A/N: The first chapter of Part 2! Keep GSR alive-leave a comment, a review, a few words!

Gil Grissom's Romance Part 2

Chapter 1

"How do you feel?"

Sara Sidle stared at the doctor. Not a medical doctor but a psychologist hired by Clark County to see employees when someone decided they needed to talk—or in Sara's case when the Sheriff's office required it for returning to work.

Grissom squeezed her hand from where he was sitting beside her. While he wasn't required to be here, Sara had requested his presence. And since they had both been given two weeks off—two weeks of mandated 'no contact with the lab'—he had plenty of time to accompany her to every appointment she had.

"I feel good," Sara said as she attempted to adjust the sling and heavy cast on her arm.

The psychologist smiled and waited. Sara smiled back—and waited. The man's smile grew and when, after a full minute, there was no response, sighed, and looked at his notes for another long minute.

There was no doubt in Gil Grissom's mind that Sara Sidle would win this war of no-words.

"How do you feel about what happened in the desert?"

Her face remained unemotional, but Grissom felt the slight pressure of her fingertipsagainst his hand.

Sara took a deep breath. "Not bad. My arm aches. My face itches. Bruises are—are coming along."

The man sighed again, moving several papers back and forth. "Are you sleeping at night?"

From his place beside her, Grissom saw flashes of gold in the quick glance he got. He knew from experience that behind those flashes of fire came a deep, usually well-controlled, passion. Lacing his fingers between hers, he felt the tension for only a few seconds before she relaxed.

Sara Sidle had been a small child when she had learned to hide secrets from people with the same qualifications as the man behind the desk. A display of her emotions in front of a person she did not know would be seen as weakness, a failure, and yet, for all that she hid, Grissom believed she was recovering. At her request, they had driven to the desert and walked around the spot where Natalie had left her. Sara had been reticent until their drive home when she had seemed to dismiss her experience with "well, that's over."

Sara answered his question with, "I'm sleeping well. And tonight we're going to a benefit concert for the Gilbert Institute. Are you familiar with it?"

Grissom had promised his mother he would attend the opera performance before Sara's abduction—he had not mentioned it in days. And now, Sara was using it as her way of escaping the psychologist's prying questions. Her way of saying "Life goes on"; he suppressed a twitch of a smile.

"That's good—great—for you to get out," the doctor said with a well-pleased smile forming. "No nightmares, no restless nights?"

"I'm fine," Sara said. "I'm really fine."

A few more questions followed and Sara showed an unwavering attitude about her experience in the hands of a mad woman. Almost rehearsed, Grissom thought, as the psychologist handed her a release form to return to work.

Several hours later, Grissom adjusted a black shawl over Sara's shoulders.

"You look beautiful," he whispered, kissing her before she could disagree. She wore a dark wine-colored dress with a scooped neckline that provided a perfect frame for a gold chain necklace.

"I look okay?"

"You are perfect." He said what he believed. "You hair is cute." He touched a bouncy curl and kissed her again.

She scowled, saying, "I had to wear it like this when I was a kid—frizzy curls make me think I'm eight again."

Grissom's eyebrows lifted. "No, you don't look eight—you look beautiful."

It had been ten days since Natalie Davis had pinned Sara underneath an automobile and left her to die. The shawl covered her cast and sling, the dress covered most of the bruises and abrasions but Sara's face bore witness to the cruel violence of a possessed serial killer.

They—he had been advised that her recovery depended on his attitude as much as hers—were on leave for two weeks. He would admit to no one that it had been a difficult time, especially the first week. Sara could barely walk for several days; unable to dress or bathe herself with one hand, he had quickly learned to be her care giver. Gradually, over the past few days, he had seen improvement—her smile returned. And with approval from two, including the psychologist, and one more physician to see, she would be fully cleared to return to work.

Sliding an arm around her waist, he said, "My mother waits."

Grissom was not sure how his mother had managed to get in a position to work with the Gilbert Institute, but she had. Even before Sara had moved in with him, Betty Grissom had taken an interest in the school and often stayed at the institute when she visited. "Easier to manage" she explained. And once a year, she arrived in Vegas to be a part of the annual benefit event. Several hundred thousand dollars had been raised last year and this year, it would continue. His mother had been ecstatic with more sponsors and donations than ever as she had shown her son plans for the institute to become a self-supporting, accredited college.

Timing their arrival for the performance by an opera singer, they found their seats as the lights dimmed. Grissom's mother motioned for Sara to take the seat next to her and gently patted Sara's knee as she sat down. Grissom was pleased; the two women he loved looked elegant, appearing at ease with each other.

As the soprano began singing, a 'shadow' performed sign language, standing in the spotlight with the singer and Grissom settled in for the concert. He touched Sara's arm and she moved enough so he could slip his hand around her elbow.

In a few days, they would return to work. His mind revisited their conversation that had been left dangling; he thought he would move to day shift while Sara remained on grave. She had insisted she be the one to move and that's where it remained. Knowing Sara, she would win this argument yet he could barely bring himself to think of working without her by his side.

Glancing at his mother, he saw her smile and knew she was enjoying the performance even if she could not hear the words. He had not explained his relationship with Sara to his mother; his mother had not asked but she had arrived at the condo with several new books and a bouquet of flowers for Sara. Both women, he thought, had been congenial and considerate toward the other. Maybe, he decided, he should teach Sara basic sign language.

"Are you paying attention?" Sara whispered as he fidgeted in his seat.

