copyright 2003, by Hannah
He sits in the dark car, staring. He told her that he knows himself, and he does. He also knows what he has to do now, and though he would prefer to simply start the car and drive away, he finds he has no choice. He draws in a heavy breath and opens the door.
When she sees him her expression hardens into ice.
“Here to serve another warrant, Mr. Grissom?”
“May I come in?”
She offers no verbal response, simply fixes him with a cold stare, her lips set in a hard line.
She forces out a perturbed sigh, but lowers her gaze and stands back to let him pass.
She brushes past him to a small sitting room off the main entry way. He follows her in silence, stopping just inside the doorway and waiting until she turns from the center of the room to face him.
“What do you want?”
“I need you.”
“You have an odd way of showing it.”
“Put yourself in my place. Two men were dead as a result of insulin injections, both with a connection to you...” He trails off. This is not what he came here to say.
“I would have gladly given you what you needed.”
“I couldn’t have taken it without a warrant - not without compromising the investigation.” And still he keeps going.
“Because you’d become involved with your suspect?”
His eyes move from hers. He has never been good at things like this, and nothing is coming the way he intended.
“That explains the warrant.” She pauses, bores into him with her icy gaze. “And what excuse do you have for the way you treated me?”
He meets her eyes once again.
“There is none.”
“We agree on that.”
He sighs. She has no intention of making this easy for him, but then again he doesn’t really deserve it.
“You were right,” he begins. “I retreated behind protocol and professional distance.” He shrugs. “It’s an old habit.”
Her expression remains hard.
“What would you like me to say?”
He shakes his head and takes a step forward, stopping when she stiffens and holding up his hands in a gesture of surrender.
“If I knew what to do to make this right...”
“We can’t change the past, Mr. Grissom.”
He studies her for a long moment, lips pursed.
“This is unfamiliar to me, Lady Heather. I was bound to make mistakes, but I am capable of learning from them.” A pause. “Would you allow me to try again?”
He meets her level gaze and forces himself to answer without hesitation.
“If you know me as well as you say, then you understand what this cost me.”
She regards him steadily for a moment, then lowers her gaze.
“Does that mean anything to you?”
She brings her eyes back to his.
“You’re not the only one capable of fear.”
He cocks his head and arches an eyebrow as though this hadn’t occurred to him.
“I don’t often allow myself the luxury of vulnerability, Mr. Grissom - never if I believe I might have cause to regret it - and I don’t intend to offer myself up to a man who’s determined to protect himself at my expense.”
“That was never my intention.”
She softens slightly.
“I know. That’s why we’re having this conversation... but it was the result.”
“Yes, it was.”
“You hurt me.”
“I’m sorry,” he offers with a helpless shrug, knowing how inadequate it is.
She draws a deep breath.
“Don’t do it again.”
He searches her eyes, a single eyebrow raising in question.
“No,” he whispers.
“This is about trust, Mr. Grissom. If we’re going to do this, you have to trust me.”
An almost dizzying sense of relief washes over him and he nods.
“As much as I can.”
“We’ll have to work on that.”
He smiles, waiting for the slight inclination of her head that grants him permission to move closer to her. He holds her gaze deliberately as he moves forward but stops short of touching her.
She smiles at him for the first time since he called for that damnable warrant, and he releases a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. Her hand moves to his face, fingers tracing over his lips.
He obeys gladly, hands cupping her face as his lips come down over hers.
She presses herself against him, deepening the kiss as his arms come around her. His breathing grows ragged as her tongue moves across his lips and then slips between them. Fingers tangled in his hair, she pulls his mouth down even harder over hers, his response a low rumble in his throat. Her kisses are hungry, demanding... and then she pulls back from him, hands flattened on his chest, and whispers a single word against his lips.
It takes him a moment to process the interruption, and he looks at her in confusion as she continues.
“Why do you need me?”
“Why do I need you?” he echos.
She looks back at him, waiting. She is still in his arms, making no move to extricate herself from his embrace, but she holds her distance from him as he considers how to answer.
"I find myself... open to you in a way I didn't think I was capable of," he finally whispers.
"Very good, Mr. Grissom."
"I told someone recently that I didn't think we could ever really know anyone, but you make me wonder if I might be wrong."
She smiles, eyes locked with his, and closes the distance between them, resuming her kisses as though they had never stopped. He is taken by surprise but recovers quickly, returning her attentions with equal fervor.
She takes several steps forward, and his legs hit the edge of an oversized chaise. Her hands slip his jacket over his shoulders and down along his arms. It falls to the floor as he lowers himself to the cushions and draws her onto his lap.
She reaches for the buttons of his shirt, but he grasps her wrists and holds them together in front of him.
“Stop,” he whispers, allowing his lips to brush over hers as they form the word.
An arch of her eyebrows is her only response.
“Why me? The challenge?”
The corners of her lips curl slightly and she moves off him, lowering herself to the floor and resting a hand on his thigh.
“You are challenging...” She smiles. “... and I can’t deny that I find it intriguing, though it’s hardly enough to claim my undivided attention.” She lowers her chin a fraction and simultaneously raises her eyes to his. “Your self assurance is quite attractive.” A pause. “I’m a strong woman, Mr. Grissom.”
“So I’ve noticed.”
She smiles again.
“Exactly. A number of men are drawn to my strength, but it rarely has anything to do with genuine respect. I spend the majority of my time surrounded by needy little boys.”
She shifts her position, raising herself up to him.
“It’s a rare pleasure to find myself in the company of a man.”
He leans close.
“I can arrange to make it a more frequent occurrence, if you’d like.”
“I would... very much.”
His mouth is soft on hers initially, growing more insistent as he pulls her back onto his lap. His hands push her skirt up along her thighs, as she straddles him.
His tongue traces the outline of her lips before the insistent ring of a cell phone draws his attention.
“I suppose you need to answer that?” she whispers, but makes no move to readjust her position.
He glances to the discarded jacket, cell tucked into a pocket, and considers. He’s not on duty, nor is he on call. Still, he never ignores his phone...
His eyes come back to the woman in front of him. Perhaps it’s about time. He raises a hand, fingers weaving through her hair.
“No,” he whispers, pulling her into a kiss. “No, I don’t.”
copyright 2003, by Hannah