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'Will you stay? Properly this time?'

They go upstairs, Jocelyn leading, Maggie two steps behind, eyes flickering in the half dark. Jocelyn's fingers light on the dark wood banister. Her footsteps soft and certain. The fineness of her ankles rising out of those shoes that only she would wear. Maggie's head is light as her gaze travels up over Jocelyn's hips, her straight back in warm cardigan, the shift and curl of her hair against her neck. She is just in time to catch the turn of Jocelyn's head as she reaches the top of the stairs. Backlit, the beauty of her profile catches at something in Maggie's chest. An urge to kiss her. To take her in her arms so close. She almost fights it down, out of habit, then Jocelyn reaches out a hand to her and she realises. She can. Fighting feelings down, suppressing desires, dismissing ideas, shutting off one side of herself from her dearest friend – all that is in the past. She can.

So she does. Stretches one hand to meet Jocelyn's, slides her fingers over her palm, grips gently, slips one finger up to the veins in Jocelyn's wrist. Feels the pulse jump under the delicate skin there as she lets her eyes travel the length of Jocelyn's still-outstretched arm, finding her eyes in the shadows of her face and holding her gaze as she steps forward, upward and into Jocelyn. She presses close enough for the fabrics of their clothes to shift against each other. Hands still grasped. Jocelyn's eyes dark and huge. Her expression unreadable. Her lips parting. Maggie leans in to kiss her. Her lips part further and Maggie meets the movement with her tongue, her mouth open and hungry. Longing swirls in her belly but Jocelyn is already pulling her closer, a hand clutching at the short ends of her hair, cupping her jaw, holding her. Maggie's hand in Jocelyn's twitches as she tries to move it, to find some other place to touch but Jocelyn holds tight. She pulls back, breaking the kiss into smaller pieces, tilting her head so the light falls on Maggie's face. Her other hand rests on Maggie's shoulder. Their breathing fills up the space between them, the silence of the house.

'Yes?' Maggie checks, raises an eyebrow. Her face is soft.

'Oh God yes.' Jocelyn is entirely serious for a moment. Then she pouts. 'I wish you wouldn't treat me like a person who can't make her own decisions.'

Maggie has always wanted to kiss that pout, and now she does, cutting off the end of Jocelyn's sentence sweetly then pulling back. She forces herself to be serious.

'If you want to stop...'

'I don't want to stop.' A flash of the fire Jocelyn uses in court. 'Unless you do.' Her eyes drop for a second as uncertainty clouds her face. Maggie squeezes her hand, sending the message she can't quite say in words yet. I never want to let go of you. Jocelyn cants her head up, certain now.

'I want you Maggie. If you want me. I don't want you to stop.'

Maggie's breath catches.

'You must know I want you.' She leans in as she speaks until her lips are forming the words against Jocelyn's and her whisper dissolves into Jocelyn's moan and they are kissing again. Jocelyn leans into the kiss, closes her eyes to savour, taste and texture. Breathes in the close scent of Maggie. She is so alive right now. Heart racing, head spinning with desire, glowing in wonder at what they are about to do, what they are doing. Jocelyn's hand tightens, she steps backward with a tug, drawing Maggie with her, just inches apart.

'Come. We're a danger, swaying at the top of the stairs like this.'
A breath of laughter between them. They are definitely swaying as they cross the landing to a door that Jocelyn nudges open.

Later, Maggie promises herself, she will study this room thoroughly, absorb everything about it that makes it Jocelyn's private space. She can tell even at a glance that it is full of significance, a collection of items that mean deeply to Jocelyn. But now her senses are buzzing, she is too focused on the woman moving before her, and all she takes in are the French windows, books in all the corners, and a high, old-fashioned bed. Jocelyn swings curtains across the window, bends to switch on a bedside lamp, then circles the bed to add a bright reading light. She hesitates.

'Is this too much? I want to see you.'

Heat surges though Maggie. She can feel her eyes widen, her lungs fill, and she hears the catch of desire in her voice as she answers.

'Not too much.' She swallows. 'I'm no great beauty but...' Jocelyn scoffs, her smile warming her whole face, her eyes glowing such deep affection that Maggie falls silent, finds herself smiling back, her own eyes almost swimming. 'Whatever you need. Whatever you want,' she finishes gently.

'Whatever I want?' Jocelyn quirks an eyebrow and her eyes sparkle. Maggie smirks. Jocelyn flirting is an unexpected delight.

'May I put the main light on as well?' The drop in Jocelyn's voice and the tilt of her chin make it a challenge. Jocelyn's courage is trembling inside her but she is resolute.

