DISCLAIMER: Don't sue! I'm not the boss of the show. Jerry and the head honchos at CBS lay claim to that. I'll have all the players back before night time and will give them bus fare if they need it.
SPOILERS: Some spoilers for the show. I took Sara's DUI and made my own story around that. I even gave Sara her own office - of sorts anyway.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Pain to Kill
By Corbeau's Alcove



I was sitting in that uncomfortable chair for hours before I was finally able to jump on a doctor.

"Did you operate on Catherine Willows?" I asked frantically.

"Sorry, who?"

I'd forgotten that the bodies that rolled in and out weren't given names. Until they were dead that is. The doctor walked on to talk with a nurse so I waited longer.

It felt like an eternity.

"Excuse me, Nancy?"

I look up to see a young man standing in front of me. His top is covered with blood and his posture clearly showed he was exhausted.

"Ah no, I'm Sara. Sara Sidle."

"I was told the sister was out here." He says looking confused.

"I am here on her behalf. I work with Catherine."

Please tell me what happened.

I hope that's not Catherine's blood.

"Ah, I'm not sure if I should," he says nervously.

"Please." I beg.

His eyes softened and he took the seat next to me.

"She's alive." He says first.

I sigh with absolute relief.

"We opened her up after we were concerned with her breathing, we found a small bleeder which we took care of with no issues. Her broken arm is plastered. She looks a lot worse than she is of that I can assure you."

I reach over and hug the life out of him.

"Thank you. Thank you so much." I whisper, tears falling.

"You can come see her if you like." He says softly.

I jump out of my seat, not worrying about the kinks in my body.

"Just tell the nurse you're her sister." He suggests before pointing me to ICU.

I almost ran to the elevator, full of joy. I had been thinking worse case scenarios and how I would never cope without her. I knew it, she was my one. I had to be with her forever. No matter what adversary we faced.


"Hi, I'm Nancy, Catherine Willows' sister."

I prayed she wouldn't ask me Nancy's surname.

"Yes, we were told you were coming. Visits are ten minutes."

"Ten minutes?"

"The rules," the nurse says shrugging her shoulders. After all, there was nothing she could do.

The curtain was pulled over her bed so when the nurse ripped it away I admit to a few old fears resurfacing but when I saw Catherine it all vanished.

She was hooked up to a monitor, her face bruised and cut. Nancy was right, the bruising was horrendous.

"She'll be out of it for a while but you can talk to her." The nurse tells me, pulling the curtain back over for privacy.

She looked so fragile lying in a mess of tubing. Her hair was matted with dry blood. I wanted to grab her up in a hug and make it all better, but I couldn't.

"Hey beautiful. It's Sara. I'm so sorry this happened to you. It's my fault but I promise everything will be alright." I whisper, moving a few strands of hair off her face.

I didn't know what to say. Do I tell her I love her? No, I want the first time I say that to be when she can hear me, when she can respond. I just hope that she'll wake soon and I can pamper her.

"Wake up my beautiful angel, I'm here for you always."

Kissing her forehead I sat holding her hand until the nurse told me to leave.

"Sara? Sara?"

I was woken by a small mosquito buzzing in my ear.

Oh, it's Lindsay.

"Hey," I say rubbing my eyes.

"Sorry, she waited for five minutes and for her that's a record." Nancy says apologetically.

"No, that's fine." I smile, and hugging them both.

"We saw mommy. She looks like she's in pain." Lindsay says sitting on my lap.

"It's bruising Linds, makes it looks worse than it is." I say smiling as Nancy sits near us.

"She awake yet?" I ask over the top of Lindsay's head.

"Sometime during the morning she woke up but by the time we got down to see her she was asleep again." Nancy says rubbing her eyes.

"Didn't get much sleep?" I ask.


"Have they moved her to a room yet?"

"Later today they said."

"Are you staying Sara?" Lindsay asks.

"Of course I am."

"You need to shower and change." Nancy says softly.

"I can do that here." I counter.

"Both Lindsay and I will be here, any change and I'll hit speed dial."

I consider her offer and I know that I really should get out and change my clothes at least. But I just don't want to leave Catherine. Even if I can't be in the same room, at least the same hospital will make me feel close to her.

"Okay, I'll be half an hour tops." I promise.

I started stripping on the way home. Pants were unzipped, bra undone, anything that would cut the time I spent away from the hospital. I had a two minute shower, just washing with soap and decided a baseball cap would save time with hair issues.

Dressed in jeans and sweatshirt I took a few painkillers and grabbed my keys. I was just about to head out when I had the urge for a drink. Just to calm myself after a stressful evening. I knew I still had one bottle left, I could just take a quick drink from it.

I shook my head and locked my door. I was almost down the stairs when that urge became stronger. Running up the stairs I opened my door and grabbed the bottle.

It sat next to me on the drive back to the hospital. It was still unopened but I could taste it. At the second set of red lights I unscrewed the top and took a sip. Just one small sip.

One sip turned into two. Into three.

And then something happened. In some form of realisation, borne maybe of restlessness and not having eaten, but I realised I was having some kind of out of body experience. I looked at the bottle and it was still screwed on tight. I saw my reflection in my rear view mirror and felt sick. Soon I was jumping out my car and vomiting. The alcohol, even in a dream, was not agreeing with my body.

The drink was still on the seat. It now sat there looking pathetic. I had been tempted and almost fallen prey to its call but I defeated it. This bottle symbolized the beginning of my new life.

I wasn't going to fall back into drunkenness. Not when I now had Catherine to care for.

My cell was ringing as I was riding the elevator.


"She's awake and asking to see you." Nancy said.

I got to the room Nancy told me she was now in but stopped at the door. Lindsay was sitting at the foot of the bed and Nancy was sharing a light laugh with her sister. I felt like I was intruding.

"Here she is!" Lindsay says excitedly.

"Hi." Catherine's eyes locked with mine.

"Hey there beautiful," I say, taking my cap off and coming over to kiss her cheek.

"More," she says.

I kiss her lips and she opens them. I flick my tongue in but pull out thanks to the audience we had who were cheering and whistling. That was just Nancy, but I knew Linds would also 'help' if we'd continued.

"How do I look?" Catherine asks me. I know she was expecting the truth from me and that both her sister and daughter would have told her she looked fine.

"Bruised but you are still so beautiful," I say kissing her lips softly.

"Broken arm," Catherine says grinning.

"I know. Don't worry, I'll be your nurse." I say grinning.

"I'll look forward to my sponge bath," Catherine says closing her eyes.

"Tired baby?" I say running my hand through her hair.

"A little."

"Okay, come on Linds, let your mom get some sleep," Nancy says.

"Love you mom!" Lindsay says kissing her mother's broken arm.

"Love you too." Catherine says.

I don't move and it makes Catherine smile tiredly.

"I'm going to be here okay?" I say firmly.

"Love you sweetheart," Catherine whispers.


Her eyes open and she smiles.

"Sweet dreams," I say, putting my cap back on and smiling.



