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Bo tugged her shirt into place over her jeans and unfastened the button that was probably going to pop open anyway. She cleared the last few steps of the hall stairwell and walked into the living room of the house where she'd lived for the last five weeks. Bo assessed the small crowd with mild annoyance. The party had doubled in size in the last twenty minutes.

Kenzi, her best friend and unofficial landlord, had insisted that Bo change into something sexier for the party, and then threatened to come find her if she took too long. Bo hadn't given her outfit much thought - jeans, boots, a black shirt that was tighter in the chest than it used to be - but now she was worried that it looked like she was trying to get laid.

Bo absolutely, positively was not trying to get laid.

She thought about changing clothes again but then decided she wasn't going to be down here long enough for it to matter. No matter what Kenzi wanted, Bo herself was not in a partying mood. While her recent breakup didn't hurt as much as it had when it was fresh, it was still on her mind and she wanted to keep to herself. At her earliest opportunity, she'd head back upstairs and hide out for the rest of the evening.

Her eyes wandered over the packed crowd of New Years Eve revelers and Kenzi's impressive decorations. By day, the old house looked rundown to the point of condemned, with clearly visible ductwork and pipes and electrical wire between exposed two-by-fours in walls that had been stripped of sheetrock. Now that it was after dark, though, with strings of lights along the walls and ceiling and candles lit throughout the room, it looked almost rustic.

Bo thought about finding Kenzi and logging some face-to-face time before she snuck off to her room, but saw her roommate busy near the entryway, greeting the kitchen manager from the pub where they all worked for her grandfather. Cassie had brought a couple of friends, and Bo watched one of them, a tall guy dressed in tight black everything that screamed musician, head over to the kitchen. Kenzi's friends from the bar kept pouring into the house, and most of them were some kind of artist or another - several musicians, a few street performers and at least one graffiti artist Kenzi had bailed out of jail the previous summer.

After a few minutes of attempting to play wallflower, Bo decided she should at least have a beer and maneuvered her way through the crowd to the corner of the living room where the keg was stashed. The guy in black spandex tried to flirt with her, but she wasn't interested and headed off to find another spot to give wallflowering another chance.

Bo sighed, sipped from her cup, and went back to people watching. With this crowd, there was a lot to see.  One guest, though, seemed out of place. Bo couldn't make out her features, but while everyone else at the party was in costume or wearing some sort of nightclub evening wear, one woman wore a simple yet elegant little black dress that fell to just above her knees. There was an empty path in the crowd, and she could see the woman's full figure from head to toe as she stood talking to Cassie in the kitchen.  She had long, blonde hair, muscular shoulders and a back revealed by the thin straps holding up the dress.

Bo admired the long, lean definition of the woman's legs and the sleek black pumps on her feet. She was surprised to feel a hint of interest on her part - she hadn't looked at anyone twice in weeks.

At that moment, the woman happened to look in Bo's direction. To Bo’s surprise, a warm smile appeared on the woman's face, and she raised a hand to wave at Bo. She didn't look away when Bo waved back. In fact, she was acting like she knew Bo.

There was something familiar about the woman, but Bo didn't remember her. Who was she?

Bo's curiosity got the best of her, and since the woman was still looking at her expectantly, she decided to walk over and solve the mystery.

When Bo got closer, Cassie had wandered off, but the woman in the kitchen was still looking at Bo expectantly, and now it was too late to turn back without appearing rude.  She recognized who it was, though she'd never seen Lauren look like this. The one time she remembered, Lauren had looked attractive in a cold, distant way, but she looked stunning. Even the cheap party cup in her hands didn't detract from her beauty and grace.  Her smile was open and welcoming, as if she were greeting an old friend.

Bo decided to make nice for a few minutes before excusing herself to go mingle...and then she'd sneak back to her room.

"Hey, Lauren," Bo tried for casual, then wondered why it mattered.

"Hi, Bo," Lauren said, her tone warm. "Good to see you. How've you been?" Lauren might have looked totally out of place in this crowd, yet seemed completely at ease.

"Not bad," Bo lied, not wanting to talk about how things really were. "How about you? How's, um, doctoring?"

Lauren smiled and answered but Bo only heard every third word. She'd never been this close to Lauren - close enough to see the exact shade of her honey-brown eyes, or the tan of her skin. 

"Haven't seen you in awhile," Bo said. "Last spring, maybe? At the pub?"

