Lauren had the tendency to ramble under extreme pressure. Her throat tightens and suddenly she finds it hard to construct logical sentences. So when Nadia finally uttered "Lauren…where am I…what happened?" she panicked and blurted out an incoherent explanation that vaguely resembles the whole story.
"Wait…Lauren, slow down. Take a breath," Nadia said softly as she stood to make her way towards the blonde. Lauren's breath quickened and her stomach jumped as the women she had longed for was awake and well. Nadia gently touched her arm and the feeling was so familiar and different at the same time that she jumped back in fright.
"You're…It's just…I've been waiting five years for you to be standing here," Lauren choked out feeling hot tears make their way down her face.
"I know," Nadia said softly. "And I'm here now."
Suddenly Lauren's caught in the familiar embrace of Nadia's arms holding her tightly. She breathed in the familiar scent and let herself become lost in a five-year-old fantasy. Lauren let herself cry on the other women's shoulder until her eyes had been wrung dry. She held on tightly but Lauren couldn't shake the feeling that things felt different now. She was different now.
But she pushed those thoughts away leaned up to gently kisses Nadia's lips, ignoring the voice in her head that said this wasn't where she belonged anymore.
Nadia was still in love with her. For Nadia yesterday she was in a stable happy relationship. Five years hadn't passed. So in the days following her awakening she acted as such. She held Lauren's hand, cuddled up to her on the sofa and called her 'babe' and 'honey.' At first Lauren relished in it. She had missed her touch, missed her laughter and the way she always knew what she was thinking.
But for Lauren five years had passed. And it wasn't as simple as returning to the person she used to be, the person who was head over heels in love with Nadia. There was another factor to consider. A factor by the name of Bo and every time Nadia smiled her way Lauren couldn't help but feel a dull ache in her chest. An ache that she feared no amount of love Nadia could give her would fill.
"To be honest it feels like I've just walked into a fairy tale," Nadia laughed. "I'm waiting for you to tell me it was all an elaborate prank."
Lauren smirked placing a reassuring hand on her knee. "Believe me, I wish it were all a prank."
"Look Lauren," Nadia began, her expression suddenly serious. "I don't know how to thank you for everything you have sacrificed for me. And even though it seems like my whole world has been turned upside down…I'm lucky you're still here. You're keeping me sane through this whole mess."
Lauren breath caught in her throat and she suddenly felt claustrophobic in the open apartment. It was like the walls were closing in and she was being trapped further and further in and away from the exit.
"Lauren…are you okay?"
She wanted to say no. She wanted to tell her she was confused. She wanted to ask could you be in love with two people at the same time? But instead she took Nadia's lips with her own and hoped it would be enough of an answer for now.
Nadia had insisted on accepting Kenzi's invitation to Bo's birthday party despite Lauren's many objections for obvious reasons. Of course Nadia was doted over at the party. It seemed that nothing had changed. She had always had a knack at drawing people towards her. Her kindness and warmth were hard to deny, it was something Lauren had always admired given her own limited social graces.
Lauren held on tightly to her hand as Nadia laughed with Ciara about something that seemed far too trivial given recent events. She plastered on a smile but Lauren was having trouble processing everything. Nadia was awake. Her dreams were a reality. She should be ecstatic.
But Lauren couldn't help but be distracted by the woman at the other side of the room. Her eyes flickered towards the Succubus at every opportunity. Bo was like a fire she couldn't help but ignite. Even on the eve of Nadia's return Bo wasn't far from her thoughts.
"You okay, babe?" Nadia asked her concerned eyes making Lauren's stomach churn with guilt.
"Yeah, of course" Lauren nodded sending her a reassuring smile trying to shift her eyes away from Bo. "I'm great."
Lauren managed to escape from Nadia's grasp and the other's questions long enough to talk to Bo who was alone nursing a bottle of wine on her sofa.
"Happy birthday," she said trying to sound casual.
Bo looked up and gave her a weak nod of 'thanks.'
They sat in a rather awkward silence for a moment until Lauren realised that Bo wasn't going to say anything anytime soon. "Look Bo, I'm sorry I brought Nadia here. It's just…she insisted and I didn't know how to say no…she was asking all these questions and I know it was insensitive but…"
"Lauren, stop. I don't need an explanation," Bo silenced her. "Look, it's been a long day. Do you mind leaving me to sulk in peace?"
