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"Check mate."

"Frak you."

"Maybe later."

"Promises, promises."

"That wasn't a promise.  I said maybe."  Laura folded her arms across her chest and looked at the chess board between them on the table, where she had Helena’s king pinned between her own rooks, a handful of pawns, and her bishop.  "But feel free to glare at the board angrily for a few more minutes before conceding defeat." She gazed teasingly over the top of her glasses.  "I'll wait."

Helena didn't need to look at the board to know she was beaten.  Laura had a way of doing that; quietly making sacrifices, biding her time, then slipping through Helena's aggressive gambit to surprise her.  Helena didn't always lose, but when she did, that was always how it went.  And she liked it.  She liked that Laura was an equal, that she saw things Helena missed, that she made her work for it.

Frankly, it was a turn-on, and she made no bones about that.

"Belzen says you're out of my league," she remarked, returning Laura's flirty glance across the table.

Laura laughed.  "What did you say to him?"

"I told him if he ever said anything like that to me again, I'd shoot him in the frakking head."

They laughed, and then that awkward silence fell, the way it had been doing lately.  The moment where one of them would have grabbed the other and kissed her or climbed into her lap, or something.  Helena couldn't stand it anymore.  All she'd been able to think of since that one kiss they'd shared, a few weeks ago (Well, eighteen days, not that she was counting), was wanting more.  

"Laura-" she began.

But Laura stopped her.  "Listen, I know I've given you a lot of reasons why I've been hesitant to go any further than this, and... They're all true, but there's something else you need to know."

Helena felt her stomach tighten.

Laura took a deep breath, and plunged ahead.  "I have cancer.  Breast cancer.  It's pretty aggressive.  I don't have a lot of time."

They stared at each other across the table.  “What’s not a lot?”  Helena asked quietly.  She had suspected there was something serious with Laura’s health.  Helena had eyes and ears on the president, a reasonable move for her position, and there had been a few clues to suggest that the President of the Twelve Colonies was grappling with more than allergies.  

Laura took a breath.  “A year at most,” she admitted, eyes locked with Helena’s.  

"Then why, Laura, why wait? I understand why you don’t want to tell the fleet, why the civvies can’t know, but me? I want every minute I can get with you, don't you get that?"  Helena’s heart raged against her ribs, wanting out.

Laura looked regretful.  "Given your history, I didn't know how you'd feel about loving someone you were going to lose."

"It's a bit late for that," Helena answered, eyes blazing.  "You've already gotten past the perimeter.  Or didn't you know that either?"

"I needed to be sure," Laura whispered, seeming ashamed at holding back.

Helena jumped up and leaned across the table, knocking half the chess board over and grabbing Laura by the shoulders.  "I am here for the duration, Laura, don't you dare doubt me."   She pulled her into a passionate kiss that stole both of their breaths for a moment, and then stared her in the face.  "I want this, and I don't care that it's going to hurt."

Laura’s eyes were wide, her breath shallow as she stared back.  She stood quickly and grabbed Helena’s face, burying her mouth in her lips again, kissing hungrily.  “I want it too,” she panted in between kisses, “but I had to know you would want to sign up for the whole thing.”

In one swift move, Helena slid across the tabletop, sending the remains of the chessboard scattering to the floor and knocking the table aside.  She caught Laura in her arms, drew her tight against her chest, and kissed her hard enough to make her lips ache.  “You don’t have to do this alone,” she whispered ferociously.  

“You … the table…” Laura floundered, pressing herself into Helena and devouring her mouth.

“Frak the table,” Helena shot back, raking her fingers up Laura’s back.

“Not what I had in mind,” Laura panted, leaning with all her small self against Helena and pushing her back against the wall.  Helena was surprised at how much force this little woman could muster, though she supposed she shouldn’t be.  Laura was full of surprising strengths.

Helena smiled wonderingly at her.  “You mean…”

“Yes,” Laura affirmed, her eyes filled with a low spark.  “I’m staying.”  And by the look of things, she wasn’t interested in waiting to get started.

“You’re staying,” Helena repeated with some disbelief, grabbing Laura’s face, thrilled, and kissing her deeply again.  She was going to feel the soft, warm body under that sensible suit.  She was going to kiss her everywhere, get tangled up in her, hear her making sounds that she’d imagined countless times.  Gods, she was staying.

