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“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” | Lao Tzu

“The best things in life make you sweaty.” | Edgar Allan Poe

A month had passed since Bo had gone full Dark Queen and life ambled on, boring, in a way, after all that had happened. The Crack Shack gone, Bo was living in a motel--check that--the shittiest motel in the colony. The Dark Queen was powerful but she was also broke.

Lauren grunted from beneath her, face intent on the pleasure she felt. They had a dinner date that for once wasn’t broken by Fae drama and they almost sat through a whole movie together without Bo’s hands roaming in the darkness of the theatre. In short, things were amazing.

Bo sat up abruptly as Lauren jerked away from her and stood beside the bed, naked. “Where are you going?”

“Home.” She collected her clothes from the chair and began to dress. “I need to sleep.”

Bo held the sheet against her breasts and smiled at her. “Lauren, I know this place lacks charm but…”

She looked up from buttoning her pants. “The bed springs poke through, Bo. There are stains on everything. The smell…”

“Hey! It’s not that bad,” she protested.

“The shower doesn’t have hot water.” She fastened her bra.

“Come on, that’s refreshing. You even said so yourself.”

She poked her head through the neck of her shirt. “I was being polite.” Bending over to put her shoes on, she inhaled. “The carpet smells like wet dog.”

“That--” She relented, nodding. “Yeah, it does.”

She straightened. “There’s a hole in the screen and every species of insect imaginable is flitting around that lamp, which happens to be the only working source of light in the place.”

“Hey, the bathroom light works.”

Lauren sighed. “Come with me, Bo.”

“And leave all this?” She said stubbornly crossing her arms. “Besides, you don’t need me in your space. I’ll be fine.”

“Bo…” Her voice was weary.

Bo shrugged and waved her away. “It’s fine. I’m fine.”

Lauren looked at her for a long moment. “Suit yourself.”

Bo couldn’t stop her jaw from dropping. “You’re leaving?”

Lauren exhaled, smiling. “I had a lovely time, thanks for dinner…“

“You paid.“

A low sultry laugh escaped Lauren and she pulled at Bo’s strings like a puppet master. “That’s not important.“ She shrugged into her jacket and grabbed her keys from the bureau. “You were an enchanting date.”

“Why, Doctor…” Bo hugged her sides. “Won’t you stay awhile longer?” She flirted.

Bowing her head, a smile so great the room was brighter for it, she stepped forward and sat on the bed next to Bo. “Bo, I love you, I do, but I cannot spend a moment longer in these, quite frankly, horrific conditions.”

“You didn’t mind the crack shack… This place has walls!”

“I never thought I would say this--walls or no--the crack shack was clean by comparison. And that bed…” She made a face.

“We can switch sides. You can be on top--”

“Bo,” she said forcefully. And then more quietly, “I’m leaving.” Her hand caressed Bo’s face as she leaned in to kiss her goodbye. She stood and took the few short steps to the door. Twisting the doorknob, she looked over her shoulder at Bo. “I’ll call you in the morning.”

And then she was gone and Bo was left with that unfinished feeling. “Shit.” She smacked her pillow and fell back onto the bed. Things were great; they were amazing.

The phone was ringing and it was far too early for the Succubus to rouse. Especially after her tango with the tequila bottle last night. Her hand slapped the nightstand in search of her blaring phone, groping around until she found it. Squinting she engaged the line.

“Hello?” Her voice was rough with sleep.

“Did I wake you?” Lauren’s silky smooth voice asked from the other end.

“It’s…” she searched the room for a clock and found none. Pulling the phone away from her ear she squinted at it again. “Eleven thirty-two in the morning.” She deflated. “No, I’ve been up for hours,” she lied.

“What are you going to do today?” Lauren was chipper, unaffected by the night before.

“I hadn’t thought about it, but it seems like a good day to get drunk at the Dal.”

“Never stop dreaming.” Bo could hear her smile. “Call me?”

“You got it.”

“Talk later.” She waited for Bo to grunt before hanging up.

Bo slapped a hand over her face and sat up. She had no idea when she’d fallen asleep or passed out. Whatever the case, her head was pounding and the need that Lauren had enlivened in her the night before hadn’t dissipated. She was a hot mess.

A hot shower, a clean pair of clothes, makeup and a toothbrush would do the trick. Except the shower was freezing, her clothes weren’t clean and she left her toothbrush at Lauren’s. “This day just keeps getting better and better,“ Bo griped as she spread a line of toothpaste on her index finger.

An hour later she was sitting across the bar from Dyson at the Dal. He poured liquor was greater flourish than Trick and it made her yearn for the simplicity of her early days within the colony. She sighed and swirled the amber liquor in her glass before drinking it down.

