The white pitbull was stretched in front of the fire, and she took no note of Maura and Jane, as if their presence two nights before had established them as familiar guests. There was actually very little about the room that seemed familiar to Maura. Their past meeting in it had been a whirlwind of sorts, and her focus had not been on the things surrounding them. Alex and Patrice had a warm home that was not quite pristine but orderly to an almost obsessive degree. It was easy to see whose touches were where. But Maura felt welcome. Jane...she wasn't sure.

The brunette shifted on the sofa beside her as if she couldn't get comfortable, and Maura put a reassuring hand on her thigh.

"I don't know, Maura, it's just not normal..."

"Not relative to your experience or mine, I suppose, but culturally..."

The words hung in Maura's mind still. It had been the beginning of a long and halting conversation after the silent walk to the hotel. The silence, Maura remembered, had been contemplative rather than unpleasant. She could imagine Jane trying to sort out why she had enjoyed the parts she had very much enjoyed. And now, at Alex's invitation, they were back. And in the moments where Alex had gone to open a bottle of wine and Patrice had excused herself after a short look that Maura could not read half as well as the two blondes.

"...and they want us to come over tomorrow night."

"We'll be back in Boston tomorrow night." Jane's response had been automatic. Maura hadn't needed to be looking at her to know that she wasn't letting herself consider the possibilities. Even now Jane was not fully opening up, not yet.

"We don't have to be..."

There must have been something her tone, in the look in her eyes that made Jane hesitate. Maura had seen it playing across her face. But they were there now, and Jane had finally become still.

Jane was about to speak-maybe just to impulsively break the silence-when she saw Patrice step back into the room. She hadn't changed but seemed softer somehow than when she'd greeted them and took their coats at the door. Jane's eyes followed her easy movements, and she found her presence almost calming-though her stomach was fluttering, churning. She couldn't pretend they were there just for a few friendly drinks, couldn't even convince herself of that much, and her own decision to come that night nearly startled her.

After a polite nod to Maura, Patrice moved to stand in front of Jane, smiling warmly. She held out her hand, "Alex suggested we take a moment while she pours the wine." Her hand hung there a long moment before Jane could stop herself from gaping long enough to take it.

A soft smile came to Maura's face. For a tense moment, she thought Jane would refuse, thought she would balk and retrace her steps if the memories of their first night together threatened to overwhelm her. For her wild hair and careless dress, for her temper and sometimes her indifference, Jane was the most complicated woman Maura had ever come to know, had ever become close to. And sometimes she found herself holding her breath because she could not always anticipate what Jane would decide.

She realized that she had been right to count on Jane's fascination with Patrice, but Maura did not realize that her curiosity was also a pull. She admired the two women together as Alex entered the room, and she stood when she was offered a glass. "Thank you. I'm so glad you caught us before we left the City."

There was a glint in Alex's eyes, something cold, perhaps amused. She and Patrice were both women who knew power and wore it well, but Alex always seemed to make a point to subtly show it. "I'm glad you could change your plans." She looked pointedly at Jane as Patrice led her out, Maura following the gaze. Their receding backs made a pretty picture even if they could have been any two women. It was so simple-light and dark, sure and strong but hesitating. Maura felt herself already warming to the situation as she turned back to Alex. She touched the blonde's arm with a fondness that spoke of a thread of newly found kinship. "I'm looking forward to tonight, Alex."

***** The bedroom was quiet and warm, and Jane stood awkwardly as Patrice released her to close the door. As much as she tried to ignore it, she was sweating, mind thinking of the many things Patrice might be intending. As alluring as the other woman was, as good as she had felt against her two nights ago, she hoped Patrice didn't expect too much just then-Jane wasn't sure she wanted that without Maura.

Jane was lost in her thoughts, so much so that she barely noticed Patrice looking her over as if assessing what to do next. She jumped when the blond began to work open the buttons of her wrinkled shirt, and moved to still her hands.

"Wait, I don't know."

Immediately, Patrice stopped but slipped a finger under Jane's chin, forcing her to meet her eyes, head tilted quietly,

"About what Jane?" Though Patrice was still smiling, the playful edge of their last night together was softened, replaced with a more practiced air.

"I just...I want Maura to be here for...this.." Jane tried to ignore how her low voice trailed up at the end of the plea.

Patrice chuckled quietly then, and freed her hands enough to continue with her pursuit, "Jane, I don't plan on doing much than making you a little more...appropriate...for the evening." The shirt fell away, and Jane didn't stop it. "And if I'd wanted to do more, I doubt either Alex or Maura would approve."

Jane let out a breath, and half-heartedly tried to cover herself when the rest of her clothes followed her shirt. Patrice was methodical and kissed Jane's blushing cheek before stepping away to the large closet, already tugging at her own clothes. When she returned, she was wearing one of her favorite lace and satin pieces, and Jane returned to gaping- enough that she barely noticed that Patrice also held a simple black slip, one of Alex's. "Arms up." Patrice said simply, as if preparing to dress a recalcitrant child.

"What? Oh I don't..." But Jane didn't finish the protest before Patrice was able to slide the fabric over he head. It swished softly as it settled on Jane's angular frame.

