Serena’s first thought when she wakes up is that the bed is unbelievably comfortable. Serena’s own mattress is high quality but this must be one of those ultra-expensive ones made for comfort and a more than decent night’s sleep. As she becomes more awake, Serena registers the aching of her muscles and slowly she closes her eyes, remembering last night. Last night, more than sleeping happened in this bed.
Turning to her left she looks at the sleeping figure beside her. A total stranger, blonde curls splayed across the pillow and freckles dotting across the bare shoulder Serena can see poking out from under the covers.
Last night had marked a new start for Serena. After a turbulent year with her daughter; her professional life providing one stress after another; and her personal life being a series of disappointments, Serena had decided to go to a club night marketed for the more mature individual. The more mature individual who was interested in mingling with other like-minded individuals. Other like-minded individuals who were interested in getting to know other individuals of the same sex.
The lights had been low, lasers flashing across the crowded space and strobes beaming across the room. The music had been loud and the drinks expensive. Serena was beginning to regret every deciding to attend the event, was longing for her slippers and a bottle of red which cost the same as the two for one cocktails at this venue.
When she’d been approached by the tall, striking stranger, Serena had been drawn in immediately. The woman had appeared out of the dark from across the room, a vision from the midst of people Serena’s age dancing to Wham! and ABBA like it was the 1980s again. This stranger was a blessed relief, a distraction from the circus before her which Serena had no interest in joining. An escaped animal, looking to Serena to be the one to tame her messy curls and seductive smirk.
One drink had become two drinks. Two drinks had become this confident woman confessing she’d never been to one of these events before either, but would Serena like to go back to hers? Serena had followed without needing to think about it. Leaving together with this stranger was the only option she wanted to consider.
And now here Serena is, awake, sobered and in bed with this perfect stranger. She shouldn’t be here, Serena knows that. She’s a professional, and (up until last night, anyway) supposedly straight. This was surely just an experimentation, a passing interest, satisfying an idle curiosity. Serena should just get up and leave, disappear with the sunrise and never again dwell on this reckless moment of playing with fire. Nobody needs to ever know it happened.
The problem is, as much as Serena wants to leave; another part of her simply cannot. She’s rooted into the bed. Everything she has ever wanted is in this bed with her. From what she can remember, this stranger was kind and polite and so, so understanding. A not so insignificant part of Serena would like to explore that further, see if in the cold light of day this stranger is as Serena remembers. But there’s also the possibility that it was an act, that this woman got the one thing she wanted from the club night. Serena isn’t sure she could cope with being used by someone who already has such a powerful hold on her.
She should just leave, grab her clothes and make her way back home. Her head is saying run. Her body is saying stay. Her heart is saying what if?
Last night, Serena’s body had been more than willing. One look into the dark eyes of her new acquaintance had had Serena dropping to her knees. And after that, in the bed, well. Serena is not going to be forgetting any of it in a hurry. The woman she’s with was a wild animal: passionate, energetic but also oh so tender. And protective, too. Serena remembers when, on wobbly legs after leaving the bar, she had nearly tripped and some man had said something no doubt inappropriate. The woman she’s now in bed with had wrapped her arms round her and had the man beating a hasty retreat down a side alley. Serena can’t leave, can’t turn her back on that. Can she?
The form beside her stirs and Serena’s heart leaps to her throat. Her decision has been made.
Serena wakes up smiling. Turning to her left she looks at the sleeping figure beside her. Blonde curls splayed across the pillow and freckles dotting across the bare shoulder Serena can see poking out from under the covers. Everything she ever wanted is in this bed right here.
Socked feet push their way between Serena’s calves and an arm is wrapped around her waist. Serena remembers that night, five years ago now, when she had awoken in bed with the woman beside her. No longer a stranger, Serena’s glad she didn’t pull the brakes on what has been the greatest thing to happen in her life.
After the woman had awoken that morning, they had had breakfast in bed. Trading kisses and words over croissants and jam, Serena had learned more about the woman beside her. A life in the military, a medical dischargement due to a back injury (that one explained the luxurious mattress), deciding to spend her now civilian life embracing the sexuality she’d never before had the time to dedicate a considerable amount of time to. She was too old and too battered for one-night stands and club nights. She rather hoped the night previously would be her first and only rave of that sort. She was keen to have a proper, committed relationship with an equal. Was Serena interested? Sat in that bed, the covers wrapped around her, Serena felt her life change before her eyes.
She’s in bed with the Wolfe now. And it’s with Bernie that Serena always wants to start her days.