The Secret

Booth sat back against the couch cushions and took a swig of his beer. Brennan was still eating slowly, gaze fixed on a point on the wall, the line between her brows indicating that she was deep in thought. He allowed his gaze to wander over her exquisite profile, lingering on her lips for an agonizing moment, before continuing down her long slender neck and stopping at her impressive cleavage. His mouth went dry as his wayward thoughts took him in a direction that they had been taking him far too much lately. It was getting more and more difficult to rein in the sexual attraction he felt for his partner. He tried to call up the list of reasons he shouldn't act on his feelings, but his libido was having none of that tonight. All he could think of was how soft her skin looked and how much he wanted to kiss her. Putting his beer down, he stood up and stretched. Time to go before it was too late.

"Well, Bones, it's getting late. Thanks for dinner," he said, unable to meet her startled gaze. It was almost like she'd forgotten he was there. In reality, she had been intensely aware of his presence, fighting an inner war against her longing to throw caution to the wind and act on her feelings. If he had any inkling of what she had been thinking about, chances were he wouldn't be leaving. He reached for his jacket.

She stood as well. "Uh, sure, you're welcome, Booth," she replied, smiling a little. "So, I'll see you Monday?" Don't go, she almost added aloud. Get a grip, Tempe, she scolded herself. He obviously doesn't feel it. It was better that way, she told herself firmly. She followed him to the door.

Booth turned and found her right there, a lot closer than he'd expected. He made the mistake of looking down into her lovely blue-green eyes. His words of farewell died and he stood there with his mouth open, speechless.

She was looking up at him, longing and loneliness etched on her face. The smile she wore slowly faded as she took a step closer, face tilted up to his. Then Booth made the final, irrevocable move, the one that sealed their fate.

Grasping her upper arms, taking a deep breath, he tried one last time to get a grip on his raging hormones. But her eyes had dropped to his lips and her face was flushed as her breathing picked up and he knew in that moment that she wanted him too. A groan marked the battle lost and he closed the gap between them at last.

Her lips were even softer than he'd imagined and he groaned again as he angled his mouth over hers, folding her into his arms at last. Her lips opened and his heart threatened to slam out of his chest as her tongue stroked over his slowly, as though savoring the sensation. Her arms stole up around his neck and pulled him even closer. Time stood still and raced by as their kisses melded into one another, each more thrilling than the last. Finally, when the need for oxygen had become urgent, they pulled apart just a little. Booth looked into her flushed face in wonder and felt a thrill as he saw the wonder in her face too. He finally found his voice, though it cracked with emotion.

"Wow," was all he could manage, and she smiled.

"That's what I was going to say," she said, a little shyly. "How—how long have you wanted…?" she began, unable to finish verbalizing the thought as she lost herself in the depths of his warm brown eyes.

His lips quirked. "A long time," he replied against his better judgment. Things were still as complicated as they could be, but he found it hard to find the will to put a stop to this. Fortunately for both of them, the clinical side of Brennan finally won the battle raging in her head. Stroking his cheek softly, running her fingers fleetingly across his lips, she sighed a little and stepped back, breaking the circle of his arms. She angled her body away from him to discourage any further attempt to hold her.

"Me too," she admitted softly, against her will, raising a hand to stop his move to touch her again. "Booth, we need to stop and think about all the reasons that have held us back all this time. Once we've crossed the line, it will be hard to go back. Think about what we may lose if we let this go any further."

Booth put his hands in his pockets, taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly as reality once more came crashing in. She was right, as usual. He didn't want to do anything they might regret later, not without thinking through the ramifications first. If they decided to follow their feelings, they needed to do it fully aware of the possible consequences.