Temperance Brennan awoke to sweet little kisses the next morning and smiled with closed eyes.

"Good morning, Booth."

"Hello, Sunshine. You're gorgeous when you're asleep."

He didn't tell her that he had watched her slumber for half an hour or how deep it had touched him to see her in his shirt, her hair all tousled and her face bare of worry lines, just full of peace.

She rubbed her eyes with her knuckles, and he had to chuckle at this child-like gesture. Eventually, she looked at him and he lost himself in the purest baby-blue ever seen.

"Hi, Baby."

"Where is everybody?"

"At the beach with a breakfast picnic, waiting for us."

"Hmm, how much time do we have?"

"Not anywhere near enough," but nevertheless he lowered his lips to hers and greeted her with a promising good morning kiss. Brennan reciprocated it without hesitation and pulled him down. Her body was still warm from sleep and she felt wonderful in his arms. His hands slid under his shirt, and Booth enjoyed his newly acquired right to touch her. She responded to his now familiar caresses instantly.

'One night,' she thought, 'and my body already recognizes him as my mate.' The anthropologist she was shouldn't have wondered about that fact; the woman she had just learned to be still did.

"If we don't join them soon, they'll probably search for us, and I'm really not ready to share this right now, Bones."

He looked at her with a question in his eyes, but she nodded vehemently.

"I agree, let's keep it ours for a while. But if you plan on having breakfast anytime near soon, you should stop touching me, Booth."

"Hmm, somehow I don't like that part," he murmured, but his hands surfaced again.

"Is it okay," he hesitated, unsure of her answer, "would it be okay if I stayed and watched while you're getting dressed? I promise I won't touch or disturb you... I just want to look at you."

The intimacy of his request moved her deeply and she nodded slowly.

"I think that would be acceptable. But allow me a minute in the bathroom first," and she disappeared with a final kiss.

Booth made himself comfortable on the bed; he found her scent on the pillow and smiled. The night had been long without her, and he had missed her dearly. For Booth the previous evening had been a dream come true, and he truly hoped that they were on the same page. He doubted his ability to stand another rejection from her, not now that he knew how it felt to be inside of her.

Brennan emerged from the bathroom with a shy smile on her face. She knew she was pretty and she'd never been self-conscious about her body, but Booth was about to see her naked for the very first time, and it wasn't in a sexual context. This terrain of intimacy was new and still foreign for her, but she trusted him and so she slowly opened the buttons of his shirt with her long fingers, one by one. She was naked underneath it, and his eyes grew wide. The outline of her bikini was visible on her sun-kissed body. Her legs and arms were slightly tanned, the shoulders still too red, her full breasts milky white and dusky pink in comparison. Muscular legs ended in curved hips and lead to a flat stomach. His eyes found the dark triangle of short curls, and Booth held his breath as primal longing flooded his body.

Brennan stood very still and watched him watching her. She noticed the change in his breath pattern and how his hands clenched into fists. After a few moments his eyes burned into hers, and something hit her at the look of pure adoration in the dark orbs.

"You're perfect."

Right now it took all the willpower he had not to grab her and kiss every inch of the revealed skin.

"I can't believe how lucky I am," he added hoarsely. "I wanna touch you so badly, but I wouldn't be able to stop until you scream my name."

Her eyes fell to her feet, and she blushed.

"Booth..."

"It's the truth, Temperance, accept it." He cleared his throat. "What are you going to wear today?"

Brennan had to struggle with the emotions his words had evoked and simply shrugged her shoulders.

"Shorts and a top, I suppose."

"If you don't mind please wear that white dress you own."

She was surprised by his request, but nodded and went in search for said garment. Booth lay back and watched her all the while she got dressed. White lace panties, a matching bra and finally the dress. She completed her outfit with a dainty silver necklace and sophisticated earrings. When she reached for her hairbrush he got up and interrupted her.

"Let me do this, please."

With her unspoken permission he took the brush out of her hand, and his lips lingered on her cheekbone for a moment before he began smoothing the silky strands. She closed her eyes and indulged in his ministrations with a sigh. When every knot was removed, he let the hair fall freely onto her shoulders and pulled her close from behind. Brennan leaned into his solid body, and he could see her face in the mirror; her cheeks were flushed, and she looked as aroused as he felt. He held her with one arm around her waist and let his other hand slide down her stomach to her center where he cupped her gently through the clothes. His tanned hand on her white dress, touching her so intimately, seemed like the incarnation of pure and almost innocent sensuality – it simply took her breath away.