'If you want.' Maggie keeps her eyes steady, presses the point. Jocelyn's lips purse. She holds Maggie's gaze as she steps round her to the switch and brightens the room still further. She doesn't need the full glare of light that this produces, but she wants to be able to appreciate every nuance, every movement, every moment to the full. Maggie's reactions are already a giddy thrill and she is greedy for every one. Slowly, drawing out the moment she reaches one hand to slide along Maggie's shoulder, play with her collar. Leans in to breathe in Maggie's ear.

'May I undress you?'

A shiver runs through Maggie. She nods.

'At least it's warm in here,' she manages to quip. Then she forgets about jokes and about teasing because Jocelyn moves in front of her and grips the edges of her cardigan and calmly, firmly, pushes it off her shoulders and Maggie has to bend her arms to free it. She sweeps the hair out of her eyes to find Jocelyn fingering the buttons of her shirt with a fierce focus, until she gets the knack, slipping them open one by one all the way down. Jocelyn holds the hem of Maggie's shirt for a moment, then reaches up to finger the collar, then inside the collar and down over Maggie's shoulders, sliding the shirt with her. She twitches the cuffs from Maggie's wrists then lets her gaze travel up her arms, across her chest, down over her stomach, up again to her breasts. Maggie watches her looking, feels her skin tingle in response, her breath come lighter and faster. Jocelyn reaches out to touch her stomach, finger tips just brushing the skin above her belly button. Maggie gasps. Jocelyn steps closer and Maggie can feel the heat of her through her clothes. She can't help but press tighter as Jocelyn wraps her arms around her. Maggie tangles her fingers in Jocelyn's hair, kisses the tip of her ear and then gasps again as she realises that Jocelyn is reaching for the clasp of her bra, pinching it undone and drawing it away from her body, stepping back so she can look again. She takes her time, turning her head slightly from side to side, leaning closer. Desire and apprehension flicker together as Maggie waits.

'Ohhh,' Jocelyn breathes, so softly that Maggie feels it almost more than she hears it, breath tickling her bare skin. She moans in response. Her eyes close. She knows her nipples are tightening, her back just arching forward, her stomach quivering as heat rushes down her, and she knows that Jocelyn is watching, seeing all of this. For a moment it is almost too much. She has never been this exposed with a lover. Not so suddenly. So soon. Jocelyn's breath catches. Maggie opens her eyes to see her friend, her lover, regarding her with such heat and adoration combined. But it's still Jocelyn she thinks. It's not sudden. It's not soon. It's just right.

Thrilling with the confidence of this thought, Maggie reaches for her.

'Come here.' She pulls her into a kiss that reaches far beyond their earlier kisses. Maggie cradles Jocelyn's face in her hands. Jocelyn wraps her arms around Maggie's back, traces her shoulder blades, her spine. Maggie trails her hands down Jocelyn's neck, teases at the front of her blouse.
'I want to see you too. Feel you.' Her voice is urgent, low, but Jocelyn pulls back a fraction, holding Maggie by the hips.

'I haven't finished looking.' That eyebrow arches again. Maggie almost groans. Jocelyn's fingers hook into the waistband of her trousers, slowly find the button and zip. She undoes the fastening by feel this time, keeping her eyes locked with Maggie's until the zip slides down and Jocelyn pauses again. Maggie tips her head forward against Jocelyn's.

'Please,' she whispers.

Jocelyn's smile goes predatory as she breathes out with a hiss of 'yes', dragging Maggie's trousers down, dropping to one knee. Maggie breathes hard, looking down at the top of her head. Together they negotiate the slipping off of shoes and socks, the stepping out of trousers. Jocelyn rakes her gaze up Maggie's legs, fixing on her knickers, flicking up to her face then down again. Curious. Hungry. Serious. In a reckless flash, or urge to assert herself, Maggie tugs her own knickers down, wriggles them past her knees and kicks them out from round her ankles.

'There.' Maggie stands naked in the bright room, Jocelyn kneeling before her. Slowly, far too slowly for Maggie's burning need, Jocelyn touches her legs, runs her hand round her calves, brushes her knees and the soft spots behind them, reaches up her thighs, over her hip bones and around to cup her buttocks. All the time with her eyes following her hands, coming to rest on the patch of fine hair between Maggie's legs.

Slowly, Maggie begins to shake.

'You are beautiful Maggie.' Jocelyn licks her lips, finding her mouth dry, her breath light. She is dizzy with desire and sways towards Maggie, bracing against her legs. She leans forward to press a kiss just above that triangle of hair, lips soft against softer skin. Breathes in deeply, inhaling the scent of her. Maggie drags a shaky hand through Jocelyn's hair.

