Disclaimer: CSI and any characters that appear in CSI are the property of CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer etc. No breach of copyright is intended by me. Plus I don't have any money so please don't sue.

X X X X

For about the hundredth time I ask myself why I volunteered for this. I mean, I've never offered to look after Lindsay before, let alone pick her up from school.

I can't help but chuckle as I remember the guy's faces when Catherine accepted my offer. If only I'd had a camera handy.

Pulling up at the school I hop out of the car and lean against the bonnet where Lindsay will be able to see me when she gets out.

Looking around I take in the plethora of large four wheel drives lined up along the curb. Even though my car blends in, I still stand out amongst the other parents.

I'm in the middle of working a double. As soon as I drop Lindsay off at her grandmothers I'm heading back into work to continue work on a DB from last night. Because of this, I'm wearing my usual work attire – black pants, tank top and chunky boots. The fact that I'm also wearing my gun on my hip has gained more than one curious glance.

Shortly after the bell sounds kids begin to stream out of the school. I am surprised at how easily I manage to spot Lindsay as she makes her way towards me. As the mini version of Catherine spots me I remember why I volunteered for this as her whole face lights up with a smile.

Firstly, because of my guilt over having to close Eddies case without a satisfactory resolution.

And secondly, I am head over heels, crazy in love with her mother.

I know there is no way in hell Catherine feels the same way about me but I'm hoping that by helping her out when I can I might elevate my position from hated co-worker to friend.

Lindsay has almost reached me when all hell breaks loose, shaking me from my thoughts.

From nowhere a van comes to a screeching halt about twenty feet away, the back doors fly open and a huge man holding a gun jumps out.

As soon as I see the gun I grab my phone and call in to dispatch requesting assistance.

Kids and parents are running in all directions and for a moment I lose sight of Lindsay.

I look towards the van and watch as the guy with the gun scans the crowd, obviously looking for something or someone. He must finally find what he is after because he is now focused on a point to my left.

A chill goes through my body as I see he is staring at Lindsay as he makes his way towards her.

Before I realise what I'm doing, I've shoved my phone back in my pocket and I've started running as fast as I can towards Lindsay. I'm filled with an urgency I've never experienced before. If anything was to happen to Lindsay it would destroy Catherine and that is something that can't happen.

The bastard is just about to reach down and pick Lindsay up when I literally throw myself at him. The impact makes him drop his gun as we both tumble to the ground. Ignoring the excruciating pain that is shooting through my left arm I grab my gun and use the butt of it to knock him unconscious.

Without a second thought I push Lindsay towards my car.

"Get in the car and lock the doors."

Scrambling to my feet I follow Lindsay to the Tahoe. She is struggling to get the door open when I reach her. I almost yank the damn door off its hinges with my damaged arm, fuck that hurts.

As soon as the door is open enough Lindsay scrambles in side. Before I can climb in after her a voice from the back of the car makes me freeze.

"Stop."

Turning in the direction of the voice I take a step away from the car and grip the frame of the door. In the distance I can hear sirens approaching. I try to guess how far away they are and how long it will take them to get here.

X X X X

I'd just finished testifying and was exiting the court house when my pager went off. I knew something was wrong straight away when I read 911 Brass on the display. Jim isn't the type of person to screw around, so if he was sending a 911 page it's about something important.

I tried not to let my mind play out the possible scenarios as I reached for my phone. Once I hit the speed dial number for him the phone was lucky to ring once before being answered.

X X X X

As I take in the appearance of bastard number two who currently has a pistol aimed at me I try to stay calm.

"Hand over the girl and you'll live to see your next birthday."

I look at Lindsay and easily see the fear radiating off her. I let her and Catherine down once already, I won't do it again. I grip my gun tighter as I try to make my voice as soothing as possible.

"Lindsay honey, lock the doors and don't open them until Uncle Jim gets here ok."

With that I slam the door and watch as she quickly activates the cars central locking.

I look back over to the van and then to where bastard number one is still lying unconscious before finally looking back to the other half of the act. If I'm still alive when the cops get here I want to give them as much information as I can.

X X X X

For fuck sake.

All she had to do was pick my daughter up from school and she can't even do that without causing some drama. Jim couldn't give me many details. All he knew was that Sara had called 911 from Lindsays school.

What the hell has she done now? Broken a nail, bored the other parents to death with tales from her non-existent social life.

Still, as I speed towards the school I can't help the sense of dread from settling in my stomach. I hope the units that were dispatched get there soon, just in case.