"We are going to be so late, Booth," she moaned.

He kissed her neck and continued to stroke her, all the while holding eye contact in the mirror.

"I'll better hurry then."

She wriggled in his arms, but he held her safely in place, and his lips found her earlobe, gently sucking the soft flesh into his mouth.

"Booth..."

"Sh-sh, Temperance, let go. Do it for me, please."

He was asking for a lot there, but his eyes held hers with such intensity, and she couldn't do anything but fulfill his wish. So she spread her legs as much as their position would allow it and opened herself to his searching fingers. His other arm pulled her even tighter, and he grazed the underside of her breast with his thumb. Brennan felt warm, so warm, and all her nerve endings were tingling in anticipation while Booth kept encouraging her with soft whispers.

Her insides burned like liquid fire, and he continued his tender caresses until she finally gave in and shivered almost violently under in his arms. Booth loved seeing her so trusting, so out of control and he couldn't believe that he was allowed to do this to her. When she could think again, she turned in his embrace and flung her arms around his neck.

"We have to speak about fairness, Booth. We don't have time and it's not right that I don't get a chance to pleasure you as well."

He kissed her hungrily.

"Believe me, watching you like this is reward enough for now, Temperance. I've missed seeing you last night. Thanks for letting me look at you."

She nodded in acceptance.

"Next time it's my turn to watch you."

"Promise. Now come on, let's have breakfast, I'm starving."

He tugged her along, and she laughed.

"It's hardly my fault that breakfast has been delayed."

"It's all your fault, my dear, you're way too gorgeous," he teased, but eventually they were on their way to the beach.

The others shared meaningful glances at their late arrival but didn't say anything. 'That was easy,' the two of them thought and were so busy looking unsuspicious that they missed the little thumbs up gesture Angela made at her husband.

-BONES-

The day was spent with laughter, swimming and a lot of laziness. Every time Booth looked at her, Brennan felt a warm fuzziness in her stomach, and every once in a while she caught herself leaning too close into his personal space. Their friends noticed the change in their behavior but decided to let them get away with it for now. Only Parker seemed oblivious to the newfound intimacy between the two of them and was just as happy as a child can be at the beach. Brennan's white dress fluttered in the wind, and Booth was glad that he had asked her to wear it; it hugged her body perfectly, making her look like vacation itself.

Sometime this day Parker talked the others into a beach ball game, and Brennan couldn't take her eyes of them. She admired Booth's strength, the way his skin glowed almost golden in the sunlight and his gorgeous smiling face. 'He is a wonderful father,' she thought as she watched him with his son, and something inside of her ached.

Once she had asked him to father her child, but she had never asked him to be his or her father. She had been so foolish, but – as always – he would have done it for her. 'Maybe he's right, maybe he really doesn't want me to change,' Brennan wondered. She thought about all the times she had let him down: asking for his sperm, dating two men, going out with his boss, saying she wouldn't even have coffee with him if it weren't for work, turning him down when he had bared his heart to her, fleeing to Indonesia...

She slapped her head mentally. So many mistakes – and he was still there, accepting her. Was that love or stupidity? She refused to believe that Booth could ever be stupid and tried to open her mind for the other possibility.

Love...

The concept of love had scared her ever since she had wandered with all her belongings in a garbage bag from foster home to foster home. Love meant weakness and the possibility of loss. But now, sitting next to the ocean, surrounded by her friends, she felt stronger than ever. It was irrational, but she knew that she would never lose Booth – at least not in this life. She thought about the feeling of being in his arms and finally understood the wrongness of terms such as "biological urges" and "sexual intercourse".

Never before had she felt so cherished during a sexual act. Never before had her body reacted to a man's touch so easily. Never before had she allowed someone to watch her while getting dressed. She had always hated the mornings after a night of passion, but this morning, when her sleepy mind had recognized him, all she could do was smile.

This felt different.

She heard laughter and saw Parker chasing her best friend with something that looked like a jellyfish. Angela jumped onto her husband's back, and he tried to shield her with his body. Brennan had a déjà vu and remembered a situation when she had been afraid of snakes. Once she had admitted to Booth that she was jealous at Angela and Hodgins for their faith in love. Now all she felt for them was pure happiness.

