They walked hand-in-hand to the SUV; when they reached it, Booth pressed Brennan up against it, kissing her insistently. She felt evidence of his arousal pressing into his hip, and she reached down to tease him. "You might want to keep those hands away from that particular area if you don't want this to end right here and now," Booth warned against her lips.

"What makes you think I don't?"

He pulled away quickly. "Let's get back to the hotel."

"Fine. But you started it."

Brennan knew Booth broke a couple speeding laws on the way back, but neither really noticed. They reached the hotel in record time and hurried through the lobby to the elevator. As soon as the doors slid shut behind them, Booth had Brennan pinned against a wall, his mouth devouring hers. She returned the kiss with equal intensity, pushing her tongue into his mouth and allowing it to duel with his.

Neither noticed when the doors opened; it was not until they started to slide shut again that Booth finally reacted, pulling away from Brennan long enough to press the door open button. They made it as far as the first door before locking lips again, and they continued to stumble down the hallway without separating until they reached their room. Booth fumbled in his wallet for the card key, and he slid it into the reader quickly. The light flashed red, and he cursed before flipping the card over and trying it again. This time, the light turned green, and he pushed the door open, propelling them both into the room.

As soon as the door had closed behind them, Brennan began to undo the buttons on his shirt. It was not until she reached the last one that a shred of reason forced its way to the forefront of Booth's brain. "Hey, hey, slow down, Temperance," he told her. His use of her first name indicated that their relationship had indeed shifted; at this point, they were not Booth and Brennan, two crime-fighting partners, but rather Seeley and Temperance, two people who had been denying their love for too long.

"I need you, Booth," she breathed.

"I know, and I need you, too, but I promised to show you what it means to make love."


"No, now. You only get one first time, and I intend to make it count." He clasped her hands between his and started toward the bedroom, pulling her along with him. She went without hesitation; though she had always wanted to be in control in the past, she was willing to let Booth take the lead. She trusted him with everything.

He brought her to the bed and lay her gently on it, one hand on her lower back, the spot he had long ago staked as his own, and the other resting next to her head, supporting his weight. Slowly, gently, he lowered his lips to hers, caressing them. Brennan felt desire pooling in her stomach, and she whimpered a little into the kiss as she raised an arm to bring him closer. He complied, lowering himself slightly so that their bodies barely touched as they continued kissing.

Eventually, he brought his hand around her body, tracing the seam of her shirt before playing with the hem. As he fingered the fabric, the back of his hand would intermittently brush over the warm skin of her stomach, and she felt her desire increase with each casual touch. His light touches left trails of fire on her skin, and it took all of her self-control not to yank his clothes off. But he wanted to take it slow, and she was going to allow him to do so even if it killed her.

Eventually, he lowered his knees to the bed, supporting himself with his lower legs so that he could place one hand between her shoulders and raise her torso from the sheets. Slowly, he pulled her shirt from her body, allowing his hands to glide over the newly-exposed skin as he did so. She took the opportunity to finish removing his shirt from his body, tossing it to the side. As his hands tickled her stomach, hers traced the contours of his muscular torso, her brain automatically registering the name for each one. His lips moved down, and she felt his tongue and teeth against her neck. A moan escaped her lips as he continued his ministrations, and her hands dropped to his elaborate belt buckle.

"What did I tell you about slow?" he inquired against her skin, stopping the motion of her hands with his own. She pouted.

"I'm ready, Booth."

"Patience is a virtue. Just like Temperance." With that, he returned his lips to her skin. Slowly, he made his way downward, kissing her clavicle and moving inward to the skin in the center of her chest not covered by her bra. Her hands curled into fists in anticipation, but instead of fulfilling her expectations, he simply skipped over her bra, dropping lower to press kisses to her abdomen.

"Booth," she whimpered.

"Hmm?" His voice hummed against her skin, creating a whole host of pleasant sensations which made the desire curled in her belly roar to life.

"You missed something."

"Oh don't worry, I'll come back to that." His tongue dipped into her belly button, eliciting a small moan. Satisfied with this response, he repeated the action before languidly kissing his way back up until he reached the bottom of her bra.

"Isn't it your turn now?" she questioned.

"Tonight is all about you, Temperance. I promised you I'd show you how to make love, and I intend to do just that. I'll get my turn later." He kissed her again, and he felt his body react to the act of their lips touching. He could not believe what the woman beneath him did to him. He had never before felt so much desire for one person, had never before seen anyone so beautiful. He was finally willing to admit to himself that he, Seeley Booth, was in love with the great Dr. Temperance Brennan.

Of course, he could not share this revelation with her just yet, for he knew it would simply scare her away. Instead, he intended to show her just how he felt and hope that she could reach her own conclusion about his feelings. After all, she was a scientist. She knew how to observe and interpret data.

Afterwards, they lay together, the sweat on their bodies cooling as their heartbeats returned to normal. "Booth?" Brennan whispered after a couple minutes of silence.

"Hmm?" His hand was playing with her hair, twirling the silky locks around his finger. He pressed a small kiss to her neck.

"I think I understand what you mean by making love," she told him.

He turned to face her fully and kissed her. "Good," he remarked, pulling away. However, Brennan had other ideas. Leaning forward, she kissed him again, this time reaching down to tease him. He was suddenly at full attention, marveling at the effect she had on him.

"You know, they say that the best way to understand a subject is to fully immerse yourself in it," Brennan whispered breathlessly.

"I'm all for immersion," Booth agreed with a smirk.

"Just remember, Booth," she leaned forward to nip the cartilage of his ear, "payback's a bitch," she whispered.

They awoke later than either had intended to the previous day, but neither one truly cared. They did not have anywhere in particular to be; as long as they checked out of the hotel by 11:00, the time really did not matter. And so after a run, they agreed to shower together, an activity which resulted in more exercise for them both. They barely made the check out time, but after a late breakfast which doubled as an early lunch, they managed to be back on the road to DC by noon.

"Booth?" Brennan questioned as they drove.

"Yeah, Bones?"

"Do you mind if we keep our relationship a secret for a little while? I just want some time to get used to it myself before dealing with Angela."

"You know she'll be happy for you."

"I know. And I want to tell her; after all, she is my best friend. Well, besides you, of course. But she has a tendency to overexcite. And I want to get used to this, get used to us, before I have her questioning to contend with."

"Whatever you want, Bones. I'll let you decide when to tell. But I would advise you to make it sooner rather than later; it's not good to keep secrets from your best friend."

"I know. And I will tell them once I get used to the idea."

"Okay." They smiled at each other.



"We're still good, right? I mean, this isn't going to come in the way of our partnership or our work, is it?"

"Of course not, Bones. At work, we'll stay strictly professional. I told you before, we're the center. And the center has to hold." He paused for a moment before adding, "But when I get you home, there are no promises." She looked over at him, noting his feral grin, and shook her head. She knew he was right. They were the center, and they would hold. She could feel it in her bones.

Not that bones were capable of feeling.