"Yes, that's better," Patrice smiled to herself. Jane looked transformed, surprisingly captivating in something so feminine. "Sit down," Patrice nodded to the chair in front of the vanity.

Jane sat dumbly, and only when Patrice set them on the polished surface next to her, did she realize what else Patrice had brought back with her-soft black leather collars-two of them. The sight made Jane shiver, and she was more than a little surprised not to be able to look away before Patrice caught her,

"You've never, have you?"

"No, I not like this, no." Jane answered maybe a bit too quickly. She was blushing again. "Except for the other night I guess."

"It's alright." While Jane stared, Patrice reached for a small bottle of cream that smelled like lavender and mint, and something else Jane couldn't quite make out. The blond began to work her fingers through Jane's wild hair. Jane watched Patrice's calm expression in the mirror,

"Can I ask you something?"

"Yes of course," Patrice met her eyes in the reflection. Jane's hair was smoother now-tamed by the attention, and Patrice began to comb out the tangles gently.

Jane took a breath. "Why do you wear...? I mean why do you let her...?" It was clear it was a choice, Patrice was a strong woman, but Jane had been asking herself so many questions since the last time they'd met that she needed a basic answer. It wasn't as if Jane didn't understand such ideas in theory- she'd just never met anyone with these interests, let alone thought of herself as interested in them as well.

Patrice's smile returned, though she resisted the urge to laugh quietly. Jane deserved the most truthful of answers for her curiosity. For a moment, Patrice searched for where to start,

"Its more a matter of 'why does she let me' really. Alex and I...well, we both take on a lot-something I'm sure you know as well or better than we do." Finished with Jane's hair, Patrice's fingers worked down her neck, quietly soothing what she could tell were aching muscles, smiling when she saw Jane start to relax, "It's about trust, yes, and about pleasure of course, but it's also something more. It's the luxury to not think further than the moment, if that makes sense." In the mirror, Jane nodded slightly, still considering.

Against the silence Patrice continued, "I love her, and I know at the end of the night we'll be together, and that's what matters. What she asks might be difficult, frustrating, and yes painful sometimes. But for however long it lasts, nothing else matters. There's no chance to worry about the office, a bad case, or when the mortgage is due." Patrice did laugh then, and saw Jane smile for the first time since they'd been alone. "And of course, if it's all too much, or I need something else, it can all end with a simple word."

"But, with other people? I mean, like with us. Doesn't that get...complicated?" Jane supposed she could ask herself the same thing, but as far as she had gotten she and Maura were just visitors.

Patrice thoughtfully rubbed her thumb across the back of Jane's neck while she spoke. "Oh, well, it makes us closer I think." She could tell Jane wasn't sold, "See, its not about wishing we had something else-really its confidence that we already have everything we really need."

Jane paused, working through the statement, nodding then, Patrice's easy speech illuminating a few things, even as it left her with many more questions. But the hands running over her skin were soothing. "I just..." Jane's eyes darkened, "I'm not sure I really understand, but...I enjoyed last time, even if I don't really know how I feel about that yet." Her blush was back, realizing how it sounded, " offense."

"None taken." Patrice stilled and smiled at the admission, fingers wrapping around Jane's slender shoulders, squeezing them before stepping back,

"And I know." Patrice reached over and picked up the collars from the dresser, offering her hand again to Jane, "And you don't have to know what to do for the rest of the night- it's no longer your concern."

"You and Jane haven't done this before." Alex took Maura's hand and led her to the sofa, where they both sat casually, as if neither knew what might be happening in the other room. Maura could made an educated guess, but Alex probably knew better. She found herself wondering how Jane was conducting herself, and she felt both concern and a sense of longing.

"Not before the night before last," Maura replied after taking a long sip of the wine. "Not this way, this formally, for us." She was well aware that there were layers of formality beyond that, layers she knew she and Jane probably would not ever reach. But that didn't bother her. "I suppose the dynamics of the relationship lend themselves to such exploration.

Alex merely nodded thoughtfully, and Maura knew that both she and Patrice had to have seen that. "I wasn't sure you would come back, but Patrice was." There was a wistful on Alex's face for a moment as she crossed her legs and leaned back. The elegant white dog stirred to look up at them, but it seemed that she sensed she wasn't needed. Maura watched as the animal lowered her head to close her eyes in sleep again.

"The two of you are very practiced. You know each other well." It was a remark that was neither pointed nor casual, and Alex seemed amused that Maura made observation without compliment.

"The first time Patrice and I met it was for work, and it was..." She shook her head as a soundless laugh escaped her lips. "It was a disaster. We could have been a disaster. But we found that we needed similar ways to deal with our problems."

Maura cocked her head. "The dominant and submissive dynamics with sadomasochistic elements. Many professional people find respite in the Scene or less formally in scenes themselves."

"You're very blunt, aren't you?" Before Maura could respond Alex waved her off. "We go to a club...somewhere I had been going since long before Patrice. We had this, but I didn't realize we would have a life together...not like this."

"Jane doesn't like to lose control," Maura said after a thoughtful silence. Neither did she, until the moment was right.

"Sometimes those who don't are the ones who need it most." Alex spoke quietly, and Maura knew there was so much more history than what she had been told. The blonde spoke as one who knew that much and more all too well.