Hospital chairs are the most uncomfortably designed things I've ever had the misfortune of laying in. I must have tried a million different positions, all uncomfortable. There is a lingering pain in my ribs but I find that it's my back and neck that has taken the brunt of this latest discomfort.

I try to stand but find my left foot has been overcome by pins and needles. I know I'm standing but boy do I feel like I've shrunk on one side of my body all of a sudden.

"New dance?" Catherine's mocking voice says.

"They aren't comfortable," I complain smiling.

"I'd offer my bed but I am injured after all."

I lean over and kiss her lips gently, mindful of the bruising.

"So, how do I look today?" Catherine asks.

I take my time to rake my eyes over the parts of her body I can see. The bruising is quite bad and I try to look away as fast as I can without alerting her to my discomfort.

"Can I get a mirror?" She asks.

"You want to put some make-up on and flirt with the doctor?" I joke.

"No, I want to see if it's as bad as your eyes are trying to conceal."


I pull the chair over and run my fingers down her face gently.

"How is your stomach?" I ask, changing the subject.

"I think I'll have a scar where they operated."

I try to grin enough to distract her.

"Really? Can I see?"

"Sara, look at me." Catherine's tone becomes very serious.

I look at her but cringe when she touches her face.

"I want to see. Please."

My heart is breaking when I see the panic in her eyes but I don't want her thinking that the swelling won't go down.

"You're beautiful," I tell her.

"Now you're really scaring me."

"It's just a lot of swelling and bruising. You have a few cuts from the glass of your car." I tell her, my voice wavering slightly as I trace a few of those red marks.

Catherine takes my hand and kisses it.

"Please baby."

I sigh, knowing she won't give up until I do as she requests. I open the drawer near my and find a small mirror. It's dirty so I clean it slightly and stare at my own reflection. I look pretty ragged and I know that Catherine has seen this look in my eyes. One of fright over her appearance. I want to hit the mirror over my head for my weakness. I am supposed to be here for Catherine and yet she can see right through me.

"It's okay Sara," she whispers and directs the hand holding the mirror to her face.

She smiles as the mirror comes closer, touching the big bruise around her eye.

"God I look an absolute fright."

Suddenly I'm laughing uncontrollably, I think out of pure relief.

"These cuts, they will heal right?" She asks cautiously.

I want to tell her it doesn't matter if they don't but I know she wouldn't want to hear that right now no matter what my good intentions may be.

"Yes baby, they'll go away."

I know because it had been one of the first questions I had asked her doctor after Nancy left.

"I look like shit." Catherine admits.

"But you're okay. That's the main thing." I say like a cliché.

"No, the main thing is I have you." She says kissing my wrist.

I pull away and reach into my bag pulling out the last bottle I had in my house. Catherine looks slightly confused and I think for a moment she was worried I was going to open it.

"I had this on the seat of my car as I was driving back here. I was very tempted to drink it. Then I thought of you and everything you have given to me. It made me realise that I'm messed up but I now have you to help me."

"Sara, you're not messed up."

"Yes, I am. My past has seen to that. But with you it's like I've got another chance to live a happy life. You're my salvation, the one who came to me while I was in dire trouble."

"Sara, I only came to you because you let me."

"But don't you see what that means in itself? I'm not good with emotions. Sure, I could vent about a case with passion but when it came time to evaluating my own fears I tried to drink them away."

"I only loved you Sara, it's nothing God like."

"If only you knew how much that simple thing did for me Catherine. You helped me change my life around."

"Love isn't simple. If it was then we'd all have it." Catherine says smiling.

"But in its purest form isn't it just that? It's about acceptance. With no strings."

Catherine takes my hand and runs her fingers across my knuckles.

"I love you Sara."

I bend down to kiss her lips and my tongue reaches out to taste her.

I pull away but she takes her hand and places it on my heart.

"You said you wanted to be in here?"

She nods.

"You're so far in there Catherine that not even ripping my heart out could make that go away. I need you to know that I'm not here just because you helped me stop drinking but I'm here because even without all that I'd need you. I can't imagine a life without your beautiful smile or a day without hearing your voice."

I stop to take a breath, unsure where this little speech is taking me.

"I want to be the one who you can talk to about anything. I want to be the person Lindsay goes to for back up when you tell her no. I want to sit at the table, you me and Lindsay all sharing our day. I want to support you. I want to argue with you over silly things like shopping lists and not remember ten minutes later what the fight was about. I have to have you Catherine Willows for the simple fact that I've fallen so in love with you that it would be impossible to pry my heart from yours."

I take a deep breath, not realising I wanted to say so much and realising so much remained unsaid.

I chance a look at Catherine and I see that she has been crying.

"Sara, for someone who hates to talk about themselves you certainly talk like a poet when you get going." She says smiling brightly.

"You bring it out in me." I say shrugging.

"I have never heard anything so sweet before. I'm not sure how to respond to that."

"Tell me you love me," I whisper, bending down so I'm a breath away from her lips.

"I love you Sara," she says, smiling as we kiss.

This kiss is very different and I'm not sure if it's because I finally opened my soul up or not but we take our time, licking, biting and caressing. Catherine's hand has managed to find its way under my shirt and she is gently drawing patterns on my back.

"God I need to get out of this bed." She growls.

I tap on her arm covered in plaster.

"What about this?"

Catherine smiles, her eyes shining.

"Trust me, I don't need two working hands baby."

Oh dear, my blood pressure is at critical levels. Thank goodness I'm not hooked up to a machine.

"God I love you Catherine." I say smiling. It feels so good to say it.

"I'll never tire of hearing that," she admits.

I'll never tire of saying it.



Catherine's been pretty out of it for the past day and a half. The doctor wrote out a higher dose of morphine when the surgery dose wore off because that's when the pain kicked in. Hard.

Seeing the silent tears falling from her eyes was heartbreaking. I sat there not being able to do anything but whisper things were going to be okay. At times she'd be in so much pain she'd be vomiting. There I was, holding back her thick hair as she let it out.

It was the least I could do for her after what she did for me. I guess this is what love is about; helping each other, carrying the other person when they are weak.

Lindsay's been so amazing. She knows her mom's in pain so she comes in for about ten minutes, makes her mother's day with her antidotes and then leaves with a new drawing for Catherine to stick above her bed.

Nancy and I have bonded even further. She knows about my drinking and I think that'll be good for Catherine. Someone to talk to about it. I kept some things from her like the rape and so forth. After all, Catherine is the only one I trust enough to be completely vulnerable with.

Nick and Warrick came in earlier today. They missed the sponge bath by ten minutes which was good. I know they would have been embarrassed at that. More flowers brightened up her room but they were making me sneeze quite a bit.

Greg was so sweet this morning, popping in with one of his famous blends in a flask for me. I know I want to strangle him at times but I do think he has a heart of gold under his playfulness. He didn't stay long either.