'Maybe I can have this, too, maybe for once in my life I'm just like all the others.'

Brennan's musings were interrupted when she saw Parker running towards her, the slimy jellyfish still in his hands. She frowned.

"No, Parker Booth, don't you dare!"

"I can't hear you, Bones," the child yelled in response, and she was perfectly sure that he could hear her quite well.

She jumped to her feet and tried to gain some distance, but apparently running on sand was easier for a smaller person because soon enough Parker was dangerously close.

"Booth, your child is threatening me!"

Her partner laughed. "It's a jellyfish, Bones, it doesn't do any harm."

"It's slimy and disgusting."

Parker was very close now.

"Help me," she squealed and hid behind Booth's back.

He grabbed her with a chuckle and threw her over his shoulder. Parker giggled and jumped with the jellyfish in his hands, but he couldn't reach her anymore.

"Daddy, which side are you on?"

"This time I'm all for protecting my girl, Buddy."

"Ha, so Bones is your girl?"

"More or less, son, we'll see."

"I'm nobody's girl. You, Booth, put me down, and you, Parker, go away with that jellyfish."

"Now she's mad at you, Dad."

"No, she's mad at you, son."

Brennan's world was still upside down because of her position over her partner's shoulder, and this was ridiculous, so she started to laugh. Booth gently put her down, and she fell into the sand, still laughing. Two faces appeared in her field of view. She giggled even harder.

"Now she's gotten crazy, Dad."

"Must be the sun, she seems to be a little bit too sensitive."

Two more faces appeared, and Angela shook her head.

"Once she used to be such a smart woman."

"Oh, stop that now, all of you."

Brennan tried a dignified tone but failed.

"I bet Sweets would have had a field day seeing this," Hodgins stated, and she threw a handful of sand in his general direction.

"Do me a favor and analyze this, Dr. Hodgins."

When Brennan had regained her control, she reached out her arms, and Booth helped her up. One more time she stood just a tad too close to him, and he gently tapped the sand off her back. She thanked him with a sweet smile and had to suppress the sudden impulse to kiss him.

"Listen, guys, Jack and I are visiting the family who normally takes care of the place for us this evening. We'll probably stay overnight, and they have a whole bunch of kids. Maybe it would be nice for Parker to come with us?"

Angela managed an innocent facial expression, and Parker nodded enthusiastically.

"That would be so cool, Dad, may I?"

Booth looked from Brennan to Angela to his kid and couldn't believe his luck.

"Sure, why not. But no more playing with jellyfish."

His eyes wandered back to Angela and Hodgins.

"You really wanna take him with you?"

Hodgins nodded. "Of course. We could use some more practice before we start the Hodgins/Montenegro football team we have in mind."

Angela smiled. "We'd love to take him. Plus, you'd have the chance to catch up on some... sleep."

Booth managed holding eye contact without blushing.

"I'd appreciate that, Angela."

-BONES-

When the happy threesome had left that evening, the sun already prepared herself for sinking into the wide ocean, the waves glistening silvery in the last rays of daylight. Brennan stood on her balcony – she had changed into a long blue skirt and a rust-red top – and Booth stopped for a moment to admire the view. Her hair was free in the wind, and the sunset gave her skin a mild shimmer. She turned her head to look at him over her shoulder.

"Want to join me?"

"Anytime," he whispered and came to her. He put his arms around her waist, pulled her close and placed a kiss into her soft curls.

"You're so beautiful."

She wasn't used to his compliments yet and smiled shyly.

"I mean it. Not just because of the light and the ocean. You're always so incredibly beautiful."

He sensed her insecurity.

"Don't say anything. I'm just glad I can tell you now. One day you'll believe me how special you are."

"Booth, I did a great amount of thinking today."

He interrupted her with a brief kiss, sweet and sensual.

"Do I wanna hear it?"

"I think so. I came to the conclusion that I believe you and that I have faith. I meant everything I said yesterday. I," she hesitated and thought of his words spoken over a year ago, "I really want to give this a shot."

Booth smiled.

"I love you, Temperance. I just want you to know."

She went rigid in his arms, and he could feel her fast heartbeat.

"I think I reciprocate that sentiment, Booth," she whispered after a while. "I just can't say it yet. Give me some time."

Booth felt deep peace at her words and rocked her gently in his arms.

"All the time you need. Just... be my girl."

Brennan smiled into his chest.

