you?"
Xander looked at Speed, who shrugged. "He's a decent enough agent but he pants after Calleigh's ass."
Xander looked at him. "You like my stepmom?"
"Um... I do but if she's taken I'll gladly back off." Xander shrugged and let him have their list. "Thank you, sir. What's in the cases?" Xander reached back and flipped open the one behind him. He whimpered. "That should be in a reserve somewhere I'm sure."
"She got paid in gold bars," Speed said. "The FBI said she started at twelve, according to the birth certificate we found she was forty-seven. Do the math."
"Oooh damn," he whispered. "They're all gold?" Xander and Speed both nodded, opening them. "That can glut the market and drive the price down. That's way too much to dump at once, boys."
"That's why I was going to take him to someone respectable and let them handle the buyback," Speed assured him. "Unless you want to set that up for fair weight value? Or more, we don't mind more."
The agent looked at him. "She always said you were her favorite smartass." Speed just smirked back. "I can arrange that. It'll take me a day. Do we have guards around here?"
"My grandfather's got guards and I'm leaving again really late tonight to go do something for the other suits," Xander told him.
"I'm also going to sit a few agents in your driveway, sir. They won't come inside or anything but they'll be here in case your grandfather's guards fall asleep or something."
"Okay. I'll be with CSI Sanders and Horatio Caine all weekend but Daddy will be here and you can have him do anything that needs to be done. Him or any of the full CSI on his shift."
"I'll remember that." He got to work on the forms in his briefcase, noting serial numbers and amount, then he checked for forgeries. "Is this all there was of the foreign currency?"
"There's some stuff I can't identify in the bottom of the footlocker behind you. Under the bearer bonds," Speed offered. "Not a clue." He looked at Xander. "Ready for more soda?" Xander grinned and handed over his glass. "Yo, Agent Inscrutable, you want some soda or water?"
"Some water would be nice, thank you," he offered, watching him walk up the stairs. "How long were you married to her?"
"An hour and thirty-three minutes of being very drunk. Since I do not drink the little cocktail of wine dregs and whatever else was in there hit me very hard."
"At least you're cooperating."
"You guys came to me to suggest I could give over that stuff and keep the other stuff." He heard the phone ring. "Is that McGee?"
"It is," Speed called back. "He's got it unecrypted finally. You and Horatio can do the bank stuff while you're over there. He's faxing Horatio copies of all the bank account information. Where did you put the stupid marriage license?"
"In the bag Mac has."
"Sure." He came down the stairs. "They had her current contracts list and her future profile on some jobs, plus all her past ones. Plus some nice information files on some people."
"Cool. Wonder if they'll sell the jet and tank to someone else?"
"Probably," Speed admitted. He noticed the fed looking at him. "She had a tank and an F-18."
He shook his head. "That got handed to a responsible agent?"
"Gibbs," Speed said. "NCIS."
"We all know Gibbs," he assured him. "He's very upstanding. He's also made some agents want to commit suicide after dealing with him." He went back to his notating and counting. While he worked he pulled out his cellphone to call his home base. "Sir, it's Agent Elliot. Yes, sir. No, sir, I'm with Mr. Harris. Yes, sir, him. No, so far all the ones I've seen have been legitimate. You may want to send someone to CSI Taylor in New York because apparently there was a mixup with the suitcases and some of it ended up there. Also, sir, he's got a Federal Reserve level of gold bars down here that he's going to cash out. No, sir, not donate to the US, cash out. That's fine, sir." He hung up and shook his head. "My superior is an idiot," he muttered, calling another agent. "It's Peter. Come to Miami, bring two good guards for a reserve level of gold bars. We need to start the cashing out process. The guy who married Lady Death. Yeah, that case. Why? Tell your girlfriend to remind him that Mr. Harris is not donating it. He wants fair cash value, Steven. Thank you." He leaned back to look into a case. "Standard large bars. All stamped US Gold. Yup, with serial numbers. We can do that. Mr. Harris is very interested in cooperating. Thank you." He hung up. "My boss is very sorry in advance."
"That's okay. As long as they don't steal them if they're not stolen," Xander told him.
