(Author’s Note: This is my first attempt at F/F slash, and a gift to a certain reader, who once told me I could do a good job. I tried--)


She’s looking at me with those sharp blue eyes, and I’m laughing on the inside because out of all the things Catherine Willows sees, I’m not really one of them. I’m background, like a picture on the wall, or a notice on a bulletin board; nothing significant even though she’s talking to me.


“So why DID Ecklie bust you down to night shift with Gil?” comes her question. It slides into the conversation, right after observations about the case and some companionable gossip about a few other people in the lab; I suppose I should have seen it coming, but it still sends a pang through me. I brush a strand of hair back behind one ear and give her my best sardonic smile.


“In a nutshell, I wouldn’t co-operate in the game of Get Grissom. Conrad wanted me to dig up dirt that pretty much wasn’t there, and when I didn’t make shit up, he knew he couldn’t have me around on his shift anymore.”


There’s more of course, but Catherine doesn’t need to know it.


“Ah,” she replies as if this fits her guess. She’s been around long enough to know that Ecklie’s not particularly liked, even though he can be a competent administrator. I turn away, not wanting her to look at me and see too much. It’s harder than usual because we’re in the middle of nowhere, picking up the remains of a pretty by-the-book car arson. The charred victim was taken off an hour earlier, and in the Nevada darkness this little corner of nowhere is pretty desolate. We’re close to the highway though, and I’m thinking about how glad I am this temporary move to the swing shift is just about over. Three days is more than enough for Stokes to get back on his feet after the flu.


“Okay then—we can wrap this up and get our stuff back to Trace in time to beat the scramble for shift change parking,” Catherine sighs. I follow her to the car, climbing in and settling into the passenger seat, glad to be kicking back a little. The Denali’s engine sputters but doesn’t catch. I shoot Catherine a look and she ignores it, cranking the engine once more. On the fourth try it starts up and she sighs with relief.


“Looks like it’s time to get this baby to the dealership,” she grumbles. I close my eyes.


“Probably a short in the starter—“ I offer, thinking of home, and Lee, and how I’m not looking forward to it. Things have gone from bad to worse, and the constant tango of my working hours isn’t helping. I wonder if Lee will even be home tonight.


 Catherine makes a little affirmative sound and for a while we drive in silence. It’s nearly midnight, and the neighborhood gradually shifts into industrial parks and scattered storefronts. Then it happens. On a downshift to catch a light, the car stalls and dies, right in an intersection. Not a busy one, but still, it’s scary as hell to find us coasting through a red light. Catherine’s got presence of mind to steer towards a parking lot and we manage the last few feet into it, out of harm’s way, both of us a little startled. Catherine mutters a few curses and climbs out as do I, and we check under the hood. Behind us I can hear the faint sounds of music.


“Crap on a cookie. I don’t see anything frayed or disconnected, and if we try to unscrew anything we’ll invalidate the warranty . . .” She grumbles, moving the flashlight over the engine block and I agree. Ecklie is one tight-assed bean counter when he wants to be, and vehicle maintenance is one of those areas he gets particularly huffy about. I slam the lid and flip my hair back, shooting Catherine an apologetic smile.


“Call it in and wait to get towed?”


“We don’t have a choice,” she agrees. We look around at that point, getting our bearings and I see the neon sign above us in the parking lot. Wild Rose. Oh boy. In the panic of moving through the intersection I guess I missed where our final destination was, but now that it’s nearly midnight, it’s the only place open right now, and I’m hoping Catherine’s a trooper. She’s already got her cell phone out and is barking orders at someone.


“No, I don’t want to pull Warrick off anything just to come get us—just let the main desk know and put a call in for the tow company we’re contracted with, okay? We’ll bring the evidence in to keep the chain intact, but I don’t want it to take all night—“ we walk into Wild Rose, and immediately the music is like a solid wall, so Catherine flicks off her cell phone in a huff.


Social hour has been going on for a while, judging by the writhe of bodies on the dance floor. The number is some sort of techno pop, not my favorite but the view of the crowd’s definitely nice. A little curly-haired cupcake stumbles into me and giggles, bracing a hand on my shoulder.


“Whoops! Sorry about that—“


“No problem,” I tell her, flashing a smile. Ah to be that young again, when all my worries were about whether I had finals in the morning and cabfare to get back to campus—


“Oh.” Catherine has finished looking around and finally gets it. She shoots me an uncertain look. “It’s a bar like that,” she mutters. I nod.