"Aren't I a little old to be somebody's girl?"

"No, my dear, this has nothing to do with age. I know and love the strong, smart, independent woman you are, but I want to be there for you, take care of you and catch you whenever you fall as well."

"I think I could live with that scenario."

Her hands caressed his strong back, and he shivered under her touch. The sky was bright red now, the sun almost touching the horizon. When Booth looked into Brennan's eyes he found sparkles of the sunset there and an overwhelming openness. He cupped her face with his hands, and his palms stroked over her hair to smooth the unruly curls. She encircled his waist with her arms and leaned in for a kiss.

When their lips met, she felt a rush of warmth and sought entrance into his mouth. Booth gave in more than willingly, and the tip of his tongue greeted hers. His hand wandered down her neck to her shoulders and he almost crushed with his strong arms, all the time deepening the kiss until she was breathless again. She pulled away from him and took three steps backwards to the chair standing there.

"I think it's time for you to fulfill your promise, Booth. Let me look at you," she demanded in a low voice and took a seat.

Booth felt a sting of excitement at her words but nodded calmly. He undid his buttons in the last rays of sunlight and let the shirt fall down. Brennan knew his bare chest by heart, but this time it was only for her to see. She admired its smooth strength and the muscular arms. An area next to his shoulder was scarred and more sensitive – he had taken the bullet for her, and seeing him dying had been the worst moment of her life. He noticed the direction of her eyes, and his face softened.

"I'm so sorry, Bones, they should have told you. I should have called you."

"It's okay now, but don't do that ever again. I don't want to live without you anytime in the near future."

She thought of the two weeks she had to wake up every day, believing he was dead. The dire certainty of never hearing with voice again, never feeling his reassuring brown eyes looking at her. A part of her had died with him, but she didn't want to think of that dreadful time right now. Nevertheless, he seemed to know, seemed to feel her pain because he stilled and regarded her with heavy sobriety.

"I promise."

After another moment of seriousness Brennan smiled at him with forgiveness, and a relieved sigh left his lips. His hand fell to his jeans then and he opened the buttons slowly before he kicked the garment aside. Standing in front of her in only his boxers, their eyes locked as he removed this last piece of clothing.

He was naked now, gorgeously naked, and she took him all in for the very first time. Her eyes fell to the parts of his body that had been untouched by the sun, and she took a deep breath at the sight of his arousal – strong, firm and all male.

"You're beautiful, too, Booth," she whispered.

She had never said those words to a man before; men were handsome or good-looking, and he was all of it, but – truth be told – as he stood in front of her in the vanishing sunlight, so bare and vulnerable, all she could think of was "beautiful". And for the first time Temperance Brennan didn't see the bone structure underneath the skin; she just saw this man in all his glory.

She gestured for him to come to her, and he obeyed without hesitation. At the first contact of her hands a gasp left his mouth, and she let her palms roam down his stomach until they closed around his masculinity. 'Velvet and steel,' she thought before she took him into her mouth. Brennan had never been particularly fond of pleasuring a man orally, but this time she needed to do it, and she felt his delight as her tongue tasted the hard shaft. She sucked him in completely, and he groaned in response, unable to fight against the sensations she created in his body.

"Bones, you don't have to do this," he managed to utter.

She simply looked at him, her fingernails scratching over his balls full of gentleness.

"I know, Booth, but I want to," and she continued her ministrations.

When even reciting saints didn't help anymore, Booth fell to his knees in front of her, breaking the sweet contact, and buried his face in her lap. He panted heavily, and she stroked his head.

"I need to be inside of you when I come, please," he breathed, and Brennan was touched by his tenderness.

He encircled her neck with his strong hands and pulled her head down for a hard kiss. Her legs opened for him, and he could be closer to her now.

"You liked it then," she asked with a playful smile.

"Are you kidding me? You are heaven."

Her skirt was wide and fluffy, and Booth found access easily, as his hands followed her silky calves up to her thighs. He could feel heat radiating between her legs and traced the hem of her short panties very gently. A little moan from her made him throb involuntarily, and with her silent permission he pulled the underwear down her legs. Lifting the skirt, Booth lowered his head to her thighs, kissing and nibbling the soft flesh there, his tongue trailing a path to her most sensitive parts.

When his fingers brushed over the delicate skin there, he was surprised to find her already wet. Ready for him. He looked at her adoringly, but she just shrugged her shoulders.

