A/N: Oh my god, I don't know how I haven't updated yet. Well here we go. Getting one step closer.

PART 8: BREATHE


He stared into the darkness of the room when night fell. It felt like he was going insane. Chained to pipe on the wall, out of things to do. He had been uselessly hacking at the handcuffs with all the things he could find. As the room lacked light, he couldn't really see much when it was dark. After he'd been made to make that stupid video, he hoped that Bayer made the mistake of not realizing that he'd given his colleagues statements as to how to find him.. even though he had no idea where he was.

The CSI was tempted to just pick up whatever he could find and put himself out of his never ending misery. This wasn't the first he'd been kidnapped, and he wasn't necessarily panicking. Ryan was ready to accept death if he die. But Alix wouldn't kill him. And it was driving him insane. Was he that valuable of an asset?

He was in pain from the restraints that had been used to keep him from escaping that crappy chair. Ryan could see the ligature marks on his wrists, examining them as if he were doing a self peri-mortem autopsy. He also had faint marks from where Bayer had attempted to suffocate him.

"I wanna know you've chosen me as your next victim, and why you've switched M.O. from explosive devices to manual torture?"

The figure approached the barred door. "The least valuable to their boss is always the most valuable target."

That's when Ryan realized what their selection process had been. It explained why all the victims were of his age, or slightly older. This was a preference as a result of the feeling of abandonment in the serial killer's life. It was at his age, that he was suspended from his job. He was a navy engineer and physics fanatic. Henley knew that Bayer had been in a similar position, and had been able to manipulate him to do as he pleased. These hits were based off the need for vengeance. The victims were linked by their professions. Being a few years fresh out of college, starting a new job within the navy/core and.. their boss didn't particularly know them yet.

"When did you meet Henley? Might as well talk to me, I'm not getting out of here and I know you're set to make sure I don't escape.."

"College. He got in touch and said he needed help.. I had just gotten my degree in physics and engineering-"

By the time Bayer realised Ryan was playing with him, he'd already revealed to the CSI enough evidence to suggest that he was not actually capable of doing anything except being Henley's scapegoat. Wolfe wasn't usually so cunning.. but he decided that he had to continue his investigation, even when locked up. And the only thing he felt he could actually use in his pocket was a recording device.

"You're not getting out of here, Wolfe."

Ryan exhaled. "So I've been told."

"You know.. we could always trade you for that girl friend of yours. You convince her to come to Washington and we let you go, in exchange for her.. or the Cuban."

Calleigh. "Over my dead body. I'd rather me than any of my other teammates.. and besides, I'm the only one who fits Henley's ideal. Introverted.. under the age of 25.. new-ish to their job.. and under 6ft. He never kills anyone taller than him. He's 6'2". I'm pretty sure he could find someone over 5'11" if he really wanted to - do you not find that weird? You also fit the ideal victim."

"How do you know so much?"

"I'm a CSI, Bayer. It's my job to investigate these things, sorry I'm not the FBI. Navy related murders, you get NCIS, not the bureau. And county gets the callout first, not the feds."

Bayer sighed. It was like this kid was presenting his case on a silver platter. "Shut up." "Can't. You kidnapped me." Ryan retorted, turning his back to the door as he noticed something dimly reflecting off the moonlight. Alix walked away loudly and a far away door slammed, racking the building.

Ryan wasn't sure if he was seeing it right.. but he thought that he could see his gun in the back of the cell. The only way he'd be able to get it was by escaping the hand cuffs.. and he didn't know how he was gonna do that.


"Gentlemen, what do we have?" Horatio asked as he enetered the A/V lab.

Dan was still typing, while Eric turned to his boss. "We think we might have a location. We've not been able to fully narrow it down but the nearest cell tower gives us a rough idea of where Ryan could be held. That video was also full of small encrpytions that you'd only be able to see with infrared." Cooper moved over to the other monitor and showed his boss what was carved on the wall.

The address to an empty building that had been abandoned because of budget cuts. A number was enough to cut down the area to a few blocks, which meant the search would be shortened. The team out in D.C. would be confronted by Henley and Bayer sooner or later. "So killing Wolfe has no benefit whatsoever?" Dan inquired curiously.

"He fits the victim description, but keeping him alive prolonged the tension. Exactly as they wanted." Horatio mumbled, squinting to try and look at the glaring thing in the reflection of the camera.

Eric nodded. Cooper zoomed in as he figured his boss would want him to, and that's when they saw it. The glint of a window too high up to be at normal height. It meant they were looking for a basement. Because of Wolfe's slight lack in height, the distinguish between a ground level and a basement was easy to tell apart by direction of light.

The lieutenant called NCIS, asking to speak to Special Agent Gibbs. They had important information for locating the CSI, as well as their killer.