"I think you found it," Darius said with a smirk on his face.

"Found what?" Grace asked as the elevator doors closed. They had just come from a meeting with the secretary of defense and the president's personal secretary about Darius's next idea to divert the asteroid hurtling towards Earth. When the secretary tried to challenge the Tanz Industries leader, Grace had vehemently spoken up in his defense. Her impassioned short speech had surprised and somewhat impressed everyone in the room.

He turned towards her meeting her eyes and holding her gaze. Suddenly, the chemistry between them exploded.


Before she could protest, he had pulled her to him exploring her mouth like he'd done in Russia.

"You found your voice,...Grace...your passion,...your compulsion...me."

Each word or phrase, was punctuated with a kiss to Grace's lips or long elegant neck .

The flames between them could hardly be contained. Darius's hands were everywhere molding her body to his as his tongue plundered her mouth and they dueled with each other for dominance. Grace wrapped her arms tightly around Darius's neck and sighed into the kiss. Neither one of them could get enough of each other and to this point they had controlled their burgeoning feelings. Now, though, they both seemed desperately thirsty to drink the other in. Soon, the elevator dinged signaling the bottom floor, and they hastily pulled apart to smooth clothing and hair.

"Darius!" Grace whispered frantically. "I told you we have to wait until all of this panic and insecurity blows over."

She looked away from him as she straightened her skirt and tried to seem nonchalant. She didn't want to stop kissing the handsome billionaire, but propriety and protocol took precedence. For all she knew, the doors might open and she'd be staring right at Harris. She knew he suspected and in all truthfulness they, she and Harris, were over, but...she still was hesitant to force her truth in his face.

The doors of the elevator opened and they stepped out into the busy hallway of the Pentagon. No Harris. Good. Grace smiled at Darius and stepped ahead. The smug genius smirked behind her knowing that he really did have just as incredible effect on her as she did on him. Quite frankly it was going to be impossible for him to keep away from her. Her alabaster skin, shining red hair, lucious lips, and vibrant blue eyes attracted him even from across the largest meeting room. He could feel their heady attraction even when they weren't that close together. She simply had to be in the room and he could FEEL her. It was crazy, and for someone so logically inclined, extremely hard to explain.

Together the two left the Pentagon and headed back to Tanz Industries in Darius's low slung coupe. Nothing was said, but Darius was somewhat reassured when Grace grabbed his hand and squeezed gently. The sunny spring day was enough to raise the mood of anyone, even those pondering the possible end of civilization, but Grace gently squeezing his hand gave Darius a glimmer of hope.

Back in the tree house, Darius went directly to his computer station as Grace and Liam, who'd joined them in the lobby, followed. Instructing his super computer Tess to look for an algorithm suggested during the morning meeting at the Pentagon, Darius almost dared to hope. If the computer could find what he thought--

He turned to his colleagues.

"Now what?" asked Grace.

"We wait..."

"Wait for what?" asked Liam. Darius quickly filled him in. Grace could physically see the excitement build on the MIT graduate student's face.

"But this will change everything!" Liam spluttered. Darius nodded smiling.

"I've... I've got to find Jillian."

"Go," said Darius, "I'll let you know the minute Tess gives me a report. I expect it will take 4 or 5 hours. And hey, Liam?"


"Keep this quiet, ok? No one else but Jillian."

"Sure, boss."

Liam went away in the elevator and Grace turned to Darius.

"Now, we wait?"

He stepped towards her with a smile and outstretched hands. "Now, we wait".

He pulled her into a gentle and loose embrace.

"Please tell me this will work..." She whispered.

He pulled back and looked at her gently.

"I really hope so, Grace." He extended his hand bowing ever so slightly and stated,

"Dance with me, Mrs Petrovich," in an awful Russian accent.

"Darius," she whispered, "We can't."

"Yes, we can Grace."

Taking her hand, he pulled her into a slow gentle swaying dance. There was no urgency, no panic; it was just Darius and Grace dancing to the slow and haunting sounds of Ella Fitzgerald.

Grace's senses were overwhelmed. He smelled of spice and clean strength, and she felt comforted and safe in Darius's arms. There was no other place she'd rather have been.

The song ended, but not the dancing. They continued to sway back-and-forth in the middle of the room.

Darius enclosed her a little tighter and added sweet kisses to her neck.

"Grace," he whispered, "I want you more than anything." He paused, and looked deeply into her eyes. "Let me make love to you?"

She couldn't tear her eyes away, and she knew that if they crossed this line there was no return. But, with the fate of the world uncertain, and her body literally buzzing with arousal, there was no way she could say no.

Taking a shaky breath, she replied, "Yes, O yes!" Then their lips fused together as the flame between them ignighted once again

Darius tore his lips away from hers for a brief moment. "Tess, lock all doors to the tree house and do not disturb me."

"Yes, Darius," said his AI system.

The next thing Grace knew she was being carried to Darius's private bedroom off of the north wall of tree house. Her lips never left his during this transition. And then she was cacooned in bedding that smelled just like the man leaning over her.