//Things were different now.//


Sara let this thought pulse around in the back of her mind, pulling it forward in the odd moments of her days, in those little personal pauses: waiting for an elevator, rinsing her hands in a sink, slipping out of her shoes.


//Things were different now.//


She’d passed over some unseen personal threshold, through some barrier of their auras and touched the richness of Gil’s space. Felt his flesh. Tasted his hungry mouth, if only for a single, brief unspoken encounter.


The thought left her giddy at times; a remembered throb of sensation pulsed her between her thighs when she recalled the heat of his semen on her wrist, the saltysweet tang of his sweat on her tongue.


She savored memories almost too intimate with their ability to leave her breathless.


And the true beauty of all this, Sara knew, was that it was only a matter of time at this point. That tiny taste was enough to keep the hunger high between them in every glance that lingered a moment too long, every casual touch or suggestive word they shared.


***  ***  ***


It was nearly seven and the rain hadn’t stopped. It poured steadily down, falling in sheets, shifting only as the wind hit it, creating a thick wall of watery grey rolling down the windshield. The wipers could barely keep up with the deluge, and the added steam of condensation made visibility difficult but not impossible, given some concentration.


Sara forced herself to stay calm.


The weather didn’t bother her much in truth. Most of the time she barely noticed it, reacting only when it meant the loss of a crime scene or screwed up her parking situation. Working a night shift bled the color out of her world, and only the bright lights of the casinos put it back in garish relief around her. Weather was a background detail, not high on her personal radar.


Tonight, though was different. All day the weather had permeated the mood in this car, tinged it with a relentless wildness with every gust, ever flash of lightning or booming roll of thunder.


How far?” she managed to make her voice sound calm.


Forty miles more to the interstate, if we don’t get detoured,” Gil muttered easily, not taking his eyes from the barest outline of the road. The two day presentation to the Cold Springs Police department was behind them, and not a moment too soon for Sara’s comfort. Although the SUV had four wheel drive, the storm was making the road nearly impossible to drive on. Sailing on would have been a more accurate description given the amount of water over the asphalt. Sara huddled down on her seat and shot a sideways glance at her companion, studying his profile in the dim light.


You’re watching me.”




And you’re wondering how to ask about things you’re not sure you have a right to ask about—“ he continued in a low, soft voice. Startled by his perception, Sara nodded tightly; wrapping her arms around her waist, wishing her down jacket was thicker. Something in his voice didn’t sound promising.


Fair enough. The only answer I can give you to that is we’re in a neutral zone at the moment.”


A neutral zone?” she looked over at him, cocking her head curiously. Gil gave a slow nod without looking at her.


Neutral. Man is by nature a suspicious animal. We maintain a social order by establishing rank and defending property. A big part of that is taken up with territory, Sara. At the lab, at any crime scene, I hold the highest rank as the alpha. The dominant male, if you like. It means I get to decide what we will and won’t talk about.”


You mean you get to be bossy.”


Not just get to be—AM. Rank has its privileges,” he managed a ghost of a smile. Sara laughed.


Oh yeah—I’m sure Greg, the omega male of our little herd could testify to that.”


If I LET him—“ Gil replied dryly, earning another soft chuckle from Sara. She rubbed her chin.


So you’re saying because we’re AWAY from your established territories, this car is neutral ground?”


She could see Gil struggle to reply, his jaw working back and forth and knew in that tiny insightful moment his response would be the only way he could give her the opening to ask.


Yes,” came his low, reluctant reply.


Ah,” Sara sighed. She didn’t want to rush any of this, not after waiting so patiently. So she drew in a breath and forced her shoulders to relax. Sara let a few more moments pass between them, then let her tongue flick out to wet her upper lip in an unconsciously flirtatious move before asking shyly,


The earthquake. Do you still—remember—what we talked about?”


Every day,” Gil replied shortly, trying to keep his voice steady. He felt he’d succeeded until he heard Sara sigh.


Me too. I wasn’t sure if I just imagined part of it, or if the concussion filtered it into something I WANTED to hear, or what. And of course by the time we got out of the ER it was a little late to—clarify--things.”


A flash of lightning cut across the sky, smeary through the rain. Gil’s brows drew together as he tried to figure out what to say.


Clarification might be a good starting point,” he offered gently. Sara nodded.


Yes, ground rules and limits. So working with a big hypothetical framework here, we already know that we’re attracted to each other, not just on an intellectual level, but a physical one as well.”


That’s fairly—evident.”


In some cases prominent—“ she countered, biting her lips against a laugh when Gil’s knuckles tightened on the steering wheel.


Yes well it’s an up and coming development.”


Sara’s eyes widened delightedly at this unexpectedly smutty banter and she gave him an approving nod. Gil shot her a quick glance before turning his gaze back to the dark wet road. She spoke up again.


But, and this is a biggie—I accept that there are some codas to any sort of relationship between us outside of work. I assume our professional lives ARE sacrosanct and untouchable.”


