Casa Caliente 9: Sheba





Chapter One


He was fussing over her again.

He knew it, could tell by the way she bit back an impatient sigh and refrained from rolling her eyes, but Grissom felt helpless to stop. For the past few years he’d wanted to do just this sort of thing: coddle; cosset; comfort; cradle; caress, in a word, CARE for Sara. Now that the opportunity was here he was cramming as much personal attention as he possibly could into it, and even while he tried to look repentant, his inward glee grew.

Blanket, cup of green tea, latest FBI Forensic journal, television remote, Kleenex, heating pad, slippers . . .  moving swiftly, Grissom scooped up Figaro as the final touch, and gently piled him in Sara’s lap, then stood back for a moment, looking at the completed tableaux. Sara and Figaro blinked at each other, Sara in amusement, Figaro in bewilderment. He twitched his whiskers, then settled in on her lap, keeping one eye on Grissom in his ongoing kitty threat assessment mode.

“This is a little . . . overkill, don’t you think?” Sara finally murmured as she stroked the cat’s back. Grissom’s faint smile spoke before he did.

“You’ve a rough time. You need succor.”

“Grissom, I had a bead up my nose, not a two by four. The swelling is down, mostly, and I’m ready to go back to work,” she replied, trying hard not to whine. Cabin fever was setting in after only three nights of wandering around the house trying to find ways to entertain herself. Her face was a little sore, but Doctor Fairchilde was very pleased with her progress, and the bead now hung on a strand of fishing filament on the kitchen curtain rod.

It was a pink crystal bead, and the moment Sara saw it, memories came flooding back: that little gem had once been part of a bracelet on her Cabbage Patch doll Libby Helene. Sara remembered the bracelet breaking after a hard tug of war with Tom over the doll, and the resulting smackdown when he’d threatened to flush it down the toilet. Somewhere in all the wrestling and fighting, one bead in particular must have gone up her nose, but she’d been too worked up about her brother’s taunts to even remember it.

“Monday. But only for lab work,” Grissom intoned. Sara looked distinctly rebellious, throwing a wadded up Kleenex at him. Figaro sprang for it, bringing down the dangerous tissue with only a few quick paw strikes; Sara and Grissom watched him lift his kill with triumph.

“I sleep safer, Figaro, knowing you’re defending me from sudden attacks by processed paper products,” Grissom solemnly told the cat. 

Sara laughed, the sound rumbling up through her chest as she stood up from the sofa.  “Come on, Grissom, don’t be a mother hen, all right? I know you’ve been concerned and I appreciate it, believe me, but I’m fine, I’m ready to get back to work.”

He hesitated. While he knew in his heart of hearts she truly was ready, Grissom didn’t want to relinquish this new caretaking role. Sara so rarely let him cater to her, preferring to keep her elegant independence. Initially he admired that, but as time passed, he found a quiet pleasure growing from the fun in indulging her.

“Lab work Monday. After that you’re back on rotation,” he reluctantly ceded. Sara stretched, letting her long arms reach up to the ceiling as her cropped black tee shirt rose to reveal her lean stomach. Grissom eyed it longingly.

“Speaking of rotation . . .” Sara let her voice drop into a more seductive timbre, “It’s been a whileare you at all—interested?”

Her meaning was unmistakable, and Grissom fought a swift pang of desire as he lifted his gaze to her whiskey-colored gaze.  “It’s been six days, fifteen hours, give or take a few minutes either way, and oh yes.”

Sara’s eyes widened and she unsuccessfully bit back a giggle. “You kept count by the hours?”

“Yes.” Grissom admitted with a wide-eyed passion, as if this shouldn’t have surprised her in the least. Sara felt heat roll up her face at the sight of his expression. She’d never get used to Grissom’s intensity at times, his sheer . . . lust. Nature had built him big and endowed him with strong, relentless hormones, but only now was Grissom comfortable letting himself enjoy the sheer physical joy of love.

“Then maybe we ought to—reset the timer, as it were—“ Sara suggested.