X X X X

As the seconds tick by, bastard number two is getting really pissed off.

"Look, just give me the girl and no one will get hurt."

Yeah, sure and this year Santa will bring me a million dollars.

"No, she's not going anywhere."

The sirens are really loud now, as best I can tell they should be here any second.

Unfortunately for me, he seems to have come to the same conclusion.

"In that case kiss your ass goodbye."

Acting on reflex I raise my gun and squeeze the trigger.

As the sound of gunfire fills the air I am vaguely aware that I am falling. The air is knocked out of me as I hit the ground, landing on my back. Out of the corner of my eye I see flashing lights. It's strange that I can't hear any sirens.

I will myself to get up. I need to check on Lindsay, make sure she is alright. My body seems to be in disagreement with my brain though because I still find myself gazing up at the sky.

Suddenly my line of sight is filled with a face. It's a woman wearing some kind of uniform. It takes a few seconds to register that she's a cop. I try to tell her how glad I am to see her but my mouth seems to have gone on strike as well.

Now that the cops are here I let myself relax, they'll take care of everything. I suddenly realise how tired I am. I must be getting old if working overtime wears me out this much.

I think I'll close my eyes for a second. I just need to rest a minute and then I'll go check on Lindsay.

I notice that the cop is still hovering over me. She's telling me something but for the life of me I can't figure out what it is.

I try in vain to keep my eyes open but as I'm lost to the conscious world I can't help but wonder why it suddenly got so cold.

X X X X

Pulling up at the school I sit in my car and observe the scene in front of me. There are two squad cars and two ambulances parked between a blue van and what looks like Sara's Tahoe.

I also notice Jim's car a little further down the block. I'm not overly surprised that he has shown up. He treats Lindsay like a grand daughter and I'm positive he and Sara have some sort of father-daughter thing going on.

Scanning the scene again I see Jim standing near the back of one of the ambulances with Lindsay clinging to him for dear life.

I jump out of the car and run over to where they are. As I hug Lindsay she doesn't let go of Jim's hand. I burst into tears with relief as I look my daughter over, finding that she has no injuries what so ever.

"Mum, Sara saved me from the bad men."

Looking from Lindsay to Jim I ask him what happened. I watch as he seems to be debating with himself about how much detail to give me in front of Lindsay.

I'm about to prompt him when he starts to speak.

"It looks like two men came to try and kidnap Lindsay. Sara stopped them."

I know that can't be it. There is a whole lot of detail that he has left out. I'm about to ask him to elaborate when I realise that Sara is nowhere to be seen.

"Where's Sara?"

Jim suddenly looks uneasy and I have the queasy feeling in my stomach back. Lindsay tightens her hold on me and begins to cry. As I hold onto her she looks up at me with the most heart breaking sadness in her eyes.

"He shot her."

They may have been three little words but it must have taken almost a full minute for my brain to process what Lindsay just said. My head whipped around and I looked at Jim. The look on his face was enough to confirm that what she said was true.

"Where is she?"

Before Jim can answer me a commotion over near Sara's Tahoe draws our attention. From behind the car, two paramedics emerge pushing a gurney towards the ambulance that is parked next to us.

I can't help but stare as I realise the person lying on the bed is Sara. As they get closer I am struck by a whole host of different emotions as I take in her appearance.

Most of her face is covered by an oxygen mask but it is still easy to see that she is ghostly pale. The smell of blood hits me as they quickly lift her into the back of the ambulance. Before they close the doors and speed off I get a good look at her. I have to fight the urge to be sick as the picture of Sara covered in blood burns itself into my brain.

I've been doing this job long enough to know that if she's lost as much blood as I think she has, that ambulance had better get to the hospital, fast.

X X X X

Its official, these hospital waiting room chairs are the most uncomfortable fucking things I've ever had to sit on.

After Sara's ambulance left the scene Lindsay freaked out and the paramedics had to sedate her. She was brought here to the hospital where they are keeping her in overnight for observation.

Nancy and mum are currently sitting in her room with her. She kept on crying and asking for Sara in her sleep. I couldn't stand to look at my poor baby suffer any longer so I wondered into the waiting room with a cup of disgusting hospital coffee.

When I came into the waiting room I found Greg and David staring off into space. I hug them both before sitting down next to Greg. We've been here for hours now and last I heard Sara was still in surgery.

We are silent for a long time, Greg finally speaks.

