Title: READING MATERIAL

Author: Michmak

Summary: Greg's reading material leads to an interesting conversation in the lounge, which leads to - what?

Disclaimer: The only characters I own are the ones I create for the purpose of this story. All the rest? Not mine.

Dedicated to the Gutterballs. You know who you are. _________________





"Shayla's Seduction," Greg groaned when Nick walked into the lounge, a large grin flashing across his handsome face. Greg pretended to ignore him, staring intently at the coffee percolator, mentally exhorting it to drip faster.

From her seat at the table, Sara looked up at Nick blankly. "Excuse me?"

"Shayla's Seduction," Nick repeated. His voice was almost too gleeful, and Greg winced when he heard the sudden thwack of a paperback hitting the table. Glancing trepidatiously over his shoulder, his worst fears were confirmed. Nick had tossed the book to Sara.

Sara cocked an eyebrow questioningly at Nick, picking the book up and staring intently at the cover. A busty redhead was spilling out all over the place, butt and back pressed into a shirtless long haired man in tight riding breeches, head thrown passionately back over his shoulder as he ravaged her neck. His hands were in the redheads' loose skirts, pulling them up suggestively around her thighs. "Nice choice of reading material, Nick," she smirked.

Nick grinned easily. "Uh-uh, Sidle. It's not mine."

"Well, it's definitely not mine!" she stated. "Where did you find it?"

Nick reached out and took the book back from Sara, ignoring her question, and flipped the book over and began reading the blurb on the back.

"'A world of wonder awaits innocent Shayla Sigroy. Abducted from the only home she's ever known by the notorious Dragon Knight, this innocent young beauty will learn about love the hard way.'" Nick started laughing, barely managing to choke out the words - "'In a land of great savagery and even greater beauty, Shayla learns that innocence lost is passion found!'"

Catherine and Warrick had wandered into the lounge room while Nick was reading, and both were looking at him in amusement.

"What the hell are you reading?" Catherine demanded, reaching out a slim hand and grabbing the novel from him, scanning the cover. "Geez - look at this. I didn't know breast implants were available in the - 17th? - century."

Nick teased, "I'd say you're jealous, but-"

Catherine snorted, shooting a sly grin at Nick before continuing, "Nice smut, Nicky."

"Hey, hey - not mine!" Nick held up his hands in surrender, "I found it in the lab."

Four heads swiveled towards Greg, who was studiously avoiding looking at them. Nick was trying so hard not to laugh at the abject discomfort on his friends' face he was practically in tears.

"Greg? Is this yours?" Catherine teased.

"I never knew you were interested in romance novels," Warrick added.

"Maybe he's trying to pick up some pointers," Nick choked out, and grabbed the book back from Catherine, flipping through the pages until he found a particularly juicy passage.

"'Rafe was the devil!' Shayla thought, breasts heaving as she strained against his imprisoning arms. 'Let go of me!' she demanded, even as he pulled her back into the juncture of his strong thighs.

'I will have you, Shayla - yay you or nay you, you will be mine!' Rafe buried his face in the back of her neck, nuzzling her silky strands and nipping her shoulders. The heavy weight of her breasts against his arms was burning through his shirt, and he groaned as her intoxicating scent flowed over him.

'You will be mine.'"

Nick stopped reading, and he grinned up a Greg. "He sounds like a real prince!"

Greg sighed and stepped forward, "He's not a prince, he's the Duke of Westcott," he muttered as he tried to grab the book from Nick. Nick tossed it to Warrick and grinned. "So, you are reading it."

Sara made a tutting sound between her teeth, "I can't believe you read that crap, Greg."

"Yeah, man," Warrick added, "there's better ways to learn about the human anatomy."

"Shut up," Greg muttered, "I have to read it."

"Why?" Catherine piped up, "You taking a course in smut 101?"

Warrick was fingering through the book, eyes amused. "Listen to this -

'Shayla,' Rafe's voice was hoarse with passion, 'you do not understand the pleasures available to you, if only you will open yourself to me. I will take you to places you have only dreamed of, make your body sing with passion and longing! Do not fight me. In all things I will be your master, and I will teach you the powers of love!'

