Author's Note: This is set smack dab in the middle of "A Bullet Runs Through It." I mean, somebody had to do something while Greg combed twenty blocks of asphalt.

Note #2: The title came from the kick-ass fight Sara and Grissom have. I sort of see them both dodging verbal bullets. Bad Grissom!

Disclaimer: Not...mine...(sound of heart breaking).

How could I not be angry? There Sofia stood, petite and blonde and pretty even in her disheveled, emotional state, speaking in low, impassioned tones to Grissom across his desk. I could see her eyes when she turned to me—red-rimmed, startled, secretive. They were having a private conversation I was not privy to, and the faint curl to her lip as her gaze swept over me told me in no uncertain terms that I was unwelcome.

My temper swelled. She had no right to be in this building, let alone his office. I had never gotten up the courage to ask him what, if anything, had transpired between them, but I had not been able to ignore the glint in her eyes when she looked at him, the smiles that passed between them, innocent or no. For a while, I had no right to care, but now I thought I had a right to. Things were different now, and if he had not told her—which I could not imagine he had—someone needed to set her straight.

But he would never forgive me if I just blurted out the truth. Adam Trent's pottery blade had given him the courage to overcome his fear of having me, by presenting him with his greater fear of losing me. When he appeared on my doorstep after the case was closed, looking nervous as hell and gorgeous—all in black, with a leather jacket and intensity in his eyes—I let him in, knowing that he would not be leaving again without the memory of my lips on his.

Everything between us was moving slowly, more slowly than I would have liked, because he could not quite put aside his trepidation. I tried to be understanding, and that meant in moments like these I could not simply announce to our coworkers that I had made out with my boss, and staked my claim. So I stared her down and let department policy and procedure kick her out of his office, rather than my twitching fingers and killer right hook.

I saw a flash of understanding in her eyes as her gaze darted back and forth between him and me, and did not bother to contradict it with a confused or innocent look of my own. I let her compact body slide past mine, out of his office, and fixed my gaze on the man behind the desk, who would not quite meet my eyes. When I was quite sure she was gone, I reached behind me and closed the door with just enough force that he finally locked gazes with me, apologetic blue with pissed-off brown.

"You shouldn't have let her stay," I said in a low tone, determined not to tip my hand just yet and raise my voice. "I don't care if you two are friends; we need to handle this case the right way, and no one should know that better than you."

"I am perfectly aware of all the implications of any impropriety in this case," he said coolly, shuffling some papers on his desk. "I don't need you to remind me how to do my job."

"No?" I asked, feigning surprise. "Huh. You could have fooled me, with the suspicious blonde lurking around." I let my eyes sweep over his blue-lit office. "Does she meet you here a lot?"

"I'm not answering your questions, Sara."

"Not at all, or just not when it comes to Detective Curtis?"

"I don't answer to you."

"Right," I snapped, my tightly wound temper finally uncoiling. "Pull the boss card. That's just perfect, Grissom. Because the minute we start to touch on anything personal, you've just got to shut me out."

"I don't always shut you out," he reminded me quietly, returning his eyes to my face. They were intense, and a memory of his hands on my hips as he pressed me into my kitchen wall and kissed me washed over me. I felt my face heat and cursed him in my head.

"Just watch yourself," I said, trying to force my tone to be cold and failing a little. "The evidence comes first, and the lab can't afford to have it look like we're playing favorites, working the facts around to protect people we care about."

"That's dangerous," he agreed, and there was something in his voice that made my chest tighten. It was the tone he used when he was about to deliver a blow—a piece of evidence that ruined everyone's theories about a suspect, or a critique to some hapless lab tech who got on his nerves. I steeled myself for whatever was about to come next. "You should know."

Hank. I could not believe he was playing that card. I pressed my lips together and fought the urge to scream. "Well, now I guess we're even. We've both made errors in judgment because we've been influenced by someone we've fucked."

His eyes tightened at my curse, and he slapped down the file folder he was holding and tossed his glasses to his desk. "I've never slept with Sofia."

I folded my arms across my chest, torn between being pleased at that news and so angry with him I could hardly see straight. "Huh. Well, I guess great sex only influenced me, then."