"Of course. If he tried that, I'll sic Horatio on him," he promised. Speed snickered at that. "I heard he's got an in with a few of the dom and dommes in the area." Speed pointed at his son. "You are?"
"I'm also known as Master Tim."
"Ohhhh," he said, nodding. "I've heard a little bit about you. One of my fellow agents goes to Lady Heather for stress relief and he said she was training you. That you were a technician with weapons." Xander nodded. "Good. I hope you have a long career." He got back to work. Someone pounded on the door. "That's not my people, we're more polite."
Xander got up and jogged up the stairs, letting his grandsire in. "It's daytime what are you doing out!" he complained, looking him over. "You're smoking, get into the kitchen. It's not in direct sunlight." He went that way. "Want some water?"
"No thank you." He looked at him. "You didn't call?"
"I fell into bed last night."
"Ah." He gave him a hug. "Your grandfather will be up later this afternoon, when it is expected to rain." He stroked his cheek with a smile. "Let's go see what you found."
"All the guns went to Calleigh since they decided that they were probably used in a crime." He led him down the stairs. "Grandsire, have you met Daddy yet?"
"I haven't. Timothy."
"Speed, please," he offered, holding out a hand. "Bit bright out for you isn't it?"
"I had a cloak for the short run from the car." He looked in the open cases then at his grandson. "Interesting investment. Was she paid in them?" They both nodded. "Then one was probably per job."
"I'd figure she had kept the international cash for ease of doing jobs. The bearer bonds probably about the same. The stuff underneath the bearer bonds I have no idea about." The agent went to look and turned pale. "What?"
"The material separating layers is two sheets of currency grade paper," he moaned, holding one up to the light. "French on this one." He put it back and dug down past the two layers of bearer bonds with coupons. He looked at the shredded newspaper and carefully dug around, coming up with something. A very pretty sapphire. Xander cooed and took it to look at, letting the other two see it. "May I suggest that you put this trunk in a bank?"
"Was going to do that tomorrow," Tim promised. "Once we got the loose currency cashed out."
"What currency do I need in Monaco?"
"American is probably good," Agent Elliot said, getting back to it. He looked at the other man. "So, you're his grandfather?"
"Grandsire. Husband to his grandfather." He looked at the stone. "That is very pretty, Xander, and smuggled inside a body." Xander grimaced and handed it over. "It's been washed a few times but I can smell very acutely you know." He smiled at him. He held it up to the light. "It's very clear. Very high quality. Indian if I'm not mistaken." Speed took it to look through. Then he nodded. "You know gems?"
"Like Eric knows cars. I can tell a lab created one." He handed it back to his son. "Give Aiden some of those for her sparklies this year." Xander beamed at that idea, going to carefully empty the footlocker out. He looked at his grandsire. "You needed to check on him?"
"Patrick woke up having a nightmare. He couldn't be sure it wasn't a vision," he sighed. "He saw someone breaking in here." They all heard a gun cock and then it got put down next to Speed by Xander, who went back to emptying things.
Speed looked at his son. "I know you weren't a Boy Scout so you take 'always be prepared' to a level that even Taylor calls paranoid, Xander, but is that necessary?"
"If it's a vision, maybe." He tossed his grandsire the hand grenade he found. "That was already in here. All I did was close the trunk up."
His grandsire looked at it and sniffed it. "It's still good."
"Calleigh said she had good taste in guns."
"Bobby said the same thing," Xander agreed. "I still think it's cute how he did a happy dance the second night in Brazil when he got the list of what she had broken off for him."
"They're coming down for the artillery destruction tests next month," Speed reminded him.
"That's kinda cool. It can be like a mini convention." He grinned and got back to work. They heard the door open at the top of the stairs and Xander looked up there. "Hi, guys. What're you doing down here, Gibbs?"
Raphael gasped. "It was you he had the vision about."
"My Grandfather. I doubt he's going to invade. He's the guy who came to get the plane and the tank, Grandsire." Agent Elliot let out a small moan at that. "So, what's up, Gibbs? I heard McGee got it so it's readable."
"He did. She had an information file on you, kid."
"Like she was stalking me or like she was pumping people for information?"
"You tell me." He handed it over. Xander sat on the stairs to read it, then looked at him, shaking his head. "No what?"
