Disclaimer: characters aren't mine.
A Birthday To Remember
Calleigh and Speed were quietly enjoying their break at the crime lab, sitting on opposite sides of the table when Speed suddenly broke the silence.
"What the heck is that?"
His question actually didn't surprise Calleigh because she had to admit that the fizzing noise coming from the container she held in her hand did sound weird to an observer.
The fizzing stopped when she had completely pulled the tinfoil that sealed the top of the plastic container.
She looked him in the eye then at the recipient and answered in a light tone: "It's Kefir - a fermented Russian drink."
Calleigh's eyes swept over the container to his comical facial expression. Speed just stared at her, blinking.
"It's a better source of energy than yogurt," she informed him cheerfully.
Speed leaned forward, resting his left forearm on the table and dipped his finger in the milky white substance. Bringing it up to his nose, he couldn't help but say, "Ugh, it smells like pizza dough and it looks like... like white Jell-o."
"That's because I haven't stirred it yet," she said still chirpy.
Delko came through the door, overhearing the last reply and his curiosity got the best of him: "You didn't stir what yet?" he muttered standing behind Calleigh, resting his hands on her shoulders. Looking down at her, he said, "Please tell me the coffee's okay - "
Calleigh smiled, batting eyelashes, while mixing her Kefir with a spoon. "Coffee's fine Eric." Delko nodded as he looked over at the coffee machine on the counter. He patted the top of her head lightly in a playful manner before moseying towards the counter.
"Hey, Eric, take a look at what Calleigh's eating –" Speed had to share this information.
Eric, completely worried about his life-support - also known as coffee - had failed to notice Calleigh's snack.
Speed stopped Eric in his steps and showed the other man his finger. "It's disgusting," Speed exclaimed, studying it himself, wondering how he'd get rid of the glob.
"Here," Calleigh took Tim's hand from across the table "I'm assuming you have clean hands-" Speed's reply was a nod and his jaw dropped in disbelief as she took his finger in her mouth.
Eric chuckled. "What are you doing to my bud, Cal?"
She rolled her eyes at the men's reactions, especially amused by Speed's overreaction. Joshing them a bit - because it was hard to resist - she smiled mischievously.
"Okay, let me see that," Eric took the cup from Calleigh's hand and read aloud: "Made with authentic Kefir grain from the Caucasian mountains-" He wavered a bit at her side then asked: "Can I have a taste?"
Calleigh dipped the spoon in the Kefir, which had taken a yogurt-like consistency. He lowered himself readily as she brought the spoon up to his mouth.
Eric's eyes widened, spoon in mouth, and Calleigh laughed at his response, retrieving it from between his lips.
"A treat for your taste buds, huh?" Pressing her lips together, she tried to hold back another laugh.
Eric swallowed, "It fizzes on your tongue."
Finishing a mouthful, Calleigh replied, holding her spoon up at him like a pen: "It's effervescence. You should know that Eric."
"It's actually not that bad - just surprising the first time." Eric turned to Speed who had gotten over a fellow CSI sucking his finger and was now at the counter drinking coffee. "You should try it, man."
"No, thank you." Speed winced, content with sipping coffee.
Eric walked over to the coffee machine and patted Speed on the back. "It's okay to be scared, man."
"I'm not." Speed replied swiftly, refusing to let the other man diminish his ego. Calleigh smiled at their regular everyday banter. Ignoring them, she, once again, dipped her spoon in her Kefir, savoring her energy lifeline.
"Then try it-" Eric pushed.
"Eric, I don't hafta try it. It's not like I'm on Fear Factor or anything."
Eric was quick with a comeback, "Fear Factor? C'mon man, they eat way worst things than that."
The room suddenly fell silent, Calleigh noticed, and she held her spoonful in mid air, eyes gliding over to the two men for an explanation to their arguing promptly dying.
The boys quietly continued to make use of their break and Calleigh had a distinct feeling that someone had come through the door behind her. Her instincts were right and she allowed herself to relax into the intruder's embrace.
She didn't move, but sighed as Horatio bent close to wrap his arms around her shoulders.
"Hey you," she said suavely.
Horatio kissed her cheek and took the hand she held the spoon with, leaning in, he cleared it with his mouth.
Speed, having seen this, asked, "You too, H?"