Maura took her words and let them fill the silence as she thought of her own history with Jane. Nothing worth having was easy, she had been told. She had been slowly coming to understand that with Jane, and now, she saw Patrice and Jane returning to the room. Her breath caught. Patrice was beautiful, her curves perfect for showcasing the lingerie she was wearing. But Jane…Maura's eyes fell on Jane, and her throat felt tight. The transformation was so simple but so complete that even though Jane looked unsure, she looked perfect. Beside her, Maura realized Alex was smiling as she crooked her finger for the two women to approach.

What small bit of ease Patrice had been able to instill in Jane all but vanished when she felt the the other women's attentions shift to her. She glanced at Maura, trying to read her approval. She wasn't unaware that she was attractive- but had never felt the need to display it so openly, preferring instead simple attire, or simply nothing at all. Beside her, Patrice was sinking to the floor in front of Alex, tugging her down as well.

The grace with which Patrice moved was almost mesmerizing, but Maura's eyes fell on Jane. She moved with utility, Maura realized. Even in her barely concealed agitation, she chose to move simply and with efficiency. Maura appreciated that. She could see Alex watching too, comparing, noting the differences. Alex would see it too, but she might not take it into account the way Maura had. She watched as the blonde reached out and stroked Patrice's hair gently. "Good. Thank you, Patrice."

Alex's fingertips fell on the collar, stroking the leather for a mere moment, and that was when Maura saw the leather in Patrice's hand. She leaned forward thoughtfully, cocking her head at Jane but addressing both women.

"What's this?"

Patrice reached across Jane to offer the collar to Maura-it wasn't one that they had used in a long time, an extra from the club. Beside her, Patrice felt Jane stiffen, but she was almost sure she wouldn't shy away. "I believe the choice is yours."

Maura felt Alex move away just slightly, giving her space, space that was more than simply physical. Maura heard the dog pad out of the room, but her eyes were on Jane, on the tense muscles in her shoulders, on the way her eyes sought something to focus on. Finally, she took Jane's chin between her fingers, forcing the brunette to settle on her. Silently she asked if this what what Jane wanted, but in the brunette's dark eyes, she saw her own reflected, and the brightness there, the desire was undeniable.

Jane's pulse was racing, and she took a long steadying breath. Finally, she dipped her head, and kissed the inside of Maura's wrist. An unexpected calm settled over her, and she could feel her stomach twist with something more than just anticipation as she felt Patrice's fingers in her hair again- this time lifting it up to expose her neck.

It took a moment for Maura to compose herself, though she showed no outward sign of it. Jane's earnest answer was more than she had hoped for, and she found that the rest of the room fell away. The leather was warm against her fingertips. It was not too worn, but it was not simple either. She wasn't sure what she would have picked—something to reflect the way Jane's eyes shown, something luxurious. But as she carefully buckled the collar around Jane's neck, she realized that this…this was perfect for the situation. She sat back to see Jane's reaction, to see the full picture. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Alex looking on with approval. They were both women of good taste, and she knew Alex was congratulating herself on being right about just how Jane would look. Maura, was warm with delight.

"Perfect," Alex murmured as Patrice smoothed Jane's hair. Maura nodded in approval, but she did not take her eyes away from Jane. She watched closely for any sign that she had changed her mind, and she hoped that Jane wouldn't.

Jane's eyes fluttered closed for just a moment as she felt Patrice and Maura's touch fade. The leather was snug around her neck, and she breathed against it, feeling it warm against her skin. To her surprise, she was fighting back a moan, a shudder. Something inside her was settling, and for the first time, Patrice's words began to make some sense, though it wasn't in a way she could describe.

"Shall we finish the wine?" Alex asked. The beginnings of a wry smile appeared on Alex's face and Maura hesitated before taking her meaning. She ran her fingers along Jane's shoulder and up again, back to her neck. The collar sat beautifully there. She didn't think she had ever seen Jane with jewelry, but this...this was different. In a moment of excitement, she leaned forward for a fleeting kiss, pulling away just as Jane leaned in to deepen it.

"It would be a shame to waste it." Which was true enough. But Alex had mastered denial, and Maura found it seductive as well.

"I think so. Patrice and Jane should provide for interesting entertainment." She was setting them up for failure, Maura knew, but she didn't question it.

Patrice knew it as well but smiled, considering the open-ended request. She couldn't try for anything too elaborate or Jane would surely not be ready, but she had been thinking of what she wanted if she was given another chance to be with Jane since they'd met. For the moment, she let the brunette stay under the calming touches of her mistress for the night, and went to clear the few objects and decorations from the glass coffee table.

Jane watched, curious, out of the corner of her eye, trying to decide what Patrice had in mind, and what it might have to do with her. It became clear, however, when the other woman returned and pulled her up, only to lay her down on her back on top of it. The surface was cold, and Jane's breath hissed through her teeth. Her skin covered with goosebumps, nipples hard under the light silk of her slip. Patrice paused then, looking almost hungrily over Jane's perfect body in front of her. It was a simple display, but one she was sure they would all appreciate. Carefully, she moved over Jane, and began to place light kisses, and bites on her skin- being sure to touch her where she was most sensitive- where she couldn't help but squirm.