His jaw tightened. "I'm surprised it was so great. From what I heard, he should have been a little tapped out."

Shit. This was all-out war. He was pulling no punches, and I felt tears spring to my eyes that I longed to spill and never would, not in front of him.

"How dare you bring that up? That is none of your business."

"Sofia is none of yours."

Time to play dirty. I strode over, standing so close to him that our noses were practically touching, and let my warm breath play out over his face. "So, what you've been doing to me alone in my apartment after shift…that doesn't give me a right to know anything about you?"

He stepped back, the back of his knees hitting the seat of his chair, and sat down hard. "I don't think past relationships should figure into our discussions." He looked very wary, and slightly flushed.

"Why?" I asked, innocently, ready to gouge a nice hole out of his heart the way he had just done mine. "You don't want to know what it felt like to have a handsome young paramedic pin me down to my bed and fuck me until the neighbors called the cops because they could hear my screams? You don't want to hear about the mornings and afternoons and nights we spent making love for hours until we couldn't even move? Not curious about the amazing things we discovered can be done with chocolate-covered cherries? Because I'm all about sharing."

His face shut down, instantly, and I knew I had struck the perfect nerve. A few weeks before, in a moment of rare weakness, he had mentioned that outside of our superior-subordinate roles at work, the age difference between us was the one thing that held him back from pursuing me. Bringing up the unbridled sexuality of my younger ex was low and cruel, and I was completely ashamed.

"You need to leave my office now."

"Oh, I'm gone," I returned coldly, and marched out without ever looking back.

A few hours later, when shift ended, I knew better than to pause by his office to say goodnight. Of late, we had softly murmured a few words to one another to arrange to see each other—"My place" was most frequently used, or occasionally the name of a restaurant. But tonight, there would be no clandestine encounter, not even of the innocuous kind that our casual dates sometimes were. Grissom had yet to even see me naked; he was a little on the old-fashioned side, and as many of our mornings together after graveyard shift were spent in discussion or even debate as in desperate kisses and occasional caresses. He had been holding himself back, but I had been content to let him set the pace. Now I was pretty sure why he had waited. He had been waiting for this.

For everything to fall apart.

I slammed my locker shut, having stripped out of the plain grey long-sleeved shirt and black pants I had worn to work and changed into a sapphire-blue cashmere sleeveless top and dark jeans. I had picked the outfit out especially for a breakfast date; now I would be wearing it home alone. With a sigh, I strode down the aqua-lit halls, picking up my pace slightly as I passed his office, refusing to even turn my head to see if he was still there.

I slid into the driver's seat of my Denali, slipping my sunglasses onto my face and adjusting the rearview mirror. With a sigh, I started the engine and cranked up the CD in my stereo, relishing the blast of angry rock blaring out of my speakers.

"You know, losing your hearing is not as fun as it sounds, no pun intended."

I jerked my head to face the speaker, stunned to see Grissom leaning casually against my doorframe, head lowered to look in my window. I swallowed hard and lowered the volume of the music. "Uh, hi."

"Is the music making you feel better?" I could not quite tell if he was serious or mocking me. I threw the SUV into reverse and tossed him a cold glare.

"No, but getting out of here sure will." I started to lean on the gas pedal, but something in his face stopped me. He looked angry still, sure, but there was a little touch of fear lingering in the shadows of his eyes. I sighed.

"Look, I'm sorry about before," I said quickly, only half-meaning it. I was still pretty pissed. "We probably just need a little time to cool off. I'll see you later, okay?"

He straightened and walked away, and I heaved another sigh. But apparently his destination was not what I had expected. I heard my passenger door open, and he slid in beside me.

"Drive," he said simply, and I obeyed.

I was going to head back to my place, or possibly drop him off at his townhouse. But instead, I found myself wandering the I-15 aimlessly, maneuvering into the exit lane for one road only to reroute onto the on-ramp a few blocks down. I did not know where to go, or what to say. I had been cruel; part of me, however—the childish part—wanted to point out that he had started it. I had been concerned about the impact of Sofia's presence on our case; he had cast my previous lover's infidelity in my face. Surely one of us was more in the wrong than, say, me.

"Where are we going, Sara?"

