2004-12-11 - 12:41 p.m.

Grape Lucidity on Ice
Chapter 6

“Sara,” his voice seemed pleading instead of authoritative.

“Shh, I don’t like to talk when I dance.” He felt her smile and his heart contracted.

A knock on the door received a quiet epithet from Sara. Grissom closed his eyes for a moment, giving both silent thanks and curses of his own for the interruption.

While the fire was being lit Sara changed into Grissom’s simple soft blue t-shirt and the hotel robe.

Her head popped out of the bathroom door, “Are we alone?”

“We are. Feeling shy?”

“I’m not exactly dressed for company.” The shirt did a fine job of covering what the robe missed on top but when she walked it split to reveal a little more leg than she was willing to share with room service.

He poured her a cup of tea and set the service on the coffee table near her spot on the sofa. Taking his own cup he sat across from her.

“Aren’t you going to change Gil?”

“Not yet. Does that bother you?”

Sara considered, “No, I guess not. It doesn’t seem comfortable though.”

“It’s as comfortable as I can afford to be at the moment.” Was that a glint in his eye?

They sat a few minutes listening to the music, lost in their own thoughts.

Sara slid down a little on the sofa, stretching her long legs beside her. Her gaze remained fixed on the flickering flames, “Gris can I ask you something?”

He steeled himself, “Go on.”

“Where do guys learn that hand on the back thing?”

“I’m not following…” he leaned forward, interested and relieved.

“Tonight, when we went to the bar, you put your hand in the small of my back to sort of guide me through the rooms. Where do guys learn to do that? I would never think of doing that to someone.”
Now he sunk back into his chair and considered. “From watching what men do I guess. How do women learn to cross their legs with one foot tucked behind the opposite ankle? A guy would never do that, but it’s one of the sexiest things I’ve seen a woman do.”

Sara’s lips twisted and she closed her eyes, “I never cross my legs.” It came out like pout.

“My point is that we learn from watching. A boy watches his father walk his mother into church every Sunday with his hand on her back, guiding her through the door and down the aisle, he knows that’s his job.”

She rolled onto her hip and looked at him, “Did yours?”

“My father? There was a time he did I suppose. I don’t think I learned much from him about how to treat women.”

“Tell me about him.” Story time. Her eyes closed again.

“There isn’t much to tell. He died when I was very young, I don’t remember much.”

“Do you remember the first time you saw me?” her voice was quiet, her eyes still closed. No warning signs of a loaded question at all.

“I don’t know. I can say I remember the first time we spoke, but I probably saw you before that.” He was wishing now for something stronger than the tea, the scotch was wearing off too quickly, or not quickly enough. Stuck in the place where he wasn’t quite drunk enough to tell the truth, not sober enough to trust himself to stop before it came out.

“I remember the first time I saw you.” She slid one foot along the opposite leg, a simple gesture but he found it impossible to look away. “I was early for the seminar because I wanted to be sure I’d get in. I’d read some of your papers and was so anxious to see the slides you might bring.”

“Bug slides.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t have such a close up relationship with maggots yet, they were still a nifty theory. There were only 3 of us in the room when you came in. You had no idea if you were in the right room, must have checked that door 12 times. Then you were bumbling around with the slide projector.”

“Sounds like I made an inspiring impression.”

“I remember it like it was today. I remember watching you and thinking, I wonder who takes care of him. I thought you were about the cutest thing I’d ever seen.”

“Sara.” A soft warning.

“I went to the luncheon after. I looked for a ring, but I knew there wouldn’t be one. I had you all worked out. You lived alone, you worked too much, ate mostly take out. I actually worried whether anyone made sure you had soup when you were sick. Isn’t that the strangest thing? All I wanted to do was take care of you. It wasn’t until I knew you a little better that I wanted you to take care of me.”

“My college roommate and I used to have a word for this.”

“For what? Reminiscing?”

“Grape Lucidity. The wine induced rambling confessions and musings usually better left unsaid.”

Sara rolled this thought around in her head. “I don’t suppose you’ve ever had such musings?”

“I’m not immune.” His tongue licked out at his top lip, a tick that showed itself when he was either amused or testing waters.

“Sometimes I think you do that just to drive me crazy.” She sat up and picked up her tea. Her brown eyes challenged him over the rim of the cup. “I think you like the reaction you get from me.”

“Do what?”

“Obtuse doesn’t suit you. When you play with your tongue the way you do. Roll it over your teeth, lick at your lips…” she exaggerated the motion and he laughed.

“I assure you Sara, I have no ulterior motives, but when you do it I can see the allure.”

She felt the robe fall away from her upper thighs but left it alone, “Are you flirting with me Grissom?”

“Probably. Could you fix your robe please, despite your occasional admonitions to the contrary I am only human.”

Sara stood and dropped the robe. She locked her eyes with his, “Prove it.”

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