07 – Amour Interrupted

Continued from (Another) Unexpected Change of Plans

“The art of love… is largely the art of persistence,”

Albert Ellis

*******

Sara leaned in to start the shower and was testing the temperature of the feeble spray with the back of her hand when she felt in the warm press of his body, her husband come up behind her. Next, there was her hair swept back; the soft brush of a kiss along the nape of her neck. All of which was followed by the quiet rumble of the inevitable sigh Grissom loved so much to hear.

But knowing from experience that the hot water at this particular hôtel didn’t last long, Sara, however reluctantly insisted that they’d better take advantage of it while they could and steered her husband into the shower before joining him.

It was a tight fit; not really meant for two. But they didn’t mind the closeness. At least it was an overhead shower; unlike the handheld one they fought with back in their Paris apartment. Except as this one strangely lacked a shower curtain they had to work to keep the water from getting all over the floor.

Sara was adamant even if it meant leaving her more out in the cold than not, that Grissom stand under the water. While the effect of which on particular parts of her anatomy did not go wholly unnoticed or unappreciated, Grissom promptly drew her closer and into the warmth.

She soaped up her hands, the better to be able to untangle the remaining knots from her husband’s shoulders and back. His eyes closed; she could feel him begin to relax under her touch.

“Better?” she murmured, cupping the back of his neck in her palms.

He hummed his agreement.

Before long though, the attentions turned from the tenderly therapeutic to the far more sensual.

She was slowly sliding her palms along his chest in hopes of loosening the last of the tightness away when her thumbs inadvertently grazed his nipples. With a gasp and a shiver, Grissom’s eyes flashed wide and he was instantly a great deal more alert and while he wasn’t feeling sore any longer, he felt far from relaxed either.

There was a momentary flicker of mischief in her eyes when Sara registered the reaction, as if she were seriously contemplating repeating the act, intentionally this time. And she was tempted, sorely tempted. Instead, her hands continued their way down his chest and along his stomach, with her appreciative gaze following suit.

That latent threat in her eyes coupled with the feel of her fingers was enough for Grissom, he tugged her tight against him and kissed her full and long and hard on the mouth with all the want, hunger and desire of a man who’s been waiting to make love with his wife for nearly a month. From the eager way she returned his affections, Sara plainly felt the same.

Suddenly, neither were much in the mood for a shower.

So after a few more fervid kisses that made them both a little weak in the knees, Sara reached back behind him to shut off the water. She handed her husband a towel, but instead of using it on himself, he set about toweling her dry. Between how the coarse fibers tickled and the way he gave her wet hair an extra tousle for good measure, Sara laughed.

As she returned the favor, Grissom asked, “Do we have to be up at the crack of dawn again tomorrow?”

“No.”

“Good.”

And they shared a smile at the knowledge that neither of them were interested in a hurried tussle tonight.

For there was far more to lovemaking than sex.

An understanding Grissom seemed keen on demonstrating at the moment, as he nuzzled her neck, one of his wife’s favorite places to be kissed.

“Bed,” she murmured nearly breathless into his ear.

And there were no detours nor further dawdling between the bathroom and the bed. Although as it was an unfamiliar room, there’d been a fair share of clumsy stumbling and attendant laughter along the way.

Of course after it having been no more than a cursory toweling off, neither of them were actually dry when they hit the mattress. Neither much minded nor noticed either as wrapped up as they were in each other.

For while Marlowe’s passionate shepherd may have had more ignoble purposes in mind, the sentiments still rang true:

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove…

The time for play past; tempting done, the flirt and tease of the day gave way to the gentle ardency and patient passion of unhurried lovemaking. To that slow savoring of eyes and hands and lips and skin that came from the need to be always touching, tasting, kissing and caressing. In the giving and receiving of pleasure in equal parts.

There was the catch of breath, then the low rumble of a long exhale as Sara’s neatly cropped nails replaced the pads of her fingers along her husband’s bare back.

Never could Grissom get enough of it — of her — especially with all the time they spent apart now.

Sara simply happened to him all over again.

Even after all their years together, their marriage, she still did, in that falling feeling, the overwhelming, overcoming rush he always seemed somehow to forget until she was back beside him like this again. It was, he’d always thought, a strange sort of amnesia. And strange too, for her to be so foreign and familiar all at once. And him to be alive like this. To touch and be touched in ways before her he’d never known to long for.

Though when she was here with him, beside him, so very warm and real and alive in his arms, the last thing Grissom wanted to do was think or observe, classify or reason. All he wanted was to be lost with her — in her — in the body he knew almost better than his own and yet seemed ever to be discovering.