It was the first time in twenty minutes that either of us had spoken. I glanced up at the signs above me, indicating exits in a half-mile, a mile, two and four miles down. I shrugged. "I have no idea."

"I thought perhaps you were being kind enough to give me a ride home," he said, almost gently. "Seeing as that's in the opposite direction…I'm guessing not."

"You just told me to drive," I returned, a bit defensively.

He chuckled, which startled me. "You're so literal."

I yank the SUV across two lanes of traffic, eliciting some angry leaning-on of horns, and glide into the off-ramp for Tampa Drive. "Fine. I'll take you home."

"Sara." His voice was low, and slightly chiding. "You can take me anywhere you like. But I think we should talk…and maybe not while you're driving."

"I don't want to talk."

"Don't be stubborn."

"Don't be pushy!"

"Sara!" He was as close as he ever is to raising his voice. "Is this how it's going to be? I make a mistake, or say something you don't like, and you just run away?"

"I don't know how it's going to be!" I said, feeling the burn of tears in the recesses of my head. "I wasn't prepared for this."

"You seemed to want it enough, two years ago."

I forgot to censor myself. "I've wanted it a hell of a lot longer than that."

His face, in the periphery of my vision, was a little startled. "How long is that?"

I laughed, hating the edge of bitterness in my voice. "Oh, forever now, I guess."

"You're exaggerating."

We were driving down some small road off Tampa Drive, and I saw options stretching out ahead of me. A small motel—no, I don't have any nonoxynol-9 with me—a diner that could have been the long-lost twin of the one Greg and Nick always forced me to eat at—no, I can't stand the smell of bacon one more morning—and a neighborhood bar, its flickering neon light announcing that it was still open, or more likely, never closed. I maneuvered the SUV into a parking space in front of the bar and threw it into park.

"You want to talk?" I gestured to the slightly rundown pub. "Fine. Let's go talk."

"In a bar," he replied flatly. "At nine in the morning."

"You don't have to drink."

"We could also go to your apartment, or my house, and speak privately."

"You're not running this show today, Grissom," I responded in a flat voice of my own. "Let's go."

He followed me into the dark tavern with a decidedly unhappy look on his face. I took in the scarred wooden floor and bar, the barstools with their ripped red vinyl seats, and the quasi-private booths along the west wall of the room. I chose the booths. Sliding into one, happy to see there were no crumbs or water rings on the table, I waited for him to join me.

"Do you serve coffee, by any chance?" Grissom was asking the burly, smooth-headed bartender. Despite his gruff appearance, the man replied to him in a friendly enough voice.

"Sure, guy. I get enough drunks in here that I keep some black on tap, just for sobering purposes. You and the lady each need some?"

Grissom glanced over at me, shrugged. "Sure. For now."

A moment later, he was headed to the booth with a slightly chipped mug in each hand, tendrils of steam curling out of each brim. I took one from him with just the slightest grateful smile and sipped. It was not good coffee, but I had had worse.

We were almost alone in the small establishment. An older woman with dyed red hair and a very tired-looking face was sitting at a barstool at the far end of the bar, chain-smoking cigarettes and casting glances at us every now and again with the kind of curiosity that reflected on a life with little excitement. I trained my eyes on the man across from me, studiously focused on his coffee.

"I wasn't exaggerating."

His eyes flicked to mine over the rim of his mug, and then he set it down with a soft sigh. "All right. So, since the beginning of time and before it, you have wanted to be involved with me."

I flushed a little at the sarcasm. "All right, I was exaggerating a little."

"I thought so." He was slightly smug—too smug.

"You should have taken it as a compliment," I said sharply.

He flinched a little. "I can't."

"Why the hell not?"

Blue eyes, eyes that had captivated me since the first time he looked up in a California lecture hall, gazed sadly into mine. "Because I feel guilty."

I was stunned, but not surprised. I never expected him to admit it. "You did what you had to do," I replied gently.

"Did I?" His hand covered mine on the worn wooden surface of the table. "You were always there, Sara. You offered this to me a hundred times before you ever asked me to dinner, and a hundred times afterward. I always knew you would accept me if I could make that first step. But it took a long time for me to realize that rejecting you wasn't working for me anymore."