Lauren hesitated. It was strange to see Bo being so cold towards her. She hadn't realised how much Nadia being back in the picture would affect the Succubus. "Bo, I never meant to hurt anyone. It's just I have an obligation to Nadia…"
"Lauren, I know you're messed up about this. But can you please give me some time to be messed up too?" Bo asked and Lauren caught her pleading gaze and she suddenly felt even more insensitive for bringing Nadia into her house.
"Okay, just…please know that I didn't want it to end like this."
Bo said nothing in return, merely drew her attention back to her bottle of wine. Lauren hesitated; she wanted to say more what good would it do? She was with Nadia now. It was about time she accepted it.
The first time they sleep together she finds herself comparing. Bo didn't do that…Bo did that differently…it was different with Bo. She told herself it was normal, she was getting over Bo and it was natural to notice the differences. But at the end of the night when Nadia's hand wrapped around her Lauren couldn't help but think Bo would've held her tighter.
She hadn't see Bo in two weeks when she got a call from Kenzi saying they needed assistance on a case. She left Nadia who had a lunch date with Ciara (who she seemed to have befriended) and all too eagerly made her way to the Dall. It's a simple problem about a Fae that of course Lauren knew all about and she was happy to help.
"If you ever need my help again, just call. It's my pleasure," Lauren told Bo at the end of the day and she looks away blushing when she holds her gaze much longer than necessary.
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind," Bo says smirking and Lauren nodded, just glad she wasn't getting the cold shoulder anymore.
It wasn't long before was at the Dall sitting at a table squeezed in between Bo and Nadia. It was exactly the situation she wanted to avoid but Nadia insisted she wanted to get to know her friends better.
"So, how did the two of you meet?" Ciara asked her from across the table. "What's your story?"
Lauren hesitated and immediately glanced to her right to see that Bo was looking away uncomfortably. "We met in college," she said quickly.
"As you can see I obviously fell for her amazing story telling skills," Nadia joked squeezing her hand. "We were actually dorm neighbours. She used to come in to my room and shout at me for playing my music too loud when she was trying to study. By the end of the semester I would purposely turn it up just so I could see her… "
Nadia continued her story but Lauren was only focused on Bo who was nervously shuffling with her hands. Lauren couldn't help but wish she could hold them to comfort her. "I'll be right back," Bo said suddenly, standing up and rushing outside.
Lauren panicked and before she knew it she was apologising and running frantically after the Succubus. She found her in the alleyway, leaning against the wall staring solemnly into space, her expression unreadable. "You alright?" Lauren asked startling Bo.
"You followed me," she stated shaking her head. Lauren couldn't help but admire the way the light was highlighting Bo's feature. She would never get tired of looking at Bo. Each glance was like lightning in her veins. She knew she should be inside laughing along with Nadia. She knew it was wrong to be here but somehow she couldn't let herself leave.
"We should talk," she told Bo.
Bo chuckled and replied, "That would be something different. We're not very good at talking about our feelings, are we?"
Lauren shook her head but didn't say anything. Just moved to lean against the wall beside Bo.
"I wish I'd fought for you," Bo said so suddenly Lauren thought she might have hallucinated it.
"What do you mean?" Lauren asked, half of her dreading the answer and the other half needing it like oxygen.
"I just let you go," she shrugged. "I never said anything. I should've told you that I wanted to be in the race. Instead I just let Nadia win. I was so scared of doing the wrong thing that I lost you"
"You haven't lost me Bo," Lauren assured her placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"I know I have no right to be angry, no right to even be jealous and I don't blame you for being with Nadia. But I'm just saying that this is hard for me."
"It's hard for me too," Lauren whispered.
"It is?" Bo looked at her in surprise. Lauren gulped as she met Bo's warm gaze and suddenly she was once again lost in Bo's eyes.
"You think I would just forget about you?" Lauren said shaking her head in disbelief.
"You seem pretty happy with Nadia."
"Things aren't as simple as that."
Bo nodded but didn't say anything else. Instead Lauren felt a warm hand encase her own. She sighed and pathetically relished in the Succubus' touch. They stood like that for a few minutes, holding onto the moment, as if they could just for a moment escape the reality of their situation.
Nadia hadn't changed. But Lauren supposed that was part of the problem.
"You're different now," Nadia told her one night as they sat on the couch together.
"Good different?" Lauren asked.
"Just different," Nadia said looking at her with a curious stare and Lauren couldn't help but wonder if she too was searching for something that simply wasn't there anymore.
Lauren found herself sitting at the Dal with a glass of wine in her hand. She had left Nadia at home, needing some time to think things over. Or to drown her sorrows in alcohol, whatever way you put it.