Horatio knew Speed was asking about the Kefir eating and answered: "I'm afraid so." He thought about the first time he tasted the darn thing. He was spending the weekend at Calleigh's and she didn't have much to eat. He was hungry so he went looking for something he could get his hands on. The fridge was his first stop for food and, really, he thought it was yogurt.
Speed shook his head and Eric snorted in amusement. The group all shared a laugh except Horatio who took the opportunity to sit on the side of the table alongside Calleigh and to gaze at her.
"What's up?" she asked observing his sunglasses hung around his neck, inside the open throat of his black dress shirt. He knew how to be irresistible and make a woman melt with desire.
"I thought of something for tonight-" he replied with feral eyes, waiting for her reaction.
"That's interesting," she played with her spoon, tapping it lightly on her bottom lip.
He allowed a tiny smile to make its way across his face. "You didn't think I'd forget your birthday, did you?" Tilted his head to the side, he smiled gently.
"Not even for a second," she drawled. Even Speed had remembered. He'd gotten her two CDs to listen to while processing evidence. Eric had asked a friend for a favor to let Calleigh have a helicopter ride. Alexx had given her a brown halter top saying that it would distract Horatio every time she wore it. Something about her hair gliding over her bare back, Alexx remarked. She'd told Calleigh once that Horatio always watched Calleigh leave. It was nothing vulgar, nothing inappropriate, just pure admiration for her hair. If fact, he'd told Calleigh that it was one of her best features. He put emphasis on the 'one' because he named the other things about her that made him fall madly for her.
"Good." He looked down taking a serious expression, "Listen, I'm gonna finish up early and I'd like you to join me at my place."
Calleigh nodded instantly and, lifting an eyebrow, she asked: "How do I dress?"
Horatio growled at the question.
Speed coughed, and he and Eric made their way towards the door. "Maybe we should leave you two alone," Speed muttered as he opened the door.
Eric looked back at Calleigh and Horatio and, suppressing a smile, said: "Yeah, you know, I just forgot I had to do something-"
Horatio and Calleigh locked eyes and smiled. The room was silent except for the swishing of air the door decompressed as it slowly closed. Calleigh watched from the corner of her eye and waited for the click before continuing: "I could put something skimpy under a coat." She smiled boldly.
"It's not *my* birthday, pumpkin," Horatio's eyes shined.
"No. I know that," she grazed his thigh "but I want you to enjoy it as much as I do."
He placed his hand over hers and said smoothly: "All that matters to me is your happiness."
Calleigh's cheeks flushed pink.
She placed her snack aside, stood and peered around. No one was around, so she whispered, "I'm sorry, Lieutenant, but it's just too darn tempting-"
Horatio didn't have time to respond - Calleigh's lips were already covering his with a passionate kiss. He was thankful for the table behind him to lean on because she was all over him. He desperately tried to hold back, but his hand willingly came and rested on her neck, fingers caressing the strands of hair falling from her soft chignon. Calleigh was surprised every time at how sweet he tasted... She pulled back, smiling at the smeared lipstick on Horatio's lips and took the opportunity to sensually wipe it off Horatio's mouth with her fingers.
"Calleigh, you know what I told you about that kind of behavior while we're on the clock-" Horatio tried to be serious, but he knew he'd lost control and was drunk on her.
"You were teasing," she replied easily, "I couldn't help it." Holding her palms out, arms slightly bent, she half shrugged.
"Teasing," he paused, both eyebrows up, taking a deep richer voice, "is all part of the game."
"Speaking of which, you haven't answered my question -" she informed.
"Surprise me, Calleigh," Horatio said huskily with a droll smile.
He brushed by and before exiting the break room, he turned and said: "Be there at eight and, by all means, *don't* be late."
"Hey, I'm back," Calleigh said loudly, throwing her keys on the side table.
She stood there in shock, unable to move as she heard soft music playing and noticed the dim lights. He had always been a hopeless romantic, but he always caught her off guard when it came to romance.
She unzipped her leather boots and left them aside along with her purse. Stepping softly on the familiar hardwood floor of Horatio's apartment, her nose picked up on the sweet smell of incense.
"Horatio," she called again, deciding to keep her coat on a little while longer.
"Calleigh, c'mere-"she heard him say and, following the sound, Calleigh came across a path of rose petals spread almost carelessly down the hall, but she knew better; there was nothing careless about Horatio's ways.
Her lips curled into a smile and she enquired eagerly: "Horatio, where are you?"
"Follow the trail, sweetheart."
