DISCLAIMER: We all know that I don't own them. By now I'm pretty sure that it's also been established that suing me will result in you owning half of my nothing. You can't own my ideas though....
SERIES: This story follows Her Hand in Mine, Her Lips Against Mine, She Did Not Need to Speak and Take Me Home
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Asleep in Her Arms
By Amy Jo

I make some form of excited whimper and press my lips against her neck. I attack the flesh of her neck just where her neck and shoulder meet. I know that later there will be a mark on that spot. The primal part of my brain is proud at leaving its mark on this beautiful woman.

This beautiful woman who just asked me to take her home. I will take her to the ends of the earth if she asks. I am so sexually charged that I could probably carry her home in my arms if that is what she wanted. As long as she keeps that hand under my shirt.

I remove my hand from her hair and slowly bring it down her body until it rests on her hip. I move my head to capture her lips again. My hands work their way under her shirt and I feel her skin for the first time. I feel her moan vibrate my tongue as we kiss. Her free hand is now busy under my shirt as well.

I try to pull back from her knowing that if I don't stop now I'm soon going to be topless in the parking lot. A large part of me doesn't care. She has me pinned to the car and I cannot pull far away from her. She does not have to move far to find my lips again.

I give in to her need for minutes. When I can no longer take it, I move both my hands to her hair and force us apart. I hold her away from me as we both try to breathe. I manage to catch my breath and find my voice first.

"Where is home?" I ask her, having never been to her place before. She cocks her head and grins at me as she steps back, still playing with the bottom of my shirt. I love that cocky little grin of hers.

"Let's get in the car and I'll give you directions," Sara says as I turn the key in the lock and open the door for her. She lets go of my shirt and give me a peck on the cheek before getting in.

My head is swimming and my body is buzzing from the past few minutes. If this really is a dream then I sincerely hope that I'm in a coma and not likely to wake up anytime soon. I feel to good to have this all be unreal.

I follow the directions Sara gives me and we manage to make it to her apartment building in one piece. Which is no small feat considering the fact that Sara's wandering hand has worked it's way up and down the length of my thigh. She has to know the effect she has on me. She has to know the way her touch excites me.

I could sing a thousand love songs and dance a thousand waltzes with the energy humming through my veins. I have never felt this excited to be with someone. It all feels brand new and surreal and yet very familiar.

She grabs my hand and leads me upstairs. I take no shame in appraising her figure with my eyes as she walks ahead of me. I know now that I can study her figure without worrying about her reaction if she happens to catch me. I have been watching her for so long now that I know she putting a little extra swing in her step for me.

She leads me into her apartment and gives me the short tour. There are really only three rooms. The bedroom *which is my favorite*, the bathroom, and one large open area that constitutes the living room, dining room and kitchen. All in all it's the perfect apartment for Sara. So similar to a bachelor pad.

We still haven't really discussed what is happening between the two of us. We kind of started at the restaurant, but didn't get very far. I see some nervousness in her now. Earlier I would call her behavior almost predatory. Now, however, she is shy and reserved. I come to the conclusion that much as I want to simply take her to bed and show her, physically, everything she means to me, we will need to have the dreaded 'conversation' first.

Unsure of exactly where to start, my mind instantly thinks of the one thing that I know I can count on. "Have you got any coffee around here?" I ask moving towards the 'kitchen', which is really just some appliances and an island countertop.

She smiles big at me and I see that she is happy to have this one thing to do. I watch her as she moves about her kitchen. She moves differently in her home. She is more at ease here than when working. Her movements are more fluid and graceful. I try to make a mental note to comment on this to her. I know she still sees herself as the tall, lanky science nerd that she was in high school. This is not what I see at all.

I see a tall, beautiful woman completely at ease with her environment whom I am growing to love deeply. *Oh god. I love her.* I never put those words together before. I simply assumed it was a puppy love crush or simple lust. But I know that after everything that has happened today my feelings for her are much deeper.

This complicates things. I cannot just take her to bed. I never want her to think I'm using her in any kind of way. I need her to know that this isn't some short-term lust that will fade away. That this is deeper than that.

I realize now that I am the nervous one. Having just now figured out what my feelings for her really are, I am afraid. Afraid of how she feels, afraid of what she'll say. Mostly afraid of where we go from here. I am not going to screw this up. The physical high I am on comes crashing down as I realize the one thing I cannot do is that which I want so badly.

