Today in history, January 28, 1813, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published. It is my favorite book ever and of all time. I have copies stashed everywhere and I still can't stop buying them, especially if I see one in a second-hand shop or on a clearance rack. Mr. Darcy, marked down?! Never say so.

The story of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett is, IMO, one of the five most beautiful love stories ever told and I see more than one parallel between them and the story of Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth, who are also in my top five list. Booth's eyes on Brennan through the snow in Santa in the Slush is just as beautiful to me as Darcy's eyes on Elizabeth as she assists Georgiana at the piano. I'm not quite ready to put DB up there with Colin Firth (I have my limits) but I love the way Booth loves Brennan.

I've been reading P&P quotes all day and I'm feeling all mushy and full of love and shit so this is my little tribute to Jane, and Elizabeth and Darcy. Not that this chapter relates in any way to P&P, but it's full of love, the kind of love that lasts and becomes legendary. Like Darcy and Elizabeth. :-)

.

.

.


.

Brennan smiled as she watched Booth walk toward her from the stairs, his eyes intent on hers. His natural, easy grace was a wordless seduction that sent her pulse skittering with anticipation.

"Down and out for the night," he said as he sat down beside her, one arm draped along the sofa, the other hand resting suggestively on her thigh as she turned to him. "Mmmm." The raspy murmur hummed against her lips as his head dipped low. "I've been waiting for this moment all day." The kiss deepened as their mouths opened and their tongues danced and stroked.

"This moment?" She tilted her head, giving him access to the hollow beneath her jaw.

"Well . . ." His teeth scraped against what he knew to be a particularly sensitive spot; he was rewarded with a gasp and the tightening of her fingers on his knee. "Maybe I was thinking of 30 minutes from now, after we give them plenty of time to fall asleep."

"Thirty minutes." Her left hand slid inside the open flannel shirt he wore to the fitted black t-shirt beneath, stroking the ropes of muscle surrounding his ribcage. "That's a significant amount of time. How do you suggest we -"

"Daddy?"

The high-pitched call from upstairs had Booth's shoulders slumping in response.

Brennan pulled away. "I'll go this time."

"No," he shook his head. "It will be faster if I do it." He kissed her once more, almost roughly. "Hold that thought."

She sighed her agreement and reached for the glass of wine on the coffee table as he headed back upstairs, taking the steps two at a time.

Booth was gone for several minutes and when he returned, he barely gave her time to set the glass aside before he pushed her down against the seat cushions.

He covered her body with his, settling into the vee of her legs as she shifted with a husky laugh to make room for him. "Now," he spoke against her neck as one hand pushed beneath her shirt. "Where were we?"

They managed to spend half of the allotted waiting period, filling it with lush kisses that led to heated, urgent caresses, when Christine's voice intruded again, this time from the staircase, clearer and unimpeded by the walls and door of her room.

"Mommy? Daddy? I'm scared."

"I 'cared, too."

The second, smaller voice had Booth jumping up from the sofa, his face reflecting alarm.

"I didn't put the baby gate back up."

They raced toward the steps, pulling down shirts and tugging up zippers as they hurried across the room.

"Christine, stay where you are, okay, baby? I don't want your brother trying to follow you down." Booth deliberately lowered his voice and kept it at an even tone as he crept up the stairs. "Zach, buddy? How'd you get out of your crib?"

"I c'imbed."

The little boy, barely 18-months old, stood at the top of the steps clad in green footy pajamas dotted with geometric shapes in bright primary colors. Eyes huge, he stared at his father over the plush purple fur of a stuffed dragon clutched tightly in both arms.

Booth sent a speaking glance over his shoulder at Brennan. "He climbed."

She couldn't resist a proud smile. "He's very agile -"

"Mmmm! Don't praise him for that!" Booth glared her to silence. "Tomorrow I'm lowering his mattress." He pasted a smile on his face as he reached the top and scooped up his son, safely out of harm's way. "Listen, little man, don't go climbing out of your bed, okay? You could fall and hurt yourself. Just yell and Mommy or Daddy will come get you, alright?"

Christine clutched at Brennan's waist. "I'm scared."

"I 'cared, too," Zach dutifully repeated.

Brennan brushed at loose hair flying out of her daughter's long, night-time braid. "Why are you frightened, sweetheart?" She squeezed the small shoulder beneath the tulip-patterned gown.

Christine turned her face into Brennan's leg. "There's a monster under my bed."