"This is dreck, man. Seriously, why are you reading it?"

"My sister wrote it," Greg admitted. "I promised her I'd read it, and she's calling me tomorrow night to see what I think about it. You are holding an advance copy."

Warrick flipped the book over, "Your sister is Greta Gabor?"

"That's a pen name, Warrick - a nom de plume - a -"

"Yeah, I get it Greg. She doesn't want anyone to know her real name," Warrick teased.

Nick was still laughing, "How come you never told me your sister writes smut?"

"It's not smut," Greg growled, "it's romance."

"Sounds romantic," Sara muttered, "there's nothing better than being forced to have sex with some half-dressed barbarian." She turned to Catherine and rolled her eyes. "What do you think, Cath? You find books like these romantic?"

Catherine grinned, "Depends on the book and the man on the cover. I mean, look at that guy -" she waved a hand airily towards the book Greg was holding in his hands, "Definitely not a Fabio clone. Tight pants, ripping pectorals - great hair. The visual is there."

Nick snorted, "Visual? I thought it was the men that needed visuals."

Catherine grinned, "Men do. You're not as imaginative as women are. BUT - if you were a woman, would you rather have this guy on the cover - or someone like Ecklie?"

"Hey, hey! I'm eating a salad here. You trying to make me sick?" Sara interrupted, "Besides which - ewww. That's all I have to say."

Nick had grabbed the book again, studying the cover intently, "C'mon. No one looks like that! Look at the guy! Too perfect. And the girl - there's just too much there. I agree with you on that one Cath - she looks like a Barbie doll."

Greg cocked an eyebrow at Nick, before leaning in over his shoulder and looking at the cover himself. "Are you saying you don't like big breasts?"

"No, that's not what I'm saying," Nick demurred, "but who needs that much? More than a handful is a waste anyway."

Sara and Catherine looked at each other and rolled their eyes just as Grissom walked into the lounge, "Let me get this straight, Nicky," Catherine asked, "if you met a girl that looked like that, with boobs like that, you'd think 'Too stacked'?"

"Well," Nick grinned, "I am a guy. I'd probably think - Wow! Followed by - Are those for real? Followed by - too stacked."

"What are you guys talking about?" Grissom's tone was mild as he slid into an empty chair across from Sara.

"Greg's sister writes 'romance' novels," Nick responded, letting his voice leer suggestively over the word romance as he flashed Grissom the cover of the book, "We were talking about the cover."

Grissom cocked an eyebrow at Nick, before looking at Greg, "Your sister writes?"

Greg shrugged, "Yeah. This is her first book."

"Is it any good?"

"Compared to what? The stuff I usually read?" Greg tried to keep his tone neutral, but a hint of sarcasm snuck out. Nick started smirking again.

"I've seen your stash, Greg. So, compared to the Playboy forum letters, where does this rate?"

Greg's ears were flaming, "I don't have a 'stash', Nick. I think you're thinking of yourself."

"Boys, boys," Catherine held up her hands, voice teasingly placid, "no need to argue. Men have porn, women have smut. Just goes to show you that the female mind is more highly evolved."

Sara grinned, "That's true. Really, women don't need all the props and accoutrements to get turned on - all we really need are words."

Nick was flipping through the book again, "Words, eh? Words like 'velvet rod'? Give me a break. Call it what it is!"

Sara grinned, "And what would that be?"

"What would what be?"

"'Velvet rod.' You said call it what it is - so?" Sara grinned as Nick started shifting, suddenly uncomfortable, in his seat.

"You really want me to say it?"

"Yeah. Go for it. 'Cuz, you know, I'm a woman, and I use the euphemisms. So educate me."

Warrick and Catherine were grinning right along with Sara, watching as Nick turned a dull red.

"Well, Mr. Ladies Man? Cat got your tongue?"

