Author's Note: Oh, my patient friends! A sprained ankle, the advent of a cold, and family drama have kept me away from the GSR writing for far too long. (Well, that, and the utterly distracting men of House, M.D. Try having a dream with Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, and William Petersen in it, and see if you can accomplish anything the next day! Teehee.) But here is chapter five, once again from Grissom's point of view. At readers' request, we revisit "bet-with-myself" land and learn its subtle and charming nuances. Enjoy!

I have no idea why I told Sara about the silly, private little bet I made with myself late one night, thinking of her. I remember exactly which night it was. We had stayed up the night before watching a pig decay in an attempt to solve the Kaye Shelton case. She had brought me a blanket, and a thermos of coffee, and herself—which warmed me far more than the other two. Still swimming across my weary brain was the memory of her words: you want to sleep with me? And the next night, when I finally tumbled into bed and sought out a few hours of sleep, I found it elusive. All I could hear, over and over again, was the echo of her words.

Finally, I succumbed to the desire pulsing through my body and thought of her, hand wrapping around myself in a familiar fashion, hips arching up from the bed, my brain and body aching at the thought of her being beside me, above me, beneath me—anything. It was so erotic and intense that I tried to stave off my own orgasm with imaginary thoughts of everything I wanted to do, to Sara and with her, and distracted myself from climax by counting hers, even though they were entirely in my mind. That night, she only made it to two before I came, crying out her name into my pillow.

And every time I gave in to thoughts of her during the long, lonely nights—which I tried to keep as infrequent as possible—I played this game with myself, torturing my body into waiting for its satisfaction by repeated thoughts of hers. It was a game, a bet I made with myself. The most my imaginary Sara ever made it to before I lost my self-control was four. And secretly, I vowed to myself that if my imaginings ever became reality, I would do my damndest to beat the record in my mind with the pleasure I actually gave her, if it was physically possible.

I am pleased with myself at the moment. I am already one orgasm closer to my goal. But Sara has flown at me in a way I don't think I ever even imagined possible, all lips and tongue and roving hands, and our clothes are on the floor. My single conscious thought before her warm, silky fingers wrap around my cock is: better here than the hallway.

I know I should have my eyes slammed shut and be moaning her name, but I am too caught up in watching the expression on her face as she slides her hand over my erection, slowly and almost too gently. I arch against her, trying to drive her speed, trying to create more friction, but she smiles at me wantonly and continues her maddening pace. I find myself lost in that smile, full of passion and desire and just a hint of danger, but I catch at her wrist anyway, giving her a faint smile of my own.

"Don't like it?" she purrs, her other hand slipping down to trail her nails lightly up the inside of my thigh. I groan and release her wrist.

"You'll make me lose my bet," I warn her, and she out-and-out grins at me.

"Isn't that the whole point?"

"The bet's against myself, not you," I growl, bending to nip at her earlobe. She replies breathily:

"You should really tell me more about this bet."

"You already know what it is," I remind her, drawing gently away from her caressing hands and pushing her flat against the couch. Her eyes widen slightly as I press my hands against the inside of her thighs, pushing them apart, one draped off the edge of the cushion, one bent and flat against the back. I let my breath wash, warm and sweet, over her center, and she arches just a little toward my mouth.

"Why'd you make it?" she pants out. I scowl and purse my lips to follow the warm breath with cool, and watch her squirm. If she can still form complete, coherent sentences, I am clearly not doing my job right. A stray thought crosses my brain—this is a whole new approach to breakfast—and I almost laugh aloud.

"I made it," I tell her, my eyes locked to her as I press my lips to the inside of her left thigh, "as a distraction." I let my tongue trail up along soft, pale skin until my mouth is hovering over her center, and she is fighting every instinct she has to press herself against my mouth. I'm not a sadistic man, or an arrogant one. But the baser parts of me want to watch Sara arch herself wantonly toward me, to succumb and admit her desire for me in a very primal way, even though I know she's been doing it subtly and seriously for years.

"From what?" she moans, giving in and canting her body toward me, allowing my lips to brush against her lightly. Just one intoxicating moment and I am the one giving in, pressing my mouth to her and using my lips and tongue—and very gently, my teeth—in every way I've ever learned to, in an attempt to bring her pleasure. The taste of her is distracting, dizzying. I hold her thighs with my hands, noting the contrast of my darker skin against the ivory of her own, and gaze up at her as I pleasure her with my mouth, reveling in the flutter of her long lashes, the parting of her lips as she moans, the flush descending from her cheekbones and spreading, like the opening petals of a rose, across the lightly freckled skin of her chest.

It does not take very long to bring her to the edge of orgasm once more. We are both hovering on the brink of madness from the final consummation of this very long, complicated dance. As I flick my tongue over her clit one final time and watch her come apart above me, I finally answer her question, groaning against her, "From all my thoughts of you." The vibrations make her cry out my name, and I feel the tension and trembling in her thighs as her fingers tighten in my hair. When her climax finally ebbs, I slowly kiss my way up her stomach until my lips are hovering between her breasts. Her eyes flutter open, dark and a bit hazy, and I smile.