Grinning, he said, "Yes. She's nearly finished." Then he saw the sheen of tears covering Sara's dark eyes and moisture hung on her lashes as the pure, rich notes throbbed on the air. He had not realized she would understand the tragedy of the aria.

When the last note shimmered into silence, the audience rose and applauded. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sara quickly wipe her eyes. Someone presented the singer with roses as some in the crowd raised hands in the wave of ASL applause.

Signing to his mother that they would wait outside, he and Sara found a quiet corner.

"That was beautiful," Sara said. "I had no idea I'd enjoy it as much as I did."

"A story of heartbreak and tragedy—how did you know?"

Smiling, she said, "I looked up the singer—she's from Los Angeles and performs this show all over the country. Her face and voice were filled with sadness—she was conveying so much passion!"

"One day, we'll see the entire opera. You'll enjoy it."

Fifteen minutes later, Betty found them, introducing several of the institute's board members to Grissom and Sara. Sara was amazed at the rapid conversation as they used sign language; laughing, Grissom gave up several times as he attempted to translate their words.

Finally, he said, signing to his mother, "We must leave. Sara's exhausted—her first outing since…"

Quickly, Betty excused herself from the group and walked outside with them. On the steps of the building, her hands and fingers flew as she conversed with her son. Twice, Grissom moved his fingers along his arm from fingertips to elbow, asking for her to slow down. He kept his eyes on his mother as she signed, relieved that Sara could not understand what his mother was saying.

When Betty pointed at Sara, giving her a look of undisguised inquisitiveness, Grissom lost track of the conversation for a few seconds. His mother was giving her approval of the young woman saying "something about her is special". Signing that she was a good judge of character—and anyone who could bring the look of happiness to her son's face had her vote of confidence—he had been lonely for too many years.

Definitely asking too many questions, Grissom thought, as his mother signed "Are you going to get married?"

Startled by the question, he glanced at Sara who was smiling. Grissom signed, "You ask too many questions. We don't know if we're going to get married or not but you will be the first to know."

Betty nodded, smiled at Sara, and opened her purse. A few seconds later, she pulled out a key. Turning to Grissom, she signed, "Tell Sara this is a key to my place. Maybe she can get you to visit me one day."

As a puzzled Sara took the key from his mother, he said, "She wants you to have a key to her place in LA." When Sara's eyebrows shot up, he added, "So you and I can visit."

Softly, Sara giggled. "Of course, we will."

"Whatever you say, sweetheart." He leaned close, kissing her on the mouth, causing Sara to smile. Then, turning to his mother, he signed, placing a finger to his lips first before moving his palm to his closed hand, saying, "I promise."

Twelve hours later, Grissom felt lips nibbling at his jaw. As he rolled to face Sara, he said, "This is unexpected."

Sara's sexy giggle met his ears. "It's been too long—eleven very long days." She wiggled against him. "You are going to have to get physical with me—do more than button my pants."

He thought his heart might jump out of his chest; he had certainly thought about making love to her, but, because her body was covered with abrasions, bruises, and cuts, he had been afraid to initiate more than gentle hugs and kisses.

"Yes," he whispered as he rolled to face her. Take care of the arm, he thought, as he reached for a pillow. "We'll put this here" wedging it under her arm. Then taking the edge of her shirt, he tugged it up to release her right arm. His fingers whispered along exposed skin. "You're sure about this?"

She nodded and then jerked when his knuckles touched a bruise on her hip. "I'm still tender in a few places." She chuckled, "but I need you." Her hand slipped to the waistband on his boxers. "And when I woke up, you had this huge—huge boner!" She pushed the fabric down; her warm fingers wrapped around his very erect penis. When her thumb grazed its end, he shuddered.

After that, he almost forgot that she had tender bruises, healing cuts, and a bulky cast on one arm. His hands stroked her, slow and gentle, as he kissed her; heat warmed his body as she responded. She moved under him, hips arching, her hand pulled him close as fingers threaded through his hair.

Excitement and passion grew as release came crashing in waves; blood pounded, as they came together.

A while later, Sara lay quietly in his arms. They had been passionate, almost frantic, in their lovemaking; their need had surprised both of them. Pushing herself up on one elbow, Sara looked down at him.

She said, "Tell me what your mother said—before giving me the key. She seemed very—animated."

Grissom smiled. "She wants us to visit before she moves." He wasn't going to tell her everything his mother had conveyed. "She thinks you are a very special woman." He felt her soft sigh. "Do you need anything? Can you sleep?"

Another sigh as she shifted her arm with the cumbersome cast. "I can sleep. I need another pillow—this cast is driving me a little nuts."

Kissing her forehead, he said, "Are you sure you're ready to return to work?"

"I am—I'm fine, Gil." She smiled, adding, "Feeling much better."

Tucking bed covers around her, he got out of bed and pulled on pants. "I'll take Hank out to pee." He pointed a finger at her, saying, "Go to sleep. You need rest."

When he got outside, he let the dog have free run of the fenced area across the common driveway and he found one of the benches. His thoughts went back to what his mother had expressed—suggested. Maybe it was time for him to move this relationship to another level. He loved Sara; she loved him.

Looking up at the clear sky, he thought about the woman who had changed his life, who he loved with his heart, soul, and mind. Sara had brought him to life, given new meaning to his life. Yes, he thought, it was time to ask Sara to marry him.

A/N: Thank you! Your comments are always appreciated!