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From the Beginning

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In the morning, Maya wakes up and thinks about going for a run. Just to get rid of the excess energy and anxiousness she feels. But she doesn’t. She slips out of bed, making sure that Carina remains asleep. She uses the bathroom and goes out the kitchen and makes a protein shake. She grabs her laptop and goes back to the bedroom. She slips back into bed, sitting up with her laptop on her lap. She decides to do a little research. Or studying as Maya likes to call it. Learning about fires.

She does a search for the deadliest fire in US History.

Why the deadliest? She doesn’t know. Maybe it’s because they’ve been thinking about and dealing with death the last few days. So, the two connect themselves in Maya’s mind.

Carina wakes up about an hour later. She rolls over and slips her arms around Maya’s waist. She looks at the laptop on Maya’s lap. “What are you doing?”

Maya doesn’t want to say ‘I didn’t want to leave you alone so I’m just sitting here while you sleep’ but that’s basically it. “I’m learning about this fire. There’s a video that I want to watch but I don’t have my earbuds and I didn’t want to disturb you, so I’ll watch it later.” Maya starts to close her laptop. She’s sure that the last thing Carina wants to do is think or talk about a deadly fire.

But Carina stops her. She pushes the screen back open. “Tell me about it.”

“Are you sure?” Maya cranes her neck to try to get a look at Carina’s face. “How did you sleep?”

“Not great. I kept waking up.”

Maya runs her palm over Carina’s head, pressing a kiss to the top of it afterward. “I’m sorry.” She’s thankful that Carina is accepting of physical affection again as she wraps her arm around Carina.

Carina presses herself tighter against Maya’s side, almost lying with her head on Maya’s stomach. “Tell me about it.”

“Okay.” Maya sighs. She scrolls back to the top of the article that she was reading. “You know about The Great Chicago Fire?”

“I mean, I think I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know any details. Just that it was bad. And in Chicago.”

“Okay. True. But this fire.” Maya taps at the screen. “Was way worse. And it happened on the same day as the Chicago Fire. It’s the Peshtigo Fire. And it’s the deadliest fire in US history. The reason the Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fire and other fires that day were so bad was because of the wind and a drought in the upper Midwest in the months previous. A cold front brought strong winds into the area spreading the flames with ease. In the Peshtigo Fire, there was a firestorm. That’s when superheated flames move on winds over one hundred miles an hour, throwing flames up to ten thousand feet in the air. It’s like a massive nuclear bomb going off. Fire jumping rivers and small bodies of water. Fire tornados. Just crazy, unimaginable stuff. I couldn’t imagine living through that. Well, most people didn’t. They died. They just combusted or melted on the spot. The ones that did survive did so because they submerged themselves in the river or laid out in a dirt field. Up to 2400 people died in that fire. It burned a huge area of land in a matter of hours. 1.5 million acres. Just massive. There was almost nothing left. Just one building in Peshtigo that had been recently put up. And a church in another area. Everything else burned. They know 1200 people died for sure, but it could be up to 2400 or 2500. So many people died no one could vouch for the dead. Just whole families wiped off the face of the earth. And it was a time of industry and a boom in the area for logging. There were people coming in from other areas, that didn’t necessarily live there and probably were in that unsure number of deaths.”

Carina hums. “How did it start?”

Maya looks down at Carina. “Do you really want to talk about this or is it just a distraction?”

Carina looks up, a half-smile. “Both. I love your enthusiasm and passion about fires. Fire history. I love hearing you talk about it. And yes, it’s a nice distraction.”

“Okay.” Maya does a little clicking around. “So, it was a dry summer, drought, and some small fires were already burning in the area. Forest fires, or wildfires. Not a real threat to villages or towns. This was in 1871. And fires were started by farmers who were clearing land, cutting down trees, burning stumps and piles of brush. Carelessness. Houses were built almost entirely out of wood.” Maya chuckles a little. “Seems so silly now. Building your house out of flammable materials. But that’s what was available and what was easiest. With how dry it was it was probably like kindling.”