"Not me, Gibbs. I was born and raised in Sunnydale. This..." He looked at his grandsire. "Are we sure Grandfather's first son didn't have any kids?"
"He was allergic to women. Why?" Xander held up the picture of the kid who looked almost like him. "Hmm." He came over to get it and look closer. "I've seen him." He considered it then nodded. "This is one of Flack's cousins," he admitted, handing it back. "Did she mix you two up?"
"The file's a jumble of information." They sat down to sort it out together. Xander looked at some of his. "Is this as extensive as Grandfather's?"
"I think that is your grandfather's file on you, Grandson." He called home. "Patrick, it's me. The one you saw is Special Agent Gibbs, NCIS. Was your file on Xander hacked sometime recently? It's got things in here that only you would've cared about. Hmm, the size and weight of the circumcision tissue?" He nodded as he went to check. Then he looked at Gibbs. "This is Patrick's file on Xander. The other is Donny's cousin Jeremy. Did you have one on him?" He smiled. "Thank you, Patrick." He hung up. "He didn't have a file on Jeremy but as far as we know he died a few years ago."
Xander shook his head. "This one lists him in Beirut last year, Grandsire." He let them see it.
"So it does," he agreed. "Interesting. We'll definitely check within the family, Agent Gibbs. We do tend to obey the laws as they apply most of the time."
"Thank you." He took the separated contents to look over, nodding at it. "He was competition."
"Or a possible apprentice," Xander said. "Her apprentice Geneva's file in the first house was fairly extensive too."
"Interesting. Thank you, Xander, and you, sir." He looked at Elliot. "Is it bad?"
"Not so far. In case my boss becomes stupid is your team in town? Mr. Harris got asked to help the FBI with something so he's leaving again tonight."
"What now?" Gibbs asked, looking amused.
"The master that I nearly got sold to when I was sixteen is at the convention in Monaco. They want me to go with Greg and Horatio to see if we can make a positive ID before he kills more than the fifteen they can link him to."
"Twenty-seven," Raphael said grimly. "I will send them the file I've been collecting."
"Thanks." Xander gave him a hug. "It means I get to go to my first dom's convention," he said happily. "After Daddy and I have a furniture arranging party with Grandfather tonight." That got a smile and Raphael called home to remind his childe of that party and told him to bring the information files they had gathered on that list of names he was working up.
"Are you in intelligence?" Gibbs asked him. The older man held out his hand. Gibbs felt the chill of the skin and the lack of pulse and drew back. "I know what you are."
"He's not going to eat you. He's my grandfather's sire," Xander said, grinning at him. "He's a pretty decent guy, even if he does try to spoil me."
He patted him on the back. "A bit of spoiling now and then is good for you," he soothed. "Even if you don't want to be spoiled."
"I can't imagine myself as Cordelia."
"You can be that sarcastic now and then but you get that from me," Speed offered with a small grin. "It's odd but it works with where he's from, Gibbs."
"That's not a problem to me. Have fun dealing with that when you get back."
"Daddy can if something comes up while I'm gone and I'll be back in about five days. Well, I think it ends in four but if we have to do banking stuff....."
"It might take that extra day in Geneva," Gibbs agreed. "You might want to start a checking account here, kid."
"I thought I had one."
"It got shut down due to overdraft," Gibbs told him.
"I didn't write any checks."
"We'll take care of it out of the stuff from today, Xander," Speed promised. Xander nodded, pouting at that. "Then you'll have a nice, healthy one." He stroked over his hair. "It's almost strange to see it flat," he teased.
Xander grinned back. "I'm wondering if this was something I did or not."
"You were using your debit card in Russia," Speed pointed out.
Xander got up to call his bank, see what had happened. He came back a few minutes later. "Translation error. I paid a lot more for stuff than I thought."
"Because the conversion was different there than here," Agent Elliot told him. "With the way the value of currency can fluctuate it can change within an hour. That's why you should always convert at a credible institution and not use a debit card overseas."
"I'll remember that this time. But they did say I can pay off the three hundred dollars I overspent and then go back to the same account." Speed nodded at that. "I told them I'd do that today."
"That's fine. We might even be able to convert that there."
