Title: Arms of Mary
Author: Debbie
Feedback address: deb123em@yahoo.com
Date in Calendar: 25 December 2004
Fandom: CSI
Pairing: Catherine/Sara
Rating: NC-17
Summary: A perfect Christmas Day.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC04

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. No infringement is intended, I do it only for my sanity.

Author's Note #1: This was written for December 25th of the Femslash Advent Calendar 2004.

Author's Note #2: If anyone can email me with the obscure reference related to the title, I might consider an epilogue for Valentine's Day

Words: 6951

Dedication: To my two friends Geonn and Lewis, thank you for making my writing better than it is throughout a wonderful year.

Catherine Willows entered her house quietly. It was very early Christmas morning and Gil had finally relented and let her leave before shift end; it was now approaching 5.30am and she needed some sleep before the rigors of the day. First, she needed to see her daughter. Creeping upstairs, avoiding all the loose floorboards she had come to know over the years, she walked over to Lindsey's bed and smiled. Her daughter was sleeping soundly on her side with her hands tucked carefully underneath her cheek. Leaning over to gently kiss her daughter she marveled at how angelic children could be when sleep overcame them.  

Her eye was caught by something sparkly at the foot of Lindsey's bed, she turned to see a small stocking hung over the bedpost. It was crammed full with carefully wrapped presents. A chuckle rumbled up from her suddenly tight chest; it seemed Lindsey's minder for the night had initiated one of her own Christmas customs.  

Closing the door she wandered through to the master bedroom and saw that the woman in question was also fast asleep in a position that perfectly mirrored the position of her daughter. Sara Sidle was on her right side with both hands tucked angelically under her left cheek. As she walked towards her bathroom Catherine marveled at how young her colleague looked when in the depths of peaceful slumber.  

Her ablutions finished and slowly giving in to the exhaustion that two doubles in a row now caused her, Catherine climbed into her bed trying not to disturb her apparently still soundly sleeping colleague. When she heard a sleepy voice murmur, "Cath?" she realized she'd been unsuccessful.  

Whispering a contrite apology she rolled over to address the brunette. Sara's eyes were heavy as she offered up a smile as she asked, "Hey! What time is it?"  

Catherine answered with a matching smile, "Still early, Gil let me come home. Go back to sleep, Linds'll be in soon enough now. I'll grab a few hours and be up around noon. OK?"  

Sara nodded and watched the older woman snuggle down into the covers and close her eyes. Immediately drifting back to sleep she was startled by a quiet entreaty from Catherine, "Sara, you still awake?"  


"In case I forget in the bustle later, thank you," whispered Catherine.  

To Sara's astonishment, the blonde rolled up onto her elbow, leaned over and gave the younger woman a soft kiss on her mouth. The next thing she knew Catherine's breathing had settled into a deep slumber; Sara however was now fully awake. Her mind in a turmoil from one sweet innocent kiss and her lips burning from the contact her mind raged with visions of the past six month period.  



“Catherine? It's Sara, I need you to come over to my place, please.”  

The request surprised Catherine immensely; Sara Sidle had never invited the older CSI to her home before. Her immediate thought was that there must be something really wrong and she reacted sharper than she had intended. “Sara, what's wrong? Is it Gil?”  

The answer surprised Catherine even more, “No, it's not Gil! *I* need *you*. Look, I know we're not friends but we are colleagues and right now, I don't have any female friends and I really feel like talking to another woman, I've done something stupid, had too much to drink and tried driving, and I just thought… “ Sara's voice trailed off at her admission and Catherine could hear the hurt that Sara was feeling.  

As Sara's breath hitched with the whispered, “Oh, look, just forget it, huh,” Catherine's mind kicked into gear.  

“No, Sara. I'm sorry; of course I'll come over. It was just… never mind, it doesn't matter, I'm on my way now.” Catherine suddenly chuckled as she remembered something important, “Hey Sara! I would be if I knew where you lived. Where the hell are you?”  

The ice broken, Sara gave her address and directions and waited for her colleague to arrive.  



"Sara? It's Catherine, I need you to come over to my place, please?"  

Sara Sidle was shocked at the voice and the request, although making attempts at getting to know each other better; the two women were still nowhere near being friends. It had been 8 weeks since Sara's approach to Catherine after her DUI incident, and the two had shared maybe three nights out in that time. Sara could not fault the help she had been given by Catherine but she still thought there was something holding Cath back from having a full friendship with her. Her surprise at the phone call seemed to still her tongue.  