“Yeah, probably not the smartest.”

“No. So that’s about it.” Maya shrugs. “I was just going to watch this video that a professor did, but I’ll do it some other time.”

“You can watch it now.”

“We should get up and eat something. Maybe do something today. Do you want to go to the park and watch the sunset later today?” Maya’s been thinking about something for them to do today. She doesn’t want to sit inside all day.

“Okay.” Carina shrugs.

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“I’m not really hungry.”

“You need to eat. How about we start with coffee and espresso.”

“Okay.” Carina agrees.

After a little grumbling from Carina, they get up and get dressed. Maya wanders into the kitchen to start on espresso for Carina. She’s not really hungry, either, after her protein shake.

Carina comes out of the bedroom, on the phone, she talking to the utility company to have Andrew’s utilities shut off. After they went over to his apartment a few more things were set into motion. The movers have been arranged to go there on Friday, now that Carina’s been there and seen what needs to be done, she can tell them what to do. After the movers have everything out of the apartment the utilities can be shut off, thus the phone call she is on right now.

There is a knock at the door.

Maya wonders who it could be. They aren’t expecting anyone as far as she knows. She grabs her mask and goes to answer the door.

She has no idea who the woman is or what she is doing her but apparently, she knows Carina, and knew Andrew. Maya stands there in stunned silence as the two greet each other.

After the espresso fiasco, they all retire to the living room. Gabriella takes the spot on the couch next to Carina as Maya tidies up the kitchen a little.

Maya sits in the armchair. She never sits over here so that seems weird. It’s also feels wrong that she doesn’t get to sit next to Carina. It’s even worse when Gabriella picks up the photo album that they retrieved from Andrew’s apartment and opens it up and starts talking through all the photos with Carina like Maya isn’t even in the room.

She sits there stewing about being left out. Maya’s hope was that one day she and Carina would go through the photo album. As a way to get to learn more about Carina and Andrew and their parents and their life. But that’s not going to happen now, clearly, as Gabriella talks about each photo with Carina. Maya folds her arms over her chest, knowing it’s stupid and irrational to feel the way she does, but she can’t help it. This woman has come into her apartment and stolen all of the thunder.

Maya is grateful that she gets a text from Jack and lies to Carina about Andy needing something so she can removes herself from this agonizing situation.

They get finished with the photo album and Gabriella gets up and goes to the kitchen to get some water.

“So, this little blonde American? She doesn’t speak any Italian?” Gabriella turns back to Carina, folding her arms over her chest.

“Maya?” Carina tilts her head. “She doesn’t know much, no. But she has picked up a little from me. I think she just, even if she did know some, she wouldn’t be confident enough to speak it in front of anyone until she perfected it.”

Gabriella scoffs. “So, just a dumb American.”

Carina frowns. “What?” She doesn’t think Maya is dumb. Just because she doesn’t know or understand most of the Italian language doesn’t mean she’s dumb. She doesn’t like Gabriella attacking Maya like this. Maya hasn’t done anything wrong or anything to show to Gabriella that she might be ‘a dumb American’. Carina also isn’t asking Maya to be someone she’s not or to learn an entire other language or ancient Italian recipes or anything like that; so she doesn’t understand why Gabriella has such a problem with it. She doesn’t think that’s fair to Maya.

“That’s not fair, Gabri. You don’t know Maya.” She tries to defend her girlfriend but wonders why she needs to. Gabriella is one of her best friends. She should just accept that Maya is someone in her life now.

Gabriella puts her hands on her hips. “And why not?” She raises an eyebrow at Carina. “Whose fault is that? All I’ve ever heard from you is her name in passing. And then you were suddenly living here with her. What’s that about?”

“She’s my girlfriend. I love her. We moved in together during the pandemic because-“ She knows it’s going to sound crazy when she says it “-because we didn’t want to be apart.”

Gabriella just stands there, waiting for more.

