Hot Air

It happened after the party for Mandy’s engagement. There had been wine, and beautiful canapés and balloons.

Sara brought one home; a lovely pink one.

Grissom told her, just as they came through the door of their loft.

“No!” Sara laughed. Grissom gave a solemn nod, his eyes staring at the toy in her hand.

“It’s true, I swear. Not that I’ve ever told another person before,” he admitted in the low, serious voice she knew meant his total honesty. Sara glanced at her plaything for a moment, then carried it over to the sofa, and sat down, letting herself drop onto the cushions with easy, elegant grace.

“Show me,” she demanded, chin jutting out a little. Grissom eyed her for a moment, his gaze warm with love and a little exasperation. He followed her to the sofa and lowered himself slowly, turning to face her.

“You’re . . . serious,” he questioned. Sara grinned again. She glanced down at the coffeetable, found a marker and handed it to him, along with the balloon.

“I am, Gilbert. I want to see you in action, as it were.”

Grissom’s sidelong glance made her splutter into giggles, but with dignity, he took the marker and very carefully began to draw. Under his fingers the balloon developed long-lashed eyes, a pert nose and a full, sweet mouth. Sara cleared her throat a little, and when he glanced at her, she made a gentle face.

“Getting jealous?” he asked.

She spluttered once more. “As IF.”

“You have a possessive streak Sara; you know you do,” Grissom reminded her earnestly, making her grin in that broad, beautiful way she had.

“Oh babe. If I lose you to a balloon, that’s it. I’m not sure I could take that sort of rejection,” she announced. Grissom grinned himself.

When he was done, Grissom set the marker down, feeling slightly awkward. It had been one thing to tell Sara about his early foray into this, but to actually demonstrate it . . . .

“Go on—“ came her gentle urging. “This, I have to see---“

Grissom sighed. He shifted his hands until they were around the sides of the balloon, and he spoke in a quick, soft undertone. “Okay, keep in mind I was twelve, and I had absolutely no concept of tongues, Sara. All of my observations came from the movies, which were all regulated by the Hays Code, so it was all fairly . . . tame.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Sara murmured back, her eyes bright with loving amusement. “Go for it, boy of twelve—“

Grissom looked at the balloon face in his hands and fought not to laugh himself. Mentally he rolled the decades back, remembering the afternoon when he’d drawn another face on another balloon, and imagined it was Elizabeth Perstanski from down the street . . .

Gently he let his thumbs caress the rounded curve of the balloon cheeks, then brought it to his face and closed his eyes. Hesitantly, Grissom tipped his face and kissed the balloon on her drawn lips, pulling it close, feeling the coolness of the latex against his closed mouth.

Sara was in convulsions next to him on the sofa. She shuddered, snorting and giggling, her face going bright red with her inability to breathe, eyes filling with helpless tears as she clutched her stomach and shook.

Grissom opened one eye as he kept firmly kissing the balloon, and for some reason this made her laugh even harder, her chuffing snorts bringing Hank from the bedroom, his ears pricking up. Grissom gently waved him away, and Hank shot them both a last perplexed look, wandering off to his cushion to keep an eye on them.

“Ca-ca-can’t . . . bre-breathe!” Sara huffed, her words puffing out between slurry giggles.

Grissom pulled back from the balloon and sighed. “You know, that’s just how my mother reacted when she caught me.”

Sara gave a squeaky howl at this, and helplessly rolled off the sofa, lying on the carpet between the coffeetable and the couch, twitching now, her face maroon. “G-god! Stop, I ca-ca-can’t take anymore!” she laughed weakly, tears running down her face.

Grissom pushed the coffeetable back and leaned down, concerned. “Sara, honey?”

One arm reached up, a fallen pen in hand. A swift stab moved through the air, and the balloon popped with a loud ‘bang’ that made Hank growl a bit. Grissom stared at the pink raggedy remnants hanging on the edge of the coffeetable. He looked at Sara, who reached for him, long thin hands tugging hard to pull him on top of her on the rug.

“So-sorry. I’m the very possessive type,” she wheezed.

Grissom settled in on her, shifting his weight between her thighs. “Good. And I know another use for latex, that’s much more satisfying, actually . . . “

“Yeah,” Sara sighed with pleasure, fighting the leftover giggles still welling out of her. “Will you let me draw a face on it and kiss it?”

The very fact that Grissom hesitated and considered it made her laugh again.


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