Grissom reached for her and hesitated halfway through. Sara could sense the worries flickering through him and took in a deep breath. She cupped his hand and laid it on her stomach, shivering pleasurably.

“I think I could handle everything but nasal intercourse,” she sweetly teased him. Grissom lifted his gaze from her chest to her eyes, one eyebrow arching up, his lips twisting into a reluctant smile.

“So the nose job is out?” he shot back. 

Sara laughed.

“I wanted one when I was younger,” she admitted, taking his hand and leading him through the kitchen. Grissom followed her, letting his touch shift to hold her hand. Sara opened the kitchen door and out into the back yard. They’d bought a few things for out here, making it look a bit more inviting for all its seclusion. The shade of the big cottonwood tree stretched out over the lawn, and the smell of sun-warmed grass hung in the air of the late afternoon.

“Why? Your nose is fine. Cute,” Grissom pointed out. 

Sara let go of his hand, her smile deep enough to show her dimples.  “Because in seventh grade, Lisa Ranadoor told me I needed bigger boobs and a smaller nose if I ever wanted a boy to French kiss me. At the time, I was coping with a lot of hormones and this growth spurt that had me towering over about ninety percent of my classmates, Grissom. Since I couldn’t get my legs shortened, I hassled my parents about getting my schnozz bobbed. It didn’t happen, of course.”

“You didn’t need it—you have a perfect nose, and as for height, everyone else would catch up eventually,” he assured her, oddly moved by her admission.

“Sure, now. Back then though, all I wanted was to be someone other than me. Now you tell ME something embarrassing.”

Grissom sighed, his gaze dropping to the grass. After a moment, he spoke in a faintly strained voice.

I used to have this fantasy . . .” he began, moving closer to her. 

Sara grinned.  “Yes?”

“About you in . . . a jumpsuit.” His face had gone slightly red, and Sara sensed true embarrassment. She made an encouraging noise, and Grissom blinked before continuing.  “The blue ones at work, the garage ones. The first time I saw you in one, with your goggles on, and your hair tied back, I just got this peculiar belief that under it, you were . . .”

“—Naked. Grissom!” she chortled, utterly delighted at this unexpected honesty. “You know that would never happen.”

“I did mention it was a fantasy, didn’t I?” he replied grudgingly. 

Sara softened and nodded. She moved into his arms and cuddled against his chest, whispering,  “Okay, yeah. So—go on—“

“So that’s it.”

“You just thought I was naked underneath every time I had a jumpsuit on?”

“I pretended it,” he amended, whispering into her hair. “I’d go home and uh, concentrate on it.”

“Mmmmm . . .” the joyous tingles of arousal and affection flooded Sara at this image. There was something magnificently endearing about knowing that she’d been a part of Grissom’s sexual fantasies. Slowly she slid his hands under her shirt, guiding them up until they cupped her chest, her nipples pressing hard into the centers of his palms.

“Tell you what—we can smuggle a coverall home sometime and we’ll play the Lady Mechanic and the Oil Change Customer.”

Grissom pondered this, changing focus only when Sara reached down and peeled her black tee shirt off, pulling it over her head and tossing it aside onto the grass. He swallowed, excitement racing through his system at the sight of her sweet collarbones and his own, big hands on her elegant chest. Sara half-dressed was unbearably arousing, and he stifled a moan. She raised her arms up again, crossing them on top of her head.

“In the meantime . . .” Sara swallowed hard herself, aching for his touch. 

Grissom gently stroked his thumbs over her hard nipples for a teasing moment, then led her down the brick steps towards the big hammock, which swayed invitingly on its frame under the cottonwood. 

“In the meantime, we make the most of an encounter al fresco,” Grissom decided in a low, firm voice. 