Carina sighs. “I don’t have to explain anything to you. I know she’s not Italian and that’s fine with me. And she doesn’t have to be. There’s no rule saying I have to date only Italians. If there were, I’d have to move back to Italia cuz there aren’t many around here. Or maybe New Jersey.” She jokes.

Gabriella smirks a little, glad to get Carina riled up about this. “So, what is it about her?”

Carina smiles softly thinking about Maya. “I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s that simple. Or if it’s one thing. It’s just Maya. She’s just-“ She sighs, content, happy. “There’s just something about her that makes me feel drawn to her. Like I want to be around her all the time. She makes me feel safe and cared for, loved. Like I matter and I’m the most important thing. She puts me above all else. Even this week. She took the whole week off of work. And Maya’s not someone who takes off of work. She hardly ever does. If she has an appointment, she makes sure to schedule it for a day that she has off already. She didn’t have to do that, but she did it for me.”

Gabriella hums.

“What?” Carina wonders about that hum. “Tell me.”

“Nothing.” Gabriella shakes her head. “She seems a bit odd, that’s all. Like I got a weird vibe from her.”

Carina frowns again. “It’s cuz you don’t know her yet.”

Gabriella hums. “I’ll make dinner for you. When’s your girlfriend going to be home?”

That’s a good question. “I don’t know.” Carina finds her phone and sends Maya a text to ask.

Instead of going back home after her visit with Jack, Maya goes to the park. The one that she asked Carina if she wanted to go to earlier in the day so they could watch the sunset together. She goes to the cliff edge and sits down about ten minutes before the sun is about to dip past the horizon.

She feels like an idiot. Maya just can’t shake the feeling that Gabriella knows Carina better than she does. That she’s always going to know Carina better than she does. It doesn’t seem fair to her. Maya knows that she wants to spend her life with Carina; but now, now that Gabriella is here, she is having second thoughts about that.

She thought they were good together. She thought she was starting to develop a shorthand with Carina. She thought they knew each other well. But then Gabriella walked through the door and proved her wrong on all of those fronts. She could see the strong bond and connection that Carina and Gabriella have. The history there. All the experiences in life that they’ve shared. It makes Maya mad. She thought they were so good and now here is someone else who is so good with Carina. Better, even. And it hurts to think about. And she’s mad and jealous that this other person even exists. That someone has swooped in and wrapped Carina up and made her feel safe and loved, and it bothers Maya more than she’s willing to admit.

Her feet kick at the edge of the cliff. She looks down over the edge. It’s so far down to the beach below. The sun is setting. She looks out over the water, having missed most of it. Maya thinks about the times she’s come here with Carina. This was their spot. They were supposed to come here today.

Maya waits until it’s almost dark before getting up and going back to the car. She sits there for a few minutes thinking about what she should do next. She doesn’t know what the best thing to do is. So, Maya sticks with the basics. Eat, sleep, get up the next day. That is her only plan right now. She does wish though that she hadn’t taken an entire week off of work now. Now that Gabriella is here, she doesn’t know how long she can just sit in the apartment and watch her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s ex-lover all cozied up together. It’ll just be torture.

Maya stops and gets some food for all of them on her way home. She walks in the door and smells the scent of food that is either being cooked or has just been finished cooking. Her shoulders sag in defeat.

“Oh, good, Maya, you’re home. I was wondering when you were coming back. I sent you a text. Didn’t you get it?” Carina is sitting on one end of the couch, her feet folded up underneath her, with Gabriella sitting on the other end of the couch.

“I made dinner, Maya.” Gabriella says. “There’s some on simmer on the stove for you.”

“Thanks.” Maya’s eyes flick between the two of them. Each with a full wine glass in hand. “Sorry, I didn’t get your text. I think I put my phone on silent.” She pulls the phone from her pocket and looks at it. Sure enough, the text from Carina is there. “Sorry.” She mumbles, feeling inadequate for more than one reason now. Maya isn’t sure how she keeps messing things up, but knows that she is. “And I didn’t know you made dinner. So, I picked something up. I’ll just put it in the fridge for tomorrow or whenever.” Maya lifts the bag of take out in her hand, to show it off.

