The solid ‘thunk’ of a well-thrown softball landed deep within the pocket of the worn leather glove and satisfied with the catch, Grissom quickly tugged it out and tossed it back. His lazy arc would have been over most people’s heads, but Warrick merely extended a long, lanky arm up over his head and snagged it.
“Yo, Grissom—“ came the slightly exasperated comment, “I know YOU don’t have to concentrate on a strike zone, but it can’t be that hard just to return the ball.”
“You missed stretching in warm-ups, so I’m just making sure you get it in now,” came the slightly amused reply. Warrick didn’t roll his eyes but he came close to it as he shifted the ball and eyed home plate as if it had personally insulted him. Behind his left shoulder, Nick gave a whistle, and readjusted his baseball cap, grinning as Warrick turned to glare at him.
“Come on, man . . .” Nick urged, lounging with athletic ease, “You’re warmed up already, let’s get a batter up!”
“You’re breakin’ my concentration,” Warrick scowled, but he turned back to face the plate, where a cheerful Archie was already tapping the ground with the end of his bat, waiting. Warrick shot a glance to Sara, reassuring himself that she was alert, and wound up for his pitch.
It sailed across the plate, sweet and smooth; Archie swung hard but never touched it as the ball thumped into Grissom’s mitt.
“Okay Arch, choke up a little and don’t uppercut. Warrick’s sending them straight through,” Grissom muttered reassuringly. The tech nodded, then resettled himself over home plate as Grissom tossed the ball back. Warrick caught it easily and waited a moment to wind up again.
“Heybatterbatterbatterbatterbatter . . . “ Came the taunt from Catherine, Greg and Bobby around the field. Sara grinned and set her stance wider, her eyes locked on Archie’s bat.
Grinning but determined, Archie swung and the hard sweet clank of the aluminum bat meeting the ball rang out, only to clatter louder a moment later as he dropped it and charged for first. Sara watched and waited as Nick plucked it out of the air and fired it her way. She held out her glove, keeping one foot planted on the base, and the ball outsped Archie by nanoseconds.
“Better luck next time, AV man—“ Sara smiled, tossing her catch back to Warrick. Good-naturedly, Archie took her spot on first as she rotated to shortstop. Nick shifted to second, Clem moved to third and Bobby left the last base to trot up to home. Confidently he picked up the bat and stood on the right side.
“Look sharp people, we’ve got a southpaw up!” Grissom yelled, settling his catcher’s mask back over his face and dropping into position. Bobby laughed, pointing his bat out to right field at Greg.
“Hey Bunsen Boy, got one with your name on it!” came his light taunt. In response, Greg hunched down, grinning and ready. The low ‘batterbatter’ chant began again, but Bobby ignored it; his hit was a low grounder, scooting up dust across the diamond before rumbling through the grass. Greg scooped it up and shot it to Archie, but Bobby was already on the base, a little winded and smiling.
“Gotta move faster, Greg—“ Grissom chided him. Greg loped back to position, sighing. In right field, Hodges shot him a lofty look. The basemen moved again, and Clem came up to bat.
“Power hitter, guys. Move back and stay alert!” came the call from Grissom. Warrick grinned and wound up. The pitch was low; Clem held and behind her Grissom chuckled.
“Good eye. Don’t let Ecklie’s pitcher rush you. Matherson’s a good one but he works the head game. He may try to scare you with a few close ones, so don’t fall for them.”
Clem nodded, then set herself again. This time Warrick’s pitch connected with a gunshot crack of the bat, and the softball flew in a high, powerful arc that soared up and away. Clem ran. As she powered past Bobby, Archie and Sara, gunning for home, the outfield of Hodges, Catherine and Greg scrambled in a relay return of the ball. Clem thundered in as Grissom rose, peeling off his mask and holding a glove up; the ball smacked into it well after she’d crossed the base.
“Offensively, great play. Defensively, that sucked,” Grissom called out to the field at large, receiving a few laughs in response. Clem had her hands on her thighs as she tried to catch her breath, and Grissom waved everyone in for a moment for a quick conference. They gathered at home plate, and he looked them over.
Clem and Catherine were the only ones in shorts, Cat in a tattered denim pair matched up with a denim vest and sneakers. She wore sunglasses and a tolerant smile. Clem had cycling shorts of banana yellow topped by a U of WLV baseball jersey. Greg was in jeans and a revoltingly green tee shirt reading DNA: it’s not just for breakfast anymore! Next to him, Bobby and Nick were nearly a matched set in grey sweatpants and black muscle tees, although Bobby’s cap proclaimed the merits of Kenworth trucks, and Nick’s was the standard LVPD cap.