She was on her fourth glass when a familiar figure took the seat next to her. "After hours Lauren making a reappearance?" Bo greeted her, her signature smirk plastering her features looking as gorgeous as ever.
"I think I've had a little too much," Lauren told her, her head beginning to spin.
Bo laughed, "Hmm, and what does Nadia think about this?"
"She's asleep," Lauren shrugged. She could feel the alcohol beginning to affect her as she found herself focusing a little too much on the brunette's features, her signature leather outfit leaving just enough to the imagination.
"Well, what kind of friend would I be if I let you drink alone?" She asked cheekily and Lauren's heart quickened at the invitation.
Three drinks later and Lauren found herself once again on the couch giggling over something Bo had said. She knew she had drunk too much and she knew she was treading a fine line with Bo but at that moment she just didn't care.
"I bet I could handle it this time!" Lauren told her, her words slurring.
Bo laughed, "I'm not going to use my power on you."
"Come on," Lauren whined, giving her best pout. "I promise I can resist!"
Bo hesitated but Lauren could tell she wasn't exactly appalled by the idea. "Well, if you're sure," she said; her movements and tone all casually come hither, as usual.
Bo smiled slyly and Lauren could already felt drawn to her and she hadn't even touched her yet. The brunette took Lauren's hands in her own and immediately she could feel the connection. It was like lighting shooting through her veins and pulling her towards Bo. Every part of her was drawn to the Succubus and she felt like she would die if she didn't touch her. She felt herself subconsciously leaning towards her lips and in that moment she felt on fire for Bo. Then it was over. She felt the fire evaporate as Bo quickly pulled hands away. "I told you," Bo whispered, her breath hot against Lauren's ear. "I knew you couldn't resist me."
Lauren groaned, the lighting no longer there but the arousal it had created still thick in her stomach. "Bo, I've missed this. I mean, I've missed you," she blurted out, still feeling the affects of the wine.
"I've missed you too," Bo told her, her eyes softening. "But you're with Nadia."
"I know," Lauren sighed. "But sometimes I wish I wasn't"
She stumbled through her bedroom door and practically fell into her bed with the room still spinning around her. "Are you drunk?" Nadia asked her, voice thick with sleep.
"I'm slightly intoxicated," Lauren slurred. "There's a difference."
"Who were you with?"
"Bo," Lauren replied.
"Of course you were," Nadia sighed turning over and for the first time Lauren sensed bitterness in her tone.
She goes to see Bo the next day but is instead greeted a not so happy looking Kenzi. "Umm…is Bo here?" Lauren asked from the doorway.
"What the hell did you do to her?" Kenzi asked, her voice quiet but deadly.
"What do you mean?" Lauren asked genuinely confused. "Is she okay?"
Kenzi laughed bitterly. "Oh, now you care," she spat. "For your information Bo was a mess last night. She was in drunken tears crying about how you left her for your jack in a box girlfriend!"
"Kenzi, it's not like that. I…"
"Save it, Doc," she said shaking her head. "Just make up your mind already."
She didn't get to reply as the door was slammed in her face. Although she was glad because she had no idea what she would've said in return. She knew Kenzi was right. She was playing with fire and it seemed everyone had already been burned.
It was a day later when Bo showed up at her doorstep at three in the morning, soaking from head to toe from the rain outside.
"Bo, is everything okay? Are you hurt?" Lauren asked panicked.
Bo shook her head in response but had a determined look on her face. She took a deep breath in and suddenly Lauren was pushed back against the door as Bo kissed her. She pressed their lips together with force and Lauren let out a deep moan at the feel of it. Bo's thumb brushed over her cheek and Lauren pulls their hands apart, just so she can cup Bo's entire face in her hands to keep her there. Their bodies are flush against each other and they're both panting when Bo pulled away.
Bo kissed her on the cheek and turned to leave. "I'm fighting for you," Bo told her before she was out of sight. "This is me putting myself back in the race."
"Come on Lauren, we could get away for a couple of months," Nadia said excitedly waving some brochure in front of her.
"I told you, I just can't up and leave," she heaves stubbornly.
"Why not?" Nadia argues, raising her voice slightly. "You don't work for the Fae anymore. You're free. I don't see the problem here."
"I have responsibilities here."
Lauren hesitated. In that moment she felt like the room was filled with gasoline and all she had to do was light it for it to blow up. "Bo needs me," she told her looking at the floor. "You know I help her with her business…"
Nadia scoffed, her breathing becoming harsh as she began to pace the room. "I don't even know who you are anymore!" she yelled throwing her pile of brochures angrily on the floor.
