Chapter 1: Awakening
Jane needs some medicine
Maura Isles sat down on the side of her bed. She was physically and mentally drained. It felt as if she hadn’t slept in over a week. As a doctor she knew the signs, she was starting to crash. Her body needed both sleep. If it hadn’t been for Angela she doubt that she would have lasted this long. Angela. Maura smiled thinking about Jane’s mother fondly. Trust her to start cooking in a crisis and ensuring that everyone was fed. Maura sighed and fell back unto the bed. Promising herself that she would just rest a minute before taking a shower.
She woke with a start. She felt confused and her mind was sluggish to start functioning normally. Slowly reality started to filter through:
Jane's been shot.
She nearly died.
She did die.
She flat lined.
Two minutes. One hundred and twenty seconds.
She was dead for at least two minutes before the doctors in the ER could bring her back. Never in her life had Maura Isles ever been so scared before. All the knowledge she had accumulated could not prepare her for the panic and helplessness that engulfed her during those two minutes. They say that a person’s life flashes before their eyes when experiencing near death situations. Being a scientist Maura had always believed it was just a mere expression, but when Jane died…
Every moment spent with her flashed through her mind. Minute details of Jane Rizzoli were etched into her mind’s eye for eternity it seems. That exasperating eye roll, the trademarked Rizzoli stare, the dimple in her chin, her smile, her laughter and her voice.
Jane's cries filtered through Maura's awareness. She sat up dragging a hand through her hair. Then reality came flooding back. Jane was calling her. She rushed out of the main bedroom down the hall to the guest bedroom.
“No, leave her alone!”
Maura rushed to her bedside and realised that Jane was having a nightmare. She was trashing around on the bed wildly. Moaning loudly her hands clenched into tight balls on the sheets. Still breathing heavily from the mad dash into the room, Maura sat down on the side of the bed.
“Jane… it’s ok. I’m here. You’re having a bad dream.” Maura whispered and ran a hand lightly across Jane’s forehead. Smoothing the brown curls away from Jane’s furrowed brow. Jane seemed to calm at her touch. Maura continued to whisper her name while tracing her fingers over the worried line on Jane’s forehead. Suddenly Jane sat up straight startling Maura. Her eyes were open, but unfocussed. “Maura…” she moaned again.
“I’m right here Jane”, Maura said a little louder this time. Fingers dug into her shoulder as Jane roughly pulled her closer. “It’s ok, you were just having a…” The hand on her shoulder snaked to her neck and possessively pulled her closer. Maura gasped as Jane’s mouth met hers and her tongue found its way into her parted lips.
Maura became aware of the way Jane’s fingers were tracing along her jawline. Her breathing became ragged and a slow fire started to form in the pit of her stomach. She found herself kissing back. Running her hand through Jane’s curls. “Jane…” she tried to say but it came out as a low guttural moan. At the sound Jane’s hand tilted her head back and her mouth made its way down her throat. While her other hand grabbed at her jaw her thumb rubbing hard against Maura’s lips. Maura couldn’t help herself. Her lips parted and she ran her tongue over Jane’s thumb before biting down lightly on the digit. A moan escaped Jane’s lips and her breathing caught slightly at the light pressure.
Their mouths found each other again and Maura felt like she was on fire. Arousal clouded her mind and she leaned against Jane. Jane’s hands dropped away and she flinched as another moan escaped her lips, not in pleasure but in pain. Her head hit the pillows and she flailed from side to side. It took Maura a minute to realize that Jane was still asleep. That she had never really woken up in the first place. Placing a steading hand on her chest Maura willed herself to calm down. She was breathing deeply to get as much oxygen as possible into her lungs and body. As her breathing steadied she reached over to the night stand. Grabbing the pain pills prescribed to Jane.
Gently shaking Jane’s shoulder she woke Jane. “Jane, Jane. You need to wake up. It’s time for your medicine.”
It is not often that Maura Isles loses her composure. As she leans against the wall in the hallway she holds up her hands and watches them tremble uncontrollably. She wills them to stop, but to no avail. Finally she drags herself up straight and gives herself a mental shake. It was the medicine combined with pain and sleep, that’s all. She tries to convince herself again. Jane is straight. She has never looked at any woman, including herself, in a way that could be seen as inappropriate. Jane is straight.
Slowly walking towards the kitchen Maura sighed. She knew herself. She would be unable to sleep tonight. Might as well put the kettle on and brew herself a pot of tea. The familiarity of the task settles her nerves. Rationality slowly returns. As she leans over the counter and takes the first sip of the soothing liquid, Maura turns the events of the last two weeks over in her mind.
Chapter 2: A bad day at the office
How Jane got hurt
They were all at a crime scene together. Her, Jane, Barry and Korzak. They were standing outside the rundown house patiently waiting while Maura tied her hair back and donned an overcoat identifying her as the M.E. “Dispatch wasn’t too clear, but it seems there are multiple DB’s inside” Jane was explaining to them. “Crowley and his partner has cleared the scene and confirmed it. It seems he still hasn’t found his crime scene legs yet. He has been standing over there for nearly ten minutes. He hasn’t moved. And he definitely looks slightly green”
“Shock can be quite debilitating. Certain species of bird and reptile will actually faint and appear dead when frightened. And…” Maura started to explain, but she stopped short at the frown she received from Jane. “Maura!” Her back turned to Crowley and his partner, her voice sounded shocked. “Did you just compare Crowley to a reptile?” Barry bit back a laugh and Korzak turned away from them trying to hide the smile on his face.
“I am shocked at you Dr. Isles. Have you no respect for a sensitive soul?” Jane’s face and voice was serious and Maura missed the dancing laughter in her eyes. “I… uh… I…” as she struggled for words Maura could feel embarrassment climbing up her neck and into her face. She looked down at her hands and fumbled with the name tag trying to compose her thoughts. Jane touched her elbow lightly concern etched across her features. “Maur, I was only kidding. I was pulling your leg. I know that you have the utmost respect for others.” Shrugging and feeling foolish for not realizing Jane was just being Jane, Maura tossed her head back and picked up her bag from the back of the van. “Oh, okay.” She said when she finally trusted her voice again.
“You do realize that you were right however” Jane whispered loud enough for her words to carry to Frost and Korzak, smirking and raising her eyebrows suggestively. “That man is completely controlled by his lizard brain!” Maura laughed at the expression on Jane’s face. Her eyes were rolling around and her tongue snaked out between her teeth every couple of seconds. “Oh, Jane! Crowley looks nothing like that!” she smiled as Jane wiggled her eyebrows again. “Maybe not right now,” she stage whispered to Maura, “but when he’s alone in the shower…” Barry and Korzak forgot to pretend to be serious and they laughed along with Maura and Jane.
