2004-12-16 - 5:14 a.m.

Grape Lucidity
Chapter 12

Their mouths separated but they remained close.

In her ear, “Tell me it’s not too late.”

She remembered the night of the explosion. Her putting it all on the line and his rejection, ‘I don’t know what to do about this” “By the time you figure it out it really could be too late.’

“Did I taste wine in that kiss?” She dodged his request.

“Chase the evidence, Sara.” He leaned in for another kiss, this time breathless and deep.

She beamed at him. “Is this the Grissom brand of Grape Lucidity?”

“On ice.”

“Lucidity on the Rocks?” she laughed. She stood and offered him her hand.

He stood and wrapped himself around her; she matched his height on her skates. “Come back to the hotel with me?”

“Are those your bags?”

They were. Scattered where he started his fall. He picked them up, set them next to him.

“You haven’t answered me. Come back to the hotel.” He stood away from her now, less sure of himself, he looked down at the snow.

Sara looked around. “How about dinner? Have you eaten anything since breakfast?”

“Never mind.” He bent to pick up his packages.

“No. Uh, okay, I’m coming. Let me just…I have to get rid of these skates and let Jeanie know I’m going.” She looked at him as though he might fade, an apparition of smoke and mirrors.

“I don’t want you to do anything you don’t…”

But she had him by the arm, pulling him to the locker area. She handed him a small orange key with a locker number on it. “Get my stuff out for me while I skate around and find Jeanie okay?”

He looked at the key in his hand then up at her, like someone waking from a coma. She kissed his cheek. “It’s not too late. I lied. It would never be too late.”
He watched her skate off, his mind too filled with fluffy cotton and mesmerizing kisses to appreciate her strong legs and confident strokes on the ice.

Inside her locker he found a pair of shoes not meant for snow and a folded down shopping bag. She had obviously done a little Christmas shopping of her own before hitting the rink. He removed the bag careful not to peek inside, not wanting to ruin any Christmas surprises she may have in store for him.

Once her shoes were on Grissom added the handle of her bag to those of his own and they started walking. She slipped her arm through his, and he wondered at her motivation. It felt nice, but he worried whether he was maybe staggering a bit.

He was. She didn’t notice.

“It was rude of me, back there, to refuse dinner. I’m sorry.”

Shaking her head in wonder, she’d never know what to expect from him. “Stop apologizing.”

“Are you hungry? I didn’t mean we couldn’t eat. I just thought you were looking for a way out.” He kept his eyes fixed ahead of him.

“I’m hungry Gil, but not for anything we’ll find outside of that room.”

Now he looked at her, bemused. “That was a very un-Sara response. Did you have a little wine of your own this afternoon?”

“You can’t judge my response in this situation against work responses, bad baseline data. And no. I haven’t been drinking today.”

It started to snow lightly. He stole a glance every now and then at flakes caught on her eyelashes, in her hair, and envied each of them, melting into her pores.

Arriving at the hotel the elevator doors barely closed before they began kissing again, her hands under his coat, arms encircling his waist, he at a disadvantage, holding their bags. In the room he dropped every thing and reached for her.

She stroked her fingernails lightly through his beard, “Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to do this? Every time I look at you I ache to touch this, to feel it on me... everywhere. I nearly begged you to shave it afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop myself one day.”

He removed her hand, kissing her palm and then rubbing his chin softly against her, creating a tickle induced goose bump road along her inner arm, inside her elbow and then kissing the soft flesh there. She couldn’t hold back the quick moan that escaped her.

“Make us a fire?”


There were enough logs and kindling left behind from the night before, no room service required. When he was safely on the other side of the room Sara snatched up the t-shirt she had borrowed before. “I’m going to take a quick shower, I’m gross from the skating.”

He cast a worried glance in her direction. “Sara, I don’t care about that,”

“I’ll feel better. Let me be ready for you, okay?”

He couldn’t argue. “Want help?” he gave her a goofy grin.

“Next time.”

Sara took her time in the shower, forcing herself to slow down. She wanted to rush back out to him before he changed his mind but remembered what he told her, if someone you care about offers you an opportunity when they’ve got clouded judgment you have to decline. She couldn’t decline, but she could give him time to sober up, to panic and retreat. That’s why she had asked about dinner, and it was why she was stalling with the shower.

Towel drying her hair she padded barefoot out of the light bathroom into the suite, mostly dark except for the fire. “Grissom?”


She peeked around the sofa, no Grissom.

Had he left? Had the panic won out? Was she a mistake?

A soft sound came from the direction of the bed, Sara investigated.

Grissom, still in his slacks and sweater, sound asleep.

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