Our professional lives stay—professional,” he agreed in deliberate tones. “I’m your supervisor, but Catherine has enough seniority now to do your evaluations from this point on if that’s acceptable to you.”


Sara nodded, agreeing to the condition with a small frown.


Won’t she be—“


Suspicious? Probably, but if she wants a promotion to supervisor she’s going to have to do them eventually, and this would be a natural progression.”


You’ve given this some THOUGHT,” Sara accused lightly, trying to hide the shiver of pleasure that idea gave her.




I’m touched.”


Not yet.”


Sara shifted a little, wondering how the interior of the car had gotten so--humid. The thunder rolled out, vibrating against the frame of the car just as a wet flash of red and white glittered through the windshield. Gil slowed and the colors became lights on top of two highway patrol cars parked haphazardly across the road. A yellow slicker moved towards the driver side window that Gil was unrolling.


Sorry sir, but the road’s washed out—flash flooding,” a young hoarse-voiced trooper bawled at them through the rain.




Haven’t got one established yet—the one we started got washed out too—“


So—how long a delay are we talking about? We need to get to Vegas this evening--” Sara blurted, leaning over Gil’s shoulder.


The trooper gave a shake of his head, sending sloshes of water on the car windowsill.


Frankly ma’am, I’d forget about making it there tonight—your best bet is holing up back at one of the motels and waiting until morning,” he advised in a patient voice. Gil nodded and began to back up the Tahoe, carefully circling around as Sara crossed her arms and said nothing.


And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild again,” Gil quoted softly, his voice barely above the susurration all around them. Sara turned to look at him as he added,


Shelley, The Cloud. Seemed to fit the moment, don’t you think?”


It does—“ she breathed, intrigued by his ability to pull an appropriate quote out of thin air. Gil pursed his mouth and squared his shoulders, saying nothing more for a while and Sara settled back in her seat, awaiting further developments.


Within fifteen miles, Sara noted a change in the tenor of the rain; a gentler hiss as they approached smeary lights. Her hands, deep in her pockets balled into fists and she could feel questions rising up in her throat, all sorts of anxious embarrassing, overeager frightened questions starting to work their way out of her mouth.


Gil laughed softly.


Patience, Sara. It’s not currently one of your virtues, but it’s worth cultivating in areas other than crime scenes, sweetheart. Right now we’re going to check in, settle in our rooms and get some dinner.”


Right,” She replied, letting out the breath she’d been holding. The SUV pulled into the wide paved parking lot of a two story Desert Inn Motel, passing under the huge neon billboard proclaiming: ALL YOU CAN EAT SOUTHWESTERN BUFFET. BUSES WELCOME.


No need for both of us to get soaked—I’ll book our rooms,” Gil told her, pulling up to the sign that proclaimed OFFICE. Sara glanced at the tiny convenience store on the other side of the drive through carport.


I’m going in there—“


Stay dry—“ Gil warned. They parted, and Gil found the manager behind the desk, reading a paperback copy of Red Dragon. He looked up and managed an annoyed sigh.




Two rooms, please—adjoining if you can,” Gil fished in his wallet for his Visa, dripping water on the counter as he did so. The clerk reluctantly pressed the paperback facedown on the desk and checked a computer screen.


Okay, we’ve got 241 and 243 upstairs—are you going to make any calls?”


Not on your phones, no.”


Room service closes at eleven, The Rodeo Dining room closes at midnight and checkout is noon--” With a swiftness bordering on brusque, the clerk ran the credit card, slapped the receipt down and pushed the two keys across the counter at Gil.


He stared at them a moment, his mind racing along with his pulse.


 If Sara was willing, if she wanted him—


Gil scooped the keys up, then crossed the carport to the convenience store, finding Sara cruising down an aisle, her hands holding a toothbrush and a bottle of shampoo.


For me?” he asked, eyes twinkling. Sara shook her head before she realized he was teasing.


No—I—needed shampoo, and the brush was—on sale—“ she trailed off, watching as Gil intentionally picked up a package of ultra-sheer silk pantyhose and looked at it thoughtfully. A spike of heat shot right down her stomach at the sight of him staring at those black filmy stockings.

“We’ll need a single pair—“ he told her in a low, serious voice, “—If you’re prepared to go through with this—“

Sara looked up into his face and in that single timeless moment of lucidity saw everything in sweet clarity. His eyes held hers, impossibly blue, vulnerable for only a second, reading her reaction.

Moving slowly so her gesture couldn’t be mistaken or misconstrued, she reached up to caress the side of his face, her fingers touching his sideburn, her palm cupping his jawline. Gil’s skin was hot.

“I’ll SAVOR this—“ she told him throatily. He turned his head, lips brushing the heel of her hand.

They made their purchases and carried their suitcases up the stairs, reaching 241 first. Gil opened the door and flicked on the light, breathing a sigh at the bland décor of pastel Southwest that greeted them. Sara smirked.

“Think this theme is ever going to die?”

“One can only hope—“ he winced, setting his suitcase on the rack by the door. Sara fingered her key awkwardly.