Lauren sighed and covered her face with her hands. She was beginning to wonder why she was putting herself through this. At first it was out of an obligation to Nadia but now it seemed it was hurting both of them more than helping.
"Look," Nadia said, her eyes still wide with anger. "I don't want you seeing Bo anyone.
Lauren was speechless for a moment, unsure if she had heard her correctly. "What?"
"You heard me."
"You can't tell me who I can be friends with!" she said finding it difficult to keep a steady pace in her voice.
"I gave you the benefit of the doubt at first. I gave you time to get over you feelings but I'm done with being the understanding girlfriend! I'm giving you an ultimatum," Nadia said, her voice hesitant but almost rehearsed as if she had been practicing this speech. "It's time to choose."
"You're asking me to choose between you and Bo?" Lauren asked panicked. "You really don't want to do that."
"And why is that?" Nadia asked bitterly. "I'm your girlfriend. It should be easy."
Lauren paused and looked at Nadia properly for the first time. Her tanned skin, her green eyes and her plump lips that were capable of the brightest smile she had ever seen. Lauren didn't want to do this. She didn't want to break her heart. But in that moment she realised what she was doing was wrong. She was playing both Nadia and Bo and despite her best efforts she was hurting them both.
"Because…" Lauren said her voice cracking. "I...I would choose Bo."
The room went quiet and in that moment could cut the tension with a knife. Nadia let out a muffled sob and Lauren moved to comfort her but was quickly pushed away. "I can't even look at you right now," she cried.
"I'm so sorry," Lauren said, wiping the tears form her face. "I didn't want things to turn out this way."
"It's a bit late for that!"
Lauren found Nadia packing her bags the following morning.
"You're leaving?" she asked.
"Can you give me any good reason to stay?
"I never meant to hurt you."
Nadia gently pressed her thumb over Lauren's cheek and gave her a comforting smile and whispered, "I know."
She turned up on Bo's doorstep a week later, her heart hammering and her palms sweaty. Bo opened the door, her hair damp from the shower. She grinned madly and Lauren smirked back. "You know," Bo said slyly. "It's rude to just show up on someone's doorstep uninvited."
Lauren shrugged. "Are you complaining?" she bit her lip and flit her eyes across Bo's body. Her hips, her thighs, the curve of her torso to the gorgeous sparkly brown of her eyes. She took a deep breath in. "I broke up with Nadia."
Bo smirked. "I heard."
"You did?" Lauren asked surprised.
Bo nodded. "Are you okay?" she asked genuinely.
Lauren took a deep breath in and nervously replied, "I realised something."
"Oh yeah?" Bo asked.
"Yeah, Bo…I realised that I…that I had fallen in love with someone else," Lauren told her, her voice shaky.
"Oh yeah?" she said, her head tilting to the side. "And who would that be? " she asked cheekily.
Lauren chuckled shaking her head. Instead of replying she decided to let her mouth do what her words couldn't and took the Succubus's hands before pulling her in for a kiss.
Their lips moved slowly, exploring one another, favouring gentle and caressing over fast and feverish. Bo's arms slid around Lauren's neck and she released a contented sigh into the contract, drawing a faint sigh from Bo. At the sound she pulled the brunette into a deeper, hungrier kiss. There was no hesitancy this time as she relaced and connected the way she'd been wanting to since the moment they met in the lab. Just as quickly and feverishly as it started, however, it slowed.
They both sensed what the other was doing, they wanted to make this last with slow, tentative strokes of their lips and tongues. Lauren wanted to memorise the way Bo tasted, to savour the Succubus' touch, and she was well on her way to doing so when the other woman pulled back.
She didn't give Lauren a chance to wonder why. She pulled her in tightly around the waist, lifting her briefly off of the ground the taking two steps forward to press her up against the door. The rough texture of the brick scraped against Lauren's back, but she could've cared less as Bo pulled her in for another heated kiss. She parted her lips and glided her tongue against the one requesting entrance, a low moan escaping into the kiss.
The sound struck a chord in Lauren, who slowly dragged her nails up and down Bo's ribcage, grazing over the leather. This time Lauren broke the kiss with a soft gasp, shivering and drawing a faint grin from Bo. She kissed the side of the brunette's mouth until her favourite smirk appeared then rested her head affectionately on her shoulder, breathing hard and fast.
"Do you want to come inside?" Bo whispered huskily in her ear.
Lauren drew a shaky breath and held Bo closer. "Always."