"Sara? Are you there?"  

A for some unknown reason nervous Sara replied, "Yeah Cat, I'm here, what's up?" The shortened version of Catherine's name, the one the older woman didn't particularly like, slipped out without thought.  

"I've just caught that bastard Chris in flagrante with some young bimbo and... Oh jeez, Sar, I feel so used." Neither woman commented on the shortened version of Sara's name that was thrown so casually into Catherine's words either.  

Hearing Catherine's breath hitch with a barely concealed sob, Sara's heart melted; Catherine needed her and she was going to be there. Chuckling at the similarities between this conversation and the one of 8 weeks earlier, she joked, "Hey Catherine, I'm on my way now, if only I knew where you lived."  

Accepting the joke for what it was, an attempt to lighten her mood, Catherine shared in with the laughter. She gave Sara directions and hung up to prepare some coffee while she waited.  



"Hey Catherine. I think you need to come around to my place sometime soon."  

Catherine heard the quiet worry in Sara's voice. Over the last few weeks, since the departure of Chris Bezich from her life, Sara and Catherine had spent many a night in quiet contemplation and discussion. It still amazed Catherine how their friendship, so long denied, had quickly developed into something important to them both. The friendship had reached the point when they had actually begun to read each others moods and gestures, so detecting worry in the quiet voice was an easy thing to do.  

"Sara? What's wrong? Aren't you supposed to be going to your meeting tonight? Shall I..."  

The younger CSI interrupted, "Yeah, I was, but... um... Lindsey just appeared on my doorstep and I think you should come over, " she stammered.  

"My Lindsey? Why?"  

"She's ok Cat, honestly, she's just a little upset and needed someone else to talk to. She wants *you* now Cat, just come ok?"  

Catherine left immediately and was relieved to find her young daughter, growing so rapidly into a precocious young woman, drinking hot chocolate and in deep conversation with an obviously enchanted Sara Sidle.  



"Hey! What are you doing? I really need to bend your ear, can you come over a little earlier?" asked the instantly recognizable voice of Catherine Willows.  

Sara smiled; she was on her way over to Catherine's later that day anyway, so what was the big rush. "I can be there in 20, what's wrong? You sound a little upset."  

"It's nothing really, just me being silly. I'll tell you all when you get here, I'll have the coffee on, just like you like it, " soothed the older CSI.  

Driving over Sara thought on the still growing friendship they now shared. Lindsey's little trip to Sara's house had cemented the friendship further as Sara and Lindsey had hit it off immediately and also become firm friends. It appeared that Lindsey just needed the comfort of an older woman other than her mom and her aunt. Those two were too close, while Sara was just enough on the outside to be influential.  

Catherine for her part had been impressed with Sara's instant grasp of the situation and appreciated immensely the calming influence the younger CSI had had on her daughter. Lindsey Willows was fast becoming the star Math student at Las Vegas High.  

As soon as Sara walked through the door that morning she realized that Catherine was very upset over something. It appeared she had been called into Gil's office during the previous shift and been informed unceremoniously that she was working the Christmas Eve night shift and there was to be no argument.  

Sara waited for the angry words; she knew that she was part of the problem. A condition of her return to work with no penalty those months before was that she had the next 12 months public holidays as leave, no argument and no extra duties.  

The angry words never came, Catherine understood that Sara had to be on leave; she also understood that Warrick needed to spend the vacation with his family. What she didn't understand was that Gil would not even consider calling in a favor from Ecklie's day shift. That man and his uncompromising position on his opposite number of day shift drove her crazy and Sara was feeling her wrath.  

"I know he's a friend of yours, Sar, and he's one of my dearest friends but sometimes... sometimes... he just..." Catherine almost screamed. Flopping down next to Sara on the couch she softened her voice a little, "I'm sorry, hon, it's just this will be the first Christmas Eve I've spent away from Lindsey and you know the problems I've had these last few months, I just wanted Christmas to be perfect. As it is, Nancy's going to her in-laws, so Lindsey will more than likely have to stop over with old Mrs. Witherspoon next door. What a Christmas for her, huh?"  