Maura took another long sip of the wine, differentiating the flavors on her tongue, appreciating the blend. But that was habit; it was wrote for her mind to turn to such things. What she appreciated in truth was Patrice's sense of aesthetic pleasure. She smiled to Alex before leaning toward her for a soft kiss. "An excellent idea." Maura swirled the remaining wine in her glass. "But tonight, I'm not sure I want to wait…" Alex's smile became real then, and Maura noted the precise way she nodded. She stood and caught Patrice by her hair, tugging her up gently. "Thank you, Patrice," she said softly before kissing her.

If Patrice was bothered by being halted, she was good enough not to show her disappointment. Jane hadn't managed to move, however, eyes closed- still panting from the force it had been taking not to cry out, or grab at Patrice. She wasn't sure whether she was expected to stay there or not, though she wasn't too sure of her legs either.

"I don't want you to stop," Maura said. She wasn't sure if she was sensing disappointment or if she was imagining it. Patrice was so well trained that it was difficult for Maura to read anything that Patrice didn't want to be read. Maura admired that. She glanced to Alex before firmly stroking the blonde's hair. She made a point not to touch her neck, her collar. "But I do want to know that Jane is enjoying herself." She pulled away and bent to kiss Jane's cheek. "I want you to tell me…"

It took Jane a long moment to find her voice again, and it came out heated, low almost to the point of being hoarse. "I...yes..." Jane moaned then when Alex released Patrice to let her continue. This time, Patrice's fingers were working under the hem of Jane's slip, and they both moaned when Patrice's teeth closed around one of Jane's nipples as Alex brushed her fingers between the other blonde's legs.

Maura sat gingerly in a chair nearer to Jane's head. She lightly stroked the brunette's hair, but her touch was firm, reminding Jane she was there, giving her something to ground herself in. The sounds of their moans made her smile up to Alex, who was obviously already enjoying herself. Maura's breath caught slightly as she saw Alex casually brush a hand over one of her own nipples, hard against her shirt. "You and Patrice make quite a pair, Jane," she said soothingly, "especially now that you're so well matched." that would be important to Jane, she knew. "You like her touch, don't you?"

"I...yes..." Jane was shifting as much as she could under Patrice, listening to Maura, feeling her touch. "...oh..." Her second comment was cut short as Patrice's fingers traced higher on her bare leg, and she felt her tongue slide over her ear. Patrice was so focused, yet so clearly enjoying being the center of attention, and Jane didn't know how much longer she could go before something broke and she started begging.

"I should punish you for liking this so much," Alex commented from the sofa. She was smirking as she ran the toe of her shoe up the back of Patrice's leg. "But because our guests seem to be satisfied, you can continue." Maura could hear the warning in her tone, though, and she saw Patrice hesitate as she listened to Alex. The dynamic fascinated her, enough to pull her away from Jane for a moment. But she quickly refocused, fingers still working through Jane's hair, pulling it lightly. She shifted, her own need becoming apparent. That Alex might punish Patrice for the smallest infraction, perhaps infractions that neither she nor Jane could register, but where Alex wanted to punish Patrice, Maura wanted to reward Jane.

"Let me hear you," she whispered, stroking Jane's hair still. "I want to hear you, Jane." Maura knew it would be difficult for her to let go that much with Patrice and Alex still there, but she pushed anyway.

Jane shuddered at the tone of Maura's voice. Had she wondered if they were both enjoying the moment, that was abundantly clear now. Patrice, for her part, had no intention of disobeying Maura's wishes, and slid her fingers between Jane's legs, touching her just lightly- not enough for the brunette to gain any sort of relief, but enough to make her desperate for it.

"Shit...dammit..." Jane closed her eyes, between Maura's closeness, and Patrice everywhere, even the slightest touch threatened to push Jane over the edge.

After letting it go on for a few moments too long, Alex stood and took Patrice firmly by the back of the neck. "Patrice," she said in a warning tone. "You're overstepping." Overstepping, Maura determined, boundaries that had been long unspoken between them. She looked up, curious to see what would happen next, content to let Alex have her control. "Show Maura to the bedroom and help her undress. Jane can do the same with me."

Sensing the shift to formality in the night, Patrice held back the groan at being stopped. She was half expecting it anyway, even if she hoped she'd get away with it. "Yes, Alex." She nodded to Maura, letting her follow as closely as she wished.

Jane hadn't managed to move far, though she started as Maura went to leave, eyes following them until she lost sight as the bedroom door closed. It was only then that she looked up at Alex, and her pulse started racing again. Now I'm in over my head Jane flexed her hands, trying to decide what was expected. In the end she just waited, remembering Patrice's comments earlier- it really wasn't her decision to have to make anymore.

Patrice's hands were practiced—so practiced that even Maura knew which touches were deliberately stray. She gave no reprimand, however. It wasn't her place, and she enjoyed the formality of the contact. When she was undressed, she caught the blonde in a soft kiss. "Thank you, Patrice. I believe you may undress as well."

The closed door worried her. She knew Alex and Jane would be along behind them, but Maura was not sure how Jane would make the transition from one jarring moment to another. Instead of watching Patrice, she went to the door and opened it again, and she could hear the murmur of Alex's voice.