“Looks like. We could wait outside, but I think I see a table by the window—“ I tell her in a mild tone. I’m not going to stand outside all night if I can help it—the job already requires enough standing as it is, and I know Catherine’s got to be as tired as I am. She shrugs.


“Okay. Lead the way,” she says. I try not to let that comment mean anything more and hide my smile. Yeah, I’m good at leading, not that Ms. Willows would know it. Professionally or privately. I move through the crowd to the table, getting there in time to glare away a couple of kittens who want it. They back off, muttering as I plant myself down and rest my elbows on the surface, looking determined. Catherine slides into the chair opposite and peers out the slightly sweaty window, sighing.


“Car’s there, right under the sign. Now all we do is wait.” She announces a little too brightly. I can tell she’s nervous, like a cat in a new house; wanting to poke around a little but wary of anything moving towards her. I lean back and nod.


“If we didn’t have evidence to bring in I could SO go for a beer,” I grouse, mostly to set her at ease. Catherine relaxes a little nodding.


“Or two—“ she agrees, smiling a little, seeming glad of my company in this strange place.


This queer place.


If only she knew.


The barmaid sails over; she’s got about ten piercings up the cartilage of each ear, and I can tell her nipples are done too because they’re visible through her mesh shirt. It’s not a bad look for her, but I’m not fond of the style myself.


“What can get you two?” she winks at Catherine. I have to stifle a smirk at the sight of the cool, usually competent Ms Willows a little nonplussed by the flirting.


“Ah, I’ll take a bottled water—“ she announces. The waitress bats her eyes and smiles back.


“Sure, baby. I’ll unscrew it, just for you,” she coos, then turns to me. I lock eyes with her and narrow my gaze just enough so she knows I mean business.


“Bring me a glass of grapefruit juice with a bottle of Tabasco sauce please.”


Both the waitress and Catherine are looking at me now with mutual looks of wary surprise. I smile and nod; the waitress doesn’t even scribble it down, but walks off a little stiffly.


“Grapefruit juice? Tabasco? Jeez, Curtis, what the hell kind of drink is THAT?”


I have to tread carefully now. I lean back, forcing myself to relax and stay loose.


“It clears the head. The acidic bite of the juice and the capsaicin of the pepper make it a dandy hangover remedy. The fact that I’ve ordered it before ordering any alcoholic drinks makes it clear I intend to do some serious drinking. Of course you know I won’t, but Flirty Gertie there doesn’t know that, and it will keep her off us for a while.”


Catherine is giving me one of those long appraising looks and I fend it off by pointing my chin towards the crowd.


“I don’t think I see a natural blonde in the bunch. Not even that ragamuffin by the door.”


That makes her laugh, and for a moment we scan the room, comparing notes, speaking in low tones.


“Clairol, L’Oreal, Feria . . .” She recites with impressive authority. I wonder if Catherine’s a natural redhead and give in for a moment to the fantasy of finding out, making sure my face is averted from her. “Hennique, Wow, Grecian formula I swear---“


And then my attention is riveted to a couple at the far end of the room, making out in the dimmest corner beyond the payphones. I don’t need to look twice to recognize the thin shoulders and shaggy curls of my significant other. Lee’s grinding up against a tall woman in jeans and a silk blouse, giving it her all and completely unaware that every roll of her hips makes my chest tighten.


Knew it was coming, just didn’t think I’d have to see it.


I look away before Lee, the other woman or Catherine can catch my gaze, and thank God the waitress has come back with our orders, her eyes raking over my companion once more.


“Your water . . .” she whispers in a slightly sultry tone. Catherine takes it with a little lift of her chin, and I remember she used to strip. She’s probably had women hit on her before.


“Thanks,” she responds gently—neither encouraging nor discouraging. I get my grapefruit juice and Tabasco dropped off in front of me without so much as a glance. Catherine’s humming a little and I take my time dropping the red brown splashes into my pink juice.


“Big crowd,” she comments gently. I shrug and sip—the flavor’s spicy and refreshing. Around the floor I can see a few people eyeing us, seeing an implied relationship that I’m not about to discourage. All the better to leave us in peace while we wait for the tow, as far as I’m concerned. I see Catherine moving a little to the music, not even conscious of it, and smile.


“Care to dance?” I ask, just for a laugh, letting her see my ‘it’s just a joke’ smirk. She lifts her chin, smiling back for a moment, and then glances out at the crowd again.