The blonde turns and heads into the kitchen with her take out that isn’t going to get eaten today. She was looking forward to it too. She ordered from Carina’s favorite Italian restaurant in Seattle. It was supposed to be special. She takes the items from the bag as Carina and Gabriella restart their conversation again. Maya tries not to eavesdrop on them but can tell that they are talking about their medical school days.

She gets the food in the fridge and then goes to look at what’s in the pot on the stove. It looks good. Maya isn’t sure what it is and she’s about to try some when Gabriella says something in Italian and Carina laughs. Like full on, head thrown back, laughter. Maya looks over her shoulder at the pair and sees their happy faces and smiles and laughter.

Maya wets her lips. “I’m really tired. Andy had me moving furniture around all afternoon. I’m going to head to bed.”

“Are you feeling okay?” Carina asks.

Maya nods and walks over to the couch. “Just tired.” She places a kiss to the top of Carina’s head as she walks past.

“I’ll be in in a little bit.” Carina tells her.

Maya nods and goes into their room. She’s not sure what constitutes as a little bit but knows it will be more than a few minutes just by how much wine is in their wine glasses yet. And then if there’s another glass of wine, minutes could turn to hours.

She changes and climbs into bed, curling up into a little ball, sulking like a child. She knows it’s dumb. She knows she’s jealous. She knows she shouldn’t be. Maya doesn’t want to be. She’s never been jealous before. At least not over another person. But this is Carina and she’s never had a Carina before. And so, she’s jealous that the bond that Carina and Gabriella have is stronger than the one that they have.

Maya tries desperately to fall asleep before Carina comes to bed but it just doesn’t happen. She can’t get her mind to stop going over ever little detail of everything that’s happened since Gabriella showed up.

Carina comes in and changes into pajamas and crawls into bed. “Are you awake?”

Maya doesn’t move. She tries to keep her breathing even. She tries to pretend that she’s asleep and hopefully Carina will think that she is and not bother her. In the end, Carina sighs, and wraps an arm over Maya’s waist and cuddles up next to her.

It eats Maya up, all night, that she lied to Carina about her whereabouts today, that she said she was going to Andy’s when she went to Jack’s. And she knows it’s worse because it was Jack.

In the morning, as soon as Maya wakes up, which is early because she had a hard time sleeping at night she goes out in the kitchen to try to make espresso. She has to get this right. She needs to. Maya tries not to make a lot of noise because she knows Carina needs sleep and that Gabriella is sleeping.

But the kitchen noise wakes Gabriella. She puts a sweatshirt on and heads out into the kitchen. “Why are you making so much noise and such an early hour?” She sits down at the island counter.

Maya jumps, startled by Gabriella’s voice. “I have to get this right.” She huffs.

“What, exactly?”


Gabriella hums, with a smirk. It’s clear to her that she’s gotten under Maya’s skin. Which is good, in her opinion. It just means that Maya is aware of Gabriella’s presence and what it means for her and Carina. Or that Maya feels like she needs to impress and prove herself. Either way, Gabriella is happy with that. She wants to see what Maya’s got. She wants to see if this woman has enough stuff to handle Carina, to keep up with Carina, to be what she needs.

She watches as Maya struggles with the espresso.

“Don’t you have anything better to do.” Maya doesn’t like that she’s being watched.

“Not really. I came here to support my friend. And she’s sleeping so-“ She shrugs. “And you seem to have other things handled.”

“I’m making breakfast.” Maya tells her.

“Okay.” Gabriella gets up. She’s tortured Maya enough. “I’m going to shower.”

“Okay.” Maya sighs, glad that she will be left alone again.

She gets the espresso done and sets it aside and starts on breakfast. Today, a little less involved. Toast and fruits. Berries in a bowl. Yogurt. She gets it all ready before going back to the bedroom to let Carina know that breakfast is ready.

Her conscious gets the best of her before she can even make it out of the bedroom though.

