2004-11-30 - 3:16 p.m.

Grape Lucidity On Ice Chapter 2

“What about you Gris? How do you know Miguel?”

“We attended a few of the same workshops when I was a doctoral candidate. After I got my degree we did some research together and published a few papers.”

“Yeah, now that you say it I think I’ve read a couple.” She motioned toward the bar with her chin and made a move in that direction.

Gil followed. “I wouldn’t be shocked if you’d read them all.”

Moving through a particularly boisterous knot of partygoers Sara was surprised to find her supervisor’s hand in the small of her back. It seemed at the same time both possessive and needy, and she enjoyed it completely.

“Another Merlot please. Gris? You need another drink?” He smiled, nodded and lifted his glass in the direction of the bartender.

They received their drinks and stepped away from the crowd. He clinked his glass to hers. “To old friends.” She half smiled, “Yeah, friends.”

It was as if every time he touched her, no matter how casually he had to throw in a reminder of the restrictions on their relationship. Noting the disappointment in her eyes he qualified, leaning in a little closer than strictly necessary, “I meant Miguel.”

“Yeah, I- I know” She was flustered by the simple intimacy but before she had the opportunity to obsess over it one of Miguel’s colleagues, a professor who had retired himself a few years before took her by the elbow.

“Make an old man’s dream come true. Dance with me?”

Grissom accepted the wine glass she handed him and watched as Sara was guided to the makeshift dance floor. She was humoring the older man, making polite, lightly flirtatious conversation. He didn’t need to hear her words to know the gist of the exchange.

“Gil? A bit of friendly advise. Close your mouth. And perhaps reacquaint yourself with blinking.” Miguel’s eyes twinkled.

It took a little work to get his tongue to fit in place, sucking it to his teeth a few times helped but not as much as downing his drink in a single pull.

Miguel kept on, “She’s beautiful, I’ll give you that.”

Gil smiled despite himself. He had already forgotten Miguel was at his side. “It was never really about her beauty.” He mused, unable to take his eyes from the way her skirt moved as she danced.

“Of course not.” His old friend chuckled. “I’m sorry, someone seems to have dumped a whole pile of steaming Syncerus caffer excrement around here…”

Gil turned, finally, away from the dance floor and looked at Miguel with a smirk, “No Miguel, no buffalo shit, I’m not denying her beauty, you know me better than to fight the evidence. I’m simply stating that I work in Vegas. You become desensitized to traditional beauty pretty quickly when it’s everywhere.” Now he allowed his eyes to settle back on Sara, “No, it isn’t her physical attributes that take my breath away.”

Miguel chortled, “You are as they say, too far gone for recovery. I think you have been bitten.”

“Smitten” Grissom replied quietly.

The song ended and pleasantries were exchanged. She began to make her way back to him but was caught by a younger man this time. He was a new professor at the university, around Sara’s age, perhaps even a bit younger. He asked for a dance and Sara complied. He held onto her through two songs and as song three began Sara threw a helpless glance at Grissom over her partner’s shoulder.

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