Chapter 1

Author notes: I do not own the characters, the referenced songs or anything other than my O/C Nao Overland and her dog Lely. I hope you enjoy!

Nick was sitting at the table in the break room with his back to the door. Greg was going to walk on by to pick up his results from Hodges, but there was something off about what he saw in the break room. "Is Nick talking to himself?" Greg asked himself, only to realize that at least one of them was. Greg shakes the thought off and quietly opened the door tip toing up behind Nick so he could hear his not so inner dialog.

"Never in a million years could I have ever in my life… Ugh… stop blubbering jackass and figure out what to say before someone sees you!" Nick huffed exasperated.

"It's too late!" Greg barked doubling over in laughter at the reaction he got out of Nick.

"Are you trying to kill me or what Greg?" Nick whined, clutching his own chest for effect.

"So, how long have you been talking to yourself Nicky?" Greg was still chuckling.

"Since I decided to ask Nao to umm." Nick blushed.

"Decided to ask her what? Wait, no, can't be. Are you planning on popping the question to Nao? When did this happen and does she know yet?" By this time Greg could hardly contain his excitement so his voice was much louder than he intended. It only took a few minutes for the room to start filling up with their co-workers bestowing their congratulations upon the "groom to be". Nick wanted to melt into the floor. There was no denying that the CSI grape vine was alive and well.

Nick had met Nao while on a case. Nao was the LEO left to look out for Nick on a solo homicide almost a year ago. They had hit it off immediately. Nao had grown up in a small town about 30 miles away from where Nick grew up. They both had parents that were successful and not thrilled with their children's career choices. Nao fell instantly in love with Sam and Sam made fast friends with Lely, Nao's Boxer. Nick knew the first week that he wanted Nao by his side forever, but with all the things that have happened to him over the years, he was terrified that if he let the world know that karma would strike again and he would lose her. But after seeing how waiting too long had put a wall up between Sarah and Grissom, he decided he figured he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't, so he decided that he was going to propose on their 1 year anniversary date night. He was stuck on how to go about it though.

"Hey!" Nick belted out. "I don't want any of you to say anything to anyone. I don't want her to get wind of my intentions here. Yall are gonna blow it if you go running your mouths, especially you Hodges!" Nick added for emphasis.

"You have to let us know what she says though." Hodges pouted.

"I will, I will. Don't worry about that." Nick grinned.

A week later Nick was a nervous wreck, he had made the reservations for the restaurant in the Bellagio and also reserved their VIP suite. A phone call to Catherine produced a most helpful event planner that helped Nick figure out how to pull this off. He wanted to give Nao a proposal that she would talk about for the rest of her life.

"Nicky, will you quit dawdling, we're gonna be late!" Nao urged him.

Nao had only been in Vegas a few years so her Texan accent was still very strong. It melted Nick's heart just to hear her talk. He walked by her as she sat at her vanity table giving her an affectionate peck on top of her head as he headed into the bathroom so he could see to tie his tie. Half an hour later they were walking up to the Bellagio arm in arm whispering like a couple of high school sweethearts.

"Do you have reservations sir?" The hostess inquired.

"Stokes" Nick stated proudly.

"Of course, Mr. Stokes, Miss Overland, right this way." The hostess whisked them off to a table towards the middle of the restaurant. They had a clear view of the fountain and the wait staff traffic passing their table was light.

Nick was ever the gentleman all during dinner. He excused himself after they ordered their dessert. Nao waited quietly at the table for the desserts and coffee to arrive. Oddly she began hearing piano music. She turned towards the sound of the music. When she saw the piano her jaw dropped. Standing next to the piano was Nick, microphone in hand. The pianist began playing Rascal Flatt's "Broken Road". Nao broke down in tears of joy when she heard Nick start to sing the song as he was walking right up to her.

When he finished the entire dining room applauded. Nao hadn't noticed the waiter bring a bottle of champagne to the table on a tray, nor had she noticed the velvet lined box that was on the tray. When Nick finished the song he knelt in front of Nao on one knee, reached past her and took the ring box on the sly as he kissed her gently on the lips.

"Miss Nao Overland, I have thought about you every minute of every day for the past year. We know about all the bad things that have happened in each other's lives. We are like an invincible force when we decide to do something together. I had felt incomplete for so long before I met you that I never thought I would be whole. You make me whole Nao. You complete me in a way I've never known before. I love you as I've never loved before. Will you make me the proudest, happiest, most loved man that ever lived by becoming Mrs. Nao Stokes?"

By this time half of the people that were there dining were in tears, the other half holding their breath waiting for her answer. Nao herself was crying buckets. Nick was praying that it was tears of joy as he too was holding his breath waiting for her answer.

"Nick, since we have this country song theme going here. I am afraid that I have to say…" Nick felt physically ill. There was a gasp from the crowd and a few eye rolls as well. "You had me at hello. Yes, Nick, a million times YES!" And with that she wrapped her arms around Nick's neck and they engaged in a very passionate and long kiss as the place was roaring with excitement for them.

After they both caught their breath Nick remembered the promise he had made to his coworkers and apologized to Nao for having to make a few calls. His first call was going to be to Greg since he was the one that let the cat out of the bag at the lab. Nick thought it quite a coincidence that he could hear a phone ring each time Greg's phone rang on the other end. When Greg finally answered he thought he had a bad connection due to hearing everything in "stereo". "Greg, are you in a tunnel or something? I think we have a bad connection man." Nick felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around to see Greg standing next to him. Greg just pointed over his shoulder and Nick's Cheshire cat grin turned into a look of disbelief as he realized that Greg was not the only one there. Sarah, D. B., Brass and nearly everyone from the lab was also there. Nao burst out laughing at the fact that his coworkers had figured out about the proposal and where it was taking place.

Now it was Nick's turn to break down in tears as he saw a special guest coming through the crowd. "Catherine! What are you doing here?" He managed between ragged breaths.

"Awe, Nicky, I wouldn't have missed it for the world!" Nick and Nao both burst out laughing at Catherine's unintentionally keeping it country. "What?" She asked a little confused. Nao pulled her aside and explained it to Catherine who also found it very amusing.

The group partied until well into the night before Nick and Nao slipped away unnoticed to take advantage of the suite that Nick had reserved. When they opened the door there were yellow rose pedals scattered about making a path to the bed. They didn't really see them until the next day though.