Actions

Work Header

*batteries not included

Chapter Text

“Bernie?” Serena's voice drifted up from downstairs. “Tea's ready!”

“Be down in a minute! I just want to finish unpacking this box.” Bernie frowned down at the last few pairs of skinny jeans in her hands, unable to fit them in the bureau drawer Serena has emptied for her. She tugged open the next drawer down, finding it full of old t-shirts. Grabbing a stack from one side, she attempted to compress them enough to give her a little additional room.

As she fumbled with the shirts, a flash of bright color caught her eye. She glanced into the open side of the drawer and noticed that a piece of fabric, the corner of which had flipped back revealing something shiny and bright pink. Brows furrowing, she tugged on the corner, pulling the fabric back further.

It took her brain a moment to process what she was seeing. The bottom of the drawer was lined with a series of narrow, fabric-covered dividers. And in each slot was... Oh. OH!

Bernie was no stranger to sex toys. Her trusty blue vibrator had gotten her though years of long deployments and a less-than-fulfilling home life. She had feared she was going to wear the poor thing out while in Kiev. But this; this was a whole other level.

Arrayed before her was an assortment of toys the likes of which she had never imagined existing outside of a sex shop. A mass of different materials and textures, a veritable rainbow of colors – was that leopard print? - and the variety of shapes... Her head tilted to the side quizzically as she tried to suss out how a few of them were even supposed to be used. Does that one have a wall plug?!  The ones she did recognize seemed to be arranged by size, from a fairly slender curved wand to... “Ding dong,” she muttered, eyes wide.

Bernie huffed out a chuckle, impressed despite her shock. She never would have suspected that Serena...

Her brain suddenly kicked into overdrive as is finally sunk in that these were Serena's. A flurry of images crowded her mind's eye. Images of her lover utilizing the collection. Serena, gloriously naked, splayed out on the bed, one hand working a vibrator between her legs, eyes locked on hers. Serena looming over her, hips encased in the straps of a harness, a wicked smile on her lips as she teased Bernie with the thick silicone shaft attached to her. One after another, each more vivid than the last. Bernie felt her breath quicken, a heavy throb between her thighs.

“Bernie?” The sound of Serena's voice broke Bernie out of her contemplation with a start.

“Y-yeah. Be right there,” she called back, voice hoarse as she stuffed the shirts back into the drawer. She stood, legs a little shaky, wiping her suddenly sweaty palms on her thighs.

 

...

 

It was a few weeks before Bernie managed to bring up the topic with Serena. Things were still hectic, what with their new living arrangement. While they worked together seamlessly in theater, cohabiting was an ongoing dance of negotiation and compromise as they each adjusted to one another's preferences, not to mention accommodating Jason's exacting schedule. Added to their already intense schedules on AAU, they had spent far less time alone than either of them would have liked. And this was hardly something Bernie was going to bring up casually over tea.

Tonight had been blessedly calm. They had both been able to leave the ward on-time, getting them home in plenty of time for fish and chips with Jason. Much to their surprise, after supper he had elected to go to his room to watch a much-anticipated documentary on South American birds, declaring that they would only disturb him with their chatter and he would much prefer to watch it with his headphones, in order to properly focus.

Bernie stepped out of the shower, snagging her towel from the heated rack in the corner. She dried off briskly before pulling on the deep blue silk dressing gown (a gift from Serena) that was hanging on the back of the door, then quickly ran a brush (another, more sarcastic, gift) through her damp hair, scrunching it back into curls with one hand as she exited the en suite.

Flicking the overhead light off as she crossed the room, she flipped back the duvet before slipping into bed beside Serena who was sitting up against the headboard, reading a copy of The Lancet in the lamplight. Bernie rolled onto her side, head propped up on one hand, eyes leisurely tracking over Serena's form: the rich color of her hair in the dim light, her smooth ivory skin, the smattering of freckles across her bare shoulders, the soft swell of her breasts just visible at the neckline of her champagne satin nightgown. Caught up as she was in the most excellent view, it took Bernie a few moments to realize that Serena was watching her back, a wry smile on her lips. She arched an eyebrow as their eyes met.

“See something you like?”

“Absolutely.” Bernie's smile turned feral as she moved her hand beneath the duvet, sliding it up along Serena's warm thigh.

Serena batted the hand away with a chuckle. “Lech.” Her laugh turned genuine as Bernie waggled her eyebrows. “Just let me finish this article.”

Bernie huffed, sliding up to mirror Serena's pose. As she did her eyes fell on the bureau, warmth blossoming low in her belly as she remembered what it contained. She was so focused on it, she didn't even notice Serena moving until she straddled Bernie's lap, the nightie riding high on her thighs. Bernie groaned and leaned forward to kiss her, hands automatically settling on Serena's hips, tugging her closer.

They broke apart long moments later, a little breathless. Serena threaded her fingers through Bernie's still-damp hair, studying her. “Everything alright? You seem a little distracted.”

“Yeah, of course.” While not very good at communication, even Bernie recognized an opening when she saw one. She cleared her throat, suddenly uncertain. “Actually, I, uh, I wanted to ask you about something.”

“Of course, anything, you know that.” Serena smiled down at her, eyes sparkling, and Bernie felt familiar warmth suffuse her chest.

“Well, when I was unpacking I ran out of space for my jeans. Oh, shush.” She lightly spanked Serena as she rolled her eyes, causing her to yelp in mock offense. “I was trying to find some more drawer space and instead found your, ah, collection.” She peered up at Serena through her fringe, nodding slightly towards the chest of drawers.

Serena's brow furrowed quizzically as she followed Bernie's eyes. Understanding dawned on her face, her cheeks flushing. “Ah. That.”

“That,” Bernie confirmed. “I wouldn't have expected you to be such an...aficionado.”

Serena sniffed primly. “I may not have had any sapphic experience before you came along, but I was hardly a blushing virgin, Berenice. I'd been single for the better part of 18 years, you'll recall.”

“Still, it is quite the collection for just one person.”

Serena shrugged a shoulder, eyes sliding away from Bernie's. “One does like a bit of variety, from time to time.”

“So, what, you went down the nearest sex shop and bought one of everything?” Bernie asked incredulously.

“Hardly.” Serena stared Bernie down for a long moment, before rolling her eyes with a huff. “Fine. If you must know, just after I divorced Edward, Sian dragged me to one of those Ann Summers parties. It was...quite the eye opener. After that things just...evolved.” She gestured weakly in the direction of the bureau. At Bernie's laugh she leaned back, crossing her arms with a frown.

“What? Are you telling me you don't have a battery-operated boyfriend? Well, girlfriend.”

“Of course. But, Serena, you have an entire harem!” Bernie pulled Serena's arms free, wrapping them back around her neck, smiling up at her softly. “Why haven't you mentioned it?”

Serena returned the smile, leaning her forehead against Bernie's. “It honestly didn't occur to me.” Her voiced dropped low, raising goosebumps on Bernie's arms. “It's not like we've needed any help in that arena.” She trailed her lips across Bernie's cheek, down to her jaw. “I can barely walk most days as it is.”

Bernie's lips pursed smugly as she tilted her head to the side, giving Serena better access to her neck. She forced herself to focus past the delicious distraction of Serena's mouth on her skin.

“But, if there's something you need, something I'm not...”

Serena pulled back to look Bernie in the eyes, hands cupping her face. “Bernie, you're perfect. And I am absolutely, incredibly, ecstatically satisfied.”

Bernie captured Serena's lips in a soft kiss. “Hmm, I'm glad to hear it. Still, it seems a shame not to take advantage of your investment.”

“Is that right?” Serena purred, shifting a little closer in Bernie's lap. “Anything in particular strike your fancy?”

“To be honest, I'm not even sure what half of it is for.” Bernie brushed her nose against Serena's cheek, pulling back to catch her eyes, their lips only millimeters apart. “Maybe you could teach me?”

This close she saw Serena's eyes immediately darken, pupils wide. Felt the hitch in her breath. The way her hips pressed forward, seeking Bernie's. Serena swallowed hard. When she finally spoke, her voice was lower than Bernie had ever heard, triggering an immediate flood of wetness between her thighs.

“That...can certainly be arranged.”

Chapter Text

Moments before her third (fourth?) orgasm of the night overwhelms her, it occurs to Bernie that she may have underestimated just what she was getting herself into.

 

While Serena's storage drawer was impressive in its own right, seeing its contents arrayed across her (their, Bernie reminded herself with a smile) bed was frankly overwhelming. Jason was away at Alan's for the night and Serena had suggested over dinner that perhaps this was a good opportunity for them to review the options. Discuss what, exactly, Bernie was interested in exploring.

Serena being Serena, she had meticulously laid out every item in her collection, sorted first by function, then size, then color, in the case of duplicates. Duplicates?! Whatever for?  She stood beside the bed, hands clasped, face impressively bland. But her glittering eyes were dark and hungry as she watched Bernie from across the room.

Bernie surveyed it all slowly, Serena's eyes following her, feeling for all the world like she was at the world's most pornographic car dealership. She picked up a long, fairly slender wand in a vivid marbled green, ridged swirls along the length culminating in an anatomically-inspired tip. It flopped slightly in her hand, wilting like a rejected flower in a cartoon. Her eyes went wide, darting to Serena's, then back to the toy in her hand.

Bernie promptly dissolved into a fit of giggles.

The toy slipped from her hand and bounced on the bed, prompting another gale of honking laughter. Bernie bent over, helpless with tears in her eyes, bracing her hands on her knees as she tried to bring herself under control. She eventually managed to catch her breath, hiccuping a little, and straightened, one arm wrapped across her aching stomach.

Serena was standing ramrod straight, lips in a thin line. A blush stained the apples of her cheeks, but the naked arousal in her gaze was gone, replaced with embarrassment and shame. Bernie felt a twisting in her gut as Serena moved stiffly toward the bed, reaching for the nearest item.

“Yes, well. Why don't you go find something on telly while I clean this all up...”

Bernie hurried across the room, taking Serena's hand in her own. “No! Serena.” Bernie tried to catch Serena's eyes but they were currently looking everywhere but at her. “Serena, I'm sorry. It's just me. I promise I wasn't laughing at you. At any of it.” Serena's eyes finally returned to meet Bernie's. “I'm just nervous. Frankly I feel a bit daft for being this intimidated.” She smiled encouragingly, pulling Serena more closely against her. “You never need to be embarrassed with me. You know that, right?”

Serena nodded noncommittally, sighing at Bernie's frown. “I know, darling. It's just...”

“Just what?”

Her eyes dropped, focusing on a spot just above Bernie's collarbones. “If you must know, I've never...shared this,” she gestured vaguely towards the bed, “with anyone. With...” she licked her lips, eyes meeting Bernie's carefully, “...a lover.” Bernie's eyes softened as she brought a hand up, brushing along Serena's cheek, threading it through the short hair behind her ear.

“Sian knows, of course. Several of the more outrageous pieces were gifts from her over the years.” She paused, hesitant. “I mentioned the possibility of using an...accessory once. To, to Robbie. He reacted badly, needless to say. Thought I was 'impugning his manhood' or some rubbish.”

“Idiot,” Bernie growled. “Serena, I don't think less of you for any of this, I swear. As far as I'm concerned you're a woman who knows her body and her pleasure, why wouldn't I want to learn from that?” She pulled Serena closer, their bodies pressed lightly together. “And the idea of you pleasuring yourself, wanting to pleasure me...” Bernie shuddered, a fresh wave of arousal rolling through her. “...is unbearable sexy.”

She kept her eyes locked with Serena's, enjoying the way they darkened at her words, until the other woman leaned in, softly pressing their lips together. Bernie took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, hands sliding around to Serena's lower back as she teased her tongue into her mouth.

When they finally broke apart long moments later, the lingering embarrassment was gone from Serena's eyes. “So, that one's an obvious 'no'.” She nodded toward the discarded green silicone. “See anything else that interests you?” Bernie moved to stand behind Serena, hands loosely clasped around her waist, chin resting on Serena's shoulder as she perused the tableau.

She chuckled abashedly. “I honestly have no earthly idea where to begin.” She pressed herself flush against Serena's back, turning to nuzzle the sensitive spot just behind her ear. Bernie smiled at the quiet hitch in Serena's breath. “I'm open to any...recommendations you may have,” she whispered, enjoying the shiver that ran through Serena as Bernie's warm breath ghosted across her neck.

“Um. Yes, right.” Serena stepped away, clearing her throat, her unaffected demeanor ruined somewhat by the deep flush of color rising on her neck and chest. Bernie tried not to squirm as Serena turned to eye her speculatively, her trademark mischievous glint returning. “Well, why don't you show me what you're used to, to start? Then I can make some choices from there.”

Bernie blinked. Swallowed. “Oh. Um, yes. Right.”

Crossing the room, she opened her underwear drawer, ignoring the soft snort from Serena as she dug to the bottom. Returning to stand before her, Bernie hesitantly held out the requested object; a tapered cylinder, 5 inches long in a shiny, deep blue plastic. Serena plucked it from Bernie's hand, turning it this way and that as she studied it before twisting the base. A soft hum filled the room. Bernie's gut churned with a curious combination of embarrassment and lust, and she found herself clenching her thighs together as she watched Serena press the vibrator against the palm of her hand, judging its potency.

Serena nodded once sharply as she turned it off, placing it on the nightstand and turning to look over her own collection, one hand toying lightly with her necklace. Bernie tried to ignore the way Serena's matter-of-fact attitude immediately ratcheted up her own arousal.

“It's a bit buzzy for my taste; I've always tended towards more rumbly vibrations myself.” Bernie nodded in agreement, despite having no idea what Serena was talking about. “Why don't I pick a few of my favorites and we can see what you think?” She turned to face Bernie, her high color and dark eyes proving that the situation was as potent for her as it was for Bernie.

Bernie opened her mouth. Cleared her throat when nothing came out. “I...I think I'd like that.”

 

What she had failed to consider, Bernie muses as her heart rate begins to even out, breath still coming in harsh pants, is that Serena Campbell is, at heart, a scientist. She believes in thoroughness, methodology. Using a tactical approach to solve any problem. And she is currently applying all of her finely honed diagnostic skills to finding the most efficient way to wring every possible ounce of pleasure out of Bernie's poor body.

...

 

Once again wrapped in her favorite robe, Bernie returned from the kitchen, hands occupied with two crystal glasses and a bottle of shiraz. The room was dim, lit only by a small lamp and several tall golden pillar candles scattered throughout. Their soft light flickered across the bed, now empty, duvet pulled back at one corner.

Serena had her back to the door, fussing with something on the nightstand. Bernie quickly poured wine for them both, leaving the bottle on the dressing table and crossing the room. Serena turned at her approach, smiling, taking her glass with a murmured 'thank you' and a chaste kiss. Sipping her wine, Bernie stroked a hand lightly up and down along Serena's spine, feeling the heat of her skin through the thin silk dressing gown.

The nightstand had been covered with a towel and held a variety of bottles and objects. Lubricant and specially-designed cleaning wipes sat beside Serena's selections for the evening. Even in this, she was always prepared. Looking everything over, Bernie found herself squirming a little. The thought of Serena using any (all?) of the selections on her already had Bernie aching.

“Alright?” Serena asked, wrapping her arms around Bernie's waist, fingers toying with the tie of her robe. Bernie could feel the warmth of her, see the flush on her chest and neck and felt an answering surge in her own desire. Seeing Serena Campbell flustered and aroused had quickly become one of Bernie's very favorite things. She leaned in to capture Serena lips in a fierce kiss, leaving them both breathing hard.

“Well.” Serena's eyes were dark, pupils wide. She pushed lightly against Bernie's shoulders until she sat on the bed, moving to stand between her legs. A wicked smile hovered on her lips. “Let's test a few out, shall we?”

And test she had.

Her first choice, a small, black, pebble-shaped device which cradled easily in the palm of Serena's hand, had felt much like what Bernie was used to, although a good deal stronger. Serena had started on the lowest setting, trailing it in meandering paths along Bernie's body. Tickling along her ribs, teasing her nipples to insistent hardness before nestling it in place to press against her clit.

Serena lay stretched out beside her, one ankle hooked over her calf, chin propped on her fist. Slowly she began ramping up the intensity and Bernie quickly found herself bucking upward against Serena's hand, seeking more pressure.

When she came it was unexpected, far faster than normal and with less warning. She dropped her hand to wrap around Serena's wrist, but she didn't pull away. Before Bernie could protest, Serena clicked the vibrations up another level. Bernie gasped as another, softer wave of pleasure crested. This time Serena moved away and Bernie sank back into the mattress with a sigh.

“Well?”

Bernie closed her eyes, taking stock of her body. “It felt amazing.” She frowned slightly. “But I don't feel...done, if that makes sense.” She opened her eyes and looked to Serena, feeling herself blush. Pull it together, Wolfe, she chided herself. She really needed to find a way to manage her ingrained modesty if she was going to survive this.

Serena chuckled as she dropped the toy on the towel. “I understand. I'm usually the same with this one. I think of it like eating crisps,” she dropped a kiss against Bernie's shoulder, lips curved in a smile. “You can't stop at just one.”

Bernie honked out a laugh, pulling Serena closer. “Crisps? Really?”

Serena nodded, feigned innocence on her face. “Mmhmm. Although,” she leaned closer, nuzzling Bernie's jaw, “it can be a very nice perk if you've got a lazy afternoon free.”

Bernie groaned and pulled Serena into a kiss, mind already spinning out a whole new set of fantasies.

The second toy, a violently pink crab claw-shaped item with a white handle, had been quickly vetoed due to anatomical incompatibility. Serena withdrew it quickly at Bernie's wince, explaining that the issue was common with toys of this type.

The third, a sinuous purple wand, was far more successful. The rumbling vibrations against her clit left Bernie gasping, hands fisted in the sheets, coming hard and fast under Serena's intense gaze. As she caught her breath, she watched Serena drizzle lubricant along its length.

“Why don't we try the recommended use, hmm?”

She slid down the bed, trailing slow, hot kisses along Bernie's lean frame, finally settling between her legs. Bernie's eyes locked on Serena as she carefully slipped the toy inside her, feeling the stretch, the curved tip pressed perfectly against the front of her pelvis. Then Serena turned it on.

Bernie swore, head falling back on the pillow. The powerful vibrations thrummed through her, the tip conducting them directly to her g-spot. Pleasure arced along her nerve endings, hips canting upward eagerly. This time her orgasm built more slowly, deeper. She whimpered, fist clenched in frustration. She was so very close... Bernie sobbed in relief as Serena's tongue circled her clit, burying a hand in her short, brown hair.

She came, hard, eyes locked on Serena's.

...

 

Bernie's eyes snap back open (she must've drifted off for a moment) as Serena rises over her, straddling her thigh and pressing down. Her hands instinctively land on Serena's hips, a groan tumbling from her lips as she feels heat and wetness bathe her skin. Serena rolls against her, biting her lip at the delicious friction, and Bernie thinks, knows, that she has never seen anything more beautiful than this woman. Head tossed back, soft light spilling across the length of her neck, pooling shadows in the sharp dip of collar bones. The sight of her takes Bernie's breath away.

It's only moments before the rhythm of Serena's hips stutters, frantic, and she cries out sharply as she comes, collapsing onto her elbows on either side of the pillow, breath hot and harsh in Bernie's ear. Bernie wraps her arms around Serena's waist, pulling their bodies flush, feeling Serena's heart pounding against her own.

Eventually Serena shifts to the side, their legs still intertwined, nuzzling Bernie's neck with a chuckle. “Sorry about that. You just look so amazing when you come, I couldn't wait anymore.”

“Never apologize for that!” Despite her laughter Bernie can feel her face heating, amazed that she's somehow retained the ability to blush at Serena's words. Serena is always vocal during sex, effusive with compliments. Constantly murmuring her admiration for Bernie; her body, her beauty, the way her touch feels. No matter how often she does it, it makes Bernie flustered. Sometimes, when Serena is watching her, her words leaving Bernie flushed and squirming, she thinks that might just be the point.

They lay like that for a while. Bodies tangled together, sweat cooling between them, the air heavy with Serena's favorite candles, all vanilla and musk, and the tang of sex. This time Bernie knows she dozed off because when she opens her eyes it's to the sensation of Serena's hands sliding along her torso, moving lower with clear intent as she presses soft, lingering kisses to the slope of Bernie's breast.

Bernie tries to squirm away, but Serena has her pinned firmly, one thigh draped heavily across her legs. “Serena,” Bernie attempts to protest, a whimper escaping her as dexterous fingers leisurely trace through the damp, stiff curls between her thighs. Her hips twitch involuntarily and she feels Serena smile against her skin. “You're trying to kill me, is that it? You're actually trying to murder me with sex.”

Serena nips Bernie's collarbone, soothing the sting with her tongue before sliding up to kiss her with a smile. “Now why on earth would I do that? You're no good to me dead, Berenice.” Another kiss, slow and deep. Serena's hand slips lower, cupping Bernie fully, fingers pressed against her but not penetrating. “Besides, the experiment isn't over; I haven't used my favorite on you yet.”

Bernie groans into the next kiss. God help her, she can feel desire building again at Serena's words and she knows she's lost. She could never truly deny Serena anything, not here, with nothing between them. The kiss trails off as Serena pulls her hand away, patting Bernie lightly on the hip.

“Why don't you go to the loo, get cleaned up a bit while I get ready.”

Bernie swings her legs out of bed and stands, joints popping. It's a long, uncertain moment before she decides that her legs will support her. She glances over her shoulder at Serena, who looks for all the world like the cat who got the cream. “Oh, shut up,” Bernie grumbles, ignoring the soft chuckle as she hobbles to the en suite.

By the time Bernie returns to the bedroom, freshly showered and feeling far more in command of her faculties, Serena has straightened the disaster they had made of the bedding and retrieved another bottle of shiraz. She smiles up from where she's sitting against the headboard and presses a filled glass into Bernie's hand before guiding her to sit between her legs. Bernie leans back with a sigh, luxuriating in the decadent slide of silk against her spine from Serena's short dressing gown. Sips her wine, humming a little in pleasure as Serena's hands drift up and down along her bare arms.

Her whole life, Bernie had never enjoyed being touched. As a child, she had refused hugs from strangers and family members alike. With friends, kept things to a firm handshake, possibly a quick one-armed squeeze if the situation was dire. Even with lovers she was rarely tactile outside of the bedroom.

Serena had changed everything. It had initially been a challenge adjusting to Serena's tactile nature. Bernie's first few weeks on AAU had left her jumpy as a stray cat. In hindsight, that likely had as much to do with her rapidly growing attraction to Serena as it did her own taciturn nature. Over time she had not only adjusted to Serena's constant touches, she came to depend on them. Fingers resting lightly on her arm, the brush of their shoulders as they walked the halls, the warmth of a hand resting on her lower back. These and countless more had become a tactile language between them, helping communicate and maintain their relationship through any situation. Bernie knows now that she needs those touches just as much as Serena needs to give them.

Serena's hands slide up over Bernie's shoulders and down her sides, tracing the bumps of her ribs, the flat plane of her stomach, one dancing light patterns around her navel, the other coming to rest against the crease between her breast and ribcage. Goosebumps rise on her skin as Serena's thumb strokes back and forth along the sensitive underside of Bernie's breast, each seemingly casual movement ending a little closer to her nipple than the last. Until finally the pad of her thumb makes contact, swirling a lazy circle that puckers Bernie's nipple to immediate hardness.

