Maura watched as Jane chatted amiably with the blonde woman at the end of the bar. Jane had gone to retrieve their drinks what seemed like years ago and was now stalled at the end of the long mahogany bar, chatting with the perky, busty young woman.
When the woman put her hand on Jane's forearm and threw her head back in laughter, Maura's eyes narrowed.
"You know Jane would never cheat," Frost slid into the seat across from Maura. "She's crazy about you."
Maura had spent the last ten minutes trying to remind herself of that very thing but to no avail.
Frosts words, however true, didn't make her heart slow or her jealousy fade.
"I know," Maura sighed. "But I can't help it- when I see other women approaching her, I just want to run over and act in a very inappropriate way."
Frost laughed, and it drew Maura's gaze away from Jane and her would-be suitor.
"You know Doc," he teased. "I never figured you for the jealous type."
"I'm not," Maura said, slightly confused. "But when it comes to Jane, it seems as if I am."
"So then why don't you go on over there and get her?" Frost encouraged.
"That would be rude," Maura's voice was tinged with longing. "And I trust Jane."
"You should trust her," Frost nodded. "But that doesn't mean you can't let that blonde know you'd never let Jane go without a fight."
"I don't intend to fight," Maura trailed off when she comprehended Frost's suggestion. "Isn't that rather… animalistic?"
"We are animals," Frost shrugged. "You can still be polite about it though."
Maura's problem was that she didn't want to be polite. For whatever reason, on this night she felt volatile. It had been a hellish week, during which she'd barely been able to see Jane around the bodies piling up in the morgue, and she was looking forward to relaxing with her new love.
Their romantic relationship, while in its intimacy, was a natural extension of the friendship they had spent years cultivating.
There was no doubt in Maura's mind that it was love.
"Go on," Frost tilted his head towards the bar. "Jane won't mind."
The blonde laughed again and Maura was rising before she realized she'd made up her mind.
"I'll be right back," she told Frost.
Maura couldn't explain what was driving her forwards. Normally, she prided herself on being rational, on being above her baser instincts. Jealousy and possessiveness had no place in a relationship.
But Jane changed everything.
She made Maura greedy, jealous, primal, possessive.
On more than one occasion, Maura had left the marks of those emotions with her teeth and hands.
Jane didn't seem to mind. In fact, she seemed to be relieved- her own feelings matched Maura's.
The blonde tilted her head in a way that indicated Maura's approach and Jane turned to look over her shoulder. When Jane saw Maura, everything about her changed.
Her face lit up, her eyes softened, her posture straightened. She made space for Maura in the packed bar, room opening at Jane's side where a moment ago it seemed like no space could possibly be found.
"Hey Maura," Jane greeted her happily. "This is Grace. Grace, this is my girlfriend Maura."
Maura did not stop walking until she was pressed tightly up against Jane's side, glad the crowded bar made it seem less… needy. Maura put her arm around Jane's waist, relieved when Jane slid her arm effortlessly around Maura's shoulders.
"Hello Grace," Maura tried to keep her voice polite.
"Grace and I went to the Academy together," Jane added.
"Jane was a pistol back then," Grace laughed. "Doesn't seem like anything has changed."
Jane snorted and it turned into a choked noise when Maura leaned into Jane, pressing her face into Jane's neck. Using the veil of Jane's wild, curly hair, Maura discreetly bit down on Jane's throat, soothing it with her tongue.
Jane's arm tightened around Maura's shoulder.
"Maura," she exhaled harshly, flushing in embarrassment. "I'm talking to someone."
"I'm sorry," Maura was all innocent, wide eyes and syrupy sweet voice when she turned to Grace. "Do you mind?"
Grace's smirk made Maura's dislike for the woman grow.
"Not at all," she allowed. "It was great running into you Jane. We'll have to catch up sometime this week."
"Yeah," Jane tried to hold her exasperation at bay until Grace was gone. "I'll give you a call on Monday."
"Sounds great," Grace grabbed her drink off the bar. "Nice to meet you Maura."
"Uh-huh," Maura ran her hand down Jane's back, barely enough space between Jane's body and the bar, to grab her ass.
Jane jerked and Grace walked away, laughing softly.
"Jeeze Maura," Jane whirled on her. "What the hell was that about?"