I swallowed. "And now you think the best way to keep me is to make cruel comments about my ex? How did you even know that he was with someone else?"

"Catherine told me. And I'm sorry—it just came out."

"You always were good at thinking on your feet," I said, feeling the tears finally hit the back of my eyes. I looked down at the table, and he squeezed my hand.

"Sara, I'm sorry. I felt backed into a corner, about Sofia. I lashed out."

"Why feel backed into a corner, if nothing ever happened?"

"You were questioning my judgment."

"You've questioned mine a thousand times."

"It's different," he insisted. I shrugged.

"Fine. It's different."

"I hate it when you say 'fine.' You're shutting me out."

"Maybe you need to know what it feels like," I said, without thinking. He dropped my hand.

"I really don't want to spend my time with you dishing out and receiving revenge for past wrongs, Sara."

"How do you want to spend your time with me?" I asked, feeling a little frustrated. "It's been two months, Grissom, of breakfast dates and conversations about larvae and the Louvre, and you still haven't even—"

"It's all I ever think about," he said heatedly, and I stared at him. "Trust me, Sara—there is not a moment we're together outside of the lab that I'm not thinking about it."

"Then why—"

"Because you're all about sharing," Grissom said sharply. I winced.

"What does that mean?"

He laughed, and it was a darker sound than I had expected. "I'm not shy, Sara. I'm not concerned about my…abilities. But if you're still running around with a burned-out torch for the philandering paramedic, I'm not interested in playing second fiddle to your wildly erotic memories."

"I've never even mentioned Hank to you since—"

"You have a small picture of the two of you on your desk," he said slowly. My eyes widened. Shit, I had completely forgotten that even existed. "You have a box in the top left-hand drawer of your dresser labeled 'Hank.' And today, you revealed to me your—encounters—were highly physical, which I had already suspected."

"I didn't even remember that picture was there. And what the hell are you doing poking through my dresser?"

"I couldn't sleep," he said shortly. "But Sara, as long as you're still pining away after someone else, I'm not going to—"

"There is only one man in my entire existence that I have pined after," I said, seizing his wrist. "It's not the philandering paramedic."

His eyes held a heat with which I was almost completely unfamiliar. "And the picture? The box?"

"Don't you have any souvenirs from past relationships? That's all that stuff is. Hell, I'll throw it all out when I get home, if it would make you feel better."

His thumb rubbed a little possessively over the pulse point in my wrist. "I don't care what you do with it, as long as it's meaningless."

"Beyond meaningless," I assured him, feeling a sort of tenderness wash through me. He was threatened by Hank. He was avoiding sex with me because he thought I might still be in love with Hank. It was so sweet, and so moronic. But there was one more thing I had to ask.

"What happened when you had dinner with Sofia?"

He looked flustered at the abrupt change in the direction of the conversation. "Why do you want to know?"

I shrugged. "You got to ask about Hank, after making nasty remarks. I made my own…observations about Sofia, so now it's question and answer time for me. What happened?"

"I didn't want her to leave the lab. I asked her to dinner so we could talk."


"And we talked. I convinced her to stay."


He pressed his lips together in frustration. "With my remarkable skills of oration."

"Is that code for something?"


I could not suppress my smile. "Sorry."

"I didn't sleep with her. That would have been highly unprofessional."

"But you wanted to."

"No," he said slowly. "Not particularly."

"But a little."

"Sara." His voice was low, warning. I pushed on recklessly.

"Did you kiss her?"


Something bloomed, hot and angry, in my chest. "When?"

"After dinner. I kissed her goodnight, on the cheek."

The furious flower wilted. "Oh."

"Are you quite done interrogating me?"

I pouted. "I haven't even gotten to try out any of my plans for torture."

"I feel plenty tortured." The heat was back in his eyes, and I flushed.

"Is this the point where we apologize and make up?"

"I've already apologized," Grissom pointed out. "I believe it's your turn."

"Right. Well, I am sorry. Not for what I said about Sofia and professionalism, but definitely for everything else." I sighed. "This is harder than I thought it would be."


I waved my hand in a vague gesture. "Trying to be with you after so many years of, well, not."

