The third beer has her limbs feeling loose, and her mouth stretches into a grin whenever she sees Maura smile, her eyes alight.

Maura doesn't handle her alcohol very well, two glasses of wine has sent a flush across her cheeks, her words a little less precise and... well, long, and her hand hovers at Jane's knee whenever she speaks. It's endearing, of course, the way a lot of things about Maura are endearing, and Jane finds herself warming into the spaces she leaves next to her.

"Jane," Maura murmurs, the word soft in her mouth, "Thank you for making me drink all this wine tonight, I really did need to wind down after this week. It was hard."

Jane nods, her vision going a little out of focus, and her knees come to rest against Maura's folded legs, her eyes drifting momentarily shut when Maura's hand finally planes over them, her touch unguarded.

"You're my best friend," she says suddenly, fondly, her thumb tracing over all the knots of bone in Jane's knee.

"Yes," Jane says, watching Maura's mouth.

"And I love you," she continues, leaning forward, and Jane can feel the warmth of her breath on her lips.

"Yes," she says, gravel in her throat.

"And I want to kiss you."

Jane feels her whole body flood with crimson heat, the way Maura is looking at her setting fire to her gut, and it's something she hasn't felt in a long time. She's even closer now, her eyes dark and bright, and Jane feels herself drawn in unwittingly.

"It's for science," Maura murmurs in a tone that suggests it's not anything to do with science at all, the ghost of her mouth prickling at Jane's lips.

Jane lets out a shaky breath, and loosens her throat. "Okay."

It's barely a whisper, but Maura takes it and pitches forward, slanting her mouth sloppily over Jane's own.

The apartment is stifling.

Jane tosses in bed, wide awake, the sheets sticking to her legs. She opened all the windows hours ago and the tiny fan next to her bed has been going since she went to bed, but ever since the AC went out her entire home feels like a sauna.

Boston's Summer Scorcher, the papers were saying; record highs across the east coast, the kind of heat that makes the earth crack and the grass turn to dust. The news earlier had advised residents to stay inside during daylight hours, and Jane had finally trudged into her apartment at eight after a taxing day in the airless bullpen only to find her decrepit and fickle AC had finally given up. Jo Friday had eventually found refuge sprawled on the tiles in her bathroom, but Jane was wasting precious hours of sleep before her one day off kicking at damp sheets and listening to the buzz of a fly somewhere near one of the windows.

The clock glares 3:34, and Jane thinks enviously of her mother, probably sound asleep in a room as cold as the Arctic. Her throat feels dry. She wonders if Maura is sleeping, wonders if it would complicate things to go over there. The answer, she imagines, is probably yes. She knows Maura wants to talk about it, because Maura always wants to talk about everything, but frankly getting intoxicated and making out with her best friend is not number one on Jane's list of things she wants to discuss. With anyone. Ever.

Nor is turning up a few days later, wired from closing a case, frustrated with avoiding her, and backing Maura against her door to kiss the breath from her lungs. Maura had whined, she remembers, deep in the back of her throat, and spidered her fingers under her shirt at the hip. She didn't say a word, simply popped the button of Jane's slacks and worked her hand beneath, letting her come apart with the insistent stroke of her finger.

It's happening so often that it feels like the beginning of a habit; curiosity bleeding into repetition, and repetition easing into something comfortable, settling. Not that Maura herself is settling, lately; Jane feels electric near her, every look kindling something low in her belly.

But it's hot, and if she stays she sentences herself to a sleepless night. She rubs the heel of her palms into her eyes, curls her toes. "Jo?"

She hears the click of her little claws on the wooden floor, then the whoosh and weight of her at the end of the bed.

"Jo, do you want to go and see if Maura is awake? This blows."


The drive takes longer than she wants it to, her eyes drooping as the car's air conditioning soothes her into drowsiness, her limbs feeling heavy. She thinks about turning around, scrambling for a hold on whatever self-control she has left and just waiting out the next few hours on the bathroom floor with the dog, but the desire to feel Maura next to her is suddenly relentless.

