A/N: Sorry for the delay! Thanks for reading!

I Keep On Loving You

Chapter 24

Ninety days passed in a blink of an eye—or so in seemed when Sara tried to remember the events that led up to the day when she walked into a family judge's office without a walker or a cane. Her fingers laced with Eli's as they entered; Grissom's hand had a firm grip on her elbow. Their lawyer and a child's advocate social worker followed but, according to the social worker, the judge conducted the hearing on his terms, and she and the lawyer would be silent witnesses to the procedure.

Three chairs faced the judge's desk and as the five entered the office, the judge stood, indicating the chairs near him were for Eli, Sara and Grissom. He ignored the lawyer and the social worker; both remained standing. A court reporter sat to the judge's left.

The judge introduced himself and gave a simple explanation of the proceedings, asking afterwards, "Eli, do you understand what we are doing today?"

When Eli nodded, the judge smiled, saying, "I want you to talk today so the lady over there," he pointed to the reporter, "can write down what you say."

"Yes, sir," Eli said, barely above a whisper.

Smiling, Sara reached for his hand.

For several minutes, the judge asked Eli questions on topics ranging from favorite foods to sports, even asking Eli if he knew a good joke.

Eli nodded, and then said, "Yes!" Giving a broad smile, he asked, "Why do bees have sticky hair?"

The judge threw up his hands, saying "I don't know!"

"Because they have honeycombs!" Eli laughed at his joke, wiggling and giggling as the adults laughed with him.

"Okay, Eli," said the judge, "we have to get our business done today. Dr. and Mrs. Grissom want to be your parents. Do you think you will like that?"

"Yes, sir!" Eli's face brightened with a smile. "They really are nice!"

"Tell me how they are nice."

Eli sat straight in his chair, holding Sara's hand. "We have a fort in the backyard—a real fort! And we eat good food every day. I have new friends at my school who can come to play at my house. All their friends are my friends. Sometimes I get to go to the university where Da—I already call him Dad—is that okay? I get to go where he works and we look at all kinds of bugs."

When Eli paused for a breath, the judge asked, "What do you call Sara?"

Eli brightened; his eyes turned to Sara. "I call her Mom. I know she won't be my mom until today but she's like my real mom." He paused; his forehead puckered in a slight frown. "I think she is a good mom—she never yells at anyone and she lets me have friends over." He leaned over so his head touched Sara's shoulder.

Gently, she placed her hand against his head and kissed the soft curls of his hair before he pulled away.

The boy sat up straight again. Smiling, he said, "I really do love living with them. And," his voice hushed in a loud whisper, "after we are finished, we're going to have a big party this afternoon!"

The judge smiled at Eli, saying "A party is always a good idea. Now, I want to ask them some questions." The man opened a desk drawer and removed two small toy cars. "I want you to go with the lady back there and play with these for a few minutes. Can you do that?"

"Yes, sir," Eli answered as he took the cars and left with the social worker.

The judge turned to Sara and Grissom. "We'll bring him back in a few minutes. I have some questions for you." He shuffled through papers on his desk. "Now, from these papers, I see that you have no other children in the home?"

"No, sir," Sara said.

"Do you have any other children?"

"No, sir."

"Dr. Grissom, do you have any other children?"

Clearing his throat, Grissom answered, "No, sir."

More papers were shuffled before the judge asked, "Have you ever thought about having children?"

Grissom answered, "We—we could not have our own children, your honor."

"Tell me about Eli's father—both of you knew him—worked with him, as I understand."

"Yes, sir," both answered.

"Warrick Brown was a crime scene investigator when I was lab supervisor," Grissom explained. "I was with him when he died. Sara worked with him for a number of years. He was a good man—an excellent investigator—a colleague as well as a friend to both of us."

"How did it come about that you were named guardian in this case?"

"His mother asked if she could name me guardian in her will—at the time, Sara and I were not married—and, of course, I agreed."

The judge appeared to study the papers in front of him. Finally, looking up, he asked, "Mrs. Grissom, are you willing to take on this responsibility?"

"Yes, sir," she answered. "Eli is a good boy—smart, polite."