Putting a soothing hand on her friend's thigh and caressing slowly, Sara tried to calm Catherine down. "Hey Cath! Just ignore me if it's a stupid idea but how about I have Lindsey for the night. I could stay here overnight, then while you have a few hours sleep I could prepare the food and then, maybe, we could invite the guys over and make a party of things."  

Stunned Catherine could only stare at the somewhat excited young woman by her side.  

Sara shrugged, "What?"  

"Don't you want to spend Christmas with your family, your friends, I don't know, with Gil?"  

Sara groaned, "Leave off about Gil, ok? I thought you knew by now that that infatuation was a mistake. I like him; he's a friend, but I don't want him like that. Anyway, you and Lindsey are my friends now." Then in a quiet voice she added, "You and Lindsey are my family."  

Still amazed at the gesture Catherine shivered at the quiet truth in Sara's words. Turning to her friend she pulled her in to a hug and whispered, "And you're part of our family too. If you're sure, that would be perfect. I'm sure Lindsey would much prefer to spend her time with you than Mrs Witherspoon."  

Pulling back from the hug the blonde CSI added, with a twinkle in her eye, "To tell the truth, hon, *I'd* rather come home to you than Mrs. Witherspoon Christmas morning. Thank you."  


Suddenly a small hand shaking her shoulder interrupted Sara's quiet musings. "Sara, he's been. My stocking's full. How'd he know we put that small stocking on my bed, huh? Can we get up? Please, Sara, please."  

Quietly chuckling, it seemed even "young ladies" got excited about Santa Claus, Sara put a finger to her lips and whispered, "Shush, your Mom's sleeping. Let's go downstairs and make some pancakes then we can have a look what else Santa's brought, yeah?"  

The two excited females, one adult and one child, crept out of Catherine Willows' bedroom and left her sleeping soundly.  

A few hours later, after spending a wonderful morning together, opening the small stocking full of presents especially from Sara to Lindsey, and preparing a corresponding one for Catherine, Lindsey crept up to put the stocking on her mom's bed while Sara loaded the dishwasher.  

On Lindsey's return, Sara began to prepare Christmas dinner with the able help of Lindsey. While they worked they danced and sang to the new CD Lindsey had found in her stocking; a CD that Sara had wanted to buy but had never dared until having Lindsey as an excuse.  

The unusual sound of two female voices singing "Sk8er Boy" by Avril Lavigne was the welcome Catherine received on first waking. Taking a few minutes to gather her wits about her, she listened joyfully to the sounds of happiness coming from her kitchen. Sara's offer of help had been a welcome one, but at this moment in time, as she listened to her daughter's laughter, Sara Sidle was the most important person in Catherine Willows' life. Anybody that gave her daughter that much happiness was worth keeping around. Smiling, she rolled out of bed ready to help get everything ready for the "family" get-together.  

At the bottom of her bed was a stocking full of small presents. She took a moment to finger the top couple of gifts, one from Lindsey and one from Sara; for the first time in months she felt truly loved. Shrugging her shoulders at that recognition, she washed and dressed before heading downstairs to greet her benefactors.  

"Is it enough? Is it enough to die? Somebody save my life I'd rather be anything but ordinary please"  

At the kitchen door she watched Sara and Lindsey play-acting a duet of "Anything but Ordinary" and pondered how appropriate the words were to this situation in so many ways. The thought that here were her two girls surprised her enough to stay her immediate entry; why on earth did she think that Sara was *her girl*? Catherine Willows, normally so in control of her thoughts and feelings, was shocked at the direction her mind was leading her; Sara Sidle was becoming very important in the life of Catherine and Lindsey Willows.  

As the two singers finished their song with a grand flourish they both noticed Catherine watching bemusedly from the doorway. Lindsey ran to her mother with a hug and a kiss, while Sara offered up a shy, "Hey Cath. How'd you sleep? We didn't wake you, did we?"  

Catherine laughed out loud, "No, you didn't wake me. I'm fine." Kissing Lindsey she wished her a merry Christmas then turned to Sara and held her arms out, saying, "C'm'ere."  

Nervously, Sara obliged, and the two colleagues shared a slightly awkward hug. Wishing each other a merry Christmas they pulled apart and shared pleased smiles.  

The next few hours passed quickly and enjoyably. Dinner was prepared and cooking, and presents had been shared and opened. The two women had surprised each other with the quality of their gifts to each other. It seemed their growing friendship had been enlightening as well as increasing in depth.  