"I think nearly everyone from the lab and almost every cop she's ever worked with has either been in or called to see how she is going."

I try to smile but I just don't have it in me. Silence descends upon us again as we wait for news.

I'm contemplating getting another coffee when Jim walks in. He sits down next to me and puts his hand on my shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. Taking his notepad out of his pocket he begins to speak.

"The guy that Sara knocked out woke up and wisely decided to confess."

I turn around in my seat to face Jim, the sounds from the chairs next to me tell me that Greg and David have done the same. By the determined look on Jims face I guess that either he or someone else used some of their not so gentle powers of persuasion to get the jerks co-operation.

My only thought at that possibility is that I hope they didn't leave any bruises so that the bastard can't get them for police brutality.

"Eric and Steve Bradshaw hatched a plan where they would kidnap the grand daughter of Sam Braun and demand a huge ransom. Eric worked for Sam up until he roughed up one of the dancers at one of Sam's strip clubs. Eric wanted a little payback."

I can feel my anger growing by the second. I don't know who I'm madder at, Sam or these two bit losers who wanted to use my daughter as a bargaining chip.

"They'd watched you for a couple of weeks to get your routine down pat and figured it would be easier to grab her at school. When they didn't see you waiting for her today they figured that you were running late and that this was their lucky day."

I can't sit still any longer so I get up and begin to pace.

"We've been able to get an idea of what happened next from what little Bradshaw remembers and from what eye witness' have told us."

I pause for a second and nod as if to give Jim the ok to continue, I don't think I'd be able to speak at the moment even if I wanted to.

As he picks up his description of events I resume my pacing and can feel the guys watching me closely as Jim continues.

While I listen to what Jim is saying I feel oddly detached from the whole thing. Like it's happening to someone else. I find myself doing what I sometimes do when working a case, picture the events in my head like I'm watching a movie.

I see Sara tackling Steve before knocking him unconscious and trying to get Lindsay to safety. I see Eric come from the back of the Tahoe, gun in hand, trying to get Sara to hand over Lindsay. I freeze when the image of bullets hitting Sara and sending her flying flash in front of my minds eye.

The reality of the situation hits me like a punch in the stomach. This wasn't happening to someone else. This was happening to me. This was happening to Lindsay and the thing I found more difficult to accept was that this was happening to Sara.

Sara Sidle, the person who I had treated with contempt, who I had belittled, fought with and at times despised, had saved my daughters life. Seemingly with no thought of the consequences to herself she had protected Lindsay, placing herself in harms way so that they wouldn't get her.

And now, here we are, waiting to see if Sara will live or die. The enormity of it is fast becoming too much for me. Sara was on an operating table somewhere within this building fighting for her very existence.

Memories began to float through my mind. Images of Sara, conversations we'd had, arguments. I sob as one memory plays over and over again. It was the day I found out that Sara had feelings for me.

We'd just cracked a big murder investigation. She'd come to my office to give me her report and we'd ended up having a civilised conversation for once. I can still remember how she suddenly became really shy just before she asked me out to dinner.

Instead of doing the right thing and letting her down gently, what to you think Catherine the great did. That's right I shot her down with both barrels. She stood there for ages just looking at me. I felt so damn superior, so fucking smug as I watched her smile fade. She stammered out an apology and in the blink of an eye she was gone.

All the times I treated her like crap. Jesus, I only accepted her offer to pick up Lindsay today because no one else could do it for me.

In the midst of all my jumbled thoughts and feelings I feel a calm wash over me as an absolute truth becomes clear.

I don't hate Sara.

She frustrates me - yes.

She sometimes pisses me off - yes.

She is the one that I want to hold onto and never let go – yes.

X X X X

Ten days. It's been ten days since the Bradshaw brothers tried to take Lindsay. Ten days since Sara was nearly killed and she's still in hospital unconscious.

Initially after the operation she was put in the ICU with only immediate family allowed to visit. That was a joke considering Gil wasn't able to contact her brother. I asked him about whether or not he had been able to contact her parents but I wasn't able to get a straight answer out of him. Sometimes he is so strange.

I couldn't stand being at the hospital and not being able to visit her. Sure we could see her through the glass windows but it just isn't the same as being able to sit with her, talk to her and hold her hand.

David, Greg, Jim and I had still been in the waiting room when they'd finished operating. One of the doctors came and talked to us. He tried to be optimistic but I could tell he really didn't expect her to pull through.