Gil didn’t look at her as he pulled out his shaving kit and set it in the bathroom, unpacking it carefully.

“Two reasons—first of all, our reimbursement paperwork with Accounting—two employees, two rooms, that’s standard, you know that.”

“And the other reason?” she tried to hide the quaver in her voice. Gil finally looked at her.



“To choose NOT to be—with me. The most important aspect of anything developing between us, Sara, is that it’s by choice. Your own free will. I would never restrict your option to walk away.”

Feeling giddy, Sara nodded, aware of what a precious concept this was, and how utterly it personified Grissom. She met his eyes.

“I appreciate that,” she told him. Carefully, she stepped back out into the hall and opened the door to 243, flicking on the light and surveying the room, taking a moment to catch her breath. After setting her suitcase down, she moved to the adjoining door and softly knocked.

“Come in—“ his voice was clear, and it was apparent that he was right on the other side, waiting. Sara’s hands trembled as she turned the knob and pulled the door open.


He stood there leaning on the frame, pale and cautious. Sara blinked, wishing the heat in her stomach would stop plunging between her thighs at the sight of him.

What would you like for dinner?

You she thought, but cocked her head instead. He reached a hand out through the doorway; she took it and they stepped together, meeting in the middle, sliding into a warm clumsy embrace of people who aren’t yet lovers but are more than friends.

Sara laughed nervously, her eyes closed.

To be honest, I don’t know if I COULD eat—“

You need to—we missed lunch, and both of us are moving on coffee dregs at the moment. Let’s check out the Southwest Buffet and see if there’s anything palatable there.”

Oh yeah, Grande Greaso and Tortilla Ossifica—“ Sara snorted. She didn’t want to move away from the warmth of Grissom’s light embrace, from the soft stroke of his hands down her back. He chuckled into her hair.

We don’t know that—besides, no need to rush anything.”

Speak for yourself—“ she murmured into the front of his shirt, tightening her arms around him. Gil sighed happily and gently pulled himself out of her grip.

Food—“ he chided.

***   ***   ***

Sara’s predictions proved wrong in the most delightful way; the Southwest Buffet offered fluffy Spanish rice, enticing guacamole salad and carne asada fit for a king. They filled their plates, sat down at a booth on the far side of the sparsely filled dining room and dedicated themselves to eating. Sara’s appetite returned and she made good inroads on her huge plate of rice, looking up to see Gil’s amused glance.

For someone who’s not hungry, you’re doing a good job—“

I have a high metabolism,” she countered, waving a fork at him, “I need the fuel.”

I’m not arguing—“ he replied easily, sipping his beer. Sara drew in a breath and studied his hands as he pushed his plate away.

I have—questions,” she blurted. Looking patient, Gil nodded, then set his elbows on the table, lacing his fingers together and resting his chin on them.

Neutral territory. Here, you can ask. Up there—“ he let the words trail away. Sara shook her head.

Why are you like this?”

Because I know who I am. I know what I need,” he replied thoughtfully. A pause hung between them, and before Sara could speak he continued.

I can’t control life or death, even though I’ve dedicated most of my career towards putting order to them. I’ve been accused of being unfeeling and emotionless, of not caring about life going on around me.”

Sara flushed; Gil arched an eyebrow at her but his eyes were soft.

And yes, I AM self-contained and solitary, not exactly the life of the party. I’ve always been that way Sara. I don’t share me, because I’ve never felt the need to. I’m a loner by temperament and nature.”

I know that. I want to know why you’re—“

Kinky? I’m not—I have needs predetermined by my personality. I require a framework even for intimacy.”


Don’t get me wrong--I could have sex with you—“ he shrugged, “--regular missionary position mutually consensual sex, but that’s all it would be. Just—sex.”

Sara nodded, her eyes bright as she watched him.

However--we both want more than that,” she supplied.

Don’t we?” he smiled, softly. Sara nodded, sliding a hand over to him, caressing his forearm. He looked at her fingers a moment before unlacing his own and touching them.

How do you cope?”

The same way you do—throw myself into the job, dedicate myself to the work at hand and put the focus there. Most of the time it compensates—sometimes it--doesn’t.”

Ah. Know the feeling, “ Sara commiserated, thrusting her jaw out. Gil nodded.

Part of my attraction to you is precisely that familiarity. I don’t have to explain the job, the hours, the cases, the heartbreak or exhilarations. You live it alongside me, and that goes a long way in making it easy to want you.”

What’s the other part?” Sara demanded bluntly, caressing his thumb with her index finger. Fascinated, he watched their hands a moment before replying.

More than I can put into words in one conversation, Sara—you stir me, challenge me, make me think, make me wish I was younger, haunt my dreams, irritate and tease me. I adore your impulsiveness, your blunt manner, your careless tolerance of people who can’t keep up with you. You are a street-wise swan, an urban princess in a jaded kingdom, a diamond in a city of rhinestone and zirconium.”

