He stabbed the pie with his fork, sparing a quick glance to the baked apple coated in spices before he shoved the fork and its contents into his mouth.
He fought back a reflexive grin as the flavors coated his mouth.
As a child, he had never been fond of pie. Even as a young man, the dessert hadn't been on his top-ten list.
Donuts? Sure. He was a cop, after all. The occasional piece of cake? Definitely.
He hadn't developed a full appreciation for pie until that night at the bed and breakfast in northern Virginia. That night when the B&B accidentally overbooked, leaving them one room short. That night when she had draped her arms around his neck and arched her eyebrow enticingly. When he had finally given in to his 'biological urges' and stopped reciting saints to try to keep his erection at bay. When he crushed her hips against his own and leaned in to nuzzle her neck as she nibbled a sensuous path along his temple. When he finally learned the scent of body wash she used; Vanilla.
In all his fantasies he had imagined she'd smell up-close the way she did from afar: like baby-powder from the lotion she would use on her hands after they had been encased in latex gloves all day.
But no, she had to smell like his grandmother's apple-pie. His Aunt Ruth's Banana Nut Bread. His grandfather's vanilla pancakes. Like every memory he had of comfort and love and reassurance.
He explored her with his mouth, his tongue, his nose, his eyes, his hands; every part of him committing the experience to memory.
That time, the first time but not the last time, he traced her arms, whispering nothings to her about her strength. He fluttered kisses over her eyelids, praising her ability to see the truth where others only saw bone. He covered her lips with his own, his hands gently cradling her head, saying without words what he hoped she understood.
It had been slow and painstaking. And fast and maddening. And everything that their partnership, friendship – no, relationship - was.
It had left him feeling both empty and full. So sated but still wanting so much more. He craved her touch, her voice, her inquisitive look as she studied him as if he were a piece of evidence on her table.
He had traced patterns in her hair afterwards, when they both lay wrapped in each other's arms — an act she softly admitted wasn't her typical habit. He had smirked and managed to hold back the urge to kiss her temple.
When her breathing had evened and his chest stopped heaving, she had laced her fingers with his hand, tugging it towards her lips. As she kissed the knuckle of each finger, she recited the names.
He felt himself swallow at her ministrations and the breath caught in his throat when her attentions moved upward. Her fingers traced his Adam's Apple and he heard her whisper "prominentia laryngea" before her tongue snaked out and laved his throat.
With a resilience he hadn't felt since his twenties, he felt himself harden in response. When she moved so she was straddling him, he settled his hands on her hips but otherwise forced himself to remain still while she traveled her fingers across his aching flesh.
Much later, Booth remembered the feel of her rolling over, away from him in what he knew was an attempt to find some privacy after an intimate night. But the pull to keep her in his embrace overwhelmed him and he slipped his arms around her and molded his body to hers.
He felt her tense for the smallest of seconds before relaxing into his arms. And it was the fact that she relaxed that brought the grateful grin to his face.
He ducked his head and kissed the nape of her neck. And was once again greeted with the smell of Vanilla.
And now, as he chewed another bite of apple pie, he shook his heads as if to clear the memory away.
At one time, many years ago, they liked each other. And they allowed themselves to like each other.
At one time, many years ago, the line hadn't existed.