She had a broken arm, two bullet wounds to the chest and one to her stomach. As he rattled off the list of damage they had to repair I struggled to keep it together.

This was not how it was supposed to work. They are supposed to be able to patch the hero up so that she can win the girl and live happily ever after.

I didn't care what he thought. Sara was going to be just fine. She's one of the toughest people I've ever met.

Three days later she was well enough to be moved to a room on the ward, even the doctor seemed surprised at her progress. Although she was yet to wake up she was at least now allowed visitors. And boy did we make up for the time we weren't allowed in the ICU with her.

In no time at all her room was bursting with cards, flowers and stuffed toys. It surprised me at first the number of people who have come to visit. Sara always appeared to be a loner, living just outside the social circle of the lab. But it would seem I really don't know as much about her as I thought I did.

Since she's been in her own room I've spent as much time with her as I can. Once I drop Lindsay off at school I grab a few hours sleep before coming in to be with her.

I know the guys think it's weird but I don't really give a damn. I want to be here for when she wakes up.

The last couple of days Nancy has been picking Lindsay up from school and bringing her to the hospital to spend some time with us before I head into work and she goes to Nancy's place.

Lindsay has handled the whole situation rather well. She always liked Sara but now according to my daughter Sara hung the stars and the moon as well as most of the planets. As I sit next to Sara's bed staring out the window I tend to agree with her.

For about the millionth time I'm pondering what is going to happen once Sara wakes up. I know she has feelings for me, or at least I hope she still does even after the way I have treated her.

My moment of clarity hasn't freaked me out nearly as much as I expected. I just have to look at her and I know it's true. Somewhere along the way I have fallen head over heels in love with the most beautiful, sexy and frustratingly complex woman I have ever met.

And damn does it feel good.

I know that when she is better I have some serious making up to do but I've decided that if begging is required I'll do it in a heartbeat if there is a chance for us.

X X X X

Damn I've gotta say I'm feeling like I've been ran over by a herd of wild buffalo. The fact that I can't seem to move much means that I won't be hitting the dance floor anytime soon.

After successfully wiggling my toes and fingers I decide to go for gold and actually open my eyes. Cracking open my eyelids I quickly shut them again, fuck that light is bright.

Taking a deep breath I open them again and blink several times as they adjust to the brightness of the room. Moving my head as much as I can I take in my surroundings. Yep, just as I thought, I'm in hospital.

As I look to my right I do a double take as I see Catherine sitting in a chair looking out the window.

Everything comes back to me in a heartbeat. Arriving at Lindsay's school to pick her up. Bastard one and bastard two trying to kidnap her. Gunshots.

Oh fuck. If Catherine's here something must have happened to Lindsay. They must have got her. Damn I can't do anything right. I just had to keep him away a little longer and the cops would have arrived. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I've got to help find her. I remember the van, got the number plate and descriptions of them both.

I take a deep breath, grit my teeth and sit up.

Big mistake.

The most incredible pain I've ever experienced rips through my body. I grunt from the pain as I collapse back onto the bed.

I desperately try to catch my breath as I grip the side rail with my good hand and try again.

Before I can move Catherine has jumped out of her seat and is holding me down on the bed by my shoulders.

I try to say something. Tell her how sorry I am. Try to explain that I tried to stop them taking Lindsay. But I can't say the words, I'm too busy gasping for breath and trying to stay conscious.

X X X X

I see movement out of the corner of my eye and whip my head around just in time to see Sara try to sit up. She only gets about half way up when she slumps back down onto the bed, extreme pain etched all over her face.

Before she can try again I jump up, grab hold of her by the shoulders and gently hold her down.

Her eyes are wild and unfocused. She seems to be desperately trying to say something but she's unable to catch her breath.

After what seems like an eternity she calms down and seems to fall into a semi-conscious state. At least her breathing has evened out.

Letting go of her I fumble with the call button with shaking hands before I manage to press the button that will get someone in here.

Gently brushing her hair out of her face I lean in to try and make out what she is mumbling. I freeze as I finally make out what she is repeating over and over.

"I'm sorry Cath. Please forgive me."

Oh Jesus, she doesn't know that Lindsay is ok. She thinks that they got her.

As I reach down to take her hand I see her hospital gown is covered with blood from her wounds. Oh no.

I slam my thumb down on the call button and hold the fucker down. Where the hell is everyone????

X X X X

It seemed like forever before someone finally burst through the door to check on Sara.

The next thing I know I'm basically being man handled out of the room while they check her over.