Bernie's head drops back onto Serena's shoulder as her other hand comes into play, caressing both breasts in tandem, sure fingers rolling and tugging sensitive nipples. Her hips began to squirm as the pressure increases, mouth dropping open on a harsh exhale as Serena sucks Bernie's earlobe between her lips, tugging it softly with her teeth.

Her hands clench on Serena's bare thighs, hiking the wine red silk even higher. Serena's left hand returns to tracing swirling patterns on her stomach, moving lower - oh so slowly - as her right continues to tease and deliciously torture her breasts. Her legs fall open as Serena rakes through soft blonde curls, fingers sliding easily through hot, slick wetness, drawing moans from them both.

A fingertip slowly circles her clit. Once. Twice. Bernie's hips are already pressing up off the mattress into the touch, searching for more. Serena's breath is hot in her ear.

“Are you ready, darling?”

Bernie nods, a regretful whimper in the back of her throat when Serena's hands leave her body. She closes her eyes, breathing deeply, trying to wrest back some control. Serena fumbles with something from the nightstand, shifting into a more comfortable position. Bernie can't help but grind back a little, drawing a groan and a poke in the ribs from Serena.

“Naughty.” Serena's hand moves between their bodies, untying her robe, pressing every inch of her delicious curves against Bernie's back and resting her chin on a shoulder. Her arm slips around Bernie's waist, resting lightly on her stomach.

Bernie studies the object in her hand for a long moment, resisting her kneejerk impulse to laugh. It looks like a steampunk electric toothbrush; a long copper handle with a power cord trailing down off the edge of the bed. Instead of bristles this was topped with... Bernie blinks. Surely that wasn't actually a marshmallow. Right?

She takes a few deep breaths, her voice coming out admirably steady, if a little tight. “What, uh, what's that, then?”

“It's called,” Serena pauses for dramatic effect, lips just brushing against Bernie's ear, voice pitched low, “the Eroscillator.”

A strangled noise escapes Bernie as she bites her lower lip, hard, one eye twitching in the perfect silence of the room.

Serena breaks first, her deep joyous laugh ringing out, Bernie's joining a moment later. She drops her head back as she laughs, taking in Serena's profile, her heart swelling. The fact that this is her life; love and lust and laughter, all with this incredible woman. It still overwhelms her on occasion, fearing that she'll never truly deserve this happiness. She squeezes Serena's arm more tightly around her, attempting to communicate through touch the words lodged in her chest.

Laughter finally trailing off, Serena drops a kiss against Bernie's shoulder. “It's ridiculous. I have no idea who names these things. But,” she untangles their arms, resting her hand low on the swell of Bernie's abdomen, “I think you'll find it more than makes up for it.”

Her left hand slides lower, fingers parting Bernie easily as her thumb clicks the switch on the handle, a low hum issuing forth as it activates. Chin perched on Bernie's shoulder, Serena brings the lightly lubricated head down to press just so and...

“Shit!” Bernie gasps, hips arching off the bed, hands clenching spasmodically on Serena's thighs. The sensation is like nothing she has ever experienced. The soft pad covering her clit is like a finger on steroids, vibrations pulsing so deeply it makes the base of her spine tingle.

“It's something else, isn't it?” Serena's voice is low in her ear, tone casual. As if this were an unremarkable conversation among friends. Bernie tries to nod, only really managing to loll her head against Serena's shoulder as her body writhes helplessly.

“The others have their place, of course, but this is by far my favorite.” Bernie can only whimper in agreement, a slight change in angle making her hips buck. Serena's mouth trails fire from her shoulder along her neck, caressing the sensitive spot behind her ear. “I used it quite a lot while you were in Kiev. Almost every night, to be honest.”

Bernie's breath catches in her chest. Even now they rarely talk about Kiev. They've long since worked past Bernie's instinct to run and Serena's fear of abandonment, but talking about it directly is still too raw, fraught with pain. Serena bringing it up now, like this, feels dangerous, almost taboo. Bernie's breathing quickens, a fresh flood of wetness between her thighs.

“I would come home from work, exhausted and angry. But when I tried to sleep, all I could think about was you. What you were doing, if you missed me as much as I missed you. The way you kissed me.” She nips Bernie's earlobe. “It always came back to that.”

The angle changes again, a little more pressure directing the vibrations. It's feels like Bernie's every nerve is being stimulated simultaneously, making it hard to think, hard to focus. Serena's words are like a thread, the only thing tethering her to the here and now.

“I'd lie here in bed, using this on myself. Just like I'm using it on you now.” The image combines with the casualness of her tone and Bernie's brain short-circuits. Serena's thumb moves and the vibrations intensify, wrenching a cry from Bernie's throat. Her hips are moving constantly now, searching for more, for less, for...something.

“I'd imagine what it would be like to touch you.” Serena's voice, low and hot, cuts through the fog in her brain. “To feel you touch me. Imagining your hands, your mouth.” Bernie's breath is coming in harsh pants, breathy moans on each exhale. She can feel the build, pleasure burning through every inch of her body.

“And then, when I couldn't stand it anymore, I'd let myself come. Crying out your name.” Bernie thinks distantly that she might be begging. She feels her lips moving, but all she can hear is Serena's husky voice.

“For you,” Serena purrs, words practically dripping with longing. “Always for you, Bernie.”

Serena moves her wrist and Bernie comes apart, body bowed off the mattress as she cries out, overwhelmed. It seems to last an eternity, pleasure washing over her again and again, until she finally collapses back against Serena, breathless.

Bernie has no idea how long she drifts for. Her mind is utterly blank, body boneless and spent, only vaguely aware of Serena murmuring in her ear, arms holding her tightly. She's barely able to summon a soft hum of protest when Serena eases herself from behind Bernie and leaves the bed.

She's still floating on bliss, eyes closed, listening as Serena makes her way around the room, extinguishing candles and straightening up. The bedside lamp clicks off, plunging the room into moonlit darkness as Serena climbs back into bed, pulling the duvet up over them and tucking herself against Bernie's side.

Bernie rolls so they're face-to-face, wrapping one arm around Serena's waist to pull them flush together, her other hand toying with the short hairs at the nape of Serena's neck. She can just make out Serena's smile in the dimness as she tangles their legs, leaning in to press a soft kiss against Bernie's mouth.

She tightens her grip, swallowing Serena's soft moan as she brushes her tongue along the seam of her lips. Serena sighs and Bernie deepens the kiss, teasing, tasting, exploring. She's convinced that she could happily spend the rest of her life kissing Serena Campbell, a belief she's declared fervently on a few occasions, much to Serena's amusement.

Serena kisses her back, but there's an edge of desperation in it. Her fingers pressing too hard into Bernie's skin, tangled too tightly in her mussed, curly hair. It's familiar and Bernie knows that Serena is feeling exposed, the old uncertainties closer to the surface than usual. But Bernie is patient. She opens herself to Serena, keeps gentle through the edge of pain, the nip of teeth. Stays present and soothing until Serena regains her distance, kiss and body softening as she melts a little in Bernie's arms.

They part, still facing one another. Serena is twirling a lock of Bernie's hair around her fingers, eyebrow raised.

“So?” she asks, voice barely above a whisper, hesitant to break the bubble of peace around them.

Bernie returns the smile, trailing a hand along Serena's side. “I can certainly see why you're such a fan. I loved it. I love you.” She drops a kiss on the tip of Serena's nose, the cleft of her chin and rolls onto her back, taking Serena with her. “But now I'm going to sleep for a bloody week. You've wrecked me, woman!” Her words trail off into a jaw-splitting yawn.

Serena chuckles and snuggles closer, head resting on Bernie's shoulder. “Mmmm, just wait until you see what else I have planned.”

Bernie's pained groan mixes with Serena's laughter in the darkness.

Chapter Text

“Are you ready?”  

Bernie settles back against the soft, smooth sheets, fluffing the pillow a little bit beneath her head.  She smiles up at Serena, a little tentative but encouraging.

“I think so.”

Serena leans over and captures her mouth, kissing her slow and deep.  Bernie hums a little and wraps her arms around Serena’s shoulders, pulling her close.  She knows Serena’s a little nervous about tonight; afraid that she’s pushing Bernie into something she might not enjoy.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  And even if she did have any hesitations, the way Serena has been looking at her since dinner would be more than enough to convince her to try just about anything.

Serena pulls away from the kiss, sitting back on her heels and reaches over to the nightstand to retrieve a silk scarf; deep blue, printed in an abstract swirling pattern.  Bernie finds herself idly wondering if Serena will wear the scarf after this.  Finds that she likes that idea very, very much.

Serena’s hands slide beneath Bernie’s head and the scarf tightens across her eyes, blocking out the dim light of the room.  She tenses, unused to the feel, the uncertainty, and takes a breath, wills herself to relax.

“Alright?”  Serena’s voice is low and very close to her ear, startling her.  Bernie nods and she feels Serena’s lips brush faintly against her cheek.

“Good girl.”

The warmth of Serena’s body disappears from her side, the bed shifting slightly.  Bernie strains her ears in the darkness, trying to identify the soft sounds in the room.  She feels incredibly exposed, the air of the room cool on her bare skin.  Not knowing what Serena is doing, if she’s watching.  She thinks she probably is and unexpected pleasure thrums through her veins at the thought of being on display, waiting for Serena; Bernie is a jumble of nerves and arousal, already trying hard to keep herself from squirming against the sheets.

The bed dips again, a brush of silk against her hip a moment later.  She can feel Serena leaning over her; not touching, the air charged between them.  Warm hands encircle her wrists, pressing them down against the mattress beside her head.  Another puff of breath across her skin making her shiver.

“I want you to keep these here.  Can you do that for me?”

Bernie nods again, more eagerly and she can hear Serena’s low chuckle in response.  At this point she thinks she might be willing to do anything to get Serena to touch her.  She grips the sheets, sighing as fingertips trail delicately down her neck, over her sternum, outlining the sensitive edges of her scar.  Bernie bites her lip when the fingertips disappear, holding back a whimper of frustration.

Something cold presses against Bernie’s skin, tearing a gasp from her throat.  Cold, hard, frictionless, the object follows the same path Serena’s fingers had traced a moment earlier.  Igniting her nerve endings as it trails slowly down over her sternum, only to be replaced a moment later by Serena’s mouth, wet and blazing hot against her chilled flesh.  Bernie groans helplessly, hands twisting in the sheets.

The cold moves, Serena still pressing soft kisses to Bernie’s chest as it slowly circles her breast.  Light and barely touching.  With each pass the circle tightens, ratcheting up the tension and expectation in Bernie’s body until she is holding her breath.  She huffs out a frustrated moan as it moves instead to the other breast, repeating the same motion.

“Patience, love.”  Serena’s voice is amused, the undercurrent of need in it tugging at Bernie’s insides.  She forces herself to relax again.  To trust.  To enjoy the sensations, the silky smoothness of the material ( glass, maybe? ) as it glides over her skin, the cold triggering every nerve to instant alertness, raising goosebumps in it’s wake.  

The chilled glass ( definitely , she thinks) suddenly presses fully against her nipple, the air leaving her in a gust as it hardens in an instant, erect and almost painful.  The glass lingers, cold soaking deep into her skin, nearly unbearable. She fights the urge to squirm away from the sensation.   

The cold finally lifts from her skin, her gasp of relief turning into a cry as Serena’s mouth surrounds the tortured nipple.  The heat of her tongue against the cold, pebbled flesh is breathtaking.  Bernie’s knuckles are white, barely stopping herself from burying her hands in Serena’s hair, holding her mouth more tightly against her breast.  

She curses as the freezing glass presses to her other nipple, the sensation pinpoint and intense.  The contrast between the biting cold and the heat of Serena’s tongue, swirling and teasing, is overwhelming.  Bernie can’t hold back the constant stream of noises spilling from her mouth, gasps and moans wrung loose as her body and brain try to process the conflicting inputs.  

Serena settles into a rhythm, moving back and forth between Bernie’s sensitive, aching breasts; alternating the penetrating cold of the glass with the wet heat of her mouth and tongue, leaving Bernie babbling and desperate.  With her vision obscured the whole world has narrowed in focus to those two points of feeling, opposing sensations blending, compounding, building one another to impossible heights.

Suddenly both are gone and Serena is kissing her, fierce and deep.  Bernie whimpers helplessly into her mouth.  She rises up from the bed involuntarily, chasing after as Serena pulls away again, stopped by a firm hand against her chest pushing her back down into the mattress.

“My, my.  So eager.  Are you enjoying this, Berenice?”  

“Y-yes,” she stammers as Serena starts tracing icy cold patterns across her abdomen, around her navel, making her stomach muscles clench and ripple.  Bernie can feel Serena shifting lower on the bed, hot breath ghosting against the ridge of her hipbone.  Her breathing quickens, muscles tensing as Serena drags her short nails up along her inner thigh, spreading her legs wider.  

The trails of cold disappear from her skin and there is a moment of stillness.  The only sound in the room is her own harsh pants and the pounding of her heart in her ears; the only feeling the eddies of air from Serena’s soft steady breath at her hip.

Bernie feels herself flush, picturing Serena’s eyes on her; that glittering, hungry look she always has when they are like this.  Looking up at Bernie from between her thighs, her face a study in lust, longing and love so fierce and beautiful it nearly stops Bernie’s heart, every time.  

She suddenly wishes that she wasn’t blindfolded, that she hadn’t promised to keep her hands away; wants so desperately to see Serena’s face, to touch her, that she can feel the prickling of tears behind her eyelids. Bernie doesn’t know if she made a noise, said her thoughts out loud, but suddenly one of Serena’s hands is smoothing long, soothing strokes up and down along her ribs.

“Shhhh, love.  It’s alright.  I’m here.  I’ve got you.”  

Bernie releases a shuddering breath, easing the overwhelming tension constricting her chest.  Forces herself to take a slow deep breath, then another as she relaxes back into the mattress.  Once she’s settled again, she feels Serena press a soft kiss to the top of her thigh.

“You ok to continue?”  Bernie nods, still keyed up now that the sharp edge of intensity has ebbed.  She can practically hear Serena smile as she shifts, settling more fully between Bernie’s legs.

Bernie hisses a breath through her teeth as cold, smooth glass parts her folds, gliding through her wetness, moving up to slowly circle her clit.  Serena’s arm is pressed across her hips, holding her steady as she bucks helplessly into the sensation.  It seems somehow colder than it had been moments before, simultaneously shocking her system and heightening her sensitivity.  Serena repeats the motion, dragging the glass slowly along her before circling her clit once and pulling away, each circle lingering longer than the one before.  Bernie settles gradually into the rhythm, anticipating each touch, each movement.

Which makes it all the more shocking when, on the next pass Serena slides the glass inside her.

She swears, hips practically wrenched free from Serena’s grasp as the the cold fills her.  The glass is practically frictionless, sliding deeper with only the slightest pressure until the entire length is buried inside her, flared base nestled against her entrance.  

Every nerve on overload, Bernie’s mind scrambles to focus, careening from sensation to sensation.  The cold amplifies everything, searing through her and she instinctively clenches down on the intrusion, groaning as the pressure against the unyielding glass only amplifies the feelings.  She finds herself doing it again and again, each squeeze sending a bolt of pleasure up her spine.

Serena gently twists the toy inside Bernie, triggering an explosion of new sensations as she realizes that the surface is actually textured, bumps and ripples stimulating everywhere all at once as they press against her.  A slow twist in the other direction has her toes curling, the lingering cold ensuring she can feel every millimeter of the solid form stroking her.

Serena’s pace is maddeningly languid, twisting methodically back and forth. She ignores the increasingly desperate movements of Bernie’s hips, gripping tighter with the hand on her hip.  Serena begins to thrust, only slightly, in time with her motions; out on one twist, in on the next.  The change has Bernie panting, hands scrabbling for the edges of the mattress.  

Bernie cries out as Serena pulls away and withdraws the glass, leaving her empty and aching.  “Oh god, please….Serena...please…”  She’s only vaguely aware that she’s begging, but she’s right at the edge and the sudden lack of sensation leaves her frantic.

Serena thrusts back into her in one smooth motion, but this time there’s heat .  Molten heat blazing inside her, made all the more intense by the lingering chill.  Bernie arches off the bed, overwhelmed by indescribable sensations, a stream of moans and nonsense words falling from her lips as Serena slides the warm, unyielding glass in and out of her.

And then Serena’s mouth is on her, lips surrounding her throbbing clit, tongue flickering against her.  One of Bernie’s hands flies to bury itself in Serena’s hair without thinking, frenzied in her need.  Another thrust, two, and she falls over the edge, orgasm tearing through her, pulling a loud groan from deep in her chest.

Impossibly, the feel of the hot textured glass inside her as her body clenches and spasms has her coming again, immediately on the heels of the first.  She whimpers, collapsing back on the bed, body trembling as the glass slides from her leaving Bernie feeling empty and a little cold.  

The blindfold disappears and Bernie blinks owlishly in the dim light.  Her eyes finally adjust, focusing on Serena leaning over her, a smile on her beautiful face.

“Hello there,” she purrs, drawing out every syllable as she leans in to nuzzle against Bernie’s jaw.

It takes a couple of tries before Bernie’s voice engages.  “Hi,” she says hoarsely.

“I take it you enjoyed that?” Serena asks, smug and self-satisfied, hands gliding aimlessly over Bernie’s torso. Bernie manages to nod, somewhat distracted by the fingers that have found their way to her still sensitive nipple. “Enough to try it again?”

Bernie whimpers a little, brow furrowing.  Serena’s face softens immediately, hands moving to cup Bernie’s face as she kisses her softly.

“Sorry, darling.”  She slides her fingers through Bernie’s hair, scratching lightly at her scalp.  “I just can’t get enough of you sometimes.”

Bernie’s eyes flutter shut as they kiss over and over.  Unhurried, lingering kisses intended to soothe rather than arouse.  Serena’s fingers continue to comb through her hair, separating the tangled strands until they’re splayed across the pillow in a halo of gold.  

Wrapping her arms around Serena’s waist Bernie rolls them onto their sides, mouths never parting.  She sweeps her tongue lightly against Serena’s bottom lip and Serena hums softly, granting her entrance.  

Their kisses remain leisurely, but Bernie can feel the tension in Serena’s body; the shifting of her hips, the insistent press of of her nipples through the thin silk negligee. She slides a hand slowly along Serena’s side to her hip, over the lush curve of her backside, trailing along the back of her thigh.  Curls her hand behind Serena’s knee, tugging it up to rest high on her hip.  

She swallows Serena’s moan as her fingers trail through hot, slick wetness.  Her touch is gentle, languid to match the movements of their mouths, but not teasing.  Serena’s already grinding against her hand, breath coming in desperate little pants.  Bernie maintains her soothing, unhurried kisses as her fingers circle Serena’s clit, applying delicious pressure to the perfect spot.

It’s a matter of moments before Serena is quaking against her, hands fisting in Bernie’s hair as she whimpers into her mouth.  Bernie kisses her through it, caressing until Serena goes boneless in her arms.

They lie like that, foreheads touching, sharing breath between them.  Bernie manages to snag a corner of the duvet, pulling it up over them with a minimum of movement.  Serena nestles into the space between Bernie’s neck and shoulder, eyelids already drooping as Bernie presses a kiss against her hair.

“Maybe next time,” Bernie murmurs softly, “you can wear the blindfold.”

She feels Serena smile against her collarbone, arms squeezing her more tightly.

“I’d like that very much.”

Bernie’s still smiling as she drifts off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Leaning her head back against the headrest, eyes closed, Bernie soaks in the warmth of the early summer sun on her face, the warmth of Serena’s thigh beneath her hand.  Strains of James Taylor float softly from the convertible’s radio ( ...you brighten up for me all of my days with a love so sweet in so many ways… ), a smile of utter contentment pulling up the corners of her mouth.

It was rare for them to have an entire day off together, much less a Saturday, and they resolved to make the most of it.  Had dropped Jason off at the hospital at the start of his shift before venturing across Holby for a leisurely breakfast at a tiny cafe that is known for its strong coffee and spectacular croissants.  Sat together at a table barely large enough to earn the name; legs tangled underneath, hands intertwined on the surface as they basked in the freedom of having nowhere to be.  Eyes meeting over slow sips from steaming mugs, stealing bites from each other’s plates as they indulge in the kind of small talk they rarely have time for these days.

They do have plans for the day.  Plans that involve an empty house, sinfully luxurious sheets and no need to stay quiet.  But for the morning they enjoy this simple time together, as the heat of what is to come slowly builds, simmering behind each lingering glance and gentle touch.

The car pulls to a stop and Bernie opens her eyes, frowning a little when she finds them parked in an unfamiliar section of Holby.  She rolls her head to the right, sees Serena watching her with a smile and a sparkle of affection in her eyes that makes Bernie’s chest feel full to bursting.

“Where are we?”

“I just need to make a quick stop.”  Serena leans across the console to press a kiss against Bernie’s lips, gentle but just a moment too long to be considered chaste.  “Then we can head home.”  The quirk of her eyebrow leaves no doubt to her intentions and Bernie can’t help but catch her in another, deeper kiss.

Serena pulls away, breathless and laughing.  “Stop it or we’re never going to make it out of this car.”

“And that’s a problem because…” Bernie leans forward again but is stopped by Serena pushing against her shoulder with one hand as the other fumbles for the handle of the car door.  

“Because, Berenice, we’re both too old and too respectable to have a quickie in a car in broad daylight.”  Serena finally manages the handle and steps out of the car.  Bernie pouts, grumbling something under her breath about respectability being overrated, before following Serena across the street, jogging a few steps to catch up and grab her hand, fingers tangling together automatically.

Bernie manages to look away from the way the sunlight is hitting Serena’s hair long enough to glance at the building they’re approaching.  The shopfront windows are covered in thick white curtains, completely obscuring the interior.  Hand painted logos on the glass feature “The Tool Shed” spelled out in bold, retro lettering.  She squints a little without her glasses to make out the smaller scrolling text underneath.

Bernie stops dead on the curb and Serena is tugged back with a little ‘oof’ when she tries to keep walking past the end of Bernie’s reach.  She turns around, a puzzled frown on her face.

“Bernie?  What is it?”

Bernie’s eyes are wide as she tears them from the logo to meet Serena’s.  “Serena,” she hisses quietly between clenched teeth, despite the fact that there is no one else in sight, “this is a sex shop!”

“Yes.”  Serena looks at her as if she’s lost her mind.  “And?”

And? ”  Bernie’s voice goes unnaturally high.  “We can’t...just...I…,” she sputters, unable to manage a coherent response.

Serena rolls her eyes so intensely her head mirrors the motion.  “Oh for goodness sake, Bernie.  You’re not twelve.  You can act like a mature adult for a few minutes.”  She tugs hard on Bernie’s hand, propelling her toward the door.  “Come on, it’ll be good for you.”

Before Bernie is even able to respond they’re through the door.  On first glance, the shop is nothing like she would have expected; light and airy, all pale hardwood floors and soft colors.  And then she realizes that every visible surface is covered in sex toys.  Equipment of every conceivable design, every possible purpose in a dizzying array of colors, each item thoughtfully displayed to maximum effect.  

