Bo reached for the doorknob to Lauren's apartment, and then shook her head affectionately when she noticed that the door was already slightly ajar.
When will Lauren learn to start locking her door? Or at least closing it all the way.
Bo started to push open the door, but paused when she heard a voice from inside. Curiosity got the better of her when she heard Lauren say the name "Dyson…"
I'm not really eavesdropping, she told herself, kneeling down to brush some dirt of the toes of her boots. I just don't want to track mud into Lauren's place.
She leaned a little closer toward the crack of the door. Lauren tended to pace around when she was on the phone, and her voice floated in and out of the edges of Bo's ability to hear. As it was, she could only catch snippets.
"...a little awkward at first, sure…"
"...a compromise we all can live with…"
"...only kind of sucks…"
"...better for everyone this way…"
Holy succubus balls. Lauren's planning a threesome for us with DYSON?
Bo was floored. Literally, because she stayed crouched on the floor in mid-boot-brush trying to process the information.
The door opened suddenly, startling her, and she lost her balance and plopped ungracefully onto her butt.
Lauren stood above her with a knowing look.
"I wasn't eavesdropping."
Lauren raised an eyebrow.
"I was tying my shoelace!"
Lauren looked at the lace-free surface of Bo's leather boot.
"I heard you on the phone, and I didn't want to interrupt," Bo said, abandoning her attempt at pretense. She stood up, straightened her jacket and walked into the apartment with immense dignity.
Lauren closed the door.
Bo made an about-face and draped her arms around Lauren's neck.
"So who were you talking to?"
"Kenzi," Lauren replied, lacing her hands in the small of Bo's back.
"Your birthday present," Lauren said. "It's a surprise," she added.
Bo shimmied a little closer to Lauren.
"What if I told you that succubi don't like surprises?"
"But I know that you do," Lauren said. "Last night proved it."
Bo smiled at the memory.
"Right," she said. "But in this case, I don't think you should try to surprise me."
"Trust me, Bo," Lauren said. "You're not going to want to know about this in advance."
"You know I'll get it out of you."
Lauren smirked. "Before you can get anything out of me, you're going to have to get something into me."
Bo blinked. "Why, Doctor," she said. "Dirty talk! I like it."
Lauren smiled as she bent to kiss Bo. No matter how fancy Bo got with her succubus wiles, Lauren was definitely not going to spill the beans.
Bo opened the door to the clubhouse with a clatter. Not because there was anything wrong with the door, but because there was a small pile of trash and a soda can that sat in the door's path. Bo kicked it away with the toe of her boot.
Kenzi looked up from the couch.
"How is a succubus like a Timex?"
"They both take a licking and keep on ticking. How's Lauren?"
Bo rolled her eyes.
"Mysterious," she said. "Now spill it, bestie."
Kenzi gave Bo a look of utter innocence.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh yes you do. I know you were on the phone with Lauren earlier today. I want to know about this surprise." Bo moved a pile of magazines and sat on the couch next to Kenzi. She helped herself to the half-empty wine bottle, which sat next to another empty bottle and some discarded, greasy Chinese food containers.
"Well, I'm not going to tell you," Kenzi said. "Trust me, you don't want to know."
"You know I have ways to make people talk."
"Yeah, but you wouldn't dare do that to me," Kenzi said confidently.
Bo sighed. "You're right. But Kenz, I have a bad feeling about this present. Like I don't want it."
Kenzi gave Bo a sidelong glance and took the wine bottle from her and drained it. "Maybe you won't want it at first, but trust me - it will be better for everyone. Dr. Hotpants knows what she's doing."
Dyson looked up from his spot at the bar in the Dal and smiled when he saw the succubus striding toward him.
"Hey, Bo. Drink?" He looked for Trick, but the bartender was nowhere to be found.
"I'm not here for a drink," Bo said, sitting on the barstool next to him. "Do you know anything about the surprise that Lauren's planning for my birthday?"
Dyson's expression changed from welcoming to guarded.
"I can't say anything about it," he said. "She swore me to secrecy."
"Well, un-swear!" Bo said. "I have a bad feeling about it."
Dyson held his hands up. "No can do, Bo. Lauren's running the show."
Bo gave him a frustrated look. "She's not the only person this will affect."