"No. Go to the bank of Flagler, the big one. They're tied directly into our system," Agent Elliot said. He looked at him. "Let them broker the sale of the gold as well." They nodded at that. "Are you keeping all this?"
"Ten percent goes to Greg Sanders since he ended up married to her apprentice but she didn't have anything that we could find."
"She had an apartment," Gibbs told him. "I've already told him. It's in Seattle. He's calling someone named Aiden to help him with that." That got a grin from both boys. "You know her?"
"She's my Mom," Xander agreed.
"Used to work with Taylor," Speed offered.
"Then that'll be fine. What happened in Brazil?"
"She, Geneva, the apprentice lady, was sleeping with about half a street gang."
"At least they learned better after that one day. You really took a whip to one?" Xander nodded, grinning at him. "Less lethal than it could have been. Where did the hand grenade come from?" Xander pointed at the trunk. "Let's make sure there's no more. I can drop those off with Calleigh too, kid."
"You never let me have the fun toys," he complained. "No rocket launchers, no combat jets, no explosives." They went over with Raphael and Speed to dig through the rest of the footlocker. "Ooh, ring explosives." Gibbs popped him on the head like he did his team. "Hey! I'm not a sub! I spank I don't get spanked."
Gibbs snickered. "I'll remember that, kid." The kid did grow on you. He could see why he had a very fierce defensive unit in the local CSI team.
Xander walked back into the house shaking his head. "I hate banks," he told his grandfather, giving him a cuddle. "I'm never using anything but cash when I travel again. Screwing up the conversion rate is enough to make me not want to travel again." That got a smile. "I did."
"I saw. How did it go?"
"Not as much as we had hoped for," Speed admitted. "But we did have Agent Elliot bring down the bearer bonds and the gold for them. They bought it for the bank's reserve."
"I still say I would've gotten a better price going to a pawn shop," Xander complained. He sat down and made his grandfather sit with him to cuddle him. "Though the look on their faces when I said that in front of them was comical."
"It was," Speed agreed. "Thanks for helping me arrange furniture."
"Not an issue, boys. We're just tweaking the placement?"
Xander looked around. "I'm not sure I want the living room facing this way. It feels like my back's open to an attack. Plus we've got to put up the books and the statue you got me, Granddad, and then the stuff I carted back from all over everywhere." Speed stroked through his hair. "Thanks, Daddy."
"You can be worried about going to Monaco, Xander. We understand. No one is going to sneak into the house to cut your head off. Though I would shift it slightly off center to take advantage of the corner pieces you got." They got up to try it and ended up back where it was but the chairs switched around. Then they went to move the table outside to a better spot to eat and watch nature from. This new view was half water and half trees but it was in a good position. The hammock got put up as well, making Speed smile. They went to the bedrooms, finding only the main bedroom had a mattress. "Oops," Speed offered. "Got anything left on those gift cards?"
"Yeah. You wanna pick out beds? The blue bedroom's yours when you come over." Speed gave him a hug and a kiss on the temple. Xander snuggled in. "What am I going to do about my hand, Daddy?"
"I think you've just pinched a nerve, Xander. It'll be okay," he promised, patting him on the back. "I'll make Eric go bed shopping since he's complaining he needs a new mattress set."
"Did he wear his out already?" Patrick teased.
Speed grinned back. "He said no when I asked him and looked really huffy." That got a giggle from Xander. "It's probably at least five years old. Too much bouncing." That got a nod. "Either that or I'll make Wolfe go for you, Xander. He's going to need something calming to do." They went to look at the master bedroom, shifting the couch around just a bit and the tv, plus pulling the bed away from the couch. Then had to adjust the tv again. But it worked that way. Then they went to break into the storage stuff Patrick had sent over from Xander's storage areas. Speed looked at the magic books then at Xander. "Why?"
"This is from the same owner of the demon bar who gave you the bazooka?" Xander beamed and nodded. "Let's be careful what he gives you, Xander. I know that at least two of those have death magic."
"I know. It's keeping it out of other's hands. I was going to put the magic books into the locked cabinet but you said no."
"I was wrong." They shifted them over and his science fiction and fantasy back to that shelf. The rest of the weapons went into the locking room in the basement. "What are you translating for Toby?"