Bernie feels the blood rush to her face as her eyes flit around desperately, looking for a safe place to rest.  While she’s adjusted to seeing them in the privacy of their home, out in public? That is an entirely different story.

Objectively, she knows she’s being ridiculous.  There is nothing wrong with two consenting adults shopping for this type of thing.  That knowledge does nothing to quell the hot flush of embarrassment creeping up her neck, the uneasy squirming in her gut.  

It’s the same uneasy feeling she had in sixth form when she and some friends had snuck off to see The Hunger and she sat transfixed in the darkened theater as she watched Catherine Deneuve seduce Susan Sarandon. The same uneasy feeling she always gets when she slips her hand between her legs, mind filled with images of soft skin and delicate, dexterous hands.  And she does get that uneasiness, sometimes.  Not always now, with Serena, but sometimes.  Because for most of her life sex has gone hand in hand with hiding, with shame.  

There was always something else in her mind, when she was with Marcus, something she hid. Sex with Marcus had been pleasant.  Fine, if generally unremarkable.  More often than not Marcus would lay her back and she would open up wide; slide a lubed up hand between her legs to finish herself off after he was done.  

Not always, of course.  Sometimes she took charge, rolling over on her hands and knees as he took her from behind.  She’d stare at the headboard instead of her husband’s face, think of delicate features instead of gritted teeth and a throbbing forehead and come, happily.  Come hard and feel a tinge of guilt, her mind still full of images of soft curves and flowing hair as her husband moved inside her.    

Alex was different.  Alex had brought freedom from that pretense, let her acknowledge who she truly was.  Sex with Alex might never have been slow gentle nights together in a comfortable bed, but it was always so sweet; face to face, pressed so tight they had to peel their bodies apart afterward.  

With Alex came a different kind of shame.  Shame in abusing the power of her post to be with her subordinate, in betraying the institution she had dedicated herself to, shame in forgetting the husband who had never really made her happy.

But with Serena it is different.   Everything is different with Serena.  

Although she would deny it if asked, Serena is a hedonist at heart.  She revels in pleasure: expensive wine, delicious food, ridiculously high thread count sheets, or (to Bernie’s eternal delight) sex.  

More specifically these days, Serena revels in sex with Bernie.  Ever since the enthusiastic, awkward, and deeply satisfying fumblings of their first time, Serena has dedicated herself to being better, being better at Bernie.  Had taken that same keen intellect and curiosity that make her a force to be reckoned with in a surgical theater and dedicated it to improving their sex life. Had dedicated herself to having sex with Bernie and ensuring they both enjoyed themselves immensely.

Serena wants to try everything and is vocal about those wants.  Wants Bernie to try everything with her and tells her directly in a way that makes Bernie flush with embarrassment and flood with wetness in equal measure.  There’s no shame with Serena, no lurking doubt or hidden guilt at what they are doing and who they are doing it with.  Only an appetite for mutual pleasure that takes Bernie’s breath away and often leaves her breathless.

Bernie also has wants, of course she does.   Oh , the things she wants with Serena Campbell, to do to Serena, have Serena do to her.  There are times she feels the sheer intensity of all that want is too much to be contained in her skin and it might just break her apart in order to get out.  But she subconsciously keeps all that in check, because her past has cast a pall over her relationship with sex.  When she thinks about sex the things she desires, that she longs to experience, always fill her with a slight sickly feeling.  Not in the act but before and after, when she thinks about sex, there’s a sense of unease pooling in the pit of her stomach.  As if she’s wrong for wanting these things or undeserving of having them.

The feeling has eased over time, somewhat, eclipsed by the dazzling brilliance of Serena and her love and acceptance.  For the first time in her life, Bernie can finally acknowledge her own needs; acknowledge that it’s not only alright to have them, but also to give voice to them.  Encouraged by Serena’s unfailingly enthusiastic response, she is genuinely trying to silence the voice in her head that says otherwise.  

And although she has achieved a good deal of success in quashing her natural inclination toward bashfulness in their bedroom (and once in the backseat of Serena’s car), this is something different. She looks at a display of impressively anatomically accurate appliances in an assortment of skin tones and thinks she might not have the strength for this.

“Serena!”  A woman calls from behind the counter, giving an eager wave.  She’s young, maybe late twenties, her partially shaved hair dyed an aggressively bright green.  She hurries around the counter toward Serena and Bernie sees she has several facial piercings, her earlobes stretched around wooden discs the size of a pound coin.

Serena smiles widely and pulls the woman into a hug.  “Chloe!  How are you?”

“Great!”  Chloe’s eyes widen as they fall on Bernie still standing awkwardly in the doorway.  “Wow.  Is this her, then?”

Serena smiles then, the full, blinding smile that never ceases to drive the air from Bernie’s lungs.  She reaches out a hand, drawing Bernie further into the shop.

“Chloe, this is Bernie.  Chloe owns the shop.”

Chloe’s handshake is firm as she smiles up at Bernie, a mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes.  “So, you’re the one who shattered the dreams of every lesbian in Holby.”

Serena blushes and huffs out an embarrassed chuckle.  “Oh stop!”

“What, it’s true!”  Chloe leans in toward Bernie, whispering conspiratorially.  “If I had known she was on our team, I definitely would have tried to convince her to give younger women a try.”  She sighs dramatically, gesturing toward Bernie.  “But, alas!  I see now I never had a chance.”

Serena grins, hooking her arm through Bernie’s as she steps close.  “Sorry to disappoint.  Turns out there’s just the one woman for me.”  She smiles up at Bernie and Bernie can’t help but return the grin.  She doesn’t think she’ll ever get used to Serena’s ease with emotional declarations.  Doesn’t think she’ll ever get used to the fact that Serena chose her .

Serena drops a kiss on her cheek and pushes her away lightly.  “Why don’t you have a look around, I’ll be just a minute.”  She and Chloe step toward the counter, heads bent in conversation, leaving Bernie to her own devices.

Right .  Bernie draws a slow breath, squaring her shoulders as if standing for inspection.  What had Serena said before?  She could act like a mature adult?  Time to prove it.

Stepping away from where Serena and Chloe were chatting, she turns to browse a display of brightly colored vibrators arranged on backlit glass shelving.  Her eyes are drawn to the distinctive silhouette of The Eroscillator (it was still hard not to snicker at the name) and she feels a flush that has nothing to do with embarrassment as she remembers exactly how it had felt pressed against her, with Serena’s husky voice low and hot in her ear.  

Clearing her throat she turns away quickly, avoiding the anatomical display entirely.  (She’s willing to make an effort for Serena’s sake, but there are limits to her maturity.)  On the opposite side are less realistic options, some matte and smooth, some shiny and slick-looking, all in a variety of bright candy colors.  It’s a shame so many of them are the same eye-wateringly bright pink, she thinks idly.  

Bernie had seen several similar items in Serena’s collection and she finds herself wondering which ones Serena liked the most.  A few of them were impressively sized, to Bernie’s eye.  Was that something Serena enjoyed, being filled that way?  Would she like Bernie to do that for her?  The thought makes her stomach tighten, her mind ever so helpfully supplying an image of Serena spread beneath her, moaning and writhing as Bernie works a large pink toy in and out of her.  

Her eyes dart around the shop as she comes back to herself, as if her thoughts had been projected somehow for everyone to see.  She shakes her head at her own ridiculousness as she walks away.  Still, the idea was definitely one to keep in mind for the future.

The back half of the shop seemed to contain more in the way of accessories than the front.  A cupboard of lubricants, impressive in their variety and quantity stood next to a rack of pornographic DVDs for every proclivity.   Did people even buy those anymore?  Isn’t that what the internet is for?  The harnesses hanging from nearby pegs have her mouth suddenly dry, while a set of foam wedges that loudly advertise, among other benefits, “better access and lift allows for prolonged oral sex without sore necks” earns a quirk of the eyebrow.   Not the worst idea, that.

The far corner of the shop is adorned with a large sign proclaiming BDSM in the same retro font as the shop logo.  The wall beneath is covered in black leather straps, chains, paddles, riding crops and implements Bernie would hesitate to guess the use for.  She knew this was a popular lifestyle, as such things went.  Who didn’t these days?  But she can’t help but think it seemed like a lot of faffing about when you could be having sex instead.  

Turning to walk back toward the front of the shop, Bernie’s eyes fall on a set of black leather cuffs attached to a long strap, the tag featuring an image of a buxom young woman in a bikini, spread-eagle and restrained atop a mattress.  A shiver runs through her, raising the fine hairs on her arms.  Transfixed, she finds herself reaching out a slightly trembling hand to trace her fingers over the buttery softness of the leather, the cold metal of the buckles.  

She could imagine how they would feel around her wrists, tight but not uncomfortable, pulling her arms out towards the corners of their bed.  Leaving her entirely at Serena’s mercy.  The thought makes her throb with longing, suddenly embarrassingly wet.  She had never considered giving over control like that, never trusted anyone not to take advantage.  But there was no one on this Earth she trusted more than Serena.  The night Serena had commanded her to keep her hands pinned to the mattress had featured frequently in her masturbatory fantasies ever since.  Would Serena be interested?  She dismisses the question immediately.  If she brought it up, she knew Serena would be more than willing to try nearly anything.  Had said as much repeatedly in the past.

Bernie can already picture Serena looming over her with that wicked smirk on her face; the one that usually made Bernie seriously consider how secure the door lock of the storage cupboards on the ward actually were.  Picture her torturing and teasing her way along Bernie’s body with hands and mouth.  Detailing her intentions in that deliciously husky voice, until Bernie is pulling helplessly against the cuffs.  Maybe even...she bites back a moan at the crystal clear mental image of Serena above her, smooth pale thighs on either side of Bernie’s head as she slowly lowers herself onto Bernie’s waiting, eager tongue…

The press of a hand to her lower back startles Bernie out of her fantasy and she jumps back with a yelp of surprise.  Serena jerks her hand back, nearly as surprised.

“Sorry, darling!  I didn’t mean to startle you.  I…”  She stops, eyes narrowing as she looks closely at Bernie, lingering on her face, the flush along her neck, before dropping briefly to her chest.  Bernie knows if she followed Serena’s gaze she’d see her nipples pressing hard and visible through her thin bra and white blouse.  When Serena’s eyes return to hers they are practically black, pupils blown wide.  Her tongue flicks out to wet her lips and Bernie has to clench her hands into fists to stop from reaching for her.  

“Ready to go?”  Serena’s voice is low and smouldering and Bernie can only nod eagerly, not trusting herself to formulate words.  “Right then.”  She turns away, then pauses.  Turns back, steps close into Bernie’s personal space and she’s momentarily overwhelmed by the scent of Serena’s perfume, the heat of her body.  “I’d very much like to hear all about it later.”  Her eyes hold Bernie’s for a long moment, deep and mesmerizing, before striding back toward the door of the shop, Bernie a few steps behind.

It takes until they reach the car for Bernie to notice the bag slung over Serena’s arm.  It contains a long, narrow box with no visible labeling.  Serena’s drops it in the back as she hands the keys to Bernie.

“What’s that?” Bernie asks as she sits behind the wheel.  She’s still keyed up, her nerve endings tingling, and she can hear the tightness in her own voice.

“Oh, just something I ordered.  We can talk about it later.”  Serena reaches across the console to rest her hand on Bernie’s thigh, dragging her short nails upward with just enough pressure to be felt through the tight black denim.  “Right now, I’d like you to take me to bed.”  Her grin is nothing short of feral.

