Gil didnt say good-bye to Catherine before heading to his place. He knew that shed find him if she wanted him, and after the past couple days, he was content with that.
Things were becoming difficult between them. While he was affected by jealousy, and not being able to publicly claim her, she was pulling away. He wondered what that was about. She didnt complain anymore if he didnt spend the night, and there was a stretch of nights that they didnt have sex at all; they just slept together. Her actions, he knew, made him pull away a little bit, too.
And, on top of the relationship, he was beginning to grow concerned about his hearing. Sounds were more muffled that before, mostly in areas with high background noise levelswith his family history, it was enough to make him worry.
He didnt want anyone to know how weak he was, and he certainly didnt want to burden Catherine, or anyone else, with his problems.
When he heard his phone ring, he jumped, unprepared for the noise. Looking at the small display screen, he saw that it was Catherine, from home. After one second of hesitationone second that he beat himself up overhe answered it without saying hello: Coming over?
Yeah, she sighed. If you... dont mind.
You want to bring Linds here?
No, she answered. I asked my sister to keep her until before school tomorrow. Im too
Come over. Ill cook.
Want me to bri
He cut her off again, realising that they were more in synch than he liked to admit. Just yourself.
Catherine turned her car off in Gils driveway and sighed, wondering if she wanted to go in there. She knew shed have to talk to him about Sara; the younger woman was angry with Gil, and the fact that she had a crush on him didnt help. Deep down, she sensed there was something wrong with Gil, but he wouldnt tell her, and she knew he didnt like to be pushed out of his emotional comfort zone.
Part of her wondered if this was how he ended relationships, pulling away until he was unreachable, making the transition from couple to coworkers seamlessly. That part of her was working overtime to keep her heart protected.
After a few more minutes of deep breathing, she left the safety of her car, and headed to his townhouse. He opened the door before she knocked; she smiled, unsure of what to say. She had few ideas to explain why she was so nervous, all of them returning to the changes in Gil and in herself.
Hi, she said finally, stepping inside when he moved away.
He reached for her, and in his arms she found comfort. She knew that this was what she had been looking for: comfort after a hard case. Gil was the only one who knew how to take care of her when she finished solving one of the difficult cases. After showering her face with light kisses, he suggested softly: How about I make you an omelet?
Sounds really good. I havent eaten much lately. She pressed her lips to his, but pulled back when she didnt think he was going to respond. She looked up at him, confused, wondering what was going on in his head.
I noticed, he responded, while pointing her to the living area of his home. She knew the way, but didnt mind because he was still touching her.
He nodded, blushing a little. Yeah. These cases always take a little bit out of you.
She stared up at him, a little surprised, wondering if things hadnt been changing at all, if it had all been in her head. When he stared back at her, she blinked and turned away. Do you have any orange juice?
Gil pointed to the fridge and nodded, adding: Vodkas in the usual place.
She smiled. Thanks.
Gil returned to the kitchen to make their breakfast, while Catherine walked to the cupboard in the living room area that housed his alcoholic spirits to retrieve the clear quart bottle. She set it on the counter, opposite Gil, and then moved around the wall until she was in the kitchen, heading towards the fridge.
Oh, I couldve gotten you that, he said, wiping his hands on the dish towel as she opened the door and pulled the orange juice out, ignoring the containers of chocolate-covered crickets that he kept in there.
Its okay, she countered easily. I know my way around your kitchen... she couldnt help but try to intensify the mood, wriggling her eyebrows and pasting a grin on her face. I also know my way around you.
For a moment, she thought it worked. It had seemed so easy; Gil turned and wrapped his arms around her, bending down to kiss her. I like you knowing both of these things. She leaned up and pressed her lips onto his. He groaned when she sighed, their mouths opening. Her free hand snaked between them, rubbing his chest through his shirt. She started for one of the top buttons, but he pulled back, whispering in her ear: Breakfast.
Screw breakfast, she pleaded, the exhaustion of their relationship strains and the case pushing her voice a pitch higher. I just want you.
Catherine, he said, pointing to the feast sizzling in the pans. Let me take care of all of your needs.
She nodded, admitting defeat. The omelets did look and smell amazing, though, and she knew her body hadnt had the pleasure of a good meal in a long time. Alright.
Before she left the kitchen, she reached for a glass from his cupboard. He kissed her again, before she moved away from him. First thing she did was pour a very generous amount of vodka into the glass. Second thing she did was add some orange juice to the alcohol. Third thing she did was ingest the contents of that glass in three large gulps. Then, she repeated the three actions.
Gil looked at her from his position on the other side of the counter. Tough case, huh?
Catherine poured herself another drink, while savouring the temporary warmth the first two drinks gave her. On a sigh, she responded: Just give me a straight-ahead murder any day.
Well, he added. You wouldnt be human if it didnt affect you.
While she watched him chop mushrooms on a cutting board, she decided to get the conversation she didnt want to have over with. I heard about you and... uh... Sara.