Grissom. Well this man has been a mystery to me. Catherine had been in hospital for three and a half days now and he came in twice a day. Once an hour after shift and the other two hours before the starting of the next one. I left them alone as I did with the boys but at times curiously got the better of me and I popped past. He sat there with her and, if she was awake, they'd talk softly. If Catherine was sleeping he'd just sit there, holding her hand.

It seems Catherine really was the linchpin in all of our lives.

"Hey there," Catherine's sleepy voice shakes me out of my flashbacking.

"Hungry?" I ask wobbling a bowl of jello in her face.

"Yes but not for food," Catherine growls.

"You're in a hospital and all you can think about is ravishing me?" I tease.

"Even when I'm asleep I'm thinking along those lines," Catherine says.

I lean down and kiss her gently.

"How's the pain?" I ask cautiously.

"Painful," Catherine smiles.

I brush her hair out of her face. Her bruising is still pretty bad but the doctor did say the bruising would remain for weeks.

"I'm so sorry you had that accident," I say. My guilt had been building up since I knew she was coming to see me.

"Not your fault sexy."

I know she won't have it any other way so I sigh and sit back down.

"So what did he say about my stitches?" Catherine asked.

Catherine's stitches had torn after one bad vomiting session. The blood had soaked through her gown, two sheets and a blanket and scared the hell out of me.

"They did you back up and don't worry, no one left any surgical instruments in there." I say smiling.

"Does it look bad?"

"Looks pretty raw baby but the doc assures me it's normal."

Catherine smiles tiredly.

"Have you been peeking looks under my top while I've been sleeping?"

"I wouldn't be a responsible perve if I didn't." I say kissing her fingers.

"How's Lindsay?"

"She's worried about you but she is good."

"And everyone at work?"

"They all send their love." I say, laying my head near her stomach.

Catherine's hand plays with my hair.


I look up and see her staring intently at me.

"What is it? You in pain?" I ask concerned.

"No. I just wanted to tell you I love you."

"Why so serious?"

"No reason." Catherine says, diverting her eyes from mine.


Catherine sighs.

"Just in case something happens to me I want you to know that I love you and that I want you to be Lindsay's Guardian."

I must look like I've become a statue because Catherine adds, "if you want to be that is."

"What about Nancy?" I ask even thought I'm not sure this conversation has kicked in yet.

"I talked with her about it. She agrees."

"I can't have this conversation." I say panicking.

"Please, Sara."

"No!" I say angrily.

"It's important for me." Catherine pleads.

"I love you Catherine but I won't talk about this. Don't you think I already thought worse case scenario when I found out you were in this hospital?"

"I want to talk about this with you now Sara because I plan to be with you for the rest of our lives. If we have to live forever then fine, as long as I'm with you. I want to know that Lindsay can be safe, just in case something happens. Being in this accident has shown me the way fate can fuck with us."

I am pacing now, tears are falling like waterfalls.

"No, hush baby. Sara, don't cry." Catherine begs.

I come over to her bed and throw my head onto her stomach. I hear her wince and I know I've hit her stitches.


"Sara, please talk to me."

"I'll do it if it makes you feel better," I say softly.

I just got her, there is no way I'm losing her.

"Good, and in return if something happens to you I'll take your police scanner," she jokes, trying to make the tension disappear.

I say nothing. I'm not in the mood for jokes.

"I love you," I whisper into her stomach.

Catherine's hand finds my hair and she gently strokes it.

"I know my baby, I know."



Catherine got out of the hospital today. She was supposed to stay in there for a week but signed herself out. I protested but she turned it back on me saying I had done it before and I couldn't stop her.

She was right of course.

"What?" Catherine asks as she sees me smiling.

"You may very well more stubborn than I am," I say kissing her shoulder as she lays against me on her couch.

"I hate hospitals baby because they remind me of when you were in there; in pain." Catherine says wrapping my arm around her.

God she always manages to say something that blows me away.

"I'm so glad you didn't give up on me," I say in her ear.

"Me too Sara. At times I tried to because my heart was breaking but I knew that I could be that person for you and I knew you could be the person I needed."

"How?" I ask amazed.

"Well while I didn't know everything about you what I did know, what I often saw in you, was enough. I just thought that if you had that on the surface then much more of it must lay underneath. All I had to do was prove to you that I was worthy of that trust."

I laugh softly.

"It sounds so easy," I say.

"I think we can both say this path has been anything but easy."

I know she's joking but there is a lot of truth to that line. Funny how we're here now.

"How's your side?" I ask concerned.

"Sore but I don't want to move from your arms," Catherine admits.

I get up slowly and Catherine complains.

"Sorry but I'm not going to sit here and enjoy your body against mine knowing you're in pain." I say seriously.

"Sara," Catherine pouts.

"No baby. If you are in pain let me know." I say.

Sounds kind of funny, me ordering her to tell that and I think she finds the humour in it also cause she's grinning at me.

"You sound like me," Catherine says.

I sit next to her and run my hand up and down the plaster there.

"I think I would have lost it if you died," I say looking at her arm.

"No you wouldn't Sara. You would grieve and move on. That's life."

I look at her amazed.

"Move on? Is that what you would do if the situation was reversed?"

Catherine keeps her eyes locked on mine.

"I'd have to Sara. I have Lindsay."

"So our time together would be nothing but a memory?" I ask softly.

I won't cry, I won't cry, I won't cry.

"I would mourn you everyday Sara. My heart would be closed off and in it would be you but I'd have to get back to some sort of life. What good would I be to Lindsay?"

"I guess that's the difference between us. I don't have anyone else."

Catherine turns to face me and I see her wince at the movement.

"Sara, you have me and Lindsay."

"Yeah but not really, I mean Lindsay isn't my daughter."

Catherine takes my hand in her good one and smiles softly.

"I wouldn't have asked you to be her Guardian if I didn't want you to be part of her life."

I'm angry now and I know it stems from her asking me to be that in the first place. It had been stored away while she was in the hospital because I was forced on getting her better.

"Do you know how much I hated you asking me that?" I say standing up.

"Asking you to be part of our lives?" Catherine asks frowning.

"And then to make fun of the fact that I own nothing and have nothing to bring into this relationship by talking about my police scanner?"

"That was a joke Sara, to lighten the mood."

"It wasn't funny. It hit too close to home Catherine. If I died there would be nothing to show for it. You've made that clear by saying you'd move on not two minutes ago."

"Sara, this is me showing you how committed I am to you. I can tell you I love you until I'm blue in the face but I don't think that's enough."

"It hurts me in here," I say pointing to my chest "to know that you could die and leave me."

"I can't change that Sara."

"Well why not!" I yell.

Catherine pushes herself off the couch and I try to help her but she brushes my hand away.

"Listen to me Sara Sidle. I love you. I need you. My life finally made sense when I first had you in my arms. I knew that the knocks I took; the dark periods, they meant that I was strong enough to be there for you. You may think I saved you but Sara let me tell you it was entirely mutual. You pulled me out of my mundane existence and made me want to smile when I wake up."