Jeez—“ she gulped, stunned by the lyrical flow of his words. Blinking, she shifted her thighs and felt hot. Everywhere. Gil managed a small smile at her discomfited expression.

And—I trust you. The ultimate bottom line here, Ms. Sidle, is that.”

Sara abruptly sat up, pulling her hand away from his to wrap it around her water glass, letting the chill counter the heat flaring in her body. Very calmly, she spoke up.

Very pretty Grissom, but why now? You know how I’ve felt about you, how I’ve worked hard to earn your trust, not only professionally but personally. What was the tipping point?”

I—hurt someone. With a few thoughtless insinuations and assumptions, I destroyed a chance to connect with a person who might have been important to me once. That mistake made me reevaluate a lot of things, Sara—and OUR relationship was foremost in that. Did you ever read Blake?”

Ages ago—“ she admitted, watching his face.

Gil nodded. “One of his poems says it best-- 

I went to the Garden of Love,

And saw what I never had seen:

A Chapel was built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green.


And the gates of this Chapel were shut,

And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;

So I turned to the Garden of Love,

That so many sweet flowers bore;


And I saw it was filled with graves,

And tombstones where flowers should be;

And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,

And binding with briers my joys and desires.”


For a long quiet moment they looked at each other.

Sara slid her hands across the table, capturing his wrists, gripping them tightly. In a slow, throaty sigh she announced,

We. Need. To. Go. Upstairs.”

***   ***   ***

The lush honey of her mouth nearly undid him before he could get the door open behind her back. Sara’s lips, hot and sweet were on his chin, his cheek; frantically Gil tried to unlock the door but fumbled as his body pinned hers against the frame of 241. His pulse was hammering now, and Sara’s aura was searing into his, demanding his attention in ways he couldn’t, wouldn’t resist. He pulled away giddily and Sara laughed low.

Tasty aftershave, Grissom—“

Soap and water—“ he grunted, finally getting the door open and sweetly shoving her inside. Sara’s hands clung to his jacket, pulling him in with her. In the darkness he managed to slam the door shut behind them and caught an arm around her slender waist, yanking her to him.

This is my room, Sara sweetheart. If we play HERE, we play by my rules—“ he breathed into her face. He couldn’t see her very well in the darkness, but could feel the thrumming tension in her body. She stiffened for a moment.

And if we go to MY room?”

We play by your rules. Take your pick, but only one bed is going to be slept in tonight—“ he growled. She sighed then, a long low needy sound that ended in,

Here. Your room, Grissom.”


Ruthlessly he steered her over to the bed, dropping with her onto it, bouncing slightly. Sara rolled to face him but he caught her wrists and held them lightly.

First of all—do you trust ME?”

Sara paused, flexing her wrists, considering. She gave a nod after a moment, her dark eyes never leaving his.

Yes. Right here, right now, I trust you.”

Good. Listen to me. I have no birth control, Sara. It wasn’t my intention to seduce you on this trip, so I didn’t pack anything. I didn’t buy anything downstairs because I wasn’t going to be that presumptuous.”

In the dim light, Sara bit her lip, a flash of bitter disappointment washing over her face. Gil cocked his head.

We have options, honey. Many, many options, most of them worth the time and effort.”

Relaxing a little, Sara let her tongue slide out and lick her bottom lip.

I’m not—particularly good at those, Gris. I’m really sort of meat and potatoes when it comes right down to it.”

I thought you didn’t eat meat—“ he teased, and dropped his mouth to her neck, nipping the tender skin showing above the neckline of her shirt. Sara moaned and arched, her hands still trapped in his grip.

Ooohhhhhhhhhh—“ she wheezed, tensing with pleasure as the sensation of his moist mouth burned into her skin.

Sara, I can make love to you without having to be IN you, sweetheart,” Gil crooned softly into her ear before licking it. Sara writhed, aware her nipples were hard and poking through her shirt, aware that her panties were utterly drenched.

O-o-okay—“ she managed, biting back a moan. Gil pressed a few kisses along her temple and pulled back, propping his head on his hand.

Passion, Restrained. Desire, Bound-- Will you play that game with me, Sara Sidle?” he asked in a husky voice. She turned her head to look at him, at the brilliant blue flaring in his eyes.

Yes,” she breathed.

She found herself brushing her teeth and tingling with anticipation. Gil had gone through her suitcase, fished out a small black spaghetti strap tank top and panties and handed them to her with a smile.

My room, my choice. Do whatever you need to in the bathroom, I’m checking in with the lab—“

And he’d called, sounding normal as he spoke with Catherine. Sara slipped into the chosen night attire, aware she was shaking. Looking at herself in the mirror, she swallowed hard.

You’re sleeping with Grissom tonight—“ she informed her reflection, wondering why the other woman looked tense rather than elated. Sara ran her hands through her hair and checked her teeth, wishing the occasional tremble through her frame would stop. She stepped out as Gil was saying his goodbyes, his back to her.