“Is that a dare, Curtis?”


“Of course. The story is you’re pretty good at dancing,” I counter, feeling my smile widen. My thighs tense. She’s such a gorgeous woman, really. Catherine shoots me a glance that holds a moment of amused tension in it.


“Oh what the hell—not like it’s going to look weird with this crowd. Come on—“


And like that, she leads the way out onto the floor. I’m slightly dazed, but following quickly, not about to lose out on this opportunity even though my own dancing is pretty limited to a few slightly coordinated moves. We find a spot somewhere off the middle of the crowd, and Catherine smiles at me, then begins to move.


Move isn’t the right word. She flows, undulates, radiates sex in a slow tease that makes me feel my pulse jump a bit as her hips rock gently to the music. I follow her rhythm as best I can, but the natural tease of her slender body is drawing a lot of admiring glances. Catherine loses herself in the music, swaying and turning, wrapping herself up in it and all I can do it stay close and burn.


I look up, over her shoulder; the hateful triumph of Lee’s expression says it all, and she sweeps out with her new partner, not even looking back. Like that, it’s over. A two year relationship down the toilet, despite all the tears and promises and nights of sweat and sighs. I suppose I should feel worse, and much later I will, but right now all I find is a sense of finality. All because we’ve been letting go by inches, and the last one is no real surprise.


The song ends, but I can see Catherine still wants to dance. Unfortunately, the next tune picks up and it’s a slow one, some romantic ballad. I love the sheer irony of the moment: old love, new crush, all crossing in a moment of bizarre juxtaposition. I wonder if it shows on my face or not; Catherine gives a slightly regretful look, but suddenly a taller presence is looming over us, decked out in a flannel shirt and jeans, her hair spiked to almost dangerous points.


“Wanna dance, Red?” comes the low growl, and I sense a little crisis about to happen as the diesel bears down on us. Hoping Catherine’s smart enough to get it, I loop my arms around her and tug her to me quick, then tip my head to plant a kiss on her neck. Overload. The scent of Opium and clean feminine skin assaults my nose. She smells great, tastes great, ohhh the hormones hit like a sandstorm, blinding and wild. For a second Catherine fights me, long lean muscles tensing in that ‘what-the-HELL-are-you-DOING?’ fashion. I nuzzle desperately now, trying to whisper in her ear.




She arches her head up at the waiting woman and shakes it playfully. Her hands slide down my shoulder blades and I can feel the heat of her palms radiating right through my shirt, and while I’m betting it’s nervousness or fear, I don’t care. Catherine’s in my arms and I’m feeling her vixen curves grinding against mine.


“Mmmm, ‘Fia baby so nice—“ she purrs and the goosebumps on the back of my neck go up as my adrenaline climbs.  God I want her. The fast fading logical part of my mind knows this is all just a game right now, but my body is not in on the ruse, and I rub against her again, hating the layers between us, wishing I had a shot at the satiny perfection I know must make up Catherine’s body.


Want to kiss her, want it so badly now that my face aches with the longing. She’s so close that the warmth of our rubbing cheeks mingle together. I turn, pull away and look into flaring blue eyes that lock onto mine. Nothing else matters. In their depths I see surprise, and a hint of bewilderment, but more, much more than that I see—


Lust. It’s there, bright and hungry, and I can feel the shift of Catherine’s face turning towards mine. She’s as caught in the siren’s call as I am, and the tingly tension is alive between us now, like a long electric shock waiting to snap. Then she closes the gap between us, and the slick pillow softness of her mouth is on mine, hotter than I expected, making my nipples tight and hard.


Jesus she tastes so damn good. I’m surprised my hair hasn’t combusted, and my tongue darts out before I can think about it, but Catherine welcomes me in with a low purr, her lips parting to suck me in, and that’s all the ‘hello baby’ I need. I put my all into kissing her back, because if this is the only chance I ever get I’m going to make it last. Catherine might be into guys, but damn it, I’ll rock her world and then some if I can—


Backfires, oh God, she’s kissing me just as deeply, and I’m losing it, feeling my body go berserk as my arms tighten around her waist. Sweet hot sugar Catherine is rubbing on me, rubbing in time to the music I dimly realize. If we don’t stop and NOW one of us is going to come very, very soon---


A gust of cold air at my back makes me jump; the bar door opens and a confused fat man in a coverall that reads VIC’S VEGAS TOW peers into the room. A few women glare back at him, most ignore his gaze. I discreetly let go of Catherine and walk up to him, hoping I don’t LOOK like I’ve been sucking face with the baby doll of my dreams. He eyes me warily.