I want to take her in my arms but I'm scared. Scared that if I sink into her comfort I'll find this is all just one big dream.

"Sara, you have to understand that asking you to be the one to raise Lindsay was the hardest and easiest thing I've ever done. Hard because I had to put myself in that place where it meant I no longer had you. Hard because it meant I was gone and I couldn't see you beside me in our bed. Hard because it meant I didn't see Lindsay grow up and marry. That I didn't see her children call you grandma and you joke about being old. Hard because I knew you'd bury yourself in work to try and forget."

We are both crying by this stage. I have no control over my body, it goes to her willingly and I wrap her up in my arms.

"God I am so in love with you Sara." Catherine mumbles into my shirt.

"Sshh, no more talking," I say kissing her head.

She breaks from our embrace smiling.

"Want to know why is was the easiest decision?" She asks.

"No, you've made me cry enough," I say.

"It was easy because I knew you'd never let me down. I knew you'd love Lindsay with all your heart. She'd never want for anything because she'd have you. The woman she'd become would be of your making."

I shake my head.

"No, she'd be that way because of you Catherine."

Catherine wipes her eyes and pulls my head down. Our kiss is slow but the passion builds and soon our tongues are dueling in a familiar dance. I pull her tongue into my mouth and suck on it. I hear her groan and continue to play with her tongue while my hands touch her back.

Her flesh is hot and it quivers as I run my hands up and down her spine. My passion takes over and soon I'm moving my hands to her front.

Her groan this time is not one of pleasure.

"Oh shit." I've hit her stitches. Damn it Sara, control yourself.

"It's okay baby," Catherine says looking away. I know she's trying to get her pain under control.

"I'm so sorry Cat."

She turns back smiling at me.

"I'm going crazy not being able to do more," Catherine admits.

Good, I thought I was the only sex crazed teenager here.

"I want to make love to you so much I'm actually frightened by the intensity of that need," I say honestly.


"Yeah but in a good way," I say assuring her that I'm ready for that next step when she's better.

"Maybe I could persuade you to join me for a shower?" Catherine purrs.

A naked Catherine there for me to touch. Mmm, do I really need to think about that one?

"You take your painkillers and I'll meet you in there," I say kissing her cheek.



I turn the shower on, testing the water. As the water falls I'm drawn into the memory of our previous shower together. I had needed that and Catherine let me, indulged my idiosyncrasies, my neuroticism.

Why did it take so long for me to tell her I love her? It had been there for an age. I wasted a whole lot of time but I'm wasting no more.

"Are you going to get in?" Catherine teases from the doorway.

I am about to comment when I see her arm wrapped in what looks to be several layers of plastic.

"I don't think they'll be enough room for the rest of your body let alone room for me," I joke.

"Oh look, so I'm extra careful. Sue me."

I smile and kiss her soft lips. I wish her bruising would go down, it still looks pretty bad in places.

"Much rather do that," I say winking.

Catherine smiles and places her good hand on my chest. I know she can feel the train formally known as my heart storming out of it.

"Relax baby, we're just showering," Catherine says trying to undo my buttons.

"Just showering, right." I say unconvinced.

"Well we may have a little fun on the way," Catherine says smiling.

I can see she's getting angry at her slow progress so I take her hand, kiss it and undo my buttons for her.

"Go get a knife from the kitchen," Catherine growls as she sees that I'm not wearing a bra.


"I want this cast off so I can touch you. Make love with you."

Make love with me. That has to be one of the nicest thing I've ever heard. I know Catherine's in this for us, not just her; but to hear it reaffirmed is always comforting.

"We've waited this long," I say smiling as she traces her fingers across the top of my breast.

"My point exactly," Catherine growls as I pull her to me.

Our lips are not gentle this time. They are needy and forceful. Teeth bite at lips and clash together as we both try to get the most of our partner. I love Catherine's mouth. It's warm and inviting and had the most skillful tongue lodged in there.

I can feel Catherine's broken arm on my side and her other one is sliding into my pants and cupping my backside. I hear a little noise emit from her when she realises that I've managed to unzip her pants.

"You are so hot," Catherine whispers before biting on my earlobe.

I forgot that we're supposed to be showering. Her water bill will be pretty high this month.

"Baby, shower," I say in between gasps as Catherine's head drops to my breasts.

She pulls away smiling.

"Right, sorry."

Funny, she doesn't sound apologetic.

I help her out of her clothes and smell her arousal. Maybe we should turn the hot water off because I know I'm the same.

"Are you sure it's okay to get in the shower with that?" I ask pointing to her stitches.

"It's a water proof covering baby, it'll be okay." She says holding her hand out as an invitation.

I had a good look at her the last time we were in this position but the desire for her has been building that I'm afraid I'll hit crescendo right now without even having her make love to me. That's not how I want our first time to be.

I just hope I can get to that time without combusting.

I strip quickly and smile when Catherine's eyes drop to my pubic area. It would be so easy to just have her in the shower, moaning for me as I reached down and ...

No Sara, no. The first time will not be a quick fix in the shower. Second time maybe. Third and forth for sure.

Oh, that's got me smiling.

"What?" Catherine asks frowning.

"Oh it's nothing baby." I say grinning.

I grab the lotion and squirt a bit onto her breasts. She smiles and rubs it in, circling her nipples and massaging the suds around her chest. Oh my God, she's driving me crazy.

"Catherine," I moan and reach out to help her.

Yeah, help her. Right.

"This smells great," I say as I kiss her neck.

"Yeah, it's cinnamon and vanilla. The smell is intoxicating." Catherine says as I smile.

"I know, you've had this on at work a few times." I say smiling when she looks surprised.

"You've noticed the smell of my body wash?"

"Yes and now I can finally know what it tastes like on your skin," I say kissing her.

We fall into each other awkwardly what with her injuries and my wariness of them but our mouths remain connected as we move. It's like we're magnets and no matter how hard we try to stay away from each other it's purely impossible to do so.

"Sara, we have to stop. I can't breathe," Catherine admits.

"Sorry, you're just so breathtaking," I say wincing at the bad joke.

Catherine responds by pinching my left nipple. I am completely startled by this move and almost hit the shower wall from the sheer pleasure it sends through my body.

"My God Catherine!" I yell.

"I want to bite down on that nipple and hear you scream in pleasure as I leave a trail of bites to your core," Catherine whispers as her finger traces the path she talked about.

Oh no. I'm incredibly aroused.

"If you don't intend on making the promise come true in the next ten minutes or so I think we should stop teasing each other," I warn, tapping her stitches as a reminder.

Catherine smiles and lays her head on my chest, the water hitting her shoulder blades and bouncing off.

"I know." She sighs.

"I feel like a teenager," I say smiling into her hair.

"Well hopefully our first time will be more successful than that first time," Catherine jokes.

"It will baby." I promise.

"Let's hope it's soon." Catherine sighs as my hand travels down her back.

Dear God yes.