By the time she reaches Maura's house her head is pounding and her eyes are bleary, Jo tucked under her arm as she fumbles for the key Maura gave her (probably not to get in at nearly 4am just to take advantage of her AC but desperate times). Finally fitting it into the lock, she silently pushes the door inward and deposits Jo on the floor, hearing her scamper off before going in herself and closing the door behind her. Almost immediately, she bumps into one of Maura's stupid sculptures and swears as it connects with her toe, then limps towards her friend's bedroom and slips inside. It's blissfully cool, the air actually a chill on her hot skin, and she can see the murky outline of Maura in bed. Flopping face-down next to her on the thousand thread-count, blessedly dry sheets, she sighs a breath of incredible relief. Maura stirs beside her, startled for a moment until she realises who it is.

"Is this a booty call?" she murmurs, mouth full of sleep.

Jane huffs out a laugh into the pillow. "My AC is broken."

"You do know I have a guest room."

Feeling her face flush with the real reason why she passed up on the completely suitable guest room across the hall, Jane tries to find an excuse. "Your... pillows are better and the curtains in there are too thin and go back to sleep," she grumbles, voice still muffled from her position.

Maura doesn't say anything else, just settles on her side again, and Jane is asleep moments later.


Maura is already up and in her robe when Jane cracks a reluctant eye open, and to her disgust it's only 6:30. "What the hell, Maura, don't you have a day off today too?"

She just smiles serenely. "Yes, but I find I function best after seven and a half hours sleep, and even though you woke me at 4am I managed to get them so I don't need to stay in bed any longer."

"Yeah, well, that's just super for you but I function 'best' with more than the three I got so I'm staying here," Jane grouses, snuggling deeper into the sheets and throwing Maura a defiant glare.

"Suit yourself," she shrugs, and looks bemused at Jane's continued rolling around. "Do... you and my sheets need some alone time?"

Jane stretches and manages to catch the back of Maura's knee, and Maura allows her to pull her onto the bed and pin her beneath her, shivering under her firm touch.

"Can me and the sheets have some alone time with you?" she asks, voice rasping even lower from sleep. "Thank god your house is a normal temperature, trying to do this in mine would be like trying to have sex in a rainforest."

She feels Maura's hips shift as she laughs, and her thighs tense with anticipation. She leans down, nips at Maura's jaw, trails her palms over her breasts through the silk teddy Maura obviously thinks is appropriate everyday bed-wear, and breathes in the familiar scent of her shampoo.

Maura hums when Jane brushes her fingers over the damp cotton of her underwear, her eyes closing. Then, out of the blue, she says, "You know, Jane, the lack of ventilation in your apartment could really be dan—"

"Maura, what are we doing right now?"

When she opens her mouth to answer, Jane senses something scientific brewing and immediately puts a stop to it.

"Nope, no medical terms, no thousand-letter words or explanations. You can get it in one."

Maura's expression turns wicked, her eyes dark, and she leans up on her elbows, gaze dropping to Jane's lips. Her mouth blossoms into a grin with teeth, and she kisses her once, tongue catching on the edge of Jane's lip. Nose brushing her cheek, Maura moves to her ear and quietly clears her throat.

"Fucking," she purrs, still grinning.

Jane feels the shiver down to her toes.


She only bothers to put her underwear back on and wrestle her tank over her head after Maura wanders out to the kitchen to look for breakfast a while later. Jane stops, frowns at her wild hair in the mirror before heading towards the smell of croissants and snatching one out of the basket on the counter. Maura gives her a vaguely disapproving look from the stove, so Jane takes a bite and drops it abruptly back into the basket, smiling innocently as she sidles over to Maura. Maura rolls her eyes and goes back to her stirring, and Jane rests her hands on Maura's hips to peek over her shoulder at what it is.

"It's Hollandaise," Maura says brusquely, tense under Jane's palms.