Bo knew exactly when she'd seen Lauren last. It had been Dyson's birthday party back in May. Trick had closed the pub down for the night so the staff could celebrate with a few of Dyson's cop buddies. Dyson's partner, Tamsin, had held her own in the evening's drinking festivities.

Then Lauren had strolled in, completely overdressed for the pub in a conservative suit and pearls, hair swept up into an austere bun, with steam coming out of her ears. She'd walked right up to Tamsin, and lit into her.

"Oh, Christ." Lauren looked embarrassed and Bo could see her blush. "That night was the worst." She looked uncomfortable, and tapped at her cup with one fingernail.

Now Bo felt a little mean for bringing it up. "Yikes. Sorry."

"No, no. It's okay," Lauren said. "I never did get the chance to apologize. I'm so sorry about my behavior that night." Her eyes met Bo's directly with an open look that gave Bo pause.

Bo guessed that Lauren didn't really owe her an apology. Tamsin was the one who'd been publicly reamed. Bo had caught part of the conversation that night - if one person yelling at another could be called a conversation - and had heard Lauren call Tamsin thoughtless, irresponsible and juvenile. At the time, Bo had seen why Dyson had described Lauren as an overbearing, jealous bitch who thought she was too good for her girlfriend's crowd.

Lauren had stomped out soon after.                                    

"None of that should have gone down at the pub," Lauren said. "I had this talk - a, um, presentation I had to give that night to my boss and my whole department. It was a pretty big deal and I was terrified. Tamsin had promised me up and down that she'd come be my moral support but she didn't show up. Then she dumped me via text. I kinda lost it."

Bo was shocked. "What?" That didn't gel with the story she'd been told by Dyson. Then again, Dyson got a lot of things wrong, now that she thought about it.

Lauren looked apologetic. "Yeah. We'd been rocky for a while, but that night everything came to a head. I felt really bad about being such an ass in front of everyone, but wasn't sure how to make up for it when I didn't really know any of you."

Bo remembered that while Tamsin always seemed to be around, she'd often said that her girlfriend, the doctor, was too busy working to come hang with the rest of their crew.

"I actually saw you a couple of months ago," Lauren said.

"Oh, yeah?" Bo was surprised. "Where?"

"At the Dal Riata," Lauren said. "I was having dinner with a colleague in the new restaurant in the back of the pub." She stood taller and smiled widely at Bo. "Which is fabulous, by the way. I assumed that was your idea, like the new happy hour menu at the bar."

Bo was gobsmacked that Lauren knew anything about her. "Yeah." She recovered and smiled back. "Yeah, I talked Trick into a few changes when I took over as manager."

"You're manager now?" Lauren seemed excited for her.

Bo nodded as she swallowed another sip of her beer. "I took over in July." It had actually been a bone of contention between her and Dyson. He wanted her to settle down with him and be a cop's wife, but she wanted a life of her own outside their relationship.

He also thought the pub was just fine before, and had said more than once that it was dumb to fix what wasn't broken.

A roar of cheers sounded from across the room. Bo looked over to see Tamsin raise her arms in victory as she finished her beer bong. Bruce, the huge mountain of a bouncer from the pub, hung his head in defeat.

Bo wondered what things were like between Lauren and Tamsin now, and hoped there wasn't about to be a repeat show.

To her surprise, Lauren laughed at Tamsin's antics. "Some things never change," she said.

"You two get back together?" Bo wondered why she didn't like that idea.

Lauren had just raised her cup to her lips and nearly sputtered as she drank her beer. "Oh, hell, no," she said, with obvious affection. "I love the girl, and we go way back, but that ship has sailed and sank at sea. We're just friends, and probably will be forever."

Another roar sounded and Bo eyes were drawn back to the spectacle. In another section of the party, loud laughter drowned out everything else for a minute, and somewhere, someone bumped into a wall hard enough to knock some loose plaster from the ceiling.

Bo and Lauren were the only ones in the open kitchen area, while the rest of the party raged on.

"This kinda rowdy just isn't my jam anymore," Bo said, shaking her head. "I see enough of this at work."

"Preach," Lauren said.

 "So how'd you get wrangled into coming to this party?" Bo asked as turned her head back to look at Lauren.

"Tamsin. Said I couldn't be a shut-in with only a novel as a date on New Year's Eve. You?" 

"Kenzi. Said I needed to get back on the horse."

Lauren glanced quickly at Bo, then looked away.