"A mon'ter." Thumb in his mouth, Zach tucked his dark head beneath Booth's chin.

"No, honey." With the baby in his arms, Booth knelt down to be on eye-level with his little girl. "I already got rid of the monster, remember?"

Her head shook rapidly. "That was the one in the closet. There's another one."

Booth held back a heavy sigh. "Christine -"

"There is!" she insisted, chin wobbling as tears threatened. "I saw it!"

"I taw it." Zach's head bumped against Booth's jaw as he nodded, too.

Resigned, Booth gave in and stood up straight. "Okay, I'll go check -"

"NO!" Christine quickly switched from Brennan's leg to his. "Don't go in there, Daddy! It will get you!"

"No, baby, it -"

"It might!" She clutched him tighter. "Don't go in there! Don't go in there!"

"Chrissycakes -"

"Can I sleep in your bed?" Her silver blue eyes were drowning beneath sparkling tears when she looked up at him. "Please?"

His gaze locked with Brennan. With flushed cheeks and mussed hair, her lips red and still plump from his kisses, she was as erotically beautiful as he'd ever seen her. The shadow of cleavage revealed by an unfastened button drew his gaze and the barely tempered heat in his veins warmed anew.

A whimper escaped his throat.

Brennan grimaced at him apologetically before she laid a hand on their child's head. "Of course you can, Christine."

"I, too." Zach loosened his grip on the dragon and curved one tiny arm around his father's neck.

Booth's shoulders slumped in defeat.

They quickly settled both children in the middle of the big bed, with blankets tucked around the small bodies and kisses pressed into their foreheads. Their eyes met as their fingers brushed and they shared the same thought: there was a couch downstairs. It wouldn't be the first time . . .

"Aren't you going to sleep with us?" They froze in mid-step when Christine's sleepy voice stopped them at the door.

"Well . . . yea." Booth fumbled for an answer. "We'll be right back -"

"But what if the monster finds us in here?" The sound of newly threatening tears was obvious again.

Zach sat up abruptly. "Mon'ter find me?"

Brennan reached for Booth's hand and gave it a hard squeeze before she walked back to the bed. "No monsters will find you," she promised softly as she sat down next to Christine. "We're right here."

Booth gave in, too, and sat down beside Zach. "Mommy's right. You're safe. I promise."

Minutes ticked off the clock as Brennan sang quietly and the children began to doze. A thought occurred to Booth; he caught Brennan's attention and nodded toward the bathroom door.

Her eyes gleamed in the light filtering in from downstairs. It wasn't what they'd planned for the night but . . .

"Where are you going?"

The two of them rising from the bed together caused Christine to stir. Booth's head dropped back as he said a quick prayer for patience.

"We're just going to get ready for bed . . ."

"Both of you?" She reached for Brennan's hand. "Mommy, stay with us." Beside her, Zach shifted restlessly.

Booth gave up.

"Okay, honey, okay." He squeezed Christine's foot beneath the covers. "I'm just gonna turn off all the lights and lock up. I'll be right back."

He left Brennan with a disheartened shrug and went back downstairs, looking with regret at the crushed pillows on the sofa as he switched off the lamps. After setting the alarm he returned to their room.

Brennan was already in bed, lying on her side next to Christine. He made short work of his own preparations and slid beneath the covers himself, on the other side of Zach.

They looked at each other across the sleeping bodies of their children.

Above the pillows, Brennan's fingers brushed against his. "There's always tomorrow night," she whispered quietly.

Booth heaved a resigned sigh. "That's what we said last night."

"The following day is Saturday," Brennan suggested, smiling when his mouth twisted. "They'll take a mid-afternoon nap."

The glare Booth sent toward the dark heads between them wasn't entirely playful. "These kids are never napping again."

She smothered a chuckle. "We can always ask Dad to stay with them for a few hours. He would enjoy that and so would they."

Booth winced as Zach turned over and wedged his knee into a sensitive area. He shifted the small body away carefully. "Face it, Bones. We're never having sex again."

"You're being melodramatic," she murmured. "I find it oddly charming."

"Yea?" Even in the dark, the wide grin he sent her worked its magic. "Wait until you see how charming I am Saturday."

"So we're calling Dad?"

"We're definitely calling him."

.

.

.

.

"Bones?"

"Mmmmm?"

"Maybe we should have him babysit every Saturday."

.

.


"You have bewitched me, body and soul . . ." Sounds a bit like "He knows the truth of you and he's dazzled by that truth," doesn't it? :-D

Thanks for reading!