"You may be playing at hesitation, Jane," Alex was saying as she circled the brunette, "but I think you're enjoying yourself even more than you've been letting on. And I think you're eager to do anything Maura wants."

Jane let out a breath, and was slow to move to sit up. She wasn't practiced, wasn't elegant like Alex or Patrice, but the other woman's words resonated with her more than she cared to say. "I don't like her to be unhappy with me." Jane was perched on the edge of the glass, still looking up at Alex.

"No…" Alex ran her fingers over Jane's collarbones before reaching to tweak one of her nipples hard. "I can't imagine that you would. I doubt you've truly seen her unhappy." She was smirking, and she was sure that Jane wouldn't like that at all, but Alex was already turning, expecting her to follow. "It's time for you to undress me. I'm sure Maura would enjoy watching."

Jane's yelp of pain had just faded from the air when Alex's comment hit her. She stood a little too quickly, and she searched for a reply. She had seen Maura unhappy- despondent even, but thankfully not due to her own actions. But Alex was already stepping away, and Jane had little choice but to follow her.

Maura watched the two coming down the hallway and breathed a soft sight of relief to see that Jane looked neither surly nor stricken. No…behind Alex, she seemed singularly beautiful in the ways that she was not graceful or practiced. She could not help but smile. But she stepped aside, hand going to stroke Patrice's hair casual as the blonde sank to her knees when Alex entered the room. She did not feel her own nakedness, but she did realize that she wanted Jane to remain as she was. "You should undress Alex as you were asked to do," she said calmly. "But I'd like you to keep that slip on."

For the first time that night, Jane fixed Maura with a lighter expression, silently raising her eyebrows at the request. She didn't let it linger though, as she was acutely aware of Alex watching her closely. She bit her lip, and turned to the slender blonde, and began to remove her clothes. She started hesitantly, but as each fell away, Jane couldn't help but admire how beautiful she was- something she hadn't had the time to focus on before.

When Maura saw Alex caress Jane's cheek gently, she felt a small flare of jealousy, but she took that, embracing it. Jane was there in a collar that she had placed on her neck. She was acting upon her word, and the small gesture from Alex was meant as approval. The small thrill in Maura's core was something else entirely. She stepped past Jane, purposefully stopping to press her to her knees, then she turned to Alex, meeting her in a long kiss, her hands running the length of the blonde's sides. A small punishment for Jane's minor transgression, a punishment she knew Jane would both enjoy and question.

Patrice bit back a moan, but Jane couldn't hide her intake of breath as she watched. A mix of emotions rose, and she couldn't help but lean forward, only to be stilled by Patrice's hand on the back of her collar. Her lips quickly followed, pressing to Jane's shoulder. Her attention divided, Jane glanced away from Maura and Alex, eyes meeting Patrice's.

Out of the corner of her eye, Maura saw Patrice's touch, the way she so quickly stilled Jane, but she only pressed closer to Alex, pulling blonde against her tightly. She would admit that she did not have Alex's control…or Patrice's, even if she gave the semblance of lacking some small bit of discipline. What she wanted then was to push Jane without touching her, to have her completely ready when she did. Maura's thoughts turned so easily to the strategy that she did not question them or why she fell so quickly into this game. She pressed her thigh between Alex's, causing the blonde to draw in a sharp breath and let her head fall back slightly. Alex, she knew, would not moan as easily as either of the pets. Pets…Maura pressed into Alex at the same time as she wrapped her head around that. Both Jane and Patrice were not that, but with the collars on, they fell into that role, and Maura found herself moaning at the thought as much as the feel of Alex's wetness.

Patrice was no stranger to such displays, though this one rivaled any in recent memory. Alex's control was matched with Maura's calculating intellect and passion. Had she been the only one on her knees she might have waited-drawing on what patience she could find. However, beside her, Jane was shifting, muscles coiling to move. Jane was staring, fixated, and Patrice was the one to move first, turning her away with a firm hand on her cheek. She kissed the brunette, forcing her tongue into her mouth. Jane finally moaned then, but Patrice didn't release her.

If Alex would not express her pleasure vocally, she did in other ways. Maura could feel the subtle shifts of her body, the way she pressed forward into Maura's thigh. She took delight in the short gasps that escaped Alex's lips. The quiet was different, new; the sense of control was not something that Jane had or that Maura wanted to have in a moment like that. But she was experimenting. Jane's moan, however, cut through the thick air and ran in Maura's ears. She watched the two women out of the corner of her eye, weighing her options, deciding what she would do, what Alex might do. The influx of factors made Maura's mind whirl, but it only put her further into the moment.

Jane could sense Maura pausing, giving her back some amount of attention, and she started to understand the moment. There was a balance- she didn't have to be passive, compliant, and Patrice was making that difficult anyway. The blonde felt good, and Jane kissed her back. Some of her worries were being pushed aside, if she was disobeying some unspoken rule- it wasn't her place to make that right. The kiss broke for a moment, and Patrice flashed just a hint of a smile before pulling Jane in again to a longer, even more heated kiss.

