Author: Pink Rabbit Productions
Feedback: Always much appreciated firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: It all belongs to AMC and ABC, and I'm
thieving scum, but given how badly they've been screwing it up
lately, somebody might as well have fun with the characters. Oh,
and it's likely to feature all girl nookie, so if that's a
problem, just run away.
Author's Notes: This is wholly and completely
experimental. I don't know where it's going or even if it's
going. I've never tried fanfic for a soap before beyond a couple
of missing scene type things. Obviously this is AU, and I'm
considering playing with a lot of the same basic overall plot
points that they've used this summer, but mixing it up in a
completely different way. If I keep writing, I may well use the
rape, or I might not. I honestly don't know for certain. In
short, I'm just sort of dipping my toe in the water and seeing
what happens ... or maybe I'm just diving in. I don't know. I
have a bunch of ideas, and little if any idea which ones I'll
use. How was that for confusion? Welcome to the wonder that is
Summary: Life damages. Can love heal?
A Note from the Management: We're
trying an experiment of allowing stories related to soaps to be
posted in serialized form (since they lend themselves to that
format), so just so you know, this story
isn't finished and is being posted in segments.
| Ch 1
| Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch
As night ran into day, details passed by in an oddly slow moving blur
for Lena. She spoke to people, sweet talking the doctors and nurses she
encountered, looked after Bianca, and did her blend with the wallpaper
whenever Erica was anywhere near.
Thankfully, Jackson Montgomery's surgery went well, and he was moved
into recovery, and then some hours later, intensive care. Scared and on
edge, Bianca stayed close to wherever her uncle was at any given time,
the brief bit of sleep apparently having refilled her energy supply
enough to keep her going for another day. Eager to stay out of the way
and yet there at Bianca's request, Lena just did her best to keep her
head down and offer whatever help she could while not taking it
personally that Bianca shifted between ignoring her and clinging to her
support with whiplash inducing speed. When she remembered her, Erica
shot daggers her direction, but mostly, the older woman was too caught
up in her own drama to pay much attention to Lena.
Which was something of a relief.
Just like it was a relief for Lena when she was able to leave for a
while. A history of anorexia meant that Bianca had to be particularly
careful about not going too long without eating, but until she was
certain her uncle was out of danger, it was clear she had no intention
of leaving the hospital. Which was why Lena had quickly offered to stop
by Myrtle's and pick up a change of clothes for the younger woman, then
grab something for them both to eat and bring it back to the hospital.
Even Erica couldn't argue with that plan, no matter how much she might
have wanted to, so she simply seethed and glared the way she did
whenever she was reminded of the Polish woman’s presence, but at the
same time, was clearly glad to have Lena away, even if only for a little
while. Lena had no doubt, she'd be working on Bianca in the meantime,
but she had to trust her former employer wouldn't make a dent in the
ground she'd gained, and besides, she needed a break from the oppressive
atmosphere in the hospital, just a little while to get herself back
together before facing the ongoing hostility all over again.
She stopped at the Pine Valley Inn first, pausing just long enough
for a quick shower before changing into a black ensemble that was
lightweight and would be comfortable if she faced a second night of
sleeping in her clothes. That done, she grabbed an overnight bag and
hurried to Myrtle's where she found a few toiletries and a fresh change
of comfortable clothes and shoes for Bianca. The last stop was a
sandwich shop near the hospital that specialized in hoagies with thick
slabs of meat and cheese, lots of tomato slices and lettuce, all of it
drenched in a spicy dressing that Bianca loved. As she handled such
banalities, it occurred to Lena that for once she was aware of someone’s
preferences not for practical reasons related to a con, but just because
she noticed everything about the younger woman and neatly catalogued it
away in her brain. If it hadn't felt so good, it would have been a
little frightening to be so thoroughly at the mercy of another person's
As she pulled into the hospital parking lot, she found herself
feeling better than she had for spending an hour away from hostile
gazes, but also feeling better for the chance to do something practical
for Bianca. Getting clothes and food gave her a sense of doing something
tangible that all the kind words and handholding in the world didn't do.
She supposed it appealed to her practical side, and also gave her some
internal sense of refuting Greenlee's confidence that she wouldn't and
couldn't change. Before meeting Bianca, she wouldn't have cared. Any
efforts to look after someone else would have been strictly a matter of
politics and manipulation, any pretense of feeling an illusion in a game
played with human emotion. Except in her experience, none of the players
on either side had actually felt anything. She supposed it was one of
the reasons she couldn't find it in her to feel terribly guilty about
the things she'd done prior to coming to Pine Valley. Yes, she'd played
games with people's lives, but they'd been playing with and using her as
well. She'd been nothing but a toy for those greedy men and women, a
shiny bauble to blind them until they stumbled into whatever traps she'd
set, and more often than not, in her opinion, they'd deserved everything
Only when she met Bianca had everything changed. She'd begun the
friendship with the intent to manipulate one more time, fully expecting
Erica Kane's youngest daughter to be one more spoiled, young scion,
borne of too much wealth and power and far too comfortable using it. She
hadn't been ready for the younger woman to be every bit as beautiful
inside as out, hadn't been even remotely ready to feel the heat and
need, or the growing pool of very real attraction every time she was
anywhere near her. She hadn't been prepared to experience real desire
after so many years of being dead inside and hadn't been ready for not
just the physical want, but the emotional need. And she hadn't been even
close to ready to have someone look in her eyes and believe the illusion
so completely that she began to believe it as well.
That acceptance had made her feel every bit as much a virgin as
Bianca, hesitant and uncertain, not just when it came to the melding of
bodies, but hearts as well. And like any beginner in the art of love,
she'd made so many mistakes, but at the same time, for the first time
since before her childhood had been brutally shattered, she'd felt like
she was a part of something real.
She just wanted that feeling back. A glimpse into heaven had shown
her what hell her life had become and as a result, made it very nearly
intolerable. She sighed softly as she climbed out of the car, then
reached back inside and grabbed the bag, slinging the carry strap over
her shoulder, then retrieved the food. Moments later, she was trotting
toward the rear entrance of the hospital, intent on her mission. Only a
few hours of daylight left, and then another night would fall. With
luck, perhaps Jackson would be out of danger sometime soon and she could
talk Bianca into going home and getting a little real rest.
On her guard since Michael's attack at the inn, she tracked her
surroundings carefully as she moved through the hospital corridors,
automatically cataloguing every sound and shifting shadow. It would be
like Michael to show up here. That sort of brazenness had always
appealed to him, and she had no intention of being caught unawares and
on her own again.
Which was why she recognized the familiar hiss of Erica's whisper
well before she would have rounded a nearby corner and stumbled into her
former employer, though she was too late to hear what was actually said.
Not wanting to risk an argument, she started to back up---sometimes a
quick retreat was the wisest tactic in her experience---only to freeze
in place as another voice responded, the tone tight and angry.
"If you think you can blackmail me into---"
"Blackmail. How dare you use that term when you're trying to
force your way into Jack's life."
Frowning, Lena silently crept a little closer so she could hear
better, her instincts to gain more information taking command, even
though she knew she should turn and walk away.
"I'm not trying to force my way into anything. He has a right to
"Oh, please, this isn't about Jack's rights. This is about the
fact that you want him back." It was impressive just how much force
Erica could put into the softly hissed words. "And don't think it's
going to work. He doesn't love you ... and this is pathetic."
It sounded like there was a bit of trouble in Erica's life, and it
wasn't just Jackson Montgomery's health problems.
"What's pathetic, Erica, is your willingness to lie to a man you
claim to love. And if you won't---"
In fact by the sound of it, there was a real viper in paradise.
"Don't even, Mary." Erica had on her hard-ass, bitch from
hell voice, the one that made even brave men cower, and had often made
Lena grin because she'd figured out fairly quickly that it was all
bluster. Erica only used that bullying tone when she was desperate. When
she was really in control of a situation, she was far more likely
pretend she was all saccharin sweetness and light. Erica loved to play
ultra-feminine, especially while twisting the knife with Machiavellian
glee. "You are neither welcome nor wanted here."
Straight to the point and enraged sounding. Erica was definitely in
panic mode. Mary? Mary who? Lena flashed on the sign-in sheets.
"I have just as much right---"
Greenlee's mother? Damn, Lena wished she'd heard the other woman's
voice before, then she might have some chance at deciding if it was her
without getting a look.
"You have no rights where Jack is concerned, Mary," Erica
insisted. "And if you don't leave now, I'll have you removed...and
don't think I can't."
"Try me," Erica shot back, her tone deadly serious.
"You'd never make that kind of a scene." Mary again. But if
it was Mary Smythe, she obviously didn't know Erica very well. Making a
scene was her raison d'etre. She was positively brilliant at it and
thrived on the chaos she so thoroughly excelled at producing.
"Try me," Erica said again, and Lena had absolutely no
doubt that she'd follow through on her threat if pushed hard enough.
A long moment's silence followed and Lena suspected that Mary was
assessing the seriousness of the threat.
"Fine," the grudging hiss came a moment later, an angry
acknowledgment that Erica had won. "But don't think this is
"Oh, it's over, Mary. You are never going to get Jack."
Lena wondered if Mary heard the doubt hidden in Erica’s voice.
Maybe, maybe not. It was subtle, but then again, stealing another woman’s
man required a certain kind of cunning and the mystery woman might well
have it if she was ready to go up against the pastmaster of such things.
"Enjoy your victory, Erica ... while you can."
Lena smirked, recognizing a weak threat when she heard one. So the
challenger didn’t have the courage for open combat---that was
interesting---though instinct told Lena the game wasn’t over yet.