Sara crossed her arms over her bare chest and laughed.  “You know when it comes to sex, you’ve got this furniture fetish, Grissom. I for one would be perfectly happy to roll on the grass with you and get closer to nature THAT way—“

“Grass stains, grass allergies, hard on the knees . . .” he countered, straddling the hammock and tugging Sara down with him. The hemp creaked a little, the springs stretching a little, but the soft sway of sun-warmed cotton mesh felt wonderful. Somewhere far off, someone’s lawn mower droned in the lazy afternoon. Sara sat astride Grissom’s thighs and began unbuttoning his shirt. He watched her, blue eyes following her long fingers.

“Touch. You’ve always had amazing touch, Sara. Extremely fine motor skills and sensitivity. It was something I noticed about you early on.”

“Un huh—part of your fantasies too?”

“Absolutely. I’m not given to tactility myself, but something about the way you . . . handle things . . .” he trailed off; Sara’s fingers had reached the last button of his shirt and were now opening it to expose his chest. Slowly, she splayed her fingers across his broad pectoral muscles, feeling his heartbeat, strong and a little quick. The hammock swayed a little, and Sara felt her toes drag across the grass on either side. She looked at Grissom, drinking in his features as he lay back and sighed with pleasure.

“You wake my skin up, and then you warm it up,” he told her with a smile, catching one of her hands in his, and kissing it. 

Sara tossed the hair out of her eyes and let her gaze travel down his torso, her fingers following, pushing the shirt out of the way.  “I like to touch you. I couldn’t do it for so long that now that I can, I’m making up for lost time. You have great shoulders, and I swear to God your nipples are more sensitive than mine.”

“Possibly,” he admitted. “I’ve never had anyone interested in them before.”

Sara shot him a look through her lashes, then bent her head to bring her lips down onto the right one, teeth ever so lightly closing on the hard little stub. Grissom’s neck arched instantly, and his hands slid around her bare shoulders. She laughed against his flesh.

“Sensivive arn eu?”

“Yesss.” Came his rough hiss. The warm swipe of her tongue had him trembling, and as she kissed her way to the other nipple, he stroked her nape with one shaky hand. Sara wriggled her hips, finding a heavy ridge rising against the fly of his slacks. She toyed with the hard brown rivet under her lips, flicking it with her tongue, enjoying Grissom’s shivers. After a tormenting him a moment longer, she pressed her breasts against his bare chest and shifted her lips to his jawline, tasting his salty skin.

“I’ve heard that some guys have nipples so sensitive they can come just from having them teased—“ she whispered. 

Grissom didn’t turn his head or open his eyes, but he smiled.  “I’d rather not put that to the test—“ he told her. Grissom was working his hands down Sara’s bare back, sliding under her sweatpants determinedly as she laughed again, a little breathlessly this time.

“Hey!”

“I want to see you in the light, Acushla. With the sun dappling your skin.”

Sara pushed her way up and gave a little frown. The light was already picking up the auburn highlights in her hair, and bringing out her freckles; Grissom admired them.

“Only if you do the same.”

He hesitated a moment, then gave a slow nod, reaching for his belt. Within a few minutes the rest of their clothes were in a crumpled heap under the hammock, and both of them were facing each other, naked, staring with mingled amusement and awkwardness. Sara shook her head slowly, willing herself not to cross her arms over her chest.

“Anyone looking at us would KNOW we work the nightshift,” she observed, noting how the sunlight picked up the iron of Grissom’s beard, and soft darker hair in lying graceful calligraphy over his arms and thighs. 

He gave a nod of agreement.  “I never knew you had so many freckles, Sara. Or how aesthetically pleasing they are, blending in a sort of erotic pointillism all along your body . . . he remarked, reaching out to touch her shoulder. 

Sara ducked her head shyly, her hands sliding on his thighs, and from the moment of contact, both of them relaxed. She shifted closer, hands curling around the thick shaft rising up between their intertwined legs.

“Verrrry nice—“ Sara grinned, letting her fingertips trace the web of veins standing in relief around the smooth warm heft of his cock.  Grissom glanced down, and a hooded look crossed his face; the intimate expression of a man both vulnerable and aroused. He said nothing, but guided her hand to a tighter grip around the thick diameter.  Sara caressed the warm suede of his erection, feeling hot and excited by the power of Grissom’s grip around hers. 