He smiled. "It's precisely as hard as I thought it would be."

I let my offense show on my face. "You thought I would be difficult?"

"I thought I would be."

I laughed despite myself. "I should take you home."

He lifted the wrist he was still toying with to his lips, pressing a kiss over the soft skin there. I shivered. "Only if you stay with me."

My eyes drifted to the clock on the wall. "I suppose I could do that. We have twelve hours until shift, assuming Greg doesn't call us in, sobbing that twenty blocks of hunting for shell casings has made him blind."

"Rank has its privileges," he murmured against my skin. "Greg has to comb twenty blocks for shell casings…and my phone has conveniently stopped working."

I let him lead me out to my car, feeling like the butterflies had fled the cases on his townhouse walls and taken up residence in my stomach. We had turned a corner, broken through a barrier I had not even realized existed. What lay waiting on the other side was enticing, forbidden, and quite possibly everything I had ever wanted.

Grissom's hands never left me as I drove, cursing the slow-moving cars in every lane and at every traffic light. His fingers traced nonsense syllables on my thigh, through my jeans; he trailed one down the length of my spine when I leaned forward to change the CD in the stereo; he even pressed a hot kiss to the side of my throat when I closed my eyes in frustration at a stoplight. Oh, yes, a corner had been turned. My body thrummed in anticipation and a tiny shiver of fear.

Instead of driving him home, as I had suggested previously, I drove to my apartment. He had to have noticed at some point during the drive, but made no comment or protestation. As we walked hand in hand up the stairs to my apartment, however, he did ask quietly, "Why are we here, instead of at my place?"

"I don't know," I admitted. "Next time, your place."

"Next time," he agreed, and followed me in.

I led him down the hall to my bedroom. He had been in here a few times before, the first being when he took me home after my almost-DUI. The more recent times had been much more pleasant, but we had never even pulled back the blankets, much less removed any clothing. Two months of dinners and breakfasts, movies with popcorn and long debates on entomological texts, and I was trembling because I was about to get naked with my—my boyfriend. It was a seriously embarrassing high school flashback.

I stopped beside the bed, staring down at its inviting surface, wondering how the hell to do this. Have sex, I could do; undressing the man I had wanted for the better part of a decade had me stymied. I felt Grissom step very close to me, behind me, and place his hands around my waist. He gently kissed the back of my neck, and I shivered.

"I'm not sure what to do," I said quietly, glad that I could not see his face, his beautiful eyes.

He turned me tenderly in his arms, perhaps pleased that I was just as hesitant and nervous as he must have been for years. His fingers brushed the cashmere of my top, smiling at the softness of the fabric. "Let me."

I obeyed, and felt his fingers slide under the hem of my shirt. He lifted it slowly, as if delighting in each revealed inch of skin, until it passed over my face and I heard it drop to the floor behind me. He gently unbuttoned my jeans and slid them down my legs, urging me to step out of them with a gentle hand behind each ankle. Rising again, he unbuttoned his own shirt, his eyes never leaving mine, then caught my wrists and brought my hands up to slide it from his shoulders. I took the hint and undid his pants as well, surprising him when I caught the waistband of his boxers at the same time and tugged both from his body. I had the upper hand, now; he was completely nude, while my body was still somewhat shielded from his with layers of turquoise lace. But as he stood before me, his face a clash between slightly self-conscious and adoringly appreciative, I felt more exposed than I had before in my entire life.

"Lie down." It was so loving and sweet it almost sounded like a request, but beneath it was the soft steel of a command. Heat surged through me unexpectedly.

I stretched out on my bed, tucking my hands behind my head and parting my thighs ever so slightly, a welcome as opposed to a wanton display. He stood there, just studying me for a long moment, and I saw the effects of his admiration quite vividly. He bent over me, trailed his fingers between my breasts, down my stomach, over the lace of my panties, and brushed them lightly between my thighs. I gasped.

"Roll over," he murmured, and I obeyed. Those same fingers slid down my spine, achingly slow, pausing to flick open the clasp of my bra as if it was something he did every day, absent-mindedly, like a Saturday New York Times crossword. They slipped down the small of my back, traced over my ass, the slightest pressure. I wanted to wriggle beneath them. I wanted to moan. I contented myself with the ragged breathing nearly obscured by my pillow.