There was a desperation there that didn’t bode well. Then she heard
the tick-tack of delicate high heels on tile head her direction and made
a fast dive for a nearby storage closet, ducking inside only a moment
before the sound signaled someone was about to round the nearby corner.
Her heart thundering in her chest---she could not afford to get
caught---she gripped the knob tightly, her ear up against the door,
listening closely. A moment passed, then she eased the door open ever so
slightly, relieved to find no one in the immediate vicinity. She opened
it a little farther, leaning just far enough out to confirm that the
mysterious Mary had indeed been Mary Smythe when she spotted the
brunette rounding a corner at the opposite end of the corridor.
The click of heels warned her that Erica was moving now, and she
ducked back inside, pulling the door closed just in time, though she was
able to gauge Erica's movement by the shadows cast under the door as
they paused. Frowning, Lena leaned closer to the door, her ear right up
against it. She couldn't hear anything that way though. Either Erica was
just standing there, or whatever she was doing, she was being too quiet
for the sound to transfer. Her touch incredibly light, she turned the
doorknob and carefully eased the door open ever so slightly, praying as
she did so that she wasn't making a terrible miscalculation.
No, thank goodness. Erica's back was to the door, and she was on her
"Yes, Tad," Erica’s voice was cool and impersonal, the
sort of tone one used when speaking to an answering machine, not a
person. "This is Erica Kane. I need to speak to you as soon as
possible. It’s important. If you still have your private investigator’s
licence, I may have some work for you. Call me at 555-2121."
Private investigator? Lena pulled the door closed again, but kept her
hand on the knob. Not that she expected anyone to try and come in, but
she wasn’t a trusting soul. Experience had taught her to be very
careful in such matters.
Which was why she waiting, silently watching Erica’s shadow pull
away where it slid in under the door, then waited even longer, her brain
still on the conversations she’d just overheard, trying to decide what
to do next. She should just walk away, forget it all. Whatever she’d
heard, it was none of her business. Okay, so Erica was up to some kind
of game, and Greenlee’s mother was involved, but that didn’t mean
That it affected Bianca?
Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit. She caught her lower lip between
sharp incisors, biting down hard enough that it hurt and pulled,
threatening to reopen the cut in her upper lip. Walk away, she
told herself as she stood there, paralyzed by indecision, just walk
away and forget it all. Erica’s up to something, but Erica’s always
up to something, and she already hates you. Don’t make your life any
harder that it already is by getting involved and risking making your
relationship with her even worse.
Only whatever it was, if it touched Erica’s life severely enough to
threaten her relationship with Jackson, then it threatened to blow
through Bianca’s life as well.
Damn and double damn.
Which meant she couldn’t just walk away and forget what she’d
heard. She had to know more, and only then could she make any decisions.
Finally, concluding she’d waited long enough, and she was just
mentally chasing her tail, she threw it off for the moment, and
carefully eased the door open just enough to peer out through the narrow
crack. The corridor was silent and still. Empty.
Moving fast, Lena stepped out and pulled the storage room door closed
in her wake, almost instantly looking completely comfortable and as
though nothing had ever been amiss. It was an illusion she was well used
to creating, and she pointedly pushed any thoughts of Erica and her
latest trauma to the back of her mind, silently vowing not to think
At least not for the moment.
She couldn’t afford the distraction. Not right now. She
straightened her shoulders, and started in the direction of the
Intensive Care Unit, her strides long and confident. She found Bianca in
the waiting room nearest the ICU. She was sitting on one of the couches,
reading, or more correctly, staring at, a news magazine. She looked up
as Lena entered and offered a wan look, the hours and the stress having
had a predictable effect.
Lena set the food on the low table in front of Bianca, then settled
the overnight bag on the floor nearby. "Hey there," she said
very gently and offered an encouraging smile. "How’s your
uncle?" she asked, even though she knew that he had to be doing
okay because Bianca would have been a mess if things were amiss.
The younger woman nodded toward Intensive Care. "The news is the
same. His vitals are good, but he’s still critical."
Lena pushed the magazines aside, then took a seat on the table so she
was facing Bianca. "Right now, that may be the best news you can
get," she pointed out gently. She knew from experience that there
came a time when such things became a waiting game. It was harder than
hell to face the hours of not knowing and living through all the
tortures the human imagination can create out of thin air, but there
were worse fates. Knowing could be one of them.
Bianca nodded, though she was visibly struggling to try and maintain
a positive attitude. Time spent alone in the waiting room had left her
mind room to build plenty of worst-case scenarios, and Lena barely
resisted the urge to curse Erica for not noticing in her zeal to be
involved in whatever conspiracy she had going on this time. She reached
out, settling a hand lightly on Bianca’s thigh, well aware of the
warmth and firmness of her body through her skirt. "Your uncle is
very strong. You must trust that he will not leave you."
Bianca managed a weak smile and reached back, covering Lena’s hand
with her own, her thumb stroking lightly. "Thank you," she
said very softly, her voice tight and stressed.
Lena felt her facial muscles pull into an encouraging smile, the look
in her eyes tender. She rested her other hand on the brown bagged
sandwiches where they sat near her hip. "And now perhaps you could
eat something?" she asked hopefully, knowing that Bianca hadn’t
eaten anything but vending machine snacks since the evening before.
Bianca considered the question for a beat, then nodded. She indicated
the discarded overnight bag. "If that’s a change of clothes, I
think I should probably do that first." Her next smile was a bit
more confident. "And then food sounds really good."
"Fresh clothes," Lena assured Bianca, "as well as a
toothbrush, hair brush, and such. I thought you might want to clean up a
bit...that it might help you feel better."
Bianca nodded gratefully and rose, grabbing the overnight bag and
slinging the carrying strap over her shoulder as she moved. Lena watched
her go, her eyes running over smooth curves with an appreciative look as
she felt her heart give a little lurch in her chest.
She’d almost forgotten what it could feel like. Or maybe she’d
never known because she honestly couldn’t remember feeling this kind
of molten, wanton heat for anyone else ever before in her life. During
the period when most young people were enjoying the first blush of such
things, her life had been a misery, and those emotions had caused
nothing but more shame, the feelings only more acute for her mother’s
suspicions and criticisms. Later, during her college years, barely
making ends meet and in a strange country, she’d been too bruised by
her own past and much too focused on excelling academically to pay much
attention to the normal mating and dating that most students indulge in.
Then during the beginnings of her career, she’d spent every moment
struggling to be twice as good as anyone else, desperate to achieve
success and respect, until even that couldn’t provide what she’d
needed to save her mother.
And then Michael.
What had started as a job had become industrial espionage, then
morphed into something that still turned her stomach and left her amazed
she was capable of feeling anything for anyone. In the interest of
survival, she’d faked lust so many times she couldn’t count them,
and every time she’d had very little clue as to what it really felt
like. In retrospect, it seemed mildly amazing that she’d fooled
anyone, because she really hadn’t had any idea what it was all about.
Not even a little. She leaned forward, elbows braced on her knees,
fingers steepled together, her gaze unfocused. She’d known all about
techniques for physically pleasing others, but hadn’t really felt
anything. Hands and mouths on her body had left her so cold that she
often wondered why others seemed so desperate to engage in their games
amid sweaty and tangled sheets.
She’d felt nothing.
While all those marks had been lost in lust, their heads spinning
with want, she’d been cool and calm, her brain working at full
throttle, her body totally uninvolved. It had made for a rather dramatic
tactical advantage, if she was honest, one she in no way possessed when
it came to Bianca.
Because where before she’d felt nothing, now she was nothing but
feeling, the overwhelming intensity of it sometimes enough to leave her
dazed, staggered, and more than a little lost. She couldn’t plot or
strategize, could barely even think cohesively enough to put together a
coherent sentence. Just the memory of what it had felt like to lie,
naked flesh touching naked flesh, in Bianca’s arms, the taste of her
filling Lena’s mouth, the scent of Bianca teasing her nostrils, the
heat and texture of silky skin a tactile reality was enough to leave her
pulse pounding and her body aching, every last drop of blood rushing
away from her brain at full speed. Technically speaking, they hadn’t
done anything she’d never done before, not one single thing, and
And yet every touch, every kiss, every look, even the tiniest caress
had been nothing like she’d ever felt before because before, she’d
never really felt it.
She remembered a moment, just a single moment, with a perfect kind of
crystal clarity. It had become almost symbolic of that night in her
mind, and every single detail was there with a kind of oversensitized,
hyper-realized reality. She’d been lying next to Bianca and arched
over her, one hand splayed along the curve of her hip, the other braced
to hold up her own weight. She’d been so achingly aroused she could
barely think straight, the taste of Bianca’s skin filling her senses
as she trailed fluttery kisses along the outer curve of a finely shaped
breast, and then she’d looked up, meeting her lover’s gaze, the
emotion she saw there somehow triggering a flood of sensation that had
everything and nothing to do with the touch of hands and bodies. That
moment when their eyes met and Bianca let her in was forever engraved in
her memory, every detail imprinted in her head so clearly that if she
closed her eyes and concentrated, she could take herself back there. She
could see Bianca’s expression, the complex shadows and highlights of
her irises, literally feel the brush of flesh on flesh, and the ache
that had twined its way through every nerve ending in her body. In the
days since, she’d envisioned it so many times, closed her eyes,
wrapped her arms around her torso, and let herself go back to that
moment, needing the love and strength she’d found in that instant when
she’d felt so much a part of another person’s life for the first
time in her existence. In some ways, it was the only thing keeping her
To have something so dear to her and have lost it again was far more
painful than never having known it at all.