And Sara, wanting nothing more than the feel of his weight against her, the reassuring presence of it as it always was in that press and caress of his body on hers, wanting to cradle him as close to her as she could, she wrapped her arms and legs about him.

Lips met. Breathlessness began.

Until they were both startled by a clumsy thud against their door, followed by the awkward scrape of a key in the lock, the urgent jiggle of the handle.

None of this proving to be of any avail to whoever was on the other side of the door, a spate of thunderous banging was soon accompanied by a very loud and colorful curse in an equally loud, brash, slightly drunken and distinctly all too familiar and yet completely unexpected American voice.

“Maybe he’ll just go away,” Sara suggested.

Pound. Pound.

“Come on, André. I can’t get the key to work.”

Grissom had his doubts.

Pound.

“I know you’re in there, man. Just open the door…”

Pound. Pound. Pound.

Which was next followed by the pathetic, nearly desperate, ear-piercing whine of “Come on, André. I’ve got to go –”

“Or not,” Sara reluctantly conceded.

If anything the voice grew even more insistent. “This really isn’t funny, man…”

With a beleaguered sigh, Grissom threw on his boxers before tugging an undershirt impatiently over his head. Decidedly disgruntled, he unfastened the lock, drew open the door.

“About ti–”

The sight of Grissom in the doorway cut the interloper off mid-word.

“You’re not André,” he said with all the inherent stupidity of someone stating the obvious. “This is 208,” he insisted, despite the confused, glazed-over way he was peering up at Grissom.

Sadly, it was a look Grissom was all too au fait with. And really wasn’t in the mood for at the moment. That and as the unexpected -– and unwelcome –- visitor did look urgent, it would just be for the best for all of them if Grissom sent him on his way.

“Try the next building over,” he suggested.

How the kid, for Grissom could come up with no other way to describe someone who didn’t look like he was old enough yet to vote, let alone drink back in the U.S., could have confused the hotel’s two buildings, each having been built nearly a century apart, he had no idea.  Of course when it came to drunken American teenage idiocy perhaps it was just better not to know.

Not the least bit interested in pursuing the subject, however, he closed the door before the boy could get in another word.

Grissom was still shaking his head as he wandered towards the large French doors that opened upon their second floor balcony. Sara thought for a moment that after the inanity of the encounter, perhaps her husband wanted a bit of fresh air to clear his head. Instead, he simply brushed the thick curtains aside to peer out into the night.

There wasn’t much to see, not then at least. Le Roc, as the huge limestone cliff that towered nearly 200 meters above Castellane was affectionately known, blotted out much of the sky.

Still, he’d wanted to make sure. Just in case.

Slipping her arms around him to hug him from behind, Sara said, “Thought we were back in Vegas there for second?”

Grissom gave her a wordless nod as he covered her hands with his own.

With a sad laugh, she placed a reassuring kiss into his shoulder and sighed, “Me, too. Small world, huh?”

“A bit too small.”

Perhaps they should have expected that Castellane being as it was a base for the numerous sorts of extreme outdoor adventures that the young particularly liked to favor, that same youth would be just as prone to its usual foibles and follies as well.

So much for peace and quiet in any event.

Although when he turned to her, Grissom seemed far more bewilderedly bemused by the whole thing rather than actually nettled.

Sara took his face in her hands and kissed him anyway.

When they broke apart, she told him to “Come on,” and then with an almost impish tug on his boxers, her intent in which there could be no misunderstanding, she whispered, “Come back to bed, Gil.”

Both the boxers and his shirt were long gone before they got there and Grissom soon found himself playfully — and very pleasantly — pinned to the sheets sans vêtements again.

Gently at first, she kissed him, her still damp hair falling over their faces. But soon this gave way to hungrier open-mouth ones once more.

And Grissom watched in rapt appreciation the pleasure play over her face as with all his usual deliberation, his hands brushed her curls away, lingered with them for a long moment along her neck and shoulders before slowly sliding down and then back up the smooth slope of her bare back.

His name came out like the breath of a sigh.

Then in rapid succession came a knock, a fresh drunken bellow of “André!” followed by the resounding slump of a body on the floor and a very disagreeable sensation of déjà vu on both Grissom and Sara’s parts.

“This André must be one popular guy,” she sighed wearily.

Grissom only groaned.

“Guess it’s my turn,” said Sara as she grudgingly clambered off him and out of bed.

Wanting to get this over and done with as quickly as possible, she didn’t bother to get dressed, choosing instead to give the blanket from the end of the bed an impatient tug around herself on the way to the door.

When she threw it open, a blonde, tousled-hair boy who couldn’t have been more than seventeen and was obviously smashed off his ass — he certainly smelled it — fell back with a drunken moan of “Whoa…” before conking his head on the floor.