"I, uh, heard," Lauren said, and Bo thought she looked nervous. "That you and Dyson broke up, I mean."

Bo frowned. It wasn't that Bo didn't want anyone to know. She just didn't want to talk about it much. After two years of trying to make it work, and months of feeling invisible and isolated even when they were together, she'd had an epiphany about Dyson during Thanksgiving dinner with her grandfather. While looking around the room at all their gathered friends and family, she'd realized that she wanted a family of her own - but not with Dyson.

She'd broken up with him the next day. Kenzi, while she and Bo hit the sales on Black Friday, had offered up her extra room. Bo had lived here ever since.

The relationship was over and done, and her feelings for Dyson had changed long before the final breakup, but thinking about it all still made her sad.  

"Yeah, well." Bo really didn't want to talk about Dyson with Lauren. She wasn't sure why, but the details of her breakup felt trivial at the moment. "To borrow an analogy you might recognize, that relationship had been on life support for a long time. It was time to pull the plug." Right then, Bo decided she didn't want to talk or even think about Dyson Thornwood anymore.

"Ouch," Lauren said, but she gave Bo a wry grin. Bo thought she looked pleased.

"Yeah," Bo said, and tried to think of a way to change the subject. "So how do you and Cassie know each other?" Bo realized that they'd seemed pretty close earlier.

"She and I volunteer at the food bank together," Lauren said. "I met her there a couple years back."

Bo raised her eyebrows in surprise. Not that Lauren did charity work, but that Cassie did. "The food bank, huh?" Bo was trying to keep the subject from slipping back to her and Dyson.

"I know what it's like to go hungry," Lauren said, matter-of-factly. "No one should go through that."

Bo was surprised into silence, and covered it by taking a sip of her beer. She'd expected to hear some humanitarian reason from Lauren. All this time, she'd thought Lauren was old money. Perhaps that wasn't the case.

Conversation slowed to a crawl between them, but Bo wanted to learn more about Lauren.

"What'd you do for the holidays?" Bo asked, hoping to keep Lauren talking. She watched Lauren toss her hair from her face with a slight whip of her head and admired the way it fell on her shoulders.

"I went to visit my family in California," Lauren said. She took a sip from her cup and then glanced at the cup as if surprised it was still there. "I haven't been back home in awhile and my mother wouldn't let me hear the end of it."

Bo frowned. "I thought you were from Boston or somewhere in New England," she said.

"No. I was born and raised in Los Angeles."

"Oh!" Where had she gotten that idea from?

"How about you?" Lauren asked, and stepped closer to Bo as if really interested in the answer.

Suddenly, Bo wasn't so eager to escape.

Without meaning to, Bo ended up talking about her holidays with her grandfather, and not just this year, but their traditions from years past, including competitions with her grandfather's neighbors about who had the more garish holiday display.

Lauren talked about her own previous holidays, some of them spent overseas. Bo learned that Lauren had been in the army as part of her plan to become a doctor and had served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

In fact, Bo thought, she had learned that she didn't know much about Lauren at all.

Someone hijacked the sound system, and electronic dance music gave way to classic rock. Bo approved, and felt more at ease as she stood talking with Lauren while people weaved in and out of the kitchen, snaking food from the counter as they passed. Bo forgot entirely about her plan to leave the party early.

"So what's the story with this house? This is mostly an industrial neighborhood." Lauren asked. She reached across the space between them to pluck a carrot from one of the food trays, brushing against Bo in the process.

Bo turned to prop herself against the large butcher-block table Kenzi used as a kitchen island, idly poking one boot to pin down a corner of linoleum flooring that kept curling up. "Some old geezer wouldn't sell this place back in the seventies when the rest of this area became factory city," Bo said. "He died about ten years ago, but his will specified that his kids wouldn't get a dime if they tore this place down. Kenzi talked them into selling it to her on contract for a ridiculously low price when she promised that she wouldn't demolish it."

Lauren looked around the kitchen, with its half-completed new construction, a vending machine cooler as a refrigerator and old yellow electric range. "Well, I'd say it's a sweet deal, but she's got her work cut out for her."

"Oh, let me tell you how she hustles half this stuff," Bo said, happy to have captivated Lauren's attention.

When their cups ran out, Bo tossed them and snagged two bottles from the makeshift cooler in the kitchen sink. She stayed perched in the kitchen with Lauren for what felt like not very long, but someone passing through the kitchen mentioned the upcoming countdown to the new year, and Bo realized that she'd lost track of time. The beer had kicked in long ago, but Bo only felt giddy, not drunk. Talking with Lauren made her feel...warm.