"Thinking deep thoughts?" Bianca’s question broke in on
Lena looked up, blinking in surprise as she realized that Bianca had
returned and was standing next to her, dressed now in sweats and track
shoes. Aware of the soul deep ache running like melted lead in her
veins, Lena couldn’t think for a moment. Clearly Bianca expected a
response, most likely something both honest and not too intimate, which
left Lena with a problem. Clearly, she could do one or the other, but
not both. "Nothing you need to worry about," she mumbled after
a beat, hoping a non-answer answer would be enough to satisfy Bianca’s
Bianca’s expression remained curious as she sank down onto the
couch. "You just seemed a little lost in thought," she
Lena shrugged. "Just thinking about...everything..." she
said a little haltingly. Which was more or less true, if not especially
specific. She looked down, concentrating on the bagged food near her
hip, well aware of the close perusal of dark eyes as she picked it up
and unrolled the top to peer inside. "I got you a grinder and
myself an Italian beef, but if you’d prefer to trade, it’s fine by
me," she said, purposely focusing on the food to avoid more serious
topics. She’d learned through trial and error that the banal could be
a very powerful shield, though in Bianca’s case she knew that food
wasn’t quite the throwaway subject it might be for some. She tensed as
Bianca’s hand swam into view, then covered one of hers, her touch warm
"Whatever you got is fine," Bianca assured her, then paused
for a beat before continuing. "Thanks for thinking of
everything." She brushed her thumb across Lena’s knuckles, the
delicate caress sending a thrill of awareness through the Polish woman.
"Particularly the toothbrush. I really needed that."
Lena looked up and froze, a deer in the headlights under the velvety,
brown gaze directed her way. She swallowed hard, trying to think of
something to say, but found herself unable to come up with anything.
Apparently the power of the banal worked both ways, because all she
could think about at that precise moment was how Bianca’s mouth
undoubtedly tasted at that moment. "All minty fresh now then?"
she murmured, then barely restrained the urge to bash her head into the
nearest wall. Oh, that was good. Could you possibly sound like a
bigger geek, she silently demanded of herself, then berated herself
for the sudden infusion of American slang into her vocabulary. She wasn’t
having an easy time of it.
A dark eyebrow arched and Bianca looked vaguely perplexed as though
she was trying to decide whether the comment was intended to be
flirtatious or not. Finally, she apparently she decided to take pity on
one, the other, or both of them by ignoring it altogether, while Lena
cringed inwardly. Flirting had been so much easier when it didn’t
matter. She’d been good at flirting then. Now she just sounded like a
pathetic, tongue-tied fool. If this was what being a teenager felt like,
she suddenly wasn’t quite so depressed over not having the time for
such things when she was that age.
A moment passed and then Bianca offered a winsome smile. "Since
you went to all of the effort to get food, why don’t we eat?" she
Thoroughly caught in Bianca’s trap, Lena simply nodded.
* * * * * *
By the time night fell again, Jackson Montgomery’s condition had
been upgraded to stable and he’d briefly regained consciousness and
managed to speak with Erica. He was, it seemed, out of the woods, though
no doubt, the healing process would take time.
Still following a strategy that involved doing her best impression of
wallpaper whenever Erica was anywhere near, Lena hung back, silent, her
head down, watching through thick lashes as others came and went, being
remarkably unnoticeable all things considered.
Mary Smythe had not been back, but Greenlee had, and unnoticed by
Erica, Lena had seen the older woman’s near panic at her arrival and
eagerness to be rid of her even as Lena told herself to ignore it, stay
out of it, and it was none of her business. Nonetheless, she filed the
data away in her head just as she always had a thousand different,
disparate details. It was old habit, a stratagem arrived at through
years of automatic manipulation. The more information she had, the
easier it was to either maneuver or force others into doing her bidding.
But that wasn’t the aim here, she reminded herself forcefully. Her
only goal was protecting Bianca. If and only if the knowledge served
that end, did it matter.
Hours later, she found herself hanging back again as Erica and Bianca
spoke in the corridor just outside Jackson’s room in ICU. Erica was
gesturing emphatically, her eyes a little wild, while Bianca’s back
was to Lena, and her body language was stiff, denying the Polish woman
any hints as to what she was saying or thinking. Whatever was going on,
Erica wasn’t happy. The scene continued until the doctors came to
speak to Erica. Bianca listened for a moment, then slipped away.
Lena watched hungrily as the woman she loved turned and their eyes
met, the tie holding them together, forming a straight line that Bianca
followed as she strode directly toward Lena, her stride purposeful. She
didn’t stop until she was standing directly in front of Lena where she
sat on one the same couch where they’d earlier shared sandwiches and
"Since you brought me to this dance, I think maybe you should
take me home," Bianca said softly, her attitude more confident than
Lena would have predicted, but then Bianca was wont to show an
unexpected level of self-confidence at the strangest times.
After all, she was the one who had initiated their shared night of
And was she doing that again, Lena found herself wondering. She didn’t
have the faintest idea. This hopeless confusion was not what she had
expected at all, and she wasn’t quite certain what to make of Bianca’s
tone or the look in her eye. She swallowed hard, wetting suddenly dry
lips with her tongue. Time to find out. "Of course," she
murmured, standing quickly and fumbling in the search for her car keys,
uncertain what any of this meant, and unused to the sensation of being
so totally out of control of any situation. When the hell had she become
the younger, less experienced one in this relationship?
"I...uh...just...there they are," she said with some relief as
she finally found them.
Bianca was still watching her silently, and she didn’t speak as
they walked together through the hallways and out the rear entrance into
the parking lot. Lena unlocked the passenger side first, ushering Bianca
inside, then pacing around to the other side and sliding into the driver’s
seat. Nervous as a cat, she looked over at the younger woman, admiring
the grace of Bianca’s features in profile where it was visible against
the glow of the parking lot lights. "I’ll take you home."
"No," Bianca said, the response catching Lena by surprise.
She looked over, the change in position throwing her face into shadow,
making her mood unreadable. "I don’t want to go back to Myrtle’s
yet." She waved a hand in a loose gesture. "Just
drive...wherever you want...just keep moving."
Lena nodded, not understanding, but not questioning either. More than
willing to take anything she could get, though, she accelerated smoothly
out of the parking lot, heading away from the center of town. At a
stoplight, she risked another glance at Bianca, noting that way she was
leaned back in her seat, staring rather distantly. As she watched,
Bianca rolled the window down and rested her arm on the sill. "Is
there anyplace you’d like to go?" Lena questioned.
Staring out at the night, Bianca shrugged as she considered the
question. "The mountains," she said at last.
Thinking of the low rolling hills the locals considered mountains,
Lena was tempted to laugh even as she found herself wishing she could
take Bianca away to Europe and show her what true mountains were. She
thought of the fun they could have had driving through the Alps, staying
in the little villages along the route, making love every night.
"The mountains it is," she murmured without further
elaboration, accelerating when the light turned green. Feeling her
tendency to leadfoot it start to assert itself, she backed off the gas,
keeping her speed well under the limit just as she always did when
Bianca was in the car. She might take chances with her own life by
driving too fast and too carelessly, but never with Bianca’s. They
were somewhere past the edge of town and ascending into thick forests
when she became aware that Bianca was no longer staring out the window
and was, instead, staring at her. Lena glanced over. "What?"
she asked curiously.
"Don’t drive like you drive when I’m in the car. Drive like
you do when you’re alone." Her voice was thick with the knowledge
that Lena was ultra careful when she was along for the ride.
Nonetheless, Lena tried to deny the charge. "I don’t know what
"Like you drove to get back to the hospital," Bianca
murmured and tipped her head back against her seat. "Open it
Lena edged her speed up, concentrating on what she was doing, being
ultra careful, driving faster, but nowhere near the speeds she did on
"Faster," Bianca said softly. "I want to feel the
Lena glanced over, then accelerated a little, though she was careful
to remain well within her safety range.
"You’re such an old lady driver when I’m in the car,"
Bianca complained. "A classic Jag and you drive slower than I did
the first time I got behind the wheel."
A quick look confirmed that Bianca had slouched in her seat and was
staring out at the passing world. "It’s the only way to be
safe...especially since you distract me." Lena caught sight of the
new tension that stiffened the younger woman’s posture and a hint of a
smile touched her lips.
"Do I?" Bianca questioned much too casually. "Distract
you, I mean?"
Amazing how much easier it was to admit to these things when they
didn’t have to look at one another. "More than you know."
Bianca leaned back in her seat. "Good," she sighed,
sounding particularly satisfied with herself.
After that, they were both silent for a long time, Lena focused on
her driving, Bianca lost in her own thoughts. Lena soon lost track of
the time as she concentrated on the twists and turns of the road, simply
enjoying the chance to be with the woman she loved. She wasn’t sure
how long they’d been wandering when Bianca cleared her throat for
attention. Lena glanced over. "Yes?"
"You know my uncle could have died, right?" Bianca asked,
staring down at her hands where they rested in her lap.
Lena nodded. It had been a near thing from what she knew, both the
injury and the lack of blood supply. "I know...but he’s going to
be okay," she reminded the younger woman. Yes, she’d come close
to losing someone she loved, but things had come out all right.
"I know...that wasn’t what I meant," Bianca said, her
voice coming out in halting syllables as though she was working out her
thoughts as she expressed them. "When he got shot, Mom suddenly
realized that by pushing him away, she’d nearly lost him...and now she
almost did again."
"But she didn’t."
"But she could have...and if she had, she’d have always
regretted all the time they wasted being angry about things that didn’t
Lena nodded, uncertain where this topic was leading. "I think
that’s human nature," she murmured, "to not appreciate what
one has until it’s almost lost."
"Or until after it’s lost," Bianca murmured sadly.