“What’s the problem, Bo?” Dyson finally asked.

“Nothing.” She shook her head. “Well, it’s Lauren…”

“Domestic bliss not all that you thought it would be?”

“I wouldn’t know. She barely has time for me with the clinic and her research. And when we do go out together she won’t stay overnight with me.”

“You still living at that motel?” Dyson asked, eyebrows raised, he scratched his beard.

“Yeah,” she said defensively.

He laughed. “Bo, that place is a hole.”

“I prefer hovel, thank you very much.” She nodded at him.

Dyson filled her glass again. “Why would you think that Lauren would want to spend time there?”

“She didn’t mind the crack shack…” Bo poked at the ice cube in her glass.

He laughed. “I dunno, Bo. That place was drafty, the plumbing was shoddy and in the spring it smelled like dead rats.”

She slapped a hand down on the bar. “Geez, what’s with you people? Is nothing sacred?”

Dyson‘s hand squeezed her wrist. “She was there for you, Bo.”

“Then why can’t she be there for me at the motel?”

He polished a glass. “It might be time to show her you’ve outgrown your surroundings.”

She squinted at Dyson. “When did you become the man with the answers?”

He patted the bar. “Comes with the territory.”

“Come to think of it, this place has a definite Fae Cheers vibe lately.” Bo looked around. “What gives?”

“Some of the Fae from the force have started playing cards in the back regularly. A real community popped up after news of Trick’s passing came out.”

Bo smiled at that. Trick was well-loved, and not just by her and Dyson, but by the people he ultimately ended up serving. As a bartender or the Ash, his atonement for the past was boundless.
She drained her drink and slapped a hand onto the bar. “Call me a cab.”

“A cab? Sure, but--”

“Lauren doesn’t want me driving after I’ve had a few.”

“Surely she knows your tolerance.”

“No, but it keeps her happy and she pays so the only real inconvenience is waiting for it.” He picked up the old rotary phone at the bar and began to dial. “And pour me another while I wait.”

Bo rolled out of the cab and straightened awkwardly. Maybe it was a good thing she didn’t drive herself. She walked through the clinic’s sliding glass doors and into the lobby.

Lauren’s assistant waved her over. “She’s in the back.”

Bo swaggered past reception and through the doors to the back where Lauren’s office and private lab were located.

“Hey,” she said, thrusting her hands into the leather jacket’s pockets.

“Hi.” Lauren was visibly flustered. “Bo, I didn’t expect to see you so soon…”

“Is this a bad time?” Bo asked, dreading the answer.

Lauren looked at her sympathetically. “A little.”

“I’ll catch up with you later.” As Bo turned to leave, the scuffle of Lauren’s boots came closer.

“Bo, don’t.” Her hand was in Lauren’s and she was turning her around. She moved closer, caressing Bo‘s cheek. She kissed her lightly and when Lauren pulled away, she frowned. “Are you drunk? It’s two-thirty in the afternoon.”

“What else am I going to do, Lauren? You’re always busy and since I banished Hades it’s been pretty damn dull around here.”

“You’re not complaining that it’s not dangerous enough are you?” Lauren was incredulous.

“No.” She shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe.” Bo sighed.

“Bo it’s barely been a month since you drained the entire city of their chi.”

“I remember. I just… I don’t have a purpose. The riff raff is scared shitless of me so nobody bothers us anymore. And I want to spend time with you but I can’t and it’s frustrating.”

Lauren stroked her arm. “That’s the second time you’ve said that.”

“Yeah, well, it bears repeating.”

“I’ll pull back to ten hour workdays.” Their eyes met and Lauren nodded. She was serious.

Bo choked on a laugh. “Sure.” She shrugged. “Why not?”

“You want more…”

“Lauren, I want you all the time. Every minute of every day, you are on my mind.” Bo’s intensity was unmistakable.

She furrowed her brow and swallowed her nerves. “Bo…”

Bo paced. “And I know I’m being unreasonable, but I want more than the four hours a day you’re willing to give me right now.”

“Move in with me. Stop this nonsense with the motel and just do it, Bo.”

“Lauren,“ Bo sighed. “You know I’ll just be in the way.”

Lauren wrapped her arms around Bo’s waist and stepped into her. “I wouldn’t ask if I didn‘t want this too. Come on, I’ll knock off early and we’ll clear out that motel room…”

She bit her bottom lip. “I’m listening…”

Her hands slid up the collar of Bo’s leather jacket. “You’ll move in, and we’ll celebrate all…night…long,” she whispered into her ear.

A sly smile spread across Bo’s face. It was a good offer. Hell, it was a great offer, but something inside of her wanted to push for more. She hugged her tight and sunk her hands into Lauren’s hair. “What about tomorrow?” Bo whispered.