"I see that you are recovering from a work-related accident. How is the recovery coming?"

"Good—excellent, I'd say," Sara said. "I am walking without assistance most of the time." She paused before adding, "I—I am not going back to work as a field investigator."

The judge studied his papers once again before nodding. "Everything seems to be in order." He smiled, "The world needs more people like you." He nodded to the lawyer. "If you would call Eli back in, I have a few questions for him."

Eli returned and the judge asked if the boy would stand to the side of the desk. "Do you know what the pledge of alliance is? In school have you learned to say the pledge to the flag?"

"Yes, sir, yes."

"Okay—this is what we're going to do. Place your hand over your heart like you do when you say the pledge."

Eli did as he was told.

The judge waved for Sara and Grissom to stand behind Eli. "Now, I want you to repeat after me, Eli." The man proceeded with a simple recitation that including a promise to be a good son to his new parents. Eli responded with a seriousness that caused a quick glance between Sara and Grissom as smiles tugged at the corners of their mouths.

When finished, the judge asked, "Eli, my papers show me that you want to change your name. Is that right?"

"Yes, sir," the child answered. He looked at Grissom and smiled. "I want to be Eli Warrick Grissom."

Later that day, in the back yard shaded with a large sun screening canopy, Sara's eyes took in the view of several dozen friends celebrating the adoption of Eli Warrick Grissom. Their closest friends were there; several parents of Eli's school mates and Bonita and Dona had arrived bringing platters of Mexican food to add to food Sara and Grissom had prepared. Several children were climbing and playing on the 'fort' fighting some invisible dragons or army. Two young girls were on the swings, ignoring the shouts and pretend cannon fire from above their heads.

"Great party, Honey," Grissom said as his arm slipped around her shoulders.

"Yes, it is."

She caught Greg's eye and raised her glass of wine in his direction. He and Morgan were planning their wedding—Greg kept saying it was going to be simple. Sara heard plans from Morgan that included a much more elaborate affair.

Greg lifted his glass in a return salute, smiling quickly and tipping his head in their direction. His thoughts went back in time to days when he believed Grissom would never return to Vegas—and to his wife. Without being obvious, he studied Grissom and Sara standing together. Sara had recovered, or nearly so, but Grissom's hand stayed near, ready to touch or to assist her. Sara had a different look, he thought. She was at peace. He smiled to himself and brought his mind back to the conversation between Morgan and Doc Robbins's wife about weddings.

Almost at the same moment, Nick, who had been filling wine glasses for D.B. and his wife, looked over at Grissom and Sara, standing a few feet away from him. He had known for years the two loved each other—and like Greg, had never figured out what had caused the couple to live on separate continents for two years. Watching them today, he thought, they appeared to be as loving as newlyweds. Whatever had driven then apart was no longer a part of their lives.

Across the yard, Catherine was talking to Jim Brass and two detectives. Brass was re-telling the story of picking up Eli the day his mother had died. Catherine had heard the story several times, so she let her eyes wander the yard until she saw Sara and Grissom. Odd how things had turned out, she thought. For once in her life, she had not told what she had learned from Sara which probably made her the only person at the party who knew the reason for Grissom's long absence. She smiled at the two of them standing on the patio. Quite spontaneously from the appearance of it, Grissom leaned to Sara's ear and whispered something.

Catherine laughed out loud. She could not read his lips, but as certain as she was of sunrise in the morning, she knew he had mentioned sex—having sex—because Sara's face had bloomed to a bright pink. Catherine knew what he had mentioned—Eli would be tired at bedtime and asleep when his head hit the pillow; she had had the same conversation years ago.

Catherine's silent prediction was correct.

"He's asleep—happy as a boy can be after a day of playing and eating at least four hot dogs!" Grissom said as he pulled his shirt over his head. He moved beside Sara, taking the brush from her hand, and stroking her damp hair with his fingers. His hand settled between her shoulder blades. And as he brought her body gently against his, he felt the warm glow of her body.

"Is this what you were asking for?" Sara whispered, her lips against her husband's ear.