Bernie’s swallows hard, fumbling a little as she turns the key in the ignition, and tries not to speed home.  

~~~

Serena’s cries fill the room as she comes apart, once again, beneath Bernie’s eager mouth. Serena clenches around Bernie’s fingers as she continues to slowly ease them in and out, drawing out Serena’s orgasm just a little bit longer, until she collapses back against the bed; panting and trembling, one hand thrown over her eyes.  

Serena whimpers when Bernie retracts her hand, grinning as she sucks her fingers clean and begins slowly nibbling her way back up Serena’s body.  Lingering on spots that make her twitch and gasp, tongue swirling and tasting the dips and valleys of her belly, her breasts, along the ridge of her collarbone before Bernie nuzzles against the length of her neck, breathing deep Serena’s perfume and heated skin.

Serena peeks down at her from between her fingers, still breathing a little unsteadily.  “Someone should classify that mouth of yours as a deadly weapon.”

Bernie stretches up to kiss her with a smug little chuckle.  “I thought you liked my mouth.”

“I do,” Serena mutters against her lips, moving her hand to tangle in Bernie’s hair.  “It’s just going to be terribly embarrassing to explain to people when you kill me with it.”

They’re both laughing as they kiss again, slow and deep, the afternoon sun spilling through the lace curtains throwing dappled shadows over their intertwined bodies.

Leaning her chin on a fist, Bernie watches Serena stretch beneath her, hand and eyes tracing a path from her sternum down as she arches her back off the mattress, tracing aimless patterns on the soft swell of Serena’s abdomen.

“So,” Bernie says casually, “are you going to show me?”

Serena blinks up at her, brow furrowing.  “Show you what?”

“What you bought for me this morning.”

One eyebrow arches lazily as Serena’s tongue darts across her lips.  “And who says it was for you?  Maybe I bought it for my other girlfriend.”

Her giggles at Bernie’s scowl turn into shrieks as Bernie digs her thumb into the ticklish spot beneath Serena’s ribs, snags an arm around her waist as Serena tries to squirm away.  Rolling Serena back underneath her body and grinding their hips together, making them both moan breathlessly through their laughter.  Bernie can’t help but lean down and kiss that smiling mouth, fingers threading through Serena’s hair.

Bernie eventually manages to pull away, pushing back to sit on her heels.  Serena pouts up at her, lips kiss swollen, hair a mess.  For a moment Bernie forgets what she was going to say, returning with a shake of her head.

“No, really, I’d, ah, like to see what you got,” Bernie admits. Feels the first twinge of shame in the pit of her stomach. Tries to be brave and push it away.  “I want to see what it is.”

“If you insist,” Serena relents, eyes twinkling.

Bernie flops back down, burrowing into the pillows as Serena swings her legs out of bed, and lets her eyes track Serena as she crosses the room.  She snags her dressing gown from the back of the nearby chair and Bernie frowns as the wine red silk impedes her contemplation of the curves of Serena’s body.

Serena returns to the bed bearing the long narrow box, Bernie moving to sit against the headboard, sheet draped loosely over her lap as Serena places the box beside her.  She wraps her arms around Serena’s waist as she sits between Bernie’s outstretched legs.

Peering over Serena’s shoulder, Bernie nuzzles behind her ear, fingers toying with the tie of her dressing gown.  Serena pries the lid from the box, dropping it to the floor beside the bed with one hand while the other retrieves the contents.  

Their silence hangs in the sun-dappled room, finally broken when Bernie clears her throat with an awkward little cough.

“Well, that’s...something.”  She squints at it as Serena turns it back and forth in her hands.  “Isn’t it a little, um…” Bernie trails off helplessly.  

“Chloe recommended it,” Serena says simply and Bernie can’t help the flush of jealousy that stabs at her heart. Nor can she help the wave of embarrassment that momentarily washes  through her at the intensity of her response, knowing that the feeling is utterly unfounded. Bernie tightens her arms around Serena; reminding herself that she is the one that, despite all reason, Serena Campbell has chosen to be with.  

Shaped like a squiggly ‘W’, the toy is over 30 cm long, startlingly large in Serena’s delicate hands.  She turns it over as she examines it and Bernie can’t hold back a snort of laughter.

“It looks like a moustache!”  Serena pins Bernie with her blandest we are not amused look and Bernie tries to wrangle her expression into something more neutral.  “But how are you supposed to...I mean, isn’t it too…”  Bernie waggles one hand, scribing invisible curves in the air.

“It’s for both of us, Bernie.”  Serena’s tone is painfully dry, as if she were explaining a simple procedure to a particularly dense F1.  “We use it at the same time.”

“Oh.”  Bernie’s eyes widen.  “ Oh. ”  

“Yes, quite,” Serena agrees, a wry smile tugging up the corner of her lips.

Steeling herself, Bernie takes the object from Serena.  It’s surprisingly heavy, the silicone surface cool and silky smooth in her hands.  She squashes the impulse to stroke her fingers along it, feeling herself flush.  Turning it upside down, Bernie idly wonders how upset Serena would be if she actually held it up to her face as an exaggerated moustache.  A mischievous gleam in her eye, Bernie opens her mouth to speak…

“Berenice Wolfe, if you make a single joke about ‘moustache rides’ you’ll be sleeping in the guest room and I’ll be taking care of myself for the foreseeable future.”  Bernie snaps her mouth shut, giving Serena a sheepish grin as she hands the toy back.

“So how should we do this?” Bernie murmurs, slowly stroking her hands up and down along Serena’s arms, enjoying the slide of warm silk beneath her fingers.

It’s Serena turn to blush as she huffs out a soft chuckle.  “I have no earthly idea, to be honest.”  She drops her head back on Bernie’s shoulder, smiling up at her.  “We may just have to give it the old college try and see what happens.  If you’d like?”

“Absolutely.”  Leaning in to steal a kiss, Bernie thinks there is very little she wouldn’t try for this woman.

They separate and Serena turns, kneeling between Bernie’s legs.  Bernie licks her lips unconsciously as Serena’s hands move to loosen the tie on her dressing gown.  It’s slightly absurd, she thinks.  They’ve been naked for most of the afternoon up to and including Serena coming rather vocally against her tongue only a matter of minutes earlier.  But there’s something about this, the gradual exposure of Serena’s body, fabric separating to reveal smooth pale skin, that never ceases to make Bernie’s pulse quicken and her thighs clench together.

Dropping her robe off the edge of the bed, Serena retrieves the toy and the bottle of lube from the nightstand.  She drizzles the liquid along one end, spreading it with her fingers before reaching for Bernie, her hand cool and slick as it strokes through her damp curls.  She circles Bernie’s clit with the pad of her thumb, barely there touches that make Bernie’s hips jerk in search of more contact.  Her breath catches as two of Serena’s fingers fill her, stroking easily in and out in counterpoint to the continued movement of her thumb.

“Ready, love?”  Bernie can only nod eagerly in response, so very ready for Serena.

Bernie groans softly as the rounded head pushes against her, feeling each bump and ridge as Serena slides it deeper, until the wide base is nestled against Bernie’s pelvis.  Her eyes lock on Bernie’s as she lubes the exposed end, the sight of her hand stroking along the glistening shaft protruding from her body making Bernie clench around her end.

Serena quickly wipes her hands clean and lies back on the mattress, knees falling apart.  “What’s your plan, soldier?”

Bernie frowns, considering, shuffling forward on her knees.  The movement makes the silicone bounce wildly prompting a strangled snort of laughter from Serena.  Bernie pinches her hip with a scowl.

“D’you mind?  I’m trying to figure this out.”

“Sorry! Yes of course, sorry,” Serena says, drawing her bottom lip in between her teeth and  struggling to school her face into a more neutral expression. Her eyes sparkle with mirth.

Bernie pushes the free end of the toy downward as she rotates her hips, assessing the situation as she tries to find the necessary angle.  She tugs Serena’s knee up and over her hip, wrapping her leg around her back as she tries to bring them into alignment.  Closer, but not quite.  Hooks her arm behind Serena’s leg, sliding it up toward her shoulder as she leans forward.  Almost…

Bernie is so focused on her goal she doesn’t notice Serena’s hands pushing against her shoulders.  “Bernie.”  Just another few inches… “Bernie!”

The snap of command in Serena’s voice finally pulls her eyes, finding Serena grimacing up at her, words strained.  “Bernie, I’m afraid I don’t bend that way.”

“Oh, god.”  Bernie quickly lowers Serena’s leg back to the bed, backing away awkwardly. “I’m so sorry, Serena.  I, I didn’t realize…”  She breaks off, puzzled.  

Serena’s wide eyes are fixed on Bernie’s hips, one hand clamped over her mouth.  Bernie follows her gaze to where the toy is quavering in sync with her every word and movement.  Planting her hands on her hips triggers a particularly vigorous jump and Serena dissolves into giggles beneath her, tears streaming down her face.  Bernie manages to ease the offending item from herself and drop it on the mattress before succumbing to the hilarity of the situation, her honking laughter only exacerbating Serena’s as they curl into each other in the center of the bed.

When the worst of their laughter has faded into sporadic chuckles Serena sits up, looking at the toy now lying forlornly on the duvet as if it’s a particularly challenging surgical puzzle that requires solving.  She suddenly leans over the edge of the bed and Bernie can’t resist trailing a hand along the length of Serena’s spine as she rummages in the discarded box on the floor.

“Ah-ha!”  Serena pops back up, hair sticking up and cheeks flushed from hanging over the edge of the mattress.  She’s brandishing a piece of paper in her hand like a prize.  “There’s an instruction manual!”  

Bernie quirks an eyebrow incredulously.  “Instructions?  I would think it’s fairly straightforward.”

“Obviously not, since you nearly dislocated my hip,” Serena grumbles, flipping through the glossy pamphlet.  “Ooh.” She leans over, draping herself half across Bernie’s lap, pointing to one of a series of tasteful line drawings of copulating couples printed across the page. “What about that?”

Plucking the manual from Serena’s hand, Bernie studies the image more closely.  She can feel her cheeks heating a little; it certainly looked...intriguing.  

“Um, yeah.  I think we could, uh...” She lets out a dry, awkward cough, ducking her head as Serena gazes up at her with a blend of fondness and exasperation.  It’s a look she has become quite well acquainted with since meeting Serena.

“So,” Serena drawls from her position across Bernie’s lap, walking the fingers of one hand up the plane of Bernie’s stomach, along the swell of her breast until they lightly circle her nipple. “How would you like me?”

Bernie lets her gaze heat with the vast number of scenarios the question inspires and is gratified when she sees the flush rising on Serena’s neck and chest.  Grabbing the hand that is currently teasing her nipple to insistant hardness, she pulls Serena up to a sitting position, turning her so her back is to the headboard and fluffing a few pillows behind her lower back.  Trailing her hands down the length of Serena’s legs, she wraps her hands around delicate ankles, parting Serena’s legs far enough to allow herself to kneel between them.  The hitch in Serena’s breath triggers an answering pulse of arousal between Bernie’s thighs, her breathing suddenly unsteady.

She reaches for the abandoned toy and the bottle of lubricant, feeling Serena watch her as she slicks up one end.  When she looks up, Serena’s eyes are dark, bottom lip caught between her teeth.  She watches as her fingers trail through Serena’s wetness, taking in the sharp inhale when her finger ghosts over Serena’s clit, the way her eyes flutter shut, eyelashes casting soft shadows on her cheekbones as Bernie eases first one finger, then a second inside.  Her eyes open slowly when Bernie withdraws after a few thrusts, only to close again, head falling back as Bernie presses the silicone shaft against her entrance.

She eases it in slowly, cataloging every reaction skittering across Serena’s face.  Suddenly realises that for all their recent experimentation this is the first time she’s done this for Serena.   To Serena.  It’s a heady feeling and she can better understand why Serena enjoys it so much, her earlier imaginings dancing at the edges of her mind.  

When it’s seated fully, Bernie quickly lubricates the exposed end, tugging perhaps a little more than is necessary when she finds the motion draws a breathy whimper from Serena.  Settling herself on the bed, Bernie mirrors Serena’s position, draping her leg over Serena’s hip while pulling Serena’s other leg to rest across her thigh.  She huffs out a breath as she positions the free end, sliding her hips forward with a groan as the shaft fills and stretches her, the movement pulling an answering moan from Serena.  

The wide base presses against her and Bernie pauses, giving them both a chance to catch their breath.  They’re face to face, legs intertwined, lips practically touching as their breaths mingle.  She finds herself smiling a little shyly, echoing the smile tugging at Serena’s mouth.  She leans forward, just barely brushing her lips against Serena’s.

“Is this alright?” she whispers against Serena’s mouth, feeling the answering smile against her skin.

“More than.”  Serena presses their lips together more firmly, tongue flickering briefly across Bernie’s bottom lip as her hands skate upward along her sides, splaying across Bernie’s ribcage, just beneath her breasts.

Her thumbs swipe across Bernie’s nipples, triggering a roll in her hips.  They both gasp, the motion pressing the toy deeper into Serena, her answering thrust doing the same to Bernie.  Bernie’s hands fly to Serena’s hips, stilling her as they both chuckle breathlessly.

“Wow,” Bernie manages.  “I can see why Chloe recommended this.”  

Serena hums an agreement, tangling her hands in Bernie’s hair to pull her in for another kiss.  Bernie meets her eagerly, tongue delving into Serena’s mouth as she tugs experimentally on her hips.

The movement of the toy between them is slight but compelling, pressing and retracting with each roll of their hips.  They quickly settle into a rhythm, a slow but relentless cadence of advance and retreat.  The coordination of their hips leaves their hands free to wander, smoothing across skin, teasing and exploring as they kiss and kiss.  

The closeness is intoxicating and Bernie can feel the tension in her body building, each thrust of Serena’s hips nudging the blunt tip against the perfect spot while grinding the smooth base against her swollen clit.  She can feel it building in Serena, too; feel it in the increased urgency of her kisses, the clutching of her hands along Bernie’s back.

They break apart with a gasp, foreheads resting together as the pace increases.  Bernie’s fingers dig into Serena’s hips hard enough to bruise, trying to find the perfect combination of speed and motion that will take them over the edge.  But it’s never quite enough, every adjustment just short of what they need.  She hears the frustrated whimper in the back of Serena’s throat, knows she feels the same.   If only...

Bernie reaches over and tugs open the nightstand drawer, fumbling blindly inside while still maintaining the rhythm building between them.  Her hand finally closes around the tiny powerful vibrator Serena keeps there, usually only used when time is of the essence.  She sees Serena’s brow furrow, but before she can voice the question Bernie twists it to the highest setting and presses it firmly against the section of silicone wedged between their bodies.

“Fuck,”  Serena groans, fingers tightening on Bernie’s back as the powerful vibrations transmit along the length of the toy inside them.  Bernie can only moan in agreement, catching Serena in a deep, messy kiss, all tongues and teeth.  

They’re barely thrusting now, just grinding against the base as the vibrations rumble through them.  Serena’s moans are high and breathy and Bernie knows she’s close, her movements jerky, desperate.  Bernie watches her, grinning fiercely; sliding one hand up to tangle in Serena’s short hair, pulling her head back with just enough delicious pressure.  

Serena cries out as she comes, eyes squeezed shut, blunt nails biting into Bernie’s shoulders.  The sight and sound is enough to send Bernie over the edge right after, muffling her shuddering gasps in the curve between Serena’s neck and shoulder.  She throws the vibrator to the end of the bed and falls against Serena.

They stay like that, bodies intertwined as their breathing gradually slows back to a normal rate, each occasionally dropping soft kisses on cheeks, chins, eyelids, shoulders.  Anywhere they can reach without separating.  

Eventually the continued presence of the toy becomes intrusive and Bernie shifts backward, one hand holding it in place as it slips free from Serena.  Disentangling their legs, however, is easier said than done; she feels a twinge in her knee as she attempts to slide her leg from around Serena’s hip, only managing to free it by flopping backward inelegantly.  Her head now at the foot of the bed, still buzzing vibrator near her ear, Bernie can hear Serena’s giggling as she stares up at the ceiling, the wagging movements of the partially freed toy making her wince.  

“Oh Bernie...”  Serena’s voice is thick with laughter.  Bernie’s breath catches as gentle fingers slide upward along her inner thigh, curling around the exposed end of the toy and pulling it slowly from her along with a groan.  

She lifts her head just enough to see Serena, dark eyes sparkling as she crawls down to the other end of the bed, reaching across to silence the persistent vibrator before tucking herself up against Bernie’s side.  Bernie’s can’t restrain a satisfied sigh, closing her eyes and pressing a kiss to the crown of Serena’s head.

A comfortable silence descends, Serena’s fingers trailing aimlessly along Bernie’s ribs.  Bernie feels Serena raise her head, cracks an eye to peer down at her.  Opens the other at the mischievous look on Serena’s face, scowling suspiciously.

“What are you thinking?”

Serena’s eyes widen in supposed innocence.  Bernie barely holds back a snort - Serena truly has a terrible poker face.  “Me?  Nothing!”

This time the snort slips free.  “Nothing my arse.  You’re up to no good, Serena Campbell, I know it.  Come on, tell me what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours.”

Serena narrows her eyes briefly before relenting, propping her chin on Bernie’s shoulder.  “I was thinking I’d like to hear about what you were thinking earlier.”

“Earlier?”  Bernie knows she should probably be paying closer attention to their conversation, but finds herself distracted by connecting the dusting of freckles on Serena’s shoulder with her fingertips.

“At the shop?”  Serena prompts, pulling Bernie’s focus back to her. “When I found you, you were lost in thought.  It seemed like, perhaps you were thinking of something, ah... specific.

Bernie feels her face heat as she finally twigs to Serena’s reference, the images that had assaulted her mind returning full-force.  They’ve only talked vaguely about fantasies in the past, but Bernie knows how eager Serena is to explore anything Bernie has an interest in.  She remembers an offhanded mention of an interest in blindfolds had paid off rather spectacularly.  

She knows what Serena is doing; opening the door, making it easier for Bernie to voice the desires in her head, but still giving her an out, a way to end the conversation; no harm, no foul.  It fills Bernie’s chest with a warmth that has little to do with lust and everything to do with love for the spectacular woman in her arms.  More than anyone in the world, Serena makes her feel seen, feel treasured, feel...brave.

Bernie inhales a slow breath, pitching her voice low.  “Oh really?  What’ll you give me in return?”

The smile Serena gives her in return is blinding.  She surges upward, catching Bernie’s mouth in a searing kiss, pulling back to hover over her.  Serena peppers kisses and gentle nips across her chest, dark eyes fixed on Bernie’s as she gradually moves lower.  With a hum she presses a slow, wet kiss to the swell of Bernie’s belly, making her hips squirm.  

“I’m sure I can think of something…”

Chapter Text

Bernie takes a long slow sip of her whiskey, enjoying the slight burn in the back of her throat as she lowers the glass. Rolling the tumbler back and forth between her hands on the polished wood, she glances in the mirror behind the bar, taking in the room behind her. The hotel is quiet this evening, only a few business people and travelers scattered about the small tables in the dimly lit room and she is alone sitting at the bar. The bartender lounges at one end polishing glasses and soft, unremarkable jazz plays over the sound system. Just an average night in an average hotel bar in London.

A flash of movement from the door catches her eye in the mirror’s reflection, her mouth automatically curling up into an eager smile. Taking another sip of her drink she schools her features back into what she hopes is a neutral expression, trying not to fidget on the barstool.

A woman slides onto the stool beside her, setting her clutch on the bar and gesturing toward the bartender, who is currently too busy gossiping with the hostess to notice his new customer. She sighs, rummaging in her purse for some notes while she waits, giving Bernie the opportunity to study her. Soft brown hair, dark eyes, deep red lips, dimpled chin. Perfection.

Trying to hold back the grin that keeps threatening to erupt, she turns toward the woman. “Excuse me. Aren’t you Serena Campbell?”

Serena’s raised eyebrow is cool but her eyes sparkle merrily. “Depends on who’s asking.”

“Bernie Wolfe.” She holds out her hand, skin tingling as Serena grasps it lightly in her own. “I was at your lecture today. On the importance of specialized trauma facilities in the NHS? It was brilliant.”

“Oh, thank you very much.” Her grin lights up her entire face; Bernie can see the amusement in the crinkle of her eyes and has to fight down the giggle that rises in her chest.

“Can I buy you a drink?” The bartender finally notices them, walking over as she looks to Serena expectantly.

“Shiraz, please, if you have it.” He places a glass in front of her, pouring it full of ruby liquid. “So, Bernie, was it? What do you do?”

“I’m actually a trauma surgeon. Former RAMC.” She holds up her drink, softly bringing their glasses together with a clink of crystal. “Here’s to the implementation of better trauma facilities throughout the UK.”

“Here, here.”

“So, Ms. Campbell. Are you here on your own?” Oh very nice, Wolfe. You can’t even pretend chat up a woman?!

“Yes, I am.” Bernie winces internally at the dry tone. At least Serena seems willing to keep up the game.

“Seems a shame, a beautiful woman like yourself.” Lets her eyes drift appreciatively over the plunging neckline of Serena’s dress, gratified to see the slight flush that rises in her cheeks.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Serena says, trailing a finger around the rim of her wine glass before lifting it to her lips. “You never know who you’ll meet at these things. And I like to keep my options...open.”

The fact that she still feels a thrill of arousal watching Serena Campbell drink a glass of wine should be a cause for some concern, but at the moment Bernie can’t summon the will to much care. “Is that what you’re looking for,” she murmurs, lifting her own glass and taking a slow sip, watching Serena’s eyes track to her mouth. “Options?”

“There’s one option that holds some appeal. Provided I can find the right partner.” Serena’s eyes darken and Bernie shifts in her seat, feels the pressure between her thighs.

“Hmmm, could be tough. Depends on what you’re looking for.”

“Strong. Creative; I love a little ‘out of the box’ thinking. Skilled hands. Well-equipped for any occasion.” Her tongue darts out to wet her bottom lip and Bernie has to forcibly remind herself they’re still in public. “Know where I could find a partner like that?”

“I just might at that.” She swallows the rest of her whiskey, savoring the burn as she holds out her hand. “Can I interest you in a nightcap in my room?”

Serena’s hand is warm and soft in her own, smile wicked and eyes bright. “I’d like that.”

The elevator doors have barely closed behind them before she has Serena in her arms, pressing her against the back wall as she kisses her, hot and deep, swallowing Serena’s whimper as she slides her tongue past her lips. She can feel the bite of fingernails against her shoulder blades through the thin cotton of her shirt, pressing them even more tightly together.

She rolls her hips and Serena gasps, head falling back against the mirrored wall. Bernie takes the opportunity to kiss her way up along the column of her neck, nuzzling the soft, short hair behind her ear. She feels one of Serena’s hands fumble between them, moans as it presses against the still unfamiliar bulge at the fly of her jeans.

“Is this for me?” Serena’s words are low, breath hot and urgent against her ear, sending a shiver down Bernie’s spine.

“It is, if you want it,” Bernie murmurs, catching her in another fierce kiss.

The elevator dings as it reaches the top floor and they pull apart, both breathing hard as the doors slide open. Bernie grabs Serena’s hand, tries not to break into a jog as she leads her down the hall to the room. Fumbles slightly with the room key, distracted by the press of Serena’s body against her back, the warm breath against the back of her neck.

The door finally opens and they stumble through, reaching for each other again as soon as they cross the threshold. Bernie tosses the key somewhere in the direction of the nightstand, threading her fingers into Serena’s hair as they kiss and kiss and kiss. Practically devouring each other in a hot, frantic tangle of lips and tongues.

She doesn’t even realize that Serena’s been walking them across the room until her hips hit the edge of the mahogany desk with a thump. Serena takes a step back and Bernie misses her immediately, but the look in her eyes stops her from reaching out.

The dim light from the ensuite outlines Serena in an almost ethereal glow; gilding her hair, accenting the dip of her waist, the curve of her hip, the shadowed valley at the neckline of her dress. Her eyes burn so bright it takes Bernie’s breath away, leaves her heart pounding, her knees a little weak.

Then Serena sinks gracefully to her knees and Bernie worries that she may be tachycardic. She barely resists the urge to check her own pulse, groaning as she looks down at Serena sitting pretty on her knees looking up at her with her bottom lip caught between her teeth, her hands working the button of her jeans and sliding down the zipper.

Serena slips her hand inside and Bernie only remembers to breathe when her head starts to spin.

“Oh my,” Serena breathes as the silicone cock springs free from Bernie’s jeans, jutting out from her hips. “Look at you. You’re gorgeous.”

She brushes her cheek against the length with a soft hum of pleasure, her eyes stay locked on Bernie’s as she dips her head to take the first long, slow swipe along the underside with the flat of her tongue. Bernie groans, eyes glued to the slightly surreal and unbearably erotic sight before her.

Logically, she knows it’s not real. Knows that she can’t actually feel the heat of Serena’s mouth, the warm wetness of her tongue. But she’ll be damned if her brain isn’t convinced she can.

Her fingers grip the edge of the desk, trying to keep her hips still against the phantom sensation of Serena’s tongue tracing along the veins, swirling around the head.

Slowly, painfully slowly, Serena takes her into her mouth. Moving forward in increments, then pulling back with a swirl of her tongue and little murmurs of appreciation, of desire. Then forward again, deeper each time, more of the thick shaft sliding past perfect red lips.

She had been sceptical when Serena had asked for this; had whispered her desire as they curled together in the warm darkness of their bedroom. She had agreed immediately, of course. Really, how could she ever deny Serena’s desire to give her pleasure? But she hadn’t expected much from the idea, thought it would be a bit too familiar, a bit too unreal, to truly enjoy.

There was no way she could have anticipated this; couldn’t have predicted her visceral reaction to seeing Serena on her knees, moaning in pleasure, eyes soft and lust-drunk as she takes Bernie’s cock down her throat. It makes her feel a little feral, wild. Dizzy with the power Serena has over her. With the trust Serena places in her. She can feel a flood of wetness between her thighs as Serena’s nose brushes against her stomach, heightening the bizarre sense of duality, honing her arousal to a knife’s edge.