"You are very lovely, Sara," he said softly, and I almost wanted to cry. How could a few simple words from him touch my heart as thoroughly as a beautifully crafted sonnet? He rested a hand on my hip, gently nudging me until I turned over again, my bra straps slipping from my shoulders. He lifted the fabric from my breasts and dropped it to the floor without another glance. Maybe not a lingerie man. I would have to find out later.

"Finish," he requested quietly, flicking his eyes down to my panties. I slid them from my hips, arching them as I did so, and dragged them down to my knees. He reached over to help, but kept them wrapped around my ankles, effectively trapping my legs just a little bit.

"Tell me how you want this." His eyes were blue flames.

I bit my lip. "I just want you," I confessed. He smiled, but his eyes were serious.

"There are so many ways to do this, Sara," he explained in a low voice. "I want this time—the first time—to be exactly what you desire."

"And what about what you want?" I asked, tucking my hands back behind my head, watching his gaze heat a little more as my breasts arched in the position. "Shouldn't that matter just as much?"

"Oh, Sara." His tone was an odd blend of passion and amusement. "I sincerely doubt there is a desire you could express that would not line up perfectly with one of my own."

I flushed. "I see." But I still could not find the words to express what I wanted. I wanted everything, everywhere, all at once. I sighed softly, lifted petulant eyes to his. "I can't decide, Grissom."

He did laugh now, just a brief chuckle. "Can you show me?"

I smiled. "I'll try."

Kicking off the panties restraining my feet, I moved to kneel on the bed, putting our faces at nearly the same height. I kissed him gently, my fingers sinking deep into his hair, thick and gently curling around my fingers, and felt him groan a little against my mouth. This we had done before, although never with the deliciousness of skin on skin. He was very still, and I realized I was going to have to show him everything. Now who was being literal?

I reached down and caught his wrists, wrapping his arms around my waist, encouraging him to hold me close. He complied, deepening our kiss, and I luxuriated in the taste and smell of him until I was lightheaded from breathing only the air expelled from his lungs. I drew back, gasping in air, and guided his lips to my neck. He kissed a trail from my ear to my collarbone, light, feathery kisses. I wanted more.

"Harder," I breathed, and he kissed back up, pressing his lips more firmly to my skin. It was still too gentle, and I steeled myself for my next words. "Bite me, Grissom."

He groaned a little at that and bit down gently over my pulse point, feeling the throb of my blood against his lips, and I moaned as finally my nerves encountered a sensation that sent them spiraling into combustion. I reached down between our bodies, feeling restless and impatient, and wrapped my fingers around him, pleased to find hard silk awaiting my touch. He made a strangled sound in his throat and arched into my touch, biting down on the end of my collarbone, close to my shoulder. My head fell back as I let his name escape my lips.

He leaned over and kissed me again, teasing the tip of his tongue over my lips until I parted them for him, encouraging him to taste me. Noting that we were still in the show-me phase, I took one of his hands and hesitantly covered my breast with it. He broke the kiss and gazed directly into my eyes as his warm palm encompassed it. It took me a moment to realize he was really going to push this whole thing, and I groaned in frustration.

"Touch me, dammit," I said, my voice almost a growl. "Just—touch me."

His thumb caressed over my nipple, one eyebrow arching as if to ask, is this what you mean? I whimpered my appreciation, but he just continued to stroke the pad of his thumb over it until I thought I would break. I swallowed hard.

"You're really going to make me show you and tell you every single thing I want you to do to me?"

"You aren't enjoying it?" he asked, with a tilt of his head. I groaned again.

"I am, but—it's hard to say some of this, Grissom. I'm not used to step-by-step instructions."

He smiled infuriatingly. "I suppose you could give me something a little more extended to work with. But it should probably be…specific."

I gripped his shoulders, raking my gaze over his body and his face, and let the words spill out of me in needy, aching gushes. "I need you to touch me, everywhere. Don't be gentle with me, Grissom. I don't break. Kiss me, lick me, bite me, take me, make me scream and forget my own name. You've waited two months; I've waited for what feels like my whole damn life. Do everything to me you've ever even thought of doing, today and tomorrow and forever, and don't ever stop. Is that specific enough?"