As soon as a detour is up. Do NOT let Nick overfeed Quentin and if I find Greg’s Jetta in my parking spot, heads will roll.”

A click and the call was over; Gil turned to see Sara in the bathroom doorway dressed only in the tank top and panties. He sighed harshly.

God I want you—“ he intoned, not moving as he stared at her. She squared her shoulders and sauntered over to him.

Not like I want you—“ she breathed, eyes dark and full as she rubbed her cheek against his. Gil closed his eyes, hands sliding up her arms.

Sara, I want this to be good for you. I don’t want you to be frightened or upset, honey,” he whispered in her ear.

She nodded, swallowing away her fear, facing him head on.

So--tell me about this-- game,” she asked. Gil smiled, the blue of his eyes suddenly intense.

I tie you up. Wrists bound. Panty hose is best; it’s soft and flexible enough without causing ligature marks. I’ll make it with a slip knot so you can free yourself at any time.”

And?” Sara prompted. He blinked, his look wary.

And we make love—at the very least indulge in a lot of body fluid exchange—“ he offered cautiously.

No—hitting or spanking or gagging or—“

Nooooo—“ he looked a little startled; Sara felt a swell of tenderness rise through her chest at the look in his eyes. She laughed.

I thought you said you were kinky.”

Give me time—“ he promised, holding up the package of panty hose. Gil pulled them out of the package and doubled them over, tugging the length lightly in his big hands. Sara watched him. He tilted his head to the bed and she could see the pulse at his throat beating hard. Sara sucked in a deep breath, and in a swift graceful gesture, held out her wrists.

Then do it. I WANT you to tie me up—“ she told him with a calm she didn’t feel.

She watched his hands tremble as he looped the stockings around her thin wrists, twice around each, then bound them in the middle, tying off the ends in a neat loop. Gil held one of the ends between his thumb and index finger.

At any point, if you need to stop, tug. With your teeth. The whole thing will slip off,” He murmured, standing close enough for her to smell his musk. Sara stared at her wrists, a ripple of fear and excitement rolling up her stomach. She lifted her face to ask something, but Gil cupped her jawline and pulled her slowly into a deep kiss.

She moaned into his mouth, her spine melting as his tongue slid over hers possessively. Soft wet flicks caressed her teeth, and after a second she let her tongue duel with his, drinking in the taste of him. Gil slid his arms from her face down the sides of her neck.

He pulled away, staring at her a moment, looking down at her bound wrists pressed against his shirt front, and his slightly haunted expression made her squirm.

Appropriate language for appropriate settings—oh Sara, I want you so damn much--“

He guided her to the full-length mirror on the front of the bathroom door and stood behind her, lifting her arms over her head, holding them there. Sara felt her chest lift, felt exposed and vulnerable and yet—Gil’s strong hands left hers and slid around her waist, across her bare skin under the bottom edge of her t shirt. She watched them feeling the heat of his palms as they glided over her goosebumps.

Right here, right now, you’re MINE. All of you. From your luscious mouth to your edible toes, Sara sweetheart. Mine to play with and touch and tease and taste. Mine—“ he rumbled into her ear. Sara heard the hungry note in his voice and lifted her chin.

Touch me, taste me—“ she challenged. The grip of his hands on her slender waist tightened and she heard him draw in a sharp, delighted breath as he pressed close behind her.

His left hand slid up, under the shirt, cupping one breast warmly. Sara gasped. The thought of Grissom’s hands on her skin was nothing compared to the fact; his touch was brazenly light, erotically gentle. His breath heated the shell of her ear as he spoke.

You have no idea, none honey, how many nights I’ve lain awake dreaming of touching you like this—“ he whispered, “—WANTING you, Sara, hungering for you.”

His other hand slid down, fingers reaching the edges of her panties. Sara watched in lust-tinged fascination as Gil’s hand passed under the elastic and stroked her full mound just under it. She trembled, nearly overwhelmed by the sight of them in the mirror, and the feel, God, the FEEL of his touch—

I want you to come for me, Sara—“ he urged, fingers lightly caressing the downy curls under her panties. Sara shifted, widening her stance and moaning. The woman in the mirror did the same, looking wild and tense.

Softer than I imagined, sweetheart. Such a beautiful pussy,” he sighed in her ear, and as the heel of his hand pressed against her, Sara shuddered, hard. Gil’s grip on her breast tightened as he held her firmly against him.

Come, sweetheart--nice and hard—“

As her fire-edged orgasm spasmed through her lanky frame Gil held her. Her arms dropped down and she swayed a little, utterly overcome by the swift ferocity of her climax.

Gil laughed softly at her bewildered expression, hugging her close from behind.

I think you needed that—“ he replied, kissing her neck, swinging her around and lightly dropping her on the bed. Sara bounced a little and pouted, embarrassed even as her entire body relaxed. Gil sat down and began to take his shoes off; this utterly mundane action made Sara scramble to sit up, a job made more difficult by her bound hands.