Catherine had heard enough from Sara to realize that, although she claimed to have no desire to return to California, she did however miss the closeness to the ocean and had found a beautiful Conch shell to give the young woman. Sara was entranced by it's beauty and had tried to convince a skeptical Lindsey that the sound you could hear when it was placed against the ear was indeed the rolling waves of the Pacific ocean.  

The blonde had also heard when Sara had let drop that she now saw Catherine and Lindsey as family. She'd arranged to have a photograph of the three of them blown up just for Lindsey to wrap; it matched perfectly the Conch shell from Catherine. The girl had prepared the parcel herself and had carefully written on the back of the picture 'Welcome to our family'. Catherine didn't miss the tears that had formed in Sara's eyes, nor did Lindsey, who gave Sara one of her special hugs in reply.  

For her part Sara had heard enough from Catherine to know that she adored silk and had a penchant for collecting silk scarves. She had scoured the mall to find one that matched perfectly the color of Catherine's eyes and was rewarded by the blonde wrapping it around her neck immediately.  

While at the mall she had spotted a pair of black leather pants in Lindsey's size and had taken a chance on buying them for her young friend, half afraid that Cath would think they were too mature for her daughter. Lindsey, of course, adored them and Catherine had made a point of expressing her pleasure at the choice, knowing full well that Sara would have worried about her reaction, but knowing deep down that her daughter was growing and was being influenced positively by her relationship with Sara.  

Sara's last present was a carefully chosen speaking picture frame that she gave jointly to Catherine and Lindsey. On it she had recorded a joint message, "To my new family, thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful Christmas day. I love you both." The Willows women were both moved to share tears and hugs with Sara. The similarity of the two picture frame gifts registered with the two adults as they both realized this was the start of a special relationship.  

The emotion of the present giving behind them the threesome were now watching some old Christmas movie while waiting for their guests. This time it was Sara who took a moment to look over the two people who had quickly come to mean more to her than she had thought possible. When she had whispered that Catherine and Lindsey were "her family" she hadn't been joking, they were. Although getting on with her parents she didn't have a close relationship with her own family and it had been a while since she had been home to California, and Catherine and Lindsey had crept their way into her heart and into her life. Glancing at Catherine, sitting close to Lindsey and gently stroking her hair, Sara had a sudden impulse to move across and steal a caress of her own. She didn't, but quietly acknowledged a growing attraction to the older women.  

After that personal revelation Sara excused herself to change ready for the party. She came downstairs in her chosen outfit of black leather pants and white silk Oxford shirt to be met by the appreciative gaze of one Catherine Willows. It was the younger Lindsey who voiced her mother's opinion when she said, "Sara, you look gorgeous."  

Blushing, Sara's face reddened even more when Catherine brushed by on her way to change and whispered hoarsely in the brunette's ear, "She's right, Sar, you look gorgeous."  

Catherine groaned as she changed for dinner, how could she have been so stupid as to flirt with the younger woman, it must have been the Christmas aperitif talking. She dressed in her trusty black dress then made a conscious decision, taking a leaf out of her own book of the philosophy of life "never doubt, never look back", she decided to wear a lace garter and stockings rather than her pantyhose. Chuckling, she smoothed down the black dress and gave her appearance a satisfied once over, it was Christmas Goddamnit, a little healthy flirting with Sara Sidle was something friends could do. If it worked, she would be happy; if it didn't, she would be happy, so what the hell.  

The gasp that escaped Sara's lips on her entrance back into the family room was immediate payback on the decision. It was going to be a good evening.  


The arrival of the guys and the eating of a wonderful Turkey and Vegetarian feast put any flirting on a hold for a time, but it all started again in earnest as the party started properly.  

Throughout the evening Catherine would walk beside Sara and touch her casually while requesting a hand to fetch snacks or drinks, or occasionally just for the pleasure of feeling Sara twitch at the gentle touch. Once Sara tried to pay Catherine back for the teasing, leaning over her shoulder as she talked with Greg about his progress in the field, blowing in her ear before asking for more peanuts. However, seeing the sly grin Greg offered her, she managed to spoil the tease by blushing to her roots, earning a chuckle from the older CSI.  

As the evening wore on, Lindsey organized her "family" into dancing to the playing music. The young girl cornered each one of their guests for a dance; her mom's colleagues were her friends and this was one of the best Christmases she had had in a while. Dancing with Sara, Lindsey suggested that the brunette women should ask her mom to dance, implying she had seen the teasing and that this would be a good way of surprising the older woman.  