His eyes went even wider as he blinked bleary-eyed up at the sight of Sara standing there clad only in a blanket. Swiftly realizing that said blanket didn’t cover much from that angle, Sara took a hurried step back.

“Wow… uh… you’re… you’re not André… I know André…” he stuttered tipsily, “And you aren’t him… You… I mean you…. You’re… you’re… ”

Then with the absolute honesty of the inebriated he stammered, “You’re hot–”

“Looking for André?” Sara asked, finding it nearly impossible not to smile or roll her eyes at this.

He nodded. “Said to meet him… to go out for drinks. Room… uh… Two…oh… two-oh…. Two-oh-eight…. See,” he said, motioning to the number plate on the door with an awkward wave of the hand, “Two-oh-eight,” as if that settled everything.

“But I could… uh…” he said, propping himself up on his elbows and attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to come across as suave, “I could just stay here with you…”

This being the second unwanted drunken interruption in less than ten minutes and with her feeling less than magnanimous because of that fact at the moment, Sara wasn’t quite able to resist the temptation to yank the kid’s chain — just a little.

“Hmm,” she began as if she were actually considering the option, “that’s quite an offer.”

Her nearly beguiling tone was so convincing that it stopped Grissom in his tracks as he was getting dressed yet again.

“But…” she finished, not quite able to pull off sounding reluctant, “as tempting as that sounds, I’m not sure my husband…”

“Husband?” the kid gulped.

“Husband,” echoed Grissom, who as if on cue, appeared over Sara’s shoulder with a hand extended so as to help the now hapless boy to his feet.

From the way the teen blanched, shell-shocked and nearly white as a sheet, Sara could just imagine the look on her husband’s face. Gil Grissom might practice pacifism and absolutely abhorred violence, but that didn’t keep him from appearing intimidating when he needed or wanted to.

“Come on,” Grissom urged, not so gently scooping the kid up by the armpits and nudging him back into the hall. “And if you’re still looking for André, you might want to try the other building.”

Sara called, “Good night,” as she went to close the door.

But her husband put out a hand. “Wait,” he said. “There aren’t any more of you are there?”

The kid only gave him an unhelpfully dumbfounded expression in reply.

Grissom simply shook his head and shut the door.

Sara caught the hint of a smile replacing the last vestiges of one of her husband’s infamous dour stares — the sort she was happy to have had seldom levied at her over the years.

And suddenly the two of them were overcome by a case of the guffaws. They couldn’t help it. It had just been one of those days.

Earlier that afternoon, they had stumbled sopping wet up onto the riverbank to take a break from canoeing and to have a chance perhaps to dry after their little tussle on the water, when not long after their arrival, they were thoroughly chastened for all the noise they were apparently making by a viciously vituperating squirrel. And now, they’d been interrupted in medias res not once, but twice by the results of ill-advised youthful alcoholic indiscretion. It was… Absurd. Absolutely absurd.

Grissom was still chuckling when he turned to his wife and said, “Wasn’t he just a little young for you, dear?”

Sara did indeed roll her eyes at this.

“That wasn’t nice, you know,” her husband added not entirely reprovingly. “Teasing the poor kid like that.

“Although completely understandable,” he murmured, something other than amusement tugging at the corners of his mouth and eyes.

“What is?” she asked with a bewildered chuckle.

“You.”

When she continued to look puzzled, he added matter-of-factly, “I guess I really can’t blame the kid for trying.”

For she was beautiful like that: eyes bright, cheeks flushed, lips slightly redder and swollen from kissing, her shoulder-length hair loose, wild and a little wanton about her face.

Irresistible. Irrepressibly so.

Sara colored for she could practically feel his eyes caressing her.

“Flattery will get you everywhere you know,” she murmured.

Grissom’s fingers curled over her hand, the one that held the fabric closed. He was just about to lean in to kiss her when he was struck by a sudden thought.

“Is your phone still on?” he asked.

“What?” came her incredulous reply.

“Is your phone still on?” he repeated patiently.

“Yeah, probably. Why?”

“Turn it off,” Grissom insisted with a vehemence that baffled his wife.

“Gil, it’s late,” Sara protested. “Grave’s been over for hours.”

Not that that meant anything. And they both knew it. And considering their luck that night…

“I see your point,” she conceded, and not in the mood for any further disruptions either, went over to the table and made doubly sure she completely shut down her phone.

“And,” Grissom began, narrowing the last of the distance between them once she was done, “I get to pick the accommodations in Rome.”

Sara’s sigh of “It’s not really the hotel’s fault…” was cut off by his kiss.

Within not even a heartbeat, all previous interruptions — and the blanket that just happened to fall to the floor — were forgotten.

*******

Continued in A Case of the Road Trip Blues

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