Um, interesting as that was, and thank you by the way—is that all there IS to your little game?” she managed bravely as she rose to her knees on the bed. Gil turned and looked at her, his blue eyes flashing.

Oh no. That was just a warm-up—“ he replied earnestly. Sara blinked. Gil tilted his head at her confusion.

You were—nervous. Tense. I figured a quick palm rub on my part would relax you.”

She couldn’t argue the point, and seeing her expression, Gil chuckled. Standing, he unbuttoned his shirt, looking down at her, a small smirk on the corner of his mouth. Sara reached her bound hands out to help him, but he shook his head.

Lie back. Are you cold?”

Not after that—“ she replied, pinkening in the lamplight. Gil emptied his pockets on the nightstand; Sara was fascinated to see his wallet, his keys, loose change and several rubber bands set out. He noted her interest.

The effluvia of a life.”

I thought all guys carried a condom in their wallet—sort of a universal standard—“ She couldn’t quite keep the hopeful tone out of her voice; although Sara felt much more relaxed, there was still an ache deep within her. Gil shook his head ruefully.

That sort of optimism dies away after age forty, Sara.”

Gracelessly, to hide her frustration, she flopped back on the bed, huffing a little, her tied hands on her stomach. Laughing, Gil stretched out on the mattress beside her, his shirt open to reveal his lightly furred chest, his stocky frame. He rolled to face her, one eyebrow going up as his smile gentled.

Sweet are the young, my darling. I’m going to touch you in the most inappropriate ways.”

Don’t tickle. I’d have to kill you if you tickled—“ Sara warned, suddenly worried about the gleam in his eyes. Gil’s hand slid up her bare thigh and moved in circles thoughtfully.



Not fromage, Frottage,” he corrected. “By definition, concentrated rubbing for brilliant results—“

Sara rolled to face him and let her glance linger over the sight of him. It was enough to make her pulse race: Grissom’s slightly tousled curls, his soft mouth, his open shirt, and the thick bulge at his crotch. She reached her bound hands for his fly. He looked down a stern expression crossing his face.

My room, my rules—“ he reminded.

Gris—“ she pleaded. Gil laid a hand on her lips, silencing her.

Touch me. As best you can tied up, touch me—“ he directed gently.

Sara did. With careful tugs she managed to open his fly and reach in, her fingers sliding down either side of his hot suede erection, her palms caressing him as he thumped heavily into her hands. Gil groaned, his eyes closing, long lashes dark against his cheeks.

God—“ he gasped, rocking into her caressing grip, thrusting. Sara shifted her mouth to his and kissed him, sucking his bottom lip between her teeth as her fingers tips relentlessly moved along his cock in wavy strokes. His breathing quickened as his hand blindly stroked her shoulder, and Sara felt the surge of power as she touched him.

SaraChristSara---“ came his soft urgent plea. She bit his lip, lightly and the shaft in her hands throbbed hard; she lightened her grip to hear his hiss in frustration.

Please--watch me touch you—“ she insisted huskily, looking down between their bodies. Mesmerized, Gil stared at Sara’s bound hands sliding over the hot rosy shaft rising between them. His stomach tensed, his head dropped back.

God! I-I—Sara!” he growled helplessly as thick ribbons of semen erupted from his cock, splashing between them. Sara loosened her grip after a moment, watching Gil suck in deep breaths, his face flushed, eyes dark with some sweet unnamable emotion. Lightly, Sara lifted her head and rested it on his shoulder, savoring a secret pleasure deep within.

***   ***   ***

The sound of the rain was lost in the wind now, howling around the windows like a lost soul. Sara heard it dimly in the back of her mind, wondering if it was warning her. At the moment, she didn’t much care as she kissed the hollow of Gil’s throat, tasting the salt of his damp skin. She lay stretched out on top of him, arms looped behind his neck, nuzzling him in the dark, drunk on the flavor of him. They’d been this way for almost an hour, and the soft wet smacks of slow wet deep kisses sounded loud in the semi-dark room as the two of them lay tangled in the sheets.

You have an incredibly nice ass,” Gil told her in a serious voice, as if this was important news she needed to hear right away. Sara laughed against his chin, saying nothing, feeling giddy and wild, loving the feel of his naked body under her semi-clothed one.

I intend to bite it tonight.”

Oh I don’t THINK so—“ she replied indistinctly through a kiss.

Along with your thighs. They’re on my To Nibble list—“ Gil announced softly as his hands slid with possessive strength down her long spine. Sara shifted, letting her knees slide alongside his hips, straddling him, feeling the hot press of his renewed erection against her fur, the wiry scratch of his thick pubic hair.

In fact, I may go completely cannibal. Simply devour all of you—“ he teased softly, kissing her again before she could protest or complain. His hands curled around her panties and tugged them down.

Sara let him. It was odd but exhilarating, if she was honest with herself. This submission was like teetering on the edge of a tightrope, trying to keep a sense of balance when everything was trying to knock you over.

And Grissom had always kept her off-balance; that was the only certainty. Biting back her own urges to assert herself had been hard, but so far it was worth the pleasures, the hot-eyed glow in his fine eyes.