“I need to tell you something.” Maya stops with a hand on the door. “I lied to you.” She huffs out a breath and rests her forehead against the door. “Yesterday. I lied to you.”

Carina rubs her hands over her face and sits up in bed. This isn’t really what she wants to hear first thing when she wakes up. Her brain isn’t really functioning properly yet. “What?”

Maya spins around to face Carina. She balls her hands into fists. “I lied to you yesterday. It’s eating me alive. I lied to you. I said Andy had a family thing and she didn’t. I didn’t go over to Andy’s. I went to see Jack.”

That rattles the cobwebs out of Carina’s brain. “Jack?”

“Yeah.” Maya takes a step closer to the bed. “I didn’t sleep with him.” She puts a knee on the end of the bed. “Don’t worry.”

Carina doesn’t know what to say.

“His girlfriend was there.” Maya tries to explain.

“So, are you saying if his girlfriend wasn’t there, that you would’ve slept with him.”

“No.” Maya puts her hands on the mattress and crawls towards Carina. “God, no.” She reaches out to put her hands on Carina’s cheeks, but Carina’s pulls her head back.

“Why are you telling me this?”

“You need to know?” Maya isn’t sure.

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes. Yes. I’m sure. I lied. And I don’t want to lie to you. Ever. I don’t want to do anything to hurt you. And I feel like I have again. So, I’m telling you now that I lied. Jack text me and said that Marsha took a turn. I used it as an excuse to get out of the apartment because I felt uncomfortable. I went over there. I was only there for a few minutes. Then I drove around for a couple of hours before I ended up at the park.” Maya looks down at the blankets. “I sat there and watched the sunset.” She tries to keep the hurt out of her voice.

“Bambina.” Carina puts a hand on Maya’s upper arm, rubbing it up and down. “I’m sorry. We were going to do that, weren’t we?”

“It’s fine. Your friend is here. It would be rude to leave her alone or change plans or something.” Maya shrugs. “Speaking of, she’s awake. So, I made breakfast, Gabriella is awake, and I let you know that I lied to you. That’s all I’ve got.” Maya starts to back away from Carina, before stopping. “Oh, and I have to help Jack and Marcus and Inara with something later today. I don’t want to keep that from you. No lies.”

“Okay. What is it? Can I ask?”

Maya shrugs again. “I have to get the ladder truck over to the hospital. They want to surprise Marsha.”

Carina smiles at that. A big grin because her girl is so kind and caring and wonderful. “Can I come with?”

Maya hums. “You should stay here with Gabriella.” She’s not saying it to be mean or spiteful. Maya just doesn’t want Gabriella to think she is rude by them going to a thing when they have a guest.


“I mean, unless she wants to come with. You can both come. It’s not really going to be anything exciting or anything like that. I’m just doing Jack a favor.” Maya tries to downplay it as much as she can.

There’s a knock on the bedroom door. “Carina?”

“Come in.”

Maya sits down on the end of the bed and watches as Gabriella sticks her head in the door.

Gabriella looks between the pair. “Am I interrupting?”

Maya thinks the answer is yes. She just wants like ten minutes alone with Carina but can’t get it.

“What’s up?”

“Oh, well, I was just wondering if you were up, and I wondered where Maya ran off to. But I’ve found her.” Gabriella smiles. “I’ll be out here, having breakfast.” She exits and closes the door.

Maya runs her hands through her hair. “I made espresso. I hope she doesn’t try any.” She mumbles. “You don’t have to try any either.”

“Bambina.” Carina sighs. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Just this thing with Jack. I’m sorry.” She stands up. “I’ll see if Gabriella will make espresso for you.” Maya moves towards the door. “Again, I’m sorry. I hope you won’t hold it against me.”


Maya opens the door.

“Maya. Stop.”

She closes the door.

Carina scrambles to get out of bed. She comes over and wraps Maya up in her arms. “Do you not like that Gabriella is staying here?”

