Tension holding

Author: Joy

Email: Julianna@ziplip.com

A/N: I'm taking it over from here. Please read Tension Released and Tension Mounting to figure out what's going on. Hope it meets with the approval of the previous two writers.

This piece picks up with Gabriel and Sara discussing the possibility of an 'US'.

Gabriel stared at Sara confusedly. "You would like to see what's between us?" he asked. "Does that mean we try to date or we go on a date or you just figure out how you feel about me or what?" He shook his head.

His manner changed so quickly Sara didn't know what to make of it. "Okay wellI'm not sure. What were you hoping would happen by telling me this?"

He blinked rapidly staring at the table in front of him. "Hoping? I'm not sure I wasI guess I was hoping I would tell you I had feelings for you, you would say you didn't but that you loved me and didn't want to lose me. I hoped that you would want to try to still be friends I guess I didn't let myself believe it would be anything else."

"And now that I'm willing"

"But what are you willing to do Sara? You don't want to hurt me, which pretty much means you don't want to take a risk so"

"Gabrielyou are shooting yourself in the foot right about now. What do you want from me? I'm willing to try."

Gabriel looked Sara over and figured out what he really wanted to know. "Sara? When I was touching you the other nightdid you feel anythingtowards me?"

She opened and closed her mouth several times locked into Gabriel's gaze. He was staring so deep into her eyes she was drowning. "I feltit felt"

Every bit of self-assurance Gabriel needed was gained by the lovely detective's stammer. Seated next to Sara on the couch he turned to face her moving over a bit so their thighs practically touched. He reached out with his right hand and traced his fingertips down Sara's left arm incredibly lightly. Her fine hairs stood on end as her eyes fluttered shut.

When she opened her eyes she realized how very close Gabriel had become. He would gaze at her lips then up to her eyesthen back again. Almost involuntarily Sara looked at Gabriel's pouty mouth and bit her lip, causing a small helpless sound to emanate from him. They stared at one another as they continued to edge closer to each other. When Sara licked her lips Gabriel's patience ran out. His mouth cruised over hers gently.

The sound of a growling animal outside the window of Sara's apartment disturbed their reverie. Sara saw the black coat whirl before disappearing. She blinked several times. "You can't go home" she muttered. "I have no idea where you would be safe but you can't go home."

"What?" Gabriel murmured having missed Nottingham.

Sara got up and started to pace. "Well my stalker is now your stalker so" She sat down again. "What exactly did Nottingham say would happen if you were more than my friend?"

"He'd kill me," Gabriel stated plainly.

"That's what I thought," she said with a nod. "Go take a shower or something. You're staying here tonight."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me," Sara snipped. "Showerchop chop."

"We are still at the 'we're not going to be lovers right now' phase right? Cause I'm really not quite sure of the situation at present."

"Your virtue is safe with meI'm more worried about your body." Gabriel raised an eyebrow at her. "That did not come out right."

"I'll hide in the bathroom."

Sara picked up her phone and dialed Ian's cell.

""

"Nottingham, its Sara."

""

"Come on. Say something."

"I warned him."

"That's why I called."

Ian grit his teeth, "I assumed as much."

"Listen Ian"

"I'm Ian now. You're scared for your precious boy so now I get called by my name. What an honor!"

Sara shook her head, "What is it that you want? Until you pushed the issue Gabriel wasn't going to tell meI wasn't even thinking that way about him." A dark male laugh rang through the phone. "What?"

"I heard you Sarafrom your fire escape. I heard the moans and groans of pleasure his hands brought you You never completely realized our connectionwhy I can be where you are at any moment. You never truly gazed upon Mr. Bowman just as you never truly gazed upon me. I have been with you and the Witchblade in generation after generationbut you refuse to see."

Something crashedbroke in the background. "I know you. I felt you as you felt him that night that his hands were stroking your skin. You were aroused never wanting his touch to leaveand it wasn't just that the caresses made you feel wonderful, it was the one doing it. You moaned for him. You gasped for him. You wanted him to touch you and keep touching you."

"Well if you knew so well why threaten Gabriel?" she snapped.

"Because I did know I am a freak to you. I can never be more than what my father made me to be."

"It's hard with you wearing an ascot Ian."

He growled, "Can you not even begin to fathom my pain? The only father I have ever known is deadand dead at the hand of one I stood up for to him. I have never done such a thing before. Thoughts of him and thoughts of you consume me. You both haunt me I have watched you with this boy and I am supposed to sit by and do nothing."