They also decided to get some x-rays to make sure she hasn't done any damage to her internal injuries. I guess they poked and prodded until they were satisfied that she was ok.

It was almost three hours before I was allowed back in to her room.

As it turned out, she had just popped some of her stitches when she'd tried to sit up.

Now that she was safely in her room, I've moved my chair closer to the bed so that I can hold her hand. I've only briefly held her hand a couple of times since she came out of the ICU. I'd felt a little self conscious holding her hand when there is so much unresolved between us.

Right now I'm holding her hand as though my life depends upon it. At this very moment I don't care if the entire lab walks in and sees me sitting here looking at Sara like a love sick teenager.

I'm hoping that my proximity will be of some comfort to her. I know in that beautiful head of hers she thinks that she has failed Lindsay. Failed me. It breaks my heart to know that she is beating herself up over it.

Sara's been in a fuzzy, semi-conscious state since she got back. I'm not even sure if she realises it's me here with her.

Nancy and Lindsay are due to arrive soon and I'm hoping that we'll be able to get the fact that Lindsay is here safe and sound across to Sara.

X X X X

I know they've got me doped up pretty good. I'm feeling no pain at all and having all sorts of weird thoughts and images flash through my head. For example, a second ago I could have sworn I saw Catherine sitting next to my bed looking concerned. Plus I could have sworn she was holding my hand, running her thumb over my knuckles.

A little while later I know for sure I'm hallucinating when I see Lindsay standing next to my bed. I've been trying not to think about what the bastards are doing to her now. They had definitely targeted her, so I'm hoping they are keeping her safe so that they can try and get some kind or ransom.

I don't even notice that I've started crying until I feel the bed dip and then arms wrap around me.

I freeze when I realise that Lindsay has climbed onto the bed and is hugging me. What the hell is going on? That can't be in my head?

Opening my eyes I see two pools of blue looking back at me. I blink a couple of times to try and clear the fog from my head.

"Linds?"

X X X X

It broke my heart when Sara started to cry. Before I had a chance to comfort her, Lindsay climbed up on the bed. Nancy and I watched as Lindsay hugged her saviour before moving back a little to look at her.

The stunned look on Sara's face was almost comical as she tried to gather her thoughts.

When she said Lindsay's name, the biggest smile I have seen in a long time appeared on my daughters face.

"Hi Sara, we've been worried about you."

They stared at each other for a few seconds before Lindsay leant down to hug Sara again.

Sara whispered something in Lindsay's ear that I couldn't quite make out. Lindsay sits up and takes Sara's good hand. I can't help but smile as I watch them together. Lindsay isn't quite my "little" girl anymore but as she plays with Sara's fingers her hands looks tiny.

"I'm ok they didn't lay a finger on me."

For a second I thought Sara was going to cry again, but instead the most amazing smile appears on her face. God she's beautiful.

X X X X

It's been almost two months since the school incident and Sara is finally being released from hospital. The guys and I have been visiting her as often as we can and had fallen into a kind of unofficial roster on who visited when. The main aim was to keep her occupied because if there is one thing we know it's that an idle Sara Sidle is never a good thing.

She was understandably confused by my sudden change in attitude towards her. I told her that I was grateful for what she had done for Lindsay and I and that I wanted to give friendship a go.

Since then we have been getting along great. We are learning more and more about each other and I really like what I see.

I thought when I suggested that she stay at my place when she was discharged that we would have one of our usual duals to the death but to my surprise she went really quiet for awhile. Just before I left to head into work she said that she thought it was a good idea and thanked me for the trouble.

My feet barely hit the ground for my entire shift that night.

My plans were coming together nicely and today was the day that operation woo would start full force.

X X X X

I've been here just over a week. I know that I'll only be here a little while so I'm trying not to like it too much although it's hard when the place is so great. Plus Lindsay and Catherine have been spoiling me, which is something new for me. No one has ever taken care of me like the Willows women are now. In some ways I love it and in others it hurts too much.

I keep imagining what it would be like if we were a family. If Catherine and I were together, raising Lindsay. I know I shouldn't because it will never happen, but I just can't help it.

What makes it worse is that I know Catherine has a new man. She's been so happy lately. She's been acting all giddy like a love struck teenager, just like when she was with that Chris jerk and that other guy, what's his name?

I haven't met him yet but with me staying here I know it's just a matter of time. Might as well rip my heart out now and get it over with.