Serena pulls away for a moment, releasing her with a gasp. Face flush, lips swollen and lipstick smudged, she looks painfully beautiful in the low light. She flicks her tongue against the head once, twice, letting Bernie see as she swirls it across the slick, smooth surface before taking it back into her mouth, cheeks hollowing a little as she sucks softly.

“Fuck!” The hollow center of the shaft transmits the sensation directly to her clit, amplifying it tenfold, her already sensitive nerve endings firing into overdrive at the tugging suction. Her hips thrust forward on instinct, pushing deeper into Serena’s mouth. Cheeks flushing, she pulls back, hands splayed out before her. “Shit, Serena, I-I’m sorry. Are you alright?”

Serena’s chuckle is rich, dark and entirely pleased. “More than.” Her tongue traces around the ridge of the head, flicking across the slit in a flutter of air that makes Bernie whimper. Nails drag upward along Bernie’s thighs, strong fingers coming to rest on the curve of her hips. “I don’t want you to hold back.” Bernie nods her head in understanding and Serena flashes her a grin of pure lasciviousness before lowering her head once again.

This time Bernie doesn’t even try to restrain herself. Allows her hips to roll in time with the sweet, relentless suction of Serena’s mouth. The intensity of the pressure changes from moment to moment; from a soft, compelling pull to an almost stinging surge, interspersed with pleasured hums and moans that vibrate through her core.

They fall into a sweet pattern of rhythm and pressure, Bernie’s hand instinctively burying itself in Serena’s short crop of hair to keep her in place, the other sliding back to prop herself up on the desk. Her eyes keep trying to slide shut, overwhelmed by the sensation of Serena surrounding her, but she forces them back open, unwilling to miss a moment of this. The shadowed hollow of Serena’s cheeks, the wicked sparkle in her eyes, her hands digging into Bernie’s arse, urging her on.

The pleasure coils and builds until Bernie’s muscles are bowstring taut, back arched; it’s as if everything freezes for one perfect moment, stretching out into infinity. Then she falls with a cry, hand fisting tight in Serena’s hair, hips thrusting forward as she comes for what feels like an eternity.

She finally collapses back against the desk, panting, aftershocks still spasming through her body. Serena rises from the floor smoothly, wrapping her arms around her neck and pressing the length of their bodies together; breast to breast, hip to hip. Lips barely brushing as Bernie’s breathing eventually slows to sync with hers.

Looping an arm around her waist Bernie kisses Serena soft and slow, resting their foreheads together when she pulls away, “You weren’t kidding about being good at that.”

Serena’s laugh is wicked and delighted, smile wide. “Well I’m glad you approve. Now,” she brushes her mouth against Bernie’s, a hand slipping down to trace over the shaft pressed between them. “I wonder if we can’t find another use for this?”

She takes a few steps backwards, hands releasing the tie at her waist, pulling open the wrap of her dress. Shrugging it off her shoulders, it slithers to the floor in a hiss of fabric on skin. Bernie’s eyes trail avidly over the curves and planes of her body. Full breasts, capped by nipples already stiff and pebbled in the cool air. The creamy swell of her stomach. The dark nest of curls, framed by the lines of a lacy black suspender belt. Shapely legs encased in sheer nude stockings and tall, wicked looking heels.

She stalks forward the short distance back into Bernie’s personal space, a wry, satisfied smile on her lips. She knows the power she has over Bernie. Always has. From the very start, Bernie’s been hopelessly in Serena Campbell’s thrall and Serena is more than willing to use that in her favor, utterly confident in Bernie’s response to her.

Tonight that confidence that is normally devastatingly sexy, that Bernie would any other time willingly succumb to, ignites something else in her. Something darker. Some desire to resist, to challenge.

Startled eyes meet Bernie’s as she grabs the hands reaching for the buttons of her shirt, pinning Serena’s wrists together in a one-handed grip. She pushes away from the desk, moving so they’re only millimeters apart, Serena’s restrained hands trapped between them. Her eyes are wide, lips parted and breath quickened. Her uncertainty fans the flame of this new feeling coiling low and rich, heating the blood in Bernie’s veins.

“I don’t think so,” Bernie murmurs, watching the way her words raise goosebumps along Serena’s fair skin. “I think it’s my turn.”

Serena mewls in response, softening against her. The sound, the way she immediately acquiesces sends a bolt of longing straight to Bernie’s groin. She walks them further across the room, one hand on the soft skin of Serena’s lower back, keeping her from stumbling as she’s forced to walk backward in her towering heels.

Pressing one soft, sweet kiss against her lips, pulling away before Serena can deepen things, Bernie turns her to face the large floor to ceiling window. The lights of the city spread out below them in a shimmering carpet. She grips Serena’s wrists lightly, lifting them to press her hands against the cool glass. Leans in to nuzzle behind her ear, nipping lightly at the lobe.

“I want you to keep those there for me. Understand?” Serena’s immediate nod makes Bernie chuckle at her eagerness.

Bernie presses a palm between Serena’s shoulder blades, slowly stroking down the length of her spine, over the curve of her hip. She tugs gently, forcing Serena to take a half step back, angling her torso slightly away from the glass. Meets Serena’s gaze in the reflection of the dark glass as she steps close, nudging Serena’s legs apart with a tap of her foot. Trails a hand upward along an inner thigh until her fingers meet hot, silky wetness.

“God, Serena,” she breathes, fingers brushing gently over soft folds. “You’re so wet.” Slides a finger just inside as she presses her cock against the swell of Serena’s arse; takes a slow, steadying breath when Serena immediately grinds back against it. “Tell me what you want.”

“You, Bernie. Please.” Serena’s voice is strained, rough with need and Bernie can feel the fierce grin pulling at her mouth.

“Not good enough.” Serena’s eyes snap up to meet hers again in the reflection, wide and filled with need. “Tell. Me. What. You. Want.” Each word punctuated with a slow stroke of her finger, in and out.

Serena’s eyes flutter shut. “Fuck me,” she grits out and the naked desire in her words makes Bernie throb. “Please, Bernie. I need you.”

Bernie pushes her hips forward, slipping just inside and holding still. The whimper that falls from Serena’s lips has her hands clenching, barely hanging on to her resolve. Waits a moment longer before moving her hips. Slowly, oh so slowly, her movements barely there; enough to provide some sensation but not nearly enough for satisfaction. She can see the furrow in Serena’s brow, her fingertips white from pressure against the window; grips her hips hard to stop them from squirming and pressing back.

“Are you planning on doing anything with that?” Serena’s reflection glares back at her, filling Bernie with a primal sort of glee.

“Cheeky.”

“I wouldn’t have to be if you would just give me what I want.” She groans in frustration as Bernie slips out completely, resting lightly against her entrance.

“Always so impatient, Campbell.” Bernie idly rakes her short nails down Serena’s back with just enough pressure to raise fine pink welts on her pale skin, flattening her palm to rest over the belt as she listens to her harsh breathing. “What about what I want?”

“And that is?”

One quick thrust has Serena gasping at the sudden fullness. Hands braced against the window on either side of Serena’s and Bernie’s front is pressed tightly to her back, the heat of her skin soaking through the thin white cotton.

“I want you to wait,” she whispers hotly at Serena’s ear, watching her expression. “I want to wait until you beg, until I hear you begging me for it.” Kisses her way down along her neck, nips the taut muscle along her shoulder once before slowly sinking her teeth in as Serena groans. She pulls back with a chuckle. “Can you do that for me?”

Pressed close she can feel Serena shiver as she nods her assent and kisses the nape of her neck before straightening. Resumes her torturously slow rhythm; deeper this time, but still not giving Serena the friction she needs. Holding back against her own instincts and Serena’s obvious desires in order to draw this out, to make it last.

Her fingers slacken on Serena’s hips, transfixed by the tableau before her; the sight of her cock sliding in and out of swollen red flesh, her shaft glistening in the dim light. The luscious curve of hips beneath her hands, freckles dusted across creamy skin offset by the lace of her lingerie, the smattering of pale scars that always make her heart clench. Distracted, she almost misses the way Serena shifts her weight and tilts her hips, pushing back to take her deeper, to set her own pace.

Without thinking, Bernie brings the flat of her hand down sharply on the curve of Serena’s arse, the crack of skin on skin loud in the quiet of the room. Bernie freezes, mouth opening in search of an apology. But then Serena goes liquid beneath her, back arching, and the sound she makes ignites something in Bernie, something raw and needy that pricks along her nerves, buzzes at the base of her skull.

Bernie smirks, leans close to whisper in Serena’s ear, hand gently massaging her cheek. “Oh you like that, do you?” She palms at Serena’s arse until it feels flushed and warm and ready against her hand. “Maybe you’d like more?”

“Yes, please,” Serena begs, nodding vigorously and presses back into her hand.

Bernie lands another gentle swat to the same spot, kissing her neck as she strokes over the area before smacking again, groaning at the way Serena presses back into it, every inch of her begging for more and again.

She takes her time, alternating light taps and full-handed smacks, massaging the spot after particularly sharp contacts. Bernie revels in the way Serena’s hips move almost constantly, her lips producing a litany of delicious whines and moans that make wetness pool between Bernie’s thighs. She lands one last heavy handed spank that has Serena’s crying out and panting heavily, rocking back helplessly on the cock still inside her.

Bernie grips her hips hard to keep her in place, her palm tingling, caressing the soft skin flushed deep pink. She can feel the heat radiating from it as she traces wide, soothing circles until Serena settles, breath still coming short and fast.

Their eyes lock in the window’s glare; Serena’s glassy and unfocused with need. In her own Bernie sees an untamed hunger she’s not sure she has ever felt before. A need to drive Serena over the edge. To watch her break apart and put her back together again.

She leans down, presses a soft kiss between Serena’s shoulder blades, feeling her relax beneath the kiss before she straightens back up. Holds Serena’s gaze as she delivers three hard smacks in rapid fire succession, igniting the already sensitive nerve endings.

Serena cries out, collapsing forward until her forehead rests on the cool glass, words pouring out of her. “Bernie, please! I...I can’t wait anymore. I can’t! Please don’t make me. Please! I need you!” Her voice is barely more than a ragged sob, almost delirious in its intensity.

A growl claws its way out of Bernie’s chest as she grips Serena’s hips roughly. Takes a step back and tugs hard, Serena’s hands squeaking on the glass as they slide down to support this new angle. Their cries mingle as Bernie pushes into her hard, hips snapping back and forth in long deep strokes.

“Is this what you want?” Bernie practically snarls, words punctuated by the thrust of her hips. Serena nods eagerly, gasping at the slap of Bernie’s hand against her skin. “No, Serena. Talk to me.”

And talk she does. Oh god! As if a dam has broken she spills out an unending torrent of pleas and moans, whimpers and exultations. Tumbling out over one another in a jumble, so Bernie can only catch bits and pieces. Yes...god, please...need you…so good...love you inside me...

Eventually the words trail off, Serena’s moans going high and breathy, and Bernie knows she’s close. She slows her pace. Slows more. Pushes deep and stops. Serena’s fingers scrabbling for purchase against the glass, her eyes almost panicked, her mouth open in a silent cry. Bernie slides a hand upward along her spine into her hair, clenching her fist and tugging her head back.

“You don’t come until I tell you to. Understand?” Another nod. “No. Say it.”

“I...understand.”

“Good girl.” Hand still fisted in her hair, Bernie begins to move. Slow, deep strokes that quickly build Serena back up without giving her what she needs to push past that final barrier. Her other hand skates over Serena’s hip and parts her sodden curls, resting a fingertip lightly against her clit. Not stroking, not yet. Just enough pressure for her to feel it there, creating an extra jolt of friction at the end of each thrust.

For a moment it’s as if she can feel everything. Can feel the tension in every muscle in Serena’s body, the desire burning through her. The heat clenching around her, drawing her still deeper. Knows the exact moment Serena reaches the precipice and still makes her wait. Draws it out, stretches it, watching Serena’s lips mouth silent entreaties. Judging just how much more she can take.

Bernie tugs until Serena’s back is arched like a bow, following the maddening pressure on her scalp. “Come for me, Serena. Now.” Her fingers circle her distended clit, pressing hard beneath it in the spot that she knows drives Serena wild.

Serena comes with a wail that’s like nothing Bernie has ever heard, long and low, and then something snaps in Serena. Bernie has to wrap her arms around her waist to keep her upright as her legs give out beneath her. She quickly lowers them both to the floor, slipping out of Serena and pulling her trembling body into her lap, murmuring nonsense words of love and comfort as Serena shakes in her arms.

It’s long moments before Serena comes back to herself, blinking owlishly up at Bernie, a blissed out smile on her lipstick-smudged mouth.

Bernie can’t help but grin back, carding her fingers through Serena’s tousled hair. “Alright?”

Serena nuzzles into her neck with a contented hum. “I’ll let you know once I’ve slept for a week.”

Bernie presses a kiss to the crown of Serena’s head with a chuckle, one hand scribing soothing circles against her back. She settles them more comfortably on the floor, gazing out over the city lights as she holds Serena close, breathing her in.

Just when she thinks Serena has drifted off she stirs, pushing away from Bernie’s chest with a groan. “We can’t stay on the floor all night. Help me up?”

Bernie slips out from beneath her and stands, extending a hand. It isn’t until Serena is laughing up at her that she remembers the appendage still standing to attention from her fly. She tucks it back into her jeans with a huff of annoyance before slowly pulling Serena to her feet and into her arms. Serena’s leans up to kiss her, a smile still fixed on her lips. Pushing away on unsteady legs she totters toward the ensuite and Bernie has to bite her lip to keep from laughing.

She quickly shucks off her shirt as the door closes. Shimmies her jeans down her legs and drops them next to the shirt on the floor. Eases the harness down and off her hips with a groan; hisses through her teeth when she finds herself soaked and incredibly sensitive. For a moment she considers taking the edge off before Serena returns, knows it wouldn’t take much.

Instead she climbs into bed, settling back against the headboard, the luxurious sheets sliding across her heated skin. Body still thrumming with arousal, her mind drifts, snippets of the evening floating to the forefront, the memory of how good it had all felt.

Her stomach twists as she finds herself clenching her still sore hand. The things she had said. The things she had done. Her mind spirals away, the images now taking a darker cast. How could she possibly have enjoyed doing those things to Serena, to the woman she loves? Is this who I am? She was a doctor, a healer. How could she reconcile that with the undeniable pleasure she had taken in causing pain?

It barely registers when Serena slips into bed beside her, caught up as she is in the guilt clawing its way through her gut.

“Remind me to write more conferences in the budget for next quarter.” Serena turns to face her, sliding a hand across Bernie’s stomach. She flinches at the contact, Serena’s concerned frown only serving to ratchet up the sick feeling inside her. “Darling, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing.” Bernie attempts to smile, but even to her it feels thin and forced and she can see that Serena doesn’t buy it for a minute. Eyes lowered, hands wringing in her lap, her voice comes out small and utterly miserable. “I’m so sorry I hurt you, Serena. That...that I wanted to.”

“What?” Serena’s eyes widen as her bafflement fades into understanding. Rising to her knees, she straddle Bernie’s thighs, fingers pressing softly beneath her chin. “Oh Bernie. Please look at me.”

She resists stubbornly for a moment, terrified of seeing pain, disapproval, fear, or any of the other emotions she imagines she’ll find on Serena’s beautiful face. When she finally yields and looks up all she sees is love and warmth in Serena’s eyes.

“Bernie, darling. I promise you, you did absolutely nothing that I didn’t want wholeheartedly.” Her hands frame Bernie’s face, voice low and fierce, eyes searching for understanding. “Do you hear me? I love you so much and you make me feel so amazingly good. And as for what happened tonight, there is no one in the world I would trust to take care of me the way you did.” Her gaze shifts slightly, her voice taking on the unaffected air she assumes when she is bracing for disappointment. “Obviously, if - if you didn’t enjoy it we certainly don’t have to…”

Bernie’s eyes widen in alarm. “No! God no, Serena. I absolutely enjoyed it.” A wide grin pulls her mouth, eyes squinting. “Bloody loved it, to tell the truth.”

“I’m ever so glad to hear it.” The sparkle returns to Serena’s eyes as she dips her head.

Bernie hums into the quickly deepening kiss, opening eagerly to the sweep of Serena’s tongue. She feels a hand slip down across her stomach, pausing just above where she suddenly desperately needs it.

“Now, darling,” Serena murmurs, brushing her lips along Bernie’s jaw. “Since you took such good care of me, why don’t you let me take care of you?”

Bernie purses her lips into a coy smile. “If you insist…”

Chapter Text

“Serena?”

Bernie drops the takeaway bags on the kitchen table, glancing at the clock with a wince. Serena had taken the day to spend time with Jason before leaving for her one month speaking engagement at Harvard, then dropped him off at Alan’s for the evening. To give them some time alone, like they’d planned.

Then an unexpected RTC put Bernie almost two hours behind schedule. Normally, neither of them would blink at the situation, but tonight Bernie can’t help but count down the precious hours between now and when Serena has to leave; mourn the loss of the hours already passed that bring them closer to their impending separation.

She’s happy for Serena, truly. It’s a spectacular opportunity for her career, a chance to showcase her skills beyond the confines of Holby City, and Bernie knows Serena has always wanted to revisit Harvard. Bernie is happy for Serena; that doesn’t make the thought of being apart any easier.

“Serena, I brought dinner from that Thai place you like,” she calls out as she takes the stairs two at a time to the bedroom door. “Just let me just grab a quick shower and I’ll be…”

Her words trail off as she pushes through the door to their bedroom, stopping just inside. The curtains are closed against the late evening sunset, the room bathed in flickering candlelight, soft music playing from the small stereo atop the wardrobe. Movement draws her eyes toward the bathroom door and she turns to see Serena exiting the ensuite; the sight of her wrapped in a silk dressing gown flushes Bernie pink with warmth.

“Hello, darling,” Serena purrs, stepping close and pushing up on her toes, brushing her lips against Bernie’s in a gentle kiss. “I’ve started the shower for you, why don’t you get cleaned up and then come join me?”

“What about dinner?” Bernie tries to keep her voice steady in the face of Serena’s proximity and is mostly successful. Mostly.

“I think that can wait, don’t you?” Ruby red lips curl in a smile that makes it clear exactly what Serena is planning on devouring tonight and it’s not the spicy curry waiting in the kitchen.

Pressing one more kiss to Serena’s smiling mouth, Bernie hurries past into the ensuite, shucking her clothes off with slightly trembling hands and stepping beneath the warm spray of the shower. Soaps herself up as quickly as she can, hissing a little between her teeth when she finds herself already wet, amazed as always at how quickly she responds to Serena.

Rinsed clean and toweled dry, she wraps the terry cloth around her slender frame, tucking the end so it dips between her breasts and walks back through into the bedroom.

The silk robe has been abandoned, leaving Serena in a sheer black lace negligee that clings to every delicious curve of her body, stopping just past the matching lace knickers Bernie can clearly see through the thin fabric. She swallows, mouth suddenly dry, unable to tear her eyes away as Serena walks slowly towards her, stops just inches away.

“I have something special planned, if you’re interested.” Cool fingers trail across Bernie’s collarbones, chasing the drops of water from her still damp hair, tracing the edge of the towel where it presses against the swell of her breasts. “I want to get my fill of you tonight, to give you something to remember me by when we’re apart.” Serena’s voice is soft, her words weaving a spell that binds Bernie in place more surely than any restraint. She can feel her breathing quicken as their eyes meet. “But I’ll need you to trust me. To do anything I say. Can you do that for me, Bernie?”

A soft “Yes” is all she can manage, hoping that her eyes convey how much she wants this, how very much she trusts Serena. The smile she’s met with takes her breath away and she follows willingly as Serena leads her to the chair that has been placed near the foot of the bed.

One quick tug of Serena’s fingers and the towel pulls free, Bernie’s skin breaking out in gooseflesh from the cool air of the room and the heat of Serena’s gaze. She starts a little as Serena leans in, rubbing the soft terry cloth against her suddenly sensitized skin; across her chest and down each arm, back up to briskly tousle her hair, soaking up the lingering droplets.

“Wouldn’t want you to get cold, darling.” Serena’s warmth and care wrap around her, till her heart feels near to bursting.

Those soft caring eyes turn wicked and Bernie forces herself to stand still, resists the urge to cover herself as Serena turns away. Feels a frisson of anticipation crackle up her spine when she sees the objects in Serena’s hands. Thick, supple-looking black leather. Shiny chrome buckles and rings.

Bernie coughs, choking down a slightly hysterical giggle. “Leopard-lined? Really?”

Serena’s grin is pure mischief, even as the apples of her cheeks flush prettily. “I couldn’t help myself. I thought they’d look so lovely on you.” The smile turns predatory as she steps into Bernie’s personal space, eyes searching for confirmation. “May I?”

Nodding, Bernie takes a deep, calming breath and holds out her hands. Watches as Serena secures first one cuff, then another, around her wrists. She can’t help but flex her hands a bit, feeling the plush softness of the lining against her skin, the stiffness of the surrounding leather, the weight dragging against her arms. Has to stop herself from squirming when Serena sinks to her knees, securing a matching pair of cuffs to her ankles. She presses a kiss just above each cuff before rising, fingers grazing along Bernie’s bare thighs and over her hips.

Her grip tightens and guides Bernie to sit in the chair, one hand settling on her shoulder as she walks around, out of Bernie’s view. She can’t help but tense a little when she feels Serena tug her arms behind her back, threading them through the open rails of the chair. Hands slide down her arms, across her thighs and come to rest on her knees. Serena’s breath is warm and heavy on her neck as she pulls Bernie’s knees apart, slides her hands down to curl around her ankles, pulling them further backward until Bernie can feel herself flushing at how exposed she is. A few soft metallic clicks, then Serena’s hands disappear from her skin. Bernie shifts, pulling her limbs experimentally, quickly realizing that her wrists have been tethered to her ankles, restraining her and binding her to the chair.

Nervousness and desire swirl low in her belly, anticipation making her twitchy and breathless. They had discussed this, Bernie’s brief (and often repeated) fantasy of giving herself over to Serena in this way. The reality of it, however, is so much more potent than she could have imagined. Her senses feel sharpened, every nerve ending alight despite Serena having hardly touched her. The thought of what’s to come has her a little dizzy and for a moment she has to close her eyes to center herself.

When she opens them again Serena is standing before her, smiling tenderly but her eyes are practically black, her breath coming faster and Bernie knows Serena feels it as keenly as she does, wants this just as badly. She reaches out, raising Bernie’s chin with the light touch of a finger, thumb brushing against her bottom lip.

“You remember what to say if it’s too much?” They had discussed this also; Serena concerned that in the heat of the moment she might push too far, ask for too much. Bernie couldn’t conceive of any situation in which Serena would ask for anything that she wouldn’t be more than willing to give, but a safeword did seem like a reasonable precaution.

“Yes.” It takes her two tries to get the word out, her throat tight and parched with arousal.

Serena leans in with a hum and a smile and Bernie sighs against her lips, relaxing into the soft, slow kiss. Warmth floods through her at the contact, soothing her in the way only kissing Serena seems to. Her hands instinctively move to trace Serena’s neck, but are stopped in place with a rattle of metal on wood, forcibly reminding Bernie of her current predicament. Brow furrowed in frustration, she can’t help but lean forward, chasing Serena’s mouth as she pulls away.

Gentle hands smooth back Bernie’s unruly fringe and she watches as Serena studies her. “You’re so beautiful like this, darling, so beautiful and all mine.” Her eyes rake over Bernie’s body, the heat in her gaze almost palpable on Bernie’s skin. Bernie feels a pulse between her thighs, catches Serena’s eye and nods – of course she is – eyes bright when Serena smiles back and kisses her again until Bernie hums contented in the back of her throat.

Bernie swallows a whimper of disappointment when Serena moves back to sit on the end of their bed. Sits only a few feet away, crosses her spectacular legs to hike the negligee up a little higher. The sight sets Bernie’s pulse racing.

“I’ve been waiting for this all day, you know,” Serena begins conversationally, one hand lifting to rest lightly against her neck. “Thinking about what I have planned for you. It’s been quite...distracting.” Bernie’s eyes follow helplessly as elegant fingers skate along the shadowed dip of collarbone, down further to trace the edge where black lace meets pale skin. “I’ve been a little concerned, to be honest, about if I would be able to give you what you want. You know how hard it is for me to restrain myself sometimes, what touching you does to me.”

Her hand continues it’s leisurely journey, pulling Bernie along as Serena slides it between her breasts, over her stomach. “So I thought it might be for the best if I took care of myself first. To ensure you have my undivided attention.” The hand slithers between her thighs as she uncrosses her legs; the air in the room disappears and Bernie goes almost dizzy, eyes fixed firmly on Serena’s fingers as she caresses herself through the barely-there fabric of her knickers. “And I thought you might like to watch.”

Bernie’s pulse throbs heavily between her thighs, as if Serena was caressing Bernie instead of herself, gaze never wavering as Serena’s hand slips beneath the waistband of her knickers and she takes a slow deep breath, eyes fluttering shut. When she withdraws her fingers a moment later, Bernie can see them glistening in the low light. Blood rushes deafening in her ears as Serena’s hand moves further upward, her dark eyes fixed on Bernie as she takes her fingertips into her mouth, moaning softly as she sucks them clean.

Bernie’s eyes avidly follow every movement as Serena rises again, hands hiking up the negligee just enough to hook her thumbs in the sides of her lacy knickers. She pauses, then turns to face the bed, bending over as she slowly slides the scrap of lace down her legs. A high-pitched whimper hangs in the air and it’s a moment before Bernie realizes it came from her own throat. Serena looks back over her shoulder from her bent position, eyebrow raised and bottom lip caught between teeth and Bernie finds herself actually calculating if she’s strong enough to break the chair.

