Disclaimer : I don't even want to own R & I, wouldn't know where to start sifting through the layers of shizz the writers have buried them alive in. (Probably need a big ole' heavy duty shit shovel to get the job done.)

A/N : As promised this is another installment of Maura's POV. Thing's be starting to kick into gear, so to speak in this segment. I personally prefer context, it justifies really good smut. Although, I hope I haven't bored anyone lately, cause I know them first three segments were anything but.

A/N 2 : This installments flow was typed out to the tune's of "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins & "Looking Hot" by No Doubt.

"Living Like Hell" Part Six

Three Months Ago...

I can't keep denying this any longer. I really need to ask her out on a date, the worst she can say is no. I haven't been this attracted to anyone in a long time, and meaningless flings just are not that fulfilling anymore. And to be honest with myself, it's starting to make me feel quite salacious. I cannot assume Jane will ask me out, she has only ever been with men. And I have not seen indications from her that suggests she would be interested in dating a woman. This is quite a dilemma, but I know she has exhibited signs that she is attracted to me. Truthfully, I can't imagine any person not being drawn to her.

"Maura, dear...you're neglecting our guests." I smile at the sound of my mother's voice.

"I'm sorry, it seems as though I am easily distracted lately." My eyes wander around the room at my mother's guests, and mine as well. An Isles Foundation Gala, I am expected to attend these functions, when my schedule allows of course. My mother smiles at my words. I watch her facial muscles showcase the thoughts forming on her face, but she takes a drink of her champagne; a stall tactic.

"Would the source of this distraction be that U.S. Marshall you met a few months ago?" She asks, her voice sounding amused. "If it is in fact Jane that has your attentions this scattered, I suggest you make your move quickly my dear, before you get put in the friend zone," Constance continues, while taking a sip of her champagne, "...permanently."

I can't help the startled expression that my facial muscles are putting on display. Before I can respond properly though, she continues.

"I have never had any objections towards you dating a woman, and one of Jane's caliber is a much needed improvement over the men you've been lending yourself to." It takes every ounce of restraint I have to not fidget with my dress. Taking a cue from my mother I simply sip my champagne, and smile politely. I really cannot be offended at my mother's accurate awareness of my romantic situation. After all I completely agree with her assessment.

"Mother..." I really don't have anyone else I can speak with about my predicament. "Jane is straight, she was married to a man for a few years," Not my most intelligent argument. "and..." But I absolutely cannot bring myself to finish that sentence. Telling my mother : We're just friends, is a lie to me and lying makes me break out in hives. And from the first time I saw Jane, I knew I would want more than just friendship from her.

Taking in my silent hesitation, my mother continues. "So you think you have no chance with her because you are the wrong gender?" Constance pauses briefly to smile at a guest in passing. "If that is the track your train of thought is running on right now, then it's my obligation to inform you that's rubbish, because my daughter is more than good enough to pursue whomever she chooses for a relationship."

Again, I cannot fault my mother for wanting me in a proper relationship. I haven't really had one since college, and he turned out to be a criminal. "Mother, those are not very subtle remarks." I reply, handing my empty champagne flute to a passing waiter.

"Forgive me for being blunt my dear, but it has become necessary," I give my mother a warm smile, as we link arms and stroll through the throngs of guests. "for the sake of your happiness." I smile more at my mother's concern. But...

"Mother, what's the friend zone?" I hear her chuckle, before she answers. "Someplace you don't want to end up where Jane is concerned."

Two Months Ago...

Jane actually accepted my shopping invitation, much to my surprise. I have almost regretted my actions now though, because imagining her in various states of undress have throughly tested my resolve. I have decided to woman up, a slight alteration on man up and ask Jane out today. Enough time has been wasted coming to a decision. I have made my peace with what I'm risking. So no matter the outcome, I need to do this, for closure if it comes to that. I hope it doesn't. Jane looks ravishing today. So statuesque in her power suit, black with red pinstripes and matching red silk blouse, complete with black heels. Jane is very tall without them, but with them on...a shiver runs through me...she's 6'1. Growl...my libido roars.