Sara took a glance around the room and saw that Catherine was dancing with the recently arrived Jim Brass, smiling she winked to Lindsey, then walked over and tapped Catherine on the shoulder, asking for an excuse me with Jim. As Catherine pulled away, Sara poked her tongue out at Lindsey, while murmuring towards the blonde, "Later."  

Glancing back over her shoulder, Catherine Willows smiled enticingly and answered throatily, "You can count on it, Sidle," before taking her daughter's hand and twirling her around in joy.  

Sara took the opportunity of sharing the floor with Jim to finally thank him for his help and concern over her drinking problem and her subsequent DUI. He had been discretely working as her supporter in the counseling sessions arranged through work. Sara had approached him at Cath's suggestion, the older CSI knowing of Jim's own problems with the demon booze, and his knowledge had been a Godsend.  

With Jim's help she had realized that she could make one drink suffice throughout any social event she attended. While her stronger friendships meant she no longer turned to a bottle as soon as she walked through her apartment door; now when under duress she picked up the phone and talked with one of her support group. Sara knew she was nowhere near being a drunk but had accepted that she had been drinking to excess, the help from Jim, Catherine, Lindsey and Gil meant she now had other interests and outlets for her frustration. Drink was no longer her only crutch.  

Catherine watched the dancing couple with interest. Her long-standing friendship with Jim Brass meant she could read his mood and his mannerisms quite well; she could see that Jim was pleased with the words Sara was saying to him. The astute CSI gathered that her young friend was showing her older friend the appreciation he deserved.  

She smiled and hugged Lindsey tighter to her, bending over to whisper her own thanks into her daughter's ear. Sometimes it was important to let the ones you care about know without there being a specific reason for it. The shy grin from her daughter showed that her words had been accepted for what they were; the love of a mom for her child.  

Watching Sara dance with Gil another smile flitted across her features. Her dear friend Grissom was so awkward in situations like this and yet he never shirked his friendships with his respected colleagues. Catherine knew that Gil didn't show emotion and love freely, his personality didn't allow it, but she also knew that he felt the emotion and love within him and when necessary offered it in his own inimitable way.  

After a few more dancing partner exchanges, Catherine gravitated towards Sara now dancing with Greg. Tapping the young man on his shoulder, she nodded to Sara and said, "Can I steal Sara away from you Greg? It's my turn." Laughing Greg passed Sara's hand into Catherine's and turned away to grab Lindsey up into a bear hug.  

After a moment's awkwardness sharing a rapt look, Catherine murmured, "It's later Sidle, shall we?"  

The ice broken the two women danced close but not really touching, leaning forward to whisper words above the noise of music and chatter. Gradually, their bodies migrated toward each other and Sara grasped the smaller woman's upper arms gently as Catherine laced her fingers behind Sara's back. Dancing like that the two women offered up mutual words of appreciation and thanks for a wonderful Christmas day that was slowly coming to an end.  

Minutes of quiet togetherness were shattered by the sounds of departure from their colleagues: Gil, Jim and Greg back to work, Nick back to his girl's family. Pulling Sara to her, Catherine kissed her friend on the cheek and whispered quietly in her ear, "You are staying the night again, aren't you?"  

The shiver that went through Sara's body at the whispered plea shocked her to the core in more ways than one. She had to admit she was exhausted and pleasantly buzzed from the intoxication of the company but she could have sworn Catherine's voice held a hint of a "come-on". Pushing that thought immediately to the back of her mind where she thought it belonged she managed to whisper a quiet, "Please."  

Once their guests had all departed the two Willows women and Sara quickly loaded the dishwasher while preparing three hot chocolates, deciding to leave the major clean-up operation 'til the next day. Sitting quietly together on the couch, the two adults listened to Lindsey's excited chatter, before Catherine made the decision that it was time for her daughter's bed.  

"Aww Mom. Let me stay a little longer," groaned the exhausted Lindsey, like all children wanting the day to last forever.  

Smiling, Catherine looked to Sara, almost asleep on the couch. "Come on Linds, look at Sara she's ready for sleep too, and I'm pretty tired after last night's shift. Go on up, we won't be long behind you. I promise we'll come say goodnight, now go on." She hugged her daughter, whispering, "Love you, hon," and receiving the same in reply.  