She forces herself to take one deep, shuddering breath after another, grasping for calm as Serena straightens and resumes her seat on the edge of the bed, hands drifting over her torso, down past the lace-trimmed hem to the soft skin of her thighs. Bernie’s hands twitch in the cuffs, phantom sensations of making that same journey skittering across her nerve endings. Delicate fingers slide upward along the contour of inner thigh, Serena spreading her legs more and more the higher they go and Bernie finds herself holding her breath.

It leaves her in something very near a sob when Serena’s hands move away from their goal, one disappearing to reach for something further up the bed. When her hand reappears there’s something nestled in it; curvy, purple, about the length of Serena’s palm. She presses her thumb against one end and a barely audible hum of vibration emanates from her hand.

Bernie’s eyes dart from one unbearably erotic sight to another, trying to take in every moment simultaneously: the path of the vibrator as it skims across the swell of Serena’s breast, teasing one of her dusky nipples to hardness through the sheer lace of her lingerie; her free hand tracing swirling, teasing patterns on the pale skin of her inner thigh, legs spread wide enough to give a glimpse of the dark curls at their apex; the way her teeth catch her bottom lip as her head falls back, baring her throat and emphasizing the elegant lines of her neck.

Her mind flits back to when this all started, her inadvertent discovery. This was the very first thing she had imagined; Serena doing this, pleasuring herself for her. The reality of it is so much better than anything she ever could have conjured it’s overwhelming, her brain short circuiting slightly as she watches her fantasies come true.

The hand at Serena’s thigh moves higher, focusing Bernie’s scattered attention as she spreads herself, tender flesh flushed, slick and mouth-watering. The groan of satisfaction that leaves her at the first touch of the vibrator to her swollen clit has Bernie squirming in her chair.

“Fuck, Serena,” she breathes, utterly in awe of the woman before her.

“Mmmm, yes.” Serena’s hips start a slow, rhythmic circling, her free hand sliding up to tug and pinch her nipple, eyes heavily-lidded as she returns Bernie’s stare. “Talk to me, love. Tell me what you wish you were doing right now.”

A bolt of anxiety slithers along Bernie’s spine, curling heavily in her gut and heating the apples of her cheeks. Unless drawn out in the heat of the moment, words come even less easily to her during sex than they do in normal conversation and her initial reaction is to balk at the request, knowing Serena wouldn’t push if she thought it was genuinely causing Bernie distress.

Coward, some part at the back of her mind whispers. Serena was so vulnerable, so brave, giving everything of herself to fulfill Bernie’s desires. How could she ever do any less, for the woman who had brought such indescribable love into her life, than exactly what she asks?

“I…” she stutters, barely above a whisper. “I wish I was touching you. I wish it was my fingers stroking you, making you moan.” Her voice gains volume, confidence as Serena moans her appreciation, leaning back on one elbow and clicking the vibrator up a level with a deepened thrum. “I wish I was tasting you. God, I love the way you taste, Serena. I could spend all night with my mouth on you, making you come over and over.”

The vibrator clicks up another level, making Serena writhe and whimper a mixture of moans and what might be the broken syllables of Bernie’s name. Bernie can feel her own hips moving in time, matching Serena’s movements as if they were pressed tight with nothing at all between them, instead of the several feet of open air actually separating them.

She watches, enraptured, until she can tell when Serena’s close, by the way her hips move in tight, tiny circles, the quivering of her thighs, her voice sliding into a higher register as her eyes squeeze shut and her brow furrows.

“Come for me, Serena,” she pleads, voice hoarse, lust and longing gripping her lungs so tightly it’s hard to push the words out. “Please, Serena. Please, let me see you. I need to see you. Please…”

Fists clenched so tightly her fingernails bite into her palms, Bernie barely breathes as Serena’s cries fill the room, not willing to miss a single millisecond. She can see everything, every moment, every expression that flickers across Serena’s face: the almost pained grimace as she finally crests, the way her eyes soften as the last waves pass through her, the contented smile on her lips.

Serena slumps back against the mattress, panting softly and so painfully beautiful Bernie feels the prick of tears behind her eyes.

When Serena finally pushes herself up from the bed, she has that pleased, sated look that always reminds Bernie of a jungle cat surveying its prey. The realisation that she is Serena’s prey hits her square in the chest, leaving her squirming against her bonds as Serena approaches.

Bernie’s breath catches as Serena straddles her legs, settling into her lap with one arm draped around her shoulders for balance. Serena is always so warm after an orgasm, her skin pouring off heat like a furnace compared to the slight chill in the room, engulfing Bernie with her heat, her scent. She can’t help but lean in for a kiss, frowning when Serena pulls away, far enough that the cuffs stop Bernie from reaching her. Raising a hand between them, Bernie sees Serena is holding the small vibrator, still humming merrily, surface now wet and shiny with the evidence of her arousal.

“I think this is the one I’m going to take with me,” Serena muses. “For when I miss you.” Her eyes flick from their contemplation of the toy to Bernie’s, wide and attempting an innocence she could never truly achieve. “Would you like to feel it? So you know what I’m feeling when I imagine you touching me?"

Words lodge in Bernie’s throat and all she can do is nod eagerly, transfixed by Serena’s closeness, her pleased smile. Their gazes remain locked as Serena brings the toy closer, resting it lightly against Bernie’s lower lip. The vibrations are surprisingly powerful for something so small, deep and rumbling in the way she now knows Serena prefers, but she hardly notices them. Hardly notices the silky smooth surface of the silicone, the slight give as the tip presses against her. Instead her brain short circuits at the lingering heat from Serena’s body, the wetness now coating her bottom lip, the scent of her filling Bernie’s nostrils.

Before she can think it through, Bernie flicks out her tongue to swipe along the surface of the vibrator. She moans softly as the familiar taste explodes on her tongue and Serena’s eyes go wide, her breath catching on a sharp inhale. The reaction spurs Bernie on and she takes another swipe, longer and slower, eagerly gathering Serena’s flavor.

Serena lets out a shuddering breath, jaw dropped and Bernie feels herself smirk. She loves knowing that she can affect Serena so strongly, treasures this -- an alchemical reaction -- that gives them such power over each other, and the trust that underpins it all, that allows them to explore and brings them such pleasure with no judgement or shame.

Bernie wraps her lips around the toy, sucking it gently into her mouth; the whimper that escapes Serena is exquisite. Bernie can feel her grind, unconsciously, in her lap and wishes she could grip the curve of Serena’s hips, pull her closer, and find a rhythm together. Knows she can’t; she’s restrained and tonight Serena is calling the shots.

The toy pulls free from her mouth with a soft pop and Bernie frowns, leaning forward, chasing any taste of Serena she can get. It’s the last straw of Serena’s delicate restraint. Her hand fists in Bernie’s hair, barely a moment of warning before their lips crash together. The kiss is desperate, messy and perfect; Serena licking into Bernie’s mouth and moaning as she finds her own taste there. Bernie sinks into Serena, knowing she could pull away at any moment and there’s nothing she can do about it.

Serena breaks the kiss with a gasp but stays close, her hand tangled in Bernie’s hair, tugging deliciously on the golden strands. The other one, holding the toy, slides down out of sight. Serena’s groan of satisfaction, the way her eyes flutter, tell Bernie she has put it back into use.

Watching Serena pleasure herself from a distance and not be able to touch her had been difficult; all that at mere inches is torture. Bernie can't see her hand working the toy between her legs, but she doesn't need to; the expressions skittering across Serena’s face, the breathy whimpers and moans as her head falls back, bottom lip caught between her teeth, all paint a pretty picture Bernie has gazed at countless times since the first, a picture she wants to spend her lifetime memorizing.

She’s utterly surrounded by Serena, overcome by the heat of her skin, the press of her soft, smooth thighs where they bracket Bernie’s hips, the rough brush of lace against her sensitised nipples, the knuckles of the hand working the vibrator between them bumping against Bernie’s stomach, making her buck helplessly, seeking more, anything to ease the ache of desire that’s consuming her.

The cuffs bite into her wrists as she pulls against them, desperate to get closer to Serena.

Serena’s hand drops from Bernie’s hair to her shoulder, pushing her back slightly and steadying herself, as her hips rock harder into her hand. The constant stream of moans and whimpers falling from her lips ratcheting Bernie’s arousal even higher.

Taking advantage of Serena’s eyes squeezing shut, Bernie ducks her head, straining to snag the edge of a lacy cup between her teeth, tugging it down just far enough to catch Serena’s taut nipple between her lips, flicking across it with her tongue. Serena lets out a curse, a hand fisting in Bernie’s hair till her scalp burns and Bernie redoubles her efforts, nipping with the sharp edge of teeth before sucking the nipple firmly into her mouth, trying to transmit all of her longing, her desire through this one point of connection.

“B-Bernie...” Serena’s voice is high and breathy, panting on each exhale as her hips jerk a broken rhythm in Bernie’s lap, until she cries out. She falls forward so they’re fully pressed together, her hand trapped between them as she grinds against it, the toy’s vibrations passing through her knuckles to Bernie’s skin.

It’s overwhelming. Bernie finds herself whimpering in response, matching Serena’s rhythm, feels the beginnings of an orgasm flutter, feels that unexpected pleasure pulse through her. She groans against the curve of Serena’s breast, jerking weakly beneath her as she sees stars, before pressing her forehead to Serena’s shoulder and panting to get her breath back.

She doesn’t know how long they stay like that, collapsed together, sweaty and breathing hard. When Serena sits back her eyes are bright, a smug smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

“I knew you were excited about this, but Bernie,” her voice is soft, willed with wonder, “was that…?”

Flushing, Bernie turns her head away, a jumble of emotions sitting heavy in her chest. Serena catches her chin, tugging her back around to meet her eyes.

“No, my love, don’t pull away.” She brushes the damp fringe back from Bernie’s forehead tenderly. “That...was incredible. You are incredible.” The embarrassment recedes at the earnestness in Serena’s voice and Bernie’s heart swells anew at how very lucky she is. Her eyes flutter shut as Serena kisses her, softly at first, then harder, deeper, searching. “I’d say you deserve a reward for that,” she murmurs against Bernie’s lips, nipping the lower one softly. “Don’t you?”

The room is cold as Serena slides from her lap, moving behind the chair; a few clicks and Bernie feels the tension holding her in place disappear. She brings her hands forward, shaking them slightly, seeing the faint red marks along the edges of the cuffs from her earlier straining. Coming back around, Serena examines the marks, checking the tightness of the cuffs.

“You alright to continue?” Bernie’s heart swells at the tenderness in her voice, the care overlaying the desire in her eyes. She nods and Serena smiles -- one of those brilliant smiles Bernie will never get enough of -- and presses a soft kiss to the back of Bernie’s hand. She slowly pulls Bernie to her feet, hands holding her hips until she regains her balance.

Serena pulls Bernie over to the bed, hand never leaving hers, coaxes her to lie in the center with soft caresses and sweet kisses. She plumps the pillow beneath Bernie’s head, makes sure everything is positioned just so, and settles on her knees beside Bernie.

“Comfortable, darling?” She smiles at Bernie’s affirmative, voice dropping to a purr. “Good. Now give me your hand.” Bernie raises her left hand from the mattress, Serena’s fingers warm and soft against her palm. Craning her head slightly, she sees Serena reach beneath the mattress with her other hand, retrieving a wide black strap capped with a d-ring and a metal clip.

With a flick of her thumb and a sharp snick, the cuff surrounding Bernie’s wrist is attached to the clip, a quick adjustment of the strap pulling her arm up toward the corner of the mattress. Her heart races as Serena makes her way around the bed, binding both ankles and the other wrist until Bernie is spread-eagled on the bed, fully restrained and exposed to Serena’s hungry gaze.

Bernie lets out a shaky breath as Serena straddles her hips, sitting lightly on her thighs, her hands retracing their earlier paths over the curves of her body. They pause at the small crystalline buttons holding the lace together along the front of her torso and Bernie finds herself holding her breath as Serena’s fingers slowly release each delicate button, revealing more and more of her smooth, pale skin as she goes.

The final button gives way, a noise that’s part whimper, part growl escaping from Bernie’s chest as Serena peels back the open edges of the negligee, letting it slide down her arms and tossing it to the floor, leaving her gloriously naked in the flickering candle light. Her hands trail lightly over Bernie’s abdomen, making the muscles tense and flutter with each soft caress, each gentle scratch of blunt fingernails.

“I don’t get to do this enough,” Serena muses, fingers gliding over the bumps of Bernie’s ribs, the definition of her biceps from the stretch of the restraints. “Just enjoy you, without you distracting me.”

Lips pursed smugly, Bernie bucks her hips as much as she can, Serena gasping at the unexpected friction. “Stop that.” Fingers twist her nipple sharply in time with the command and it’s Bernie’s turn to gasp, the initial shock of pain dulling into a throb of pleasure as she stills obediently.

“Good girl,” Serena purrs. “I think I rather enjoy having you at my mercy.” Shifting lower on the bed, her lips just barely brush the swell of Bernie’s stomach, dark eyes half shuttered and hungry. “Stay still now, won’t you darling?”

The request proves easier said than done as Serena begins to methodically explore every inch of Bernie’s bound body. Her hands, lips and tongue move constantly, never lingering long enough in the places Bernie needs, ratcheting up her arousal with teasing touches and soft caresses. It’s not long before she can feel her thighs and arms quivering from holding herself still, straining against the cuffs, her entire body taut and trembling with need.

As if the touches weren’t utterly maddening, Serena starts to talk in that deliciously husky voice and it’s enough to make Bernie’s head spin with want. “You’re so beautiful,” she whispers as she nuzzles the underside of Bernie’s breast. “Your skin feels amazing.” Her fingers tracing along the line of her collarbones. “I want to touch you all the time.” The scrape of nails dragging upward along her inner thighs.

It’s too much to resist and a loud moan breaks free from Bernie’s chest as sharp teeth sink into the soft flesh of her hip.

“I love your noises,” Serena says, tongue soothing the sting of the bite. “Let me hear you, Bernie, let me hear how much you’re enjoying this.”

Heat suffuses Bernie, face and chest flushing at the request, but she’s too far gone to resist. Gives herself over to the moment, meeting each touch of delicate fingers, each press of Serena’s mouth with a sigh, a whimper, a moan of naked desire, until a constant litany of noises are pouring out of her.

Still she fights to hold herself still, even as it gets harder with each passing moment, Serena’s luxurious caresses avoiding all of the places Bernie wants them most. Gentle thumbs unexpectedly brush across aching nipples and she cries out, body bowing up off the bed in search of more contact.

“Serena…” The words die on her lips, trailing off into helpless whimpers, pleasure arcing through her as Serena tugs and rolls her nipples between dextrous fingers.

“Yes?” Serena’s tone is innocent, matter-of-fact; the look in her eyes is anything but, the heat of it sending a shiver up Bernie’s spine. “You need to use your words, Berenice. How can I know what you want unless you tell me?” The fingers still stroking her nipples pinch harder and she squirms at the answering pulse of arousal between her thighs.

“I want you to touch me.” Her voice sounds foreign to her own ears, thick and strangled with need. Serena quirks an eyebrow, hands moving to rest on Bernie’s ribcage, feeling each ragged breath.

“I am touching you.” A challenge shines in Serena’s eyes, one Bernie knows she needs to rise to, to earn the satisfaction she so desperately craves. “I need you to be more specific, Bernie. Or I could just leave you here…” Serena sits back on her heels, hands disappearing from Bernie’s skin.

“No!” The clips rattle against the cuffs as Bernie jerks, eyes wide and voice frantic. “No, Serena, please! Please. I need…” She shudders and the words catch in her throat.

“What? What is it that you need, my love?”

In that moment Bernie feels something in her give way, the invisible bonds of expectation and self-consciousness falling loose, leaving her aching and wanton. “You, Serena.” The words are hoarse but intense; no muttering, no hesitation. “I need you. I need you to fuck me. Make me come. Please.

A look like nothing she’s ever seen passes over Serena’s face, a possessiveness that would frighten her in anyone else. Now it just sets her nerve endings alight; knowing she belongs with this incredible woman, that she’d willingly give her anything and everything.

Two fingers sink into her without warning, so deep she yelps, straining even harder against the cuffs. Serena leans back over Bernie, straddling one of her quivering thighs, fingers curved slightly as she slowly drags them in and out. Bernie’s eyes flutter shut, only to snap open a moment later at the nip of teeth along the edge of her jaw.

“Eyes on me, Berenice. I want to watch you.”

Bernie nods, groaning as Serena begins to fuck her in earnest, thrusting hard enough to skirt the delicious edge of pain, the sounds of her wetness filling the room. It’s not long before she has to struggle to keep her eyes open, hips rising from the bed to meet Serena’s thrusts, each breath coming out an explosive little pant, interspersed with pleas and curses.

“That’s my good girl,” Serena murmurs, lips close enough to brush the curve of Bernie’s ear. “Come for me, Bernie. Will you come for me now?”

Bernie nods, frantic. Another thrust, two, and she cries out, waves of pleasure pulsing through her, tensing against the straps as she writhes beneath Serena in their bed, fighting to keep her eyes open and on Serena’s.

She relaxes boneless against the smooth sheets as the intensity passes. It takes a moment to register that Serena’s hand is still working between her thighs. Her hips instinctively squirm away, over stimulated and sensitive, but the restraints hold her fast.

“Did I tell you to stop?” Serena’s voice is harder now, edged in command. It’s the voice she uses to bring order to the ward and hearing it here, like this, raises gooseflesh on Bernie’s skin, a fresh gush of wetness bathing Serena’s fingers. “You wanted me to make you come, didn’t you? Well, I’m not nearly finished with you, darling.”

The stroking of her fingers picking up speed emphasizes her words, the pad of her thumb brushing softly across Bernie’s swollen clit. Hips jerking helplessly, each touch sends bright sparks of pleasure bursting through her, the initial discomfort quickly giving way to want.

“Yes,” Bernie pants, an edge of desperation in her voice. “Don’t stop.”

The pressure on Bernie’s clit increases, the warm wetness of Serena’s mouth engulfing one of her nipples pulling a curse from her. This time her orgasm is almost a surprise; one moment she’s riding on the wave of sensation Serena is so expertly coaxing from her body, the next heat is blossoming from her core, leaving her trembling and gasping as Serena peppers her face with soft kisses.

She’s barely returned to her senses when a single word is whispered in her ear.

“Again.”

 

She does.

Again and again.

Bernie’s not sure how long it goes on, how many times she comes. It all becomes a blur of touch, of pleasure, of tension and release. Serena’s hand working tirelessly between her thighs, her mouth moving over her neck, her breasts, her stomach. The words that Serena speaks into her skin, praise and command alike, run together like the tumble of rushing water. Only one word pierces the fog.

“Again.”

Each time. Each time she catches her breath. Each time her muscles begin to relax. Each time she’s about to recover, Serena whispers “Again” and starts to build her up anew. Over and over, until Bernie is limp, drenched in sweat, throat hoarse from moaning and begging and crying Serena’s name.

She gasps in lungfuls of air, the aftershocks of her latest orgasm making her wrists and ankles twitch in their restraints. She braces herself, waiting for the word, the command, her overstimulated nerves dreading it even as the rest of her aches to give Serena anything she asks for.

A long moment passes. The word never comes.

Bernie blinks a little blearily, watching as Serena pulls away gently, wiping her hand clean on a towel resting atop the nightstand. When she returns to Bernie’s side, she has a glass of water in hand. Carefully raising her head with one hand, she tilts the glass so Bernie can gulp down the blessedly cool liquid, feeling it soothe her parched throat. Placing the empty glass aside, Serena brushes back the damp strands of hair clinging to Bernie’s face.

“Are you alright?” Bernie nods, not sure her voice will work just yet. “Arms and legs okay? Do you need to take a break?” A shake of the head brings a sweet smile to Serena’s lips. She bends down to press a kiss to Bernie’s mouth; soft, sweet, full of such love and tenderness it makes her chest ache.

“You’ve been so very good for me, my darling.” Another kiss, practically chaste. “Can you be good for me for a little while longer?”

“Yes.” Bernie’s response is immediate, fervent, and Serena responds with a noise close to a growl, catching her in a kiss that this time is anything but chaste, plundering Bernie’s mouth until she has to pull away for breath.

“I’ll be right back,” she whispers before rising from the bed, leaving Bernie bound and helpless.

Closing her eyes and breathing deep, Bernie lets herself sink into the mattress, relaxing her still tremulous muscles even further. Surprisingly, being bound and exposed no longer triggers a spike of nerves, the need to cover herself. Instead she finds herself drifting, body sated and mind given over entirely to whatever is coming next, whatever Serena desires.

A cool hand skates along her inner thigh and her eyes open to find Serena watching her with a look that can only be described as adoration.

“Still with me, darling?” Her smile widens at Bernie’s nod, hand moving higher.

Bernie inhales slowly through her nose as Serena’s fingers comb through her drenched curls, hips jumping at the slightest contact with nerves she had never known could be so sensitive. The slide of nimble fingers pushing into her is almost frictionless and Serena hums her satisfaction at the wetness she finds. Her other hand comes into view holding a vaguely phallic toy with a cobra-like extension on one side, all in the same vibrant red as Bernie’s favorite of Serena’s blouses, the one that makes her skin glow and her eyes especially deep.

Despite the toy’s girth, the combination of applied lubricant and her own copious wetness allows it to slide home with only the slightest pressure. Serena slowly sinks it in and Bernie groans at the fullness, the stretch, her awareness of every bump and curve heightened. Her body instinctively clenches around the intrusion, adjusting until it’s seated fully.

Serena changes the angle of the toy, settling it so the extension just rests against Bernie’s clit. A click of a button and it begins to flutter, a soft vibration that she can keenly feel in her heightened state, but doesn’t cross the line into discomfort.

“Does that feel good?” Bernie hums her pleasure, eyes squinting a little as she smiles. Unexpectedly, it does feel good, her hips shifting as the vibrations reignite that delicious tension in her, despite everything that came before. “I’m glad, but I haven’t shown you everything it can do yet.”

Another click and the shaft inside her begins a subtle thrusting motion, the bulbous swell at the tip nudging rhythmically against her g-spot. Her breath stutters, legs tensing as her body grips the toy tighter, a groan slipping free as the pressure only intensifies the feelings.

“Amazing, isn’t it?” Blinking hazily, Bernie lifts her head from the pillow just enough to look down her body to where Serena is laying, chin propped on Bernie’s hip, one hand resting lightly on the protruding base. “And do you know what the best part is?” She crawls upward until she’s pressed fully against Bernie’s side, lips brushing along the tendon of her neck, while the motions of the toy continue unabated. “It works hands free. Which means I can find some other way to keep myself occupied,” she purrs, her voice low and dark, filled with promise.

Serena rises to her knees, like a goddess looming over a sacrifice, intent on being worshipped. She arranges herself, knees on either side of the pillow, thighs on either side of Bernie’s face and Bernie literally stops breathing. She thinks she might come just from this sight alone; the soft, pale thighs so close Bernie need only turn her head to nuzzle against them, the curve of her abdomen, the swell of her breasts visible past the dark nest of curls. The entire landscape of Serena’s body hovering above and her musk invading Bernie’s nose.

She clenches around the toy inside her and groans.

“Eager, are we?” Serena teases.

Bernie tries to agree, tries to tell Serena how amazing she is, how much she wants this. But her heart is pounding in her chest, her body torn between the vision above her and the relentless stimulation between her thighs, and the words come out as barely more than a garbled exhalation.

“Good, because I want you to use that incredible mouth on me, Berenice, can you do that?” Bernie’s wordless affirmative is immediate, her mouth watering.

Serena smiles, hums content, braces her hands on the sturdy oak headboard and lowers herself into position. Bernie presses up to meet her, takes one long, slow swipe with her tongue, moaning joy when she finds Serena drenched.

Serena groans above her and a fresh rush of wetness gushes on Bernie’s chin and she’s overwhelmed, her senses completely surrounded by Serena. Bernie pauses a moment, breathing it all in, trying to preserve this moment in her memory. The impatient shifting of Serena’s hips pulls her back and she can’t stop her grin as she sets to her task, treasuring the tangible evidence that tonight has been as potent for Serena as it has been for her.

She cranes her neck, swirls her tongue down as far as it'll reach, teasing at Serena’s entrance then slowly working her way back up, tongue circling her clit again and again. The answering moan vibrates through Serena’s entire body and into Bernie as she continues to explore, leisurely stroking every millimeter of hot, slick flesh.

Even as she focuses on Serena’s pleasure, the toy pulses inside her, teases her clit, building her up higher and higher until it becomes hard to focus, hard to maintain the rhythm Serena needs. Bernie tries to resist, to focus solely on Serena’s satisfaction, but that almost makes it worse; it’s not long before the motions of the toy, the sound of Serena’s moans, the taste of her rich and heady on Bernie’s tongue, send her tumbling over the edge.

She turns her head to muffle her cries against Serena’s thigh.

She’s still shuddering and panting when Serena’s hand fists in her hair, pulling her back, pressing her mouth where it’s needed.

“Don’t stop,” Serena grits out. Bernie looks up to see the blotches on her chest, the color in her cheeks, the blown pupils. She knows she’s close.

“Never,” Bernie murmurs fervently; redoubles her efforts, teasing and tasting with tongue and lips, focusing attention on every spot she knows drives Serena wild. Serena cries out, her hips jerking and Bernie smiles, taking her clit between her lips and flickering her tongue against it until Serena sobs.

Serena leans back and Bernie takes advantage of the change in angle, slips lower and pushes her tongue as deeply as she can reach, reveling in the way Serena’s thighs tremble against her cheeks. The movement inside her changes, increasing in speed and intensity as it thrusts tirelessly, dragging her exhausted body once again toward the peak.