"Greenlee and Leo wasted so much time and then suddenly he was
gone...and she was alone again...and I think it was worse for her
because she knew what it could be like...and that she’d blocked him
out...and spent so much time being angry."
Lena was silent for a long moment. She knew something of the story.
Some of it had been in Michael’s reports, but some had also simply
been the local gossip. "I think," she said at last, "that
more often than not, the human need for retaliation punishes the wronged
party more than it does their target."
Bianca was silent in the face of that comment, quite smart enough to
see Lena’s point, both with regard to Leo and Greenlee and also with
regard to their relationship, but apparently not ready to give ground to
the extent of admitting Lena might just have a point.
"Can’t you go any faster?" Bianca asked when she finally
Sighing inwardly, Lena ignored the refusal to respond to her point,
instead focusing on her driving. "Not really." At least not
with Bianca sitting there, her mere presence enough to throw Lena’s
equilibrium and divert her attention more than she should allow. They
were on a lonely stretch of twisting, narrow road, deep in a verdant
forest, the sort of course she’d always enjoyed when she needed to
escape the world’s demands. She was good at navigating places like
this and had been on this particular road several times in the past, but
it required considerable concentration to safely hit the speeds she was
"Liar," Bianca said very softly, and it was impossible to
tell from her tone precisely what she was referring to. Very likely not
just Lena’s driving.
"We’re all liars sometimes," Lena murmured, well aware
that a defensive note had crept into her voice, but unable to keep it
"I’m so tired of lies," Bianca breathed, her hurt and
Lena winced under the weight of her own shame, knowing she’d
instilled those emotions in the younger woman. "I’m sorry,"
she breathed. So many times she’d apologized, meaning it each and
every time, and so many times Bianca had refused to hear her, but she
kept trying, kept hoping this would be the one that got through.
"It’s not just you," Bianca denied, anger giving way to a
funny kind of sadness. "It’s everyone." She made a soft
growling sound in the back of her throat, leaving Lena to wonder if
perhaps Bianca had some idea about whatever was going on with her
mother, Greenlee, and Mary Smythe.
"Has something happened? Something else, I mean?" Lena
questioned, cautiously probing in hopes of discovering if Bianca knew
anything about what might be going on with her mother and Mary Smythe.
"No," Bianca instantly dismissed the inquiry, her tone
honest enough, leaving Lena relatively certain that whatever was
bothering her wasn’t related to scene between Erica and Mary.
"Everything’s happened...everything and everyone." Another
soft, frustrated growl escaped her lips and Lena was aware of movement
as Bianca turned toward her. "I just want something a little
A warm hand landed on Lena’s thigh. The Polish woman’s hands
clenched convulsively on the wheel and she nearly swerved off the road,
the light caress Bianca delivered acting like a blow straight to the
solar plexus and driving the air from her lungs, giving her no time to
think or function rationally and just barely enough strength to hold on.
"Something that can’t be lied about." Bianca’s hand
pressed harder, spreading wide and curving around to fit itself to Lena’s
inner thigh, the pressure noticeable against the resistance of firm
Viciously distracted, Lena misgauged the next bend in the road and
undercut the curve, then had the swerve violently to keep from sliding
off onto the shoulder. The only thing that saved them careening off into
the ditch at the side of the road was the fact that she’d
instinctively started braking the instant Bianca touched her. Even at
that, Lena momentarily panicked as one rear wheel slid off the tarmac
and braked too hard. For a second the Jaguar threatened to slew
sideways, and then she let off on the brake, pumping it a few times to
take them from a near skid into a more gradual stop. As she pulled the
car to a halt, she guided it onto the shoulder, draped herself over the
wheel and shook.
Bianca’s hand was still on her inner thigh, clinging, the heat of
her touch feeling like a searing brand even through fabric. Anger and
arousal vying equally for her attention she snarled several curses under
her breath in at least three different languages, though at that precise
moment, she wasn’t entirely certain which three. Finally, she lifted
her head and looked over at Bianca, who was sitting surprisingly calmly
and watching her. "What the hell do you think you were doing?"
Lena demanded hoarsely.
A dark eyebrow climbed toward Bianca’s hairline and the hand on
Lena’s thigh pulled and slid higher, her thumb pressing and moving
against taut cords and ligaments. "Drive," she said very
Lena shook her head as she reached down and removed Bianca’s hand.
"Not like that. It’s not safe." She’d played games that
dangerous and in fact, far more so, but at a time when she’d been
clear-headed and completely in control. Clear-headed and controlled had
never described her feelings nor any of her reactions where Bianca was
Bianca’s answering laugh was soft and a little sly, as though she
got a joke no one else did. "Nothing about you is safe."
Lena stiffened and clamped down on her temper, well aware that she
was on edge after her fright. She took a breath, consciously settling
herself. Now was not the time to lose the ground she’d gained by
exploding. "Then I’ll take you home," she pronounced, her
tone purposely flat, the flare of anger she was feeling tightly
contained. If Bianca considered her unsafe, then the evening was over.
She reached for the key, only to freeze as Bianca’s hand covered her
"No," Bianca breathed, leaning closer in the tight confines
of the sports car. After lightly batting Lena’s hand aside, she pulled
the key out of the ignition, looping the ring around her index finger
then let her hand drop back down to cover Lena’s thigh just above her
Bianca’s other hand came up between them, and Lena watched it as
though it was a predator stalking her. It landed on her upper chest,
slid higher. Going for the throat, she mused with the last
remaining trace of irony she consciously possessed. "Bianca,"
she croaked weakly, "what are you doing?"
A slow smile crept across full lips, reminding Lena just how young
Bianca was, that she was still at a point in her life where she was
testing the limits of her power as a woman.
Bianca didn’t answer, or rather didn’t speak because she did
answer if one counts physical cues. The hand on Lena’s thigh slid
higher, gliding into the same position high on her inner leg where it
had been before, then settling in. That fine boned hand tightened ever
so slightly, released, tightened again, released again, setting up a
Lena gasped, barely able to drag air into her lungs, then exhaled a
tiny whimper as Bianca’s other hand slid around to the back of her
neck, slender fingers working into hair at her nape and using the
leverage to draw her head down. Even knowing that the smartest thing she
could do was pull away and put a stop to whatever game they were playing
right then and there, Lena was nowhere near strong enough to resist the
pull of the soft mouth that found her own. She moaned into the kiss,
welcoming the heat of her former lover’s tongue into her mouth, one
hand clinging to the steering wheel while the other found the front of
Bianca’s t-shirt and curled into the soft fabric, torn between the
twin impulses to draw her closer and push her away.
Bianca’s hand slid higher, cupped her, still using that same slow
pressure and release in a steady rhythm.
Lena nearly screamed, becoming almost frantic as Bianca pulled away
from the kiss ever so slightly, gaining enough room to speak. Running on
instinct now, Lena tried to follow, but Bianca turned her head enough to
deny the contact. "Tell me you’re mine," Bianca commanded,
though her voice was no more than a ragged whisper, while the come and
go pressure continued to play havoc with Lena’s thought processes.
Lena blinked, hearing the command, but not quite registering its
meaning. It took her a second to parse the message, long enough that
Bianca repeated the words, impatience sneaking into her voice. For a
second, Lena’s mouth hung open and she almost gave way, almost
surrendered in trade for a chance to get back into some semblance of the
safety she’d briefly known. She was weak, so goddamned weak where
Bianca was concerned, that it frightened her.
"Tell me," Bianca whispered again. "Say you’re
Mine. A thing. Owned. Like. Michael. Had. Owned. Her.
And she’d given herself then too. For money then. For the hope of
some trace of affection now?
Lena shook her head violently, tearing free of the kiss and dragging
Bianca’s hand away from her body. "No." The single word came
out as a rough gasp, the sound bubbling up from somewhere deep in her
chest. She shook her head again. "I won’t," she hissed,
appalled to realize that her vision was blurry. Tears. God, she was
crying again. Just a few searing drops this time, not the wrenching sobs
she’d managed when Bianca had told her to go away, but she hated it
all the same. Hated the sense of powerlessness over her own body that
came with hot tears. Before this whole mess, she hadn’t cried in
years, and she damn well didn’t want to be doing it now. She felt
Bianca start to lean into her space, and yanked back, pressing against
the passenger door, some deeply held, instinctive part of her wanting to
curl into a tiny ball in hopes of making herself less visible. She didn’t
want anyone to see her like this, weak and out of control.
Lena looked up, suddenly realizing that when she pulled back, she’d
half followed through on instinct, folding one leg up between them, the
pose twisted and awkward in the cramped interior of the care. Bianca was
sitting perfectly still now and had retreated a few inches, making Lena
suspect she’d lost a few seconds of time somewhere. She could feel
Bianca watching her closely, though she couldn’t see her face, only
the silhouetted outline of her head and shoulders. It made her seem far
larger than she was, and faintly menacing. "Don’t ask me to say
those words," she said very softly, well aware that she was
pleading now, and certain Bianca had no way of understanding, nor could
she explain. She tensed as a hand landed lightly on her upthrust knee,
but there was nothing sexual in the gesture this time, or at least not
much. They were both still breathing, so an element of sexuality was
almost inescapable, but it wasn’t so overt now.
"Are you okay?" Bianca asked, sounding worried now.
Lena cautiously unfolded herself, sliding back into a more normal
position. She abruptly realized that she was still clutching the
steering wheel with one hand, holding on so tightly her fingers were
threatening to crimp the leather cover. "Fine," she whispered,
embarrassed by her overreaction. She understood what Bianca was doing,
even understood the need for it, and in a sense, she was glad to hear
Bianca wanting to lay some kind of claim over her, but....