The path of rose petals stopped at the bathroom door. Calleigh pushed the slightly ajar door and found Horatio in a suit and tie surrounded by candles placed on the counter, around the bathtub; everywhere there was room. It was still pretty dark, but Calleigh could distinctly see the gleam in Horatio's eyes.
"What in the world is going on here!" she exclaimed, happy to see him.
He took her hand and performed a well-practiced baise-main. Kneeling before her he held hands and said: "I've prepared an evening of pampering."
She grinned heavily, "What?" She couldn't believe he'd done all this.
He rose and kissed her cheek. "You heard me." He took a different tone of voice, "I'm gonna ask you to lie in here, ma'am." Holding her hand, he guided her towards the bathtub. "Just lay back and relax, I'll take care of everything."
"I won't say no to that-"
"Then I shall divest you of your jacket," he reached for her mid-thigh leather coat.
"Ah," she smiled, eyes twinkling, "okay."
The role Horatio was playing of a distinguished gentleman almost came to an abrupt halt when he caught a glimpse at what she was wearing under her jacket.
Even after a growl and his jaw being shut by Calleigh, Horatio never dropped his gaze. Calleigh, pointing to the material she wore, asked, "Will you help me with this, kind sir?" She did love to tease.
"Of course." Horatio's hands came around her and gently removed her laced trim babydoll.
"If I'd known that I was going to bathe, Lieutenant, I would have kept my hair up." She lopped her arms around his neck, completely unabashed by her nudity. Horatio's hands roamed up her bare back and fiddled with her hair. "It's fine." He swallowed the immediate response he would have given her because he knew if he'd let her know what she was doing to him, she'd use it against him.
Horatio cocked his head towards the tub and Calleigh gingerly slipped a leg in the hot water then the other and resting her hands on the porcelain at her sides, she slowly slid in. Folding her legs, she sank completely underwater. A second later, she emerged and foamy water surrounded her body just under her shoulders.
"You coming in, Handsome?"
"Nope," he smiled at her proposal, "this is for you." He quietly said to himself: "but I might need a bucket of cold water to keep me sane."
She laughed, having heard the comment.
He turned away to get two glasses of champagne and handed her one.
"Mmm," she said, fully enjoying the taste in her mouth, "What's next?" she asked gleefully.
"Now," he lifted an eyebrow, "the fun begins." He offered her his hand. "Give me your left foot."
Frowning, she hesitantly said okay. She hung her leg over the side of the bath while Horatio had his back turned. Calleigh tried to look around him to see what he was up to, but to no avail. When he veered back, he hunkered beside her and he massaged her foot and calf with the oil in his hands. Calleigh hummed delightfully. Little did she know that he'd knead her for hours until neither of them could contain their desire to make love.
She'd never forget those hands.
Looking up at the ceiling, Horatio breathed deeply. His hairline was damp. It's not that it was unusually warm for the end of February, but Calleigh liked having a soft comforter all year-round. He pulled a foot out from under the covers and placed his leg on top of the coverlet.
Eyes now open, he noticed the moonlight seeping through the drapes making bluish shadows across the room. His room. And Calleigh was beside him.
She moved around - aggravated by the heat, he figured. She'd told him she didn't mind the heat, but apparently it was his fault that she suffered from it. She had told him with an exuberant smile: "I'm fine when I'm alone." He chuckled: "By all means, make yourself at home. I'll claim vacancy on the couch." He smiled as he said it, loving her too much to be upset.
Calleigh woke up and checked the bedside clock. She was glad it was only 2:21 in the morning and exhaled deeply, thinking there was still plenty of time left before morning. The heat became unbearable so she sat up and pulled her camisole over her head.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" Horatio asked in a light tone. Calleigh jumped at the sound of a voice, not having noticed that he was awake, but she wasn't surprised to get a reaction out of him.
"Well," she took a brief pause preparing to express her thoughts. "To your irresistible manliness, for one, to my feminine intuition and, thirdly, to the intolerable heat-" she answered softly under her breath. She knew he had been right about it being uncomfortable to sleep two with a thick coverlet and he loved that she acknowledged that.
She finished her trail of thought saying: "I knew you would like it-" and ended her statement with a bright smile.
On second thought, he didn't care if it was hot. "I should say." He replied suavely.
Horatio took her in his arms, loving the feel of her skin against his.
"Calleigh," he said, softly.
He languorously brought his mouth towards her lips. Their breathing getting shallow, they exchanged a hot sultry kiss.