Archie was in jeans and a faded red sweat shirt, the sleeves cut off to reveal his muscled arms. Hodges looked slightly out of place in a black polo shirt and Dockers, Warrick lounged in jeans and a tee shirt, Yankees jersey billowing open and loose over that. And then there was Sara.
Grissom tried not to let his gaze linger on her. She wore low cut faded jeans and blue FBI jersey shirt small enough to reveal the tight, taut muscles of her stomach; the saucy wink of her belly button taunted him to no end, and Sara sensed it. She dropped her hands on her hips and shot him a smile as he turned away.
“Okay listen up guys. We’ve got a good batting lineup right now, so I’m not worried about scoring. What we NEED to get down is the fielding—Ecklie’s crew has the edge on us because they’ve practiced more often, but we’ve worked as a team and we can read the play faster than they can.”
“It doesn’t hurt that Brass refused to coach them, either,” Catherine pointed out with a smug expression that brought answering ones all around. Warrick tossed the softball up and down as he spoke.
“Yeah, and we know Ecklie couldn’t train his way through a paint-by-number, let alone his shift,” came the snort. Grissom said nothing, but shot Warrick a mildly disapproving look.
“It’s the truth, man—Ecklie has about as much athletic ability as a stop sign,” Nick pointed out. “If it wasn’t for the fact that Paul Dante and Susan Collates played sports in college, the day shift wouldn’t even BE a team.”
“Be that as it may, we’re here to play AND practice sportsmanship, so let’s can the negative comments and get some drills in. And have you guys decided on a name yet? I have to put in the order for shirts and hats by today. What are we—the Night Owls or the Coyotes?”
Catherine smiled and shook her head; stepping up she laid her hands on Grissom’s shoulders and looked up at him.
“Neither. We’re the Scorpions because we all wanted to be arachnids in honor of you, Gil. We do our jobs, but get in our way or try and crush us and you’ll regret it, right?”
Grissom gave a shy, pleased smile all around and everyone gave it back; he cocked his head and pointed to the field.
“I’m touched, guys. So touched you only have to drill for the next thirty minutes instead of the next forty. Warrick, you, I and Nick are on a pitching rotation. Catherine, take Greg, Archie and Hodges out for some fielding. Bobby, you, Clem and Sara get your timing down on base throws. After that, come on back for the details of the first game and I’ll get sizes for shirts.”
Sara stretched, and was rewarded by Grissom’s clenched jaw as he turned away; she strode back to first base and took her position, smiling to herself.
*** *** ***
The day was beginning to fade, and the big park lights were starting to come on as practice came to an end. Greg and Bobby were busy collecting the equipment as Grissom peeled off his catcher’s mask for the last time and handed it over to them. His baseball cap was still on backwards, and Sara secretly thought he looked massively cute that way, more boyish than he’d been in a long time. In the bleachers, Catherine’s sister and Lindsey were waiting for practice to end, along with Greg’s mother Missy, and Wyatt. The toddler was clinging to one of the bleachers seats, bouncing on his little legs and yelling periodically, making the team out on the field smile every time he did.
“Okay. First game is against days next Saturday, five PM. We’re supplying the umpire. Show up at four to get your shirts and caps—“ Grissom rumbled to them as they all began walking off the field. Greg, Sara and Catherine headed for the bleachers towards the waiting families while Nick and Warrick lugged the equipment to the back of the cars in the parking lot.
Greg scooped up his son, who gurgled and wiggled, then reached for the baseball cap. Catherine laughed at that, and even Sara smiled.
“Hey, give me that back, manchild—“ Greg mock-growled, tugging his cap free again and setting it on Wyatt’s head, covering up the wispy blonde hair. The toddler’s head nearly disappeared under it and immediately his chubby hands grabbed for the rim as Catherine rubbed his little back.
“Oh Wyatt, someday you’ll have the brains to fill that, just like Dad,” came her coo. Sara reached out to touch his little fingers; he grabbed them and immediately brought them to his mouth for chomping, but she wisely wiggled them free and rubbed his snub chin instead as Missy began to pick up the diaper bag.
“Almost his bath time, Greg—and yours—“ she added, making Catherine and Sara chuckle.