Somehow we managed to actually stop ourselves from exploding during our shower and the subsequent drying and dressing period. That wasn't to say I wasn't tempted as I came back from getting a glass of water and watched her dress. There was something incredibly erotic watching her put her clothes on and while I longed to see it in reverse and take her to bed I knew that her health was more important than me affirming my love for her that way.

"Having fun?" She teases as I sit on the bed mesmerized.

"You are a work of art Catherine, I'm allowed to stare."

Catherine comes over to me, her top in her hand.

"You are such a poet," she says kissing me.

"Then you must be my inspiration," I say smiling as she closes her eyes while I run my hands across her stomach.

"Mom! I'm home!"

Catherine opens her eyes smiling.

"Our very own alarm," she grins and puts her shirt on.

"We've in my bedroom Linds," Catherine yells.

"Will she mind seeing me in here?" I asked concerned.

"No baby, she won't. You've been in here before, remember?"

"I know but things are changing, I don't want her to be uncomfortable." I say smiling.

"She loves you Sara. If she has a problem trust me, you'll hear it from her mouth."

"Ah, she must get that from her mother," I joke.

"Cute Sidle. Very cute."

"Hey mom, how are you?" Lindsay says hugging Catherine gently.

"I'm okay angel. A little sore but it's okay."

Lindsay kisses Catherine's cast, something she's taken to doing since the hospital.

"Hey Sara!" Lindsay jumps on the bed and collides with me.

"Hey there, school fun today?"

"It was okay. Everyone was asking me about mom."

"No problems with anyone?" I ask concerned.

"Sometimes but I do what you said, I just try to walk away now. They are mean and it's sad because they don't realise their words are hurtful."

Catherine looks at me, her eyes sparkling.

"Sara's pretty smart isn't she Linds?" Catherine says kissing my forehead.

"Totally," Lindsay says agreeing.

"Okay Lindsay, go get in the shower and get dressed. I'm taking you and your mom out." I say unexpectedly.

"You are? Cool!" Lindsay says jumping off the bed and running down the hall.

Catherine pulls me up and I fall into her embrace.

"Where are we going?" Catherine says kissing my neck.

"Wherever you want. Pick a place you and Lindsay love and I'll take us there."

"You don't have to spoil us Sara, we're already impressed by you."

"I know, I just want to do it."

Catherine's hand runs down my face.

"There was a time where you didn't want me near you."

I smile, kissing her hand as it runs across my lips.

"Well now I don't want to be away from you." I say shrugging.

"I love you." Catherine whispers.

"I love you," I reply, smiling as her eyes light up.

"Come on, let's go out into the kitchen and wait as Lindsay tries on several different outfits." Catherine says grabbing my hand.

We get out into the kitchen and Catherine gasps.

"What?" I ask innocently.

"How did they get in here?" Catherine says pointing to the large bouquet of flowers on the bench.

"Do you have an admirer I should be concerned about?" I tease.

"Is there a card?" She asks me.

"How should I know?" I ask smiling as she finds the card sticking out of the top.

Catherine wraps her arm around me and reads it, "I'm so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose. Clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose. Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night. You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light."

Catherine's eyes find mine and I smile as she kisses the card.

"First part is Sarah McLachlan. I couldn't find the words, I hope you don't mind that she helped me there." I say shyly.

Turning her focus back to the card she reads the final part, "Your loves consumes me, it fills my soul. I never thought I'd find this but it was here with you all this time. I love you my Catherine. Today, tomorrow and forever. Love, Sara."

"Oh Sara, that's beautiful."

"That last bit was mine. See, Sarah McLachlan does a better job forming words than I." I say kissing Catherine slowly.

"I love your words because they come from your heart. I'm just thankful that you allowed me in there." Catherine says when we break from our kiss.

"Thank you for wanting to take this wreck," I say pointing to myself.

"No baby, you're not a wreck." Catherine says shaking her head.

"Mom, I'm ready." Lindsay says twirling around.

"Great dress Linds." I say, my arm snaking around Catherine's waist, careful of her stitches.

"Record time," Catherine says referring to Lindsay's readiness.

"Come on, I'm hungry." Lindsay says grabbing my hand.

"Well I guess we'd better be going then," I say tickling Lindsay.

Catherine laughed as I turned around.

"You look so good with her," she whispers.

"Well she's part of you so I don't see why I wouldn't," I say smiling.

"You're amazing," she says wiping a few tears from her eyes.

"And you're incredibly sexy." I growl.

Catherine pushes me away from her.

"No Sara, if you kiss me now I'll be taking you on my doorstep." Catherine says huskily.

"We can't have that," I tease.

"Oh we can but just not right now," Catherine says laughing as she walks past me.

Damn she's good.



Dinner was a wonderful evening out. Lindsay and I made fun of Catherine as she tried unsuccessfully to cut her steak so I leant across the table cutting it for her and stealing a few kisses along the way. We had a few patrons look at us but I was surprised to find I wasn't fussed by it.

Funny how Catherine's love has changed me.

By the time I pulled Catherine's car into the driveway both her and Lindsay were asleep. I left Catherine and collected her daughter who snuggled into my arms. Opening the door was something I should have done first because I found it hard to turn the key without waking Linds.

"Here, let me," Catherine said groggily.

"This is a little new," I say smiling.

Catherine followed us to Lindsay's bedroom. She stood in the doorway, the light from the kitchen shining around her. I could see the smile on her face as I made sure Linds was tucked in.

"What?" I ask as I kiss her gently.

"I like you here with us. You look like you're at home."

"I am in a way. I feel safe and that's something I've been searching for."

"Come on, I need to sleep."

"Those pills making you tired baby?"

"Yeah, a little."

"Well let me tuck you in," I say smiling.

Catherine undressed in the bathroom which I think is a very good idea. No need to add fuel to the already burning fire.

"Hey there," Catherine whispers.

"Hey. Ready for bed?"

Catherine smiles as I fold her quilt so she can slide in.

"You not joining me?" She asks.

"Not yet but if you don't mind I will later."

"If I don't mind? Sara, you're sleeping in my bed if I have to tie you to it."

"Tie me to it? I doubt I'd be sleeping if we were doing that." I tease.

Catherine pulls me to her and our lips clash together. I react first, sucking on her bottom lip, biting it slightly. Catherine pushes me back and suddenly I'm on the bed and she's laying on top of me. Her tongue enters my mouth and I search her out with my tongue. Her hands have pulled my shirt out of my pants and I feel cold hands touch impossibly hot flesh.

I also feel the cast on her arm as it clumsily travels across my stomach, which makes me pull away.

"No Cath, I can't." I say sighing.

"Yes you can Sara. I can feel it." Catherine says unzipping my pants with her good hand and cupping my core.

I hiss and press down on her hand, my mind telling me to stop.

"No, not like this." I say, lifting her off me a little harder than I had wanted.

I see the desire in her eyes as I move away from her. She looks away.

"Catherine. Baby I want you. You know that. It's just, well I'm not sure actually," I say coming over to her.