Nick just sighed, "Okay, fine. You win. I will not have this discussion in the lounge at work. Anyone could walk in. Here's your book, Greg."

"Thank you," Greg responded, slightly mollified when he realized the tables had somehow been turned, and Nick was now more embarrassed then he had been.

Sara grinned at Nick again, deciding to let him off the hook, "So, if big breasts aren't your thing, what do you like?"

"He likes feet," Greg responded, "Don't you Nick?"

"Feet? What is it with Texans and feet?" When Nick looked at Sara blankly she added, "Wasn't the bald guy that got caught sucking on the Duchess' of York's feet a Texan?"

Nick shrugged and shot Greg a dirty look, "I don't know."

"Why feet?" Despite himself, Grissom was drawn into the conversation.

"Why not? I like a girl with cute toes."

"I never would have guessed you as a feet man, Nicky," Catherine interjected, "I would have thought more legs for you."

Nick shrugged again, "What about everyone else? What do you notice first?"

Warrick grinned, "I'm an ass man, myself. Girl's gotta have a nice butt to get my attention."

"Legs." Offered Greg, looking at Sara and waggling his eyebrows teasingly, "Which is why I like Sara here - she's got some long ones."

Everyone looked speculatively at Sara, and she smiled, "Genetics. Not my fault. What about you, Grissom. What are you first attracted too?"

Grissom shrugged, "I think I'll stay out of this one."

"No way, Griss!" Catherine smirked, "If you're sitting at the table listening, you have to participate. So spill."

It was Grissom's turn to look uncomfortable. Sighing as he shifted in his seat, he muttered, "I haven't really thought about it."

"Well, I have!" Catherine responded. "I like tall men. And men with nice butts. Sara?"

Sara sighed, "Physical attributes? Hands and eyes."

"Hands and eyes? Bullshit!" Nick retorted.

"No - seriously. Hands because you can tell a lot about a man by the way he uses his hands, whether it's when he's talking or working, or -"

"Touching," Catherine inserted silkily.

"That too," Sara admitted, "And eyes because they're the windows of the soul. You can tell whether a man is intelligent by looking into his eyes; whether he's gentle or not - a lover or a fighter. So many things." Her voice had gotten softer, and she shot a quick look from under her brows at Grissom who was staring at her intently, blue eyes probing. She smiled.

"And so, we're back to Grissom. Now that you've had a few minutes to think about it, what first attracts you to someone?" Nick jumped back on the Grissom train, enjoying his boss' sudden flush.

Grissom cleared his throat, "As much as I'd like to continue this conversation, we do have work to do tonight."

"Cop out!" Catherine teased.

"Nick, Warrick and Catherine, I want you to go over the evidence you're going to need in court tomorrow for the Ross murder; Sara - you're with me. Brass is probably waiting for us. Greg -" he jerked his thumb towards the lab as he stood, half-smiling at the younger man's sigh.

Sara followed Grissom out of the lounge, both oblivious to the amused stares of the others.

"They are so obvious," Nick sighed. "So obvious. Did you see the way he was looking at her when she said eyes?"

Catherine just shook her head and sighed, "It'll take an anvil to get him to admit it, though."

* * * * *

Riding in the Tahoe to meet Brass, Sara sat quietly, lost in thought. Every once in a while she would glance at Grissom, half smiling as she watched his hands on the steering wheel.

"Where you ever going to answer Nick's question?" she asked suddenly. Grissom's knuckles on the steering wheel turned white, before his hands relaxed.

"I didn't know how to answer," Grissom responded.

"It's not a hard question, Grissom," Sara teased, voice slightly husky. The air in the Tahoe seemed thick for some reason, "What attracts you?"

There was no response for several moments, and Sara shifted in her seat sideways, sighing as she waited for him to say something.

Finally, he responded, "Not what - who."

"Fine then," she responded softly, "Who attracts you?"

Grissom just smiled, "I like your hands too, Sara."

~Fin~

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Author's Note: Total froth. I realize this. Hope it's not too silly.