As Lindsey walked by Sara she bent over to offer a hug and a kiss, saying, "Love you, Sar, see you in the morning."  

"Count on it, kiddo."  

Sara grinned; she was loved.  

Within minutes, Sara excused herself and followed Lindsey up to bed. Catherine called in to see that her daughter had succumbed to her exhaustion immediately. Retreating back downstairs she closed her home down for the night, and after one last glance back into the living room, she gave a satisfied smile, switched off the lights and followed.  


Once again Catherine entered her bedroom to see the long, sleek form of Sara ensconced in her bed. Smiling at the connotations that simple vision threw up she gently admonished herself, blaming it on the closeness she had felt to the brunette all day and to the numerous glasses of wine she had drunk that day. Not at all drunk, she was buzzed enough to know her normal control of her emotions had been lowered and that, today of all days, she had finally acknowledged to herself at least, that some of the tension she had felt when around Sara was the result of a deeply hidden attraction.  

Lost in thought she failed to see that Sara was awake and that the ebony eyes were staring at the undressing blonde. Suddenly, a soft voice penetrated her consciousness.  

“Cat? Don't…”  

Startled out of her reverie, Catherine didn't understand the request. “Don't what?” she asked, glancing up to see Sara blushing slightly.  

“Um… don't take those off,” mumbled the brunette as her blush rose from her bare shoulders to the crown of her forehead. Embarrassed and not really knowing from where in her consciousness the request has come from she looked away from the questioning blue eyes. Sara knew she had felt happier today than at any other time in her life; she and Catherine had shared some lovely sub-textual moments throughout the day. Yet, to openly request that Catherine kept her albeit very sexy underwear on to share a bed was beyond anything the normally strong willed Sara had ever done before.  

Surprised, Catherine looked at just where her hands were, about to roll down her silk stockings. "Sara?" enunciating the name firmly Catherine got Sara to look at her; blue eyes locked with sleepy brown. The quiet, earnest, pleading look in dark ebony eyes answered her unasked question better than any words could have. The older woman smiled indulgently and reattached her stockings to her garter before approaching her bed slowly. If she was to wear her stockings it seemed ridiculous to adorn boxers and vest, so she climbed into bed beside the now silent Sara in just her lingerie.  

Settling down into the mattress Catherine felt a gentle hand run up her outer thigh, the caress so soft it was barely recognizable as a touch. Almost asleep, Sara sighed and then murmured a soft, “Thank you, Cat.”  

Rolling over to face Sara, Catherine was intent on addressing the request.  However, she was met by the sight of an already sleeping Sara; the rigor of spending a full day with a child finally taking its toll on the younger woman. Chuckling to herself Catherine lifted her hand to brush sleek hair back from pale features and whispered, “Goodnight Sidle.” Falling back onto her pillows, tonight it was Catherine's turn to find no sleep. Eventually, after a few soul-searching minutes looking at the apparent changes in her relationship with the younger CSI, Catherine fell asleep to the thought that tomorrow morning couldn't come soon enough.  


Hours later Catherine was woken by a soft hand once again caressing her outer thigh. Slowly coming to the blonde realized her thigh was now resting, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, across Sara's abdomen. Glancing at the clock she saw that it was only 4am and looked up nervously into dark eyes nearly black with something that enticed Catherine's body up to face Sara eye-to-eye. Leaning forward she pressed her lips lightly to Sara's and then almost imperceptibly moved them into a kiss shape. Before Sara could respond in any way, Catherine whispered, "Why Sara?"  


Putting her hand lightly over Sara's still caressing hand she repeated, "Why Sara?" and then quickly added, "but don't stop, please."  

With her free hand Sara traced the older women's soft lips and leaned in to steal a deeper kiss before answering softly, "Because it's a long time since I've woken to the feel of silk against my body." Then, gently tracing her tongue across Catherine's lower lip, she added, "And a long time since I've wanted someone enough to ask."  

Hearing the words Sara had whispered but deciding to lighten the mood rather than take a serious turn Catherine teased, "Oh, so you've done this sort of thing before Sidle?"  

"Done what, my dear Cath?"  

"Seduced a woman in her own bed."  

Laughing out loud Sara blushed a little but answered seriously, "That's what I'm doing, huh? Hmmm, well for your information, I have *never* seduced a woman in her own bed." Looking at Catherine she winked, then continued, "*But* I have been seduced by an older woman in her own bed."  