She brushes Maura's hair away from her neck. "Don't be snippy," she admonishes quietly, voice still rasping from tiredness. She lowers her mouth to Maura's shoulder, grazes her teeth across the hard tendon at her neck. One of her hands snakes around and slips inside Maura's robe, tracing the line of her underwear across her hip, and her stirring falters. When Jane lets her fingers slip underneath the fabric and trail down the crease of her thigh, then tries to nudge her stance wider with the tap of her foot, Maura whimpers and grits her teeth.

"Jane, it's not really hygienic," she manages to get out, her breath shaking at the feel of Jane's fingers still circling on the soft flesh of her thigh. "And you might wreck the sauce."

"Well wouldn't that just ruin our day," she deadpans, and her fingers slide home. Smirking when she glides them slick over her, she leans a little closer to Maura's ear. "Doesn't seem like you mind."

Maura whines in the back of her throat and spins around, grabbing Jane's face in her hands and kissing her fierce and dirty.

Jane grins, and shoving Maura's underwear down her thighs she slides one hand back against her, her other angling Maura's leg around her hip at the knee. Maura moans against her mouth, kisses with teeth, and shudders when Jane's fingers thrust slippery into her. She relishes the feel of Maura's flushed skin against hers, the rough shift of her leg over the fabric and bone of her hip, damp breath against her mouth, her fingers clutched around Jane's wrist to urge her deeper. Maura likes to be in control; no matter how they start out Jane finds herself being directed when they're together, and she's itching to know what it would be like for her to completely give it up.

So she stills, stops the rhythmic push of her hand, stops the movement of her lips over Maura's, and the medical examiner writhes impatiently against her, whimpering in annoyance.

"Why did you stop?"

"Are you actually capable of not being bossy about this for once?"

"I like—"

"It wasn't really a question, Maura." She feels a little feral saying it, growling out her name and twisting her fingers as punctuation to her sentence. Maura trembles a little against her, eyes dark.

Jane releases the catch of Maura's fingers around her wrist, places her hand on the counter just behind them, quickly turning off the stove next to them at the same time. She keeps her eyes on Maura's, watches how she studies Jane with a measure of apprehension but instinctively stays silent, her knuckles white around the edge of the granite countertop.

"Don't move your hands," Jane murmurs, smiling against Maura's throat when she feels the medical examiner's thigh muscles flex at the rough husk of her voice, her tongue licking a wet line to her ear. She can feel Maura's heartbeat under her mouth, a steady drumming beneath her skin, and scrapes her teeth over it, hears Maura gasp.

It thrills her to feel Maura quaking under her, her breaths pitching sobs as Jane starts the rhythm of her fingers again, quick and deft and powerful. Her own thighs feel sticky, heart thumping in her chest, and she can see Maura's hands slipping on the counter.

When she curls her fingers Maura's back bows taut and Jane feels her tighten, muscles seizing. Dragging her thumbnail over her clit and sucking a mark onto Maura's neck, she feels her arms fly around her neck as she keens and collapses hot against her, only standing by virtue of the counter and Jane keeping her in place.

Recovering, Maura stands fully on her feet and runs a trembling hand through her hair, her eyes bright.

"I still say you're the bossy one," she says breathlessly, kissing Jane again, chaste and sweet.

"Mmmhmm," she agrees without even listening, pulling Maura back in with a hand at her jaw, mouth slippery and warm. Then she steps back, the moment of intimacy gone before Maura can bring any unwanted conversations up, and turns to the sink to wash her hands. She feels Maura close in behind her, fingers burrowing under the band of her underwear at either hip, lips wet on her spine, and is about to respond when she hears the front door burst open.

"Ma!" she hears Tommy's voice ring out, and Maura springs backward in surprise, trying to fix her hair and pull her robe together. "Ma, do you have any—"

He stops in his tracks when he sees Jane, sans pants, glaring at him with her arms folded. "Don't you knock?" she reprimands him, lending a quick glance to Maura. "You don't live here!"