Jane went through her jacket pockets and turned to Maura. “Maur, I need some gloves please”, she held out her hand toward Maura to accept a pair. “Seriously Maura! Purple? Again?” she asked frowning down at the gloves. Frost elbowed Korzak and the pair of them smirked at Jane. “Yo Rizzoli!” Frost called to Jane. “Your momma called and asked…”
“If you ever want kids Frost, now is not the time to finish that sentence!” she growled while shaking the gloves at him. “And you,” she pointed back at Maura “need to stop shopping at the Gucci medical supply store! Is it too damn much to ask to have normal white or beige gloves?”
Sighing loudly Maura said “Language Jane! And I’ve explained this to you on several occasions already. Not only does these ‘purple’ nitrile gloves have no antigenic proteins found in the standard latex gloves, the fingers are textured to provide better grip and provide protection against various known chemicals and pathogens that we may encounter during the course of an investigation.”
“Okay Doctor Smarty-pants, so basically you’re saying that the color had NO impact on your choice at all Maura?” Jane asked incredulously.
“…Well…” she pretended to turn the idea around in her mind. “… The color obviously is an added bonus…” Maura replied with an innocent smile. “I knew it!” Jane exclaimed happily to Frost and Korzak over her shoulder.
Turning back towards Maura her smile froze and face became serious. “Get down! Gun!” she shouted pushing a startled Maura to the ground. She started reaching for her own gun when a burst of automatic gunfire broke out. Maura was momentarily stunned. Jane wore a look of surprise as she fell unto Maura. Shots rang out from all sides as officers returned fire at the lone gunman.
“Cease fire! Cease fire!” Korzak’s voice rang out over the chaos. “Suspect down! Secure his weapon” he continued until a ghostly silence fell over the area. Maura became aware that she was still pinned underneath Jane’s body. “Jane? You can get up now” Maura said struggling to move under Jane’s weight. When she received no response Maura pushed against Jane’s shoulder. Jane’s body rolled over and Maura gasped as she saw blood all over Jane’s shirt. Years of training kicked in before panic could and Maura kneeled over Jane’s lifeless body. Putting fingers on her pulse Maura felt relief flood through her as she felt Jane’s pulse under her fingers. Her pulse was erratic, but still strong.
“Barry!” she practically screamed at Frost. “We need an ambulance, Jane’s been shot”
She practically tore Jane’s shirt open to inspect the damage. Using the shirt to wipe away blood Maura started to assess the damage. There were three bullet wounds in the lower abdomen, two in the upper torso and one near the left clavicle. “Barry, I need you to help me put pressure on these wounds.” Her voice sounded strangely calm in her own ears. “Hang on Jane.” She whispered fiercely, watching as blood poured through her fingers seeping away in the paving stones under Jane’s body.
She could hear the ambulance siren coming closer and closer. Until strong hands pulled her off Jane’s body. Her hands were shaking and she grabbed Jane’s limp hand, feeling tears falling down her cheeks. She held on for dear life and in the end the EMT’s had to load into the ambulance with Jane. She doesn’t remember the drive to the hospital, or the mad dash through the ER. When she came to her senses Angela had her arms wrapped around her, rocking her back and forth.
“Jane?” she half asked cried. Angela choked back tears and Frankie answered in a strangled voice. “Surgery”
Six harrowing hours later a doctor finally called “Rizzoli?” He looked tired and had a grim look in his eyes. He ran a hand through his hair and stated. “She’s stable for now. There was massive internal damage and she has lost a lot of blood. We were able to recover the bullets and repair most of the damage. I’m afraid that her recovery will be slow and painful, it is a miracle that she is alive.” Angela was sobbing uncontrollably. “Can we see her?” Maura pleaded. He nodded and explained that a nurse will show them to the high care unit shortly.
Jane was asleep. She was startled at her pallor as she walked up to the bed. Her usual tan skin looked grey and pain was etched across her face. Maura placed her hand over Jane’s. And for a brief moment Jane’s eyes fluttered open looking at Maura her frown disappearing as her eyes fell closed again.
Chapter 3: The look
Angela sees something in Maura
The pain was excruciating. Jane groaned trying to sit up. It took all her willpower to swing her legs off the bed. Her vision blurred briefly and then cleared again. She could hear somebody in the kitchen. She pushed herself up from the bed. Wincing as pain laced through her body. So maybe it was still too soon to be up and about, but she was tired of lying in bed all day. If she could make it to the couch she will at least be able to watch some Sports Centre or something else that will occupy her mind.
Her breath came in short bursts and her muscles were aching like she’s run too fast for too long. Sweat beaded on her brow and she could feel streams running down her back from the exertion. She was almost halfway down the hall when her legs gave way.
“Arrgggh… Dammit!” she cried out in pain as she crashed into the wall and felt herself slide to the floor.
“Janie? Is that you?” her mother called from the kitchen. Jane struggled into a sitting position, gasping for breath and shaking uncontrollably.
“Jane!” Angela’s cry was near hysterical as she ran to Jane’s side. “Are you okay?” Jane grunted a response hoping her mother would take it to mean that she was in fact okay. “Why are you out of bed? You’re supposed to be resting!” Her mother’s tone reminded her of all the times she and her brothers were in trouble when they were younger. “I’m fine Ma.” She replied smiling at the memory and her frowning mother. “You find it funny to scare your poor mother half to death? I swear Jane I almost died when I saw you on the floor.” Angela was shaking a finger in her face and Jane barked a laugh. Immediately regretting it as pain laced through her body anew.
“Ma, I’m fine. I just needed to get out of the room. I can’t lie around all day, I need to do something” she tried to explain her actions. Angela’s face softened and she sat down next to Jane putting an arm around her shoulders. “Well next time you feel the need to go exploring please call one of use Janie. You could get hurt!” Jane smiled at the irony since she was already hurt, but wisely chose to keep quiet on the subject. Instead she asked “Will you help me up please and help me to the couch?”
It took some time and careful maneuvering, but they eventually reached the couch. Both of them breathing heavily and sounding like a couple of marathon runners after a grueling race. Jane fell asleep almost immediately. The strain of the short walk clearly had taken its toll on her broken body. Angela hovered over her only daughter and sadness flooded through her body. Raw sobs started to escape from deep within her being. She blindly fled to the kitchen scared that she might wake Jane back up. She sank to the floor with her hands in her hair. It was torture seeing her Jane like this. Jane had always been so strong, stubborn and independent that the thought of her needing help with the smallest of chores broke Angela’s heart.