Joining in with the laughter Catherine teased some more, "Ah, do tell me more, I might need some pointers."  

Staring into the clear blue eyes Sara was mesmerized by the open look of adoration she saw. It was a look she had never dreamt she'd see, but it was a look she now realized she wanted to see more than anything. If this conversation was leading where it appeared to be the younger woman decided that she wanted it to be more than some office party quick-fuck and for that she needed to be as truthful as possible.  

At Catherine's muttered bequest the brunette gathered she had been silent too long. Locking eyes with the woman that had stolen her heart without her realizing it, she began: "Um... I was 24, Martha was 34 and my mentor in my first ever CSI post. Let's just say she was gorgeous and she taught this girl all she had to know. She put me right on my first mistake, that I was searching for the perfect man, and by the time that summer was out, I knew more than anything I was really searching for the perfect woman."  

Sara halted a moment to watch Catherine's face. The older woman was just looking back with deep interest and nodded her head as if to say, 'Go on'. "When she left me at the end of that summer I was heartbroken, but at that time I was much to immature for her. From then on, whenever I was lonely I'd wish I was still with her, safe in her arms and loved. But I'll tell you this Cath, since we became friends, I'm not lonely anymore."  

"She was the first and only person I've ever truly loved," whispered Sara. "Until now that is," she added so quickly that Catherine almost didn't hear, before dropping her eyes away from Catherine's intent stare.  

The blonde jumped at the whispered words, "What did you say, Sara?"  

"Until now, Cath. I don't know how, I don't know why, but somehow I've fallen in love with you, and I damn well like it."  

Catherine was stunned into silence. She'd realized that the attraction she had been feeling all day was mutual but to hear such a heartfelt confession of more than attraction from Sara had knocked her for a loop; just what did *she* feel for Sara?"  

In the background she heard a whispered plea from the brunette, "Catherine? Say something please."  

The older woman decided instantly that all she could do was to be honest: "I love having you in my life, I love having you in Lindsey's life, in fact I can't imagine a day without you in it. To be honest, I *don't* want to have a day without you in it and, right now at this moment in time..." she reached over and traced a gentle finger from Sara's cheek down her arm to entwine their fingers together, squeezing softly, "... I can't think of anything that I would rather be doing than making love with you. But, and there has to be a but, because I want you to know all of me and I want to be honest with you, I can't honestly say whether I'm in love with you."  

She halted a moment to share a nervous smile with Sara. All she could see was a look of wondrous contentment and the glistening of unshed tears in bright ebony eyes, above a glorious wide grin. Still being honest Catherine pulled their entwined hands to her lips and murmured, "I love you, Sar. If that's enough for you I want this, right here, right now."  

The older woman's words had been more than enough for Sara. She might not have admitted to being in love with the brunette but the honesty in Catherine's voice had warmed Sara more than any bespoke declaration of undying love; Catherine Willows loved her enough to be with her and that could only be good.  

Rolling over to lay her body gently atop Catherine's letting her weight rest comfortably, Sara whispered in the blonde's ear, "More than enough, my Cat, more than enough."  

No more was said as their lips finally met in a frenzied kiss. Breaking the kiss, Sara began to press butterfly kisses down Catherine's neck and across her shoulders, fitting her long body between the still silk clad legs of the smaller woman. Her body sealing itself against Catherine's, Sara murmured, “Tell me to stop at any time, I love you.”  

After all the shocks and emotional upheavals of the past few months, Catherine, and Sara for that matter, needed to be touched and reassured that she was beautiful. They both needed to feel cherished, and as Sara drank in her lover's throat, any worries about finally making love faded.  

Catherine pulled Sara's head back to her lips, offering her desire as her tongue demanded entry into Sara's mouth. Time stood still as the two ladies discovered a sexual connection like nothing either had felt before.  

Never taking her eyes from Catherine's, Sara raised up and knelt to one side. Smiling she began to remove her vest, exposing her breasts to the blonde's stare. The smaller woman gasped and gently reached out to caress the small perfectly shaped breasts. Sara began to nip and suckle at each area of skin exposed to her gaze. Her eyes glistened with adoration as her gentle fingers stroked up the length of Cath's stocking clad legs and came to rest on her bare midriff. She leaned over and kissed Catherine chastely, whispering "perfection" imperceptibly between them. Catherine shivered at the feeling the word brought.  