"You turn me on."

Her words pleased him deeply, and he lowered his head again until his lips finally touched her center. He placed light kisses all over her, and when his tongue joined his lips in it, she moaned anew. One finger entered her, and the rhythm of his strokes matched the caresses of his mouth perfectly.

'He really knows what he's doing,' Brennan couldn't help to think, and suddenly she was jealous at all the women he had known so intimately before her. Her head fell to the back rest of the chair, and she was so wild, so free that Booth couldn't get enough of her taste – but he had to ask.

"Baby, look at me."

She did so with glassy eyes.

"I know I've stopped you before, but please let me finish this," he pleaded, and she gave him her permission with a weak nod.

Booth instantaneously lowered his lips and found her again. He sucked and licked in earnest now, all the while stroking her insides with his finger. Her hips buckled, and he placed his other hand over her stomach to steady her.

She was totally at his mercy, but she didn't care. All she could think of were his lips on her, his finger inside of her and the sweet dominance he had over her body right now. He played it like an instrument he loved, and she felt arousing vibrations when he groaned against her flesh. Her head rolled from side to side and incoherent words left her lips until she sensations overwhelmed her, and she exploded under his mouth.

Stars. Heaven. And nothing.

Before she could think again, she felt movements as Booth scooped her up and carried her inside. Her clothes were removed and she was lowered to the bed, when she registered his demand to look at him again. She was still lost in the whirlwind of feelings, but his dark eyes found hers and held her unwaveringly as he slowly entered her body. Her inner muscles clenched around him, and her dizziness increased until he filled her completely.

His body felt solid and wonderful on top of her, and she buried her face in his neck, as her ankles crossed behind his back. She pulled him in deeper, and he was everywhere now – everything she felt, smelled, tasted and heard was Booth.

"So wonderful, Baby, so wonderful," he sighed.

When he started to move inside of her, she almost cried in pleasure and forced him to thrust harder. 'I'm lost; totally and forever lost,' Booth thought as he gave her everything she wanted, and they moved in a rhythm as old as life itself.

Her first orgasm had barely ebbed away, but again she felt the stirrings in her stomach. Blue eyes flew open – and then she saw even more stars and screamed his name. Booth devoured her mouth like a man out of control, and the second her inner wall tightened around him he couldn't take it anymore. With a deep groan he followed her into oblivion...

It took a long time until he came back to the world, but when his lids opened again, he saw her teary eyes.

"What's wrong, Honey?" he whispered, afraid that just everything might be wrong and could never be right again. He tried to move away from her, to give her some space, but she refused to let him go. Her voice was barely a whisper.

"That was love, wasn't it?"

Booth tried to soothe her tears with little kisses all over her sweet face.

"Yes," he simply said because it was the truth.

"I love you, Booth... so much," she sniffled, and his heart broke in pure joy.

"And I love you, Temperance, just as much."

"We will make it, right?"

She needed reassurance, and he didn't hesitate a second.

"Without a doubt. Remember, we're the center, Bones. Now more than ever. We will hold."

Brennan caressed his head, and he gently kissed her chest over her heartbeat. They were still joined intimately, and Booth wanted for this connection to last just a bit longer. His body fit perfectly into hers, just like he had known. 'It's real,' he thought, 'I love her, she loves me and she is mine. Temperance Brennan is my girl!'

A happy smile brightened his face, and he vowed to himself to be a good man for her – to make her laugh, throw his dirty clothes into the laundry basket and bring her flowers at least once a week. He finally rolled down from her and pulled her into his arms. Her head rested on his chest, and she inhaled his familiar scent, combined with the muskiness of their lovemaking.

"I'm so happy, Booth."

He smiled and kissed her temple.

"Me too, my love, me too..."

And just like that Temperance Brennan fell asleep in her partner's arms. The crushing waves of the distant ocean accompanied their dreams, and finally those two people had falsified the definition of insanity.

The next morning a little boy found his father's bed empty, the sheets untouched and with a happy grin of realization on his face he ran to a certain artist to share the good news.

-BONES-

Half a year later in Washington D.C. two employees of a moving company wondered about their current clients. He was handsome, she was beautiful, and without a doubt there was a spark between the two of them – but they hadn't stopped bickering about the position of one armchair for about half an hour. 'Maybe some people shouldn't live together,᾽ they thought.

Little did they know about Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan.

The End

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