“You with the dead Denali outside?”


“Yep.” I reply pushing past him, not willing to look back and see what Catherine looks like right now. I want her to be disappointed and I’m terrified she’ll be relieved instead. I’m shaking, and fighting it, grateful for the cool night air on my face as I take into account what’s just happened.


She knows now—no way she can miss it, or laugh it off as a joke, not after kissing like that. I feel fire in my belly, and I stick my hands on the car to steady myself. Let it go. Gotta let it go.


The three of us are in the cab of the tow truck. I’m in the middle, keeping Catherine away from Vic—on purpose? I don’t know. Probably; he’s got the typical roving eyes and half-hidden smirk of most guys who see her. I’m looking straight ahead, trying not to let the country music hissing out of the radio bother me. Vic smells like cigarettes and old sweat, and he’s crowding into me.


Catherine’s silent. She called in, gave Vic directions, climbed into the cab after me and hasn’t said a word since. I feel her thigh against mine in the crowded cab, warm and toned. God I’d love nothing better than to slide my hand along it, feel the sleek muscles there, and I’ll probably think about that a lot after I get off work. We drive on, heading towards the lab, passing bright lights and flickers of shadows along the streets. Catherine shifts a little.


Not to move away, I realize. To press a little closer. Her leg moves to nudge mine, ever so slightly, and I swallow. Accident? God help me, I can’t risk a mistake, not at this point. I risk a sidelong glance at her, but she’s looking out the window, her pretty profile sleek in the passing lights. Then I see it—her tongue is barely licking her bottom lip. Christ, a jolt of heat rolls up from my belly at the sight of that. She’s tasting me on her mouth, I know she is.


My underwear’s seriously damp, and I shift, I can’t help it.


We arrive and climb out, sign the release forms for Vic to haul the Denali onto the garage and stand there outside the main doors of the lab where the florescent light spills through the glass and onto the sidewalk. I suck in a deep breath and start to walk to the doors, but Catherine calls to me.


Sofia, wait.” Her voice is low, and a little harsh. I flinch because I know the sound of regret all too well. First the kiss, then the kiss-off. I turn, as slowly as I can, as if delaying it will help somehow. When I look at her, Catherine’s expression is still working through confusion.


“That’s why Ecklie busted you, isn’t it?” she demands gently. Part of me wants to laugh at her put-the-pieces-together tone. Solving the puzzle has always been important to Catherine, I know that. I just hoped it wasn’t the only thing as I nod. She tosses her hair back and nods, satisfied now that she’s got the answer.


“He asked you out or made a play for you, found out the truth, and couldn’t take having you around because of it. Typical asshole.” She muses. I shoot her a dry little glance, but can’t help looking at her mouth again. She’s smiling.


“And now you know too. Two people in four years—I must be slipping.” I mutter. Catherine laughs softly, but with heat, and I catch the glint in her eyes.


“Baby, from the way YOU kiss a girl it’d be damn hard to miss.” She replies. I stare at her, feeling a pulse of something hot and dangerous and promising between us in the air. I quiver and try to hide it, but Catherine chuckles again, beckoning me to follow her in.


She walks confidently to the locker room, hips swinging in brazen invitation, and I’m trailing behind her, wondering what the hell has gotten into Catherine. Hot as she is, I can’t risk her outing me—it’s tough enough to know I’ll probably be going home to a trashed apartment and a tirade on the answering machine as it is. I don’t need the jokes and notes on my locker and conversations that stop when I walk past. It would be great to think people are more tolerant but law enforcement is one of the last bastions of bigotry, and I’ve worked too hard to get where I am without slipping any further than night shift.


Still—Catherine’s heels make a clacking sound on the floor, echoing in the empty room. I follow her slowly; curious, and I’ll admit it, horny. It’s not easy to let the flare of attraction die away, especially when she’s not exactly shooting me down. I glance around; Catherine is slipping out of her jacket, not looking at me, but from the little preen in her movements she knows I’m watching. I cross my arms and wait, feeling a little smile on my face.


“So—we both have a few minutes more of the shift to get through—evidence to process and paperwork to file—“


I nod. She’s leading up to something.


She turns, slams her locker shut and marches over to me, blue eyes narrowed, but her lower lip, that pouty one is trembling. I’m staring at it, remembering the slippery silk of it on mine. Catherine feels the weight of my glance and shivers; I like doing that to her.