She realized that Laura was undressing her- untucking her jacket from her trousers, pulling at the buttons, and tearing it hastily off of her.  So she responded in kind, tugging Laura’s suit  jacket open and shoving it off of her shoulders.  She was stunned at how quickly Laura had become voracious, kissing her with pent-up need, pressing her to the wall, pulling at her clothes.  She pushed Laura back for a moment, wanting to get a look at her, wanting to grab a moment to hang onto and remember later.  They took each other in for half a second, then Helena flung herself against Laura and backed her against a bookcase.  She heard something fall off a shelf and clatter to the floor, but she didn’t care.  She slid her hands underneath Laura’s shirt and felt her soft skin underneath.  She felt like flower petals, she felt like warm velvet.

“You’re beautiful,” she sighed, kissing her, frantically stroking her skin.

Laura’s hands were already pushing Helena’s trousers down.  

“And efficient,” she added, chuckling.  She slid Laura’s shirt up over her head, tossed it aside, and pulled her close again, pulled her hair to draw her head back and kissed the pale, tender skin of her throat.  Laura’s sighs were as delicious as she’d hoped.  

Laura’a hands gripped Helena’s ass and she pressed herself harder against her.  “Helena, I want you…”  she whispered.  “I’ve wanted you…”

“I know, I have too…”

Laura pushed her into a chair, trousers still around her ankles, and moved closer.  Helena pulled her in and kissed Laura’s bare stomach.  She started fumbling with the button on Laura’s trousers, but Laura reached down and stayed her hand.

“Wait,” she said calmly.

Helena looked up.

Laura gave her a look that was somehow hot and cool, intimate and distant, all at once.  “Take the rest of that shit off.”

Helena’s eyebrow quirked a little.  “Oh?”

Laura bent down, placing her cleavage tantalizingly close to Helena’s face.  “Yes,” she said softly.  “Take the rest of your clothes off.  I want to see you.”

“Why don’t you strip?” Helena challenged.

“Oh, I plan to,”  Laura answered.  “All in good time.  But first, you’re going to undress for me.”

Helena was surprised by the sudden authority Laura was exercising, although she was hardly displeased.  “Oh, am I?”

She assessed the situation.  Laura had gotten her out of her jacket, and halfway out of her trousers, with her shirt and underwear all still intact, and unfortunately, her boots still on.  She had gotten Laura out of her jacket and shirt, but nothing else.  Laura straddled Helena in the chair, lowered herself into her lap, and slowly, softly moved her hips against her.  

“Yes,” she said firmly, “you’re going to take the rest of your clothes off.”

Helena was getting hotter, and could feel Laura's heat through her trousers. She pushed back.  “You first,” she responded, cupping Laura’s ass as she moved against her, laying light kisses in the space between her breasts, which were at about eye level right now.

Laura chuckled a little and kissed her hotly.  “You’re not used to letting someone else drive, are you?”  Her hands slid down Helena’s shoulders, lingered on her muscular upper arms, slid down to her breasts, and stayed there.

Helena laughed.  “No, I’m not,” she admitted.  

“Well, maybe now’s a good time to start.”

They were both laughing now, but still full of heat.  “Maybe.  But I am a pretty good driver.”

Laura bit her lip.  “Oh, I’m sure.  But so am I.”

Helena raked her fingers through Laura’s hair and kissed her throat, biting a little as she did.  Laura muffled a moan.  “Well, I’m afraid I’m not very good at taking orders.”

“Thought you were a soldier.”  She began stroking Helena’s breasts through the thick fabric of her bra.

“No, I was a shit soldier,” Helena rejoined, arching into Laura’s touch.  “But I’m a very good commander.”  She was wet beyond belief now.

“You realize I’m a chief executive.”

“Mm, so just like everything else, it’s going to be negotiations.”

Laura leaned down and whispered in Helena’s ear:  “Do what I tell you, Admiral, and I promise you’ll enjoy yourself enormously .”  Her tongue flicked lightly around the outside of her ear.

"Mm, tell me all about it," Helena sighed.