'You need to come up here now and get us to bed before your knees give in or I fall over.' Jocelyn tilts her head back, tucking her chin against Maggie's stomach, looking up at her through the gap between her breasts.

'I want you,' she says, suddenly fierce again. She stands, wobbling slightly, and Maggie catches her in a passionate kiss.

'I want you,' she returns, when she can tear her mouth away, dragging kisses across Jocelyn's face and jaw, down her neck, not stopping to tease this time but tugging firmly at clothes. It's almost a struggle as Jocelyn can't stop touching Maggie now that she has completed her intense looking. Her hands are everywhere, even as she shrugs off cardigan and blouse at Maggie's insistence she can barely bear to take her hands off Maggie's skin. Burning by now, Maggie covers Jocelyn with kisses, following each new bit that is revealed. The hollow at the base of her throat, the sharp lines of her collar bones, the crease of her elbow. Jocelyn moans then and teeters, still in her heels. Maggie catches her, steadies her, holds her close as they both gasp for breath.

'Too many clothes.' Maggie pretends to grumble as she tugs Jocelyn's vest from the waistband of her trousers and finally gets her hands underneath. 'Very pretty,' she murmurs, close against her chest, as she runs her hand over a pale silk bra. 'But far too many.'

Jocelyn smiles. She traces the laughter lines on Maggie's face as Maggie reaches for the zip of her trousers and slips them down over her hips.

'Oh, really.' Maggie pauses, her hands on Jocelyn's hip bones, taken aback. 'Tights? How many layers do you have on woman?' A pang of fear - Jocelyn looks up, searching her face. Is this a rejection? But no, Maggie's voice is soft, her eyes are warm with affection, she meets Jocelyn's fear with a gentle kiss.

'Only you.' Maggie shakes her head and kisses her again. Jocelyn feels her heart glow. A chuckle rises out of her, much to both their surprise. Maggie's face lights up even further. They laugh lightly together.

'Only you,' Maggie repeats, her voice deep with meaning her words melting into a kiss. Her hands move over Jocelyn's skin again, unfastening her bra and sliding it off. Jocelyn reaches for her then, pulling Maggie against her so their breasts meet, their stomachs touch and they both gasp. She clings to Maggie as she toes off her shoes, shivers as Maggie runs a finger round the waistband of her tights. Grins ruefully.

'I'm going to have to sit on the bed to get these off,' she admits. Maggie chuckles.

'Go on then. We don't want any accidents.'

Jocelyn steps away and perches on the edge of the bed, becoming engrossed in the task of removing her tights and knickers, and this time Maggie watches her. There have been other times she has undressed or undressed for other women. Not often, because it's not the sort of thing most people bother with in the day-to-day life of a relationship, and it's never been a particular thing of hers – being watched. There have been other patterns of sex and affection with other women, over the years. Years back. Not so many this last while. And it's not something an older woman does anywhere outside the bedroom, undressing like this. Not in Broadchurch anyway. There have been other times, Maggie thinks as she watches Jocelyn's toes flex in the carpet as she lifts her second leg to free it. But not like this.

Jocelyn casts the last of her clothes aside with a twitch of her wrist. She looks up quickly, catches Maggie watching her. For a moment, she seems lost, tucking her knees together and leaning over, twisting her hands to hide her body. Then she shrugs and straightens, leans back on one arm, totally exposed. Her eyes focus on Maggie again and Maggie knows that she is watching her reaction, the slight tightening around her eyes showing the intensity of her scrutiny. So Maggie looks, and she makes no attempt to hide her pleasure.

'Gorgeous,' she breathes, her eyes widening as her gaze roams over Jocelyn's breasts, small and soft and hardly pulled down by her age. Unconsciously, Maggie bites her lip. She steps closer, one hand reaching out to touch Jocelyn's leg, sliding up her thigh, letting the backs of her knuckles glide over the smoothness of her stomach, fingertips tickling the thin line of hair just below. She watches Jocelyn's chest heave in response and brings her other hand to clasp a breast, curling her fingers beneath, running her thumb over the nipple and noticing, in excruciating detail, the way it puckers tighter.

'So beautiful.' Maggie drags her hand up from Jocelyn's stomach, passing over her other breast to curve around her neck and up through her hair. 'I always knew you were... beautiful, but...' She sighs. Jocelyn opens her mouth to reply. Stops. Instead, she shifts backwards onto the bed, pulling her legs up, and she beckons Maggie with a quirk of her head and her lips. Maggie crawls carefully on and sits beside her. Jocelyn takes her hand and pulls her down to lie, faces close. Their hands find each other's skin. Their eyes fix on each other's faces. Maggie's steady. Jocelyn's always shifting, flickering, searching for the best view, for every moment of expression. She opens her mouth again and this time she speaks.

