2004-11-30 - 3:24 p.m.

Grape Lucidity on Ice
Chapter 4

As the party wore on the couple were separated by various introductions and conversations but somehow, like magnets, always seemed to end up standing in each other’s proximity.

It was nearly midnight when Sara went to the bedroom to collect her coat. Grissom followed her, but stayed in the door, leaning against the frame and taking in the sight of her. The room was dark, lit mostly by the moon. Sara bent down to sort through the pile on the bed and her hair fell to her cheeks. He wondered how many times he had watched her work a scene in similar rooms, lit in similar fashion and wondered why tonight was so unbearably different. Why tonight was it so difficult to stay at least 6 paces away? Why so hard to not touch her milky white skin.

Over the years, at various times, he’d looked over at her while she worked and been taken with her, and occasionally, yes, allowed his imagination a short run on a tight leash. Tonight the leash had been snapped and in his mind he pushed her down, atop the mishmash of coats and pillows and kissed her over and over, his hands pushing the red silk further and further up her thigh.

“Shit.” Sara’s voice brought him back to reality and he realized his breath had become a tinge ragged.

In through the nose… “Something wrong?”

She held up her cell phone. “I missed a couple of messages from Jeanie.” She pressed in numbers and held the phone to her ear. She listened to the first, nodding into the phone. She erased it and the second message began. “Crap.” Sara sat on the bed and hung up the phone.

Grissom twisted his mouth, and then raised his brows, “Problem?”

“I was supposed to stay with my friend Jeanie and her husband. She picked me up from the airport and we went back to her place just long enough for me to change. She had to work tonight at the hospital and was going to meet here after her shift only she just left a message saying that she got in a car accident on the way over. Totaled her car but she’s just bruised I guess. She said to see if I can stay here or get a hotel just for tonight cause the roads are pretty bad.” The words were in a rush; she was in a mild panic. The mix of wine, and concern made the situation more calamitous in her normally rational mind.

“I have a hotel room.” It escaped before he knew it. He took a cautious step closer to her, still trying to completely shake the vision of kissing her. “You need a place to stay, I have a suite. I’ll sleep on the sofa you can have the bed. Problem solved.”

“You don’t mind?” It was a fight to keep her voice even; her heart was thudding so loudly she was sure he could hear it.
“Don’t be silly. I’m sure Miguel already has a houseful with the relatives here from Maine. There’s no reason for you to get a room of your own somewhere when I have a perfectly fine room nearby.”

Sara stood, her coat in her hands. “Thanks.” There was that uncomfortable space again. She had her coat but he made no move to get his own. Where they going, or staying a little longer? She felt like a schoolgirl on a first date, unsure of what to say or do.

“Why don’t you leave your coat while I call a cab? We can say goodnight to Miguel and Connie.” He started for the door; she replaced her coat on the top of the pile.

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