“—And?” I continue her sentence for her softly. She tips her head up and that pretty mouth brushes against mine and I feel the tingle right to the roots of my hair. My nipples are poking through my shirt. Catherine whispers against my lips.


“--And after we clock out, you and I have some unfinished business to deal with, Curtis. Breakfast, my place.”


***   ***   ***


Breakfast is a misnomer. We meet up in her driveway; I have muffins and coffee with me, and I’m nervous as hell. The dark velvet of night is still over the sky, and I see Catherine’s not here yet as I argue with myself for the tenth time not to make assumptions here. As I climb out I see her car pull up alongside mine, and she gets out, pink doughnut box in her hands and that makes me grin—if anything, at least I’ll get fed. She manages a smile and points with her chin to the house.




I walk next to her up the two steps while she jams the key in the lock and pushes the door open. Part of me remembers she’s got a daughter, and probably a babysitter or housekeeper—


The minute I step in, Catherine drops her box of doughnuts and grabs me, kissing me hard. I stagger back a little, sloshing coffee, feeling the bag of muffins slip out of my hold when her mouth meets mine in a rush of plump, juicy flavor. Helpless for a moment, I grip harder on the coffee, but Catherine impatiently bats it out of my hand; the brown fluid spatters on the linoleum foyer in a wet clatter of paper cup. I don’t care; my arms are free to wrap around the woman now, and I slide them in a quick embrace encircling Catherine’s waist. Drowning in this kiss, the hot slide and teasing of our tongues flavored with coffee and mint and wild sweet woman. I hear moaning, and I’m not sure if it’s her or me, but it sounds good.


I relax a little even as she tenses up, her lean body squirming in my arms, so I break off kissing her and press my mouth to her ear, chiding her a little.


“Hey, hey, slow down . . . “ I try to convince her but she’s not having any of it as her mouth covers mine again, a tad less frantically, but with a lot of determination. I yield for a few more kisses, sucking her slithery tongue a little just to feel her grind against me, hips shivering through our clothing. God it’s wonderful, just feeling her on me like this.


“Okay, so it’s real. This . . . attraction thing,” Catherine gasps a little, sounding as if she’s trying to explain it to herself. I meet her eyes, and I guess I look amused because immediately she gets that little pouty frown like a thwarted princess. “What?”


“Catherine, fantastic as it is to be kissing you, I’ve got coffee all down one side of my slacks and you’re standing on my foot.” I tell her. She glances down and gives a little jump back, looking embarrassed.  I step forward and over the mess, advancing on her with a smile. She sees my expression and blinks a little, lost for a moment.


“I . . . don’t know what to do,” she blurts with honesty. “I’d know exactly how to come on to you if you were a guy, but this is NOT the same, and I just don’t know . . .”


God she’s so cute, tossing her hair back, looking embarrassed and horny all in the same moment, biting her lips and shifting around uneasily. I reach out; cup her face in my hands.


“We’re going to clean up the coffee first. I had sugar in that, and your floor’s going to be sticky if we leave it.”


“Right.” She sighs, a little relieved. So we clean, and in the process I learn that Lindsay’s at her grandmother’s for two weeks; that Catherine favors Pine Sol for cleaning; that she’s got not one, not two but THREE mops in her kitchen cupboard, and that Ms. Willows, confident ex-stripper prattles on and on when she’s nervous.


I love it. She has no clue how to get me in bed, but it’s clear she wants me there pretty badly. I don’t have the heart to tell her all she ever had to do was ask. And that was before the kissing. So I listen and nod, smiling once in a while as she dumps the dirty water in the sink and wrings the mops out. Right in the middle of a long story about some product demonstration she got involved with, I pin her against the counter with my body. Catherine shivers and her words die away as I flick my hair back and brush the side of my cheek against hers.


“Enough, Catherine. Talk to me about what you want here.”


“Oh God. Um . . . I want . . . “ she begins, her shoulders tightening. My arms go around her and I turn my head enough to kiss the velvet of her cheek.


“Do you want me to kiss you?” I ask courteously. I know she wants a hell of a lot more than that, but it’s a good start. She nods, eyes closed, all the better to feel my mouth on her skin.




“Good. Do you want me to touch you?” As I ask, I slide one hand up along her stomach to cup the heft of her right breast; it’s a good warm weight in my hand through the thin silk blouse. Catherine exhales hard, and the hard outline of her firm nipple shows just how aroused she is. I rub my thumb over it; make a little sound of low delight, and Catherine arches against me.


