Hey everyone, I decided to try something far less angsty this time. I had a dream about this story and the idea just wouldn't leave me alone. Keep in mind that it's going to be a long one. I'll try to update regularly, but that whole college thing might get in the way . Happy reading!


Masks of Fury, Masks of Death

Andy turned to her, his eyes softening as they took in her naked beauty.

Temperance Brennan frowned as she stared at the computer screen in front of her. She couldn't seem to find the right adjectives to describe Andy's bare, well muscled chest. Her fingers sat poised over the keyboard, but her mind remained blank.

"Darling," an excited voice sounded from the door. Temperance didn't even need to look up to know that Marilynn Johnson, her newest publicist was leaning against the door, large, practiced smile in place. She looked up anyways, acknowledging the woman without so many words. Marilynn took the slightly exasperated look in stride as she walked, no shuffled, into the office, her high heels and tight skirt constricting movement. She took a seat on the couch with what could only be described as flourish.

"Now, don't look so blue," Marilynn chastised, "I have fabulous news!" Her hands flipped animatedly with her exclamation before digging into the bag she had set beside her. Temperance had remained silent up to this point, letting the woman trill on. Though her personality was grating, she was excellent at her job, and Brennan couldn't overlook that. Sashaying over to the desk, Marilynn presented the author with an envelope, Doctor Temperance Brennan, written in calligraphy on the front.

"What is this?" She finally questioned, examining the envelope for some sort of answer.

"Well open it up and find out silly," Marilynn said with an airy laugh.

Brennan opened the envelope (a formal wax seal she noted), to find an invitation.

"What is this?" she repeated with the slightest bit of panic seeping into her voice.

"An invitation of course," Marilynn cried out happily, "To one of the biggest events of the season, of the year!"

Temperance took another look at the stationary she had pulled out. The crème parchment was edged in gold, elegant lettering outlining the place and time of the ball. No, it wasn't just a ball; it was a black tie Masquerade ball. She looked back up at Marilynn, panic making itself very present on her face.

"ooh, we are going to have such a fantastic time darling," the publicist said, practically jumping in anticipation.

"No, no way," Brennan said, pushing herself out of the desk chair. She started pacing by the bookshelf, trying to find the most eloquent way to say 'hell no'.

"Darling," Marilynn said with a pout. Her shoulders slumped slightly from her client's declaration, "but you have to go! I already asked you boss and she said the same thing. That Dr. Saroyan is such a gem!"

"Cam. Cam told you I had to go?" Temperance never thought Marilynn would sink low enough to black mail her through her boss and friend.

"Well of course! I had to ask her, because the event is being thrown by one of the biggest donors to the Jeffersonian," she stated as if it should be obvious. And now, Brennan realized, it was. David Ashby was a multibillionaire who had provided a majority of the Jeffersonian's resources. Cam would only be too happy to have her star scientist do some free PR.

"And the dreamiest, if I do say so myself," Marilynn added, fanning herself with her well manicured hand. Her voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper, "speaking of dreamy."

Brennan turned, seeing Booth walking to her office, grin and cocky belt buckle firmly in place. She saw the hungry look on Marilynn's face and the way she adjusted her posture, arching her back and puffing out her chest.

"Agent Booth, Darling," she crooned, sly smile adorning her ruby red lips. Booth, to his credit, looked rather stunned to see Marilynn Johnson leaning on Bones' desk while Bones herself stood by the bookshelf, her arms crossed petulantly over her chest. His eyes flicked between the two, knowing how much Bones disliked the woman currently sauntering towards him. He gulped slightly, having experience with the somewhat predatory woman now in front of him.

"Ms. Johnson, how good to see you," he said haltingly, trying to hide his discomfort.

"Oh, you as well," she replied, her ravenous eyes trailing up his chest to his eyes.

"Booth, do we have a case," Bones interrupted, wanting all of this over as soon as possible. Booth stepped back and towards his partner, dodging Marilynn's hands as they attempted to trail up his biceps.

"No Bones, just lunch. What are you up to," he asked, spying something in her hands. She saw him looking at the card and pulled it away from his view, trying not to add fuel to Marilynn's ludicrous fire.

"We are discussing the marvelous party we're all going to attend on Saturday," the vivacious woman cut in.

"All," Booth and Bones questioned simultaneously. Marilynn just grinned and turned, walking over to her bag on the sofa and pulling out an envelope identical to the one she had handed Temperance earlier. She strutted back towards them and handed Booth the envelope with a Cheshire smile.

"You're invited too, FBI guy."

Booth's forehead creased in confusion as he flipped the envelope over and opened it. His expression smoothed out to one of surprise as he read the contents. He was about to question the publicist about it, when her phone let out a shrill tone and she jumped up from her perch on the edge of the desk to get it. She started chatting animatedly with the person on the other end as she gathered her things up in her arms and waved goodbye to the two partners holding their respective invitations. They watched her leave and then turned to each other.

"A masquerade, really?"

Brennan just sighed, setting her invitation on the table.

"Yes, and Cam is making me go so I can smooch the donors," she said, trying to keep her irritation in check.

"Schmooze, Bones, schmooze the donors. I get that, but why was I invited," he questioned, truly baffled why a bunch of rich snobs would want him at their gala.

"Because you are the official liaison to the institute and Dr. Brennan's partner," Cam's voice came from the doorway. She gave them both a stern look when each tried to talk their way out of the event. "You are going together and that's final." Her lips twitched as she held back a grin before walking away. The pair stared after her for a moment and then looked back at each other. Booth put his hands in his pockets and rocked on the balls of his feet.

"So, lunch then?"