Lauren stammered, obviously not prepared for a negotiation. “Oh, Bo…” Lauren sighed. “Let‘s get your stuff and we can talk later…”

The door frame splintered when Bo pushed into the room, Lauren close on her heels. Bo went for her makeup first and Lauren spent her time folding Bo’s clothes that were scattered around the room.

“I don’t know why I’m folding these. We’ll probably have to delouse them anyway.”

“What?” Bo poked her head out of the bathroom.

“Nothing.” Lauren smirked. “What do you feel like eating?”

“Something light. Thai,” she answered definitively.

“My kingdom for a fresh roll.” Lauren exhaled a dreamy sigh and smiled as she stuffed the clothing into Bo‘s duffel bag. “You ready?” Bo took a deep breath. Lauren had committed to her for the rest of her life and Bo was on the verge of hyperventilating over moving in with her. It was like Lauren knew what was going through her head in those moments and stepped forward to touch the back of her hand to her cheek. “It’s going to be okay.”

Bo nodded and a smile crept across her face. “It’s good. I’m good.” She was only speaking in half-truths now.

When Lauren kissed her, the full meaning hit her like a jolt of electricity, sparking in her mouth and twinkling in Lauren’s eyes as she pulled away. Their connection was so strong that Bo could feel the pull from her insides out. Pure magnetism, they would never leave each other’s orbit and Bo understood the complexities of their involvement would never go away but what they amounted to was minor inconveniences. This was love, pure and unrelenting.

Her hand slapped the wall behind Lauren as she backed her up against it, her mouth insistent. Adeptly, Bo began to unbutton her shirt when Lauren’s hands squeezed around her wrists and pulled away. “Not here,” Lauren breathed.

“I kind of have a situation here,“ she grunted. “Are you sure you can’t make an exception?” Bo panted.

“Let’s go,” Lauren said, quite seriously.

Bo released her and backed away. She sighed, snatching the duffel bag from the bed and motioned to Lauren. “After you.”

The door had not latched before Bo’s was tearing at her clothes. Their lips met in a thrash, Bo’s hands a blur. Lauren stumbled backwards, steadied by Bo’s sure grip on her hips. Lauren’s hands were in her hair, her mouth delving deeper into Bo’s. Her fingers nimbly unhooked the last clasp on Lauren’s bra as Lauren’s hands slipped under her jacket, pushing it from her shoulders and letting it fall to the floor.

The trail of clothing continued through the hall and into the master bedroom. Bo pushed her back onto the bed. She licked her lips, a hungry stare, and crawled over Lauren. Bo was a cherry bomb waiting to explode, an unpredictable fiasco every time her eyes flashed blue. And even though Bo’s movements may have seemed rushed, the sensations she invoked in Lauren were otherworldly and timeless, and time seemed to crawl when they were locked together as they were now.

The first time was quick, Bo’s hips grinding down on her, her ragged breaths inhaled by Lauren until she broke away and buried her face in her blonde hair, crying out. The second time, Bo pulled Lauren on top of her and watched her move above her for what felt like hours, until she couldn’t stand it any longer and she quickly flipped Lauren onto her back, erupting in laughter. The third time, Bo yanked Lauren’s hips down toward the middle of the bed and slid down her body eagerly. Bliss, brought about too quickly and soon Lauren gripped her pillowcase with white-knuckles. “Bo,” she moaned, unable to resist the sweep of her tongue or the smile in her eyes.

Bo slipped into the space beside Lauren and flopped onto her back, a happy sigh escaping her. Lauren’s arm dropped onto her chest and Bo hugged it against her, kissing Lauren‘s fingers.

“Welcome home,” Lauren said, smiling at the ceiling.

Bo’s eyes drifted to the doctor’s face as she propped her head up with a hand. “You’re sure about this?”

“Absolutely.” There was no hesitation.

“Because I’m a bear to live with. Just ask Kenzi. I’m messy--”

Lauren bowed her head and laughed. “We’ll get a maid.”

“I can’t cook--” Bo blurted.

“I can…” Lauren cooed.

“I barely sleep--” Bo added.

“I’ll work on something in the lab for you, we’ll get it figured out…” She kissed Bo on the cheek.

Bo paused and looked at Lauren seriously. “Trouble follows me everywhere.”

“Then you’ll just have to protect me. Bo, I knew all of these things before I asked you to move in with me. And none of it changes anything.”

“What about tomorrow?” Bo asked for the second time that evening. “Can we talk about that yet?

Lauren hummed, fingers drumming on Bo’s chest. “I think I’ll take the day off.”


(Happy [early] birthday, Olivia!)