She carefully took her Rosary in her hand and silently started to pray for her daughter. Reciting the familiar words over and over, but not feeling the relief she so desperately required. Angela had never wavered in her faith before, but seeing Jane broken was testing it to the limit. She stood up sighing and started preparing dinner for Maura and herself. The task was calming and it wasn’t long before Angela started humming softly while rolling out her special homemade pasta dough on the counter. She prepared the meat and vegetables for the dish and placed the finished product into the oven. After cleaning the work area she looked at the clock and was startled to see that it was nearly seven. Poor Maura. Between work and caring for Jane Angela doubted that the medical examiner had any time for herself. She smiled as she thought about the socially inept Maura Isles and the unlikely friendship that has blossomed between her and Jane. Maura was good for Jane. She seemed to calm the more erratic side of Jane’s personality. Jane on the other hand, seemed to be able to draw out the more reserved Maura. Two sides of the same coin, Angela mused. If only Maura was a man. She would be the perfect match for her Janie. If only…
“Angela?” Maura’s voice pulled Angela out of her musings. She had not heard the medical examiner come home. “In the kitchen honey” she called back. Receiving no response Angela moved towards the living area concerned that something may be wrong with Jane. She found Maura looking down at Jane, a pensive look on her face. Her hand reached towards a stray curl on Jane’s forehead and she lightly brushed it aside intimately. Angela retreated back towards the kitchen feeling as if she had intruded on Maura’s privacy. The look on Maura’s face was unmistakable. It spoke of love, it spoke of longing.
After switching off the oven Angela unlocked the back door and slipped out towards the guest house, silently closing the door behind her. Her mind reeling at the implications of the feelings reflected through that one look. Inwardly she prayed that the friendship between the two women was strong enough to withstand an unrequited love or even a returned love.
Maura felt tired to the bone. The last couple of weeks were starting to take their toll on her body and mind. As she stood over Jane she was struck by the beauty and vulnerability of her friend. Vulnerable, Maura slowly turned the word over in her mind. Not a word that would usually be attributed to Jane Rizzoli. She was self-confident, clever, intuitive, beautiful and to be honest a little cocky at times, but never vulnerable. Before the incident Jane had seemed indestructible. A force of nature, larger than life.
Maura found herself transfixed staring at the shape of Jane’s lips. Her fingers itched to trace their outline, to feel their warmth under their tips. Lost in thought she ran her index finger over her own lips imagining it to be the brush of Jane’s on her own. She closed her eyes and tilted her head slightly a soft moan rising through her being, a mute Bass the only witness to her silent longing.
Maura's response to her touch is a little too much for Jane
It’s been four weeks since the shooting and Jane Rizzoli was feeling on edge. She had expected to be back to normal within a couple of weeks, but her body was healing slower than she’d like. She hated being dependent on others. It irked her that her left hand had a mind of its own. She’d be holding a cup of coffee and a sudden spasm will cause her to either spill the contents or worse like this morning to drop the cup. To top it all off she hadn’t been cleared for duty yet. It didn’t help to know that while she was sitting on her ass in Maura’s living area her partners were out there closing in on the bad guys without her.
Jane glanced at her watch. Great! It was at least another hour before Maura got home from the office. She could hear Angela preparing dinner in the kitchen and she sighed inwardly. Angela was the best mother in the world, but sometimes her perky attitude and constant mothering drove Jane crazy. She switched off the television and carefully got up from the couch. As she started to shuffle towards the kitchen she heard Maura’s key turn in the door.
“Ma! Maura’s home!” she yelled towards the kitchen. “Hi Jane.” Maura smiled as she closed the door behind her. “How was your day?”
Jane rolled her eyes and said “I feel like the local hairdresser. I really don’t know how hairdressers do it, do you?” Maura frowned in confusion. “Hairdresser? I’m not sure I’m following you”
“She never stops talking! It’s like she has verbal diarrhea or something” Jane exclaimed. “Please make her stop Maur! I promise I will be your slave if you can get her stop! I will do anything for a little peace and quiet” she dramatically pleaded with puppy eyes. Fully aware that Angela was standing right behind her.
Maura laughed. “Anything? I’ll have to see what I can do then, won’t I?” she winked mischievously at Angela over Jane’s shoulder. “Knowing Jane you really should determine payment before you do the deed, don’t you Dr. Isles?” Angela said conspiratorially to Maura. “Why don’t we eat and then I will leave you girls to your own devices” Angela suggested. “That way nobody will owe anybody anything?”
Conversation at the table was relaxed and Maura felt herself unwind from the day. It still amazed her how much the Rizzoli’s loved each other. It was evident in the light banter between the two women. Being included in their family was one of the most precious gifts anybody has ever given her. As if sensing that Maura was distracted Jane reached over and touched her arm. “Maur, are you okay? You’ve been extremely quiet tonight.” The light touch sent bolts of electricity up her arm and Maura looked up into Jane’s concerned eyes. “I’m fine Jane. I was just thinking about how good it feels not to come home to an empty house at the end of the day.” She said. “ And how nice it is to come home to family” she added softly.
Angela’s eyes filled with tears and she stepped around the table to Maura giving her a quick hug before starting to clear the table, letting Maura know in her own way that she felt the same. Jane squeezed her hand lightly and smiled affirming the sentiment.
After Angela had left for the night Jane looked at Maura. “You look exhausted Maur. Are you really okay?” Maura looked away and sighed. “I am fine Jane. Things at the office has been hectic the last couple of weeks, but that’s nothing new”
“You need a break” Jane stated.
“I know. I’ve been planning to get away for some time now, but things have not been working out. After doctor Rogers retired we haven’t been able to get a replacement until last week. Hopefully things will start to quiet down now that we are back to full capacity down in the morgue.”
Jane smiled and said “Having a grouchy patient at home sure didn’t help much, did it?”
“Oh Jane, coming home every day has been the light at the end of a very dark tunnel for me.” She said simply.
“Your homecoming has been the light at the end of a very dark tunnel for me too. Anything to stop the constant chatter around here.” Jane said with a smile. Maura smiled back and tried not to read too much into that statement from Jane.
