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Vol. 3: Severe
She wondered if Maura knew, if she could tell. As Jane snuggled even deeper into her embrace, being accepted unquestioningly, the answer became plain.
Jane’s phone buzzing across the coffee table shattered her laser focus on the docu-series she’d unwillingly submitted to. With a resolute sigh she glanced at the screen before silencing it.
“Don’t tell me you’re going in,” Maura said when Jane didn’t offer an explanation.
“No, that wasn’t work…per se.”
Maura paused the television. “I’m lost.”
“It was Tomkins from Special Cases.”
Maura smiled, “Well, detective, do tell.”
Jane shook her head. “It’s not like that, at least not for me. He doesn’t seem to get it.”
“Is he not good in bed?”
“Maura, come on.”
“It’s an easy question, yes or no.”
“Yes, he is, actually. Better than most, anyway.” Jane gathered her thoughts. “That’s just all he’s good for.”
“That’s certainly not out of the ordinary.”
“Yeah, but I just always feel so guilty after, like I’m using him. I don’t want to talk or cuddle or anything. I just…want what I want.”
“That seems to be the nature of all my relationships. The physical is good, but the rest always lacks something.”
“What do you do?”
“No!” Jane balked. “With the situation?”
“Oh. Well, I try to be honest and up front, but once sex is involved the lines can get crossed. I usually cut things off when I notice they require more of me than I’m willing to give.”
“That’s it! He does want more than I can give. My life is so…full,” Jane admitted almost wistfully. “Adding to it just seems unnecessary.”
“But isn’t that the goal ultimately, to find someone to traverse the madness with us?”
“I suppose when we find the right one then the notion of too much will no longer be a factor. Maybe too much won’t be enough.”
“If you say so, Maura Angelou,” Jane smiled. “For now he’s just good for a roll in the hay. A few more times and then I’ll cut him loose.”
“Why didn’t you pick up? You know I wouldn’t mind if you left.”
A stabbing pain struck Jane so acutely she had no time to brace herself. She schooled her features to convey indifference before saying, “No, we’re hanging out. It wouldn’t be right to just up and leave.”
Maura shrugged. “Okay, I just…”
“What?” Jane prompted when it seemed like Maura wouldn’t continue.
“I don’t want to be the one holding you back. Yes, our lives are full, but I certainly don’t want to be the one that could potentially keep you from finding true love.”
“Maura, we’re family. True love or not, our time together is a priority on my list of shit to do.” Jane’s hackles rose forcing her to add, “I don’t see you running out into the night either.”
“That’s because we’re in the same situation. And I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, our time is a priority for me as well.”
“Did we just have a fight about how much we like to be together?”
Jane laughed. “I think we did.”
They fell into a fit of giggles.
“So what makes it so good?” Maura continued at Jane’s questioning glance. “With Tomkins.”
“Oh,” Jane took a moment to think.
“Is it his penis size? He’s a big guy so I’d think he would be okay in that department.”
“No, size isn’t an issue.”
“Many women talk about length, but I prefer girth. The average vagina is six inches in depth so any longer than that—”
“Stop,” Jane held up her hand. “I will tell you about it if you don’t give me vaginal or penile statistic.”
Maura pantomimed zipping her lips.
“It wasn’t his size, so much,” Jane began. “He took his time. He was attentive.” She sighed unable to articulate exactly what she meant. “I guess it was the way he used his mouth that did it for me. Truthfully, I was disappointed when the whole penis part came into play.”
“Sounds like he’s a great lover.”
Jane shrugged. “Above average, but still…”
“Just not quite right,” the blonde surmised helpfully.
“You know the feeling?”
Maura nodded. “I think it was that way with Jack. He understood me and was attentive sexually, but it always lacked something. It never felt organic, even after the initial awkwardness of first dates and first times. I suppose that’s why he left.”
“Hey, Jack is an asshole. He wasn’t man enough to make it work so he tucked his tail between his legs and left. I say you’re better off without him.”
“I told him to go,” Maura reminded.
“And he was dumb enough to listen.”
“Thank you, Jane.” Maura paused for a moment. “To be honest, despite the initial hurt of being left so suddenly, I really don’t miss him. I was afraid he’d leave a big hole in my life, but I know now that I had to displace other things to make room for him. Things that in hindsight weren’t worth losing.”
Jane was aware that their time together had been truncated while Maura and Jack were dating. That was to be expected. It was the same when either of them was in a serious relationship. Whenever one of her relationships ended, however, Jane always felt a certain sense of relief. She was able to get back to being herself and that meant getting back to Maura.
Far too insecure to ask for specifics—afraid the answer would be something she couldn’t anticipate—Jane opted instead to stretch out, placing her head in Maura’s lap.
“I hear ya,” she smiled.
Maura laughed, her hand immediately finding raven curls. “Do you want to finish this episode?”