She shot him a wide-eyed look.  “Would you do it? For me?”

Her meaning dawned on him, and a blush crossed his features; he blinked rapidly. “I’d rather do it TO you, Sara,” he quipped, ”Or at the very least, WITH you.”

She reluctantly let go and ran her hands along his wrists as she leaned forward a little, breathing into his face, seeing the lines and muscles and curves there so clearly now, the dark long eyelashes and crystalline blue of his eyes in the golden light of the afternoon.

“Just once . . .” she whispered, “Show me how you make yourself come, Gil. I’ll never ask again, but I want to see it this one time . . .”

Grissom opened his mouth, but didn’t have a chance to say anything for a moment as Sara pressed her lips to his, tongue sliding against his own. His eyes fluttered shut, and he kissed her back with serious sensuality. Sara cupped his face, letting his beard tickle her palms as she pulled away, licked her lips and kissed him once more.

A long, slightly dizzy moment later, Grissom sighed slowly, lashes parting just enough for the laser blue of his gaze to make Sara squirm.

“All right. If that’s what you want.”

“Yes!”

Grissom smiled crookedly at her enthusiasm, but shifted a little and leaned back in the hammock, propping his left arm behind his head, and letting his right hand stroke his chest. The sight of his bare shoulders, his silky underarm hair made her tingle.

“It’s nowhere near as fascinating as watching you. Men are pretty utilitarian about this, Sara. One of the few things we’re efficient at.”

Her look was patient and hungry; Grissom realized she was perfectly serious and willing to let him set his own pace, so he cleared his throat and let his hand slide down his stomach.

“Practice makes perfect?” she teased. 

He gave a small, wry smirk.  “A skill, but I doubt it’s on anyone’s resume.” Carefully he slid his hand down his abdomen and gently took himself in hand, fingers wrapping loosely around the girth. 

Sara stared.

“Like anything pleasurable it starts with the mind. Thoughts. Images. Fantasies . . . “

“Me in a jumpsuit,” Sara giggled. Grissom nodded, closing his eyes.  Very carefully he brought the palm of his hand over the flat broad head of his cock, smearing it with the pearly precum there, then slid his strong fingers down the shaft, coating it lightly for a few minutes.

“You in a jumpsuit. One with . . . a broken zipper.”

Sara flushed, feeling a pang between her legs at the hungry sound of his voice. Sitting astride his thighs, just looking at Grissom lying back naked and relaxed, aroused her fiercely. She shifted, damply. 

Without opening his eyes, Grissom laughed.

“Stretching, crawling through some car marked for evidence, and unaware that the seam of that jumpsuit is coming open here and there, revealing tantalizing peeks of your bare skin under it, Sara . . “ he whispered.

She didn’t know what to do with her hands, and he took pity on her, opening one eye and smiling so sweetly his dimples showed.

“Care to join me?”

“Oh no--This is about YOU . . .” she reminded him in a voice she tried to keep under control, even while she wondered whether his comment was actually an invitation to touch herself. 

Grissom gave a shrug and slowly stroked himself, his grip tighter, practiced and strong.

Her mouth dry, Sara watched Grissom’s hand caress his cock, the caress slow and definitely erotic.

“So it is. At any rate, just being near you makes me quite hard, particularly in close quarters like a car. Being able to see flashes of your flat stomach and pretty breasts, wanting to slip my hand into the gap left by the broken zipper . . . “

Sara groaned. The husky heat in his voice, drifting in the warm afternoon sunshine intoxicated her senses. Under her she felt the strong muscles of his thighs tense. The air was rich with the scent of his musk, heavy and masculine. She slid her hands along his furry thighs. Grissom gave a grunt, but didn’t open his eyes, stroking for a few minutes longer in the quiet afternoon.