Laura's hands continued to stroke Helena's breasts, the amount of pressure being just exactly not quite enough.  "I was planning on teasing you all over until you begged for more."

Helena stifled a groan.  "That's funny, I was planning on throwing you down and frakking you till you begged me to stop."

"Hmm, tempting.  I hope that's not just idle talk.". Laura's hands slid down, yanked Helena's tank top up over her chest.  "Lift your arms," she ordered, firmly but softly.  Helena lifted her arms and Laura slid the tank top over her head and off, tossing it aside.  "Good little soldier," she teased, running her fingers over the newly exposed skin.  "See? You're getting better at following orders already."

Helena could hardly believe her eyes and ears.  She'd never had a woman be so aggressive, so commanding with her.  Yet it was in such a wholly feminine way.... It had the effect of making Helena that much hungrier for her, wanting that much more to possess her.  "You have no idea what you're doing to me."

"Oh, I have some idea."

Helena slid her hands under Laura's thighs and heaved, forcing her to her feet.  She guided Laura's hips forward and laid her mouth against the juncture of her thighs, breathing a hot breath through the fabric of her trousers.

Laura moaned, and this time it didn't sound like she was trying to stifle anything.  Her fingers tangled in Helena's hair and she pushed herself against Helena's mouth.  "What do you want?" she breathed.

"This," Helena panted, running a thumb over Laura's warm sex and making her shudder even through the fabric of her pants.  "You.  This."  She kissed her there again, and again Laura moaned and pushed herself against Helena's mouth.  "I want to devour this," Helena went on. "I want to wreck it.  I want to taste it and frak it and make it mine."

Laura looked down at her, and nearly breathless, she asked, "How badly?"

Helena chuckled and shook her head.  She knew what Laura was trying to do.

"Then do it," Laura urged through thick breaths, caressing Helena's hair.  "Show me how strong you are.  Take what you want."

Helena heard the gentle taunt in Laura's voice, but she didn't care.  She unfastened Laura's trousers, hooked her fingers in the waistband of both trousers and underwear, and slid them down her hips, laying warm, wet kisses along the tops of her thighs.  She pushed her pants further down, and Laura cooperatively kicked off her shoes and stepped out of them.  

Helena leaned back appreciatively and looked at her.  The bra was going to have to go, and it would, soon enough.  No matter.  Laura's body was soft, with gentle curves, and all the sweet little imperfections a woman's body accumulated at her age.  Helena loved them immediately and fiercely.  But that wasn't what stole her breath away.

The president of the Twelve Colonies had the most incredible pair of legs that Helena Cain had ever seen in her miserable life.

"Holy shit," she whispered, stroking the shapely thighs in amazement as she looked them up and down.  "Where have you been hiding these?"

"In my pants," Laura replied with a smirk.  

Helena lifted one of her beautiful thighs and placed it over her shoulder, leaving Laura dependent on her for balance, opening up her sex, and bringing it closer to her waiting mouth.

Laura's hands gripped Helena's shoulder as she leaned in, and Helena took a moment to look up again, to snapshot in her mind the hazy look of lust on Laura's face.  She'd want to remember it.

She kissed and bit her way up the inside of Laura's gorgeous thigh, and then dipped her tongue into the soft, wet, tender flesh of Laura's sex, thrilling at the gasp she got out of her.  She was slick with desire, that delicious mix of salty and sweet that Helena had not tasted in longer than she cared to think about.  It immediately sparked a raging hunger and she lapped furiously at it, as if she could drink all of her down.  She was burning with sweet fire, hearing Laura's throaty moans, feeling Laura's  fingers digging into her shoulders, feeling Laura move her hips against her mouth.

"That's it, take it," Laura was sighing, "take it.  Does it taste good?"

Helena only groaned in response and trailed the tip of her tongue around Laura's clit.  Gods, it did taste good, and it was going to be all hers.  

Laura moaned back. "Good, that's it," she whispered, "don't hold back."

She buried her mouth in, licking and sucking at Laura's clit ever more hungrily.

"What are you going to do, admiral?" Laura whispered, still hanging on, still moving in rhythm with Helena's mouth.

Helena, between hot strokes of her tongue, mumbled, "I'm going to make you come so frakking hard you're going to forget your own name."