"I... I'm sorry—I...what are you doing here anyway, you don't live here either!"

Maura, who Jane notices stealthily toeing her underwear close enough to stand on them, pipes up with, "Oh, Jane was um... your mother left for the Cape this morning but I wanted to make eggs Benedict so she came over. Her apartment has no air conditioning."

Jane resists the urge to smack her palm into her forehead and instead forces a smile. "Yes. I just... really felt like eggs Benedict this morning," she agrees. "Ma's not here so you can go now."

"But I wanted to borrow—"

"Nope you can do that later, bye Tommy!"

Bewildered, he leaves, and Jane visibly sags.

"Do you think he knows what we were doing?" Maura asks, and she sounds mildly worried.

"Probably," Jane grumbles, "Making a mental note to threaten my brother with bodily harm if he says anything to any other member of my family. Or family friends. Or strangers on the street. Or anyone, if he mentions it to anyone he's basically dead," she finishes, throwing Maura a smile.

Maura turns back to the stove, frowning. "You did ruin the sauce, Jane," she complains, looking at the mess in the pot.

"So I'll go and buy some, just let me have a shower first."

"I don't have time for you to go and buy some, I have to get ready to go and see—"

"Well that's not happening," Jane says, without letting her finish. "They're literally telling us not to go outside because we might drop dead, you're not running a thousand errands."

"Jane, we're not going to drop dead if we go outside, it's just the hea—"


"Then what are we going to do all day?"

Jane shrugs and heads for the couch. "I DVR'd a game last week that I still haven't watched, and I don't know, the internet exists. Aren't you about due to spend what I make in a week on some more impractical shoes?"

But apparently Maura stopped listening, and Jane turns to see her searching through her cupboards and the fridge, putting various things on the counter and murmuring to herself.

"What are you doing?" Jane asks, apprehensive as Maura pulls out a pasta machine from under the sink.

"Well I'm certainly not sitting around here doing nothing, I thought we could make dinner!"

"At eight in the morning?"

"No, Jane," Maura says, like she's new to being a person, "If we're going to make the pasta ourselves as wellas dessert we should really start now. Some of it is quite complicated."

Jane just stares at her in vague horror.

"Come on, Jane, it'll be fun! I've never understood why you don't know how to make your own pasta anyway, you literally have relatives who live in Italy."

"Because I buy mine in a box like a normal person," Jane retaliates, wandering over to look at what Maura's doing in spite of herself.

"If you help I'll let you lick the bowl when we make dessert," Maura says with a hint of an eyebrow.

Jane narrows her eyes.

"Just... how about you just measure out these dry ingredients for me and then you can do whatever you want."

"The little kid job?" she asks indignantly, her screwing up her face.

"The easy job," Maura intones, pushing a measuring jug and a bag of flour towards Jane. "Six and a half cups."

"Fine," Jane acquiesces, and starts dumping flour out of the bag, pulling a bowl over to herself and glancing quickly at the thin red line on the jug before depositing it roughly into the bowl, white powder flying out over the edges and all over the counter. She runs a slender finger through it.

Her offhand cooking style had grown out of contrariness – a rebellion from her mother's perfection in the kitchen, basically as soon as she'd moved out of home she'd made a point to be as lazy as possible about measurement and precision, and it was a habit she was yet to do anything about breaking. Especially today.

"Jane," Maura scolds, "Aren't you even going to sift it?"


Maura makes an exasperated noise and hauls the bowl away from Jane, and the detective is both amused and offended at her vexation. "Baking is a science, Jane, you can't just guess things or do them half-heartedly."

She frowns, folding her arms. "Oh, sorry I missed 'baking' as an option after biology or physics or chem in school, Maura, I guess I was absent that day. Unless we're counting home ec?"

"Well actually home ec is also known as family and consumer sciences, it does incorporate..." off Jane's look, Maura trails off. "Baking is a science," she says dejectedly, and runs the flour through a sifter, her face pouty. "And I bet you were absent that day at school," she mutters.