No, that wasn’t the way, and if she allowed it, she risked losing
herself and any ground she’d gained in all of this mess. Trading one
kind of servitude for another was not what she wanted...for herself or
this relationship. "I’m sorry about that. I just...." She
trailed off, staring forward through the windshield and shook her head.
A moment of uncomfortable silence followed. "I’m the one who
should be sorry," Bianca said very softly, her voice seeming almost
disembodied in the darkened car as she struggled to explain her actions
in halting half sentences, "I guess I just thought...if I...maybe
we could just...be together, but not be together...not have to...I don’t
know what I thought," she muttered at last, apparently giving up on
Sighing softly, Lena reached out, stroking Bianca’s cheek and
bringing her head around. She understood now. Lust. Bianca wanted, and
she’d tried to play some sort of game, thinking that would somehow
make it acceptable or not send out signals she wasn’t ready to deal
with. "You wanted the physical release," she diagnosed, her
tone practical, "but no emotional commitment...and maybe you wanted
to prove you could control me."
Bianca winced away from the light touch, abruptly looking forward.
"You make it sound like---"
"Like what Michael and the others wanted from me," Lena
said very softly, pulling no punches for once. For both of their sakes,
Bianca needed to understand what had nearly happened.
A wince turned to a full scale flinch and Bianca turned away again.
"I didn’t mean it that way," she insisted, but didn’t look
"But that’s how it felt...like I was a toy...a thing to be
owned or used and discarded at will." Lena saw the faint
silhouetted movement as Bianca’s throat bobbed. "I can’t be
with you like that."
"So you don’t want me," Bianca breathed, the words barely
Lena snorted a soft curse under her breath. "Dear god, Bianca,
you felt...and heard...my response to your touch. I want you more than I
know how to deal with," she muttered, exasperated with what seemed
like possibly the dumbest question anyone had asked her. Ever.
"More than I’ve ever wanted anyone in my life. But not like
that...not ever like that. If you want to make love...I want you
desperately...and if it needs to be with no strings, I may not like it,
but I can accept it...but no emotion? In a moving car? Like some
hormonal teenager? Or playing some perverse game? No, I can’t do
that." She curved her hand to Bianca’s cheek, using enough
pressure to bring her head around, staring at her so hard, Bianca had to
feel her gaze even in the near darkness. "And I won’t accept it.
I won’t taint what we’ve shared by allowing that to happen."
Didn’t Bianca understand that what they’d shared was the only time
in her life that she’d ever found pleasure in another person’s arms?
Lena heard her voice threaten to break as she continued, "And I don’t
think you’d like me very much if I did."
Bianca was utterly silent, leaving Lena to wonder if she’d
completely blown it with her refusal.
"Say something," Lena whispered when she couldn’t stand
the uncomfortable silence any longer.
The silence stretched thinner and thinner until finally, Bianca
muttered something unintelligible under her breath.
"What?" Lena pleaded, desperate to understand.
More silence until finally Bianca cleared her throat. "I want
you," she admitted, no longer testing her own power now, but
sounding as much under Lena’s influence as Lena was under Bianca’s.
"But I’m not ready to ... to just forgive everything...."
She made a small, frustrated sound in the back of her throat. "I
can’t just forget...maybe I should...but I can’t." It was
obvious from her tone of voice it was something she’d been thinking
about. Something that haunted her deeply.
Lena understood too well. There were so many things in her life that
she could neither forget nor completely forgive. Still, Bianca was
here...with her. That had to mean something. They both fell silent, both
staring out at the world through the front windshield, as though the
answers to the problems between them might lie on the road ahead.
Finally, Lena slanted a quick look Bianca’s direction. "There’s
a motel near here," she said after a beat, then moistened her lips,
her mouth feeling painfully dry. "I’ve seen it when I’ve been
out driving...a little place...with cabins." She felt as much as
heard Bianca’s breathing shift, deepening, the sound thick and rough.
"It doesn’t have to be a promise of anything...just a little
comfort for both of us." She wondered if she’d just made the
ultimate mistake in even offering.
Her heart hammering painfully hard in her chest, terrified she’d
gone too far, Lena uttered a single word. "Bianca?" She
suddenly couldn’t decide what answer she wanted to hear. Both yes and
no were fraught with danger and risk. If the answer was no, she had to
accept the heartache and chance that they would never be together again.
If yes, then there came the responsibilities of making love, coupled
with the reality that she would have to accept it if Bianca chose to
simply walk away when it was over.
"Is it someplace you went with him?" Bianca whispered, her
voice small and scared. "With any of them?"
"No," Lena instantly assured the younger woman, then felt
the need to explain, "I’ve never even stayed there. I always
notice the motels on the lesser traveled roads, so that if I’m ever
too tired while driving, I can stop and sleep till morning." There
were times when she drove for hours on end, so she knew her physical
limits and didn’t hesitate to rent a room and rest for a few hours
when necessary. She might have a self destructive streak, but it wasn’t
so overt that she would try and crack herself up by simply going to
sleep at the wheel.
Bianca sat perfectly still, silently absorbing the response. Finally
she nodded. "Drive," she said very softly, her neutral tone
momentarily leaving Lena wondering where she was supposed to drive to.
Back to Myrtle’s or to a hidden motel in the woods?
"Where?" Lena asked when she still wasn’t certain.
"I want you," Bianca responded without any further comment.
Hearing the words, Lena took a deep breath and let it out slowly to
steady herself. After all, she had to drive, and she was always ultra
careful with Bianca in the car, unwilling to take any chances. "All
right," she said simply, then realized Bianca still had her keys. A
soft, wry laugh escaped her lips and she held out a hand. "But I’m
afraid I need my keys back."
Bianca jumped, lifting her hand and staring at it as the jangle of
metal on metal teased the air. "I forgot," she admitted with a
soft chuckle, the moment acting as a tension release. She held the key
ring out, the glitter of her eyes drawing Lena’s gaze even as their
fingers just barely brushed. "Here."
Lena took the keys, nodded, and fumbled in the effort to get them
back into the ignition. Her hands were shaking, she suddenly realized,
and took another deep breath, letting it out on a ten count. Amazing how
terrifying it could be to have---perhaps not everything, but a great
deal---right within her grasp. The Jaguar purred to life, idling
smoothly, and then she slid it into gear and pulled back onto the narrow
strip of highway. She kept her speed slow, half afraid that with her
luck, they’d wind up in an accident before they reached the motel.
This time Bianca made no effort to urge her to speed, just leaned back
in her seat. Probably just as scared as she was, Lena realized, the
thought making her feel a little better and more in control.
They soon found the tiny motel, with its cabins hidden among
scattered pines. The place was dark and quiet---apparently, the world
closed up early in the country---and at first Lena was afraid that
getting a cabin wasn’t going to be possible, but there was a bell on
the door to the cabin that served as the reception office. They rang,
waited, rang again, and finally an elderly man in a robe opened the door
and peered blearily out at them.
"Hello," Lena said quickly as she stepped forward and put
on her most charming smile. "I’m Lena Kundera. I apologize for
waking you, but my friend and I have been driving later than we planned
and I was wondering if we could rent a cabin for the night."
He looked at her, then past her at the Jaguar parked nearby. It
seemed unlikely that either she or the Jag were on his normal customer
list. She resisted the urge to smirk as she caught sight of the dollar
signs dancing in his eyes. Undoubtedly the nightly room fee had just
doubled. Lena couldn’t have cared less. Whatever he wanted to charge,
it would have been cheap at twice the price. So when he led them inside
and dug out the necessary forms, she filled out the information sheet,
handed over her credit card, and tried not to look as eager as she felt.
"By the way," the man behind the counter said as she was
finishing up. "There aren’t any TVs in the rooms. Can’t get
reception out here, and cable’s too expensive."
Lena shrugged. "Not a problem," she assured him. Watching
TV was the last thing on her mind. Her gaze touched on the shelving
behind him. However.... "But I don’t sleep well when things are
too quiet." She pointed to the boom box on the shelf. "I don’t
suppose I could borrow your CD player." She offered a charming
smile and gracefully flashed a fifty.
His brows shot up and he looked at her as though making absolutely
certain she was serious. "Ah...sure." He couldn’t get the
player down fast enough, and she slipped him the fifty as she took
possession, well aware of the press of Bianca’s body against her back,
and the way the younger woman was shaking gently, probably laughing. He
paused in front of a board full of keys, started to reach for one, then
glanced over his shoulder, his eyes falling on Bianca, noting the way
she was leaning against Lena. "You...uh...want twin beds
A knowing smile touched Lena’s mouth as she noted that he was
blushing. Remembering another time when she’d informed a bellboy that
she and Bianca were together, she offered a tiny wink. "Only one
will be necessary...preferably the largest available...and as much
privacy as possible would be nice as well." She flashed another
fifty---God, this was going to cost her---then glanced back at Bianca.
It was definitely worth it.
Bianca snickered at that and hid her face in Lena’s shoulder as she
tried to muffle her laughter.
He grabbed a different key after that comment and traded it for the
second fifty. He didn’t do it as gracefully as the maitre d’ at an
expensive restaurant, but he managed well enough. "This
should...uh...be what you’re looking for." He nodded toward her
car. "Just follow the road to the end. It’s the last cabin on the
line. Largest one in the place."
"Thank you," she said, being as gracious as she knew how to
Several minutes later, they pulled into the parking bay next to a
tiny cabin set back amid the pines. It was rustic inside, the wood worn
smooth and polished by time and the passage of decades worth of secret
lovers’ assignations because the bed that sat in the middle of the
main room wasn’t the sort of thing a family needed. Not that it was
overtly sexual, but it was huge and piled high with a thick quilt and
several pillows, and there were fur rugs on either side to protect bare
feet from the chill of the floor. There was also a fire laid in the
fireplace, ready to be set to life with the touch of a match.