Moving to the living room Maura sat down next to Jane. Perfectly content just to listen to her friend talk about her day. Laughing at her little jokes and smiling as Jane let off steam from being cooped up all day. To Maura nothing could be better than having Jane around. She settled deeper into the couch facing Jane and listened to her rambling about some classic baseball game she had watched on ESPN during the day. Maura smiled as Jane started massaging her tired feet unconsciously. And as she listened to the low tone of Jane’s voice she started drifting off to sleep.
“And he practically hit the ball a mile into the stands.” Jane continued her story unaware that Maura was asleep next to her. When Maura didn’t reprimand her for exaggerating Jane glanced over and found Maura sound asleep. Jane stared at her friend surprised at the tenderness she felt for the woman who next to her mother had quickly become the most important person in her life. Maura was beautiful, smart and sophisticated. Jane could not imagine life without the petite medical examiner in her life. She loved the socially awkward doctor like she had never loved anybody else before. It surprised her that sitting next to her on the couch felt so completely natural.
Letting her eyes roam over Maura’s form she couldn’t help admire the perfect lines of her body. To sum it up Maura Isles was hot. She ran a finger over the curve of Maura’s calf and gently traced the shape of her knee. At the light touch Maura moaned softly in her sleep. Wondering if she could reproduce the sound Jane let her fingers trail down Maura’s leg again. So engrossed in her little project Jane was unaware that Maura was observing the concentration in Jane’s gaze. With each touch, electricity shot through Maura’s body and her abdominal muscles contracted involuntarily. Curiosity got the better of her and Maura closed her eyes and gently shifted deeper into the couch, causing her legs to move further down towards Jane’s delectable touch. Jane’s hand stilled momentarily. Scared that she had awakened Maura she glanced at her friends face. Apparently satisfied that Maura was still asleep she let her hands continue their ministrations. Maura’s skirt had moved up her thighs and Jane felt her mouth grow dry at the sight of Maura’s well-toned muscles.
She ran the back of her hand over the exposed skin and smiled at the low moan that escaped Maura’s lips. “Oh, Jane…” Maura gasped suddenly. Jerking her hand away as if burned Jane looked at Maura in alarm. Not daring to breathe for fear of waking Maura. The M.E’s eyes were still closed and Jane sighed in relief. Slowly and carefully she slipped from under Maura’s legs. Her hand shaking as she ran it through her hair. What was she doing? Wanting her best friend to moan at her touch? She was practically accosting Maura while she was asleep.
Jane stumbled away from the couch. Too upset to hear the frustrated sigh that Maura let out.
Chapter 6: Therapy
Maura arranges some therapy without Jane knowing
Jane winced as the doctor forced her to contort her body into another unnatural position. “Just try to hold it there for as long as you can” the perky little redhead said with a much too friendly smile. Jane could feel sweat drip down her back and her muscles were shaking uncontrollably. “Ouch! I’m made of flesh and bone, not malleable clay, damn you!” Jane forced through clenched teeth. If possible little red imp looked even perkier at the comment.
“Jane! Language! I have to apologize for Jane, but it seems that being cooped up all day is making her forget her manners” Jane nearly toppled over as Maura stepped around her and gave her a light tap on the rump with the tablet in her hand. With a look that clearly said “BEHAVE” she resumed her self-appointed task of capturing every embarrassing pose on her tablet and taking meticulous notes with a stylus. “Why exactly… do you… need to document… my torture Maura?” Jane asked between labored breaths.
“I’m trying to ensure that we know which exercises should be done, how they should be done and how long they should be done” Maura replied quickly turning away from Jane as she felt a heat rise from her neck into her face. Though the explanation was plausible it wasn’t the truth. The exercises were simple enough to remember and the therapist had already provided her with diagrams and detailed descriptions via email. In truth Maura needed some ammunition to use against Jane. Plus having a few candid snapshots of Jane wearing her black sports bra and tights was just too good to pass on.
Jane was exhausted. It felt as if she had run a marathon. As she pulled her sweater over her head she smiled at the memory of actually running a marathon with Maura. Running for P.U.K.E. As always she gave a silent chuckle at the charity’s unfortunate name. She was still smiling as she stepped back into the therapist’s office. Maura was clearly engrossed in something the therapist was explaining.
“Ah there you are!” little miss Red Smiley Pants exclaimed causing Jane’s smile to freeze in place. “Let me quickly show you what I’m talking about” she said to Maura stepping into Jane’s personal space without warning. Jane stiffened and involuntarily took a step back, but not in time. Little miss Red Smiley Pants grabbed her left arm and lifted it straight causing Jane to winch as the stiffening muscles screamed against the action. “I have a few major concerns. As you can see Dr. Isles abduction still causes pain.” Moving Jane’s arm back and forth she continued “Protraction and retraction also occurs at a decreased angle. Mainly I’m concerned about the rotation and circumduction of the hand. I also noted that there is a marked difference between the opposition of the two hands. Jane being ambidextrous the difference really shouldn’t be that pronounced.” The doctor said. Maura was nodding and a concerned frown creased her forehead. She took Jane’s hand and idly patted it while considering the doctor’s words.
“Have you had any time to look over the documents I sent?” Maura asked.
“Indeed I have. I’m familiar with Doctor Brent’s work and in all honesty I think that the structure of her therapy sessions may just be what Jane needs. I know that she usually only works from referrals let me make a note and then I will refer Jane officially to her” little miss Red Smiley Pants smiled sweetly and reached for a pad on her desk.
Maura cleared her throat and said “That won’t be necessary. I’ve already spoken to Em… Doctor Brent, she’s agreed to take on Jane and clear her schedule for the next couple of weeks.” Jane’s confusion grew as the smile slipped from little miss Red Smiley Pants’ face. “You know Doctor Emily Brent? Wow!” She exclaimed. To Jane it seemed as if she could see green envy rise and settle into the therapist’s eyes. “You do get around, don’t you?” She remarked. After an uncomfortable moment of silence she sighed and looked apologetically at Maura. “I’m sorry Doctor Isles. That was uncalled for. Well… then I guess that’s all… please schedule a follow-up in three weeks and then we will know if Jane can be cleared for active duty.”
“What was that about?” Jane demanded as soon as they left the consultation room.
“What was what about?” Maura asked a tiny frown still creasing her brow.
“Who is Brent? What has Brent got to do with me?” Jane asked and without giving Maura time to respond “And what exactly does she mean with ‘You get around’? That sounded like an insult!” Jane rolled her shoulders trying to release some of the tension that had settled there during her physical therapy session.
“Oh, Em? Well she’s an old friend that has a private therapy practice. She works exclusively with high profile government officials that had been hurt in the line of duty.” Maura explained.
