It’s a strange feeling.
It’s as if the Earth stopped turning and yet you’re feeling unbelievably dizzy.
Your world expanded in a fraction of a second but your focus is pinpointed on one thing that time has no hold on, one sensation only; the lips of your best-friend who’s currently kissing you with all the passion you knew her capable of, but had never been directed at yourself before.
Had Bernie known before this instant that the action of kissing someone could be so … intimate and pleasurable? So consuming?
It sounds like a cliché and she doesn’t have much fondness for those but, she could stay like this forever.
She could, really.
If it wasn’t for that tiny, small, insignificant little problem.
One with murderous blue eyes.
Just as she’s about to lose the control of her thoughts and of her being, she’s wrenched away from the sensual warmth of Serena’s mouth and brutally brought back to reality.
“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?” Alex snarls loudly, her left hand painfully gripping Bernie’s forearm.
Had she been anyone else, Bernie probably would have been too dazed by the desire coursing through her veins or too surprised by the brusqueness of Alex’s action to react.
But Bernie is a Major - retired, but a Major nonetheless - and it’s exactly who is in charge right this second.
“I think you’re forgetting who you’re talking to, Captain .”
Her teeth are clenched, her eyes are full of thunder and her growl is low, dangerously so.
But Alex, rendered deaf and blind by her jealous rage, doesn’t hear the warning signs in Bernie’s voice nor does she see them in Bernie’s behaviour
“You -” she starts, foolishly taking half a step forward.
But she never finishes.
Because several things happen at once ...
Bernie rips her arm away, twisting her ex’s wrist in the process. She doesn’t care, and Alex doesn’t seem to register the pain, if she’s feeling any.
Serena steps in between them, finally forcing the captain to take a hasty step back, and dons one more time her best icy look - a look that sends an almost electric shiver up Alex’s spine.
And finally, a soft - if utterly amazed and slightly disgusted - voice is heard in the heavy silence that the altercation had caused.
“You need help, Alex. I’m serious. You’re getting completely out of control.”
As if in slow motion, the officer in question turns towards the woman who until a few seconds ago, she still considered her girlfriend. It takes her a moment before she can pick her jaw off the floor, the look of betrayal in her eyes unmistakable.
“I - You …”
“I hope you’re able to resolve your problems, but we’re done. And I think you should leave, for all of our sakes’, but for yours most of all. ”
Hearing that, Alex looks around and realises that every person in the room is looking at her with a profound disdain.
Humiliated, she turns and leaves the room, her eyes - moist with angry tears she refuses to let spill - never leaving the ground.
When the heavy wooden doors have closed behind her in an almost haunting bang, Bernie releases a breath she didn’t know she was holding. A fact that makes Serena lean back against her.
More than ever grateful for the presence of this woman by her side and - both conscious of and giddy about the fact that she can now do things like this - she wraps her arms around Serena’s waist and nuzzles the hair at the nape of her neck.
“Thank you,” she murmurs. And then, looking at Siobhan over Serena’s shoulder, she adds; “and thank you as well.”
“Oh you’re welcome. I should have said something long before tonight really but … I don’t know …”
“You don’t have to justify yourself,” Serena explains gently. “We don’t always make the right choices in life. And then one day you’re lucky and the choice presents itself to you. In very nice packaging,” she can’t help but add with a wink directed at Bernie who smiles and blushes.
Siobhan smiles as well.
“Dating her wasn’t a complete mistake. I know a few more things about myself now, and I met the two of you.”
She inhales deeply.
“I think I need a glass of something strong, maybe a dance or two, and then I’ll go home.”
“Oooh, dancing,” Serena comments with a dreamy look on her face.
Bernie has just the time to utter a vague uuhh before she is mercilessly dragged to the dancefloor.
“I’m - I don’t like dancing much,” she says softly, contrite, once they’re among the crowd that had discreetly turned away from the threesome of women once Alex had left the room.
“Why,” Serena asks, gently guiding Bernie into a slow balancing movement, completely out of sync with the upbeat music being played.
“Marcus - and then Alex - they would …”
“I’m not Marcus,” she interrupts softly, but with an obvious amount of disdain in her eyes, “and I’m definitely not Alex either. So,” she adds, wrapping her arms around Bernie’s neck, “we can try and see if you like dancing with me, and if you still don’t like it, we can go home. No questions asked.”
Bernie thinks about it for a moment. It is blatantly true that Serena is the complete opposite of her exes.
She’s soft, where her exes were brusque.
She’s funny, where her exes were dull.
She’s caring, where her exes were selfish.
“No, I want to try, with you,” she says, her eyes fixed on her partner’s.
“Alright,” Serena answers, moulding her body to Bernie’s.
They dance until Serena’s feet start aching. They dance until Bernie forgets all about the scene Alex had caused. They dance until Bernie relaxes to the point of closing her eyes and burying her nose in Serena’s neck. They dance until the movement of their gently swaying hips becomes almost second nature to Bernie.
When they’ve truly had enough, Bernie links their fingers together and leads them through that same heavy door.
“So, do you like dancing now,” Serena can’t help but ask in a tinkling laugh.
“I do, actually. It’s kind of a recurring theme with you.”
As they get their coats, Bernie answers simply:
“Me liking the new things I try with you.”
And Serena being Serena, she can’t help but take the conversation in the flirty territory.
“Oh, darling, just you wait,” she replies with a naughty smirk.
To bring the point home, she briefly but intensely kisses Bernie full on the lips and leaves her there, stunned before she comes back to herself and runs after Serena, more than ready for those promising new things.