“Mommmm—“ Greg began with no real rancor. She rolled her eyes for the benefit of the other women and reached for the fold-up stroller, but Sara got it first, set it up, then reached for Wyatt. He giggled at her, grabbing for her nose as she settled him in and did up the straps.
“He likes you more than me—“ Catherine pouted, crossing her arms. Lindsay was next to her, bouncing her head against her mother’s ribs impatiently. Sara gave a shrug.
“I’ve noticed he likes women in general.”
“Hey, like father, like son—“ Greg pointed out with a flirtatious smirk, but his glance strayed out across the parking lot, where Clem was listening to something Grissom said to her and Bobby. Greg’s mother looped the diaper bag on his shoulder, bringing his attention back to matters at hand.
“Come on, Greg, let’s go pop the two of you in a big soapy tub.”
“Oh now THERE’S an adorable image!” Catherine teased, and even Sara and Lindsay grinned. Greg blushed, but pulled his baseball cap on tighter, his grin firmly in place.
“I will get even with you, Mom. Someday, somehow, when you least expect it—“ Came his threat through slightly clenched teeth as he began to push the stroller. Missy rolled her eyes and followed him out to the car, looking completely unfazed by her son’s warning. Sara looked at Catherine, who smiled back.
“Who’d have ever thought?” Catherine mused, a hint of true admiration in her eyes. Sara nodded.
“Yeah—under the façade is one pretty good parent.”
They said their goodbyes, and as everyone else drove away, Sara wandered to where Grissom was down in the dugout checking over a clipboard. He didn’t look up as she leaned close to him, checking over his shoulder.
“I’m not speaking to you,” Grissom muttered in a low voice as he checked off a notation under Jacque’s name. Sara gave a mock-hurt look that was replaced quickly with a flash of a toothy grin.
“Grissom, it’s payback for the baseball cap. You KNOW what it does to me when you wear yours backwards.”
“Pretty much the same thing seeing your navel in public does to me, I assume,” he replied, trying to sound cool and collected. He didn’t quite, though, and Sara slid a hand up under the back of his shirt, skimming over big warm muscles as she pressed closer to him.
“You sweat clean, did you know that? Even when you’re all damp from a workout, your skin still smells great . . .” Sara told him in a throaty voice pitched only for his ears. Grissom drew in a breath and tried to pretend her words weren’t affecting him, but she felt his spine arch a little under her tickling fingers.
“Sara, don’t try and butter me up. You chose that shirt on purpose,” he accused, a little breathlessly as her fingers trailed up the trough of his spine. She tossed her hair back and nodded.
“Can I help it if my roommate shrank it in the wash? He’s a great guy, but a good percent of my wardrobe is now stuff I should be putting on doll hangers—“
“I said I was sorry—“ he murmured resentfully, finally turning his head to look her in the eyes. The sweet chocolate heat in them made a surge of absolute male desire climb through Grissom; his gaze swept over her with definite possessiveness.
“It’s okay, it still fits—sort of—“ she reminded him, arching an eyebrow and grinning.
“Sara, I have something serious to ask you,” Grissom demanded, dropping the clipboard and pulling her into his arms. She slid into his embrace, her hips pressing hard against his before she corkscrewed them in a salacious move that made him grunt a little.
“Ever do it in a dugout?”
“Not yet . . . “
Heat and urgency left them both feeling slightly reckless, even so, Grissom managed to fish the keys out of his pocket and herd Sara into the equipment storage shed just off the side of the ball field. The little room was divided by a bench, but deliciously cool and wrapped in semi-darkness; Sara was aware of the smells of leather and canvas and cut grass filling the little room. Then Grissom pulled her into his arms and for a long time after that she lost track of anything other than his hungry mouth. He was definitely a master of the full-body kiss, his big hands keeping her plastered up against him in the shadows. Sara wriggled, looping one long leg around his hip to keep as much contact between them as possible as he devoured her.
had been a while; ever since returning from
Thank goodness she wasn’t alone in that, although to be fair she’d known perfectly well that her shrunken shirt would catch his eye and libido quickly. Any glimpse of her torso affected him; she knew that now from many little pounces throughout their days together. It was one of the little quirks that made it both fun and easy to taunt him, and a Sara relished the give and take of their private moments, recognizing it for the intimacy it was.
Grissom nuzzled her ear, laughing softly as his arms tightened around her.