“And I SMELL you, Sara. Faint perfume, toothpaste and clean female pheromones, a blend that keeps me on edge whenever you’re near. I move closer to you just to breathe in that warm, enticing scent, and in my fantasy, you’re just before your period, sending out that extra temptation.”

Grissom’s voice dropped in pitch, and his hand gripped his cock more tightly, pumping the throbbing shaft in ruthless strokes now, thrusts so powerful that Sara shuddered.

“Then you spot something on the dome light, and as you stretch up to look at it, the entire seam splits. God! You’re inches from my face, Sara, naked from your throat to the sweet dark curls of your pussy, one glorious vision of sleek, semi-naked woman—“ he groaned, and Sara dipped her face down, searing her lips against the heated head of his cock in a soft kiss. At the touch of her mouth, Grissom gave a strangled cry, his big body arching in the hammock as his orgasm erupted through him, geysering up and over his fist, white foamy ribbons bubbling like champagne tinged in musk.

 Sara waited until the last splatters fell, then looked up at Grissom, who had finally opened his eyes his face flushed, but his gaze almost dreamy. She batted her eyes and he laughed at the sight of her with creamy droplets on her chin and throat.

“Messy,” she tried to sound light, but her entire body quivered, and the pulsing between her own thighs was driving her insane. Grissom reached for her, settling Sara down to straddle his thigh, one hand sliding with sensual grace between her legs, the other braced around her shoulders. Lazily he lapped at the smears on her face, then kissed her deeply as his fingers brushed the hot slick folds of her sex. Sara writhed, clutching his big thigh tightly between her own, tongue dueling his with lovely slurps and pressure.

Sara rocked, rubbing herself against his fingers, making the hammock creak as she tensed and flexed, seeking pressure and pleasure, losing herself in Grissom’s powerful kisses. Within minutes, her wriggles grew frantic, and she ground herself against his thigh as his fingers tugged very, very gently on her fur, spreading the hot slick folds of her sex to slide wetly on his skin.

She came, rocking hard on his thigh, riding out the shudders that wracked her long frame while Grissom sucked lightly on her tongue as he braced her against his broad chest. When she finally pulled her mouth from his, he cradled her head down against his neck. Sara felt his throbbing pulse under her cheek as she spun in the hazy afterglow of her orgasm, replete, glutted on pleasure.

Grissom rocked the two of them in the hammock for a while as the light shifted lower through the trees. When Sara moved to sit up he made a soft reluctant sound.

“We’re exposed,” she reminded him with a laugh in her voice. 

He sighed.  “Yes, well it’s not my first time in this back yard.”

“Grissom!” Sara pulled away with a broad grin. He gave a lazy chuckle and reached down for her sweatpants, using the bottom of one leg to wipe her chin.

“Sara, Sara--did I ever tell you about my aunt’s experiment on deterring coyotes?” he asked softly, “And MY contribution to the test?”

***   ***  ***

Sixteen-year-old Gil Grissom looked up from his Frosted Flakes and made a face. Across the table, Doreen Sullivan peered over the top of the newspaper and eyed him speculatively, her reading glasses magnifying her blue eyes. He was in pajama bottoms but bare-chested, still lanky but definitely beginning to fill out. 

Doreen shook her head.  “Three cats this week, Gil. Mrs. Hayson’s Boston Terrier got chewed up as well. They’re getting bolder. I found footprints all around the rabbit hutch this morning.”

Grissom glanced out through the kitchen window to the back yard. The cheery thermometer just under the eaves, the one with the yellow Bisquick logo, already registered the heat at 86 even though it wasn’t yet eight in the morning. He thought for a moment, his spoon suspended halfway to his mouth.

“Dry season. Their natural prey are moving on to cooler climes or dying off, so they’re looking for easier kill. We could set some poison bait if you want.”

He knew she wouldn’t, of course. Out of all the things Gil knew about his aunt, and there were many, her abiding love of all natural wildlife was fundamental. The rabbits were proof of that. The pantry had crickets and mice, the garage harbored a nest of tarantulas in one corner, and twice this summer Grissom had found his treehouse overrun with lizards.