Jane leaves her to it.


After she showers and walks Jo for five seconds on the blistering sidewalk, then absent-mindedly watches her game with a fan directed at her face, she wanders back into the kitchen to find Maura changed and carefully placing filling on her perfectly shaped ravioli cut-outs, her nose about three inches from the bench.

"Do you need your glasses, grandma?" Jane asks, smirking.

Maura rolls her eyes and wipes her hands on a dishtowel. "No, I'm done. Do you want to help me with dessert? There's chocolate involved! I've done most of it already but I still have to seal the truffle shells and dip them."

Her interest piqued, Jane sidles around the counter to look at the fresh set of ingredients Maura has laid out on the counter, and spying a number of things that tick boxes on the list of her food interests, she turns to the medical examiner. "What do you want me to do?"

Suddenly lighting up with glee, Maura grins. "Well I have the truffles here, we just have to temper this chocolate and seal the truffles with them, then dip them in some more tempered dark chocolate and let them set in the fridge."

"I... didn't know chocolate had a temperament," Jane says, breaking off a chunk of the chocolate Maura set out and shoving it in her mouth.

"Jane," Maura chastises, the word coming out in such a way that it manages to encompass a range of frazzled emotions, and Jane stops chomping. "I had that baking chocolate imported straight from Switzerland, it's very expensive!"

"No wonder it's so good?" Jane tries, voice still thick with it.

Frowning, Maura grabs the block away from her and starts breaking it up and dropping it into a double boiler. Apparently mostly for the stove's benefit, she starts on a quiet explanation of chocolate tempering and starts to stir. "If you heat and cool chocolate incorrectly when making things like truffles – without precisely controlling the temperature, I mean – then crystallisation occurs and the chocolate will end up looking matte and covered in white patches rather than shiny and easy to snap. Like I said, it's science."

"So I can't just put it in the microwave," Jane deduces.

"No, that would not achieve the desired result."

After a half hour of stirring and adding and a lot more science than Jane really appreciates in her desserts, Maura finally hands her a fork and they dip roughly two hundred truffles in the tempered chocolate. Then Jane looks at the leftover chocolate in the double boiler and lets it run glossy off the spatula, biting her lip. "What are you going to do with the rest of this?" she asks.

Maura shrugs. "I don't know, you can pour it into this and put it in the fridge if you like, I'll use it for something later in the week," she says, handing Jane a container. Distracted, Jane lends a glance to the curve of Maura's chest, chocolate still dripping off the spatula, and a new idea implants itself in her head.

"I can think of somewhere better to pour it," she growls, and Maura visibly shivers at the shameless way Jane draws her eyes over her body. The candid moment startles the both of them, seems to rattle the foundation of the facade Jane wants so desperately to keep up so she doesn't have to try and deal with the kinds of feelings Maura breeds within her. She knows Maura is smart enough to realise what's happening, that she's not using Maura any more than Maura is using her; that she knows perfectly well the barrier Jane has when it comes to discussing things she doesn't want to talk about. Hiding is a skill honed through decades of practice, and Maura has been witness to enough of it to see the signs. They should stop, of course, discuss what they're doing to themselves, but that's what they say about every vice.

And it's hard to ignore the glimpse of hunger she sees in Maura's eyes, so she deliberately curls her finger into the tepid chocolate and swipes it quickly over the swell of Maura's bottom lip. About to suck the excess off her finger herself, she's surprised when Maura grabs her wrist, eyes locked onto Jane's, and draws it into her mouth instead. Her tongue swirls hot around her finger, and her skin feels alight with electricity.

Maura actually yelps when Jane suddenly backs her into the counter, enough that she can feel the pressure of the granite lip helping trap her in place, and she plants her hands on either side of Maura, fingers finding purchase in the flour and mess.

"I thought you meant you had a better cooking purpose for it," Maura manages.