“Oh yeahhhh—“


“Do you want me to go down on you, Catherine, lick you, suck you, make your pretty pussy happy?” I ask ruthlessly, knowing full well the effect my words are having on both of us. Catherine shivers hard as my mouth is just under her ear and I’m tasting the spot where she dabs her perfume. Under my lips her pulse is hard and fast.


“Christ, Sofia, you can’t just SAY something like that!” comes her shaky protest even as her hands reach for me, sliding around my waist.


“Sure I can. I’m the one who talks out loud to herself, remember?” I tease a little. Catherine turns her face to mine, and I see a glimpse of vulnerability in her eyes. I sigh. “Stop it. Don’t get worried, this is just for now, I know, and it’s okay, Catherine. Let’s just see where the heat takes us for the moment, okay?”


It must be the right thing, because she licks my mouth, and for a long time we’re just kissing, slurpy, wet, eat-your-face kisses that feel hot and hungry. Catherine’s tongue is one wicked little tease, and her mouth is sweetness itself. I push a thigh between hers, pressing, rocking a little, and Catherine obediently straddles it. I laugh, low.


“Hot for me?”


“Yes—“ she admits. I nibble one of her ears, making her moan echo in the empty kitchen.


“You do it much with women?” I have to know. I never pegged her as anything but straight, and yet—


“Never. God, now I’m wondering why . . .” Catherine laughs weakly, her mouth starting to explore my chin. She’s good at kissing, stiffening only once in a while, when she realizes the differences. It’s my job to keep her pot simmering so to speak, so I guide one of her hands to my waist and pull her close. I kiss her face, feeling the velvet texture of it, the warmth of her flush, and the whole time, her frame’s sort of trembling. When I smooth my hands down her back, I keep the stroking firm enough to soothe her as best I can. The coiled tension in my belly is getting so tight I’m almost cramping with it, but I have to get this right.


Make Catherine come first. She won’t know what to do for me, so I have to show her on her own body. That’s the idea. I wish the theory would sink into my hips though, because they’re rocking against Catherine’s frame pretty hard now. Shifting my thigh higher, I slide it up and press my advantage, knowing I’ve touched the right place when Catherine shudders with pleasure. I laugh softly.


“Like that?” I demand, knowing full well she does. The heat of her thighs around mine is sinking through my thin slacks, making me desperate for some skin on skin here. Catherine tightens her legs around mine in a vise of lust and I laugh, low at that. “I think you do—“


“Kiss me—“ Comes her throaty demand and I’m oh so happy to oblige, snaking my tongue into that hot sugar mouth again, tasting all the flavors and feeling the wet pleasure with a new urgency now. When I break off to catch my breath, her hand tugs on my shoulder, and Catherine is breathing hard. “Bedroom. I’m not going to get done in my kitchen, you know?”


I know. Like me, Catherine is not only a woman of passion, she’s a woman of practicality, and I admire that. Let the twentysomethings strain their knees and backs over counters—beds and sofas are good enough for me. I follow her out of the kitchen and through a living room I barely notice as I watch her ass shift sweetly in front of me. She’s already peeling out of her shirt, tossing it aside with a little desperation that makes me smile; she wants me and that does me no end of good.


 If I have to be demoted, if I have to take Ecklie’s shit, Grissom’s irritation and Sara’s indifference, then Catherine’s lust is the best reward I can have. I trail after her into what appears to be her bedroom, a big one done in pale yellow walls with deep green accents. Not that I’m focusing much on the décor, not when I have a luscious redhead fighting with the side zipper on her slacks and cursing softly. I laugh, move behind her and kiss her neck; it’s a beautiful thing to feel Catherine relax against me. I reach for the zipper and undo it, the growl of it loud in the room. Her body’s quivering now, and I lick her neck just to make her moan.


“Catherine, no rush. Just . . . relax a bit, all right? Let me get the rest of this off of you and we can take our time,” I tell her, feeling a rush of heat at seducing her like this. All that bluster and confidence she normally exudes is gone. I push the slacks down, admiring the toned flex of her hips and stomach as I stroke them. She likes that, and gives a purr, and with a twist, I topple onto the bed with her, laughing a little.


Catherine’s expression says it all—she never expected to hear me laugh, to see me look at her the way I’m eyeing her now, and in that vulnerable moment she leans in to kiss me again, a warm sweet thing, still lustful, but . . . tender, too.