Jane's cell phone starts ringing, or more accurately starts playing a song by The Clash.

Well I'm running, police on my back...

I've been hiding, police on my back...

I watch Jane's face spread into a small smile, before she answers. "What's up Frankie?"

The humor of his ringtone is not lost on me, he's a police officer after all. Jane has a wonderful sense of humor, including her sarcasm...sometimes. I don't want to intrude on Jane's conversation with her brother. I hope his reason for calling doesn't cut our time together short. I wander over to the nearby racks, particularly the dresses that hang there. Yet, I can still catch snippets of Jane's end of the conversation.

"Look, you passed the test...but they will promote you on your merit." I hear Jane reassuring her brother. I busy myself with scanning through the dress options in front of me. Wonder what Jane would think of me in this little black slinky backless? Oh! it has a slit up the side as well. I smile at that thought. I glance back in Jane's direction, she's still talking with her brother.

"I didn't think I would ever have to ask you to keep her longer," I hear her sigh and then chuckle. "I thought you said she was a chick magnet for you." Jane looks in my direction, and waves me back over to her.

"Maur, how many more places are we going?" Jane asks me, while cradling her cell phone between her cheek and shoulder.

I love it when she uses the nickname she gave me. "I thought we would go have some lunch soon, I'm famished." I answer. After I buy that dress I was just admiring. "I saw one more dress I require Jane, I should be done by the time you've finished talking to Frankie." I smile at Jane, and walk back to the dress racks.

"Frankie...Maura and I are going to lunch in a bit, I'll pick Jo up later."

The food is excellent, I picked a fairly casual restaurant, a place Jane would feel at ease. I hope this doesn't turn out badly. She made some comments about the menu when we sat down, but it was only done to serve the purpose of making me laugh. Sitting across from Jane I've tried hard to not let my gaze linger longer than prudent. Her eyes are so expressive, and those long dark flowing locks of hair, cheekbones... stop it Maura! I smile at Jane over the glass of water I'm drinking. Sitting my drink down, I try to gather my courage while smoothing the napkin across my lap.

"Jane, would you consider going out on a date with me?" I ask, raising my eyes to look directly at her. She stops, fork in hand with a sizeable portion of lasagna on it, midair. Oops! I guess I should have waited a bit more. I watch Jane put her portion in her mouth. Perhaps I should be grateful she wasn't chewing her food...yet. As the moments pass, I scan her face for any signs of discontent, but I see only confusion.

She smiles at me, before she reaches for her napkin. "I thought we were already doing that, Maur." Jane finally answers, wiping her mouth on the napkin and placing it back on the table.

I can feel my mouth opening and closing, in the manner that looks like of a fish out of water. "But, we haven't even...kissed or anything...Jane." I manage to say.

Jane just shrugs, before she replies."When have we had the time...I mean, I've just got back home and settled in." Jane leans forward, putting her elbows on the table. "Besides, I've enjoyed getting to know you, becoming friends first...before other things started happening between us."

I sit back in my chair, I had been leaning involuntarily towards Jane. Well I didn't anticipate that response! "So...just to be clear, you have no reservations about dating me," I state, while smiling across the table at Jane "because you consider what we've been doing thus far as dating."

She returns my smile with a mischievous one of her own. "I really like you Maur, your gender is not an issue," Jane moves her elbows off the table, and leans further towards me. "don't let the fact that I was married to Captain All-American Male Asshole throw your judgement." Jane adds, dropping her raspy voice even lower.

I need to kiss her as soon as possible!

So are you still with me my loyal peeps? I felt all this belonged in one segment, to move things along nicely. Hopefully not too many of you out there feel differently, if you do *shrugs* And now..."a preview of coming attractions" : Jane POV and their official first date. It may or may not be THE DATE that leads to the "lady love" that opened my story, my lips and buttcheeks are sealed.