2004-12-15 - 12:32 a.m.

Grape Lucidity On Ice
(cause Beth's still reading)

Chapter 8

The sound of a cell phone ringing prompted Grissom to grope around his bedside table. It wasn’t there of course. He was sleeping on a hotel sofa, not in his own queen size bed. Before he even opened his eyes the orientation cleared itself. He heard Sara answer in a hushed voice.

“Hello….Hey, how are you?”

The light from the windows assaulted him right through his eyelids. He listened to her voice, allowed it to drift over him.

“I’m fine, turns out my boss was at the party and had a suite at the Fairmont…yeah, that boss…”

Grissom stifled a smile at that even though she had her back to him.

“Do you want me to rent a car or…”

She was listening, quietly spinning one wet strand of hair around her finger. She must have showered while he slept.

“Well if you’re going to come here can you do me a favor and grab a pair of jeans and a sweater from my case? Thanks, I feel like a slut coming out of a hotel in the morning wearing an evening dress.”

Grissom grunted and stretched, wanting to alert her to the fact that he was awake. Sara turned and gave him a one finger wave before finalizing pick up plans.

She snapped her phone shut. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

He sat up, “No problem, it’s time I’m up anyway. Did you sleep okay?”

She thought of his words in her ear, “Sleep sweet Sara” and a vibration shot through her. She pasted on a smile, “Yeah, fine. Sorry you got stuck with the couch.”

“Probably better for my back anyway.” He was wearing faded jeans and a t-shirt.

“I hope you don’t mind, I ordered room service. Bagels and coffee.” She was busying herself making up the bed, straightening things that didn’t need it. Avoiding his eyes.

“Sounds good. Did you find everything you needed this morning?”

“Oh, toothpaste and stuff, yeah, I went in your shaving kit, I hope that’s okay.” She kept her back to him now.

He thought of her long fingers picking through his personal items, moving his toothbrush, razor and finally twisting the cap off of his toothpaste. There was something intimate about it, something that felt like a ‘couple’ and for a moment he treated himself to the fantasy.

She mistook his quiet for disapproval. “I’m sorry. I should have waited or just, um,”

“No, no, it’s fine, I’m glad you did. I was just,” he shrugged, “ I’m still half asleep I guess.”

He brushed his teeth and splashed his face with cool water. The shower curtain and tub were still wet from her shower, her toothbrush parked neatly opposite his shave kit. He tried not to wonder whether she put the robe back on after her shower or brushed her teeth in the nude. His mind ignored him when he rebuked it for the images it served, continuing to flash visions of her stepping out of the shower, wrapping herself in a towel and picking through his things.

He was tired. It took a long time to get to sleep the night before. When he had exited his own shower the robe and t-shirt she had borrowed were neatly folded on the sofa, an obvious sign to him that she was only feet away, sleeping in only her flawless skin between the sheets in which he’d placed her. He’d lost the battle against his better judgment and smelled his shirt, her perfume and ‘Sara-ness’ still clinging to it. If he had been alone…but he hadn’t and the shower would have to be the last of his indulgences for the evening.

Sara was seated at the table by the window spreading raspberry jelly on a blueberry bagel. He sat across from her and poured himself orange juice in a water glass, ignoring the diminutive juice glass she had set by his plate.

“You can barely tell that it snowed down there.” Grissom craned his neck to see the street.

Sara peeked at the slushy gray sidewalks, “It melts fast in the city, all the car exhaust. I bet it’s a white wonderland at the Common’s though.”

She took a bite of her bagel and a glistening streak of jelly remained at the corner of her mouth.

“You have jelly…” Grissom started to wipe it but instead pointed it out to her and watched maybe a little too intently as she cleared it with the tip of her tongue.

She looked down at her plate. “I’m sorry about last night.”

He smiled, the kind where the right side of his mouth went up and the lines around his eyes crinkled. It was his genuine, sweet, smile that was reserved for friends and it set Sara at ease immediately. “It was flattering. Almost impossible to resist.”

“Almost.” Had she said that out loud? She hadn’t meant to. It was too much like self-pity.

He raised his brows at her. “Another one of those man codes, things we learn and aren’t sure where. When a woman you care about gives you an opening after consuming enough alcohol to alter her judgment you have no option but to decline.”

“I guess I should appreciate that.”

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