There was a subtle shift in Alex, and in that, Maura knew that she was not unaware of what was happening at their feet. She met the blonde's icy eyes, saw the way she simply pursed her lips. The choice had been given to Maura, and that was not a factor Maura had accounted for. She expected Alex to react first or take her own pleasure only to heighten the punishment. Those were still options. But Maura stepped away.

She caught Patrice in a firm grip, firm enough to pull her away from Jane before Jane realized what was happening. And before Patrice could do much more than yelp, Maura had her bent over the bed with her arms pinned tightly behind her back. She was sure that Patrice was used to punishments infinitely more harsh, but she did not hesitate to spank her, knowing that Alex did not wear rings the size that she did.

Jane nearly sprawled onto the floor as Patrice was pulled away from her, and she struggled for balance, head snapping up to watch as she heard Maura's hand snap across Patrice's skin.

"Jesus..." Jane couldn't stop herself from muttering under her breath. That hadn't been what she was expecting, if she was expecting anything in particular. She looked at Maura, mouth hanging slightly open. Patrice had done little more than take sharp breaths against the comforter as Maura laid three more slaps in quick succession, but Jane whimpered, shocked to find she was shaking quietly, and her stomach had dropped to the floor.

When she was finished, Maura looked up, and she caught her breath when she saw Jane, when she heard her. There was something mildly disconcerting about the look in Jane's eyes,, it wasn't that. It wasn't the look in her eyes. It was that Maura found herself wanting even more. She took a deep breath to compose herself, and, still holding Patrice down firmly, she looked to Alex.

"Her hands...and her mouth..."

The blonde merely nodded in agreement. She had been, after, deprived of her release as well. Maura watched as she opened a drawer in the nightstand, retrieving a set of cuffs and a gag. She accepted them with a nod of thanks and went about placing the cuffs on Patrice's slender wrists, clipping them together behind her back, before pulling Patrice up to place the gag between her lips.

Jane was still reeling from the change in Maura when Patrice was pushed back to her knees beside her. It was subtle, but even Jane could note the lowering of her gaze. She shifted quietly, palms growing clammy- not sure what she would do if they wanted the same from her.

Satisfied, Maura let Patrice slide to her knees again beside Jane. Once again, she was impressed with the blonde's balance and poise, even after the display. And Maura had felt a small thrill...not the power, but the simplicity of dealing with the indiscretion and administering the punishment. Patrice seemed complacent enough; however, Maura looked at her sternly one last time before turning back to Alex. Jane, seemed completely awed-though Maura wasn't sure how long that would last.

She was met with a smile as Alex wrapped her arms around her. "I'm sorry for the interruption," Maura murmured before kissing her softly.

"You're not the one who needs to be sorry." The kiss had broken, and Alex's lips were close to Maura, even though she was looking pointedly at Patrice. Maura smiled, kissing her again, bringing her attention back into the moment. Instead of her thigh, she pressed her hand between Alex's legs, slipping two fingers into her and moaning to find her wetter than before.

Alex responded immediately, thrusting her hips forward, and Maura let herself become caught up in that moment.

Patrice kept her eyes down, though her eyes were lit with enjoyment at the turn the night was taking. Of course she would have liked to continue with Jane, or to have the punishment go on even, but it would be better in the end. Maura certainly was putting on a beautiful show.

Jane still hadn't recovered from a moment earlier, and leaned forward. "I...but...Please..." The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them, and she caught herself just short of reaching for Maura...or Patrice- she really wasn't sure anymore. All she did know was she felt she might lose her mind if she had to go without some contact much longer.

If Maura heard Jane, she gave no indication. But she did hear her, and she felt some sort of tug at her core. Alex, however, was in her arms, bending against her. Maura could feel that she was near her release. She knew it instinctively, she knew it scientifically, but neither of those things did anything to diminish her enjoyment when she felt Alex shudder and gasp in her climax. She was smiling as she kissed her, as the blonde came down slowly. And Alex's eyes were bright as the refocused, falling on Jane and Patrice. Maura stepped away as Alex stepped forward to take Jane's chin between her fingers.

"Please, what, Jane?" Alex asked. "You'll have to be more articulate. I'm sure that's something Maura very much appreciates, so you can practice it now."

Now, Maura thought, as if there might be a later. She wasn't sure. The night was not yet over.

Jane faltered for a moment, "Please..." She reached for the end of the sentence, please touch me, please don't just leave me here...God, just do something...

Maura was giving her attention so freely to Alex, and Jane knew exactly how it felt to be the object of that. Alex held her tighter, and Jane could sense the warning. "Please tell me what to do."

Alex seemed satisfied, and Maura was more than that. She knew words like that were not easy for Jane to say. She could say with some certainty that Jane was beginning to understand the things that had been so difficult the night before, that had been difficult even as they made their way there that evening. She shivered in delight and stepped close to the brunette, reaching to stroke her cheek.

"Make me come," she said softly, knowing that Alex wouldn't mind the moment of self indulgence.

The permission was so welcome, the look in Maura's eyes so bright, that Jane forgot for a moment they weren't simply alone in Maura's house. Her breath caught, and she reached for the blone as she stood. Maura's body was so wonderfully familiar as Jane brushed her fingers over her sides, and down to her hips. It was grounding, while tantalizingly erotic, and Jane was well aware of how beautiful Maura looked to the others as well. Whether it was correct or not didn't matter to her as she moved to push Maura toward the bed, sitting her on the edge as she sank to her knees in front of her.