"I can't wait weeks for this Sara." Catherine admits smiling as I zip my pants up.

"A few weeks, it'll be okay." I say unconvincingly.

"Three at the minimum Sara." Catherine complains.

"I'll sleep on the couch tonight." I say getting up.

I leave Catherine's bedroom at an accelerated pace. She was right, I could have let her continue. I'm certainly ready but I'm not sure my mind is ready for such force from her. There is a niggling feeling in the back of mind of being taken with such ferocity.

Fear. It's still there. No matter how much my body might respond to her I can't help but thing of my attack.

I feel Catherine coming up behind me and I turn smiling.

"I didn't think Sara. I'm sorry."

"About what Cath?"

"The way I was back there," Catherine says standing away from me.

I open my arms and she welcomes the embrace.

"It's okay Catherine. I need you as well. I think it was a mix between not wanting to hurt you and the images of that night."

"I was a little aggressive," Catherine says softly.

"Baby, I want all of your passion. I do."

She looks up smiling as I trace her lips with my finger.

"But?" She asks.

"But I think I may be using your injury as an excuse to some extent."

"Okay, that's okay Sara. It's understandable. When you're ready I'll be here."

God I love this woman. How did I even exist before her?

"You're too good to me," I say kissing her.

"I just love you." Catherine says hugging me tightly. "Now will you come to bed with me?"

I laugh as she pouts.

"Okay if I must," I say grinning as she hits my arm.



The next week kind of flew by. I spent every night at Catherine's and I have to admit, I almost forgot I had a place of my own. My clothes were moved to Catherine's, my mornings were made up of making breakfast for two demanding yet loveable Willow's women and I'd even taken to picking Lindsay up at school.

Catherine was getting better but at times she'd have her pain hours as we called them. It would be excruciating to watch, me being helpless and all but they would finally subside and I'd just hold her, telling her I loved her and that it would all be okay.

I have to admit, I was really enjoying playing nursemaid. It felt liberating to help her and I knew that this little bit would never in any way, make up for what she had done for me. I could only, in reality, do what I could and hope that she would never stop loving me.

I knew I'd never stop loving her.

"Sara, baby you have to get up."

I buried my head under the pillow, hoping that it my head vanished the person above me would leave me alone.

No such luck.

"Hey baby, if you're late Gil will send out a search party."

"Sshh, I'm sleeping," I say which brings a throaty laugh from Catherine.

"Come on. I made coffee."

The word coffee awakens me slightly. I turn onto my back and see Catherine sitting on the bed next to me.

"Morning beautiful," she murmurs as she kisses me.

"I don't want to go to work," I complain.

"What? Sorry, where is Sara Sidle?" Catherine jokes.

"I have you here, why would I want to go back to work?" I say smiling as Catherine's eyes light up.

"Somebody has to support me and my daughter."

I take the coffee from her smiling.

"If I only had five dollars left I'd give it to you and Lindsay," I say seriously.

"You romantic sap you," Catherine says kissing my knee.

It's true though. I'm not interested in heading off to work when I know I could have Catherine to myself for the entire day. Being here with her the past week and a half has been heavenly. I've really managed to feel comfortable here and I'm loath to leave it for even a minute let alone an entire shift.

"I need a shower," I say getting up and taking my coffee with me.

"I'd join you but I think you'd only be late for work." Catherine teases.

"My restraint only goes so far babe," I say reminding her of our pact made a week ago to try to cool our hormones down a little.

"Spoil sport," she grumbles but I know she agrees.

When I finally get dressed and make sure I have my cell charged, I head to the kitchen. Catherine has made breakfast for me, knowing I'd most probably get something silly to eat on the way. I kiss her neck and she moans which encourages me to further explore her neck and shoulder area.

Yep, I'd much rather stay at home.

"Here baby," Catherine says breaking away from my attentions to hand me a plate of pancakes.

I'd much rather see her covered in maple syrup. Mind, hey get out of the gutter!

"What's so funny?" She asks.

"I was just thinking of you," I say kissing her lips.

"I wish I was coming in with you," Catherine said hugging me for a moment.

"I do too baby but you have to get better. That's the most important thing here," I say kissing her forehead before reaching over her for the maple syrup.

"I know. It'll just be funny being in this house without you," she says shyly.

I smile and get a glass of orange juice. I like hearing that from her.

"So, pancakes for lunch huh?" I ask.

"My body clock has been messed up since I started this shift. To me, it's time for breakfast," she smiles.

"No complaints baby."

"Can I call you at work?" Catherine asks suddenly.

I put my plate down so I can touch her face.

"If you didn't I'd worry," I say kissing her lips gently.

"I just know how you get when you're on a case. I don't want to disturb you."

"Cath, getting a call from you would brighten my day." I tell her seriously.


I kiss her soundly.

"I love you," I whisper.

Catherine kisses my collarbone and pushes away from me.

"Come on, lets have breakfast," she says taking my hand and leading me to the table.



I drove to work in Catherine's car, liking that I wasn't worried if anyone noticed that very fact. I'd always been worried to show too much of myself to my co-workers and at times I let my guard down and got heated during a case. 'Too involved' as Grissom would say. There would be a buzz around the place that would die down when I'd give out no additional information.

I think that even though the boys teased me they respected my boundaries. So hey, if they wanted to gossip on the fact that I'm driving to work in Catherine's car, trying to find a cd other than Britney or Jessica Simpson then so be it.

"Welcome back Sara," Warrick says as I lock Catherine's car.

"Oh hey Warrick. Thanks." I say smiling a genuine smile. I am glad to be back after all.

"Listen, we got news that Catherine's work car is pretty bashed up and that she'll get a replacement for a month before she's issued with another one."

I look at Warrick, his eyes covered by his sunglasses.

"Okay," I say slowly.

"Catherine called me last week, told me you were looking after her." He says by way of explanation.

Really? That's interesting, she did not mention that to me. Perhaps I wasn't as cool with people knowing my business after all.

"Oh okay then. Yeah, I've been helping her. Making sure she doesn't try to do too much."

Warrick laughs.

"Super Mom hey?"

"Yeah, all she needs is a cape," I say smiling.

"I'm glad that she has you." Warrick says smiling.

Okay, just how much did Catherine tell him?

"She was there for me," I tell him.

Warrick pats my back and smiles again.

"Back to work then," he says effectively ending the conversation.

I hit my speed dial hoping Catherine's awake. Even though the conversation was pretty average, I felt a little weird.


"Hey there, listen this may sound weird but did you speak to Warrick about us?" I ask.

"I talked to him about your help. Why, would there be a problem if I did?" Catherine asks me nervously.

"No, I would just like notice of it so I know how to act," I admit.

"I know you're a private person Sara and I would never break that. No, I didn't tell him that I'm madly in love with you and that whenever I see you I want to rip off your clothes and make love to your incredibly sexy body."

Woah, are the heaters on in here?

"Sara? Still there babe?" She teases.

"Ah yeah," I say clearing my throat.

