Again, sorry I lost my POV line breaks before. Hopefully it will make more sense now!

I don't own these characters.


You pick the blood-red bra because it makes your skin glow like alabaster. Because it's so tiny it's more like decoration than anything else. Because the lace will rend like a scream when he rips it off of you. The matching panties? You smile to yourself. Not this time.

You put your hair up in a loose knot, for the moment of drama when you will shake it out, which you already know he'll like. No product; he's the kind of man who will want to sink his fingers in it.

You darken your eyes with shadow, eyeliner, mascara, until they glow like diamonds in coal dust. And your lips: blood red to match your lingerie. Your makeup is designed to arouse, true. But it's also war paint.

You step into a little black dress, the one from the back of your closet that you've been too modest to wear until tonight…looking in the mirror, you really are the hottest thing you've ever seen. Down to the itsy bitsy, lethal points of your peep-toe stilettos.

Last touch: a pearl necklace. To give him something to tighten around your throat, and because you aren't above enjoying a dirty joke. You stare yourself down in the mirror. You don't look like a scientist. You don't look like a squint. You don't look like a partner. You look like a woman who's tired of playing games.

You tilt your chin up like a pugilist and tuck a Pat Benatar CD in your purse for the drive. Love is a battlefield, and even the best soldiers are vulnerable to a surprise attack.


You sit on the couch, watching the game—okay, not watching it, just looking in its general direction. Because tonight is just like every other night, and all you're going to do is have a beer, start thinking about your partner, put your hand down your pants, and, well…

And you know how fucked up it is. How long it's been since you got laid, and even worse, how little you care about that. This is your longest dry spell since junior high, and it's because your partner has somehow become the only woman on earth. The only one you think about, the only one you want, and perfectly—because God hates you—the only one you can't have.

And the only thought worse than picturing yourself on this same sofa twenty years later, whacking off to your Bones-flavored mind porn until your arthritic wrist gives out, is the thought of what would happen if you ever—ever—let her know how badly you want her. And give her a reason to escape to Belize, or Tibet, or wherever the hell dusty dead people are found nowadays, and sink herself back into academia. Turn her back on your partnership. Turn her back on you.

And even if she did walk away from you, you'd be too hard to do anything but watch her sweet little ass swing back and forth. Oh God… you've never seen all of her, but what you have seen tortures you. And you just know that her breasts would fit perfectly in your hands. And you just know that raspy voice would whisper your name in your ear. And you know that's she light enough to pick up, open up, and arrange any way you want her.

So you slide your fist around your erection and picture her. So fucked up… so fucking hot. And wet…and tight…and

There's a knock at your door and you scramble off the couch, guiltily zip your fly, and swear that whoever's bothering you better have a damn good reason.


No second thoughts. You know it's time. You need to gain the upper hand, because somewhere—months? years?—ago, you lost it. And he's been in control ever since, flirting with you, teasing you, all from behind the safety of his made-up line. He flirts because he thinks it's safe. Thinks you don't have the fire to call his bluff. He protects his heart behind a goofy grin, and casual banter, but you—you have to face each day knowing that he'll sadistically shred another layer of your skin away, another layer of your toughness, until there's nothing left but a vulnerable, beating heart. And then, the cocky bastard will take that too.

You need to be the woman he first met. The woman he couldn't figure out. The woman who goaded him unbearably. Met him as an equal. Not some heartsick, damaged damsel.

You hear him click the deadbolt open.

Breathe in. This is war.


"Bones?" your voice sounds pathetic, like you're fifteen again. But the sight of her, like this makes you feel like you're that young. What is she wearing? What the fuck is she wearing?

Oh God. She moves past you without speaking, sliding a hand casually across your chest. She kicks the door shut behind her and faces you, sizes you up. She's never looked at you like this before. No one has. Is that…fear that you feel? Because she's thrown you again? Why can you never figure her out? And…and she's twirling a strand of pearls around her neck and staring at your mouth.

"What's… ah, what's going on?" you ask, swallowing the knot in your throat that threatens to cut off your air.

"I'm tired, Seeley, of playing games. I want you… to keep all the promises you've made to me."

"Promises?" you ask, as she places her hand square on your chest and pushes you back—hard—against the door.

"Every thing you've promised me with your eyes… or did I misinterpret that?"

You can't speak, you can't move. This can't be real.


You feel it, as soon as his body hits the door. Control.

He looks terrified, confused…definitely aroused. You lean in towards him until your bodies are separated by one hot inch of air and whisper into his ear: "You know I'm a genius, right?" You gently insinuate one knee between his legs, lifting oh so slowly upwards. "I think maybe I'm a genius at this too."

And you grab his shirt and rip it open, buttons scattering across the floor. You're surprised you were able to do it. Must be adrenaline.

His breath is coming hard and fast, his face still registering shock. You smile to yourself. It feels so good to be back in charge.


Shit. Fuck. What the hell?! Your mind races to catch up but it's like you're drunk. Why can't you think?! Think, Seeley, think!

What is she… oh God.


You drag your mouth slowly south, leaving a faint smear of lipstick down the center of his broad, toned chest. Marking your territory. Moving lower and lower, until you reach the waistband of his pants. You smile—that Cocky belt buckle. Not feeling so confident now, is he?

Glancing up at him with a wicked grin, you bury your face in the front of his pants, nudging his erection with your cheek, grinding your face into his crotch like some sort of feral animal. He's huge, just like you knew he'd be. It makes your mouth water.

His knees give out, and he collapses slowly to the floor with a groan, his shaky hands holding the sides of your head. You pause, and look at him. He stares back at you, white-faced, like a man looking into an abyss.


"What are you doing?" you ask, trying to clear your head, but your voice sounds ragged and raw. It's like your wildest dream and darkest hell have converged in one night. She's so different, she's like another person entirely.

She falters ever so slightly—you can see it. "Seducing you, obviously."

All you can say: "Why?"

She sits back on her heels, still sitting between your legs, her dress so low-cut that her breasts seem like they could just…spill over.

"Why do you flirt with me, Booth? Is it just a game to you? Or do you really want me? Because I'm here," she says, and you can hear it now. Bitterness, anger. There's no ice water that could kill you erection as fast as the hurt look behind her eyes. It breaks your heart.

"Wait, wait. What do you mean?.." you try stalling for time.

"Please—I think we might as well just try honesty for once. I'm done with hints, flirting, innuendo. If you want me, it's time to prove it." She bites the corner of her lip, her first sign of nervousness. "Do you want me?"