All well in the meantime I'm just taking it easy and letting my body heal. The doctor gave me a list of things I'm not allowed to do, the damn thing was a mile long. So far I've had to be content with reading, watching TV and working on my laptop. Catherine's even banned my police scanner, can you believe that?

He's given me some cream to put on the scars to try and get them to settle down so that they aren't so prominent. I've been putting it on everyday like he said although I sometimes wonder that with the scars I have on me from my childhood does it really make that much difference what these ones look like?

X X X X

I'm trying not to think too much about the fact that I love having Sara here. I love looking after her, talking to her about our days. And DAMN do I love the old Harvard t-shirt and panties she wears to bed. I've caught a glimpse of them a couple of times, the first time I nearly tripped over my tongue.

If I ever doubted my feelings for her, one look at her in that particular sleepwear and I knew I was gone. Let me just say that the image is forever burnt into my brain and has fuelled more than one late night fantasy.

So far I would have to say that operation woo is a success. I've been making special dinners and including Sara as much as possible in what would normally be mother-daughter bonding time. I haven't heard any complaints from Lindsay. She is well and truly still in hero worship mode and I get the feeling that I may not be the only Willows with a little crush on our houseguest.

I've also been showing a little more flesh than usual. I've caught her checking me out on more than one occasion with the most adorable look on her face. Today I'm going to push things along a little further.

Lindsay's at school so it is just Sara and I home. It's another hot day in Vegas and I've decided to go for a swim in the pool. Finding the skimpiest bikini I can find I throw a towel over my shoulder and head off in search of Sara.

Finding her sitting on the back deck near the pool reading a magazine I almost jump for joy as half the job is already done for me. Adjusting the straps on my top I casually stroll outside and throw my towel on the chair next to Sara's.

I know the exact moment when Sara looks up and sees me because I hear the magazine as it falls to the ground.

Standing in front of her I almost shiver as I watch her look me up and down. Even though she is wearing sunglasses I know her eyes are filled with want.

"I'm going for a dip, you wanna come?"

X X X X

Good God she is going to be the death of me. Here I was reading a magazine, minding my own business when out she comes wearing a couple of tiny bits of material tied together.

There was no way in hell I could stop my eyes from taking in every inch of her perfect body.

Then she tells me she is going for a swim and asks me if I wanted to come. Hell yeah I want to come, just not how she meant it. She is so sexy, so beautiful and she will never be mine.

Now she's in the pool swimming laps and I haven't taken my eyes off her once. I'm trying to memorise how she looks in that bikini, how she looks all wet and breathing heavy. She may not be mine but at least I'll have some nice memories.

I find myself staring at another nice memory or two as she gets out of the pool, her bikini now clinging to her like a second skin. She makes her way towards me never breaking eye contact.

X X X X

The whole time I'm in the pool I can feel her eyes on me. I catch a glimpse of her as I swim back down towards the end of the pool where she is sitting. She's taken her sunglasses off and she has that intense look happening like when she is trying to figure out some obscure evidence.

As I turn for the next lap my mind wonders to all things Sara. Before I'd dived into the pool a few minutes ago my brain had delighted in the fact that she was wearing a tank top and some really, really short, shorts. Now I was imagining what it would be like to have those incredibly long legs wrapped around me and how it would feel to kiss her.

A tingling warmth spreads through my body as it responds to the images going through my head. I can't do this anymore. I can't dance around how I feel and do this subtle thing. Stopping mid lap I get out of the pool and walk towards her.

She suddenly has that dear caught in headlights look as I bypass the seat containing my towel and I stand directly in front of her, close enough for the water from the pool to drip onto her legs.

Her mouth opens and closes a couple of times as though she is trying to say something. Leaning over I push her back in her chair as I reach up to cup her face with my hands.

I've never seen her look so surprised, it's very cute. Before my courage escapes me I lean forward and ever so gently brush my lips against hers.

Pulling back slightly the only sound is our heavy breathing. God her skin is so soft and the feel of her lips against mine is the most amazing thing.

I have no willpower at all, the need to sample her again is way too strong for me to resist. Lunging forward I claim her lips again, this time there is nothing gentle about the contact.

X X X X

I must have fallen asleep because I'm having one of the best damn dreams ever. As Catherine walks towards me I can't help checking her out. Water is dripping off her and I was right, she might as well be naked. I throw a silent thank you to who ever invented the bikini.

Catherine makes her way over to me with a little extra sway in her hips. I swallow hard as she looks at me like I'm the tastiest dish on the menu.