He rolled over, bracing a forearm over her head, keeping his muscular body pressed on hers lightly, pinning her down. She felt him duck out of the circle of her bound hands, his hair brushing her chest when he did so.

What big teeth you have—“ she whispered. He smiled.

All the better to eat you with, my dear—“ came the soft retort as he backed down the length of her suspine form. Sara felt his mouth nibble from breast to breast, then move down her ribcage to her stomach, stopping at her navel.


Yes—“ she blurted, longing to say more, not daring to do it.

Laughing, he nipped her belly button and let his chin lightly scrape the tender flesh between her rising hipbones. Sara looked down, trying to stroke his hair with her bound hands. Dimly she wondered if she should untie herself, but stopped, knowing it would break the spell for Grissom.

His room, his rules echoed in her head.

Open the gates of the chapel, Sara—“ he sighed, his big hands taking her knees and pulling them apart. Sara acquiesced slowly, watching his face as he knelt above her, pulling her panties off and dropping them over the side of the bed.

Gorgeous—“ he sighed, dropping his face and rubbing it lightly along the gossamer fur between her hips. Startled, Sara tried to sit up, but Gil pressed his hands on her hipbones, fitting his palms against them, holding her down.

Christ the very scent of you drives me insane, Sara! Pepper and honey, sugar and tangerine--” he sighed in a low growl, looking up the length of her body. Mouth dry, she shuddered in pure hot response to his feral look, and knew that even if she lay under him a hundred times, she’d never forget THIS moment—Gil Grissom looming over her, completely comfortable in his own dominant, naked sensuality.

Lightly he pressed his mouth to the soft cleft in her fur and suckled; Sara bucked hard, hands coming down in helpless response but Gil caught them with one of his own, pinning them against her stomach as he let his voice rumble on the velvety folds of her sex.

Like syrup from apricots, sweetheart—“ he hungrily told her, pressing deeper with his questing tongue. It circled her quivering bud deep within, and Sara growled, straining hard now, breathing in irregular gasps. Close, so close-- And he—


Sara howled. Writhing furiously, she arched, trying to lift herself to his mouth, lost in her utter NEED for completion. Gil blew softly on her heated flesh.


Noooo—“ she panted, fighting his grip and not succeeding. His grasp on her hands tightened and she drew in a deep breath, tears slipping down her face as she slumped back. Just when her ass touched the bed again, Gil pressed his mouth to her once more and lightly flicked his tongue in a few powerful strokes.

Sara spasmed, her long legs sliding along his back. A long musical wail of pleasure erupted from her throat, echoing in the room, drowning out the rain for a few vulnerable heartbeats.

When she could catch her breath, Sara quickly rolled away from him, sulking; Gil curled around her, pressing to her stiff back, breathing on her nape. She held her breath, willing herself not to cry. She hated the fact that her entire body was trembling and hot and far too hungry for the man behind her.

Going to untie yourself?” he asked gently. Sara didn’t answer. He kissed her shoulder, his lips warm and still slick with her sweetness when they touched her skin.

I wouldn’t blame you, sweetheart. I teased longer than I should have,” he confessed softly, moving his kisses down her spine. Sara wriggled, not quite ready to forgive him, but listening just the same. He sighed.

Supple Sara. Sexy Sara. Succulent Sara—“ Gil chanted between kisses, crawling lower behind her, his artfully seductive hands gliding over her hip, “Sensual Sara, Sinuous Sara, Salacious Sara—“

And she felt his hot breath on the hollows over the curve of her bottom, felt the wet searing nip of his teeth in sweet animal love bites on the rounded curves of her ass that sent her into another surge of sensory overload as she shuddered.

***   ***   ***

He watched her sleep, her expression guiless and smooth, her elegant frame curled like a contented kitten at his side. Gil propped himself up on one elbow and savored the moment, looking down at Sara’s features with quiet fierce joy.

Graceful brows, long dark eyelashes, pouty mouth as quick to frown as to smile, firm chin. Strong shoulders for a woman, squared and wide—graceful. Her collarbones intrigued him, standing in beautiful relief against her skin, perfect for kissing. Her chest, unabashedly pert and enticing demanded attention, but he restrained himself from touching for the moment, content with watching her.

Sara was composed of long, languid curves, of a beautiful economy of muscle and flesh on a restless frame, and Gil knew this amazing body housed an equally astonishing mind. Sara’s personality was as complex and intelligent as his own, as driven and haunted, as insightful and passionate as he himself was.

And as vulnerable.

He drew in a breath. Bending low, he stared into her sleeping face, his expression bleakly bittersweet in the dim light.

I. Love. You.” He sighed in a whisper so gossamer soft that his breath barely touched her cheek. He froze, waiting, but Sara didn’t move, sleeping on, her breathing deep and even. He gently stroked a finger against her cheek and she smiled, never opening her eyes.