'I haven't been with anyone since... a long time. A very long time.' Her face is so bleak for a moment that Maggie's heart aches for her. She lifts her hand to Jocelyn's cheek.

'I love you, you know.'

Jocelyn takes a moment to absorb that She has hoped many times, she has guessed occasionally, many years ago and just recently, she has dreamed this more often than she would ever admit even to Maggie herself. In some deep part of herself, wiser than her doubting brain, she thinks she must have known this. She has never expected that Maggie would love her, but her words do not come as a surprise. They complete something in Jocelyn. Her insecurities melt into the background. There is only this moment, this incredible woman. In bed. With her. Jocelyn's eyes go starrier than ever. She arches her back so her breasts meet Maggie's and her arm fits into the small of her back, pressing them flush together. They move against each other, savouring the sensations, breathe together, mouths falling open, kisses forming sometimes together, sometimes meeting jaws or cheekbones, ears. They move together, negotiating this simple proximity. Maggie nudges a leg between Jocelyn's, thrilling as Jocelyn tugs her tighter, clutching the leg between her own, sliding against it.

'Oh yes.'

Maggie grins. It is a delight to feel Jocelyn's excitement, her arousal. We are really doing this, she thinks.

Jocelyn traces patterns across Maggie's back. Swirling fingertips, sweeping palms, knuckles catching hair ends in one hand causing her to arc her head back. When Jocelyn dips her head and licks up her throat, tongueing her voice box, Maggie's breathing rasps. She meets Jocelyn's mouth with her own, kissing hard now, searching out that distracting tongue. She shifts against her too, moving them almost imperceptibly until she is a little above Jocelyn, bellies snug against each other, hips firm and still shifting. Maggie holds herself up on one arm, looking down into Jocelyn's face, adjusting to the new feel of the body beneath her. Jocelyn is slim, lighter than herself, though anything but fragile. Her arms clutching at Maggie's shoulders feel strong, her legs solid, and she seems bigger in some way, out of her demure costumes, more powerful. Still, Maggie is surprised when those strong arms encourage her further on top, pull her down, causing her to give more of her weight into Jocelyn.

'I want to feel you,' she murmurs in Maggie's ear. And Maggie's reply can only be a moan as Jocelyn follows the words with her tongue, teasing the tip around the close-curled skin. Maggie cants her hips into Jocelyn's. If she wants to feel, she is more than happy to comply. Gets a gasp in return. So she does it again, just to hear that noise, to hear Jocelyn make that noise. And to feel her too, the slight slickness forming in the movement now.

Propping herself up, Maggie breaks their contact a little, positioning herself so that she can kiss lower, reach Jocelyn's breasts with her free hand, her mouth. It's fascinating, discovering a woman's breasts, she has found. The intimacy of their individuality, learning what they are like underneath those everyday clothes, finding how they respond, where the pleasure lies. She scoops Jocelyn's left breast towards her mouth, places wide kisses along the underside. Tears her eyes away to peek up at Jocelyn's face, watch her reaction as she closes her mouth over the nipple. Jocelyn's eyes flutter closed. But she snaps them open again, determined to see everything. Maggie lifts her head a fraction, extends her tongue. Watches Jocelyn's eyes widen and her mouth open as she swirls the tip of her tongue around the nipple.

'Maggie.' Jocelyn's voice is hoarse, like she has never heard her before. 'Maggie, please.' Her chest strains, her legs twitch.

Maggie leans more of her weight to the side, bringing her head back up to the pillow and giving herself room to trail her hand down Jocelyn's stomach and gently press her legs further apart. She kisses her as she turns her hand and touches her fingertips to Jocelyn's softness, searching out her wettest place then sliding along, softly at first then firmer, parting her carefully, one finger, then two. Maggie takes her time, mmming with pleasure at the feel of her, breathing in Jocelyn's ragged breaths. Jocelyn jerks under her hand when Maggie reaches her clit. She makes her touch lighten, soften, searching again for the exact spot.

'There,' Jocelyn gasps, wrapping a hand around Maggie's neck. 'Just... there.'

Maggie speeds up her motions. Feather touches. She's trying to read Jocelyn's whole body now, not just her eyes or her face but the clutch of her hand, the rising flush across her chest, the flex of her feet, the tension in her belly, the pitch of her breath, and the subtle changes under her fingers. Jocelyn comes with a half-broken sound, her mouth open, eyes closed at last, so she misses the look of pure delight on Maggie's face.