"I only told him you were helping me with Lindsay."

"Okay." I say softly.

"We really haven't spoken about that have we?" Catherine asks me.

"What? Telling people?"

"Yeah. I guess I've just been happy to have you to myself that I didn't really think about heading back into the real world."

"We can talk about it after I drop Linds off to school," I promise.

"Love you."

"I love you too baby. I'll call you later," I say hanging up.

This part of the job I didn't miss. Dumpster duty.

"Why did I get this job?" I complain as my big boots step in something I'm afraid to look at.

"You look great in the overalls?" Greg jokes.

I pick up a piece of lettuce and threaten to throw it at him.

"Isn't the rookie supposed to get the crappy jobs?" I flinch as I hit my knee on the side of the bin.

"I'm just here to observe," Greg says.

"Well I can't find a gun in here but I've just gained a higher respect for people who clean these tips." I say, slipping on something that smells just as bad as it looks.

"Okay so the perp took the gun with him?" Greg asks.

"Or hid it elsewhere? The back of a night club, the ally would have many little hiding places," I say looking around the area.

"She died here," Grissom says snapping off his gloves.

"What about the camera?" I ask pointing to the small hook-up near the exit.

"Owner says it was broken the night before, someone was coming to fix it." Brass says smiling as I try to find a way to get out of the dumpster.

"Let me guess, they haven't come yet?" I ask sarcastically.

"Ah, two and a bit weeks off the job and you still know how things work. Well done." Brass jokes.

Mmm, what can I throw at him?

"Greg, help Sara out," Grissom says.

Thank goodness. Falling into the opened bags wasn't practically appetizing.

It took three showers to get the smell of the dumpster out of me and even then I really thought I could see fumes following me. What a way to come back to work.

"So, she was a regular?" I ask, coming in on the end of Grissom's speech.

"Yes. Jacinta Gretey, 27 year old local. Had a thing for one of the bartenders according to the bouncer. Would always ask if Jackson Ryan was working."

"So why take that exit?" I ask, looking up at the crime scene photo's.

"A little bit of workplace related nookie?" Greg says coming in smiling.

"Greg," Grissom starts.

"I found semen on her top," he says grinning proudly. I may mention to him it's not best to gloat about finding seminal fluid on a body.

"So she may have got her bartender after all?" I ask.

"If you swab him I can tell you," Greg says sitting down.

"Anything else Greg?" Grissom asks.

"Nope. Continue," Greg says waving his hand.

"You can go Greg." Grissom says looking at him sternly.

I managed to get a spare moment after Grissom's little meeting to call Catherine.

"Hey sexy," she purrs as she answers.

"I could have been Grissom," I say smiling.

"Chances were slim," she jokes. "If it was, he'd ignore it anyway."

"How are you feeling?"

"My arm is itchy. Blasted thing."

I smile.

"Poor thing. Are you taking your medication?"

"Yes mom," she groans.

"Grissom put me on dumpster duty today," I complain.

"Oh yuk. You're sleeping at your place after work."

"Well, I was just thinking that I'd come back to yours, jump in the shower and use your expensive lotions. I may need someone to scrub my back," I whisper.

"Mmm, that does sound appealing."

"So am I allowed back into your house now?" I beg.

"If you have to," she jokes.

"Good. Well I've got a case to solve. See you later babe."

"Take care." She says as we hang up.

Driving back to Catherine's felt funny. It felt more natural than heading to my place and I was concerned by that. When Catherine recovered there wouldn't be any need for me to stay there. I'd miss it. I'd miss her and Lindsay, their daily routine. I actually enjoyed picking Lindsay up and school or dropping her there in the morning like I was doing today. That job was usually Nancy's but she was in bed sick so I offered immediately. It always cut down the time I spent at work.

Catherine had made fun of me, telling me I'd not only have to leave work early but that I'd also be roped into meeting all her friends and her teacher.

Funny, I was really looking forward to it.



"Sara! Sara, over here!"

I smile as I pull into the parking spot just occupied by an old Cadillac. It looked brand new, fully restored. I have a soft spot for vintage cars so I allow myself to have a good look at it before focusing on Lindsay.

I hit the alarm on the car out of habit and make my way over to a group of giggling girls; Lindsay in the middle of them.

"Ladies, how are we?" I ask smiling.

"Hello Miss Sidle," a chorus of polite girls replied.

"It's Sara." I say crouching to get at eye level. Less intimidating that way.

"Sara, this is Stacy, Jinny, Louisa-Ann, Sarah M and Sarah G and Kristen." Lindsay says pointing to every girl mentioned.

"It's a pleasure to meet all of you," I say shaking their hands and smiling when Lindsay takes my other hand and holds on.

"You have to come meet my teacher," Lindsay says almost pulling me along with her. "Bye guys!" She yells over her shoulder.

"Bye Lindsay! Bye Sara." There is that chorus again. That's kind of cute really.

"Your friends are nice," I say as Lindsay finally stops pulling me towards the school building."

"They so loved you Sara," Lindsay says smiling. "Mom doesn't wear her gun and stuff. Plus, you shook their hands. Only grown-ups shake hands."

I felt a bizarre surge of happiness at that declaration. Yes, yes, I did say I wasn't good with children but I think it was a fear of them really. I didn't like how they were able to see things that adults sometime missed. Their innocence was scary, it saw right into the heart of a person at times. I was learning though. Lindsay was helping me there. I still didn't have Catherine's ability to steer those hard to answer questions onto a safer topic but then again, she was so amazing I really couldn't reach that level.

"Here we are!" Lindsay exclaims.

I knock on the door not wanting to disturb her teacher. She looks up seeing who is at the door and waves me in.

"You must be the amazing Sara," she says smiling as she shakes my hand.

I'm blushing at that, I can feel it.

"I usually just go by Sara," I say smiling as Lindsay rolls her eyes.

"Then you can call me Maggie."

"This is a great room," I say looking around. One wall has a map of the world on it with small markings and I remember Catherine once talking about Lindsay learning about continents. There were children's drawing and reports on the back wall, a flag in the corner behind the desk and a chalkboard with what I assume was their work today.

"Come see my science report," Lindsay says once again almost pulling my arm out of its socket.

"Do you mind?" I ask Maggie.

"No, go ahead."

Maybe I'm biased but Lindsay's science report was the best one up there. It was obvious with the wording that some of the parents had taken an active role in their child's work. I know children are getting smarter but there were limits.

"It's great Linds, you look like you put a lot of work in that," I say draping my arm around her shoulder.

Her eyes widen as she looks from the paper to me.

"Really?" She asks.

"It's great."

She says nothing, simply smiles widely.

"Come on, we should let your teacher get home."

"Hey Sara, can we get some flowers for mom on the way home?" Lindsay asks me.

"She'd love that Linds."

"And maybe some chocolates or something."

"We'll go shopping now, you can pick anything out," I tell her.

"Thanks Sara."

"Sorry we intruded," I tell Maggie as Lindsay runs to the car.