His breath fell from his lips in a lengthy exhalation, and he moved, sweeping my knees out from under me, crashing me to the soft surface of my bed. He moved over me, and he was everywhere—his lips closed over my earlobe, his fingers over a nipple, pinching it hard…he bit my shoulder, and his hands slid up the outside of my thighs…he took a nipple in his mouth and dragged his tongue over it while his fingers parted me and dipped into my heat…he licked his way over my stomach while slipping his hands under me to cup my ass. I was so close by the time he lowered himself between my legs and flicked his tongue over me intimately that the sensation flung me over the edge of orgasm, and I sank my hands into his hair and cried out his name to my ceiling.

He took me with his mouth until I could not bear it any longer, and pleaded with him to release me, to kiss me. He rose up over me and claimed my lips, tasting of me, and I wrapped my hand around him and stroked firmly, delighted in the way he groaned and thrust against my palm. I guided him between my thighs, and with an almost feral look, he placed his hands on my knees and parted them wide, his gaze flicking back and forth from my eyes to the center of my body as he slid inside me. I closed my eyes and arched into his thrust, pulling him deeper, until the sense of completeness was too much, and something deep and hard and cold inside me shattered.

I surged upward, taking him so deeply inside me that he cried out, and caught his shoulders, pulling his weight down onto my body. He braced his hands beside my head, trying to get leverage, trying to keep from crushing me, but I pulled harder, until he gave in and lay on top of me, forehead to forehead, my breasts pressed tightly to his chest, my feet curled around his ankles, the coarse hair of his thighs tickling mine. I kissed his ear, his neck, his jaw, and ran my fingers through his hair.

"Sara," he said softly, his lips inches from my ear. "Sara, you're crying."

I nodded against his cheek, and he did force me to let him raise his body then, enough so he could look into my eyes. "Did I hurt you?" He looked horrified.

"No," I whispered, stroking his cheek, running my thumb over his lips. "No, god, no. I just—Grissom, I—" I fought not to say the words. It was too soon. It might always be too soon.

"What is it?" I could feel him shifting, starting to pull out of me, and I raised my legs to wrap around his hips, to hold him inside me.

"Don't leave me," I begged, and he stopped.

"Sara, please tell me why you're crying."

"I think I'm in love with you," I whispered, trying to soften the words. He looked at me with incredulous eyes, and shifted again, this time deeper. I moaned softly in spite of myself.

"You think you're in love with me." No mistaking it now. He was pulling back ever so slightly and thrusting back in, rocking my body beneath his. I gasped softly.

"Yes, I do," I murmured, fighting back another moan as he withdrew and pushed back inside me again, a little harder, a little faster.

"You think you're in love with me." He shifted his weight onto his hands and knees, rising just a little for better leverage. Another delicious, deep thrust.

"Yes," I moaned. "Grissom—"

"You think you're in love with me," he repeated, driving into me faster now, his head falling forward to press his forehead against mine again. I was dizzy.


"Sara," he groaned, and my body spasmed beneath his. I was so close. He was panting with desire as he burst out, "Sara, I know I'm in love with you."

I lost it, my body clenching around his, my hips arching and writhing wildly as my vision blurred. I dug my fingers so tightly into his shoulders that I left nail marks, curved and pink, in his skin. I moaned his name as he took me through my own climax and into his own, shuddering above me and letting my own name spill from his lips.

When the room fell quiet except for our quickened breathing, he slumped above me and gently withdrew, lying beside me and taking me into his arms. I curved into his body, letting my fingers dance aimlessly over his damp, heated skin. He pressed a kiss into my hair.

"Didn't you know?" His question was so soft, I almost missed it.

"No, I didn't," I confessed honestly. "I hoped…but no. I didn't know."

"And you only think—"

"No, I know," I said hurriedly. "I was trying to be cautious."

"Not necessary," he said quietly.

"I know that now."

"Was it what you wanted?" He sounded uncertain and a little afraid. I pressed my lips to his throat, rested my cheek against his chest.

"It was you," I replied softly. "That's all I ever want."

I fell asleep in his arms.