Warning: descriptions of heterosexual situations and coarse language.

Chapter 1: Dream Girl

Chuck was dreaming and it made him smile. He dreamed he was in bed, which was interesting, because he was. Dream Sarah was sleeping beside him. This was also interesting, because real Sarah was. Funny how the brain worked so he could dream and know he was dreaming. And dream that Sarah was turning over to face his back, lightly placing her palm on his spine, sending a lightning strike down to the base of his balls as she ran her hand up to his neck where she massaged the muscles, then propping herself up on an elbow so she could bring her warm, moist lips close to his ear, a strand of hair falling to tickle his cheek as she whispered, "Chuck, Chuck, wake up."

Gasping in a mouthful of air and jerking awake, Chuck, lying on his side facing away from Sarah, struggled up from his erotic, exciting dream, finally aware of a hand on his back, a strand of hair on his cheek and warm breath in his ear as Sarah repeated, "Chuck," and gently kissed his neck, darting her tongue out to lick his earlobe.

Chuck, wary, turned over slowly onto his back, feeling every inch that Sarah's palm traversed as she kept it in contact with his shirt. It slid around and over his shoulder, coming to rest on his breastbone while she continued to lick and kiss his ear and the side of his neck, moving to his cheek as he turned his head in her direction.

When Sarah shifted her hips close enough so she could hitch a leg over top of Chuck's thighs and began to tease his top lip with her tongue, Chuck was finally alert enough to be able to take some action.

Moving his arms to grasp her shoulders, pushing her back and lifting her head away from his, he whispered, "Wait, wait, what's happening here, Sarah?"

"I want you, Chuck," she replied, her voice smoky in the dark as she tried to get her face close enough to his to begin kissing him again.

"I never thought I'd say this, but slow down, Speed Racer," Chuck croaked out with difficulty, as the hand on his chest began to stroke in ever-widening circles, most notably in a downward direction.

When her fingers contacted his uncovered belly, tickling the hair there, causing him to gasp and involuntarily jerk his pelvis slightly, and he felt the ends of her fingers wiggle to allow them to slip under the elastic waistband of his track pants, her nails digging a tiny bit into his abdomen, Chuck groaned and pushed her off of him, rolling away from her to turn on the bedside lamp and rolling back again.

With the light shining into her half-closed eyes, Sarah finally stopped moving and focused on Chuck, who had put some space between them.

"I need to know what's going on here, Sarah," he said, looking intently at her, trying to ignore the sensual way her lips were curving up as she ran her fingers through her hair in an effort to tame its disarray. He nearly forgot his question as the upwards motion of her arm almost caused a breast to pop out of the flimsy nightgown she was wearing and, closing and opening his eyes to clear his head, he focused on her face once more.

Sarah had noticed Chuck looking at her breasts and, inserting an index finger under the upper edge of her nightgown and running it over her flesh, she squirmed her hips towards his again, saying, "I figured something out, Chuck. When I'm here, Casey doesn't have to listen on his surveillance system. And if Casey's not listening, nothing gets recorded. And if nothing gets recorded, nobody but you and I will know what goes on here. And if we're the only ones who know, we can keep it between ourselves."

Chuck was becoming a bit hypnotized by the sight of Sarah's finger moving back and forth and the rhythm of her voice, pitched low. Mesmerized, he hadn't paid attention to the fact that she was, at the same time, moving closer to him, now brushing up against him, now raising her top leg up and over his hip once again, rubbing her crotch on the front of him.

"And when I say keep it between ourselves, big man, well, I think you know what I mean," she purred, and he began to feel his cock swelling beneath her.

Chuck groaned and reached out for her, pulling her shoulders towards himself and finding her mouth for a kiss. But there was still something bothering him and he broke it off, saying, "Stop again, stop again, stop, stop."

Sarah halted suddenly and looked into his face. "What?" she asked, nonplussed.

"Why?" inquired Chuck. "Why now? Why say no all those months and now you're changing your mind all of a sudden? What happened?"

Sighing heavily and with a sad look on her face, Sarah snuggled in under Chuck's chin and moved her leg off of him again.

"I guess I just finally got to the truth, Chuck," she admitted. "I love you. I've loved you for a long time. I just kept denying it because I was so confused, first about Bryce, then about my job. But there it is."

She raised her head and backed off a little so she could look at his downturned face. "I'm really sorry about the whole thing, Chuck, about everything I've put you through. I hope you're not too mad at me," she said quietly, afraid of what his response might be.

When Chuck didn't answer right away, Sarah's look of sadness changed to one of worry.

"Chuck?" she inquired, peering at him intently.

He responded by wrapping his arms and legs around her tightly and kissing her face and lips over and over again, wriggling all over like a giant puppy and laughing with joy until she was laughing with him.

"Well, it certainly did take you long enough," he said, almost squeezing the air out of her. "So what was it specifically that made the difference?"

"I'm not sure I can pinpoint it," she said, relaxing into his embrace. "I think it was seeing Ellie and Awesome so happy together all the time. And me being so unhappy all the time. And knowing I could be happy with you."

Chuck blinked a few times before the tear was big enough to form. When he could speak again, his voice was low and gruff.

"I'm glad you changed your mind, Sarah," he said, and he brought his hand to her face, raising her chin so he could look at her and drink her in.

Her brows crowded together again and she stiffened in his arms.

"What's wrong?" he asked, his expression mirroring hers.

"It's just that..."

"Go on," he said tenderly.

"Well, Chuck, I hope you understand. I can't leave my job just yet. I want to be with you but we still have to pretend to be a couple. That is, we can be a real couple pretending to be a pretend couple," she finished weakly, giving him a wan smile.

"I think I followed that," Chuck said, amused.

"The advantage is it should give us an even more convincing cover," she added eagerly, as if trying to sell Chuck on the idea. "Now I won't have to pretend to be in love with you, to myself or anyone else."

He laughed and squeezed her tightly once more, covering her lips in a soft and tender kiss.

"I never had to pretend," Chuck said quietly, and he became the aggressor now, surprising Sarah with this new side of him.