Grissom's head dropped a little lower as he drew in a breath. Sara knew he was taking in the fragrance of her skin, fresh from a shower. Turning them in a tight circle, he pressed her against the wall, took her face between his hands, and kissed her with gentle nips as if her mouth was a rare delicacy to savor.

Abruptly, Grissom broke the kiss, saying, "Shower, I need a shower." His head nodded in the direction of the bed. "I'll be three minutes, no longer."

She was waiting when he returned, lying on her back with the bed sheet pulled to her chin.

He no longer denied how much he loved her; how much her smile, her infectious laugh, her brilliant mind, her body and spirit, everything about her struck a pleasurable cord in him. Her independence and willful qualities made her more desirable. Quickly, he was in bed, underneath the sheet, nuzzling the soft curve of her cheek. He slid hands around her head and guided her mouth to his. He loved the way she responded to him with a passion that equaled his own. Settling her into the crook of his arm, he began to explore her mouth with deep strokes of his tongue as his hands did the same with her body. They pressed closer, skin to skin contact, as they rolled slowly across the wide bed, first he on top, then she, neither caring as long as their bodies were entwined.

Arousal built in every cell; he had to feel, kiss, caress, taste every inch of her body. And in a slow moving, erotic pilgrimage he laid claim to every inch of her body.

Turning her onto her stomach, he nibbled his way down her spine, his tongue discovering secret places that caused her to twitch and moan in pleasure. As she felt his fingertips probing the crevice between her thighs, Sara made a helpless sound as she tried to push up from the bed.

Pressing her back down, he separated the springy curls and entered her with one finger, teasing and circling delicate flesh. As he purred against the back of her neck, she gasped with pleasure. The silken weight of his sex brushed against the inside of her leg while his hand played, devilishly light and gentle with a promise of…

Sara groaned, lifted her hips again, wanting more. Her heart raced as she clutched handfuls of bed linens in her fists. Tension coiled and throbbed through her body as he pressed against her.

Gently, quickly, he rolled her onto her back, sapphire eyes glittering with desire. His finger stroked inside her. "This sweet, empty place—right here…"

"Yes, yes," Sara's voice almost shuddered with passion.

"Soon." He dragged his tongue across her taut nipple and continued a tantalizing touch as he slid lower until his cool, wet tongue invaded her damp thicket of curls. Her hips arched against his mouth. His tongue circled, flirting on the tiny peak of her sex, finding a rhythm that sent fire through her body.

"Gil—Gil," Sara whispered in an erotic incantation. Her hands urged him higher to that small, crucial peak until suddenly his lips clamped over her with sensuous perfection causing her to let out a hoarse cry as ecstasy swept over her.

Suddenly, his mouth was warm against her neck. Sara held him tightly knowing she wanted more. She reached down, found his erection, and guided him inside her.

"Now," she whispered. "Come inside me—now!"

In a blur of movement, his body lowered; she felt the pressure of his hardness as he thrust inside her. Her muscles throbbed around him. He held her, kissed her. For a moment, as their gazes held, Sara felt her entire body tremble as her climax rose and soared in a whirl of pleasure. Regaining a sense of awareness, she experienced added excitement as her husband's features went taut; his breath scraped his throat, his eyes closed as he came with his own climax. She could feel the pulse of his penis inside her.

A few minutes later, Grissom smoothed the pad of his thumb over her lips. As if he could not help himself, he kissed her again.

Epilogue:

From where Sara stood her eyes took in the panoramic view of a dry streambed strewn with rocks the color of plums and apricots. Pieces of wood that rain and wind and heat had carved and shaped into bleached objects that could be dinosaur bones marked the edges of the stream. Beyond the streambed a long valley floor twisted between red mountains of jutting rocks as sharp as razors.

Her eyes traveled back to the streambed where her husband and son were scrambling along rocks as smooth as melons hunting some hidden treasure—not gold or silver, but a spider, a beetle, or a desert ant. In their hands each held small clear containers to catch their prize and hold it long enough to photograph and return to its hiding place.

Shielding her eyes, she looked to the horizon and the clear blue sky above. How beautiful it was, she thought.

A/N: Thank you so much for reading. We'd appreciate hearing from you...not sure when we will write a new story, but encouragement from readers is a source of encouragement for writing!