When she didn’t elaborate Jane prodded “And?”
As they got into Maura’s car Jane noticed a slight flush tingeing Maura’s cheeks. “And?” Jane prodded.
“Em has a bit of a reputation.” Maura admitted. She glanced at Jane before continuing. “She is the best there is Jane. She also just happens to be one of my oldest friends and after hearing about your shooting she offered her services.” Maura felt her blush deepened and rummaged through her purse trying to find her keys. Not finding them she sighed. “My keys are missing” she sighed at Jane.
“I got them Maur” Jane said smiling at the look of consternation on Maura’s face. “I forgot my bag, remember?” Jane fished the keys out of her gym bag and handed them over to Maura. “Now are you going to tell me about this friend of yours and her ‘reputation’?” Jane asked again.
Maura unlocked the car and got in behind the wheel. After Jane got in and settled in the passenger seat she reached to start the ignition. Jane’s hand on her wrist stopped her. “Maur?”
Sighing in defeat Maura looked at Jane. “Emily Brent is considered a womanizer by most people who know her. She is rich and flashy and I hate to admit it, but totally vulgar when it comes to the ladies” Jane watched as a deep flush spread from Maura’s neck into her cheeks. “I think that the little doctor was implying that I… that I was one of Em’s… uhm… conquests.” She finally got out.
Jane stared at Maura. “Conquests?” Jane burst out laughing. “Oh, Maura! That just made my day! I can only picturing that little red imp imagining you, Maura Isles, and some other woman doing the nasty.” Jane was shaking and laughing having difficulty catching her breath. Maura looked down at her hands not willing to face Jane. When Jane didn’t hear Maura’s laughter she sobered and looked enquiring over at Maura. “Maura? Are you okay?” she asked concerned that something was terribly wrong.
Maura finally looked up into Jane’s eyes and nodded. “I’m fine Jane, nothing’s wrong.” She said unconvincingly.
“You really shouldn’t worry about what some hussy thinks of you.” Jane said plainly assuming Maura was upset to be categorized as a conquest of some woman. “She obviously doesn’t know anything about you Maur.”
Maura looked at Jane considering what response would end the discussion without further awkwardness. “Thank you Jane” she finally said hoping her answer would indicate that she really was concerned about what the therapist was thinking of her.
“So when does therapy start with the amazing Doctor Em?” Jane asked with a smirk.
Maura smiled. “Well we leave on Sunday morning and she will probably want to start working with you on Monday”
“Leave? Where exactly will WE be going?” Jane asked suspiciously.
“Em has a place on the water in Martha’s Vineyard.” Maura replied.
“Wow! That must be nice, working from the Vineyard.” Jane said.
“Actually she has practices in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Her place in Martha’s Vineyard is her holiday home” Maura explained. “When we spoke she offered to help you with the rehabilitation, but she is currently on sabbatical.”
“So she is going to work on her holiday?” Jane asked incredulously.
“Yes.” Maura said simply. “I’ll be taking some time off from work as well. It will give me time to catch up with some reading and old friends at the same time. I have to say I’m quite excited at the prospect of seeing Em… uhm… them again.” Maura continued.
“Just when were you planning to inform me about your little impromptu holiday and my ‘rehabilitation’?” Jane asked a little annoyed at the fact that Maura just assumed that she would be fine with her taking over her life.
At the sound in Jane’s voice Maura glanced at her. Clearly something was bothering her. She glanced around and found an open parking space. Pulling into it and switching off the ignition she turned to Jane. “What’s wrong Jane? Are you not feeling well?” she asked in concern.
Jane was struck by the obvious concern in Maura’s eyes and she felt bad for snapping at the petite M.E.
“Maur, I’m fine. I’m just frustrated that you hadn’t discussed this with me before you went ahead and planned the little trip.” Jane said earnestly.
“You are frustrated at home. I can see that it is killing you sitting around all day. I just thought you would appreciate getting away from it all. If it is not something you want to do I can call Em and let her know that you won’t be joining me. I didn’t intend to presume. I just thought you would like the time away.” Maura said.
Jane sighed. “I really would like to get away Maura. Ma is hovering like a lazy fly the last couple of days. Sometimes it feels if I can’t breathe. Thank you for thinking of me and sorry I snapped.”
“So we’re going?” Maura asked.
“I guess so Doctor Isles.” Jane said smiling at the pure excitement Maura couldn’t contain.
Maura looked into Jane’s eyes and swallowed before starting the car again. Knowing that the couple of weeks away may change their lives forever.
Chapter 7: Leaving
Jane and Maura leave for the Vineyard for some R&R
“Call me when you get there?” Angela asked again for what seemed to be the hundredth time in less than five minutes.
“We will Ma” Jane tried not to let her irritation show in her tone. Rolling her eyes at Maura she said “Let’s go before she starts again please” she pleaded with Maura.
Maura laughed and briefly hugged Angela. “Please don’t fret Angela. We’ll be less than three hours away and Jane will be surrounded by doctors the whole time.” As always she found the interaction between mother and daughter endearing. “Give your mother a hug and a kiss Jane” she said laughing happily at the look of total horror on Jane’s face.
“Yes Janie. Please show your mother you still care.” Angela said in a voice that said she no longer believed her daughter cared about her at all. Jane all but stalked up to her and her planted a rough kiss on her mother’s lips before enveloping her in a bear hug.
“Love you Ma” she muttered scowling at the laughing medical examiner. As they got into the car she turned to Maura and pointed a finger in her direction. “Not one word Doctor Isles, not one word.”
“I didn’t say anything Janie” Maura said while smiling sweetly. “Ouch!” she exclaimed as Jane’s fist made contact with her shoulder. Rubbing at the numbness she looked at Jane accusingly. “Do that one more time and I’m leaving you here with her.” She deadpanned at a shocked Jane.
“You wouldn’t!” Jane exclaimed not entirely sure that Maura wasn’t serious in her threat.
“You do that again and I will.” Maura said with a laugh and patted Jane’s thigh as she backed up into the street. Electricity shot through Jane’s body at the touch and she involuntarily flexed her fist considering another little punch, but thought better of it as she noticed Maura’s raised eyebrows and a knowing smile around her lips.