“It’s fine. She’s your friend. She can stay here. You have every right to let her stay here.” That’s not really Maya’s problem with Gabriella. She feels like she’s inadequate in Gabriella’s presence. That’s a her problem though and not a Carina problem. Maya feels like Carina should mainly be focused on her grief and the loss of her brother, not Maya’s petty jealous problems.

“That’s not what I asked. I asked if you were okay with it. And now that I’m thinking about it, I didn’t ask you yesterday if you were okay with it. So, I’m sorry, bella.” She rests her chin on Maya’s shoulder. “I should have asked.”

“That would have been nice but it’s really okay. She’s your friend. She can stay here.”

“Okay.” Carina isn’t convinced. Maya’s body language isn’t convincing her that everything is okay, but she drops it for now. “Did you make me breakfast again?” Carina asks, slipping her hands to Maya’s hips, swaying them from side to side.

“Sort of. Does putting toast in the toaster count? I set out berries and yogurt and made toast. And espresso that probably tastes like trash.”

“Hey.” Carina spins Maya around so they are facing each other. “I like when you make espresso.”

“You mean try to make. I see your face when you taste it. You don’t like the taste.”

“I’m getting used to it.” Carina shrugs. “Baciami. I haven’t had my morning kiss yet.”

Maya smirks a little at that. “You’re such a diva, aren’t you?” she teases.

Carina smiles, happy that Maya’s mood is a little lighter right now. “If you don’t kiss me, I might have to be.” She puts her hand on Maya’s waist and presses into her. “Kiss me.” She whispers. Carina knows very well that she could just kiss Maya but she’s going to make Maya do it.

Maya leans into Carina, taking in the gorgeous Italian in front of her as she does so. Because Carina’s beauty is something that should never be forgotten or ignored. She reaches up and tucks Carina’s hair behind her ear. “You are always so stunning to me.” She whispers.

“Maya, I just woke up.”

“Yes. And?”

“I have bed head. I don’t have any makeup on. I need a shower.”

“I don’t care. You don’t need any of that.” Maya tilts her head to the side. “I mean, maybe you could brush your hair, but it looks amazing like this too.” She smiles. “You are the most beautiful woman alive.”

“Stop it.”

“No. I feel like I need to tell you that everyday. I don’t say it enough.” Maya feels a little wistful right now. After feeling inadequate. She needs to remember what’s important.

“Maya, come on.” Carina whines a little. “Bella.”

Maya hums and finally leans in for a kiss. It’s just a simple press of the lips together. Short but as sweet as ever. “I love you.” Maya whispers.

“I love you too.” Carina giggles. “You’re in a strange mood this morning.” Maya nods. “I’m not sure what to do with it.”

Maya smiles. “You just keep being you and you don’t have to do anything with it. How about we eat?” Maya finds Carina’s hands.

“Sure. Before Gabriella barges in again.” Carina wiggles her eyebrows. “I love her, but you can’t leave her to her own devices for too long or you’ll have a whole five course meal in the making or a remodel project started without your permission. She’s not someone who does well with idle time. She’s always got to be doing something or worrying about something.”

“Kinda like me?”

Carina shakes her head. “You two are nothing alike.”

Maya furrows her brow. “Really?”

“Yeah, you know how to relax and not do anything.”

“No, I don’t.” Maya argues.

“Okay. Maybe not entirely. But, since I’ve known you, you learned how to just relax and just take time to not do anything that involves work or a tasks or getting ahead at something.”

“That’s only because of you. I want to spend my free time with you. I want to lay in bed with you on my mornings off. I wouldn’t be doing that if you weren’t here. I would get up and go for a run. You’ve changed my patterns.”

“No, you’ve changed your own patterns.” Carina smiles. “I’m just the reason why. It’s good, bambina. It’s good.”

“You really think we’re nothing alike?” Maya asks. Carina nods for her. Maya hums that makes her think differently about Gabriella. If that’s true, than maybe it’s not so much a competition between her and Gabriella.

“Come on.” Carina turns Maya around and opens the door. She pushes Maya out of the room, walking out behind her, her hands wrapped around Maya’s biceps.