"Oh, you were not!" Bo said, finishing off another bottle of beer as Lauren described a Halloween party at the Dal.

"I was! I was there all night," Lauren said, looking smug. "You even served me - wearing that smokin' hot red dress that looked painted on."

Bo blushed. While she hadn't seen Lauren since May, evidently Lauren had seen Bo several times - only Bo didn't remember or hadn't noticed. Bo thought that she must have been a blind idiot to miss this woman.

Right now, Lauren stood in front of her, her eyes dancing with some joke she hadn't told yet, and Bo realized that she kept staring at Lauren. She'd caught herself several times looking at Lauren's lips, watching them move when Lauren spoke.

Something moved behind Lauren and Bo looked over her shoulder. One hundred eighteen pounds of petite Russian dynamo was flying across the room, long black hair steaming, heading straight for them. Bo's face must have given some kind of warning because Lauren sprang into motion, turning around quickly to move protectively in front of Bo and block whatever was coming.

Kenzi crashed right into Lauren, spilling her cup of what was no doubt straight vodka all over the front of Lauren's dress.  Kenzi cursed and apologized profusely, while Bo tried not to giggle at the sight of Lauren gingerly pulling the sopping wet fabric away from her skin.

Lauren was good-natured about the whole thing, waved off Kenzi's drunken attempts to wring out the vodka, and assured her that all was well. Kenzi grabbed a refill and urged Bo to come be her wingman while she made a move on one of Cassie's friends. Bo begged off, and Kenzi whirled off once again.

Bo covered her mouth to contain her laughter. "Sorry about the dress."

"I don't suppose there's a towel around here somewhere?"

"Yeah, in the bathroom. Come on." Bo took Lauren by the hand and led her through the crowd - how many people could fit in this house? By the time she reached the base of the stairs, she found that Kenzi had marked it off with three kinds of tape, labeled "CAUTION", "CONSTRUCTION AREA", and "POLICE LINE - DO NOT CROSS". Bo wondered how the hell Kenz had gotten her hands on the last one.

She pulled down some of the tape so they could duck through, then replaced it behind them. "Guess she decided the upstairs is off limits."

"What's up here?" Lauren sounded worried. "Is it safe?"

"The bedrooms and bathroom are up here," Bo said as she navigated the rickety stairwell. "Guess everyone else is banished to the port-o-potties outside."

Bo realized she hadn't let go of Lauren's hand. She thought it would be a bigger deal if she let it go, so she held on to it.

It was cooler in the stairwell without the warmth of so many bodies, and the air smelled strongly of pot. The wall that ran along the outside of the house was still nothing but plywood and two-by-fours. Bo tried to stay close to Lauren - while trying to seem like she wasn't.

Lauren looked wary and stepped gingerly on the creaky bottom stair, then took another. "Getting to your bathroom is like earning a merit badge."

Bo winced. "Stick to the sides of the stairs. Kenzi's boys haven't rebuilt these yet, but the bones are solid."

"Kenzi's boys?"

"You know Bruce, the bouncer?" Bo didn't need to watch her own feet, so she focused on Lauren's climb up the stairs behind her. "He's got three identical brothers. They've got their own construction outfit and Kenz has worked out a deal with them to do side projects on this place."

"Holy shit," Lauren said, moving a little faster up the stairs. "Are they all the size of a mountain?"

"Yup," Bo said. "And get this. They call themselves Quad Construction."

Lauren started giggling, and her next step fell in the middle of a loose floorboard. She tripped and was about to fall over, but Bo reached out just in time to stop her fall.

One hand still held Lauren's tightly, while the other wrapped around Lauren's hip. Bo's face was inches from Lauren's, close enough for Bo to catch the scent of Lauren's hair - apples and rosemary. Her eyes fell again to Lauren's pale and perfect lips. Bo's heart began to thump harder in her chest, and she didn't know whether to let go or stay where she was or -

"Thanks, Bo," Lauren said softly as she steadied herself.

Bo pulled away, but Lauren twined her fingers into Bo’s and wouldn't let Bo's hand go.

Bo didn't trust herself to speak right then. She turned and guided Lauren to the top of the stairs, through the short hall and into the half-constructed bathroom. The walls were naked lathe-and-plaster, but the fixtures and cabinets were new. 