Bernie sucks Serena’s clit between her lips with a low growl, racing her own body, determined to make Serena come first. She works her tongue until she can feel Serena's thighs start to shake, hears the pitch of her voice go high and breathy, babbling pleas and praise in equal measure.

A moment stretches between them and then she's coming, crying out in bliss and soaking Bernie's chin. It’s all too much and Bernie finds herself coming just after, biting back a scream as the orgasm shatters through her.

She’s still gasping, vision blurred, when Serena slides away and off the bed.

Serena eases the toy from Bernie’s body and mixture of emptiness and relief washes over her. She unbuckles each of the cuffs in turn, pausing to gently chafe her hands across the red marks on Bernie’s skin, press soft kisses and murmurs of appreciation to them.

Bernie leaves her limbs where Serena places them, unable to even consider moving, as she floats on a fog of bliss and endorphins. Her body feels like it belongs to someone else; every muscle, every nerve ending spent from the onslaught she’d just endured.

The feeling of Serena settling between her thighs, spreading her legs wider, returns Bernie to herself somewhat. Before she can protest, Serena’s mouth is on her, tongue stroking gently over slick, swollen folds. The motions are unexpectedly soothing, suffused with care and tenderness, and Bernie relaxes back, letting herself float on this feeling.

Her hips jerk involuntarily when Serena’s tongue barely skates across her clit long minutes later, her nerves overwrought and exposed to even the slightest sensation; Serena returns immediately to the long, slow strokes and Bernie gentles beneath her. Then it happens again. And again. Each time a little longer, a little firmer, until there’s no doubt it’s deliberate.

“Serena, I can’t –” Bernie whimpers, her voice coming out faint and broken. Serena just hums and slides her tongue in a lazy circle and Bernie wonders if she even heard her. “Serena,” she repeats, louder than before. “Please, I can’t do this.”

Serena glances up, the intensity in her eyes pinning Bernie in place. “Yes, you can. You can do this.” Her breath is warm on Bernie’s wet flesh, a thumb holding her open and lightly teasing her entrance. “Just one more for me, my love.” Her tongue flicks out again, ever-so-slightly, maintaining contact even as she gives Bernie space.

Bernie knows she can stop this. A single word and Serena will stop, with no recrimination, no disappointment. Knows it will be all sweet cuddles and soothing touches, falling asleep in Serena’s arms. And part of her wants that. Wants these feelings, so pleasurable even as they skirt the line of pain, to end. Wants to rest.

The rest of her can’t help but respond to the desire in Serena’s eyes. Wants to give her everything she asks and more. Wants to surrender herself entirely, mind, body and soul.

In that moment, the decision is made. She nods, only barely, rests her head back on the pillow, eyes closed. Hears Serena’s pleasured moan and gives herself over to the sensations. Groans helplessly as Serena’s lips surround her swollen, sensitive clit, tongue flickering across it as two fingers fill her.

Free from their bonds, her hands dig into the sheets, desperately holding on as the tide of pleasure rises once again in her, Serena effortlessly bending Bernie’s body to her will. Her fingers crook forward, pressing hard and Bernie mewls at the feeling, hips canting up against Serena’s eager mouth.

She’s almost delirious, body stretched to the brink but still wanting, needing, more. Serena is relentless; tongue and fingers moving in a coordinated attack that quickly has Bernie begging: harder...faster...deeper...more…

A sensation of pressure builds like nothing Bernie’s ever felt and she can’t help but hold her breath, clenching tighter around Serena’s fingers as they press more firmly against her. The feeling intensifies, inexorable; something shifts and her mind goes blank, everything fading away but the blinding pleasure of Serena’s touch. Warmth spreads through her, starting in her core and expanding outward, a wave of ecstasy pulsing through her so utterly overwhelming it pulls a full-throated cry from her as her back bows almost completely off that bed. It seems unending; wave after wave crashing over her until she feels like she’s drowning in sensation.

When the feeling finally fades Bernie collapses, gasping for breath, overcome and utterly exhausted. She stares blankly at the ceiling for a moment that feels like hours, mind scattered and limbs twitching. Barely raising her head, she finds Serena staring at her, wide-eyed and open mouthed.

Bernie frowns, groaning as she pushes herself up to her elbows. From this new vantage she can see the large, quickly spreading damp spot on the sheets, the clear droplets of liquid glistening on Serena’s chin and chest. Her eyes flick up to meet Serena’s, equally wide with surprise. She feels like she should apologize, like she should be embarrassed by this unexpected outcome.

She opens her mouth to explain as much to a gobsmacked Serena, only to burst out laughing; great, honking peals that shake her entire body. No matter what her traitorous mind may tell her, the fact of the matter is she has never felt so good in all her life; sated, nearly broken, and so, so loved.

Bernie opens her eyes to find Serena hovering over her, grinning unabashedly, eyes sparkling with joy. Her thumbs softly brush the mirthful tears from Bernie’s cheeks as her laughter finally fades to sporadic chuckles.

“Berenice Wolfe, you are amazing.” Bernie grins sloppily as Serena kisses her, arms too tired to wrap around her now that they’re free to do so.

She has no idea how much time has passed when Serena finally sits up, only that her limbs are stiff and her feet are cold for lack of motion. Bernie focuses on wiggling her toes, her fingers, trying to convince her body that moving is a good idea as the sound of rushing water and the scent of lavender and sandalwood spill from the ensuite.

It’s still a challenge when Serena returns, helps her to stand despite her muscles screaming in protest. Serena stays by her side, arm wrapped tightly around her waist, supporting her as she hobbles across the room. Helps her step into the large clawfoot tub and Bernie sinks gratefully into the water, hissing as the heat soaks into her. A glass of water is pressed into her hand and she gulps it down eagerly before handing it back to Serena.

“Will you be alright for a few minutes?”

Bernie nods in reply, eyes already sinking closed as Serena brushes a kiss to her forehead. Her head lolls back against the rolled edge of the tub, mind and body floating and detached. She can hear the sounds of Serena puttering in the bedroom; candles being extinguished, sheets being changed.

She must have dozed off, because when she opens her eyes again Serena is smiling down at her, an enormous bowl of reheated curry in one hand and a glass of shiraz in the other, the bottle already tucked away within arms reach. Bernie’s stomach grumbles embarrassingly loud and Serena laughs, placing her bounty on the shelf and motioning for Bernie to scoot forward. She slips easily into the water behind Bernie, legs bracketing her hips as she shimmies closer, one arm wrapping across Bernie’s chest and tugging until she’s resting back, head pillowed on Serena’s shoulder.

No words pass between them, sharing wine from the same glass, bites of spicy curry from the same fork. Once both food and wine are gone, they lay together in the quiet; candlelight flickering across the surface of the water as they breath together, slow and deep. They stay that way until the water cools; pressed tight together, skin to skin, till Serena lifts a hand from the water, inspects the pruned pads of her fingers.

“Bed time, I think.” She squeezes Bernie tight a moment longer before rising, water sluicing off her as she steps onto the bathmat. Dries quickly before helping Bernie up, toweling her skin with gentle efficiency. Bernie stumbles as they move toward the door, legs still as wobbly as a baby giraffe and Serena tucks up against her side, guiding her back into the bedroom.

The fresh sheets are cool and smooth against Bernie’s skin as Serena tucks her in, clicking off the bedside lamp and walking around to the other side. A puff of cool air ghosts across her as the sheets lift, quickly replaced by Serena’s warmth. Bernie cuddles close; face pressed tight against Serena’s neck, an arm settled across the dip of her waist, their legs tangling languidly. She feels so grateful, so lucky. Wants to tell Serena how utterly, blissfully happy she is in the moment. But the lure of sleep is too strong, the last of her energy sapped away.

“Love you,” she murmurs against Serena’s skin.

The arm around her shoulders squeezes tighter for a moment. “I love you too, darling,” is the last thing she hears as she drifts off to sleep, a smile curling her lips.

Chapter Text

Bernie wakes slowly, eyes blinking open as she carefully stretches her stiff limbs. She can tell without looking that she has slept later than usual, her normal habit of rising just after dawn having returned in full force over the last month of having no compelling reason to stay in bed each day. But now…

She turns her head on the pillow, irrepressible grin tugging up the corner of her mouth, to see Serena curled beside her, still sleeping deeply: forehead relaxed, mouth parted and snoring slightly, lashes casting soft shadows across the curve of her cheeks. Short dark hair spikes up in all directions, mussed by the pillow and the interference of Bernie’s own hands.

Bernie smiles wider at the thought, at the memory of repeatedly running her fingers through Serena’s hair last night, over and again, as she welcomed her partner home. In the morning light she can see the flecks of grey peppering her roots, the silver shining at her temples from over a month without seeing the hairdresser. She wonders if Serena would ever consider growing it out and tries to picture what it would look like; knows it would look gorgeous, just like everything else about Serena.

She stays in bed content and thrilled to watch Serena sleep after all this time apart. She can hear Jason shuffle out of his room and down the hall, the pipes groaning as the shower starts. They had greeted Serena at the airport the previous afternoon, Bernie practically jumping out of her skin and Jason holding a brightly coloured handmade sign proclaiming “Welcome Home Auntie Serena” surrounded by leopard spots.

Serena had walked up to them, luggage in hand and tears sparkling bright in her eyes, pulling Jason into as tight a hug as he would allow, before turning to Bernie. Having Serena back in her arms felt like coming home from deployment all over again, that same feeling of comfort and reassurance and love washing over her as she walked into her family home. Except now, rather than the comfort of familiar physical space, home was Serena; the feel of her arms, the lingering notes of her perfume over the scent of airplane coffee, the softness of her lips and taste of her kiss.

“There’s a sight for sore eyes,” Serena had whispered in her ear, drawing a wet sort of laugh from Bernie’s tear clogged throat, before taking her hand and walking toward the exit, asking Jason all about his trip to the museum the previous weekend. A stop on the way back to the house to procure fish and chips (“Americans never get it right,” Serena complained bitterly), then the rest of the evening was spent gathered around the kitchen table, laughing at Serena’s tales from her time at Harvard; the undergraduate who had a crush on her and had resorted to writing awful love poetry on the backs of his exams, the professor who had insisted on calling her ‘Rena’, despite her constantly correcting him.

The whole evening Bernie kept Serena’s hand tangled in hers, and when Jason excused himself to bed, had led Serena up to their bedroom and made love to her until the late hours, finally falling asleep pressed skin to skin, in a tangle of limbs.

Bernie hears Jason pad down the stairs, the front door opening and closing a moment later as he heads to work, leaving them alone in the quiet house. She holds her breath as Serena stirs, rolls onto her back with an unintelligible murmur, but does not wake. Her eye falls to the creamy swell of Serena’s breast as the sheet slips down her chest, a sliver of dusky pink nipple peeking above the hem.

She sucks in a breath as heat blossoms low in her belly. For a moment she considers catching that sweet bud between her lips, tugging the sheet further, waking Serena with her hands and mouth to continue where they left off last night; but she knows how tired Serena is, her system taxed by working long hours, travel and the time change. She does not move. There will be plenty of time later.

Bernie slips out of bed instead, pushing away her desire and padding naked across the room into the ensuite. She starts the shower and brushes her teeth, grins as she catches sight of the red marks peppering her chest and thighs in the mirror, trails her fingers over them as she remembers the feel of Serena’s mouth, the sharp nip of teeth, low voice murmuring a litany of ways she missed Bernie, as she once again laid claim to her body.

The heat of the water is bliss on her sore muscles and she lets it wash over her, plastering her hair to her head, rivulets pouring down the planes of her body before swirling down the drain. She doesn’t hear the soft click of the door and shivers at the puff of cool air, shivers as hands slide across her skin, around her waist.

“I woke up and you were gone.” Her eyes flutter shut as Serena’s sleep-warmed and very naked body presses tight against her back. “Missed you,” she adds, voice still hoarse with sleep, and presses a kiss to Bernie’s shoulder.

“I thought you needed to sleep,” she quips, trying to turn, to take Serena in her arms; Serena’s grip tightens, keeping her in place. Her lips skim over the curve of Bernie’s shoulder, tongue darting out to catch the droplets of water that linger there, her hands drifting higher up Bernie’s abdomen to gently cup her breasts.

“I need you more than I need sleep,” Serena murmurs, nosing behind her ear, teeth catching lightly against the lobe. A shiver runs down Bernie’s spine, goosebumps erupting across her skin despite the steamy heat of the water surrounding them, as sure fingers circle her nipples, tender and sensitive from last night. They tighten eagerly at Serena’s touch.

Bernie reaches out blindly, bracing her hands against the cool, slick tile, lost in the sensation of Serena’s mouth exploring every inch of her neck and shoulders, hands teasing and tormenting with skill and surety.

Serena ducks beneath her outstretched arm, tucking herself between Bernie and the shower wall. Bernie can see the sparkle in her dark eyes, fine droplets of water clinging to her eyelashes as she leans in for a slow, sweet kiss.

“Good morning,” she murmurs against Bernie’s mouth, teeth catching lightly at her bottom lip.

“It certainly is now.” The quirked eyebrow and off-kilter grin quicken Bernie’s pulse.

“Let’s see if I can’t make it even better…” Bernie’s eyes slide shut with a moan as Serena sinks to her knees, hands teasing her thighs apart, encouraging her to widen her stance. One moves higher to part water-darkened curls as the other settles on her hip.

Serena’s mouth is hot and eager and Bernie knows this will be quick, the first touch firm and direct without any teasing at all, and braces herself against the wall with a groan. Even still, she’s surprised at how quickly her body tenses, how swiftly she comes with two of Serena’s fingers curled inside her and the pressure of her tongue flickering against her clit. Her hips buck helplessly as stars explode across the back of tightly closed eyes.

They flutter open to see Serena leaning against the wall between her arms with a smug smile on her lips: one Bernie is compelled to kiss away, humming in pleasure at the taste of herself in Serena’s mouth.

“You,” she says between kisses, unable to stop just yet, “are an unbelievable minx, Serena Campbell.”

“I rather thought you liked me that way.” Bernie’s eyes narrow at Serena’s unrepentant gloating. She slowly flicks her tongue out across her bottom lip, noticing how Serena’s eyes immediately track the movement, her breathing speeding up slightly as the air charges between them.

“Oh I do.” She shuffles closer, pinning Serena back against the cool tile. “But I’m starting to think you’re a little spoiled. That I’ve been letting you have your way too often.”

“Is that so?” The challenge in Serena’s tone is evident, as is the desire in her eyes. The response bolsters Bernie’s confidence, rekindles the memory of all the things she had planned, had fantasized about, in Serena’s absence.

Eyes focused and intent, challenging her back in equal measure, Bernie slowly reaches between them, catching Serena’s delicate wrists and raising them above her head. Gaze never wavering as she pins them against the tile with one hand, the other dropping to tilt Serena’s chin upward with two fingers, searching her face for any uncertainty, any hesitation. There’s none to be found in her shining eyes. Only love, desire and trust, so evident, so freely given it warms Bernie from the inside, gives her the last push of courage she needs.

She kisses Serena thoroughly, deep and demanding, tasting her again and again as her muffled whimpers bounce off the shower walls. She leans close, her free hand skating lower, cupping Serena’s breast and chafing her palm against the stiff nipple. Circles gently a few times before catching it between her fingertips, tugging just the way she knows Serena loves, applying increasing pressure until Serena gasps into her mouth, squirming against her.

Breaking away from the kiss with a smirk, Bernie lowers her head, swirling her tongue across Serena’s other nipple before sucking it into her mouth. She glances upward, watching Serena’s head loll back bonelessly as she tugs lightly with her teeth. She feels herself grin fierce at the sight.

Nipping and licking her way across Serena’s sternum to give equal attention to her other breast, Bernie’s hand follows the soft curve of Serena’s side, the narrow dip of her waist, skimming over the swell of her abdomen until her fingers meet coarse damp hair. She resists the canting of Serena’s hips, refusing to move her hand lower; instead teasing her fingers through the sensitive follicles, tugging gently, scratching with her blunt nails. She matches the pace of her mouth until she feels Serena pulling against her grip, body tense and quivering with need.

Straightening, Bernie stands still and calm, a few inches away. Waits until Serena’s eyes open, a little unfocused and filled with need.

“I had some time to fill while you were gone. Nights are lonely here without you.” Serena blinks up at her and Bernie smiles softly, reassuring her that while she was missed, there’s no resentment. “It did give me time to do some research.” She reaches over to the recessed niche in the wall with her free hand, retrieving the sinuous silicone wand resting there. “It’s silly, but it never occurred to me that some of these would be waterproof.”

Serena’s mouth opens, but before she can respond Bernie clicks the vibrator to its lowest setting and nestles the tip against Serena’s clit. Whatever she had intended to say trails off into a curse, her hips pressing up eagerly against the toy as her head thuds against the tile. Bernie turns up the speed with a grin, hand following the movements of Serena’s hips, mouth tasting her skin; lapping the droplets of water from her collarbones, up along the straining tendon of her neck to nuzzle behind her ear.

“I used this quite a lot while you were gone. The shower covers the noise.” Bernie pauses, sucking lightly at the fluttering pulse point of Serena’s neck. “Do you want to know what I think about when I touch myself?”

The words pull a whimper from Serena’s throat, high and needy, and the sound goes directly between Bernie’s legs, making her body thrum. They had talked like this frequently over the phone; admittedly early on Serena did most of the heavy lifting, detailing her fantasies in that incredible voice as Bernie whispered encouragement and rutted against her own hand. Gradually Bernie had started to respond in kind, stuttering out her desires in fits and starts, emboldened by Serena’s unfailingly enthusiastic response, becoming braver with each moan, each gasp, each cry of her name across the phone connection. The thought of what her words did to Serena, what they made Serena do to herself in response, was utterly intoxicating; for the first time in her life Bernie found herself able to speak freely about the things she longed to do, to feel, without embarrassment.

Knowing the power her words have over Serena makes saying them all the more thrilling. Already she can see the need in Serena’s eyes, can feel the way her hips jerk and her hands clench beneath Bernie’s grip. She pulls back just enough to watch Serena’s response, not wanting to miss a moment.

“I think about you.” Serena’s eyes meet hers, wide and dark, then shut with a groan. “I think about touching you. About the way you feel, the way you taste. How gorgeous you are when you come.” Bernie ramps the vibrations up, eyes avidly drinking in every flicker across Serena’s face as she keens.

“That’s what I missed most, I think. Watching you. Being able to see just how good I’m making you feel.” Serena bites back a curse as Bernie eases the vibrator into her, setting a slow, steady pace. “Knowing that it’s all for me.” A press of her thumb changes the vibrations to a deep, rhythmic pulse and she has to press down harder to keep Serena’s spasming hands in place. “Isn’t it, Serena?”

“Y-yes,” Serena manages, voice breaking.

Good.” Bernie’s voice is like silk over steel, smooth and unyielding. “And I’m the only one you’re with like this, who makes you feel this good. Aren’t I?” A demand, not a question, the words making Serena visibly shudder.

A whimper and a nod are her only reply and Bernie speeds up her movements, angling the curved end forward until Serena is panting with each thrust. Bernie leans in and traces her tongue along the dip of Serena’s collarbone, catching moisture gathered there, feeling her pulse racing beneath her skin. Presses a line of soft, barely there kisses down the slope of her chest, pausing to nuzzle the smooth skin before slowly sinking her teeth into the curve of her breast. Serena cries out, hips jolting in an uneven rhythm and Bernie releases, tongue tracing the already purpling marks, soothing away the sharpest edge of the pain.

“Come for me, Serena,” she murmurs low and hot, words more vibration on skin than sounds. “I want to see you come now.”

Another thrust and she complies: head flung back, mouth falling open and throat rasping, spine bowed tight as her entire body tenses. The sight fills Bernie with awe, to see Serena like this, at her most vulnerable, to have the trust to give her this kind of pleasure, is deeply humbling and staggeringly arousing in equal measure.

Bernie throbs in sympathy, desire coiling through her blood like quicksilver, as Serena finally relaxes against the shower wall with a whimper.

She eases the toy free, releasing Serena’s wrists to catch her around the waist, supporting her as her shaking legs buckle slightly. It’s a long minute before Serena’s gaze clears, hazy eyes focusing again on Bernie, a languid smile on her face.

“Have I mentioned how much I missed this?”

Bernie chuckles, kissing her briefly. “You might have last night, once or twice. Alright for a minute?” At Serena’s nod, she pulls away, quickly lathering up and rinsing beneath the spray of the shower.

She can feel Serena’s eyes tracking her every move, the heat between them tamed but not extinguished. When she’s done she catches Serena’s hand, guiding her below the showerhead.

“Take as long as you like cleaning up, then come join me when you’re done.” She kisses Serena, long and deep, until Serena’s hands are gripping her shoulders for support, breath coming fast. Leaving no doubt that this is merely a pause, not an ending.

She presses one last kiss to her upper lip before ducking out of the stall. Towels off quickly, forgoes her dressing gown as she heads back into the bedroom. Turns down the rumpled bed and plumps the pillows, retrieves a hand towel and the bottle of lube from the bedside drawer to set out on the surface. From the bathroom she can hear Serena humming; the familiar sound, reinforcing the knowledge that her partner is truly here, brings a grin to her face. She hums along as she putters, thinks it’s probably Bette Midler. (It isn’t.)

Finally she kneels on the carpet, stretches an arm beneath the bed to retrieve the small leather satchel hidden there. Opens it to check the contents, a slither of nervous excitement making her squirm, before she snaps it shut and places it within arms reach.

The shower turns off and she does one last check of the room; climbs into bed, sitting upright against the headboard. She takes a deep breath and settles in, nervous to know and eager to see all her waiting come to an end.

While packing before leaving for the airport, Serena had mentioned that Bernie should feel free to use anything she liked, now they were living together. Serena’s possessions were Bernie’s and should be treated as such, provided she treated them with appropriate care. She had said it with a glance to the bureau where the toys were kept, her voice a study in casual disinterest. It was the voice she used when she didn’t want to show how deeply interested she was in a topic. But Bernie could see the flush of color in Serena’s cheeks from across the room and that knowledge — that just the thought of Bernie using her toys was enough to arouse Serena — had given Bernie the push she needed.

It made her feel free to experiment, and experiment she had, when life and schedule allowed.

She worked her way through a variety of vibrators, noting which she enjoyed and which did nothing for her; reporting back her findings to Serena in their phone calls just to hear her voice go husky and breathless. Tried insertables of all different sizes, shapes and textures, mind always happily supplying an image of Serena using them on her, Serena’s voice asking if she enjoyed it.

As the weeks passed, Bernie found her attention regularly drifting to the larger toys in the drawer. She knew they weren’t for her, had found her own limits in a methodical and highly pleasurable quiet Sunday afternoon when home alone, but the idea of using them on Serena made her stomach churn with a nervous arousal.

Images began to fill her mind when she touched herself, of Serena, spread wide beneath her, stretched around a large toy under Bernie’s control, writhing and panting, begging for more. Bernie never lasted long after that.

The only problem, she found, was that all of the larger toys in Serena’s arsenal were disturbingly realistic; cast in flesh tones and covered in veins, some even had testicles attached. Bernie knew for a fact that she couldn’t use one of those with a straight face and doubted Serena would find the humor in the situation. Just like she knew this was something she wanted to explore, very much, just as she knew how excited Serena would be to hear Bernie express that desire.

For the first time she considered making a purchase of her own, adding to the collection that had become something they both shared. The idea of contributing to that, to truly making it theirs instead of just Serena’s was surprisingly compelling.

Which was how Bernie found herself parked outside “The Tool Shed” with her fingers tapping a nervous tattoo on the steering wheel.

“Right, Wolfe. You can do this.” Taking a deep breath she stepped out of the car, she strode across the street without hesitation and entered the shop. She was glad to see the store was empty of customers, a familiar face behind the counter.

“Hullo!” Chloe’s smile was wide and welcoming, her hair now a vivid cobalt blue. “It’s Bernie, right?”

Bernie swallowed her butterflies as she stepped forward, mentally reassuring herself that it was actually alright to have this conversation with someone barely older than her own children.

“Uh, yes. Yes it is. I was here with, um, with Serena. A while back.” She could feel her face heating as she stumbled over the words.

Chloe, for her part, seemed to be admirably restraining a laugh at Bernie’s discomfiture. “How could I forget? I’ve never seen her smile quite like that before. So what I can do for you, Bernie?”

“Ah, right. Actually it’s about Serena.” Bernie took a deep, fortifying breath, squaring her shoulders. “I want to buy her something. Something she’d like, obviously. And I was wondering if you had any...suggestions.” The words come out all in a rush and Bernie ducks her head when she finishes.

“I can definitely help you with that. Serena’s a long time customer, so I feel I have a pretty good handle on her preferences.” The matter-of-factness in Chloe’s tone sets Bernie at ease and she feels the tension in her back unknot slightly. “Do you know what type of thing you’re interested in?”

The sense of relaxation disappeared, replaced by a twisting in her gut. Of course she was going to want specifics, you ninny. Pull yourself together and spit it out!

“I’ve noticed that Serena, uh, has several of a certain...size.” Bernie held her hands up a generous width apart. “But they’re all rather…” She turned her head, gesturing helplessly at the collection of anatomical devices across the room as her words failed her.

