The Lasagna Seduction


The water was hot, which seemed ironic. Warrick had always heard that to get rid of sexual tension cold showers were best, but that, like so many cliches was a fallacy. Cold water made the skin hypersensitive and tended to keep a man thinking about ways to heat it up again once he got out of the shower.


Ways like--sex.


He reached for the soap, working up a lather between his hands, letting the foam drip over his palms as the water pounded against the tension in his shoulders and ran in hot rivulets down his back. Carelessly, he slathered his long rangy arms, scrubbing with an absent habit as he considered his situation.


To wit: he lusted for Lydia. All right, maybe lust wasn't QUITE the right word, he sighed to himself. He'd done a lot of lusting in his lifetime and knew what that frame of mind entailed, especially in the heat of a moment. Lust was quick and mindless, a sensation going no deeper than skin, no thicker than the topical charms of the woman in question. Warrick knew he could lust for the images of women, for the glossy photos of Glitter Gulch charmers or Escort service beauties.


That wasn't what he felt about Lydia; it had lust as a component, but the essence of it was deeper than that. Warrick knew he craved Lydia and yet he was aware that even THOSE feelings for her had layers and textures to them, nuances crossing into unknown emotional turf.


He sighed heavily. His hands slid along his lean chest and the underside of his face, scrubbing absently as he considered exactly where he and Lydia stood on matters.


A two-month moratorium.


Not her suggestion but his, made in a moment of clarity over Chinese food and wine. A window of time with no pressure, no uncertainty over the nature of each date. Kissing yes, affection in moderation but for the next two innings so to speak, neither of them would be rounding second while they took their time. Warrick grinned a little ruefully remembering Lydia's flash of disappointment at that. She'd recovered quickly though, appreciating his noble candor and common sense. It was logical she agreed, if this attraction was as special as they both sensed it was.


And so that was the way it was for the moment. Work was fine; they both could turn it off and concentrate on the job, no problem. In fact for the moment, they seemed to blend a bit better as a good working team, racking up solve after solve. Warrick liked having the warm security Lydia's presence gave him; when she was there, he found himself grounded, not as restless and unfocused.


It was the minute they went off-duty that things got hard...so to speak. All Warrick knew was that he HAD to kiss her at least once before leaving the parking lot. Sometimes in her car, sometimes in his, just leaning through the window or up against the door. It was a risk, but a compulsion he couldn't fight.


At least one, to stake his claim...


Lydia was struggling a little too, and it flattered his ego like nothing else to see her get flustered or squirmy or dreamy-eyed after a kiss. She'd taken to wearing a glossy lipstick, claiming it would keep him from pouncing on her at work, but all it did was amuse him. Warrick considered it like frosting on a cookie, and definitely enjoyed kissing it off of her after their shift.


And the weeks were rolling by, slowly but surely. They'd caught a few movies...mostly forgettable action ones with outrageous car chases in them. Lydia had him over for dinner twice, whipping out a seductive spaghetti the first time and a hearty shepherd's pie the second; it hadn't been tough to pig out on both meals. They'd spent time at the mall and walking a few of the casinos in town, and all through it, Warrick marveled at the sweet link being forged between the two of them.


It was natural to reach for her hand as they walked now, letting her fingers interlace with his. She rubbed his shoulders once in a while, and making her laugh was always a good thing. Lydia had a goofy sense of humor, and was so naive about some of the aspects of Vegas that he had to shake his head. Even having a drag queen for a roommate didn't seem to make her any less wise to the ways of the world.


"Never go northeast of Harmon and Koval after dark, babe...at least not by yourself after dark..." he insisted. "Never offer to cash anyone else's chips for them. Never take comp coupons outside of a casino..."



"...And never give money to beggars, yes, I know, Warrick, I know," she replied, rolling her eyes, but smiling anyway.


She needed looking out for, that was certain. April seemed to approve of their relationship, having ascertained early on that Warrick definitely knew his shit from Shinola and was worthy of being part of the Petrowski/Muro household, although he laughed at their two-month imposition.