Sara woke, disoriented at first, but aware within seconds of her surroundings. She breathed in the mingled perfume of sex and musk, felt the weight of Gil’s arm lying on her waist. A hot chuckle threatened to bubble up out of her as she considered her situation: who would believe she’d allowed herself to be trussed up and fondled throughout the night by Gil Grissom?

And still—this had been better than any night of passion she’d had in years. Her analytical mind mulled this over and reached the same truth she’d known since first meeting the man: she loved him. Loved his quirks, his charms, his stocky frame, his frowns and melancholy ways.

Loved him.

Sara looked at her hands, still neatly tied in the stockings and sighed. A small kink, a bigger clue. Why did he do this? What was the need when he was so generous in lovemaking, so utterly sensual, so direct? Controlling the encounter was his explanation, but somehow that didn’t quite fit—

Sara slowly rolled over and turned herself until she could face him; in sleepy response he shifted to his back, one arm over his head, the other at his side. His profile, even in sleep seemed slightly amused and Sara noted that even Doctor Grissom was not immune to morning hormonal reflex. Grinning, she slid herself under the sheet and across his stomach, heading south. Her move woke him up; her touch made him throb.

Sara—“ came his chide. Ignoring that, she deftly caught his rampant shaft and stroked it again in her hands. Under her, his stomach tensed, and she felt his hands reach for her. Before he could say or do anything to stop her, She opened her mouth and slid it around his straining cock.

S-s-s-saraaaaa!“ came a gratifyingly startled stammer. She stretched her tied hands on either side of his delighted shaft and began to bob her head, marveling at the tang of it, the intriguing flavor of Gil’s musk. His hands finally reached her hair and fluttered over it, unsure whether to tug or caress. She ignored them, concentrating on the captivating sensations of his prick.

It was thick, and very hot; she suspected it would definitely stretch her limits in more ways than one, and this thought made her wriggle. She pulled back and licked it carefully, appreciating the gasps coming from somewhere above and behind her.

Oh God, baby—“ came the husky pleas. Sara bent forward again, sliding her hands to cup the heavy silken mass of his balls. She took him in again and purred against his shaft, pleased, delighted, excited.

IfyoudothatIWILLcomeSTOPSTOP---“ Gil gasped, fighting the urge to thrust himself up into Sara’s wicked mouth. She pulled back enough to speak, smiling to herself.

Sorry Grissom--My mouth, my rules—“ she announced before dropping her lips on him again. His hands tightened in her hair, and with a slightly anguished groan he gave in, rocking his hips in a quickening cadence for a few minutes. Then Sara hummed again, and in a powerful surge, Gil cried out, gushing relentlessly, his stomach flexing hard under hers.

A few slow tongue wipes left him clean; Sara backed out of the sheets, trying hard not to look smug and failing utterly. Gil hauled her up and across his chest, his expression stunned.


Yeah. And with my hands tied, too. I think I should get a prize or something—“ she laughed. With an oath, he pulled her down and held her against his chest where she could hear his pulse begin to slow down. He kissed the top of her head.

You didn’t HAVE to.”

I know. That’s why I did.”

He paused, his grip around her tightening. His whisper was soft and wondering.

Sara. That was a—first, for me.”

She froze at that.

And Gil reached down and took the end of the stockings, yanking the loop, pulling the restraints off.

***   ***   ***

//Things were different now//

Sara pulled her suitcase from the back of the Tahoe, setting it down on the pavement before pulling the back hatch down with a firm slam. She pulled her sunglasses up, parking them on top of her head and glanced at her watch, noting that the weak sunshine was finally bright enough to see by. She lifted her chin and walked around to the driver’s door, her saunter smooth and confident. He was leading with his back against it, arms crossed over his chest, staring at her apartment building.

Sara,” Gil shifted his glance to her, head cocked, small knowing smile on his mouth. She smiled back.


He looked at her over the top of his sunglasses, his gaze direct and intensely focused. It was the intimate sort of stare that made Sara feel as if she was still standing before him, brazenly naked.

Remember sweetheart. An appetite can be sated for the moment. A hunger goes on and on.”

I guess--that just makes us two famished people then.”

Ravenous. Voracious. Insatiable.“ he rumbled, his gaze locked on hers.

Sara grinned. She reached into the pocket of her down jacket and fished something out swiftly. In one quick flourish, she grabbed his wrist and wrapped the long strand of stocking around it. Gil stared down at the filmy cuff dangling in the faint sunlight. Sara watched him swallow once, slowly, and lift his stare back to her, a frank long appraising look as he pocketed the stocking.

From this point on, Ms. Sidle, never be alone with me at work,” he warned her quietly. She brushed her hair back behind one ear.

That goes both ways, Doctor Grissom.”


She gave a short little nod and turned, prepared to pick up her suitcase and carry it up. She got about four steps before Gil’s voice called to her.


She stopped. His voice reached her, low and intense.

I’m already hungry again.”

She smiled.

Me too—“ came her reply as she picked up the suitcase and walked away, not stopping.


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