“Ah,” Chloe nodded slowly in understanding. “Yeah, the ‘realistic’ aesthetic isn’t for everyone. So, am I correct that you’re looking for something in a larger scale but a little more, shall we say, abstract in form?” At Bernie’s nod of assent Chloe’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully, then widened in excitement. “Hang on, I think I’ve got just the thing.” She swept away into the back room, leaving Bernie standing before the counter, shoving her hands deep into her pockets to keep them from fiddling nervously.

When she returned Chloe was carrying an elegant black leather case in both hands, which she set gingerly on the counter between them. “We don’t sell many of these, on a count of them being rather expensive. I can tell you Serena’s asked to see it several times and has always said it was at the top of her wish list, but she didn’t think it was worth the investment when she didn’t have a partner on the scene.” She pulled open the case with a flourish.

Inside, nestled on a lining of plush pink satin, was what looked like an elongated S of shiny, unblemished metal. Just under a foot long, each end was capped by a slightly pointed bulb, like the bud of a flower about to burst into bloom. The smaller bulb was flanked by a series of ridges that looked for all the world like finger holds, whereas the larger…

“Ding dong!” Bernie muttered under her breath, eyes wide in astonishment. “That’s, uh, that’s...are you sure Serena was interested in this?”

Chloe let out a chuckle that could only be described as filthy. “Oh yes, said the only reason she hadn’t bought one was that it’s quite heavy - over a kilo - and she didn’t think she could use it effectively on herself.” She leaned forward, elbows on the counter, a pierced eyebrow quirked mischievously. “She may have mentioned how much she’d like to put one in the hands of a capable partner once or twice.”

Bernie swallowed, trying to wet her suddenly dry throat as images flashed through her mind, each more filthy and compelling than the last.

“I’ll take it,” she finally managed to croak out.

Payment arranged with only a slight raise of the eyebrow at the total, Chloe quickly packaged the purchase in an unmarked white bag. As she slid it across the counter, she eyed Bernie intently.

“Can I give you a recommendation?”

Bernie blinked, a little taken aback. “Of course.”

Grabbing a card from a nearby holder, Chloe quickly scribbled some information on the back and held it out.

“What’s this, then?” Bernie glanced down at the card. The card advertised a website, a series of letters and numbers comprising a coupon code beneath the address. Scrawled across the back were a couple of numbers and pairs of names. She looked up at Chloe quizzically.

“It’s a few videos. I’m sure you’ll be careful, but that,” she gestured at the bag, “is the kind of thing you can potentially hurt your partner with on accident. I’d suggest watching it used properly a few times before you try it yourself.”

Bernie blushed furiously, practically dropping the card. “I, ah, I appreciate the thought, but this,” she waved the card, “isn’t really my kind of thing. I find it all a little too...male-focused.”

“Oh, I hear you! That’s why I recommended these. The whole company is founded and run by a queer woman and all the performers are queer as well. Not a male gaze to be found.” Chloe grinned, gave a quick wink. “Trust me. I think you’ll like it.”

Tucking the card into her pocket and mumbling a quick “thanks,” Bernie grabbed her parcel and headed back to the car.

It was almost a week before she considered the card again. She had the house to herself; Jason was at work for the day while she wasn’t on until the evening. It had been several days since she and Serena had managed more than a quick phone call or series of texts, their schedules conflicting with the time difference and conspiring against them. Bernie was preparing the washing, when she came across the card still tucked in the pocket of her jeans.

She stared at it for a long moment. She had been serious when she’d told Chloe that watching porn wasn’t really her thing. Of course she had seen some in the past; watched it a few times at Marcus’s request to help “spice things up,” had looked up lesbian porn after the first time Alex kissed her, shame twisting her insides, turned to it again on the loneliest nights in Kiev. Everything she had seen was all too fake, too contrived. She had joked to Marcus once that no one involved looked like they were actually enjoying themselves, a comment he hadn’t responded well to.

Still she found herself curious. Chloe was correct, after all. Bernie was worried that she might accidently harm Serena in some way, despite her best efforts. It would probably be worth watching as an instructional video, if nothing else.

Decision made, she grabbed her iPad off the desk and crossed the room to lock the bedroom door. Huffed out a laugh at her own ridiculousness as she moved to the bed, arranging the pillows so she could sit comfortably up against the headboard, the card on the duvet beside her. She navigated quickly to the site Chloe had listed, signing up for an account before searching for the first pair of performers. Jittery with nerves, she took a long slow breath and tapped the ‘play’ button.

Two attractive young women appeared (Bernie immediately stopped herself from thinking just how young they were), negotiating the terms of their arrangement before falling together on the bed. Her breathing quickened as one of the women stripped, stepping into a leather harness with a sizeable attachment.

Already it was like no pornography Bernie had ever seen; no gratuitous close-ups of body parts, no stilted dialogue or over-enhanced figures. Just two women who seemed genuinely attracted to one another, enjoying each other.

Her stomach clenched, arousal flooding her as the other woman started to eagerly suck the harness-wearer’s cock. Her eyes may have been glued to the screen, but her mind had spun away, conjuring the still vivid memory of Serena doing the same for her. The memory of how it had felt and what had followed overlaid the visual before her, making her heart pound.

By the time the harness-wearer pushed inside the other woman, Bernie was unconsciously palming her breast through her thin t-shirt, fingers rolling and tugging her nipple. She watched intently as they brought out the steel toy, holding her breath as it was slowly worked into the woman; stretching her, filling her.

The clinical part of her mind took note of the motions used; small but intense, more rocking than thrusting. The rest was busy picturing Serena, imagining it was her smoky voice begging for more, her luscious body spread out before Bernie, eagerly taking the girth deeper.

The button of her jeans popped open easily and she groaned as her fingers pushed beneath her knickers and into sodden curls. She was too turned on to draw it out, moving immediately to circle her clit with a fingertip, applying pressure exactly where it would do the most good. She came hard just before the woman in the video, their cries and moans blending as Bernie’s hips jerked against her hand. She dropped the iPad on the bed, blindly tapping to pause the video as she slumped back against the headboard.

Chuckling breathlessly, her body still twitching, Bernie wiped her hand on her jeans before shimmying them off along with her soaked knickers. She grinned as she changed into sweatpants and gathered the washing.

She couldn’t wait for Serena to get home.

Serena stops in the doorway, surveying the turned down bed, the bottle on the nightstand, with a raised eyebrow. Her eyes leisurely trail up along Bernie’s naked form as she leans against the jamb, catching her bottom lip between her teeth.

“Hello, Major,” she purrs. Bernie smirks in response, patting her bare thighs with her palms.

“C’mere.”

Smile widening, Serena sashays slowly across the room, the swing of her hips making Bernie’s pulse race. She climbs onto the bed, settling her knees on either side of Bernie’s hips, loops her arms around Bernie’s neck, tangling her fingers in the damp waves at the nape.

Bernie sighs in pleasure at the press of Serena’s body against her, slides her palms flat up along the soft, warm skin of Serena’s back, settling them against the rise of her shoulder blades as she noses against her neck. Breathes deep the mix of soap, shampoo and the lotion Serena favors; beneath it she catches a hint of Serena’s lingering arousal, her hands pressing tighter against Serena’s back as desire flares hot once again.

“You smell amazing,” Bernie murmurs as she trails open-mouthed kisses across Serena’s chest, down the velvet soft valley between her breasts, before capturing a taut nipple between her lips, treasuring the way Serena’s hands tighten in her hair, the soft gasp that falls from her lips. For all the intimacy they cultivated while Serena was gone, the words, the texts, the fantasies they shared, nothing could compare to this: the feeling of Serena in her arms, the scent of her, the taste of her skin. Bernie can’t get enough.

She explores Serena’s breasts with lingering kisses, gentle nips of teeth, nuzzling against the vivid bruise from the shower, hears Serena’s breath hitch. Her hands trace a complimentary path over Serena’s spine, the curve of her arse, trying to relearn every inch of skin, every sensitive spot. She rakes her fingernails lightly along Serena’s thighs, digging her fingertips in to massage the muscles beneath the soft flesh.

She knows that, for all her outward confidence, Serena is sensitive about this part of herself, will often make self-deprecating comments about her “lumps and bumps” and the ravages of age. Bernie doesn’t have the words to tell Serena how wrong she is: how much she adores the dips and curves, the feel of soft, luxurious flesh beneath her hands; how often she finds herself distracted by the sway of Serena’s hips, the pull of fabric across her thighs as she crosses her legs; how frequently those luxurious curves featured in her fantasies in the early days, back when she had never thought she’d be blessed with the chance to do this.

So, in lieu of words, Bernie worships through touch, inscribing odes into Serena skin with hands and mouth at every opportunity, and hopes that one day, Serena might finally hear.

Serena’s fingers grip tighter into Bernie’s hair, blunt nails digging at the curve of her shoulder, her hips starting to shift and circle in Bernie’s lap, mindlessly seeking more sensation, searching for relief. Bernie’s touch is whisper soft as her fingers follow the crease of Serena’s hip, skim over the silken skin of her inner thigh and dipping into the nest of dark curls.

The heat and wetness she finds make it hard to hold back, as does Serena’s delicious whimper of need, the intensity of her dark eyes. Bernie trails her fingers slowly upward, parting the slick, swollen folds until her fingertip rests lightly against Serena’s clit. She barely moves, just a hint of pressure, while Serena does all the work herself.

She watches intently as Serena ruts against her fingertips: her hips jerking, pressing, her breath coming short and fast, a flush rising on her chest and neck.

“I got better acquainted with your collection while you were gone, as requested,” Bernie says, tone conversational. Serena blinks as if trying to clear her head even as her hips maintain their stuttering rhythm, and Bernie feels a wicked thrill at forcing Serena to divide her attention. “And I realized something I hadn’t noticed before.”

She pauses long enough that Serena frowns, has to focus on engaging in conversation rather than pursuing the pleasure she needs.

“And what’s that?” Her voice is faint, strained and breathy, the sound of it makes Bernie’s stomach clench, makes her want to see Serena fall apart right then and there. Instead, she leans close, fingers pressing harder against Serena’s clit, matching the movement of her hips.

“You've been keeping things from me.” Serena’s frown deepens, mouth open to protest, but the words die in her throat as Bernie’s fingers circle, stealing her breath. Before Serena can voice her objection, Bernie pulls her hand from between her thighs, slips her glistening finger tips past Serena’s lips to silence her, ignoring the flare of arousal in her belly as Serena’s tongue eagerly chases her own flavor on Bernie’s skin. Bernie pulls her fingers free, leaning to reach down beside the bed.

“I want this to be something we share, something for both of us, so I bought you a gift.”

Serena slides back slightly on Bernie’s lap as she places the satchel between them, nods with a smile of encouragement as Serena opens it.

“Oh my!” Serena’s eyes widen, her hand fluttering to the hollow of her throat. Bernie knows that if she were wearing her necklace, she’d be worrying it between her fingertips, sliding it along the chain as is her habit whenever she is anxious or overwhelmed. The flush of Serena’s cheeks, the quiver of her stomach, the tightness of her nipples make Bernie certain of the latter.

“Do you like it?” She knows Serena does, can see in every familiar tell of her body that this is something she wants. But she can also see her squirm of discomfort, the difficulty Serena has in asking for this specifically.

“I...you...you shouldn’t have,” Serena stutters. “It’s too much.”

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Bernie sets the bag aside, pulls the toy free and places it gently on the bed, watching how Serena’s eyes track her every movement. “I think this is exactly what you want.” She leans forward, voice low and commanding. “I think you want me to fuck you with that, to fill you up completely. Don’t you Serena?” Serena gasps as two fingers push into her without warning, hands scrabbling for balance against Bernie’s shoulders.

“Don’t you?” Bernie repeats, louder, adding a third finger and pulling a whine from Serena’s throat. Serena can only nod, hips meeting Bernie’s thrusts. “This is what you’ve wanted from the beginning isn’t it? Is that what you think about when you get yourself off, Serena?” A gush of wetness soaks her hand and Bernie scissors her fingers on her next thrust, pressing against Serena’s walls until she’s panting, working her slow and deep until the movements are almost frictionless. “Why didn’t you tell me I could do this for you?”

“I didn’t want you to think I wasn’t satisfied, that you weren’t enough.” Serena manages to stammer out, distracted by Bernie’s fingers still thrusting slowly inside her. “And I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

Bernie presses her forehead to Serena’s, their lips barely touching. “I don’t think that. You’ve been so good to me, been so good at finding and trying everything I want. You could have said there was something that you wanted.” She kisses Serena, slow and sweet, matching the pace of her fingers to the languorous movements, only pulls away when Serena is nipping back against her lower lip, every inch of her asking for more.

“Are you ready for me, love?” Serena’s affirmative is barely more than a whisper and Bernie can’t help but grin at the desperation she can already hear.

She slides her hand to the center of Serena’s back, providing support as she lowers Serena to the bed, rearranging herself so she’s kneeling between Serena’s legs. Bernie retrieves the toy and the bottle of lube from the nightstand, slicking up the larger end of the shiny steel while using her own body heat to take away some of the natural chill.

Wiping her hands clean, she settles her fingers in the grooves of the smaller end, feels the weight in her hand. Looks down at Serena spread beneath her, a thrill of nervousness, intense desire and love crackling along her spine like lightning. It makes her skin tingle.

Bernie nudges Serena’s thigh with her knee. “You’ll need to spread nice and wide for me,” she commands, smiling at Serena’s eagerness to comply. Pushing Serena’s legs just that much wider, she pauses to stroke her fingers through glistening wetness, flicking her thumb across Serena’s clit just to watch her hips jump, before nestling the tapered head of the toy against her entrance.

She has to pause a moment, take a deep breath, overwhelmed by her fantasies manifesting into reality, by the trust Serena is placing in her.

“I’ll go slow.” Serena nods, takes a slow deep breath and Bernie pushes forward, steady and controlled, eyes flicking back and forth between Serena’s face, watching for any kind of discomfort, and the sight of the shining steel slowly disappearing inside her.

Serena’s breath hisses sharply between her teeth and Bernie stops the forward pressure. “Are you alright?”

“Yes,” Serena chuckles, squirming her hips to settle more against the bed. “It’s just bloody cold!”

Bernie smiles, matching her laugh. “I’m sure you’ll warm it up soon enough.” Serena’s eyes flutter shut as Bernie resumes the steady pressure, moaning as the toy slides deeper. The widest point stretches against her and Serena winces, pausing Bernie’s movements. Serena’s eyes fly open, wild and glassy, her hand fumbling to grab at Bernie’s wrist.

“No, please. Don’t...don’t stop…” There’s something in Serena’s a voice Bernie has never heard before, a hunger, a desperation she’s never shown and a wave of heat flushes through Bernie’s body in response. She presses harder, Serena’s nails digging into the skin of her wrist, her breath coming in high, quick pants.

Suddenly the toy sinks home, the bulb settling into place and Serena groans, her back arching off the bed. Bernie lets it just sit for a moment, let’s her adjust to the weight and the stretch, one hand stroking softly up and down along the corded tendon of her inner thigh.

The sight is everything she could have possibly imagined and so much more. Bernie knows this is a moment she’ll never forget.

“You’re perfect,” she breathes, overwhelmed as always by Serena’s beauty, her vulnerability. “How does it feel?”

It takes moment for Serena to respond, her reactions slow and foggy. “Good,” she says, voice slightly slurred. “You...in me..” she babbles something, incoherent, sucks in a harsh lungful of air. “So full.”

Bernie tugs the toy lightly, twists it side to side, avidly drinks in the way even the tiniest movement makes Serena respond. Tries thrusting it gently, sharp and shallow, does it again when Serena curses loud and low. She finally sets a rhythm that has Serena’s hands scrabbling against the sheets, short firm thrusts, broken up with soft side to side twists each time Serena gets close, building her up and pulling her back from the edge until she’s whimpering and babbling.

“You like this don't you?” Bernie punctuates her words with a pointed thrust, lets the weight of the steel guide it forward against Serena’s pelvis, making her eyes flutter back. “It feels good to take so much, doesn't it?” Another thrust makes Serena gasp. “Tell me.

“It...it feels incredible.” One hand flaps aimlessly in the air, falling back to the bed as her body writhes. “Please, Bernie. I...I need…” The words are thin and reedy, nothing like Serena’s usual husky, confident tone, as if she’s speaking from a great distance.

“What, Serena?” Bernie stops the motion of her hand, just lets the toy rest inside Serena, watches her hips jerk desperately to replace the friction. “You have to tell me what you want. Ask me for it.” Her words are harsh, tight with arousal, with the need to hear Serena say the words they both know are waiting behind her tongue.

They leave Serena’s mouth in a whisper, little more than a movement of her lips, and Bernie twists the toy. Serena’s eyes fly open with a gasp. “No, Serena. Ask.”

“I...I need to come. Please, Bernie. Please let me…”

Bernie sets a pace of rough, shallow thrusts, the weight of the toy tiring to her arm and wrist, but she would gladly do it forever to keep Serena making those sounds, a symphony of pleas and moans, muscles tensing until she is practically arched off the bed.

There is a moment of perfect stillness and then Serena cries out, louder than Bernie has ever heard, a series of broken, garbled syllables that sound something like her name.

It seems to go on forever before Serena collapses back against the mattress, her breath coming in harsh little sobs. Bernie leans forward to brush the sweaty hair back from Serena’s forehead, tracing the lines of her face, utterly in awe even as she wants more.

The twist of the solid steel inside her brings Serena back, her eyes bleary and unfocused. “Bernie?” The raggedness of her voice only spurs Bernie on, makes her work the toy deeper.

“We both know you have more for me Serena, don’t you?” It takes a moment, their eyes locked in wordless communication until Serena nods in acquiescence, still soft and pliant from her orgasm.

Bernie shifts on her knees, shuffles closer, tugs one of Serena’s legs up and over her hip, changing the angle as she slowly builds the pace again. Keeps it slow and steady, watching Serena float on bliss. She has imagined this so often in the last weeks, thought she knew what to expect, but as is always the case even the most vivid imaginings can’t hold a candle to the reality: the sheen of sweat on Serena’s pale skin, the sound of her wetness, the breathy moans that escape with each thrust of the unforgiving steel inside her, the way her scent fills the room.

The desire to see Serena fall apart again, that ever present need, rises up again in Bernie, sharp and heady.

“God, do you have any idea how often I think about pinning you down and fucking you?” Her pace increases as the words spill out of her, pushing faster, deeper, then pulling back, teasing with shallow twisting movements that make Serena gasp. “Taking you like this, again and again until you’re completely desperate.” Serena’s hips tilt upward and Bernie moves her leg to support the new angle, gravity helping push the toy that much deeper, exactly where Serena needs it most.

“I think about being inside of you all the time,” Bernie says, drinking in the way her words make Serena’s eyes flutter, a high pitched whine in the back of her throat. “When I go for a run. When I watch you getting ready. On the drive into work.” Bracing her free hand on the mattress she leans forward, uses her hip to press Serena’s leg a little higher, settling it against the dip of her waist. Her voice is low, intense, little more than a murmur, but she knows Serena can hear every word, sees how they wash over her, ratcheting up her need.

“I think about fucking you at the hospital. Pulling you into a supply closet, in the on call room, in our office…”

Serena’s eyes fly open, pupils so wide they’re near black even in the morning sunlight spilling across the bed, a desperate little keen slipping from her throat. The reaction makes Bernie’s entire body throb, makes her want to chase after it, to see it again and again.

“You’ve thought about that too, haven’t you?”

Serena’s eyes slide away; no reply. Bernie’s hand stills on the toy, Serena’s hips bucking helplessly to encourage her to move again.

“Haven’t you?”

Yes,” Serena whimpers, more of a plea than a statement. Bernie’s lip curls back over her teeth in a feral grin, her voice going dark and silky as her hand resumes its unrelenting pace.

“How did you picture it? Me wearing the harness under my jeans? Locking the door and bending you over your desk. Fucking you just a few feet from the rest of the ward.” A curse slips past Serena’s lips and Bernie knows she’s hit on it. “You’d have to be quiet, Serena. So quiet. I’m not sure you could manage it,’ she growls, low and rough. “And then everyone would know how badly you need this, how much you love it when I fuck you.” The words come out in a virtual snarl, Bernie’s voice thick and throaty, as affected by the idea as Serena. “They’d know what a desperate little tart you really are.”

Serena comes with a wail, eyes squeezed shut as Bernie works her through it, continues to stroke slowly as she goes limp. She lets Serena’s leg slip back to rest on the mattress, rearranging them both in more a comfortable position, still maintaining the slow side to side movements as Serena comes back to herself.

Bernie’s movements are small, focused, but effective, quickly coaxing Serena’s oversensitive body back to the edge. This time there’s no talking, no fantasies, just the two of them.

Bernie pours herself into the task of giving Serena pleasure and Serena receiving it, the sights and sounds of her enjoyment building Bernie’s arousal in kind; an endless feedback loop of love and longing and need and fulfillment. She can see the moment of realization that it’s not enough, the furrow between Serena’s brows as she squirms and mewls and needs more.

“Bernie,” Serena pants, “I can’t. I need…” Bernie reaches for Serena’s wrist, moves her hand to rest on the swell of her abdomen.

“Touch yourself, Serena.” The words force a ragged whimper from Serena’s throat. “Make yourself come for me, love.”

Her fingers slide lower, circle her swollen, sensitive clit, and the sight takes Bernie’s breath away. It’s all too much and Bernie finds herself sliding her free hand down her torso, between her thighs, gasps as her fingers brush against hypersensitive nerves, already far closer to the edge than she had realized.

She looks up to see Serena’s eyes fixed on her hand, watching as they pleasure themselves in tandem and cries out first, unable to hold back any longer. Serena follows just after, their hands bumping as their bodies jerk and stutter together, their cries filling the room.

Bernie slumps back on her heels, breathing harshly as Serena lies boneless before her. She dislodges the toy as gently as she can, Serena barely stirring to murmur her protest. The metal is hot in her hand, almost pulsing warmth as she carefully sets it aside.

Bernie stretches out beside Serena, arching her back to loosen her muscles as Serena curls toward her, tucking her head beneath Bernie’s chin and wrapping an arm around her waist. Bernie holds her close, nuzzling her nose into the mussed hair at her crown, breathing her in as they lay together.

“Are you alright?” Bernie is the first to break the silence, trailing one hand lightly up and down along Serena’s spine as she stretches, catlike, beneath the touch.

“Mmmmmm, absolutely.” Serena’s eyes are clear and sparkling as she props her chin on Bernie’s shoulder. “How do you always know exactly what I need?”

Bernie’s cheeks flush and she huffs out an embarrassed little chuckle. “I’m just glad it was okay.”

Okay?” A manicured eyebrow arches higher than Bernie had thought even Serena could manage. “Darling, we really must work on your tendency towards understatement. ‘Spectacular’ is more the word I would have chosen. Phenomenal. Mind blowing.” Bernie rolls her eyes, pinches the soft curve of behind beneath her fingers, and Serena squawks and bats at her hand.

Before she can pull away, Bernie tugs her back, settles her once again beneath her chin, hands wandering aimlessly over Serena’s skin. Her chest tightens, swirling emotions filling her, and she takes a shuddering breath, trying to contain it all.

“What’s wrong?” Bernie can hear the concern in Serena’s voice, wants to reassure her, but when she opens her mouth she’s horrified to hear her breath hitch, to feel tears prick at the back of her eyes. Serena pushes up on one elbow, brushes a thumb against her cheekbone. “Bernie?”

“I…” Bernie swallows, clears her throat. Forces herself to give voice to what has been building in her from the very beginning. “I never knew it could be like this. That I could have this.”

“Have what, darling?”

Bernie’s mind whirls as she tries to find the words to explain, tries to vocalize the importance of Serena in her life. How she feels more whole than ever before, more truly herself. How being with Serena, sex with Serena, loving Serena and being loved by her in return has healed parts of her that she hadn’t even known were damaged.

It’s too large to describe, too expansive, and she knows words will never do it justice; she resolves, in that moment, to spend the rest of her life showing Serena just what she means to her. She starts by cupping Serena’s beautiful face in her the palm of her hand and says the only word she currently has and tries to imbue it with its true importance.

“Everything.”

Serena’s eyes get a little misty as she nuzzles against Bernie’s palm and Bernie can only hope she understands.

“You can, my love. For as long as you want.”

“Forever?” The word is out before Bernie can really consider it and her breath catches in her chest.

She doesn’t like to speak in absolutes, has seen too much of the world to trust in grandiose promises. And she knows that Serena is the same. Just as she knows Serena is the one for her, the only one, and that no matter what the future holds she’s in this for keeps.

Taking a deep breath she lets that knowledge settle in her, looks up to meet Serena’s eyes squarely; no nervousness, no fear, only a surety she had never thought she would find.

Serena’s gaze shines back love and happiness so bright Bernie fears her heart may beat out of her chest.

“Forever sounds good to me,” she whispers, soft and delighted; then the wicked sparkle returns to Serena’s eyes and she adds, “Though I’m not saying I can do that every day, not without some sort of fitness regimen. I’m not sure I love even you enough to join a gym.”

A full-throated bark bursts out of Bernie, fills the room as Serena joins her. She pulls her close for a kiss when their sides ache too much, and she hums as Serena’s tongue flicks into her mouth, rekindling the spark between them. “I guess we’ll just have to keep our workouts at home, then.”

Serena chuckles, low and throaty, before leaning up to whisper in Bernie's ear, her voice warm and full of promise. “And the cupboard stocked with batteries.”