Lena felt her pulse, which had almost dropped back to normal, slam
back into overdrive. They were here for one purpose only. She wondered
if she could actually survive it or if she was going to simply combust
at the idea. And then Bianca caught her hand, tugging her inside and
into a hug that turned into a kiss. In an instant, her fears were
forgotten. It felt so damn right, sometimes like the only thing in her
life that had ever been right. She lifted a hand, stroking Bianca’s
cheek lightly as they continued trading soft kisses, their bodies molded
together. By the time their lips parted, they were both breathing hard
Offering a shy smile, Bianca tightened her hold on Lena’s waist.
"I...uh...should probably grab a quick shower..." She looked
away, self-conscious. "Y’know...before...."
Caressing Bianca’s cheek lightly, Lena drew her head back up and
around until their eyes met. "Would you like company?" She
smiled at the rose blush that crept over rounded cheekbones.
"I-I think maybe...not now," Bianca stammered uncertainly.
Stifling a bit of disappointment, Lena nodded, accepting any limits
Bianca felt the need to set on things. "Okay...go on. I’ll light
the fire and...turn on the music...wait for you."
Bianca nodded, then stepped back and disappeared into the bathroom.
Standing perfectly still, Lena watched her go, unable to move for a
long moment after her lover had disappeared. Her lover. It suddenly
occurred to her that she was mentally using that word in the present
tense. "Oh, please, let it be true."
By the time Lena heard the shower shut off, the lights were out and a
fire was crackling gently. Music, low, sexy, and faintly jazzy hung on
the air just loud enough to set the mood without being intrusive. Aware
of everything around her, Lena knew the moment Bianca exited the
bathroom. Standing in front of the fire, her shoes off, her bare toes
buried deep in the proverbial bearskin rug, she froze, waiting to see
what Bianca would do, then exhaled a sigh of relief as she heard the
soft pad of bare feet, then felt slender arms wrap around her from
behind. Smiling, Lena turned in her lover’s loose hold.
"The music is pretty," Bianca whispered as she leaned into
Lena’s space. "What is it?"
Shrugging slender shoulders, Lena wrapped Bianca in a loose hold, her
body swaying gently in time with the music. "Just something I found
on the internet...some little band that had their stuff on a
website." She enjoyed hunting the internet for oddball bits of
music and she’d found the site by accident then downloaded everything,
enjoying the delicate instrumentals with their complex rhythms and
sometimes mournful strains. She caught one of Bianca’s hands in her
own. "Dance with me?" she invited, her voice low and silky.
Full lips turned up in an embarrassed smile. "I’m not much of
Still moving with the music, Lena felt Bianca instinctively sway her
hips to match, though she doubted the younger woman was conscious of it.
"It’s all in who you’re with," she disagreed, lifting
their twined hands into the space between their bodies and sliding the
other around Bianca’s waist. "Just close your eyes and
relax...let yourself feel the music." She pressed a soft kiss to
Bianca’s temple, intensely aware of the brush of her lover’s legs
against her own, following her movements as she found the beat of the
music. "Let yourself feel me."
Leaning her head into the curve of Lena’s shoulder, Bianca slid her
free hand around her waist, clinging and following along with Lena’s
Bianca’s hair was still wet from the shower and Lena ducked her
head to nuzzle the drying hair at her temple, the scent of soap and
shampoo filling her senses, not Bianca’s usual floral scent, but even
cheap hotel soap smelled good on her. "Feels good, doesn’t
it?" she whispered near a delicate ear. She shivered as Bianca
mumbled a lazy confirmation, not words, but simply a sound under the
breath, the heated air flowing across Lena’s collarbone and sending a
shiver down her spine. On fire all over again, part of her wanted to
simply drag Bianca over to the bed and feel the sweet bonding of bare
flesh, but at the same time it felt so good to hold each other and just
enjoy the music together that she never wanted to let it end. It was
like the perfect polar opposite of the devil or the deep blue sea
choices that had made up most of her life. Angel or the perfect beach?
Caressing the narrow expanse of Bianca’s lower back, she used the
light touches to draw the younger woman closer and match her rhythm as
they moved together, intensely aware of the press of firm breasts, taut
belly, and smoothly muscled thighs. She’d never really understood the
appeal of this kind of dancing before, of being so close to another
human being. It had simply been another tool in her arsenal to control
others. Suddenly it was something that might well push her to the brink
while still fully clothed.
Mumbling something incomprehensible, Bianca nosed deeper into the
curve of Lena’s shoulder, while her free hand played over Lena’s
back, exploring smooth curves and taut muscle, growing bolder as they
continued their slow dance. Finally she eased her fingers under the
waistband of Lena’s blouse, stroking the silky skin at the curve of
her waist. If she had any doubts, she didn’t appear to be feeling them
now. She spread her hand, stroking higher, fingers teasing along the
line of Lena’s spine.
"Mmm," Lena moaned low in her throat while she did some
exploring of her own. She wanted to proclaim her love, but uncertain it
would be well received, simply held her lover close, letting her free
hand trail and explore, enjoying the heat that came from within and
without. She ducked her head to stare down at Bianca’s upturned face.
"Tell me this is real," she pleaded, half convinced she was
dreaming during one of her rare hours of sleep, or maybe had cracked up
on the way to the hospital and this was all one last, euphoric fantasy
before death claimed her.
There were days Lena Kundera did not have the most positive outlook
Then Lena quickly forgot any darker thoughts as Bianca slipped her
twined hand free and reached up, trailing a fingertip along a high
cheekbone. The younger woman’s skin glowed a warm shade and her eyes
glinted in the flickering firelight. "It’s real," she
breathed, and slid her hand on around to toy with the hair at the nape
of Lena’s neck. Their gazes locked and holding, she slid her hand
around from Lena’s lower back, stroking her waist, then slipping
deeper under her blouse to caress the faintly striated curve of her
ribs, her fingers fluttering just under the curve of taut breasts.
It might not be absolutely everything Lena wanted---the knowledge
that morning would come and demand she let go still lurked in the
backalleys of her mind---but it was more than she’d had any hopes of
getting, and more than she could have asked for. Her body shaking under
the rush of arousal, Lena whimpered softly, the sound fading into the
kiss she suddenly found herself sharing with Bianca. Their mouths moved
together, lips parting, tongues meeting and tangling while their bodies
continued the slow dance, the easy rhythm evocative of so many things.
So very many other things. All of them hot and sweet and very, very
Nails scraped very lightly against the skin stretched taut over Lena’s
ribs, and she responded by sliding a hand into shoulder length hair, her
hold tightening on her lover’s smaller frame, guiding her as she
changed positions enough to let her thigh ride against a muscled inner
thigh. She wanted Bianca to feel, to ache, to need as much as she did,
and she got what she wanted as she tasted a growling moan and felt
slender fingers dig almost convulsively into her hair and side. No
question now. Bianca wanted her.
And she wanted Bianca so badly she hurt with it, ached and needed in
a way she’d never even knew existed before meeting the younger woman.
Then Bianca thrust back, her thigh shifting and pressing.
Lena almost screamed, her entire body on the verge of imploding and
exploding again like some dark star folding in on itself before bursting
outward into a new universe.
In an instant dancing---at least the vertical kind---was forgotten,
the music a distant memory, lost amid a symphony of moans and whispered
entreaties. They stumbled to the bed in a flurry of arms and legs,
mouths still wedded, hands fumbling, pulling and pushing at clothes with
utter desperation. Trembling hands pried and peeled fabric aside, found
bare flesh, and flung unwanted cloth away.
The need to touch was primal, beyond words, a tactile expression of
emotion. They were the only things that mattered in the universe,
perhaps the only things left in the universe. They tumbled onto the bed
together, legs scissored, hands floating everywhere, pulling each other
close, every breath shared through hungry kisses.
Lena lost all track of time. It was a nonexistent concept as far as
she was concerned. She was all sensation and emotion, each one driving
the other. Her hands skated over Bianca’s torso, outlining the curve
of her ribs, full breasts, the tight tuck at her waist, then down to
Bianca whimpered, the sound sharp and high pitched, as Lena pulled
her close and thrust with her thigh, silky hair and flesh sliding
against her skin in a slick trail of heat and moisture. Lena wanted to
go slow, take her time, explore, and learn everything there was to know
about the younger woman...
But neither of them was capable of waiting that long.
Denial, frustration, need, they’d all built to a point that they
were both were held in a wicked kind of sensual thrall. Lena’s world
spun, pleading words escaping her lips in a litany that sounded almost
like a prayer.
"I know...I know..." Bianca gasped, her skin glossy with
sweat as the firelight kissed them both with a coppery glow. She trailed
nipping kisses along the line of Lena’s collarbone, one hand braced on
the bed near her hip, the other sliding down her torso and between their
Then Lena was stroked, entered, stroked again. "Bianca!"
she cried out, her back twisting into a painful arch, neatly blunted
nails digging into slender shoulders. Her body bucked, blindly seeking
"Yes," Bianca panted, lips and teeth trailing up Lena’s
throat, following a path to her ear. "Say my name," she
pleaded. "Don’t stop..."
"Bianca," Lena gasped, following her lover’s lead this
time, a hand slipping between their bodies to find and caress heated
flesh. The thrill of touching and feeling Bianca shudder in response
driving her own pleasure to greater heights.
"Again," Bianca groaned, muscles flexing and pulling as she
thrust her body against Lena’s, using her weight to press her fingers
"Bianca." They were both drenched in sweat, bodies moving
slickly together, damp skin catching the firelight and reflecting it
back in ever-shifting patterns.