I take it. I NEED it, and still kissing gently, we manage to get the rest of our clothes off. The whisper of cotton and click of buttons make nice counter sounds to the sighs and moans. Catherine has suddenly lost her shyness; I feel her fingers peeling down my bra straps, unhooking the damned thing eagerly.


“A stripper knows how to get out of clothes,” she teases, and I answer that with a lick on her ear that makes her shiver. She frees me just as I do the same for her, and we slide together, bare chest to bare chest, the rub of soft skin almost more than my senses can take. I cannot get over how warm and soft Catherine Willows is under her clothes. I’m aching now, wanting to taste every damn inch of her. She seems to feel the same way, pressing against me, grinding herself sweetly along my hip. I glance down and grin.


“Wow. You are so completely a redhead,” I murmur, delighted and aware that I’m looking at a sight every man in the lab would love to see. The gorgeous copper fluff of Catherine’s little pelt rises thick and curly between two lean pale thighs.  My mouth hungers, and I feel my nipples harden. She follows my glance and blushes; on her that’s a full body event, with the flush going down her throat and across her chest.


Her chest. Pert, perfect and topped with nipples of deep bronze. I lean down and slip one into my mouth, sucking firmly. Instantly Catherine’s hands slide around my shoulders, clutching me hard.


“OoohGod!” comes her deep groan, and I roll her onto her back, sucking harder. Catherine’s thighs tense for a second, then open and rise, wrapping around my hips. I drop onto her body, pinning it, savoring her heat under me. Carefully I let go and nuzzle around first one breast then the other, licking all the places I know I like to be licked; mostly the undersides. Men always miss that, and from the way Catherine’s writhing I know I’m doing it right. She tastes of perfume and faintly of sweat, mostly of feminine musk, which I love. She slides her hands down my back, toying a bit with my long hair, which surprises me, and opens her eyes which pleases me.


I was so sure she’d keep them closed and pretend I was a guy. It’s happened to me before, but this unexpected honesty is amazing. I look into her gaze, and this time she’s the one who laughs.


“True confession time. I’m jealous of your hair. I cannot for the life of me ever grow mine that long.” She whispers reaching up to stroke it again. I purr a little, half in vanity, half in pleasure, then inch down a bit, kissing the firm heat of that valley between her breasts. Catherine’s nipples are still hard when I very gently rub the balls of my thumbs over them, and under my mouth I feel her stomach tighten.


Sofia . . . “ a plea, a question, a command all in one. I have the queen of the swing shift under me on a bed, laid out like a sweet feast and by God I’m going to have my fill.


“Shhhhh. You first.” I murmur between kisses, moving down her torso and letting my hands glide along her sides. Catherine whimpers a bit, but I have her trapped under me, and the spell of her scent and taste is doing it for me nicely, oooh yes. I nip at her navel; laughing against her skin and feeling it shiver with every kiss. “God you are so primed. How long has it been, anyway?”


She stiffens a bit, but I kiss her from one hipbone to the other and feel her relax again as I go slowly, dragging my tongue.


“A while. And never like this. Jesus!” she moans, her hips rising and moving, as if she can’t possibly hold still anymore. I can smell the rich musk of her now, the perfume of her arousal and between my own legs the slickness is flowing. I inch down further until I’m lying on her closed legs and blowing softly on the coppery curls covering her mound. It’s puffy now, sensitive. I run the flat of my hand over it, feeling the softness tickle my palm. Catherine arches, trying to push it against my touch.


“Patience.” I chide, even though I can feel my own pussy throbbing now. I drop and let my hair slide over her thighs, press little tickly kisses all along the long sleek muscles there. Catherine moves, trying to part her legs for me, and that’s when I know she’s ready. MORE than ready, but I’m not arguing. She slides her knees out from under me and lets them cradle around my ribs, and suddenly I’m looking at the most luscious little box I’ve seen in a long time. The soft velvety folds are glistening. It looks like a wet rose, only hotter, and sweeter. I turn my face and lick the inside of her thigh, making her quiver.


One of her hands comes sliding down the length of her stomach and I lift my head to nip her fingers. “Ah-ah. Put those hands under your ass, Catherine. I do this MY way.”