"I didn't like you talking to her," Maura pouted.
Jane's anger faded some, her brow furrowing in confusion.
"You could have just come say hello like a civilized person," Jane suggested softly, brushing an errant lock of hair behind Maura's ear.
The tender gesture took the hard edge off Maura's desperation.
"You called me your girlfriend," she was hit suddenly by the realization.
"Well yeah," Jane said, as if that were obvious. "That's what you are. Would you rather I not?"
"No, no," Maura's voice was too loud, and she swallowed. "No, I like it."
"Ok," Jane searched her face, and Maura looked away. "Are we going to talk about this?"
The image of Grace with her hand on Jane's arm was still burning in her mind's eye. She tried to shake it off, but she couldn't.
Maura shook her head.
"Come on," Jane took Maura's hand in her own, a hint of annoyance still in her voice. She grabbed their beers in one hand and led them back through the bar to the table where Frost sat.
"Korsak still trying to beat Frankie at skee-ball?" Jane asked as she waited for Maura to slide into the booth.
"It's like a car wreck," Frost nodded. "You can't look away."
Jane and Frost fell into easy conversation but Maura abstained, her strange mood eating at her.
Jane was perfect- gorgeous and intelligent and funny and she could make anyone feel special, safe, comfortable, wanted. She was the ideal mate.
Jane could have anyone, man or woman, that she wanted.
Maura had never doubted Jane before, but now she felt frighteningly unsure of their relationship.
Normally Maura was not shy about touching Jane, about reaching for her, but she wondered if the contact would be welcome after her misbehavior earlier.
Her hand trembled slightly on the table and she went to hide it in her lap but Jane noticed, grabbed it. Jane laced their fingers together and rested their joined hands on her own thigh.
Maura's eyes fluttered closed for a moment.
No one had ever been able to read her, to understand her.
No one had ever anticipated her thoughts, feelings.
And yet Jane seemed to do it effortlessly.
Maura could never lose her. Would not let that happen. She clutched Jane's hand tighter. Jane squeezed back, scooting subtly closer to Maura in the booth until their legs were flush. Pulling her hand away, Jane wrapped her arm around Maura's shoulder.
Sighing, Maura relaxed into Jane's comforting warmth.
Frankie and Vince returned soon after, and the four cops talked animatedly for a while as Maura half-listened.
Jane's warmth was making Maura sleepy but the light graze of Jane's fingers on her bare arm was making her desire grow.
That desire collided with her jealousy and the two emotions tangled together like vines, quickly growing into something she couldn't control.
Maura knew it was a potent, dangerous combination and that she should ask Jane to drop her off alone but she couldn't resist the pull. Skimming her foot up Jane's calf, Maura leaned into Jane.
"Take me home," she leaned up and whispered heatedly in Jane's ear.
Jane harshly swallowed the beer in her mouth.
"We're gonna head out," she practically spoke over Frankie. His eyes narrowed, but he nodded.
The two women stood abruptly.
The men were unfazed. Parting words were exchanged and Jane led Maura out of the bar.
They waited for a cab, and Maura ran her hands over every inch of Jane's body she could reach, her lips trailing desperately across Jane's neck, jawline, cheeks, lips.
"Tell me," Jane coaxed gently, her low, rumbling voice making Maura shiver.
"You make me crazy," Maura sighed in frustration, not stopping her fluttering kisses.
Jane laughed, and Maura pulled back, hit her with a hard glare.
"Sorry," Jane shook her head. "How do I make you crazy?"
"A lot of different ways," Maura explained, needing the clarity of stepping away from Jane's body. "I can learn to live with the insanity that seems to be a natural part of how badly I want you. I'm learning to compartmentalize that so that it's actually quite enjoyable. But I don't like the negative things you make me feel."
Jane's brow furrowed as she dissected and translated Maura's words into plain English.
"I make you feel bad?" she whispered.
"Yes," Maura nodded.
Jane looked utterly crestfallen.
"No!" Maura put a soft hand on Jane's forearm when she realized how it sounded. "I mean I don't like some of the more negative things I feel as a result of our relationship."
"I don't know…" Jane offered a half-shrug.
"I'm jealous," Maura blurted. "And I don't like it."
"Jealous?" Jane repeated dumbly. "Of who?"