Maura's limbs felt almost liquid at Jane's touch, and she smiled warmly at her. The eagerness, the intent pushed her into the moment even more deeply. Jane knew her. Jane knew her like no one could. She suspected the same was true of Alex and Patrice, and she suspected that even they surprised each other sometimes as Jane was surprising her now. She ran her fingers through Jane's hair, over her cheek, caressing it, letting Jane knew that she was ready, that she wanted this for herself as much as for the display. And in that, Maura surprised herself. She wanted Alex and Patrice to see that she and Jane had something entirely viscerally, entirely beautiful.

She looked up for a moment, seeing Alex crook her finger to Patrice. Even bound, the blonde moved effortlessly. She heard Alex whisper. "Maybe I should blindfold you too... Do you deserve to watch?"

Patrice crawled over to Alex willingly, forcing herself not to turn to watch the scene behind her. She could hear Maura settle on the bed, and shivered pleasantly as Maura's sigh hit her. Unable to kiss her, Patrice pressed her forehead to Alex's leg, hoping she would be allowed to turn.

"Jane," Maura murmured, pulling her forward, closer. She couldn't wait any longer, and she could only imagine how much Jane was wanting, how difficult it was for her to hold back. The thought thrilled her. She could see Alex turn Patrice before taking the gag out of her mouth. Maura did not begrudge her that. Patrice's punishment had been merely for the display, for Jane's benefit, and she sensed that the formality the two blondes might usually observed was somewhat relaxed with she and Jane as their guests.

Maura's skin was perfect, soft and flushed from the attention. Jane worked from impulse and memory, kissing, licking her way lower from Maura's neck to her stomach- pausing to circle her tongue around each of the blonde's nipples in turn. Under her, Jane's own legs were shaking from the restraint it took to not be thrown by the attention being given to them from the other side of the room. She could feel Maura's fingers in her hair, encouraging, pushing her down.

Maura felt Jane's lips on her stomach, and before it was out of reach, she worked her fingers to Jane's neck, running them over the soft leather warmed by the brunette's skin. Involuntarily, she shuddered at the feel, at what it represented. She caught Jane's eyes as the brunette looked up; there was a hint of a question, but mostly Maura saw eagerness, and she smiled, urging Jane to continue. When she felt Jane's tongue between her legs, she did not suppress her moan.

Patrice shifted on the floor, Alex's fingers twining in her hair. She was aroused to the point of pain, watching as Jane dipped her head between Maura's legs, pressing her open further with palms on her thighs. Jane was as strong as she was beautiful, and the muscles of her back flexed and relaxed as she pushed Maura closer. Patrice's hands were sweating behind her, memory bringing back how that body had felt between hers and Alex's before.

Jane was eager, Maura could tell, but she was no less methodical because of it. She squirmed under the attention, shifting on the bed and finally letting her hands fall to ball the coverlet in her fists as she arched in her climax. She gasped, moan struggling in her throat. The room was to bright and to warm all at once, and soon she was pulling Jane to her, kissing her forcefully, first in thanks but then as part of the display as her mind cleared. She thought she heard a whimper escape Patrice's lips.

"She's done well," Alex commented. Her voice was thick, but the words were still precise. Maura could tell that she was once again ready for her own release, but she had seen enough of the woman to know that she would continue to deny herself, roving her own will over and over to herself as a sort of ritual that only she, and perhaps Patrice, could justify. She smiled as she let Jane fall to her knees again.


Alex merely nodded, shifting her attention to Patrice. With a practice movement she unhooked the cuffs. "Go and thank Jane for the display."

"Thank you," Patrice kissed the inside of Alex's knee, smiling up at her, "how?" A few feet away, Patrice could see Jane turn from Maura just enough to listen to Alex's reply.

Maura watched as Alex cocked her head thoughtfully before a slow smile spread across her face. "Give Maura and me a display better than the one Jane just did. If you can make her call your name...I'll let you come tonight."

Patrice licked her lips and nodded. She flashed for a moment to the first time she'd seen the Detective in court- the raw passion, and anger at being out played. Those thoughts moved to feeling the same energy reflected in the night after, and Patrice's breath quickened. Jane's eyes followed as Patrice went to the dresser, returning a moment later with a leather harness, the toy already in place. Jane stiffened, one hand around Maura's ankle. Patrice smirked then as her apprehension melted as she dropped it in the brunette's lap, and went to settle herself on the bed. Patrice knew it was shameless, but Alex had given her a simple order- and she thought her plan might achieve both purposes.

Maura's eyes lit when Patrice's intent became clear. She bent to kiss Jane softly and smiled. "I know you'll enjoy this," she whispered, "and I think you should. I very much think you should." She knew the relish Jane took in doing this to her, and she was not going to deny her such relish with Patrice, especially not when Alex wanted the display for her benefit.

She perched on the edge of Alex's chair, comfortable from the vantage point, and she quietly smiled, urging Jane on when the brunette looked over her shoulder.