Sara climbed back on top of Catherine resting astride one of Catherine's strong thighs. She held her body away from Catherine's while she mapped out every crease and every inch of the smaller woman's body. The brunette's lips were unpredictable in where they caressed and where they paused, taking her time to heighten the sensation between them carefully.  

Catherine was astounded at the sensation she was feeling and watched intently as Sara worked her magic. Sara's mouth became devouring, her teeth pulling at Catherine's flesh hard, nipping enough to cause gentle glowing marks. Although Catherine had barely touched her, the feel of Catherine under her was pushing Sara into a frenzy of desire.  

As if Catherine realized her passivity, she suddenly began to thrust back with her own bites and nips. Pushing Sara upwards slightly, she took the younger woman's taunt nipple into her mouth, sucking hard and long, before gentling to lave the tip with her warm breath. Swapping backwards and forwards between the two nipples, she allowed her hand to drift downwards to rest between Sara's strong thighs.  

The wetness she encountered caused a tremor to course through her highly sensitized torso right down to the apex of her own thighs. The blonde couldn't stop the groan that escaped her throat and the sound seemed to spur the younger woman into action once again.  

Carefully taking Catherine's hands away from her center, she placed them above the blonde's head and mimicked for her to leave them there. A smile graced the face of her older lover as she nodded slightly that she'd understood. Catherine gasped once more as Sara moved downwards till her head rested between Catherine's thighs and her breath felt surprisingly warm on the hair between Catherine's legs.  

The brunette woman reverently stroked up each silk covered leg and with a gentle kiss to each inner thigh she placed Catherine's legs over her shoulders. Blowing gently on the exposed treat before her eyes Sara heard and felt the hitch in Catherine's upper body.  

The warmth and pressure from Sara's tongue quickly brought Catherine's body to a state hovering on orgasm. Hoarsely she pleaded with her young lover to tip her over the edge and nearly fell as strong fingers entered her for the first time. The slow rhythm from Sara's thrusts alternated with soft licks over her throbbing clitoris held Catherine tantalizingly on the brink. Driving her hips to Sara's rhythm, Catherine felt the moment her crest approached and graced Sara with the gasping of her name.  

Sara felt the tightening in Catherine's pelvis and slowed her fingers slightly to allow her tongue to stroke more firmly. As Catherine's juices spilled free, Sara twisted her fingers once more and was rewarded by the closing of Catherine's legs around her ears, squeezing and shuddering violently. The feel of the silk stockings and the whispered incantations from her lover pushed Sara very near to her own release.  

Climbing back up Catherine's sleek body she offered her moist lips to the waiting blonde. Sharing a deep, relaxed kiss, the two lovers smiled at each other. Her heart rate settling a little, Catherine raised an inquisitive eye to Sara. Sara smiled again and settled her pelvis over Catherine's strong thigh once more.  

Locking eyes with her woman she whispered, "May I?  

Truth be told she didn't feel that she had the strength left to reply in kind and so Catherine offered up a grin and a cheeky reply, "Be my guest, hon."  

Sara's already slick center and the delicious friction caused by Cath's stockings allowed the rapidly moving Sara to approach her release rather quicker than she had wanted. Her gaze still locked with Catherine's she groaned her appreciation at the extra pressure afforded by Catherine raising her knee slightly. As Catherine raised up to suckle on Sara's hanging breasts her zenith was reached and with one slow glide up the strong thigh she soared to a height she hadn't reached before.  

Riding the waves of pleasure with shorter thrusts on Cath's knee, Sara eventually collapsed bonelessly on the smaller woman. Catherine wrapped her legs around the strong body on top of her and stroked the sleek brown hair with still trembling fingers.  

Satiated beyond compare the two women both began to drift off into a sleep. Jerking awake slightly Catherine whispered, "I do love you, Sidle. Thank you for asking me to keep my stockings on, that was... well you know what I mean."  

Chuckling Sara replied, "Yeah, I know what you mean. Told you Martha had taught me well."  

Drowsily feigning hurt at Sara's words, Catherine kissed her lover deeply then smiled at Sara's earnest answer, "She might have taught me well, Cath, but I'm no longer looking for my perfect woman; I've found her."  

The two women slept, Christmas day finally over.  

The End.