"I thought you'd have figured out by now that cooking isn't really something I... do," she rasps, watching Maura's teeth catch on her bottom lip. "Aren't you supposed to be smart?"

"I just wanted you to try something new," Maura tries to say with an air of I'm-better-than-you, but her dig at Jane's continuing uncultured behaviour shakes on the last few words, and Jane grins.

"Oh, well, you should have just said so," she replies, voice gravelly low, her hips pushing a little more firmly into Maura's, and she can tell Maura doesn't entirely know what to expect next, her hands hovering uncertainly at Jane's elbows.

Jane kisses her, once, open-mouthed and promising, and Maura follows her lips as she pulls back, the movement unconscious. She can taste chocolate.

"What are you doing?" Maura asks, barely louder than a breath, her tone curious.

Sliding her hands to Maura's hips and watching the flour dust rain off the edge of the counter, she smiles. "I need you to be up there," she says, thumbing one of Maura's hipbones and leaving a grimy white trail. She puts Maura's hands on the counter herself while Maura protests, and then lifts her neatly to sit on the counter before she can go anywhere.

"Honestly, Jane, I don't know what this thing with kitchens is about, but we literally just made food here. I'm sitting in it. I'm going to have to change."

Jane ignores her, pushes on the gnarls of her knees to widen them and steps in between, hands sliding up her thighs and around her ass to pull her closer.


"Maura," Jane mocks, not really paying attention. She drinks in the sight of her, brings her hands up to cup her jaw. Maura leans down the rest of the way herself, the warm weight of her tongue like fuel on flames. She pauses against Jane's mouth, and Jane feels her try to stop a smile.

"I know you aren't listening to me, again, but this really isn't hygienic."

Jane's hands wander to the waist of Maura's yoga pants and tug, her mouth tracing a line from her collarbone to her chest. Under her lips she can feel Maura's flushed skin, and gets the feeling that she's a little less against this than her words suggest.

"Jane. Jane, seriously, your hands are still covered in flour and—oh," she whimpers when Jane pulls up her shirt to scuff her teeth across her stomach, nose grazing the underside of a breast.

"I guess I won't be able to use my hands then," Jane rumbles, pushing Maura down with the palm of her hand over the mark she just left on her stomach.

Pulling Maura's hips right to the edge of the counter, flour dusting her feet, Jane hauls her yoga pants down one of her legs and leaves the other to dangle, angling her shoulder under Maura's knee, her fingertips digging firm into the flesh of her thigh.

Maura comes with a desperate mewl and the choke of her name, her hands twisted into Jane's hair, and Jane wipes her mouth on her sleeve before helping Maura to stand on unsteady feet for the second time that day.

They still don't say a word, and for a minute she thinks that she might be getting better at this particular game of pretend.


But Jane Rizzoli has a telltale heart.

In the evening, Maura finds her standing with the freezer door open, her eyes closed, a bag of frozen peas clutched to her stomach.

"I have an entire air conditioning system installed in my house and yet this is where you are?"

"Hey, this is just how the Rizzolis do it, okay."

"I talked to my contact at the Stables Hotel, they just finished renovating the pool and it doesn't open until the weekend, we can go and use it tonight if we want to."

"Are you kidding me? Why are you still letting me stand here melting all your vegetables?"


Maura leads her into the hotel through a back entrance and up a service elevator, and Jane is unimpressed.

"How is this your favourite hotel? These service corridors are so dark! Why do you even have a favourite Boston hotel anyway? You live here."

Maura doesn't even bother responding, and when they finally get outside the pool shimmers invitingly in front of them, framed by a rustic garden and an exceptional view of Long Wharf.

Jane can't help but let out a low whistle. "Okay, now I might be able to see why it's your favourite hotel."

Maura smirks and shucks off her clothes without preamble, delicately slipping into the pool and submerging herself before popping back up again. Slicking her hair back from her face, and she grins up at Jane.