She let go of Lauren's hand with some reluctance. 

Bo grabbed a towel and handed it to Lauren, who immediately tried to squeeze out the excess liquid. "Let's give this a shot as well," she said, pulling out the hair dryer. "Cross your fingers." Bo pulled a section of the dress gently away from Lauren's waist and aimed the hair dryer. "Hope we don't short out the whole house." She thumbed the switch to turn on the hair dryer and they stood still as the lights briefly flickered. 

"Tell me if it gets too hot," Bo said, then blushed at the double meaning as she realized how close she stood to Lauren. She didn't dare look in her eyes right now. When had this happened? In just a few hours, she'd gone from thinking the woman was a cold, arrogant bitch to thinking she was the most beautiful person in the house. She wanted to kiss Lauren and not stop. 

Against her will, she glanced up at Lauren. 

Lauren wore a small smile, her brown eyes bright. 

The lights flickered again, and Bo looked down to see she'd accidentally changed the setting on the hair dryer to low. She flipped it back to high. 

"I'm pretty sure I reek of vodka now," Lauren said loudly over the whine of the dryer. 

"Well, then, now you've got a fighting chance with Kenz," Bo laughed. 

"You have a beautiful laugh, Bo," Lauren said, and Bo wasn't sure, but it looked like she was blushing again. 

"Are you flirting with me, doctor?" Bo tried not to bat her eyes, but did crook an eyebrow. 

"Why would I do that?" Lauren smiled. 

"Because I'm a fucking catch," Bo said, surprising herself with her quick response. 

Lauren snorted, but Bo thought she managed to make it seem elegant. 

"Didn't you just break up with your boyfriend?" Lauren's eyes said that she really didn't give a damn. 

"Why are you bringing up old stuff?" Bo knew that she was being teased. It was a ridiculously loud conversation thanks to the dryer. 

"Do you always answer questions with more questions?" 

"Kind of annoying, isn't it?" 

"I don't flirt with straight women," Lauren said, pressing one hand to her chest as she spoke with a fake conservatism that was belied by her wide grin. 

"What makes you think I'm straight?" Bo said, wryly quirking her lips, and watched Lauren blush again. Bo thought that blush was sexy as hell. 

"I don't think you can be trusted to answer reliably in your current inebriated state," Lauren said loudly, fighting her embarrassment while she laughed, and clearly a little tipsy herself. 

"Why not?" 

"Because of the key, data-driven difference between lesbians and straight women," she said, as if setting up a joke. 

"What's that?" Bo was practically yelling over the sound of the hair dryer. 

"Two drinks," Lauren smirked. 

Bo laughed like a maniac, aware that she was too loud and could probably be heard downstairs. She also realized that the dryer wasn't really doing any good and thumbed it off. 

"I assure you that alcohol does not affect my sexual orientation, thank you very much," Bo said. 

"Which is what exactly?" 

"You're the doctor. Figure it out," Bo said, barely getting out the dig through her laughter. "And it wouldn't matter unless you were flirting with me. Q.E.D." She stashed the dryer on a nearby shelf. 

"Maybe I am," Lauren said, no longer joking. 

Bo blinked away the buzz of her last drink, suddenly serious. Something felt different about the way Lauren was looking at her, and the urge to kiss Lauren rose again. 

Lauren hadn't moved away - in fact, she leaned toward Bo. Her eyes sparkled. 

For a moment, Bo doubted her next move. Maybe Lauren wasn't into her and she was misreading everything. Then she nearly smacked herself in the head. It was obvious, and she'd missed it. 

Bo pushed her caution aside, and raised one hand to trace her fingers down Lauren's cheek and along her jaw.  Lauren's eyes closed slowly, then opened again. Bo leaned forward, giving Lauren every opportunity to pull away, then finally closed her eyes and pressed her lips to Lauren's with the barest touch of a kiss. 

The feel of Lauren's lips stopped Bo’s breath. A flutter began in her belly as Lauren kissed her back, a delicate introduction between them that pulled them physically closer together. 

The tip of Lauren's tongue danced against her lower lip, and when Bo returned the delicate touch, Lauren's gasp made the flutter in Bo’s belly clench. Bo moaned, and felt Lauren's hand on her hip, pulling Bo closer. 

Someone downstairs yelled near the stairwell, and they both jumped. 

Lauren cleared her throat and leaned back. "This is probably hopeless," Lauren said, looking down at her dress. 