Jocelyn is breathless and giddy for long moments, blinking hard to try to focus on Maggie's face. Maggie can't keep herself from grinning as she watches Jocelyn slowly return to the moment. She smooths her hand over Jocelyn's body, heavy and firm, grounding her with steady strokes. She relishes the little shudders that run through Jocelyn as she sweeps her hand up over her stomach.
'You liked that.' Maggie lifts her hand and brushes a wisp of hair off Jocelyn's forehead, fingers the fine lines beside her eyes, smudges her thumb across her upper lip. Jocelyn catches it in a kiss, just a hint of teeth behind. She narrows her eyes languidly.

'I would tell that you that smug doesn't suit you but unfortunately it does.' Jocelyn raises a shaky hand to push Maggie's hair back, curl her fingers in the nape of her neck. Maggie huffs a laugh.
'A compliment. My goodness that's a first.' Jocelyn's fingers are moving, spreading and curling against her scalp, and Maggie turns her head into the sensation. She is itching to press against Jocelyn again, to ask for something more, something to answer the high arousal Jocelyn has woken in her. But she lets Jocelyn set the pace, waits to see what her response will be, lets herself relax and react, her eyes falling shut, her head rolling into Jocelyn's hand. When she opens her eyes, Jocelyn is studying her. It's that particular look that Maggie is coming to recognise tonight, a thrilling tension, a hunger, absorption. Longing curls deep inside her.

Jocelyn moves her hand to Maggie's shoulder, pushing until Maggie lies back on the bed. She hitches herself up to sitting, curling her legs in. Hands first, eyes following, leaning in but not too close to focus, pulling back when she casts too much of a shadow. Fingertips tracing the scatter of freckles on Maggie's breastbone. Palms catching at her breasts. Jocelyn shifts down the bed to follow the journey of her hands. She looks up at Maggie with such anticipation in her eyes.
'May I?' The hint of a smile on her lips. Her hand sliding up Maggie's thigh and Maggie opens to her, too breathless for words. They rearrange themselves so that Jocelyn is between Maggie's legs. Touching. Looking. Maggie throws her head back. It's too much to see Jocelyn doing this. Feeling is almost too much after all this time. Jocelyn's fingers are delicate over Maggie's tender flesh. Her hooded eyes transfixed. She traces Maggie's shape, parts her, slips one finger into her wetness, draws it out. Her head snaps up to check Maggie's reaction on her face, but Maggie is lost, eyes closed, head back, hands plucking at the bed-cover. Jocelyn turns back to concentrate on her actions. She presses that finger at Maggie's entrance and thrills when Maggie tilts her hips, inviting her. Jocelyn slides her finger in, curls it in Maggie's warmth, stretches slowly as far as it will reach, draws back., then in again. Fascinated by the feel and sight of her, the quivers and rocking of Maggie's physical response, the tiny sounds of their joining. Dimly, outside the circle of her concentration Jocelyn realises that Maggie is muttering. She slows her finger inside Maggie, tries to listen. A string of nonsense half-words she realises. Please is in there. And her name. And what she strongly suspects to be swearing, bitten off each time, punctuated by gasps, dissolving into open vowels. It's so unexpected that Jocelyn can't help but relish Maggie's uncharacteristic inarticulacy. She could almost tease her. But Maggie groans her name louder and Jocelyn feels hunger rush right through her. She wants more than anything to make this woman come. To see her climax. To share that experience with her.

Jocelyn spreads her fingers, keeping one inside Maggie, finding her clit with another. Maggie bucks against her, breathing rising. Jocelyn leans closer, her breaths heavy too. Maggie's muttering fractures into sounds, open, rasping vowels. Her hips arch up off the bed and Jocelyn meets her with her hand as Maggie tightens around her then collapses. Jocelyn stills for a moment, her gaze roaming across Maggie's body, taking in the picture of her sprawled and sated. She moves her hand to stroke again, still marvelling at the feeling. A deep shudder shakes Maggie. And she is reaching for Jocelyn, tangling legs with her, clasping her, rolling them together skin tight to skin. She presses a kiss to Jocelyn's hair and their lips meet tenderly.

After some time, Jocelyn speaks. Her chest aches, making her voice low, throaty.
'That was...' She swallows back a sudden wave of emotions, choking on feelings she can't put words to. 'I never believed we would get to have this.'
Maggie stirs against her. Mouths a kiss against Jocelyn's temple. Holds her.