As the road stretched before them a comfortable silence settled between them. Soft classical music filtered through the speakers and Maura absently hummed along to Rachmaninoff. Jane itched to know more about the mysterious Doctor Emily Brent, not at all comfortable stepping into an unfamiliar situation. She had to admit that she was very curious to meet Maura’s friends. In all the time she had known Maura it had seemed that she had had virtually no personal life before meeting Jane and the boys. Charity dinners and gala events definitely did not count as a personal life Jane had decided a long time ago. Getting Maura Isles to see it her way was proving to be quite the challenge. Glancing at Maura she gave an inward sigh of frustration. Even though Maura was ostensibly going on holiday she was dressed to kill. Granted she looked great. Maura always looked great.
The white blouse she wore fit perfectly to her sculpted body. The blouse offered just a hint of cleavage to the observer. If she shifted slightly Jane was sure she’d be able to see the swell of her breasts better. Shifting slightly in her seat she tried to look without staring, she was sure a small amount of satin just flashed between the top two buttons. She bit into her lower lip concentrating on the task. Assuring herself that she was only making sure that Maura was presentable. As Maura’s best friend it was her responsibility, no her duty to inform Maura if something was wrong with her outfit.
“Are you nervous?” Maura asked causing Jane to virtually jump through the roof of the car.
“Jeez Maura you scared the living daylight out of me!” she complained. Trying to hide the blush that she knew was creeping up her neck. “I’m fine, but thanks for asking. Should I be nervous?” she asked apprehensively. Hopefully Maura hadn’t noticed her staring.
“No. I don’t think you should be nervous. Em is the very best there is. We will reach the ferry in about half an hour.” Maura answered a slight frown creasing her brow. To Jane it seemed that Maura was nervous, but for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why. As they neared their destination Jane couldn’t help but notice the uneasy feeling that settled in her stomach.
Chapter 8: Introductions
Jane finally meets Emily Brent
“There it is!” Maura exclaimed barely managing to keep the growing excitement from her voice. Jane looked at the house Maura was pointing at. The double story was picturesque; its white walls seemed to rise from the dark water in the background.
“Wow it is beautiful here” Jane said appreciatively as they got out of the car. In answer Maura merely nodded and smiled.
“Bella, Bella! You made it!” a female voice exclaimed from the side of the house. With what could only be described as a scream Maura bolted to the source.
“Em!” Maura exuberantly exclaimed. As she reached the advancing doctor Maura flung herself into waiting arms. Doctor Brent easily swung the smaller woman around in a circle before carefully depositing her back to solid ground. She enveloped her in tight hug before holding her at arm’s length and looking her up and down.
“You look gorgeous honey. I’ve missed you so much.” She said while pulling Maura closer for another hug.
Maura laughed happily “I’ve missed you too. It’s so good to see you Em.” She said breathlessly temporarily forgetting a stunned Jane.
“You must me the Defective Detective” Emily Brent said laughingly to Jane as she approached the two women cautiously.
Maura extricated herself from the embrace and had the grace to look embarrassed. “Em, this is Jane. Jane this is Doctor Emily Brent.” She hastily introduced the two women to each other.
Jane struggled to appear casual, feeling both shocked at Maura’s behavior and annoyed at being called defective. “Hi” she managed through clenched teeth. Extending her hand in greeting to the other woman. The hand that gripped hers was firm and warm as was the deep brown eyes that openly appraised her up and down. Jane squirmed under the intense gaze and tried to give a friendly smile.
The woman was a goddess. There was no other word for her. She was wearing white shorts with a bikini top. Her body was perfectly sculpted and proportioned. Her skin lightly bronzed from hours spent in the sun. Her long blonde hair was tied back carelessly. It was easy to see how Doctor Emily Brent could have any man or woman drooling at her feet.
“Let me help you unload Bella.” She said to Maura. Taking Maura’s hand in hers and walking back towards the car.
As they unloaded the car Jane took a couple of bags in her right hand following the two women into the house.
“I’m afraid the two of you will have to share.” Emily was explaining to Maura as they stepped into one of the guest rooms. At the look of consternation on Maura’s face she said “By tomorrow all eight rooms will be full. Everybody’s coming!” she finished with a smile.
Maura looked at Jane. “Is that okay with you? Us sharing?” she asked.
Jane frowned slightly trying to sound casual as she said “Sure. No problem.” Looking apprehensively at the single king sized bed that formed the center piece of the room.
Chapter 9: Heart to Heart
"You look exhausted" Maura said to Jane when they were finally alone. She opened the wardrobe and started unpacking her bags. Jane was sitting on the bed.
"I'm fine." Jane muttered whilst rubbing absentmindedly at her shoulder. "I'm just stiff after the drive, that's all."
"Why don't you lie down for a bit and I'll unpack your bags for you?" Maura offered.
"I'm not an invalid you know. I might be hurt, but I'm sure as hell not defective either" Jane said angrily.
"Ah, I see. So that's what's been bothering you? I should have known that Em's little remark will put your back up. She doesn't' mean anything by it Jane. Em has been giving people she likes little nick names for as long as I've known her. I guess it's her way of welcoming someone to her inner circle if you like. If it really bothers you I can speak to her about it." Maura explained as she finished putting the last of Jane's clothing in the wardrobe.
"Thanks for putting that away Maur. And please don't say anything to the good doctor about the nick name. I'm grateful that she has agreed to help me with the rehabilitation of my arm. Thanks for coming along and making it happen. It means a lot to me."
"You would have done the same for me had the situation been reversed Jane." Maura said. "I only wish I could do more. You saved my life that day. Asking an old friend for help was the least I could do. I've told Emily what happened and I know that she feels the same way about helping." Maura sat down next to Jane and took her hand gently massaging the stiffness while trying not to let Jane's closeness bother her too much. She traced the scar left by Hoyt. "You seem to make a habit of it, don't you?" Maura asked softly.
"A habit of what, Maur?" Jane asked her voice cracking slightly. She struggled to keep her voice steady acutely aware of Maura's every move next to her.
Maura looked up into Jane's eyes. "Saving me, Jane Rizzoli." Jane had no answer to that other than to cover Maura's hand with her own and smiling at her trying to let her know that she would do again if even if she knew the cost beforehand.
Chapter 10: The tickling problem
Dinner was relaxed and Jane was surprised how at home she felt. Emily Brent was nothing if not an exceptional host. She entertained Jane and Maura with stories of her many travels and listened attentively as Maura gave up bits and pieces of their lives. They all laughed at Jane's attempt to explain the relationship between Jo Friday and Bass. With Maura occasionally throwing in a "Tortoise, Jane" when Jane referred to the animal in question as a turtle. She knew it irked Maura that she said turtle and she knew Bass was a tortoise, but it had become a little game between them. With Jane refusing to admit that Bass was a tortoise and Maura intent on showing her the differences between the two species.