"Ian" Sara began then stopped. "What the hell am I doing? I don't need to justify myself to you. If you have been with me generation after generation then there have to be some generations we weren't together."

"I don't want to be a friend Sara."

"Well guess what? That's how Gabriel got his chance There seems to be a thin line between care and obsession with you, so here is my request: Let me figure things out with Gabriel. You care about me. You want me to be happy than let me get my head together If you can do that for meI'll spend time with you, away from the manor, but timejust you and I," Sara offered.

"I leave Gabriel alone and you essentially date both of us?" Ian questioned.

"I didn't say that I said I spend time with you alone."

Rich laughter bled through the phone, "And you believe Mr. Bowman will approve of this arrangement?"

Sara sighed, "If he values his life he will."

"I make two appendages to this arrangement."

"And those are?"

"You spend time with the Witchblade recovering memories of the pastour past," he said smoothly.

"Okayand?" she asked.

"You do not have sexual relations with Mr. Bowman until you at least attempt to see me as a person."

"EXCUSE ME!"

"Come now Sara. Is it really a fair compromise if not only does he get your time, effort, protection, and affection but he is able to making love to you as well?" Ian asked.

"I told you I wasn't dating both of you," she snapped.

He snorted, "I'm not asking you toright now. What I am saying is I cannot possibly have a remote chance of being considered more than a friend ever if you are sleeping with that boy."

"He is not a boy Ian."

"Whatever you may say Do we have a deal?"

Sara thought hard, "My one provision."

"What is that my lady?"

"I retain the right to come to you later on and say I am in love."

Ian swallowed hard. "And what will that accomplish?"

"I know you are a man of honor. There are things your father taught you to do and be but I know you would nevernever force yourself on a woman."

"Thank you for acknowledging that Sara."

"Are we agreed?"

He breathed deeply, "I leave Mr. Bowman safe and soundno threats, injury or death and you will spend time with me alone. You will listen to the Witchblade about our past and leave your relationship on consummated while you and I attempt a friendship of sorts, and I will leave your love unharmed if you do fall in love Are those the terms?"

"Yes."

"Then I agree. I would like to see you tomorrow at lunch. What do you like to eat?"

"Chinese."

"Very wellI look forward to seeing you."

"Goodbye Ian."

Gabriel came out of the bathroom wet hair sticking in all directions as he dried it, towel still in hand. "You just get off the phone with my personal executioner?"

"Yeah Come sit for a second," she murmured nervously.

"That doesn't sound good," he said concerned.

Sara nodded, "Probably isn't" Gabriel sat down. "We kind of made a deal"

"What kind of deal?"

She bit her lip and reached for his hand intertwining their fingers, "The kind that keeps you from getting dead."

His brow furrowed. "You don't meanyou don't have to I would never want you to"

"NoNo. Calm down. Nottingham is a lot of things but he would never purpose that," Sara said with confidence. "Deal is as followsWe can date and figure things out. He doesn't hurt you. I spend time with him aloneno touchy, no feely."

Gabriel stared at her hard; "There is more to it than that."

She clenched his fingers a little tighter; "I have to listen to the Witchblade. Make an effort to learn from it"

"Why? What does that do for him?" Gabriel was being way too perceptive.

"Nottingham and I apparently have a history togetherin the realest sense of the words. I think he feels if I remember the past than he might have a shot at a future with me," Sara owned.

"He's right" Gabriel got up and paced. "Any other conditions I should know about?" Sara looked at her hands. "Do tell!"

"We can't 'consummate' as he put it our relationship unless"

"Unless what?"

She swallowed and didn't look up; "Unless I tell him I'm in lovethen everything is null and void."

For a moment he was taken aback thinking. 'In love' wasn't even on the menu at this point. "Why couldn't you just lie to him and say"

Sara shook her head, "He would know."

"How?"

"He just would."

"That's not a good enough answer Sara," Gabriel said exasperated.

She sighed, "Because we're connected ItIt wasn't just that he could hear me the other night."

Gabriel was at full attention now, "Then what was it?"

"HeHe could feel meto itto you," Sara confessed. "That's why the threat came. He knew what I was feeling and was trying to stop it."

"So it got to you as much as it got to me?" he asked quietly.

"Yes."

Gabriel touched Sara's cheek and kissed her sweetly, "That was way more than I hoped for."

TBC

A/N: So how'm I doing? Yeah like?