Sara, you know, she gets very emotional.
Catherine shook her head, not believing what he was saying. Gil could be the most sensitive, passionate, aware man sometimes; she didnt understand why he couldnt see some of the most obvious things. Are you in denial? When she looked at him, she saw the questions in his expression. No, thats... no no... way too analytical. The questions in his eyes made her wonder if Sara had meant more to him once before. Between that awful thought, and the alcohol, she just kept talking; she didnt even know what she was saying, but she just kept talking: Wow, you got burned bad, huh? Welcome to the club. I got third-degree burns from my marriage. Happens to everybody. Everybody just moves on.
Good, she saw how uncomfortable he was, and wondered if that was evidence to support her theory that Gil had a romantic relationship with Sara. Lets move on.
She wanted to pry, but she also wanted to encourage him to fix it. Fueled by the first two stiff drinks ingested, and the third one in her hand, she continued: But, you have to deal with it. You have to deal with it first. You got to deal with it before it goes away. She didnt think she made her point clear, so she kept pushing it. You are the supervisor. You have responsibilities, and people are making a family around you whether you like it or not, whether you give them permission or not. She finished: We dont have to go to the Grand Tetons together, just... every now and then you got to lift your head up out of that microscope.
The thoughtful look on his face made her insides tingle.
He wiped his hands on the dish towel. As a combination of intoxication, nervousness, and pleasure, the grin Catherine pasted on her face felt both genuine and fake at the same time. When she felt her cheeks start to flush, she turned away, sipping her drink as she moved into his living room. She gazed out the window, while silently telling herself to toughen up.
But, she couldnt. This was Gil. She loved him. When she felt his eyes on her, she knew, she just knew. She felt a warmth at the base of her spine, and it traveled upwards. Much like that very moment, she turned around and smiled, unable to resist.
He set the dish towel down and on a sigh, he picked up his address book. Catherine, still trying to get a grip that the vodka wouldnt allow, turned back to look out the window.
She heard him press buttons on his phone. His voice was so adorable. Yeah, hi. I-I-I'd like to get some flowers for a girl. No, no. Not flowers. A plant. A living plant. She likes vegetation.
Catherine sat down on the sofa, proud and jealous at the same time. Instead of explaining these emotions to him or to herself, she smiled at him and took a sip of her drink.
Yeah, he continued to speak into the phone. Thatd be fine. To a Sara Sidle. Deliver it at the CSI division, Las Vegas Police Department the one out on North Trop Boulevard... Yeah, you can bill me at the same place: Gil Grissom.... The sentiment? Oh-oh, on the card. Yeah. Um, uh ... have it say ... have it say, uh... From Grissom.
He nodded his head, satisfied with himself. After he thanked whoever it was he was speaking to, he replaced the phone, and returned to cooking. Catherine didnt say anything else, too unsure. So, she sat, sipping her vodka and orange juice, waiting for him to make the next move.
When he waved a plate of beautiful food underneath her nose, she sniffed and smiled. Here, he said, handing it to her. I hope its
She had set her drink down. Her hand cupped his cheek and she kissed him, making sure it was a chaste embrace. Itll be perfect. Thank you.
He moved her legs so he could sit back, placing them over his lap. They ate in silence, Catherine mulling over all the questions and thoughts stumbling through her head.
You gonna eat that mushroom, or just stab it to death?
She looked up and smiled at him, but he could still see that something was wrong. Before he knew it, he was bracing himself for the speech she would give, telling him it was over.
Catherine countered: You look like your puppy died.
He blinked, and then smiled, shaking his head. Whats on your mind?
Were you involved with Sara once?
His eyes widened. Catherine... where is this coming from? She shrugged, falling silent, leaving him to wonder what was going on in her beautiful mind. Buying him some time, he took her plate from her and set it with his on a low table. Then, he gathered her up in his arms. Cath?
I miss you.
Im right here.
She shook her head. No, youre not.
Im right here, right now, he repeated himself, caressing her face with both of his hands. And, Im completely focused on you.
He shook his head, knowing who she was asking about, knowing neither of them wanted to discuss Sara Sidle anymore that night. No, not tonight, just you and me.
Their lips crashed together, and Gil knew that things were strained, but not torn apart. He knew his love and need for her was still as intense as before, and he could feel her love and need for him; despite the fears and insecurities nagging at Gil, he knew that he was what she wanted and craved.
He pulled at her clothes, as she did the same to him; his tan shirt falling on the floor with her leather jacket and tank top. He held her at her waist, while slowly using his lips and tongue to savour the skin, provoking sighs and moans from her swollen lips.
Her hands were in his hair, locked into his greying curls, gently massaging his temples when she had the chance. His focus on her breasts kept her responses minimal. He liked it that way, especially on that night, when he wanted to keep her with him, when he didnt want things to change anymore than they already did. He fed hungrily, losing his mind slowly.