As they made their way upstairs back to their room Maura had her arm hooked through Jane's and they enjoyed a companionable silence. Jane had not heard Maura talk about so many mundane topics ever. Maura looked happy and relaxed and Jane realized that the last month had definitely not been a picnic for Maura either. Even if the therapy with Emily didn't work out she would forever be grateful to the doctor for relieving some of her best friends stress and worries. Even if it was only for a short time.
"Do you need help getting dressed?" Maura asked innocently as they stepped into the room.
"Uhm... No thanks I think I can manage on my own." Jane said quickly missing the teasing gleam in Maura's eyes.
"Well if you need me I'll be in the bathroom getting ready for bed." Maura said over her shoulder with her nighties and vanity in her arms.
"Okay. Thanks, I guess." Jane muttered. Making sure the door the on suite was closed before peeling off her clothes. She quickly dragged an old faded Boston P.D. T-shirt over her head and pulled on a pair of clean boxer shorts for the night ahead. She threw her dirty clothes in the laundry basket next to the wardrobe and made her way over to the large bed. She scooted over to her side of the bed placing her cell and wallet on the nightstand. As she turned over the bathroom door opened and Maura stepped back into the room.
"Oh, my Lord! Please tell me you're not wearing that to bed!" Jane exclaimed. Her heart was pounding and butterflies flying around her stomach. Maura was wearing a black see through nighty with matching boy shorts underneath. On Maura there was nothing boyish about those shorts. They barely covered her rear and if Maura were to bend over... Jane tried to swallow, but couldn't. The shear material did nothing to hide her perfectly toned body. To make matters worse two dark shapes was clearly visible in the form fitting attire. "That is just plain scandalous!" Jane hoped that she managed to sound outraged rather than turned on.
Maura shimmied over to the laundry basked and gave a coy smile over her shoulder to Jane. "You mean this?" She asked innocently while running her hands over the material. Jane could have sworn she saw Maura's nipples tighten at the touch, but before she could be sure Maura had turned away and was busy getting a matching robe from the wardrobe. "This should keep prying eyes at bay." Maura said slipping the robe over the scant nighties. The short black robe covered the nighties if only barely and to tell the truth it left very little up to one's imagination.
"Why would you wear something like that?" Jane asked incredulously as Maura got onto the bed next to her.
"Well for one thing wearing this particular little number has always made me feel alluring and confident." Maura said. "Secondly a girl never knows when opportunity might come knocking on her door." She continued very seriously.
"Opportunity? What opportunity Maura?!" Jane exclaimed. "You are in a house full of women! What possible opportunity could arise?"
"You never know." Maura replied coyly. "You know me. I like to be prepared for anything. And by wearing this I know that I will be."
"Prepared... Anything?" Jane was astonished. She was unable to formulate whole sentences with the images of Maura in an intimate situation with some woman. More specifically with the generous doctor Emily. Her mouth was dry and an unsteady pulse was pulsing down there between her legs.
"Of course. A girl's got to be prepared to Get It On" Maura said laughingly while seductively batting her eye lashes at Jane.
"What?! Wait a minute!" Jane exclaimed sitting up and pinning Maura's hands to the bed with one hand. "Who are you?" She demanded as she used the other hand to start tickling the startled M.E. "And what exactly have you done with my best friend?"
"I'm... me... I'm Maura!" Maura said through peals of giggles and laughter. Squirming to get free under Jane's weight. "Jane! Jane!" Jane continued to tickle Maura laughing at the expression of pure determination on her friend's face. Jane used her long reach to nibble at the Maura's side while keeping her hands firmly pinned above her head.
"Do you submit?" she asked between nibbles. When she got no response she nipped at the soft flesh again expecting Maura to squirm away once again she was surprised when Maura arched her body into hers groaning softly. Suddenly Jane became aware of their respective positions and she caught her breath. In an attempt to keep Maura pinned in place her thigh had inadvertently slipped between Maura's legs. It was pressed firmly into Maura's crotch and Maura had decidedly stopped squirming. In fact if she didn't know better Jane would have said Maura was riding her thigh.
A firm knock on the door interrupted her musing. "Jane? Bella? I'm sorry to interrupt, but..." Emily stopped halfway through the door her mouth hanging open. "I... uhm... You have a phone call Detective." She finally managed pointing at the phone in her hand.
Scrambling off Maura Jane felt like a teenager getting caught making out. "Uhm... Thanks." She grabbed the phone and disappeared into the adjoining bathroom.
"Everything alright, Bella?" Emily asked Maura in concern.
Sighing Maura sat up and ran a hand through her hair. "Everything's fine Em, just fine" she said looking longingly at the closed bathroom door. She knew Jane had felt the moment things had shifted from a game to something more serious. If only Emily hadn't shown up who knows what would have happened. She never heard Emily leave and after ten minutes she gave up waiting for Jane. Lying back down she closed her eyes and willed herself to fall asleep.
As the bathroom door closed behind her, Jane collapsed against it. Her legs were shaking and she was starting to hyperventilate. What the hell just happened? The question kept on running through her mind. She looked down at her thigh expecting to find the skin or material burnt. She could still feel Maura’s heat. She could still feel Maura’s hips moving against her, searching for purchase against her. What the hell just happened? She ran a hand through her dark tresses and tried to think of anything other than her best friend pinned underneath her body.
“Janie?! Are you there?” Angela’s voice sounded from somewhere. A startled Jane sprang upright, and in the process hit her head on the hook behind the bathroom door.
“Ouch! Shit!” she exclaimed in pain almost dropping the phone as she tried to sooth the bump that was already forming from the impact.
“Jane? Can you hear me?” A nearly hysterical voice came from the receiver in her other hand.
“Ma?” Jane queried while blinking back tears.
“Is everything okay?”
“What was all that swearing?”
“ What are you doing? Have you been drinking Jane Rizzoli?” As usual Angela hardly gave Jane the opportunity to answer before answering. “You know the doctor said no alcohol while you’re taking those pain pills. Give the phone to Maura this instant!”
“Ma! Ma! Stop! Everything is fine. I just bumped my head. And Maura…, Maura’s asleep already Ma.” Jane managed to get in before Angela could continue her verbal barrage.
“She’s sleeping already? But it’s only 9!”
“It was a long drive Ma; I think it was quite tiring driving all the way.” Jane tried to explain.