"Popular fiction into demon languages."
Speed shook his head at that. He had never understood that community. He probably never would. "No magic around me, okay?"
"Of course not. I can barely open a locked door, Daddy. Or float the remote control. Useful things."
"Even better." He gave him another kiss on the temple. "Let's finish up and order dinner." Xander nodded and they went to do that. When it got there, they settled in outside in the twilight to eat and relax. "The next major thing you've got to worry about is a car. The busses don't come out here," he said at Xander's look.
"My last one died in New York. I sold it for scrap."
"Probably the best thing it was suited for," Patrick agreed. He ate a bite of noodles. "Which would you prefer, Xander?"
"I like riding behind Daddy," he admitted. Speed grinned. "I'm not sure if I want a bike of my own or not. Cars are a bit more practical. You can put stuff into them."
"True," Speed agreed. "Think about it while you're in Monaco."
"If I get my own bike, could I still ride behind you?"
"Now and then," he agreed, smiling at him.
"Then I'll think about it while I'm in Monaco. Speaking of, I've got to get dressed in about two hours. We leave at eleven. Am I keeping the plane?"
"Might be handy," Speed offered. "But expensive."
"But for my people and my sire, it would be helpful," Patrick said casually. Xander blinked at him. "Really, it would. That way I could kick him out again when he annoyed me. He's been missing his Angel taunting trips."
Xander grinned. "Angel taunting is a fun hobby," he agreed.
Speed nodded. "The delusional vampire? Oh, yeah. Even Wolfe would taunt him." He ate another bite. "I think we should move the table a foot back toward the door, Xander." They got up and did that then he smiled. "Better. More room to move around and you can see more water from this end."
"Works for me," Xander agreed happily. "I made up the present packs today while we were out selling off the foreign stuff," he told his grandfather. "I saw my guard so I gave him yours, Granddad."
"That's fine, Xander." He smiled at him. "Did I get tapes of the naked hockey game too?"
"No but I can make you a copy if you want."
"That's all right." He smiled. "Perhaps you should see if you could get that dish moved over here."
"It'll be over in two days," Xander said happily. Speed choked. "Sorry, I found the maker and I called them. They agreed to move her dish over here and I could get the American equivalents where available."
"Sure," Speed agreed, sipping his water to clear his throat. "No staying up all night on the strip club channel, Xander."
"Or the game show network. At least it's an amusing waste of time in the middle of the night," Patrick offered.
"I like the cooking channel but they fuzz out about four or so and go to infomercials until about ten the next morning."
"Not like you'll get to try out cooking, Xander," Speed said firmly. "We'll keep you at the 'just add water and boil' level of cooking. That way you can't poison yourself." He ate another bite, looking at Patrick. "Did he tell you yet that Mac was using some of his food for interrogation purposes?"
"He hadn't," he said with a smile at his grandson. "That bad?"
Speed went to get the jerky he had put up, handing over a piece. "That's mild." Patrick nibbled a bite and choked, gulping his water. "Wait half an hour then tell him how much you like it."
"I'm not sure it works on vampires," Xander said quietly. "It's the spices and I don't think it'd circulate the same way, Dad."
Patrick moaned and clutched the table. "That's the only thing he makes very well," Speed told him. He looked at Xander. "I think it works even better on them."
"It might." He looked at his grandfather. "That stuff brought on puberty for me."
"I can see why," he said, finally finding some control. He stood up. "It also seems to bring on a need for blood so I should go." He hugged Xander. "Be good in Monaco and call me when you get back, Grandson. I love you." Xander nodded. "You be safe as well, Speed. Let me know if you need anything while he's gone."
"Calleigh said I can't eat any more of that then pounce her."
Patrick wiped off some sweat. "I can see why. I'll see you later, boys." He hurried out to his car, letting his driver take the fast way home. He ran into his sire in the entryway, and he was dressed to go out. "Is it important?"
"Not really. I was going to take in a show. Why?"
"I ate some of Xander's jerky." He kissed him, driving him back into a wall, then bit him hard, making him hiss. "Sire, please," he begged.
"Of course, my childe." He led him back to their room and they had a lot of loud, noisy, messy fun that night.
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