“Are you sure you’re okay with staying here by yourself?” Carina asks again.

“I’ll be fine. Go with your girl.” Gabriella assures her friend. She’s seen them sort of tiptoe around each other all day. She knows something is up. She has a feeling that it’s probably her presence in their apartment. Gabriella wonders if she was too harsh on Maya.

“Thank you.” She presses a kiss to Gabriella’s cheek. “I need to do this for her. With her.”

Gabriella nods. She doesn’t understand it, but she nods. “What is it that you’re doing?”

“I’m supporting Maya, who is supporting her friend Jack, who is supporting a mother and son, who are supporting their mother figure, who is in the hospital with Covid.”

It’s a lot to understand but Gabriella raises an eyebrow. “Jack?”

Carina rolls her eyes. “Yes, Jack.”

Gabriella rolls her eyes. “You’re asking for trouble.”

Carina doesn’t think so. She thinks she is preventing trouble. “Listen, I know you don’t understand. And I know you didn’t support me taking Maya back but- but I love her.” Carina sighs. She knows it’s so much more complex than that, but it’s easy to sum everything up but saying that she loves Maya. She does. She loves her so much. She loves Maya more now than she ever has up to this point. With everything that she’s been through in the last few days and how Maya has been there every step of the way. She doesn’t know how she couldn’t love her more.

“Do you think this is appropriate?” Maya steps out into the hallway. “Or should I dress up more.” She looks up at Carina’s outfit. “Oh.” Carina is dressed up more. “I should change.”

“No. Stop.” Carina waves Maya over. “Vieni qua.” She wraps an arm around Maya from behind as soon as she gets close enough. “You look amazing.”

Maya looks down at her outfit. “I’m just wearing a Henley and jeans.”

“And you look amazing. You told me earlier how amazing I looked, now it’s my turn to tell you how amazing you look.”

“I think what I said was stunning and beautiful.” Maya corrects.

Gabriella chuckles. “You guys are funny.”

Maya glances over at Gabriella.

“Put your coat on, let’s go Captain.” Carina holds her hand out, waiting for Maya. She watches Maya put her jacket on. “Even better.”

Maya hums and steps over to Carina, taking her hand. Carina pulls her into her side. “Some days I can’t believe I get to walk around with a sexy fire captain at my side.” She whispers into Maya’s ear.


“In a pair of jeans that make her ass look amazing. And a shirt that hugs all the right places. With an amazing jacket to top it all off. What’s not to like.” Carina forgets to whisper this time, forgets that her friend is sitting right there. Not that Carina cares what she says in front of Gabriella, but she knows Maya probably does.

Maya ducks her head. “Okay, let’s go.”

“It’s ours. It’s just ours.” Carina grabs Maya’s face and presses against her, kissing her. “Okay?”



She twists some of Maya’s hair around her finger.

“But if you wanted to keep making your point-“

Carina hums and kisses Maya again.

Maya grabs onto Carina’s waist. She doesn’t know if she’s ever going to get enough of this woman. Part of her hopes not because that would mean that every day will be amazing.

They sway back and forth as they kiss in the parking lot. The swaying stops when Maya is pushed up against the back of Carina’s car.

“Oof.” Maya grunts, breathless.

Carina slots a knee between Maya’s legs, pressing her into the car. “Should we go home, bambina?” Carina licks up the side of Maya’s neck.

A shiver runs through Maya. “Y-yeah. It’s getting late.”

Carina pulls back and laughs. “It’s getting late?”

Maya shrugs. “Well, it is. We can’t stay out all night. And Gabriella is back at the apartment. You were the one who said not to leave her to her own devices for too long.”

Carina groans this time, forgetting that her friend is back at their apartment. “Okay.” She separates herself from Maya. “Let’s go.”

They get in the car and Carina drives them home. Maya unlocks the door, and they walk in. It’s quiet. There is no sign of Gabriella. The spare bedroom door is closed though.

“Shhh.” Maya puts her finger to her lips and turns to Carina.