"I know. But she said it's better for everyone this way. And you know, I think she's right," Dyson said thoughtfully.
"Of course YOU would say that," Bo snapped, and stomped out of the bar.
Dyson turned back to his beer. Trick slowly popped up from where he had been hiding.
"Is she gone?"
"Good," Trick said. "That was NOT a conversation I wanted to have with her."
"Tamsin!" Bo said, corralling the Valkyrie at her desk at the police station.
"Well hello to you too, Bo," Tamsin replied, shrugging in vain at the succubus' iron grip on her shoulder.
"I need to talk to someone, and you're it."
"You really know how to make a girl feel special," Tamsin said, allowing Bo to drag her into one of the empty interrogation rooms.
"Sit down," Bo said.
"That's usually my line," Tamsin said, but complied. "What's got your panties in a wad?"
"Lauren is planning a threesome for my birthday with her, me and Dyson!" Bo said.
"Lucky Dyson," Tamsin said.
"No, unlucky me! I don't want this!"
"I'm fine with Lauren's and my relationship the way it is. I feed when I need to, and Dyson is off the table."
"The table wouldn't be MY first choice…"
Bo ignored the interruption. "He and I are better friends when we're not lovers, and I just know that no matter how evolved Lauren says she is, she still has some jealousy about him. She's only human," Bo said.
"And you're a succubus," Tamsin said. "Lauren knows that. I think she's just trying to make you happy."
"Well, this is not the way to do it."
"Then you should tell her."
"Oh, I plan to."
"So why are you here?"
"I just wanted to see if you knew anything about it," Bo said.
Tamsin shook her head. "Nope. I'm 100% not in on it."
Bo sighed. "Well, at least someone isn't conspiring against me. Thanks, Tam."
"No problem. I'll see you tonight."
"Yep. At your surprise party."
Bo's jaw dropped. "Oh my god. Tonight?"
"Dammit!" Bo said, rising from her seat. "I wanted more time to be able to talk to Lauren, but as it is, I'm not even going to be able to see her before the party starts."
"Well, you'd better think fast, Bo. Dyson's coming too. No pun intended."
"There's going to be an AUDIENCE?" Bo said. "Jesus Isabeau Christ!" She strode out of the room, mumbling to herself about overly smart human doctors and arrogant wolf shifters who thought they knew better than everyone else.
Tamsin watched Bo leave, smirked, and dialed her phone.
"Doc? She knows something's up, and she's not happy. Yep. See you tonight."
Bo took a deep breath and squared her shoulders before she walked into the clubhouse. She had been trying to strike the right balance between trying to appear appreciative of Lauren's thoughtfulness, but emphatic in her statement that she didn't want or need to include Dyson in their relationship, and to say all of that without bringing down the mood of the party or hurting anyone's feelings.
She still wasn't sure she had the right words, but there was no more time to delay. She opened the door and walked in.
"SURPRISE!" Everyone in the room turned toward her with a smile on their face. Lauren, Dyson, Kenzi, Hale, Tamsin and Trick and even Vex.
Bo took a deep breath.
"Lauren, listen to me..." But she paused, trailing off as she noticed what was next to Lauren, with a large red bow tied around it.
"What the hell is that?"
Lauren held up her hands. "Bo, just hear me out. I know you might be mad at first. But honestly, honey, this place is a mess, and you've gone through three secondhand ones already. I know you and Kenzi are way too busy to clean..." she said, giving Kenzi a sidelong glance, "...so I promise I'll be the one to use this. It's the best that money can buy."
Bo contemplated the sparkling new Dyson vacuum cleaner that stood next to Lauren.
"You got me a vacuum cleaner?"
"For my birthday?"
"This is my only gift?"
Everyone in the room seemed to be holding their breath while they waited to see what Bo would say next.
"I LOVE YOU!" Bo shrieked, running toward Lauren and leaping into her arms. She covered Lauren's face with enthusiastic kisses as the doctor staggered backward under the onslaught.
"Wow," Lauren said. "I was just hoping you wouldn't be mad. I didn't expect you to be so thrilled!"
"You have no idea," Bo said. "Although honestly, a vacuum cleaner for a gift kind of sucks."
"That's the point."
The entire room groaned, but Lauren just smiled.
"Happy birthday, Bo-Bo," she said.