"Again," Bianca whispered, and her teeth dragged over Lena’s
earlobe, almost but not quite hard enough to cause pain, then released.
"Say it until I can’t imagine any other name on your lips
...until I can’t imagine you saying any other name ever
"Bianca," she gasped and met Bianca’s thrusts with her
own, her touch gentler but no less intense. It wasn’t graceful or
easy, but then sex rarely was in Lena’s experience. "Bianca...."
It wasn’t the stuff of romantic stories, but hot and sweaty and all
too often more embarrassing and humiliating than pleasurable. Not this
time. "Bianca..." This time it was all pleasure and rich
sensuality, about being found after being lost for far too long. "Bianca...."
It meant something. Something Lena would probably be decoding for a long
time to come. But at that precise moment, there were no thoughts, only
instinct and feeling and Bianca’s name on her lips. She said it over
and over and over again, wanting to reassure, to comfort, and to drive
any memories of her past from her lover’s mind until a single word
gusted in her ear, carried on a hot breathed exhalation.
No professions of love, no teary eyed avowals that all was forgiven,
just her name. Enough? Not really, but all Lena was likely to get, and
like a drowning woman, any breath of air, no matter how small, was
better than nothing. She kissed her way along up the length of Bianca’s
throat, nuzzled into her hair, then couldn’t hold back all the things
she needed to say, words of love and desire in every language except
English, refusing to deny her emotions, yet aware that the full breadth
of them might be unwelcome or viewed as too much pressure.
Bianca breathed her name again, her voice more ragged this time,
sweat running freely over her skin now, muscles flexing and working
under the hand sliding here and there, caressing and exploring.
Trailing her lips along the soft curve of Bianca’s jaw, Lena
followed that a meandering path until she found soft lips once again.
Their mouths met, blended, and open mouthed kisses followed, their
tongues adopting the same rhythm as their hands and bodies. Sensations
so thick and rich they made the world spin arced over Lena’s every
nerve ending. Bianca had to see it, had to feel it, had to know that
this was right. "I love you," she gasped without planning to,
her stomach sinking as she realized the words had slipped out, half
afraid Bianca would reject the expression of emotion.
Instead, Bianca caught Lena’s lips again, kissing hungrily, her
tongue pressing inside, laying claim. "I know," she exhaled
when she momentarily broke the sensual contact. And then she ducked her
head again, reclaiming their kiss...reclaiming Lena.
It wasn’t the whole distance they needed to travel, but it was
another step on the road home.
Then everything but the physical was forgotten as Lena tasted a low,
feral groan and felt the first contraction that signaled Bianca’s
control was slipping away. Their eyes met, glittering in the firelight,
and Lena lost herself in brown eyes that gleamed with pleasure and want.
In an instant, her own orgasm was washing over her, wrapping her in a
sexual undertow that she couldn’t have escaped if she’d wanted.
And she didn’t want to escape. If anything, she wanted to stay
right where she was forever, eternally caught in this single moment. She
didn’t care if it meant drowning, she would have gladly surrendered
herself to stay right there.
But that wasn’t possible. Not even for love could time be made to
stand still. Addictive and intense, pleasure washed over and through
her, while she was aware of every sound Bianca made, every thrust of her
body, every contraction of taut muscle. Despite being lost in her own
responses, she noticed every detail of her lover’s reactions,
cataloguing the knowledge away, though whether it was for future
reference or simply to comfort herself during lonely nights to come
would all depend on Bianca.
Lena had not been so thoroughly at the mercy of another human being
since her earliest childhood. She hadn’t allowed it, but now it was
too late and there was nothing she could do but ride the waves need and
pleasure and pray that she didn’t wind up crashing and burning before
it was all over.
"Lena," Bianca whispered again, the sound so soft and rough
it was barely audible.
It was enough though. Volcanic heat collapsed, coalesced, then
exploded again, leaving Lena trembling and weak. She felt Bianca’s
hold on her body tighten, as she delivered a last caress, and then her
lover went limp, collapsing into her, her face buried in the hair near
her ear. Hot, damp breath fluttered over Lena’s skin, and Bianca
shifted to take some of her weight on one elbow while her other hand
remained where it was, her touch gentle but possessive where she cupped
soft flesh. Where in the past, she’d been eager to be rid of the
weight or previous lovers, Lena thrilled to the solidity of the body
stretched out above her own. The hand that had ranged soft caresses over
the length of the smaller woman’s frame wrapped around her now,
spreading against her upper back, clinging tenderly. Feeling Bianca
relax further against her body, Lena stroked the back of a slender calf
with the bottom of her foot, content to simply hold and be held.
Bianca breathed an inaudible comment and nuzzled deeper into Lena’s
neck, her breathing gradually slowing, bodies plastered so close that
they fell into a rhythm where one exhaled while the other inhaled in a
physical give and take of space, instinctively moving in syncopation
with one another even in the aftermath.
They lay like that for a long time, both totally spent, then finally
Bianca rolled and flopped onto her back to lie there, staring silently
at the ceiling.
Uncertain what to make of the younger woman’s mood, Lena turned her
head to peer over at her, simply watching as Bianca stared upward. She
wanted to ask a thousand different questions, but afraid of making some
kind of mistake, held her tongue. Meanwhile, Bianca seemed to be in no
mood to share what she was thinking, her expression unreadable, her body
language distant now that they weren’t touching.
Lena waited, hoping for some kind of comment, but when none was
forthcoming finally, cautiously rolled onto her side, her head propped
up on one hand. All of her life, Lena Kundera had watched people, often
silent and unnoticed as a child, sometimes the same as an adult and
sometimes while using tools of distraction so the target didn’t know
they were being watched. Human behavior had long fascinated her, and she
saw it as a canvas of shifting patterns that made it remarkably
predictable. Once she found the key to how someone thought and reacted,
she’d usually found it very easy to know which way they would jump in
any given situation, It was why she’d been good in business. It was
all psychology and understand human expectation. And it was why she’d
been good in working for Michael. Predicting behavior made manipulation
Only Bianca Montgomery seemed to so thoroughly and so consistently
confound her knowledge, as though she broke all of the painstakingly
learned patterns. Rather than predict, she had to go on expressions and
words, reading body language as she went along to help her know what was
going on. Thankfully, Bianca was generally very open and easy to read,
but right now, her expression was closed down, her face cut in deep
shadows that made it that much harder to understand her emotions. Denied
those cues and uncertain of her place, Lena had no idea what the younger
woman was thinking. She ran over various options of things to say in her
head, trying them out mentally, and struggling to predict possible
responses only to realize she hadn’t the faintest idea how Bianca
might respond. She was still calculating possibilities when she suddenly
found herself blurting out, "I’m sorry," which even she was
smart enough to know was absolutely the wrong thing to say, though
unfortunately not until after the words were out of her mouth.
Frowning ever so slightly, Bianca flicked a look her direction.
"Why?" she asked, sounding genuinely perplexed.
Slim shoulders dipped in a hint of a shrug. "I meant to take my
time...to show you...." She trailed off into silence, trying to
marshal her thoughts into some vague sort of organization. She looked
down at her own hands, wanting to touch, but afraid to try. "But
once we kissed..." she made a small annoyed sound in the back of
her throat, irritated with her own lack of self control, "I couldn’t
go slow." She was startled when a gentle hand stroked her cheek,
drawing her attention back to Bianca, who was staring at her with an odd
"I think that was pretty mutual," her lover pointed out,
her tone dry.
Lena looked away again, though she was relieved that Bianca didn’t
pull her hand back, simply continued lightly stroking her cheek. "I
just...dreamed of this happening...and I wanted everything to be
perfect...to do everything right."
"You didn’t do anything wrong," Bianca whispered, turning
her hand to run her thumb along Lena’s lower lip.
Bianca accidentally nicked the injury in Lena’s lip with her
thumbnail, and the Polish woman jerked her head back, wincing as she
unintentionally worsened the injury when the scab caught on Bianca’s
nail and tore. Tasting blood, she reached up to wipe a few fresh drops
"Oh, god, I’m sorry," Bianca apologized instantly.
"It’s nothing," Lena waved the subject aside. "Just
reopened the cut a little."
Reaching up, Bianca lightly batted Lena’s hand aside and gently
rubbed at the blood with the pad of her thumb. "I’m sorry,"
she said again, her expression drawing into a frown, something in her
tone leaving Lena uncertain she was referring to the cut or something
Lena risked a quick look up. "It’s just that you seem so...so
distant...now." She swallowed hard, finding it hard to express
herself...which was ironic given her normal facility with language.
"And I...I...don’t know what to...to think, I guess."
A soft sigh escaped full lips while Bianca continued gently brushing
the blood away from Lena’s lip as it slowed to an ooze. She rubbed her
thumb and forefinger together, spreading the blood between them.
"This isn’t simple," she said very softly. She shook her
head, eyes rolling ceilingward again. "God, my mom would blow a
gasket if she knew I was here like this with you."
Her gaze dropping, Lena bit her tongue to stop the sharp reply that
instantly came to mind. She took a breath to calm herself, then spoke
carefully. "This isn’t about your mother." Despite Erica
Kane’s need to be the center of attention at all times, there were a
few things she wasn’t a part of.
"I know that," Bianca said a little too quickly, then
added, "It’s just that..." she didn’t finish, instead
muttering a soft curse under her breath.
Feeling like she’d taken a solid kick to the teeth, Lena tamped
down on the impulse to demand something from her lover. But the harsh
reality was that Bianca was ashamed of her and that wasn’t likely to
change anytime soon. "Do you want me to take you back to Myrtle’s?"
she offered, amazed by how cool she managed to sound when she wanted
nothing more than to keep Bianca here until she accepted their love.