God, Gil, she whispered, pressing a kiss to the top of his head.
Gil lifted his head and looked at her. The combination of arousal and alcohol had painted her cheeks a bright rosy hue, and had her eyes shrouded in darkness, as her eyes were fully dilated. Her chest heaved, her lips pouted.
Youre so beautiful, he marveled. She blushed and ducked her head, but he wouldnt let her avoid his gaze. With a gentle hand, Gil managed to convince her to face him again. I
She cut him off. Can we continue this in the bedroom?
He fought the temptation to frown. Catherine didnt let him finish expressing his love for her; part of him was extremely hurt and troubled by her interruption, part of him understood that it couldve been a complete coincidence. Instead of trying again, he picked her up with a smile and carried her to his room.
Once settled on her feet, Catherine persuaded Gil into lying down on the bed, where she finished undressing him. Gil tried to help her get out of her pants, but she shooed him away, undressing herself and then joining him on his bed.
He watched her move; her hands rubbed his chest and shoulders, her head nuzzled mostly in his neck, while she moved her hips against him sensually.
Catherine, he panted, getting too heated for his own good. Maybe we should slow
She shook her head, lips drawn together in a thin line when she lifted her gaze to meet his. I want to feel you inside me.
He couldnt turn her away; he was ready, and he understood how she reacted after awful cases. They had turned to each other so many times, that despite their love, sometimes they needed to focus on the quick physical satisfaction that they could offer each other. He kissed her, bringing that thin line back to the gorgeous pout he loved. Promise me that later, well do this my way.
Catherine smiled and kissed him again. Sounds like a plan.
Before she could act, he flipped them, so she was splayed out on her back, her light hair shining in the dim light as it spread out over the dark pillow. She laughed softly. He kissed her neck, turning her laughter into quiet moans. He lifted his head and smirked: Were here alone, Catherine, no one to be quiet for. He dipped down again, his tongue snaking up along her pulse point, to find her earlobe. He nipped at her ear, causing her to writhe and pant.
When he nibbled on the skin under her jaw, she moaned loudly, pleasing Gil. He felt her hands on his forearms, her nails biting into his flesh. Cath! He muttered onto a sigh, hanging his head down to he felt her chest heaving under his forehead.
Gil, she responded in a sultry voice. I really need you now.
He felt her move her legs, in preparation for him. After several long, drawn out kisses, he knew he couldnt wait any longer. He tried to enter her slowly, but she was quick, and when she moved, he found himself completely sheathed in her heat.
Together, they moved, each one knowing the secrets to the others body. Catherines scent and sounds wrapped around him, pulling him deeper, driving him to a place that he couldnt jump out of.
She reached a climax first, writhing and bucking against him, which subsequently brought him to the edge and pushed him over. There was something about Catherine during an orgasm that drove him wild.
She didnt move when he collapsed due to the waves of pleasure crashing his system, which pleased him; he wanted to stay inside her, on top of her, for as long as he could. He loved the feel of Catherine, the woman he loved, despite what was going on between them.
He felt her fingers on his lips. Slowly, he opened his eyes to look at her. She looked satisfied, which pleased him. When she yawned, he caressed her cheek. Sleepy?
Catherine nodded. Yeah. Hold me?
He pressed his lips to her shoulder as he rolled off of her and snuggled in behind her, his arms wrapped around her. I love you, Cath.
She was already asleep, he knew this because of her deep breathing, but it didnt make it less true.
Catherine woke up, still in Gils arms, with a splitting headache. She knew she shouldnt have had so much to drink, but she couldnt help it; it had been something she needed at the time.
Slowly, she sat up, easing out of his arms which didnt move because Gil was still sound asleep. She was grateful for that, as she didnt want to face him without anything to hide behind. She didnt want to face the truthespecially with the hangover that was causing her entire body to throb.
After spotting her pants, she slipped out of the blankets and moved soundlessly towards them. After putting them on, she tried to remember where her shirt was.
Before leaving the bedroom, she turned back to look at Gil. She thought back to the night before, when they had finished love making. She could hear his words in her ear. I love you, Cath. She frowned, knowing that she had chickened out again that night.
Catherine had been wide awake, and she had purposely avoided returning the sentiment she longed to return to him. When she thought about it, she knew that she shouldnt have gotten so intoxicated, she knew that she shouldnt have gotten so carried away. But, she also knew that she needed to feel as though everything was alright, once again.
The burden of the truth was too hard to bear, so she had hid from it, pretending that everything was the same, that their love was the same and that everything was going to be alright. The nagging feelings deep down would keep her running.
After she slipped into her shirt and coat, she wrote a quick note to Gil, so he wouldnt worry: Gil, I forgot about the groceries and laundry. I didnt want to wake you, Sleeping Beauty. Thank you for taking care of me. Love Always, Catherine.
She left the note on the pillow her head had rested on all night, and then she left the townhouse and the man she loved so much.