Jane wavered for a moment, following Maura with her eyes, fingers slipping over the leather of the harness. Patrice saw the hesitation, and leaned close- speaking lowly, "I know you've wanted to prove something to me since we met, now I'd like to see you try." A smile flashed across her face, "If you're as good as Maura seems to think you are, I even promise not to use too many big words."

At that, Jane's eyes flashed, and she gripped Patrice's hair enough to shove her back onto the bed. She rarely brought force into play with Maura, but Patrice clearly enjoyed it. A moment later, Jane had the harness around her slender hips, and finally peeled the slip off over her head. She pushed Patrice flat, growling when she caught the blonde's approving smile-determined not to let it last.

Jane was quickly passing the point of caution, finding Patrice still smirking under her at once maddening and completely erotic. Without further hesitation, she thrusted her hips forward, pushing into the blonde. Patrice gasped at the force, but that became a moan as Jane's fingers wrapped back in her hair, and Jane shuddered at the sensation of someone new for only a moment before pushing harder. Her teeth found the skin at Patrice's collarbone, and she bit down to the point of pain, fully intending to leave a mark.

Maura saw Alex licking her lips, and she felt the blonde shift forward almost imperceptibly She pressed her legs together, already beginning to grow wet again. Patrice had pushed the right button, and Jane was more willing to push back than she was in their own bedroom. Maura found herself holding her breath. If Alex was watching with as much rapt attention, she didn't notice. Her focus was on Jane and only Jane.

Patrice groaned against the pain, letting her mind spin pleasantly. She leaned away, offering her skin to Jane freely. If Jane managed to mark her, it might lead to any number of consequences- and at the very least a memory that could last for days. Jane was moving faster, her body starting to cover with a light sheen of sweat. As much as she was enjoying the almost brutal attention, Patrice didn't move to take her own pleasure, but slid her hands down Jane's back. She leaned close to whisper encouragement in Jane's ear, almost incoherent between breaths.

Alex looked up to Maura, a smirk tugging at the corners of her lips. "She's very intent. I'm not sure she'll let Patrice win so easily though."

"We'll see," Maura said softly, her eyes never leaving Jane's face, watching her dark eyes.

At the words, Jane released Patrice's skin from between her teeth, leaving a darkening mark behind. She moaned then when she felt the other woman slide a hand between them, just threatening to reach to touch her. Patrice's tone lost it's teasing edge then, "Say my name and I'll make you come while you fuck me."

The words struck Jane, and she was tempted to give in, cry out, but instead something in her snapped and she grabbed the offending hand by the wrist and shoved it roughly over Patrice's head. The blonde's eyes went wide, and Jane's voice was low-almost inaudible- "I don't need your help for that." Patrice whimpered, completely unprepared for the response, and could manage little but to twist her fingers in the pillowcase.

Maura took in a sharp breath and shuddered lightly. She bit back a soft moan lest she distract Jane. She could not help but imagine herself in Patrice's place, and her eyes clouded with desire for it. Jane was still not sure that she wouldn't break Maura.

As much as she enjoyed the sensation of Patrice caught under her, the quiet whimpers as the other woman tried to be compliant as ordered, Jane was coming closer and closer to inevitable release. The end of the toy was pushing against her with each increasing thrust, and she shuddered as she closed her eyes, letting the waves of tension release from her. The moment was almost over, and she let out a long breath, before muttering, "Patrice..." as her body fell slack, resting on the blonde's chest.

Alex was pursing her lips, and Maura was not sure whether she was pleased that Jane had given in or dismayed. But Maura was standing, silently asking for Alex's leave, which she was given with a nod. "Stay where you are, she said to Jane. She walked to the bed and turned the brunette's face to her, kissing her gently. And then she carefully maneuvered the toy out of the harness, leaving it inside of Patrice as she nudged Jane to the side. "I think you've done as you were asked," Maura whispered, pressing her fingertips to Patrice's clit.

It took little encouragement for Patrice to cry out, finally letting go of the restraint it had taken to comply throughout the night. She knew Alex was watching carefully, would want to hear her, and see her come undone. Beside her, Jane was still breathing deeply, skin damp and warm. As she quieted, Patrice reached for her, not surprised when Jane reciprocated without further invitation. The room was suddenly quiet, and Patrice closed her eyes for a moment as Jane's long arm snaked around her waist.

Maura stepped back as Alex stood and they simply watched the two women. They were beautiful, but Maura was loathe to break the silence with even those words. She felt Alex's hand on her arm, turning her into a kiss. "I hope you'll both stay tonight," she murmured. And Maura would have met her with another kiss before turning, looking over her shoulder to Jane.

Jane met Maura's gaze lazily, still wrapped around Patrice. She made no move to protest, her worries about the evening having been forced from her long before. In truth, she was more at peace than she'd been in a long time, happy to let Maura decide things for a few more hours. It was surprisingly easy, and against her Patrice seemed to already be drifting into sleep.

Maura smiled and merely nodded her assent to Alex. She was happy to see Jane so relaxed, almost drowsing in Patrice's arms.

And Alex was smiling as well. "Good," Alex said, offering her hand, which Maura took without question, "then we can finish the wine while they...recover." And with that, the sauntered out without a glance, but Maura hesitated, tugging only slightly on her hand as she glanced back, satisfied in a mere moment.