"Of everyone," Maura exhaled harshly, knowing she must sound completely ridiculous. "Anytime someone looks at you or touches you or makes you laugh, I feel overcome with the desire to… mark you."
Maura flushed at her admission.
When she found the courage to look up, she was startled.
Jane's eyes were dark, her lips parted, her breathing heavy.
"Jane?" Maura hesitated.
"Is that what the thing with Grace was all about?" she asked.
Maura nodded, licking her lips. A cab pulled up in front of them and Jane opened the door, allowing Maura to slide in first.
She rattled off Maura's address and then reached over and took Maura's hand, lacing their fingers together.
Maura scooted closer to Jane, running her hand over Jane's thigh in what she hoped was a seductive manner. If Jane's uncomfortable shifting was any indication, she was succeeding.
Leaning in, Maura dropped her words into Jane's ear.
"I want you so badly," she breathed. "I can hardly think when I'm around you. When I saw that woman touching you, I felt murderous. I wanted to claim you, to mark you. I wanted her to know- wanted everyone to know, that you're mine."
Maura's last word was a growl and she punctuated the thought with a sharp nip to Jane's earlobe.
Jane groaned and put her hand over Maura's.
"You have no idea how much I want you to keep doing that," she gritted. "But not until we're somewhere a little more private."
Maura knew it would make Jane crazy but she moved her lips to suck on the muscled cord of Jane's neck before whispering, just loud enough for Jane alone to hear.
"You don't want the driver to know you're mine?" she purred. "That I'm the one who gets to kiss you, undress you, make you scream my name while I'm inside you?"
"Maura," Jane exhaled raggedly.
They pulled up outside of Maura's home and Jane practically threw the money at the cabbie. She dragged Maura inside by the hand and as soon as the door was closed she pinned the smaller woman against it.
"You make me so fucking crazy," Jane rumbled, kissing Maura fiercely.
"The feeling is mutual," Maura muttered.
"Good," Jane growled, silencing Maura with her lips and the skim of her rough palms under Maura's top.
Maura unexpectedly spun them, pushing Jane up against the door.
"I don't know what I did to deserve you," she rasped. "But I'm so grateful."
"Me too," Jane began.
Maura roughly squeezed Jane's breast, causing her to gasp.
"Tonight is my turn," Maura scolded. She leaned up and kissed Jane's neck roughly, scraping the delicate skin with her teeth. "Go undress," she added.
Without question, Jane moved towards the bedroom, shedding clothing along the way. Maura took a deep breath and tried to ground herself. She slipped off her shoes, hung up her coat.
A couple of ragged breaths later and she couldn't wait any longer. She made her way to the bedroom, wondering what she'd find.
Jane was sitting on the end of the bed waiting for her, stripped down to just her bra and panties. Maura halted in the doorway to take in the sight of her girlfriend, patiently waiting for her.
"You're so beautiful," Maura sighed. "I don't know how I resisted you for so long."
Jane flushed and her lips quirked up.
"Me neither," she retorted. "I'm pretty damn irresistible."
"Yes, you are," Maura entered the room. Stalked towards Jane. "And you're all mine."
Jane nodded, her eyes darkening as Maura approached. She began to turn as Maura walked around to the side of the bed but Maura's voice stopped her.
"Don't move," she instructed.
Exhaling raggedly, Jane turned back so that she was again facing the door. Maura slid her shirt off and draped it carefully over the back of a chair, letting her anticipation build. Her skirt joined it, the slide of the zipper almost agonizing.
Maura climbed up onto the bed and moved behind Jane, crouching on her knees. Her hands ghosted over Jane's shoulders, barely touching the strong, tan skin.
"Maura," Jane's gravelly voice broke the silence.
"Shh," Maura coaxed. "I'm right here."
Her hands made firm contact with Jane's shoulders, sliding down her arms. Her lace-enclosed chest pressed up against Jane's bare back. Her fingers traced down to Jane's hands, caressing her fingers, lacing their digits together.
Jane squeezed Maura's hands and sighed.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you too," Maura replied.
She released Jane's hands, sliding her fingers over a taught abdomen and around to the flare of Jane's hips.
"I love everything about you," Maura added. "I love the way you feel." She emphasized her words with a gentle squeeze at Jane's waist.
