Title: Looking In
Author: Pink Rabbit Productions
Feedback: Always appreciated. Please drop me a line at pinkrabbit@altfic.com
Disclaimer: It all belongs to others.
Author's notes: This is just a silly little throwaway piece. I originally intended to do a series of views onto much the same scene by different characters, but it just never happened. I ran across the first one some months ago and realized I kind of like it, especially since ...well...it's set during happier times. The ending sucks since it's kind of tacked on, but I thought y'all might enjoy.

Looking In
by Pink Rabbit Productions

He didn't trust her, didn't dislike her, though was ready to on a moment's notice, and he in no way believed a word she said. In point of fact, he was comfortably certain that Erica was right, and she was Michael Cambias' spy inside Enchantment. So, why was it Boyd Larrabie found himself touched in spite of his best instincts as he caught sight of the scene on Myrtle Fargate's sitting room couch? He shook his head slowly, eyes sliding over the sleek line of the two bodies tangled together in the soft cushions, Bianca's head pillowed on Lena's chest, nosed into the elegant curve of her neck, one arm thrown across her midsection, while Lena stroked the hand on her stomach with the very tips of her fingers, her other arm wrapped around Bianca, fingers tenderly stroking glossy brown hair. By the look of it, Bianca was either asleep or nearly so while Lena's eyes were closed, her head pillowed on the arm of the couch, the hand petting Bianca's hair moving lazily to toy with the silky strands. She stirred ever so slightly, and he pulled back, not wanting to be seen, at least not now. Then, as he watched from the shadows on the stairs, Lena turned her head to press the softest of kisses to the younger woman's temple, tenderly nuzzling into her hair. Bianca never moved, and Lena pulled back ever so slightly, just staring down at the woman plastered against her side, her fingers continuing to sift slowly through her hair. In that moment, Boyd almost surrendered his total distrust of the Polish woman. Every line of her expression was naked with emotion that bordered on pure adoration. Her lips brushed Bianca's temple again, then fluttered along the line of her brow.

Boyd didn't want to be touched, but in spite of his suspicions, he was. Hard to believe anyone could fake that degree of caring, but more than that, it was hard to see why anyone would bother. Bianca was asleep and as far as Lena knew they were alone. He immediately questioned that supposition. Might she have heard him on the stairs? Was it an act for his edification. She had to know he was suspicious of her motives. Unable to deal with the problem with everything going on with Jackson, Erica had confided in him, trusting him to keep an eye on the two, and he knew he wasn’t what anyone would call a talented liar. If Lena was paying attention---and instinct told him she noticed everything---then she had to have realized he didn’t trust her an inch. Still, she showed no sign of being aware of his presence. And if she wasn’t, what did what he was seeing mean? Was it possible she really did care for Bianca?

Even if she was working for Cambias?

Then suddenly, as if sensing that thought, her head jerked up, expression hardening in an instant, something fiercely protective flashing in eyes that were so deep a shade of brown that a body could fall into them and drown. A beat, and then she clearly recognized him, leaving him with the distinct sense that for just a second she'd been terrified it was someone else---someone she'd been ready to fight tooth and claw if need be. Her expression cleared in a blink, the furious look draining away to be replaced by something cautiously blank, the change so quick it left him wondering if he'd imagined the momentary aura of danger that swirled around her. Then her gaze broke from his, dropping to touch on the woman ensconced in her arms.

And was Bianca safe in those arms?

Boyd wished he knew.

Bianca was his friend. He'd do anything he could to protect her, but she'd stubbornly refused to consider any possibility that Lena was anything other than what she seemed. And with Jackson shot and hospitalized, Boyd had to admit the woman had been very supportive, seeming to do everything in her power to take care of Bianca, dragging her out of the hospital, sitting with her by the hour, making sure she ate, and sometimes just holding her when she couldn't hold back frightened tears any longer. It left him uncertain what to think, as though he was dealing with two different people, one velvet soft, the other diamond hard, but he never knew which one she was going to be at any given moment. She was human quicksilver, ever changing to fit whatever circumstance she found herself in. Only with Bianca did she seem to shed that perfect image, the emotion in her eyes whenever she looked at the younger woman seeming far too intense to be nothing more than an act.

Then again, perhaps she simply adopted a more perfect mask, the ideal friend and lover.

And then she looked up again, her eyes meeting his, her expression guarded, yet there was something there, so subtle he almost missed it, that looked suspiciously like fear, as though she sensed he was quietly moving against her to take away what she most wanted.

And was that money or the slender figure lying so peacefully in her arms?

She glanced down at Bianca, then back at him again, the softness that she couldn’t possibly hide touching Boyd in spite of himself. Staring at him, Lena continued to gently pet Bianca’s hair, her touch light and rhythmic.

Suddenly, she looked away again, ducking her head to stare down at the slender figure sprawled against her side, her fingers still slipping through dark hair. She pulled Bianca a little closer as though she sensed a threat to both of them looming somewhere in the darkness and was trying to protect the younger woman. Bianca stirred, and he heard her mumble softly, the words too low to be understood. Suddenly Lena’s expression transformed yet again, smoothing out in an instant and becoming younger and lighter...and utterly adoring. She offered the younger woman a smile, petting her hair tenderly and murmuring something that made Bianca snuggle closer and laugh softly.

In an instant, he’d been forgotten, he realized, whatever was between them too intense for anyone to distract either of them for long. If it was an act, it was the most perfect one he’d ever seen.

Boyd backed up a step. This was all wrong. He was intruding. He had no right to be here, not when they were like this, sharing something that he had no part in and staring into each other’s eyes with such naked emotion. He saw their lips touch, the kiss soft and quick, then heard a low murmur of voices, one very American, the other lower pitched and exotic. The words were lost, but the affection was inescapable.

Feeling like a complete and total utter heel, Boyd turned on his heel and moved quietly back up the stairs. Whatever the truth, he wouldn’t find it this way, and even though Erica would kill him for that thought, the truth of the matter was, Boyd Larraby sincerely hoped he was wrong in his suspicions about the Polish woman.

And if he wasn’t, well, there had to be a special level of hell to counter that elevated heaven they seemed to share.



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