"Oh no that's fine. If only more parents were interested. Listen, I know Catherine is still recovering but I was wondering if you could give her my number. We need to talk about Lindsay."

"Is she in some kind of trouble?" I ask concerned.

"It's just pertaining to her behaviour at times." Maggie says.

"With the fights?" I ask.

"Oh, you know about that?" Maggie asks puzzled.

Her gaze made me feel uncomfortable.

"Yeah, Catherine and I had to come and get Linds last time she was in a fight." I tell her.

"Oh, I see."

"Is she getting into more fights?" I ask her, concerned that this hadn't been mentioned before.

"I'd feel more comfortable discussing that with her mother," Maggie tells me.

"Catherine's not up for this kind of stress," I tell Maggie angrily.

"I would hope the well-being of her daughter would take precedent over anything else."

Wow, there's a teacher's tone if I ever heard one.

"And I'm sure it does, I'm just asking you tell me and maybe I can deal with it instead." I say getting frustrated.

"I can't, I'm sorry."

"Catherine would have no problem with me knowing."

"I can't just discuss Lindsay with anyone of her friends." Maggie tells me.

I sigh.

"I'll let Catherine know." I say leaving.

I had wanted to tell her that I was much more to Catherine than a friend but just as she didn't tell Warrick about us I didn't tell Lindsay's teacher. I knew it was something we'd have to start talking about and even though I told her we'd talk about it today Lindsay's problems were a priority.

"What took you?" Lindsay asks me, her arms folded.

"Just chatting with your teacher," I tell her as she climbs into the car. Lindsay makes me smile. Sometimes her mannerisms are so much like Catherine's I almost think she's standing in front of me.

"Can we get mom's flowers now?" Lindsay asks me, leaning over to put Britney in the player.

Great, I had just managed to get 'Lucky' out of my head.



"Okay now we have to be quite, your mom might be sleeping," I tell Lindsay as we get out of the car. She's carrying a box of what she assures me are her mom's favourite chocolates and I'm carrying the three bouquets of flowers. Two bunches were deliberately chosen by Lindsay. She changed her mind so many times I told her to get two bunches that way all her choices could be there.

The third was from me. I'd turned into a romantic sap and I was loving the feeling.

I did have a small issue when the florist asked me if I wanted to add a bottle of champagne to the bouquet. I almost said yes as a reflex but I declined with only a small hesitation.

This was my chance of happiness and I wasn't going to allow my old friends to lure me to the dark side no matter how much I felt like a good drink every now and then. It was a constant source of temptation but before I had no reason to stop. Now I have two reasons. One being this little girl in front of me, her smile so wide I was afraid she'd break her door and the other was her beautiful mother.

Who we now had to find.

"Okay, you ready?" I ask Lindsay.

"Yep, let's go," she whispers.

I make sure to close the door like I usually would. No need to be so quiet that Catherine thinks she's being robbed.

Dropping the keys on the kitchen counter I wave Lindsay over.

"Okay, lets go see if she's in bed," I say, giving Lindsay one of the bouquets. They are so big Lindsay has to strain her neck just to see in front of her.

"Cath? We're home," I say just loud enough for her to hear us if she's awake. Lindsay giggles as we walk up the hall to Catherine's bedroom.

Catherine almost ruins our surprise by yelling from the bathroom saying she's just got a towel on and will meet us soon. Any thought of handing her flowers gone with the knowledge that only that fine furry layer of cloth separates me from her body.

Well that and a big wooden door.

"Hey mom!" Lindsay says. "We'll just wait till you're dressed."

"Okay baby," Catherine yells back from the bathroom.

I'm still standing in her bedroom wondering if I had time to 'help' her dress or if I should wait out in the living room.

I decide that Lindsay's surprise shouldn't be spoilt by my hormones raging out of control so I head out and we just wait for Catherine.

"Okay, so how was school ... wow what's this?" Catherine asks as she sees Lindsay standing proudly with the first of her gifts.

"Mommy, Sara and I went to buy you something. I got you your favourite chocolates."

"Oh angel that's so sweet, thank you," Catherine says kissing Lindsay's head. She looks over to me smiling.

"Wait, I have more," Lindsay says excitedly heading over to the lounge to grab the flowers.

"Are they for me too?" Catherine asks smiling and smelling the aroma. I have to say, Lindsay picked two wonderful arrangements. She has an eye for what looks good, maybe being a florist is in her future.

A future I want to be a part of.

"I picked them all myself," Lindsay tells her mom proudly.

"They are wonderful Linds, very vibrant colors."

Lindsay turns to me, her smile still so wide and I hand her the second bunch.

"Heavens, more?" Catherine asks laughing.

"I couldn't decide so Sara said I could get both."

I'm blushing as Catherine looks at me.

"Well that's a lovely thing Sara did," Catherine says.

"It was all her idea to spoil you," I finally speak up having not wanted to ruin the moment between mother and daughter.

Catherine pulls Lindsay to her in a hug I'm worried will hurt Catherine's side but she sees my concern and smiles.

"Oh Linds this is so lovely. I love you angel."

Lindsay kisses Catherine's cast.

"I love you too mom."

"Would you like to put them in vases?" Catherine asks her daughter.

Lindsay's eyes light up.

"Really? Can I?"

I smile, who would have thought a simple thing would make her so excited.

"Yes angel, and put the chocolates in the fridge and we'll open them for dessert."

Lindsay tries picking up both bunches at once but realises she can only carry one at a time so she leaves with one in her arms but shortly returns to pick up the second bunch.

"You spoiled her," Catherine says coming over to me.

"No, she wanted to spoil you," I say.

"Two big bouquets and chocolates? You didn't have to do that much," Catherine says smiling.

I shrug.

"She wanted it so I said it was okay."

"Thank you, I've not seen her that happy for a while." Catherine says sadly.

"I have something for you too," I say lifting up my bouquet, hoping it will erase the sadness flickering in her eyes.

Catherine's face brightens up as I kiss her cheek and hand the flowers to her.

"My house will look like a florist's store soon," she says pulling the card out.

"It's nothing special," I say in reference to the card.

"Dearest Catherine, one week and definitely counting, love always Sara." Catherine reads the card aloud laughing.

"I love it Sara!" Catherine says pulling me down for a long kiss.

"Not the more romantic thing I've ever written," I say sheepishly.

"I love you," Catherine says placing her hand on my cheek.

"Hey mom, what are we having for dinner?" Lindsay says coming over to hug my leg.

Catherine kisses my cheek and looks down to Lindsay.

"I haven't thought about it actually. Should we just pig out on pizza?"

Lindsay looks at Catherine like she's grown two heads.

"Well duh," she replies.

"Is that a yes?" I ask smiling.

"Well duh," Catherine and Lindsay answer simultaneously.

I laugh, wrapping my arm around Catherine's shoulders for a quick hug. My heart's so sore because I know soon she'll be better and won't need me staying at her place. Don't get me wrong, I want her better but I also will definitely miss this.

Part 61

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