She tenses again, and I know she’s struggling with herself, wanting to either guide me or touch me, but it’s not going to happen. I know my way inside a woman’s thighs pretty damned well as she’s going to find out. Carefully, with all the time in the world, I gently slide my fingers along that beckoning cleft and push it open a bit wider, shivering a little with anticipation. Slick, slick—Catherine’s so primed, so very ready that I know one little kiss and she’ll be off like a rocket.


“Niiiice. This is going to taste so good.” I murmur, and let my tongue slither over that little red raspberry peeping at the top of those wet velvet folds. Instantly Catherine’s thighs try to close around my head, but I’m ready, and brace my forearms against them, pinning them down gently but relentlessly. “No baby. It’s not about fast and furious now; it’s about doing what Sofia wants.”


And what Sofia wants is more. Catherine tastes like tangerine and sugar between her legs, a sweet tart delicious flavor I could lick all night and probably will. I have to make an effort to slow down, and just lap, gently at that little gumdrop of a clit, tickle it softly. Catherine’s groaning now, her flat stomach tensing hard, her hips trying to push up against me, and God, I can feel her pulse against my tongue, the stiff desire of that button so utterly ready that I give in a minute later and suckle it. Catherine arches right off the bed, shoving herself onto my mouth and I open wide, hungry and hot, licking up everywhere along her Venus box.


She clutches at my hair, but I resist, knowing I can bring her off again, and a few minutes later Catherine growls, a low helpless sound pushing up from the bottom of her stomach as I feel her throb again under my tongue; I press it flat this time, holding pressure against her bud as she writhes like a wild thing. I’m so ready myself, God. The rub of her wet fur against my nose is driving me nuts, and I slip my tongue into her, probing deeply for more of that mandarin sugar flavor. As she crumples onto the sheets again, I turn my face and wipe my mouth on her thigh, smearing it, kissing it.


Oh yeah, Catherine tastes like a broiled tangerine, and she’s delicious. I slide a hand between my thighs, so close, so turned on . . . Hands hook under my arms; I look up as she tugs on me, her blue eyes smoky.


She wants me to lie on her.


Good. I slither up with some help from her, and on the way, let my fur stroke up a damp thigh. The contact’s enough to get me breathing hard, and as I loom over Catherine, I bend to kiss her again, my tongue still intimately tasting of her. She sucks it eagerly, hands sliding over my body to reach with flattering eagerness down between our stomachs and into the wet curls of my fur.


I rub against her, grinding on one sleek thigh and loving the tickle of her gentle fingers moving to bring me closer . . . closer . . . ooh God I’m throbbing hard now and Catherine keeps the pressure just right, not too hard, rubbing faster—


Coming hard, I arch my hips on her, my nipples and cunt forming a pulsing triangle of pleasure right through my body, aching and sweet, the sensation rolling in molten waves through me as I groan. Catherine drops her mouth to one of my nipples, teeth scraping it and I nearly scream with the pleasure it brings.


***   ***   ***


And so it goes. Cuddling. Coffee in bed. A slight snooze, and the gradual return to more mundane things, like trying to find my blouse. I dress and look at Catherine, who’s still in the sheets, curled up and looking immensely pleased with herself. She’s centerfold beautiful, even with tangled hair, and I take pride in knowing I put that sleepy satisfaction in those blue eyes.




“So.” I smile at her. Not cynically; she’s still got the grace to look both embarrassed and happy, so I let her off the hook. “Go to sleep. You were wonderful.”


“Thanks, but that wasn’t quite what I was asking.”


I come over to her side of the bed and sit down, reaching out to brush some of that pretty hair back from her forehead. “I know.”


She rolls her eyes, and draws in a breath, her elegant shoulders twitching a bit. “God, I suck at this part with BOTH sexes—“ she grumbles, and that makes me laugh out loud. Leaning in, I kiss her temple.


“Nobody’s good at the afterwards thing. I suggest we keep it light. I had a lovely time. I’d like to do it again at some point, but I’m not pinning all my hopes on it. That lets YOU off the hook, and gives ME some dignity, right?”


“Right—“ she murmurs with a hint of regret that does my heart good to hear.


 Did I say my heart?


I get up and smile back at her; Catherine sighs deeply.


“Sofia . . . Whatever else happens on the job—I want you to know that this—“ She glances at me and then at herself, “—Was. IS--amazing. And thank you.”


I smile again and let myself out, locking the door behind me. The sun’s been up for a while now, and I’m fishing in my purse for my sunglasses, thinking of all the things I’m going to have to do once I get back to whatever mess Lee’s left for me.


My cell phone rings. I glance at the number and smile.




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