Bright sunbeams paint the room golden, feeling warm on the skin of my forearms. Catherine is lying lengthways on the couch, her head on the armrest, legs resting across my thighs. Under the blanket I brought from the bedroom, she is still naked. Unlike me. I briefly think about joining her and cuddling up to her but with her eyes closed, she seems so peaceful; if she is sleeping I don't want to wake her up.

She's probably going to leave soon anyway. To spend some time with Lindsey, maybe get some sleep. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I wish we could stay like this a little longer.

Catherine suddenly opens her eyes, as if reading my thoughts. Her eyes wander over my face, from my eyes to my lips, over my neck and down to my fingers, leisurely drawing small circles on her shin, and back up to my eyes. "Lindsey called me this morning, just when I got off work," she then lets me know. "She asked me if she could stay another night at her friend's." When I stay silent, she continues, "I said it's okay. As long as she promises to send my a goodnight kiss."

I vaguely smile at that, continuing to stroke the skin of her leg. I can't stop to touch her. Her body is pleasantly warm, her skin silken under my fingertips.

Catherine moves into a sitting position and gently puts her hand atop mine, stilling my movements. She grins as I involuntarily twitch under the tender caress of her fingers. "I could stay here," she suggests, her voice a soft murmur. I notice how she uses her free hand to hold the blanket tightly around her body. That's what makes me smile. She acts as if I haven't seen her naked before. I remember one morning after shift, as I entered the locker room just when Catherine changed her shirt. She didn't try to hide her body from my view. I wonder if she was aware of my feelings even then.

I feel Catherine's inquisitive eyes resting on my face but stay quiet, using my other hand to trace shadows on her bare leg.

Catherine sighs, sounding somewhat frustrated. "Sara. Please, say something."

I can't suppress the smile forming on my lips, and I can't resist the urge to move my hand briefly under the blanket, close to her crotch.

Catherine moans, gripping my other hand too, before she mumbles, "I need some sleep, Sara."

I nod, gripping her hand, and stand. "I'm fine with that." I pull her with me, her hand warm in mine. I didn't sleep last night either.

In my bedroom, I slowly pull the curtains closed and turn around, watching Catherine's eyes wander between the bed and me. "Sleep with me," I whisper, my hands already beginning to unbutton my shirt.

Catherine isn't as out of reach as she has been the last years.

I move forwards, reaching out for Catherine, and she catches me, embracing me in her arms. We fall onto the bed, holding onto each other, and when Catherine folds back the covers, I wonder how I'm supposed to sleep next to her, her naked body pressed against mine, feeling her heartbeat against my body, sensing her heat.

Catherine, however, obviously doesn't notice my conflict. She pulls me down with her onto the mattress, and I come to rest with my head on her shoulder.

I can't remember the last time I felt this safe.

"Sara?"

"Yeah?"

"I really need to sleep."

For a short time, her words, serious though spoken softly, still the movements of my hand on her stomach. "Okay." I plant a soft kiss on the pale skin just under her right collarbone, feeling Catherine shudder underneath me. She switches until she lies on her side. I cuddle closer to her, spooning her body with my own, enjoying her closeness without inhibitions.

I deeply inhale the smell Catherine's hair, convinced that I never have to let her go. My arm possessively thrown over her body, my hand splayed out on her stomach, I contently close my eyes.

The smell of Catherine's blonde hair reminds me of something I thought to be forgotten, and I bury my face deep in her neck, my breath hitting her skin unhurriedly, and plant gentle kisses on her sensitive skin.

I want to stay like this forever.

Catherine, however, doesn't think so. "If you keep doing this I'll never sleep," she whispers into the artificial darkness of my bedroom, and there's a hidden warning in her voice.

"Who needs sleep anyway?" I whisper back, before I spun her around until she lies on her back, and I'm atop her, the position giving me excellent access to her throat. She moans when I use my front teeth to nibble at her soft skin. "Sara..."

I smile against her body, my thigh slipping between her legs, and brace myself on my elbows to look at her face. "You know I'm not going to stop except you beg, right?"

She nods, and the blue of her eyes gives way to the dark color of her gaping passion. "I don't want you to stop," she says before she gives in to my zealous kiss, our tongues struggling for dominance.

"I want to be on top," she moans against my lips, firmly planting her hands on my shoulders, my being caught unawares making it easy for her to flip our positions. Her hands hold my wrists prisoner against the bed, and I'm squirming underneath her, against her. Her hipbone meets my center, and I let out a strangled moan.

Her lips are warm, and soft, and inviting, and I can't remember wanting anything, anyone as much as I want her now, at this moment. Her kiss leaves my light-headed, and unsatisfied, craving for more. "Catherine..."

She smiles when I try to kiss her again, blonde hair framing her face, skin flushed, eyes sparkling despite the darkness. Her warm breath hits my skin in a steady rhythm, and I wonder if I'm the only one close to losing control. Catherine's eyes are focused, and her grip on my wrists is strong.

I don't want to resist Catherine, her seductiveness, her kisses. I could never resist her.

But when she leans down to trace the shell of my ear with her tongue, I use all my strength to turn us around, my body pinning her down to the bed.

***

Hours later, I watch Catherine dress, getting ready to leave for her apartment for a change of clothes. I'm still lying on my bed, naked, and I already told Catherine nobody was going to notice if she wore the same clothes she did last night. She laughed lightly, crawling out of my embrace and from under the covers. "We'd know, and believe me, somebody would notice," she said before she got her clothes from the bathroom.

"You want me to pick you up before work?" I ask, my eyes wandering to her hands, pulling her zipper up.

Catherine shakes her head, blonde hair softly swaying in the motion. "No."

She probably worries someone at CSI could find out about us if we arrived together, but it's not as if we haven't offered each other a ride before, and nobody guessed it wasn't because of a broken car, or the heavy Las Vegas traffic.

And it might be a better moment for the guys to realize it than someone running in on us in the locker room when I am trying to get into Catherine's pants. Not that I can't behave myself.

But I don't tell Catherine my thoughts, and before she leaves, she leans down to me, brushing her lips over mine, and pushes a strand of hair behind my ear. It winds itself around her finger; I'll have to straighten it before shift.

"Lindsey and I are going to go shopping for new shoes tomorrow," Catherine tells me, sitting down on the bed next to me, and entwines our fingers. "But she'll have a friend over afterwards. Want to join me in the fun?"

I am not good with children; they somehow make me feel awkward. It's not a secret. But Catherine holds my hand firmly in hers, and her smile is expectant, so I say yes.

She grins and kisses me again before she stands. Moments later I hear the front door close behind her.