Laura smiled, and pursed her lips at Helena.  "Then do it like you mean it."

Helena licked her lips and grinned savagely, and then pushed a finger into her.  She was soft and slippery and so very hot, and it was a sheer delight to feel the muscles inside her clutch at being entered.  Laura moaned from someplace deeper, and Helena easily slid out in and out a few more times, watching Laura riding against her hand.  

She leaned in again, pressed the flat of her tongue against Laura's clit as she thrust against her finger.  "Oh ..." Laura sighed.  

There it is, Helena thought with satisfaction.   I've got her.  She's mine.

And then after a moment, Laura whispered, "You're still holding back."

Something hot and unnamed exploded in Helena's chest, flared in her sex, and she moved Laura's leg from her, stood up, and pushed her backwards toward the bed.  Her trousers were still around her ankles but she didn't care.  She shoved Laura down onto her back on the hard mattress, and fell forward on top of her.  She kicked out of her trousers and boots as she crawled up Laura's body, leaving marks with her teeth as she did, enjoying the little sounds her bites produced.

She pushed Laura’s thighs apart, and slid inside, this time with two fingers, watching her face when the pleasure washed over it.  

“More,”  Laura moaned, and lifted her head to pull Helena into a breathless kiss.

Helena pushed a third finger in, pounding in and out and feeling the wetness running down her hand.  

“Stop holding back,” Laura whispered again.  “Harder.  You’re not going to break me.”

“I’m going to try,” Helena growled.  Her thrusting became harder and faster, and Laura’s moans encouraged her.  She was caught up in the intensity of her need to push Laura over the edge, to see her buckle and cry out with brilliant, radiant pleasure.  They were both sweating now, Helena consumed by the way Laura was shaking and bucking against her efforts.

Laura lifted her head and surveyed her, blissful and disheveled.  “You look good when you’re working hard like that,” and her breathy voice contained an unmistakable tone of teasing.

Helena slowed, looked at her, and started laughing.  “I’m exactly where you want me.”

Laura nodded, smirking.

“You’re still frakking driving,” Helena realized.

“Checkmate,” Laura murmured.  

She had never looked sexier.

Helena pulled her fingers out, and started to stroke her.  Slowly, lightly, soft as a whisper, teasing her clit that was stiff and practically standing up to meet her touch.  Laura moved her hips against her, sighing, “harder” and, “more”, but Helena continued her slow, soft torture, smiling wickedly.  “I told you,” she said with quiet triumph, “I was going to make this pussy mine.”

She couldn’t help grinding herself up against Laura’s thigh as she did; it was too delicious.  Her body, her moans, the look of absolute surrender on her face … the sweet, hot moment when those soft, tormenting touches brought Laura to her climax was one that seared itself onto Helena’s senses.  

“Gods, oh gods, yes…” she was sighing, clutching Helena, who was coming too, both from the friction of their bodies and the overwhelming, heart-rending beauty of Laura; she was letting go, letting herself feel ecstasy, release, joy, in Helena’s arms.   

The warmth washed through Helena, from her sex to the tips of her toes, to her lips and the ends of her hair.  She melted into Laura, and they kissed, deeply, slowly, delving into each others’ mouths.  It felt right.  It felt like something that should have always been.

She looked at Laura’s twinkling eyes, noticed her eyelashes were wet.  She kissed her again, with deep, hungry, tender passion.  An “I love you” that needed no words.

“Not checkmate,” she whispered, smirking.  “Stalemate.”

“Oh, frak you,” Laura laughed, pinching Helena’s ass.

“Again? Well,” Helena chuckled, “if you’re not too tired, sure.”  

They dissolved into warm kisses, tangling themselves in each other’s limbs, mumbling each other’s names.  Laura gazed at her with such affection it looked as though her heart might burst, and sighed lovingly, “I’m going to enjoy working you over.”

“Are you?”  Helena responded archly.  

“Oh yes,” Laura replied in a whisper, stroking Helena’s cheek.  “And I’m really going to enjoy making you beg.”

“Mm, is that so?” Helena whispered back.

“Yes.  And you’re going to enjoy begging.”

“Am I?”  

“You’ll see.”