“You know baseball is one of the great American metaphors for sex—“ he rumbled as his fingers slipped up the back of her shirt, reaching for the hooks of her bra. Sara chuckled. She raised her arms, letting him slide both shirt and lingerie up and off of her slim body. The blackly exciting thrill of being half-dressed around Grissom made her sigh, and she swiftly caught his right hand, guiding it down the front of her jeans and into her panties, making him cup her soft fur there.
“Yeah, yeah—look, let’s just advance the runner to third okay?” she groaned, rubbing herself against him. Grissom tipped his head to suck on her earlobe and let the heel of his hand rub circles around the warm mound of her sex. Sara’s breathing deepened, and she licked Grissom’s neck. Automatically she shifted, spreading her legs, giving him more access. Her hands slipped under his shirt. Outside, the sprinklers went off, and the soft sound of crickets carried across the green.
Sara gave a happy little groan and rocked her hips up against Grissom’s palm, giving into the flare up of animal heat running through her now. He stopped for a moment to unzip and tug her jeans down to mid-thigh, then brought his hand back and stroked her again, this time his fingers sliding between her thighs, raking the fluffy curls as he laughed in a low soft way.
“You look, and taste and FEEL so hot, Sara—“ he groaned, his thick erection straining through his jeans as he ground it against her hip. She threw her head back and rode the building pleasure of Grissom’s greedy touch between her thighs.
“I AM,” came her slightly exasperated reply. “I want you, Grissom-- A LOT if you’re still clueless—“
“Oh no, I’m definitely in the ballpark,” he punned, shifting to lick her tense neck, his fingers sliding slickly now between her legs, his touch maddeningly soft and teasing. Sara shifted from one long leg to the other like a skittish mare, and Grissom let his teeth graze her sensitive skin as he spoke.
“If they could see you now, Sara,” came his low rough voice, “All your cool reserve gone now that your panties are around your knees. I like you all hot and bothered like this, honey. Nice to feel how MUCH you want me,” Grissom added as he slid his finger strokes along the hot, slick valley of her sex.
She clutched him, trying to grind herself harder against his hand but he kept pulling back, taunting her hunger.
“Grissom!” Sara panted, losing patience as her desire sharpened with every caress. He chuckled again.
“Love you on the edge, Sara. Used to get the most intense erections thinking about what it would take to turn you on . . . how beautiful your pussy would be, how I’d love to play with it just . . . like . . . this—“
Sara growled back, grabbing his hand with both of her own, and thrusting against it hard, her pulse racing at the feel of his wet palm with its perfect slippery pressure now, sliding up and down on her wet fur. Grissom’s teeth nipped harder under her ear, as he let her writhe against his hand, straddling his palm. He scraped the side of his damp face down her collarbone and the slope of her breast, his lips encircling a stiff nipple. Sara whimpered, rocking faster, and then—
Grissom suckled, hard.
Explosively Sara arched, her orgasm slamming so hard and fast she couldn’t breathe through the searing pleasure flaring in an almost atomic wave from between her legs and up her torso. She gasped, knees buckling from the intensity, but Grissom slipped his other arm around her waist, steadying her as her head lolled back.
“J-Jesus Grissom!” she hissed when she could speak, “Now THAT’S coaching!” He laughed, mouth against her cheekbone, holding her easily as she gradually recovered. One of her hands slid down the front of his jeans and stroked the stiff ridge there almost in an afterthought.
“Batter up—“ she snorted, earning a strained groan from him. Grissom pulled away gently from her and drew in a breath, his big chest expanding when he did so.
“Sara—“ came his voice; soft, but a tone of utter command. She looked into his eyes and found them dark with desire as he took her two hands in his. Deliberately he planted them on his tented bulge.
“Take me out.”
His voice sent shivers through her, and reaching down, Sara quickly undid the rivet buttons, her slender fingers popping them open and peeling down the denim to mid-thigh. Grissom let his hands stroke her bare arms; when his cock was free he slid his fingers to hers and cupped them around his turgid shaft, letting her caress the heavy heat of it.
“Hands and knees on the bench, honey,” he crooned. Sara glanced over her shoulder at the narrow aluminum bench, her jaw dropping a little.
“It’s not wide enough—“ came her practical protest. Grissom spun her and gave a light shove, putting her off-balance; Sara toppled forward, catching herself on the cool metal. Grissom stepped forward and yanked on her jeans, bringing them down to her shins, and Sara swallowed when she felt him step up behind her, his denim-covered thighs pressing on her bare ones.
Grissom’s hands stroked her bare ass.