"You two are going to HURT yourselves holding back like that, babies..."


Which was now damn near up. Only two days left.


Warrick sighed, one hand risking contact with sensitive areas in a brisk swipe of the soap. Common sense urged him to indulge, but sentimentality stopped him...two days. A mere twenty-four hours. He could hold out two more days.


He hoped.


He dried and dressed, checking his watch as he walked to the car, laughing to himself over his punctuality. Not like he was eager or anything. So she'd been out of town for a few days, but it wasn't any big deal. Warrick justified picking up flowers as just good manners, and ignored the girl at the floral counter's sweet sigh as he carried the orange and red roses them to the car. The sun was beginning to set, and the lights of the strip glowed brightly to his left as he made the turn onto Saguaro Place.


2231 Saguaro Place was a two-story Spanish colonial house with adobe walls and wrought iron railings on the balconies. It sat off a dead end street a little apart from its neighbors, higher on the hillside overlooking part of the highway in the distance. Only a few scrubby pines boarded the edge of the yard, and a row of Eucalyptus gave it privacy on the other side.


Warrick knocked, looking to see if April's tan Taurus in the driveway and not seeing it. Faintly he heard music coming from the house and recognized the B52's Love Shack just as the door opened. Three of his senses were hit at once: the heady aromas of oregano and tomato sauce, the bouncy music, the chest-tingling sight of Lydia, pink-cheeked and smiling up at him as she clung to the knob.


"Hey!"


"Heeeey..." It was only natural to scoop her in and pull her close, breathing in her scent. Warrick felt his tension shift out of his shoulders and down to his groin as he hugged her close. Lydia clung to him, pressing her curves against his body.


"Is it stupid to admit I missed you, even if it was only a three day trip?" she asked against his chest. He laughed low, tightening his grip, and when he did, the cellophane cone holding the flowers crinkled. Lydia squirmed, trying to look behind her back, where the sound had come from.


"Warrick?" she sounded both excited and embarrassed. He waggled his eyebrows at her playfully and handed her the flowers, pleased to see her eyes go big as she took them.


"Oh they're gorgeous! You shouldn't have!"


"Come on now...even I know flowers are always traditional," he chided back,  stepping into the foyer. Lydia dropped her head to sniff the big red and orange blooms, and Warrick thought her silhouette against the streaming light of sunset was one of the prettiest images he'd seen in a long time. Lydia looked up and blushed.


"I better get these into water...want something to drink?"


Warrick followed her deeper into the house, smiling as she led the way towards the kitchen, near the back. He scarcely cast a glance over the cool modern decor and fine art that April used for the living room, preferring to watch Lydia in her sanctum.


The kitchen was done in copper and soft blues and whites with copper pans hanging over a huge butcher block island. Here, the smell of oregano hung in the air, sultry with promise; on cue, Warrick's stomach rumbled.


Lydia flashed him a grin.


"Pavlovian reflex..." he protested through a slightly embarrassed smile. She nodded knowingly, and opened a cupboard looking for a vase. The only one tall enough was up on the top shelf and Warrick made himself useful getting it down as Lydia fussed, taking the cellophane off the bouquet.


"They smell so good...I ought to go out of town more often."


"So how WAS the seminar?" Warrick asked, lazily perching himself on one of the counter stools and watching her fill the vase. She tossed her long hair back and gave a nod.


"Pretty standard. Because of the El Nino this year DEA says it looks like there's a big crop of peyote coming in this spring, and we've got the usual warning about encroaching Africanized bees...It's all in the report I E-mailed Grissom from my laptop. Honestly the whole seminar seemed like the sort of stuff that could have been sent out to us..."


"Nah, you know the Feds love to hold big self-important highly visible meetings to insure the public that they're all on the job," Warrick snorted, accepting the beer she handed him. He twisted the top off and sipped it easily, studying Lydia as she moved around the kitchen.


She looked so good it hurt to watch her, he decided.