“Fuck that.” Carina pulls her jacket off, throwing it over the couch. In the next motion, takes Maya’s hand and drags her into the bedroom.

“What are you doing?” Maya asks and Carina peels the jacket from her shoulder.

“What does it look like?” Carina reaches for the bottom of Maya’s shirt and pulls it up. “Raise your arms.” Maya does and she pulls the shirt over her head.

“Gabriella is in the next room.” Maya reminds her girlfriend.


Maya’s eyes go wide as warm hands caress her sides. Those hands roam around to the small of her back before traveling upwards and deft fingers flick open the clasp on her bra. Then hands are cupping her breasts, thumbs stroking over nipples. “Carina.” Maya moans, knowing she’s not going to be able to stop this now.

“Yeah, bella?” Carina smirks.

Maya moans again.

“You like that?”

Maya grabs Carina by the back of the neck and pulls her into a searing kiss. “I like that.” They kiss again. “And I love you.” Carina giggles into the kiss.

Carina comes out of the bedroom to get something to drink the next morning. Gabriella is standing there, leaning against the kitchen counter, mug in hand. “Did you kill her?” Gabriella asks.

“What? Who? No.” Carina has no idea what her friend is talking about.

“Maya? Did you kill her?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Or was that you? No nevermind, I know what you sound like in bed.” Gabriella shrugs. “Well, now I know what Maya sounds like in bed too.” She winks.

“Oh, dio mio.” Carina runs a hand over her face. “Ah, what can I say?”

“You don’t have to say anything. I get it.”

Carina notices the bags by the door. “Are you leaving? I thought you were staying until tomorrow.”

“Si, it’s clear that Maya has things handled here.” Gabriella might get a weird vibe from Maya, but she can tell that Carina is being well taken care of by the blonde.

Carina doesn’t blush but if she did now would be the time.

“That girl loves you. She seems a little stubborn about it, but she loves you and would do anything for you. So yes, I’m leaving because I know that no matter what happens you are in good hands. And that’s all I can ask.” She pulls Carina into a hug. “Was it fabulous?”

“Was what fabulous?” Carina is having a hard time keeping up this morning. Gabriella is throwing all these questions at her and now she’s leaving.

“The sex.” She raises an eyebrow. “Last night. Cuz it sounded-“ She rolls her head from side to side. “Fabulous.”

Carina smiles happily. “Yeah. It usually is with her. Fabulous.”

Gabriella laughs. “Good for you.”

Carina smirks at that. She releases Gabriella from the hug. “Thanks for coming.”

“Of course. It was good to see you. I just wish the circumstances would have been different.”

Carina sighs, sadly. “Me too. Poor Andrea.”

Gabriella nods. “Okay, goodbye. Now, you, get back to the sex lair.”

Carina nods. “Maya’s still sleeping. Which is rare. Usually she’s up early.”

“You tired her out.” Gabriella winks. She heard them. They were going at it for almost two hours.

Carina pulls Gabriella into one final hug to prevent her friend from seeing the giant smile on her face. “Ciao, Gabri.” She presses a kiss to her cheek.

“Ciao. And I’m serious about the sex lair. Get back in there. You seem happy with her. And I’m not just talking about sex.”

Carina looks down at the floor. “I am. She makes me feel-“ Carina smiles and looks up at Gabriella. “She makes me feel. And I haven’t felt like that in a long time. The way I feel around Maya I don’t think I’ve ever felt that. I feel. Do you know how amazing that is?”

Gabriella smirks. “I can imagine.” She shakes her head. “I’ve got to go. I have a flight in two hours.”

They hug once more before Gabriella is gripping her suitcase handle and backing out of the apartment. “Ciao.” She blows Carina a kiss.

Carina blows a kiss back. She stands there for a moment, thinking about her conversation with Gabriella just now. Thinking about the blonde in bed. Carina feels it. She feels happy with Maya. Like Gabriella said. With happy thoughts in mind, Carina skips towards the bedroom.