Coming to a stop directly in front of me she leans forward and cups my face in her hands. Before I can react she leans forward and kisses me.

Wow, the feel of her lips is amazing. The kiss is over way too soon for my liking. I don't need to worry though because before I've had a chance to catch my breath Catherine has lunged at me and is kissing me as though her life depends on it.

I've soon got a hot redhead straddling me as she claims my mouth. She has taken complete control of the kiss, her tongue currently exploring every inch of my mouth. I must be sexually frustrated because my dreams have never been this realistic before.

Breaking the kiss I find that she has made herself at home on my lap. Not realising it, I've put my hands on her hips and pulled her flush against me.

I sigh as I realise that this is all just a figment of my imagination. I know I'm going to wake up soon I always do just when things are getting good.

Gazing into her eyes I pretend that she's really here, that she really does give a damn.

"I love you Cat."

The smile that appears on her face makes my heart hurt even more. If only she'd smile at me like that for real, even just once.

I sigh again.

"God I wish this was real."

X X X X

The sadness in her eyes nearly breaks my heart. She thinks this is some kind of day dream.

"This is real Sara. I'm real."

Her eyes nearly bulge out of her head as she looks at me.

I reach down and take one of her hands and place it above my heart.

"Touch me baby and you'll know I'm really here."

When I let go of her hand she doesn't move for a long time. Finally, slowly she begins caressing me first with one hand and then with both.

The affect she is having on me is amazing. She's got me about ready to explode and she hasn't touched me in a sexual way yet. God if things go further for us I'm in big trouble.

Before she can say anything I cut her off.

"I've been so stupid. Instead of pushing you away I should have been pulling you closer."

She still looks unsure.

"Is this because you feel grateful for what happened at the school?"

I brush my lips against hers.

"No it's not Sara. This whole thing made me realise how I feel about you."

Unable to resist I kiss her again, gently sucking on her bottom lip before breaking the kiss.

"I love you Sara."

She's stunned by my admission. We sit in silence for several minutes before she starts to tremble. Before I know it her face is pressed against my neck and she is sobbing.

Wrapping my arms around her and holding on tight I let her cry.

X X X X

I don't know how long we've sat here with me crying while Catherine holds me. It must be awhile because while her hair is still a little damp, the rest of her is dry.

I finally managed to get my emotions under control a few minutes ago so we have basically just been cuddling since then. She keeps running one of her hands through my hair while the other is rubbing my back.

The feel of her in my arms is wonderful. I still can't believe that not only does she not hate me she said she loves me. My first instinct was to get the hell out of there. I can't stand to see the look on her face when she realises what a screw up I am and then takes it all back.

But how can I walk away from the thing that I've wanted more than anything for so long?

I'm going to go for it. For as long as she'll put up with me I'm going to stay right here. I'll take what ever she is willing to give me.

With my face buried in her neck I can't resist the temptation to taste her. I brush my lips against the closest bit of skin. I feel a shiver move through her body, which encourages me. Kissing my way up her neck I take her earlobe in my mouth and begin sucking it.

X X X X

I can't stop the moan slip passed my lips as she claims my earlobe and begins suckling it. My hips grind against her as her tongue joins in. Jesus, if she keeps doing that she's going to make me come.

Pulling back far enough so that I can see her I can't help but smile at the smug look she has on her face. She looks incredible sexy with her hair all messed up and her eyes reflecting the desire that is showing in mine.

"Hey."

"Hi."

"I'm going to grab a shower. You wanna come inside with me?"

Leaving her sitting on the couch I make my way to the bathroom. As I walk away from her I put a little extra sway in my hips because I know she's checking me out.

I'm out of the shower and back in the living room in record time wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I must say that I'm more than happy to see that Sara hasn't changed out of the outfit she had on earlier, I think I could stare at those legs all day.

X X X X

When Cath got back we put a movie on and snuggled on the couch. I can't remember the name of it though, mainly due to the fact that before the opening credits had finished we'd started making out.

One minute we're sitting next to each other kissing, the next I find myself flipped onto my back with Catherine hovering above me. Gently lowering herself so that she is laying on top of me I feel a slight discomfort as her weight comes to rest where my wounds are.

She knows straight away that something isn't quite right and she moves off me.

"Oh baby are you ok? Did I hurt you?"

I think I'm going to like her calling me baby.

"I'm fine Cath. I guess now I know why sex was on his list."