Warrick liked the gauzy peasant blouse she wore, thin white cotton with a little embroidery on the shoulders and sleeves. It had a lace up front straining to keep her in, and he grew warm realizing she was bra-less under it, so the sweet hefty curves of her chest peeking out between the lace strings were delightfully enticing.


That and her big nipples, faintly visible under the thin fabric. Shifting, Warrick discreetly adjusted himself and tried to look away, but it was a losing battle, as usual. Lydia handed him a knife and a tomato.


"Salad..."


He nodded, hoping he didn't slice a thumb off because of the fabulous distractions showcased under that peasant blouse. Lydia snagged his beer and sipped it, then slipped potholder mitts on and bent over. Warrick closed his eyes.


"Lasagne! Good stuff, even if it IS a little crispy on top."


It wasn't the top but the bottom that worried Warrick. Lord, that sweet round ass he was staring at was just perfect for the span of his hands...he already KNEW that, and seeing those buns tightly encased in powder blue denim was NOT helping his damn concentration on the tomato, not at ALL. He ran a hand over his face and tried to smile as Lydia set the fragrant glass dish of lasagne on the counter, smiling triumphantly.


Warrick gave a weak smile in return, mentally reminding himself that there were only two days to go. Lydia cocked her head, her expression slightly hurt. "You don't like lasagne?"


"No, I LOVE lasagne. Trust me, April and Damian won't be getting much in the way of leftovers...where ARE they, anyway?" Warrick looked around for a
moment. Lydia coughed, a fake little sound.


"Oh, yeah...well April is over at Jamie's for the weekend. They're having dinner with the parents, and April's getting cold feet even though Jamie keeps reassuring him that his folks know everything."


Warrick laughed, picking up the beer bottle, musing over that thought.


"So let me get this straight, so to speak--A cross dressing gay guy is meeting his boyfriend's parents for the first time and HE'S the nervous one? God I love this town..."


"April was a mess, breaking out and everything...it's a good thing his mom has Damian this week or it could have been really bad," Lydia agreed, slicing the tomato and tossing it lightly into the bowl of lettuce on the counter. Warrick watched the enticing shift of her breasts through the lacing down her cleavage and took a VERY big swig of his beer as he realized the implications of that last conversational exchange.


Alone in the house with Lydia.


With her looking like, like THAT--


He took a calming breath and managed to look up in time to see her watching him and chewing her lower lip nervously; in a quick flash of compassion he realized she too was coming to that realization.


Warrick let out his breath and gave her a reassuring smile.


"I guess that gives us time to relax then..."


"Yeah..." Lydia nodded, a little too quickly. Warrick shifted, and hissed as the edge of his hand hit the hot lasagna pan; instantly Lydia slid to his side as he winced and blew on the reddening flesh.


"Geez!"


"Cold water, come on, get it under cold water..." she urged, cradling his hand with both of hers. She led him to the sink and plunged his hand under a stream of water, turning it gently to let the flow of water cool it down.


Warrick sighed. His hand wasn't bad, not really...the burn was minor and small...but now he had the soft press of Lydia up against his arm, and a clear view down her blouse that was enough to make his pulse jump. He tightened his jaw as she looked up at him, concerned.


"Better?"


"Yeah...it's no biggie..."


Neither one of them moved away, and Lydia kept stroking his hand under the running water, her fingers caressing his. Warrick finally cleared his throat, well aware that any more touching was going to severely test his self-control. Lydia reached for a hand towel and dried his fingers just as gently as she'd washed them.


"Great dinner, huh? I've already maimed you before we've even eaten," she commented. Warrick laughed at that, and unable to stop himself, bent to kiss her cheek.


"Nothing great was ever achieved without pain, baby..." he intoned, making her laugh.


"Lasagna is NOT that great an achievement...although the bread was kind of complicated..."


Warrick carried plates and silverware over to the breakfast nook and set things up while Lydia decanted the wine and brought the meal over.


"Let's eat..." she smiled.


And they did.



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