"Well, let me at least get you a change of clothes so you don't freeze," Bo said, trying to keep her tone normal to cover her newly discovered desire. She idly wondered if Lauren had brought a coat. The dress she was wearing surely wasn't for the winter outdoors. "Come on." 

Bo led Lauren across the hall to the room where she was staying. The glass in the French doors had recently been replaced, manufacturer stickers still on each pane, and thick dark red velvet curtains hung just inside the door, blocking the room from outside view. One standing lamp lit the room, revealing renovations that were mostly done. Three of the four walls were covered in new drywall and paint. The fourth wall was unfinished, exposing beams and wiring. 

While the bed and armoire had already been here when she'd moved in, Bo had added a few touches to make it her own. A wingback chair with a standing reading lamp was positioned in one corner, and a low loveseat and small coffee table sat against the far wall. 

The bass of the music downstairs rumbled the floorboards, adding to the womblike feel of the room. 

Bo tried to focus, to remember why she was here. "Let me see if I can find something for you." She walked across the room, turning on another lamp as she passed, and opened the armoire. She sifted through the stacks of clothes inside. Maybe she had a pair of sweats that were long enough for Lauren's legs. She swallowed down her nerves, flustered at the thought of the muscular thighs she'd glimpsed a few minutes ago. 

"You sure this wasn't a ploy to get me alone in your room?" Lauren's voice sounded from somewhere behind her. 

"Hey, I'm not the one who blocked Kenzi's drink with her whole body." Bo laughed. "But I assure you that I'm a perfect gentleman." She found the sweatpants she'd been searching for along with a long-sleeved t-shirt and turned around to hand them to Lauren. 

Bo's hand tightened around the clothes so she wouldn't drop them. Lauren stood right next to her, wearing nothing but black panties and pumps, though the balled up dress in her hands covered her bare breasts. 

"God, I hope not," Lauren said with a shy smile and leaned forward to kiss Bo before Bo could say a word. 

The sounds of the distant party faded away. This kiss was completely different from the one in the bathroom. That had been slow and sweet, an introduction of touch and taste, a question asked and answered. 

Now, Lauren's kiss was open and deep, an invitation for much, much more. It made promises that tightened a knot in Bo's belly and drove all thought from her mind. 

Bo's hands tossed the newfound clothes aside and reached for Lauren's hips and she moaned at the feel of soft skin. She'd been right about the muscles in Lauren's back, and she massaged them with a firm hand as she pulled Lauren to her. She felt Lauren's fingers on her cheek and in her hair. 

Her leg bumped into her bed, and she wondered how the hell they'd made it across the room and realized Lauren had been slowly guiding her in that direction. She heard Lauren kick off her shoes, and no longer felt the balled up dress between them. 

Lauren pushed her back, wordlessly communicating to Bo that she should sit against the headboard. Bo moved pillows aside and leaned back, and as soon as she did, Lauren straddled her thighs and leaned in to kiss Bo again. 

Lauren's kiss was sweet and hot. Bo pulled Lauren's topless body closer to her own, finally sinking her fingers into the soft hair she'd been admiring all night. Lauren leaned away so that she could unbutton Bo's shirt, and wasted no time before covering the newly exposed skin with more kisses. 

Bo felt Lauren's skin pebble in the drafty air, and she drew the comforter from across the bed around Lauren's shoulders, building a cocoon that enveloped them both. The confinement felt exhilarating to Bo. Now that they were covered, she felt like she could do whatever she wanted in the privacy of this enclosed space. Bo moved her hands to the space between them, molded them to Lauren's breasts, brushed her thumbs against firm peaks. The sounds that escaped Lauren's lips encouraged her, and made Bo want more. 

Her bra felt tight, but she didn't want to stop to remove it. 

"Touch me, Bo," Lauren whispered. 

Bo opened her eyes. Lauren's face was an inch from her own, eyes hungry, and Bo reached lower. The skin of Lauren's inner thigh was warm, and she paused to catch her breath before she touched Lauren for the first time. Bo moved her hand higher to slip her fingers past the band of Lauren's panties, and she closed her eyes again when she felt Lauren wet and hot against her fingers. Bo stroked slowly at first and reveled in feeling the flesh grow fuller. 

Everything else faded away. All Bo heard was Lauren's breath, hot and heavy in her ear. Bo felt Lauren's hair against the skin of her shoulder, as Lauren shifted her weight, pushed her thighs wider, and tilted her head to press her forehead against Bo's. The new position gave Bo more room, and she lid her fingers lower, thrusting slowly until she heard Lauren gasp. 