Strict as she might be with nephews, Doreen Sullivan was a marshmallow for animals, even coyotes.

He shoveled in the cereal as she shook her head and turned a page of the newspaper. The sports section headlines were predicting more gold for Mark Spitz, and Grissom wished there were a pool nearby. Out here on Caliente Road it was nearly a forty minute bike ride to the nearest Seven Eleven, and the municipal pool was seven miles beyond that—not worth the heatstroke of getting there and back again.

Doreen shot him a speculative look.  “Gil, how’s your acne?”

He frowned at her, going pink around his ears; much as he loved Aunt Doreen, she just didn’t understand he wasn’t a kid now.

His mother never just asked things anymore, not now that he was practically a man. Well, more of a man than he could actually tell her, but still. She knocked on the bathroom and bedroom doors nowadays, and didn’t check under his bed (he thanked God for that), and didn’t look at him funny when he shaved once a week. Mom was getting it. She understood.

“Why?” he asked cautiously. 

Doreen looked out in the back yard.  “Because I’m going to fill you up with soda pop, and I need to know if the sugar’s gonna make you break out. I’d use water, but I know you like that fizzy stuff much better.”

Grissom frowned, trying to find the catch. His aunt was a wily woman, brilliant in her own way, but not always forthcoming. This had something to do with coyotes, but he wasn’t sure what. 

He cocked his head.  “It’s better,” he mumbled. 

Doreen cast a critical eye over his face and he glared back, waiting for the comment that was sure to come.

“So it seems, but lord, you need a haircut, boy. More curls than Shirley Temple.”

There was no point in trying to explain to her that long hair let him blend in, that he’d look far more out of place with a crewcut. And blending in let him move through school unhindered, unbullied. Protective coloration should be a concept she’d understand, but didn’t, not when it came to high school.

“The soda?” he asked, trying to steer her back to the subject. Then she frightened him.

She smiled.

Twenty minutes later, Grissom sat on the brick steps to the back yard, swigging a Coca-Cola and grimly eyeing the wide expanse before him. Part of his thoughts were busy calculating a rough diameter of the yard, estimating distance and putting it into numbers. The other part of his mind, the section preoccupied with the massive concept of personal dignity, was still protesting this plan of action his aunt had proposed.

For a moment, he thought again of refusing, but the soda did taste good, and one way or another it was going to come out anyway. He glared over at the kitchen window.

“Stop watching me! I’m drinking as fast as I can, and you better not be there when it’s TIME.”

“I just don’t want you to fade out before the whole perimeter is done, Gil. You need to last long enough to make the entire boundary you know.”

“I know, I KNOW,” he snapped back, his face red, and not from the heat of the day. He heard an amused snort from the kitchen window and chose to ignore it.

More soda. He tried to relax, to think of something distracting. His new electron microscope, complete with four lens magnifications and thirty-six unmounted slides. His last trip to the beach before flying out here for the summer. Katie Everson’s tits . . . no, that thought was a little too dangerous a thought at the moment. Playing poker with Alex, catching dragonflies out by the curb, a pickup game of baseball down the 
street . . .

And the pressure began. Grissom winced, and chugged the rest of the soda. He wondered if the carbonation was absorbed before anything reached his bladder, and felt the rumbling surge of a burp rising up his throat. With utter satisfaction, he belched, loudly, grinning as the sound of it echoed in the yard around him with a sort of soul-satisfying resonance.

“Gilbert Gordon Grissom!” Came the warning from the window. He laughed.

“Excuse me,” he politely told the yard. Somewhere in the cottonwood, the chattering chide of a blue jay answered him. He heard the door open behind him, and the clink of another bottle of soda as his aunt stepped out and set it down next to the empty one to his hip.

“I’ve never understood why the bottles are so . . . curvy. A bottle should look like a bottle, not like some . . .” Doreen muttered, glancing down at the offending Coke. Grissom picked it up, flashing a grin at her.