I can't help but laugh as Cath's eyebrows nearly disappear above her hair line.

"Who's list?"

"When I was discharged from the hospital, one of the doctors gave me a list of things I'm not allowed to do just yet. One of them was sexual intercourse."

"Oh."

Tilting her head to the side her eyes are suddenly a darker shade of blue as she begins playing with the hem of my tank top.

"Well Sar, I don't mind waiting but let me tell you something. As soon as you get the all clear I'm going to drag you into that bedroom and we're going to do things that would make Lady Heather blush."

I try to say something but her words combined with the huskiness of her voice have me speechless.

Oh boy I'm in trouble and I'm going to love every single second of it.

X X X X

Slowly waking up I'm aware of a cute blonde snuggling in to my side, her head on my shoulder. She's slowly tracing the lettering on my Harvard t-shirt driving me crazy as she puts a little more pressure on the letters that cover my breasts.

It's been a week since our pool side confessions. Since that day, Catherine insisted that I sleep in her bed. I was a bit hesitant that I wouldn't be able to control my lusty impulses but so far so good.

I was also worried about what we were going to say to Lindsay but she took the whole thing really well. She actually seemed happy that I would be hanging around a lot more.

Yesterday was a big day. I had an appointment with my doctor to see if I could get the all clear to go back to work. Not only am I allowed to go back to work, on light duties for the new few weeks, but I've also been given the ok to resume some other pre shooting "activities".

I still can't believe how red Catherine went when I asked if it was ok to start having sex again. The doctor glanced at Catherine and then back to me and gave me the thumbs up.

Because Catherine had to work last night, we decided that we would wait until the time was right before we made love. We'd spent the rest of the afternoon snuggling together in bed talking and making plans about what to tell the guys about us. Once Catherine had left for work I fell into one of the best sleeps I've had in a long time.

X X X X

Before the doctors appointment yesterday I'd made arrangements for Lindsay to spend the next couple of days at Nancy's place. I didn't want to presume anything but just in case it was good news I wanted to have Sara all to myself for a little while.

When I got home I checked in on Sara just before I jumped in the shower, she was sound asleep. Crawling onto the bed I snuggled up next to her planning to get some sleep too. The tempting sight of Sara laying there in my favourite t-shirt and panties was way too big a distraction.

I'd just started tracing the lettering on her shirt when she slowly woke up. Damn she looks even sexier half asleep with bed hair.

My grand plans of making love for the first time after a romantic dinner go right out the window when she says good morning in the huskiest voice I've ever heard.

I can't resist kissing her which pretty soon leads to some of the hottest heavy petting I've every experienced. I don't know how long we kissed and caressed each other before I felt Sara's hands slip underneath my shirt. The feel of her hands on my skin was incredible.

Before I know it I'm completely naked, straddling her hips.

X X X X

The look on her face when she realised that I'd managed to undress her was priceless. Sitting up I claim her lips in a fiery kiss as my hands explore every inch of skin I can reach. One hand heads north to tease her breasts while the other went south.

I groan into our kiss as I feel how wet she is already. As I tease her opening Catherine begins moving her hips, grinding against me. Unable to resist I enter her with two fingers.

Breaking our kiss she throws her head back and moans my name to the ceiling. Pushing me back down against the bed she makes eye contact as she meets the pace I have set with my fingers.

I'm in sensory overload as the sight of a naked, turned on Catherine frantically riding me as she makes the sexiest noises turns me on beyond belief.

As Catherine's back begins to arch with the arrival of her release, she throws her head back and screams my name.

X X X X

Dear God I haven't come that hard in a long time. I groan as I watch Sara greedily lick my juices off her fingers and hand.

Quickly slipping her panties and t-shirt off I take in her glorious body. Unable to resist I explore her with my hands and mouth, kissing and licking the fading scars that are on her chest and stomach.

The moans coming from Sara spur me on and I quickly make my way down her body, lying down between her spread legs. I don't even think about taking it slow as I move in for my first taste of her.

Using my fingers and tongue I push her closer and closer to the edge, delighting in the noises coming from her.

All too soon she is there, back arching off the bed, hand gripping the back of my head holding me in place.

X X X X

Hours later I wake to find that it was all real. It wasn't a dream after all. Our bodies are twisted in the sheets, limbs entwined. I take some time to think of her and I and the thing that we have together. Everything is so new for us and for the first time in a long time I am happy.

Looks like the hero did get the girl after all.

The End.