"Oh, goddamn, that's good," Lauren whispered, and moved her hips to meet every push of Bo’s fingers. 

Bo needed another kiss now, and tilted her head to meld her lips to Lauren's, pulling her fingers back to stroke once again. 

Lauren moaned, almost as if she were in pain, then leaned away from Bo. 

"You're so," Lauren panted. "God, you feel..." Her hips and eyes and inability to string together a sentence told Bo not to stop. 

Lauren's hands slid from Bo's shoulders, one moving to cup Bo's breast through the fabric of her bra, drawing a groan from Bo. Bo fought to keep a steady pace. 

Her heart nearly seized when Lauren reached down to wrap her fingers around Bo's wrist and pulled Bo's fingers inside her. 

"Fuck." Bo's voice sounded low to her own ears. She looked at this woman - this fucking goddess - who had come out of nowhere and had swept Bo somewhere wonderful and wicked and delightful. 

The blanket slipped from one of Lauren's shoulders, and her skin looked golden in the low light from the lamp across the room. Her hair fell in disarray, her brown eyes were bright and naked, and her hand was tightly wound around Bo’s wrist, as if to make sure Bo’s hand stayed right where Lauren wanted it. Lauren tried to speak again and failed. Her breath came faster, her grip tighter, until finally with a long low, moan, she leaned in to slide her tongue past Bo’s lips and kissed her deep and fast. Her other hand moved to the back of Bo’s head, clenching the hair at the nape of Bo’s neck almost to the point of pain as her hips pumped faster, pace erratic, then stopped with Bo’s fingers inside her as deep as they could go.

Bo didn't think she could get any wetter, but the sound of Lauren coming proved her wrong.

Lauren claimed her lips again, and moaned in Bo’s mouth. Lauren paused to move Bo's hand, gasping at the loss of Bo's touch, and moved to remove Bo's clothes with fervent hands. Bo's movements were just as urgent - desperate to be naked, to feel Lauren against her skin, and then to get Lauren in her bed.

Bo lost track of time as Lauren touched her. She forgot about the party - forgot about the outside world entirely. Naked under the covers, with Lauren completely nude and stretched out half alongside and half over her, Bo was caught up in the sensation of her new lover. Absently, she heard the countdown downstairs followed by a whole lot of yelling, but she was focused on Lauren's breath, hot against her neck. The feel of Lauren's driving fingers pushed any other thoughts from her mind, as the skin on her breasts tightened, and an ache grew in her thighs and swelled toward her clit.  She heard herself moan, heard Lauren's moan in response, and before she could get the words out to warn Lauren she was going to come, the orgasm slammed into her.  It rendered her speechless, transformed her whole body into nothing but taut muscle as she arched off the bed to clench tighter to Lauren, telling Lauren with her hands and her legs and her kiss to push harder, push faster, to never stop.


Bo woke later to the whisper of fingers stroking her back and shoulder, and saw the faint blue light of early morning wash over the far side of the room as it peeked through one of the boarded-up windows.  She pushed her hips back, moving against Lauren in welcome, felt Lauren pull her closer and kiss the valley of Bo's shoulder and neck.

Bo pressed the arm around her tighter against her skin. "I can't believe how good you feel," she said, her voice scratchy and low.

"I'll have you know that you owe me a date," Lauren said. "At least dinner and a movie. I'm not the kind of girl who just puts out, you know." Bo felt Lauren's tongue gently lick along the line of her shoulder blade.

"Of course not." Bo said, playing along. She rolled over onto her back, pulling Lauren half over her body.  Her voice dropped to a whisper.  "This was fast, right? You good? I like you too much already to blow it with stupid mistakes." She took a deep breath, Lauren's scent surrounding her. She felt Lauren's quiet laughter reverberate through her body.

"Doesn't feel like a mistake to me." Lauren raised her eyes to Bo’s. "And if it is, well...sometimes you have to do the stupid thing." She kissed along Bo's jaw.

"This is a helluva way to start something." Bo stroked Lauren's back with the palm of her hand.

"Well, we don't have to tell anyone this is how we started," Lauren said with a smile in her voice, her kisses moving to the join of Bo's jaw and neck. "I lied to you before," she whispered, and nipped at Bo's ear.  "I came to the party hoping to see you."

Bo smiled as Lauren's hand snaked down her thigh.