Bianca turned her head to stare at Lena, her eyes black and
unfathomably deep in the thin light.
With her body satiated, it had to be tempting to walk away and
pretend it had never happened, and Lena half expected the younger woman
to do just that.
Finally, Bianca shook her head. "No," she admitted.
"Do you want to go?"
Not as easy a question as Lena might have predicted. "No,"
she whispered, "I want to be with you more than anything in the
world, but not if all you feel afterward is shame or regret." She
caught Bianca’s hand with her own, twining their fingers together,
relieved that Bianca allowed the gesture. "You are so
beautiful...and so special...and I hate the idea that being with me or
wanting me hurts you somehow..." her voice threatened to crack as
she continued, "or makes you feel ashamed." Her stomach rolled
with nausea and tension. "I’m sorry," she said again to fill
the silence when Bianca didn’t immediately speak.
"God," Bianca exhaled. "It’s all such a mess."
"I’m sorry," Lena choked, feeling like the biggest idiot
in the universe, but unable to get anything else out.
"Stop apologizing," Bianca snapped impatiently.
"Then what do you want?"Lena whispered. "I’ll do
anything I can to make this right. God, do you know how much I love
Bianca was silent for a long moment. "You say you love me,"
she rasped at last. "So why didn’t you tell me you were in
trouble? That’s what you do when you love someone. You trust
them...let them help you." She looked at Lena, her eyes wide and
glossy with the threat of tears, her own insecurities thoroughly in
play. "Did you think I wouldn’t understand...or that I wouldn’t
care? If I’d known your mother was in danger, I would have tried to
help." She looked down at her hand, rubbing her thumb against her
forefinger---still dark with Lena’s drying blood. "Just like I’d
help you go to Anna about Michael attacking you."
Lena shook her head, wondering if she was even capable of giving
Bianca the answers she wanted when she wasn’t sure she knew what they
were. "I know that," she insisted, then paused, struggling to
find a way to explain her actions and trying to understand them herself.
"I was wrong...panicked...so used to having to do things on my own,
I suppose I couldn’t imagine anything else...and I didn’t want you
to know the things I’d done...the life I’d led." She slowed,
caught her breath, then continued, "And I suppose I was afraid that
someone like you...so pure...and decent...couldn’t feel anything for
the real me...." Her throat threatened to close down, eyes burning
as tears made the world swim.
Hearing that Bianca rolled on her side, reaching out, her hand
curving to the back of Lena’s neck. "Damn you," she hissed
very softly and pulled Lena to her, kissing her hungrily.
Lena felt the press of flesh and muscle, tasted Bianca’s soft growl
mixed with a tincture of iron flavored blood---her own---as she was
pressed onto her back, and hands began running frantically over her
body. She broke the kiss, lips running along the arch of Bianca’s
And tasted tears.
All wrong. It was all wrong. They’d found physical pleasure, but
there were so many other issues between them that hadn’t been dealt
with. "No," she groaned through the shared kiss and framed
Bianca’s face in her hands, pushing her back to stare into brown eyes
that were glossy with moisture. Lena smoothed Bianca’s hair back from
her face as she studied soft features. "You’re angry at me."
"Imagine that," Bianca snapped. Weight braced on her hands,
she pushed away, glaring down at Lena, a muscle pulsing gently along the
line of her jaw. "You’d rather let him hurt you than trust me to
help you," she accused, blinking rapidly and flicking her head in
an obvious effort to clear the tears filling her eyes.
"That’s not true," Lena instantly denied the charge.
"Isn’t it?" Bianca shot back just as quickly.
A hint of a frown touched Lena’s brow as she put things together.
"You’re wrong," she whispered at last. Still cupping Bianca’s
face in her hands, she brushed dark silky hair back from the younger
woman’s face. "This isn’t about trust. I’m trying to protect
Tension rippled through Bianca’s arms and shoulders. "Has it
occurred to you," she demanded a little bitterly, "that
maybe...just maybe...that cuts both ways?"
"It’s not the same," Lena insisted.
Bianca pulled back even farther, her eyes blazing, teeth grinding.
"Why, because I’m younger?" she ground out.
"No," Lena disagreed, clinging to Bianca, not letting her
pull away when Lena was afraid she would. "Because I’m the one
who made this mess with Michael...god, none of this is your fault, and
it’s not right that you should suffer or be frightened because of my
Bianca twitched free of Lena’s hold and pushed away, not letting
herself be drawn back this time. She hit her knees and twisted so she
was sitting with her back to Lena, knees pressed up to her chest, arms
wrapped tightly around her folded legs. She didn’t say anything, just
stared into the distance.
Scrambling to her knees behind Bianca, Lena wanted to touch, but was
afraid of how it would be received. "Bianca?" she whispered
after a long moment.
Bianca finally turned her head enough to glance back at Lena.
"You should have trusted me...had a little faith. If you had just
told me...we could have avoided all of this." She buried her face
in her knees with a noisy sniffle. "When I found out...even after I
knew what you’d done," she whispered, her voice muffled, "I
wanted you to tell me so badly. I would have forgiven you anything if
you had just come to me...and told me the truth. There was a moment in
the restaurant...when you told me about your mother...I thought you were
going to tell me and I knew it would be okay if you just did. Dammit,
you should have."
Lena froze for a moment, swallowing hard against the brutal tightness
in her throat and dashing away tears. So many mistakes. She’d made so
damn many mistakes in her life, and most of the ones that truly mattered
with her were ones that affected her relationship with the slender
figure sitting so close and yet so very far. "You’re right,"
she said at last. "I can’t defend the choices I’ve made...not
in light of everything that’s happened." She closed her eyes for
a moment, blocking out Bianca’s narrow back and accusing posture.
"I guess I kept hoping that just once in my life I’d get
lucky...instead I screwed up...hurt you...damaged everything." She
risked a light caress to Bianca’s shoulder.
"And what’s your excuse now?" Bianca demanded without
And now they were back to Michael’s attack. "I’m trying to
protect you...to keep you off his radar."
Bracing one hand on the mattress, Bianca twisted her upper body
around, glaring furiously at Lena. "I’m on his radar no matter
what you do. He’s after my mother, my sister...and my lover...and as
long as that bastard is loose, you’re all in danger...and anything he
does to you he might as well do to me." She rolled her head back on
her shoulders, teeth digging into her lower lip. When she continued
again, her voice threatened to crack. "Don’t you realize he could
have killed you last night? He could have killed you...and I would have
lost you forever, and you won’t even let me help make sure he can’t
try again...." She choked to a halt, her breath rasping painfully,
and turned away again.
Utterly paralyzed, Lena couldn’t think for a long moment. She hadn’t
really considered things from Bianca’s point of view, had only thought
of protecting her and keeping her safe from Michael’s madness. "I’m
sorry," she said at last, but Bianca cut her short, her voice
"Stop apologizing," she snapped. "It doesn’t help or
"What I’m trying to say," Lena continued more firmly,
overriding Bianca and forcing her to listen, "is that you’re
Bianca twisted back around to stare up at Lena, her surprise visible
in her expression.
"Michael needs to be stopped...and I can’t protect you ...or
the people you love...by ignoring that." Lena paused to take a
calming breath, then continued, "and the best chance for stopping
him is if we go to the police together and tell them what
happened." It cost her everything to make that admission and accept
that there were things she couldn’t handle on her own. She could feel
her heart pounding painfully fast in her chest. Stark, raving terror.
God, she was so scared she could barely breathe and wasn’t even
entirely certain what of. Michael certainly, and the danger he might
present to Bianca, but also of a host of other things she couldn’t
name and didn’t begin to understand. She was startled out of her
silent reverie when a gentle hand brushed her cheek. "Bianca?"
Lena whispered almost inaudibly, drawn in the inviting softness in doe
"In the morning," she whispered very softly. "We’ll
talk to the police in the morning."
Which hopefully meant they weren’t leaving that night. Lena still
felt the need to be certain. "Then you don’t want to go?"
Bianca shook her head, her expression solemn. And then the hand
caressing Lena’s cheek slid around to the back of her neck, tugging
lightly. Suddenly Lena was ducking her head, her mouth finding Bianca’s,
arms wrapping around her lover’s slight frame. With the edge off their
physical desire, the kisses were softer and slower, with a tenderness
that came from deep emotion. Hands floated and caressed, lips moving
together in a slow dance, every brush of flesh on flesh sending delicate
shudders through both lovers. Lena rested her palm on Bianca’s upper
chest, feeling the unsteady thud of her heart, then let her hand slide
lower, stroking lightly, fingertips painting erotic patterns as they
trailed over full breasts, then along striated ribs and well defined
Moaning low in her throat, Bianca arched into the caresses, fingers
twining into the hair at Lena’s nape.
As the kiss broke, Lena trailed her lips along the curve of Bianca’s
jaw, then swirled her tongue in a delicate ear. "Be with me,"
she invited, her fingertips still swirling over velvety flesh. "Let
me hold you...make love to you...."
Bianca nodded, leaning heavily into her lover as Lena urged her to
lie back down, then stretched out next to her. They simply stared at one
another for a long moment, then Lena rested her hand lightly on Bianca’s
abdomen, her thumb moving lightly, every tiny caress earning another
hitch in Bianca’s breath. She was so beautiful, so perfect that
sometimes, Lena feared it was all a particularly vivid dream, that
someone this pure and innocent couldn’t really exist.
But she did exist. It was her hands and mouth clinging, her lips
uttering tiny, aroused sounds, her legs tangling restlessly with the
thigh and calf draped across her lower body. She was solid flesh and
bone and lying there with Lena.
And they had all night....