2004-12-16 - 1:39 a.m.

Grape Lucidity

Chapter 11

She skated to his side and meant to kneel beside him but caught her skate on the corner of his coat and fell, landing on top of him.

“Grissom? Are you okay?”

Her dark eyes were shiny with concern, her cheeks alive and rouged from the cold, her words touched him in clouds of visible breath that hung in the small space that separated them.

He merely looked at her.

She looked up briefly and saw Janelle, her Goddaughter skating on with a friend. She returned her attention to him.

“Gris? What are you doing here? Did you hurt yourself?”

“I’m sorry.” He laid his head back in the snow and closed his eyes.

“Did you hit your head? Look at me.” He did and she gave him a slow, cautious smile, “Sorry for what?”

“For not letting you know you were good enough to hurt.”

Confusion. He was losing her. “What? You’re not making sense. Maybe you should sit up, let me feel for a bump on your head.”

He remained on the ground, there was a hint of red in his eyes, “I’m sorry I’m so bad at loving you.”

The sentence barely made it out of his throat. It was quiet and measured, difficult to hear over the music and crowd but she heard it, probably more with her heart than her ears.

She leaned closer to him, “You don’t do such a bad job.”

He caught her in his arms and rolled her onto her side, at the same time touching his lips to hers, not really a kiss, more like a finger placed over a wrist, taking a pulse. Sara fought the impulse to increase the pressure, preferring instead to see where he would take them.

He slid his closed mouth along her lips, detoured up for a chaste kiss at her rosy cheekbone and then back, tracing the outline of her mouth with the very tip of his tongue, lingering at the corner where hours earlier she had cleared away the jelly. With that she could hold back no longer, arching into him with her body and capturing his bottom lip between hers. He seemed almost surprised, as though her response reminded him that she was real, not just his pillow, his imagination.

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