Crouching to sit and dangle her feet in the water, Jane watches Maura glide toward her with a questioning look. "Wouldn't it be cooler to swim naked?" she asks, gaze captured by the sheen of water on Maura's chest.

Maura grabs her ankles, rests her chin on Jane's knee. "I get the feeling you're not asking me in a scientific capacity." She tugs, and Jane grins, dropping into the water. "Do I need to add it to the list of your odd and unexpected turn-ons?"

Jane shrugs. "Probably." She ducks under the water and lets it envelop her completely for a moment, cooling her skin, then pushes off from the bottom and shoots back up. "This was the best thing we've ever done, you know."

"Better than making those honey hazelnut truffles you ate tenof at dessert?"

"Definitely better than that," Jane says, thinking of her next dentist appointment.

Swimming closer, Maura suddenly pierces her with a stare that makes her feel she's being studied under a microscope. "Better than what we've been doing for approximately," she pauses, "three weeks and two days, give or take an hour?"

Her whole body going hot and cold, Jane stops dead.

"I know you don't want to talk about it, Jane, but we can't keep doing this."

"Why not? Isn't this fine? Can't we keep being fine?" Jane asks, knowing the answer before she even finishes her sentence.

Maura looks sad, like she expected this, and Jane struggles.

"I just... we can't be together, Maura. Not like that."

"You mean you haven't even thought about it?"

Of course she's thought about it. She thinks about it every day. Maura is like sunlight, seeps into her muscle and marrow with a unique warmth that Jane never feels around anyone else. Maura, with the heart of a lioness and devoid of a single evil bone in her body, nothing hiding even in the smallest strings of sinew that hold her together. But being with Maura brings up questions she doesn't want to answer, problems she doesn't want to have to solve. "If I'm gay don't I have to like, go to rallies and advocate for us to adopt babies so my mother can finally have grandchildren or whatever?"

Maura rolls her eyes, sighs in that special way reserved only for when Jane is being particularly cumbersome. "I don't think being gay is what you think it is. And why is it that you think you need to 'be gay' to be with me?" she asks, genuinely curious.

Completely uncomfortable with this conversation, Jane twirls a finger around a lock of her hair, weightless in the water, and watches the dark strands coil rather than looking at Maura. "I don't know," she mutters. "I don't know anything about being with you."

Softening, Maura steps forward, her hand skimming over Jane's hip to the small of her back, pulling her closer. "It's exactly the same as being with me in a friendly capacity," she says, her voice humming near Jane's ear and prickling right down to tunnel low in her gut, her fingers toying with the hem of Jane's swimsuit bottom. "We just do this a little bit more."

Maura's mouth moves even closer to Jane's ear, her lips pressing into the skin at her hairline.

"What are you doing?" Jane asks, stomach rippling in anticipation.

"Distracting you," Maura breathes, fingers dipping under her waistband.

Sucking in a shallow breath, her nose pressed to Maura's neck, Jane shudders. "It doesn't seem very hygienic," she digs, not being able to resist, and Maura smirks.

"It's not as complicated as you think it is," she continues, her fingers stroking slippery against Jane, her mouth at the shell of her ear. "There isn't even the usual kind of ceremony or procedure that is normally required when getting involved with someone new. We already basically live together, and I love you and I love your family, and I assume they don't hate me."

"They could never hate you," Jane says through gritted teeth, her mind half on the weight of the words being murmured in her ear, the rest on the cant of Maura's fingers and the way they curl.

"So what's the problem?" she asks, completely baffled.

Jane can't think of an excuse, and when she finally pulls back to look at Maura, she just smiles.

She feels a loss when Maura removes her hand and glides away, hoisting herself up onto the lip of the pool. But she turns back to Jane, her smile still in place. "You're right, actually, this place has just been completely renovated and it's not really hygienic for others for us to have sex here. But we could finish this back at my house?" she asks, full of hope, her hand outstretched.

After a beat, Jane takes it.