I am leaning against the island in Sara's kitchen contemplating our future and how I will explain my sudden change of plans to her. Again she startles me out of my thoughts when she places a hand on my shoulder. There is now a cup of coffee on the island in front of me and I grab onto it with both hands as if it were my life preserver.

Sara looks at me with a confused expression on her face. She must think I'm some kind of nutcase with the way I've been acting lately. I grab her hand and lead her toward the couch where I am sure we will be much more comfortable.

"You okay?" She asks me concerned. Once again I am not sure how to answer her question. I feel better than I have in years. But at the same time I seem to be nervous and jumpy and quite unsure of what to do.

"Um yeah. I'm good. Great even." I sip at my coffee in an effort to distract myself from sitting so close to her. I can still smell her perfume. I can still remember what she feels like. How her hands feel on my skin, how she tastes. I feel my body flush at the memory, and I drink more coffee.

"Then why do you like you're ready to bolt out of here? You look almost scared." She has turned so that we are now sitting side-by-side on the couch but facing each other. I suppose now is as good a time as any.

"I am scared." My voice is barely a whisper and it takes her a while to figure out what I said. Now she looks even more confused.

"Catherine, why are you scared?" She sounds so concerned, so worried. "I promise I won't bite." I look at her and she is smiling that cocky little smile. "That is, unless you ask me to."

There is that flush again. I continue to drink my coffee even though I think my body is hotter than the coffee. I hope she made a big pot, if I'm going to hide behind my coffee cup I think I'm going to need a few refills.

"I can't do this." Boy was that the wrong choice of words. She was smiling at me, but now she looks so wounded, so hurt. She almost looks like I killed her puppy or something. "Oh, Sara no. No." I reach out for her hand and recoils from me and sinks further into the couch.

"Sara, no. That's not what I meant. I can do this," I grab her hand an hold on tight, showing her that by 'this' I mean us. "It's just that.I mean I." I can't seem to find the words to have this make sense to her.

She looks at me and I still see the hurt in her eyes. I'm not sure what she's thinking, but I know that whatever it is, it certainly isn't anything good. I give up on words for a moment and I move in front of her. I kneel on the floor in front of her couch and pull her closer to me.

I kiss her. She is slow to respond at first, still feeling hurt. But I am persistent and I will not stop kissing her until she gives in. Until she sees that I am serious. Before we get any further, I pull away from her.

Before she can move anywhere, I tell her. "This. I can't do this" I say as I run my fingers across her lips and bring her hand up to my face. "You know how you make me feel." To emphasize my point I gently push her fingertips into my neck so that she can feel my raging pulse. I see the fire burning brighter behind her eyes as she feels my pulse under her fingers.

"But I feel more than that." I lower her hand so that it is pressed against my heart. "Here. I want to do this right. I don't want to rush things, I don't want to screw this up. You mean to much to me. I need to do this right. I need to do this slow." As I look into her eyes I am overjoyed to see understanding.

She leans forward and kisses me softly. More than any words, her kiss tells me that she knows what I am feeling. I know this is one of the reasons that I love her. She understands me more than anyone else.

She reaches for my hands and pulls the both of us to our feet. She grabs the now empty coffee cups from the table we had put them on and, still holding my hand, leads me to the kitchen where she puts the cups in the sink. Not letting go of my hand she leads me towards the bedroom. She can feel my resistance as I slow down and she actually has to tug my hand to get me to move.

She turns and looks at me. I am pretty sure that if I could see my own face, what I would see would be fear. She shows no signs of seeing anything. She simply says. "I understand. Slow. Do things right. I get it Catherine. But I want you in my bed tonight."

I think my utter shock must have been evident as she shakes her head at me and pulls me into her bedroom. "Sleep, Catherine. Sleep." She moves around the room as I stand still at her doorway. She tosses clothes in my direction. I feel as nervous as a high school girl as she ducks into the bathroom and emerges minutes later in an oversized t-shirt and a pair of shorts to sleep in. My brain finally processes her request and I head into the bathroom and change into the clothes she has leant me. She is waiting for me when I return. She grabs my hand and gives it a soft kiss and lightly pushes me onto her bed. Minutes later I am wrapped in the warmth of her body as I fall asleep in her arms.

The End

Sequel Speed Things Up

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