“Only if you keep doing that,” Jane moaned.
“Like that, do you?”
Jane decided not to dwell on the fact that Maura was the only person she let touch her like this. Not especially tactile by nature, Jane kept even family at arms length. She reserved her affection for truly special moments. Those she loved understood. Maura, however, had breached a wall that even those Jane knew Biblicaly hadn’t penetrated. She wondered if Maura knew, if she could tell. As Jane snuggled even deeper into her embrace, being accepted unquestioningly, the answer became plain.
The blonde broke their silence a few moments later. “You have such pretty hair.”
“So do you,” Jane responded automatically.
Laughing, Maura replied, “I know, but I really like yours.”
“Is that why you’re always playing with it?”
There was a beat of hesitation, barley a millisecond. It was enough to tell Jane everything she needed to know about Maura’s reply.
“Yes,” Maura rejoined simply.
Maura wasn’t lying, but she was certainly omitting.
“Tell me a secret,” Jane prompted.
She didn’t want to push, but Jane wanted to hear the rest. Where most people could say a lot with words, Maura could administer an entire dissertation with her silences. Maura was the personification of the old adage, “Think before you speak.” Each utterance that fell from the blonde’s lips was well crafted, perfectly constructed. It was only on the rarest occasion that Maura spoke without sufficient thought. Jane craved those moments. They usually presented themselves during particularly tough cases, times when they were both physically and emotionally fatigued. There was no room for analysis, no time to press the uncommon advantage.
Now, though, in the dimly lit warmth of Maura’s home, perhaps Jane could coax a bit more from her friend. Not just what Maura thought was right to say, but just maybe the thoughts that she discarded as inappropriate. That’s what Jane wanted, those fleeting thoughts that filled the milliseconds of silence.
“I think it’s safe to say that you know everything about me,” Maura tried.
“Clearly, that’s not true. I only learned about your first kiss a few nights ago.” Jane waited a brief moment before continuing. “Tell me I have nice hair again.”
“Please, just…play along.”
She waited on baited breath for Maura’s reply. They’d spent a lot of time together and not only had Maura acquired the ability to use humor as subterfuge, but she could now spin tiny white lies.
“You have such pretty hair,” Maura repeated some time later.
“So do you.”
“I know…but I really like yours.”
With eyes still firmly shut, Jane took the leap. She could only hope that Maura would hold her hand and follow.
“Is that why you’re always playing with it?”
Maura stopped scratching Jane’s scalp, moving instead to the fine hairs along her hairline.
“That and…sometimes I just like to touch you.”
There was an almost imperceptible shift. To anyone watching nothing was amiss, they were just two friends enjoying each others company. Maura’s superficial petting, however, became almost an intimate caress. Jane couldn’t help but think how wasted such a touch would be with a man. She couldn’t imagine the doctor’s soft, delicate, skilled hands on rough, calloused skin.
“Tell me a secret,” Maura parroted.
“I like when you touch me too,” she breathed without hesitation.
Where Jane imagined she was coaxing Maura to release, the opposite instead was happening. Maura’s gentle caress started along her hairline traversing to the shell of Jane’s ear. The blonde’s fingertips danced around the delicate lobe, almost cupping it.
“I know,” Maura replied in barely a whisper.
Softer words had never been so loud.
The soft caress continued, Jane craning her neck to give Maura more access. Even as her limbs become heavy with lethargy, she felt as light as a feather.
“Is this okay?” Maura asked has she stroked along the low neckline of Jane’s t-shirt, fingers skimming just below the surface.
The brunette’s nipples tightened from this new and illicit touch. They were nearing the point of no return. There was no amount of humor or avoidance that would erase the memory of something Jane herself couldn’t even fathom.
“Yes,” she replied when the realization that turning back was exactly what she didn’t want.
Seemingly emboldened by Jane’s plea, Maura’s other hand found the detective’s abdomen. The heat of Maura’s palm seemed to singe the fabric and scorch the skin beneath. Jane was overwhelmed by the dual sensations. It was too much…it wasn’t enough. Her breasts felt heavy and engorged with blood, weighing down her rib cage and causing each breath to become labored and shallow. Maura’s touch made her feel uncharacteristically feminine, wild, wanton. Jane was a jungle cat being stroked, tamed.
Her shirt pulled away from the seam of her jeans, Maura’s little finger skimming the sensitive skin of Jane’s belly. A sigh fell from her lips unchecked. There were no inhibitions, not a single second thought.
Jane opened her eyes with a start, her phone again interjecting itself into her reality. Maura’s face was only a hare’s breath from her own. She contemplated ignoring it, letting the blasted device go to voicemail. If it were important a message would be left.
That decision, however, was taken from her control as Maura’s phone too blared to life, buzzing and skimming across fine glass.
Jane could see the moment go up in flames, fiery little tenders dancing before her very eyes.
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