“Squeeze play, Sara. I love the way you look right now with your jeans around your calves and your sweet naked ass in the air. And I want to screw you right into next Tuesday—“ So saying he leaned forward, his eager cock sliding in a tease along the underside of her cleft. She arched her spine, still slickly sensitive as his cock rubbed her intimately, and Grissom reached one hand to the small of her back, pressing the span of his palm and fingers across it as his other hand guided his aching shaft forward between the folds of wet, plump sex.
He rocked his hips forward, deeply burying himself in her with a groan of satisfaction. Sara let out a soft wail, caught between pleasure and surprise at the heft of his prick in all its demanding arrogance. Her fingers tightened around the bench and she looked over her shoulder at him, eyes challenging. Grissom’s hands pressed down on the small of her back as he pulled back a bit.
“Ssara—“ came his pleasured grunt. Grissom thrust again, beginning a relentless rhythm so powerful that Sara had to cling tightly to the bench in order not to be knocked off her feet. He was so strong, so powerful and hungry for her; the sweet wet sounds of his strokes counterbalanced his ragged breathing.
“Oh God honey, you have the most beautiful ass, a PERFECT ass, Sara . . .” Grissom growled. She could see a drop of sweat rolling down the side of his face, hot lust tinting his normally calm expression as he rocked into her, his hands pressing hard on the back of her hips. Sara gave in to her own urges and thrust back to meet each stroke, tensing her thighs and muscles to make him growl with pleasure. But long minutes later, Grissom finally gasped, and with a staccato of thrusts Sara felt the surge of boiling heat deliciously deep within her as he collapsed along her spine, wrapping around her as she giggled.
“Ohhhh—“ came his grateful groan, “Bases loaded bottom of the ninth—honey, sliding into home never felt so amazing in my whole life!”
To emphasize it, Grissom proceeded to noisily kiss each knob of her naked spine. Sara squirmed a little; Grissom wasn’t light, even if she was holding onto the bench.
When the cell phone rang Sara stared at the number displayed on the screen. She was alone in the living room at the moment since Grissom was putting up shelves in the garage; a job that Figaro felt he needed to monitor closely from the top of the dryer. Sara waited a second, then flicked the phone on.
“Greg? It’s Saturday. Two A.M.” she felt compelled to remind her coworker. His voice came back, dry and so monotone she wasn’t sure it was really him.
“I know Sara. And believe me I wouldn’t call unless I absolutely had to, but right now you’re my last resort. I’m in trouble here, seriously, and I need a favor,” he told her. In the background she could hear something bleeping and her anxiety level went up. Rising, Sara carried the phone with her as she walked to the garage.
“Greg are you okay?”
“Um. No, not really. My mom’s in ICU right now. She got run over by a car six hours ago, and I’ve been waiting to see if she’s going to stabilize,” came his flat monotone again. Sara stumbled as she crossed the doorway of the garage, reaching to tug Grissom’s sweatshirt with urgent little yanks. He looked up, saw her expression and set the measuring tape down, his eyes on the cell phone.
“What happened to your mom Greg? How can I help?” Sara demanded, shooting Grissom a grave look. He stood closer, moving to try and hear the answer alongside her.
“Sondra,” came the tired, bitter reply. “She’s in custody for reckless driving and assault with a vehicle. I’ve been talking to the police all night here at the hospital. She tried to run my mom down and grab Wyatt outside our house. The bitch took our car door off with her bumper, Sara! My mom’s got a dislocated hip and a broken leg, and a pretty serious concussion—“ Greg’s slightly hoarse voice started to break; the strain in it was obvious. Sara gripped the phone more tightly, but it was Grissom who spoke up.
“Greg, we’ll be right there—where’s Wyatt?”
The awful question hung in the air, and Sara bit her lips hard. Then a soft laugh came over the connection.
“Grissom. Don’t know why I should be surprised, huh? He’s here and he’s okay, thanks. A little cranky for being so off his schedule, and he’s actually the reason I called. I need Sara to take him. My uncle’s coming in from Minnesota but he won’t get here until tomorrow afternoon. Right now I don’t have anybody else to cut me a break and keep him safe. The police are telling me I need to find him an anonymous location because Sondra had help.”
Grissom shot Sara a questioning look; she threw him a pleading one back and in that unspoken moment the matter was settled.
“We’ll take him,” Grissom reassured his lab tech in a steady voice. A soft sound; half sigh, half sob came back.
“Thanks guys. We’re at Desert Palms, up on the second floor, and I’ve got most of his stuff in the car, including his seat. I . . Thanks, man.”