“Part of it is marketing and part of it is ergonomics. This shape fits into the human palm better.” He loftily told her before taking a huge sip. Doreen gave him a crooked smile.

“Pace yourself, boy. It’s a big yard.”

“The average male bladder’s capacity is seven to thirteen ounces. Each soda is about twelve ounces. Three sodas will be enough—“ he calculated, absently caressing the curves of the light green bottle in his hand. Curves, yeah—he was noticing those these days. Doreen shaded her eyes and made a scoffing sound.

“Fine. I’m off to Henderson’s market then. Do you need anything?”

“Oreos?”

“Fair enough.”

After he heard the car pull out of the driveway he relaxed a bit, and stood up, wandering to the pyracantha bushes that grew near the side of the house. The hedge extended a good eight feet on this side, low and scraggly. Grissom unzipped the fly of his jeans and gave a self-conscious smirk.

“With this urine, I thee mark, for this is MY territory, coyotes beware!” he intoned dramatically.

The bush was supremely unimpressed with this rhetoric, and Grissom sighed. Carefully he doused it, and began pacing along the length of the hedge, conscientiously spattering the remains of his first coke in his wake, feeling both incredibly self-conscious and amused. Taking a leak outside was nothing new, but having it sanctioned in the name of science, well, that had to be a first. He’d nearly reached the cottonwood when he realized he’d left his soda back on the brick steps. With a groan he zipped up and returned to collect his fuel, swigging it and burping again, this time skyward.

Grissom hefted the bottle, thinking idly that it would be a good murder weapon; the weight was ideal for smacking on a cranium, and you could always shatter it later, destroying the evidence . . . he slowly walked back to the cottonwood, pondering the problem, unzipping again with one hand.

Twenty minutes later, he came to a full appreciation of just how big the damn yard was, and wishing he could have talked aunt Doreen into letting him have beer instead. THAT would have been through his system a hell of a lot faster, and the light buzz would have cut down on his inhibitions. Currently he was pushing his limit in terms of output, but the last of his offerings just reached the corner, and he sighed with a relief much more emotional than physical, breathing deeply.

Mission accomplished, thank God.

“Okay, you can put away the magic firehose, now Gil—“

“Jesus!” He started violently, glancing over his shoulder as Doreen stood in the doorway, a bag of Oreos in one hand, a wry grin on her face. Grissom flushed brick red, hurriedly stuffing himself back into his jeans. 

Doreen hooted, her shoulders shaking.  “Oh stop it, young man. You’d think I’d never caught a fella taking a leak before. I may be a spinster, but I’ve seen my fair share of willies.”

“That, I do NOT want to know!” Grissom rumbled, wishing his supernova of blushes would die down. He grudgingly took the bag of cookies from her as she strode over to him. Quietly she laid a hand on his shoulder, and for the first time, Grissom realized she had to reach up to do it.

“Sorry, Gil. That was downright mean of me, considering I put you up to this. But your manly contribution IS going to keep them out. The turf’s marked, my bunnies are 
safe . . .” Doreen opened the Oreos bag to take one out, “ . . . And when I’m dead and gone, you can lollygag out here buck naked for all it matters.”

Grissom tried to stay annoyed, but looking down into his aunt’s snapping blue eyes made it impossible, and he grinned widely at her comment. He waved a cookie at her impishly.

“You know what? I will, too.”

***   ***   ***

“And as you can see, it’s come to pass.”

“Umm. Did the scent barrier work?” Sara asked, her smile muffled against his bare chest. It was getting cooler now, and really, she knew they should head on in, but it felt good just to lie here, bare skin touching. 

Grissom kissed the top of her head.  “Yep. Still does. You don’t think I load up on water before mowing the lawn just to avoid heat stroke do you?”

“Grissom!”

The sound of Sara’s bubbly laugh drifted over the gathering twilight, echoing on the breeze as the first streetlights came on, and far off in the distance hills, the faint lonely yip of a coyote answered her.  

 

                                         Sheba 2                                               
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