"I love the way you smell," she continued, nuzzling her nose under Jane's ear. "I love the way you taste."
Her lips stroked languidly against Jane's skin, moving to pull her earlobe between pearly teeth. Jane groaned, her fingers trembling where they rested patiently on her thighs.
Shifting, Maura laid her legs alongside Jane's. She moved Jane's hands to her thighs, encouraging her to stroke the warm skin. Sighing in relief, Jane's long fingers skimmed Maura's muscled legs.
Maura continued her erotic exploration, nestling her front even closer to Jane's back. Her hands moved up to cup Jane's breasts through her bra.
"Sometimes I get aroused just thinking about you," Maura admitted breathlessly. "It's nearly impossible to think when that happens. No one has ever done that to me before. No one has made me so irrational simply by existing."
"God, Maura," Jane stammered. "Touch me, please."
"Lean forward," Maura encouraged. Jane did so immediately, and Maura unclasped her bra, pulling it off and tossing it aside. Her bare hands resumed their former position, only this time her palms rasped deliciously against naked flesh. She spent a moment worshiping Jane's dusky nipples.
Jane's body shuddered.
"I love the way you respond to me," Maura whispered. "The way it feels like our bodies are made for each other."
She skimmed one hand down to Jane's hip, then further down to the center of her body. Jane's fingernails dug into Maura's thighs as her fingers ghosted over Jane's underwear, the other hand still torturing a tender breast.
"Please, Maura," Jane begged. It was a heady, powerful feeling whenever Jane gave herself over so completely. It made Maura dizzy.
Maura's heart pounded, echoed by the throbbing of her core.
Unable to resist Jane's plaintive cries, Maura snuck her fingers under the fabric and into hot, slick flesh. Both women moaned unabashedly, Jane fingers clenching against Maura's skin.
"You feel so good," Maura breathed raggedly.
Jane threaded a hand up around Maura's neck, tilting her head to bring their lips together in a groping, wet kiss. Their tongues met and Maura thought fleetingly of her fencing days- thrust, parry, retreat.
Only now her reward was not the buzz of victory, but the overwhelming pleasure coursing through her body.
Maura began a rocking rhythm against Jane's center, her fingers sliding through silken flesh with ease. She brought her free hand to Jane's breast, toying idly with the nipple.
Jane's lips detached from Maura's so she could take a gasping, sawing breath.
After months of practice- weeks of sleepless nights spent exploring Jane's body, Maura could play her like a finely tuned instrument. She knew just which spots to caress in order to rocket Jane to a blinding peak, and also when to back off in order to prolong the torturous ecstasy.
She did just that, backing off right as Jane approached the peak of her pleasure.
A whimper escaped Jane, her hips rolling wildly when Maura stilled her hand.
"Say you're mine," Maura's gravelly voice pierced the silence.
"Maur?" Jane begged, desire and confusion lacing her thick voice.
"Admit you're mine," Maura repeated.
Jane's fingers dug painfully into Maura's thigh, leaving half-moon indentations of her passion.
"Yours," Jane stammered.
"What?" Maura prompted.
"I'm," Jane shook in Maura's arms. "Yours. All yours. You know that, baby."
Maura closed her eyes as a wave of white-hot desire shoot through her, derailing her plan and reminding her just how badly she wanted Jane. Her hand moved again, almost of its own volition. Only a few more strokes and Jane went hurtling over the precipice of pleasure, flying apart in Maura's arms.
The room was silent for a moment, punctuated only by their heavy breathing and the sound of Maura pressing gentle kisses across Jane's shoulders and neck.
She suddenly began to doubt the wild, demanding way she'd made love to Jane. Jane's silence was making her increasingly nervous.
"I love you," Maura whispered, barely resisting the urge to apologize. "I love you so much. I love you…"
Jane grabbed a fistful of Maura's hair roughly and sealed their lips together, silencing them. The passionate kiss reminded Maura of every nerve in her body, and how they were all begging for the release of Jane's lips and hands.
"I love you too," Jane rasped. "Stop overthinking it. That was… amazing."
Maura blushed and scooted back, lying against the pillows. Jane turned, crawling up Maura's body like a predatory cat- a panther, Maura decided.
"Now," Jane slid her palms from Maura's ankles up to her hips. "It's my turn."