“So you are fine? When you didn’t call I started to get worried Janie” Angela’s voice held a note of accusation in it and Jane couldn’t help feeling guilty that she hadn’t called earlier.
“Sorry Ma. I forgot.” She mumbled through the receiver while absentmindedly running her hand over her thigh.
“Well I’m very glad to hear that you two girls are fine. I won’t keep you any longer. You two have fun out there and enjoy your time without me.”
“Ma? You know…” Jane was answered by the dial tone as she tried to get Angela to calm down. Great just what I need. Mom feeling sorry for herself. Sighing in resignation she opened the bathroom door to find Maura already asleep. At least she really was tired. Jane mused as she made her way out of the bathroom and left the bedroom, fully aware of the fact that she will not be able to sleep tonight.
Chapter 12: Coffee
Maura makes some coffee
Maura Isles woke up in complete darkness. The house around her was silent and the space next to her was cold. So she didn’t come back to bed? She mentally asked. She switched on the bedside lamp and glanced at the clock. 4am. Getting up out of bed she made her way into the dark bathroom. She switched on the light and was startled at the haunted look in her own eyes. Oh Jane, why does everything always have to be so difficult with you? She quickly washed up and brushed her teeth and then her blonde hair before returning to the bedroom. She opened the wardrobe and changed into a more suitable outfit. She carefully folded up the lingerie she had worn the previous evening and sighed as she put it away. She smiled wryly at the outfit and whispered, “Maybe some other time…” before closing the wardrobe.
The house was still quiet as she made her way to the kitchen. She took out two mugs from the cupboard above the coffee machine and put them on the counter. She quickly refilled the coffee machine and smiled as the rich aroma of roasted beans started to fill the air around her. Humming softly she put some water on and started preparing a cinnamon and honey tea.
“Ah, you still remember where to find everything.”
“I do.” Maura replied. Reaching overhead she took another mug from the cupboard and placed it next to the first two. Opening the fridge she took out some cream and sugar and added some cream and four heaped teaspoons of sugar into one of the mugs. She poured her tea into the middle mug and switched off the stove. With practiced ease she poured coffee into the two remaining mugs. She handed the black coffee to Em and leaned against the counter watching pleasure and contentment play across the attractive doctor’s features.
“This is so good, Bella” Emily said taking a deep breath of the aromatic brew. “You always knew exactly how I like it.”
Maura flushed at the comment and gave a small smile. “You’re one of the easiest coffee drinkers I have ever met, miss 'Just Add Water'”
After taking another sip of the delicious coffee Em looked at Maura searchingly. “Did you sleep well, Bella?”
Maura could hear the concern in her voice and she quickly turned back to the counter blinking back the sudden tears that threatened to fall. “I should take this to Jane” she said with a trembling voice. Still refusing to look at her friend she lifted Jane’s mug and started to make her way out of the kitchen.
“She’s on the deck.” Emily said before taking another sip of her coffee. She knew Maura too well. The dark circles under her eyes had told Emily that Maura had not had a restful night. Though she was concerned she knew that if she pushed the issue, Maura would retreat back into her shell. Once Maura’s brain had worked through whatever was bothering her, she would talk and for once Emily Brent swore she would be available to listen to the woman she had loved since college.
Maura stepped onto the dark porch. She stood still for moment allowing her eyes to grow accustomed to the dark. Jane’s tall figure was slumped in one of the deck chairs facing down towards the water. “Jane, are you awake?” Maura asked her voice barely above a whisper.
The dark figure turned towards her and she could just make out the nod before Jane answered. “Is that coffee, Maura?”
“If that’s what you want to call it with all that cream and sugar in.” She slowly made her way across the deck placing the warm mug in Jane’s waiting hands.
“Hmmmm that smells like heaven” Jane murmured as she lowered her head to the mug to take a sip. She smacked her lips appreciatively before noticing that Maura was still standing. “You looking to get taller Dr. Isles?” she asked looking up at her friend.
Maura looked at her confused at the meaning. “Though I’m not quite as tall as you Jane, but I find that my length is well within the national norm. I see no reason to change my height.”
Jane patted the seat next to her while trying very hard not to laugh too hard. “Oh, Maura! It mea… means...” Jane forced herself to take a deep breath and she flashed Maura an inviting smile. “Why don’t you take a seat Miss National Norm?” Coffee splashed over Jane’s hands as laughter won the battle.
Seeing that there was no stopping her Maura stepped closer and took the half empty mug from Jane’s grasp. She placed it on the little coffee table next to Jane and started to move back towards the house.
Almost immediately Jane stopped laughing. “Maur? Where are you going?”
“Since it seems that you are having a lot of fun at my expense, I thought it better to leave you to it.” Maura replied stiffly, refusing to look at Jane. It took all of her willpower not to bolt as she heard Jane get up behind her.
A light hand touched her elbow. “Maur? Look at me, please?” Jane pleaded softly. The concern in her voice made Maura’s throat grow dry and she had to blink back tears for the second time in ten minutes.
“Hey, I was pulling your leg Maura.” Jane said softly as she slowly guided Maura back towards the deckchairs. “Come sit with me and finish your tea?”
For a few minutes it was quiet between the two as both women were lost in thought staring out into the darkness beyond the porch.
“So, Ma called earlier.” Jane finally broke the silence between them.
“I forgot to call when we arrived yesterday. You’d think I’m twelve and still had a curfew in place the way she carries on sometimes!”
“She just cares about you Jane.” Maura tried to placate Jane.
“Well I can tell you one thing that woman doesn’t trust me one bit.”
“What on earth gave you that idea?”
“She practically accused me of being drunk! When I said I wasn’t, she practically insisted on talking to you. I swear to God that woman may be my mother, but she knows exactly how to push my buttons!”
“Why on earth would your mother think you were drunk?” Maura asked.
Jane felt her cheeks grow warm as she remembered exactly what had caused her mother’s concern in the first place. There is no way I’m telling you the real reason. Absentmindedly she started rubbing her thigh again. “Ugh, who knows? She’s just weird and she’s driving me crazy.”
“At least she cares Jane.” Maura said. Unlike Hope. As if hearing the unspoken words Jane grasped Maura’s hand and gave it a light squeeze.
“I just find it weird that I made it out of my crib…” Jane said ironically.
“What? What crib?” Maura asked feeling confused once again. Before Jane could answer she blurted. “Why would you think I need to be taller?”
Chuckling softly and squeezing Maura’s hand once again, Jane said: “I wasn’t referring to your height Maura” Jane started explaining. “I was inviting you to sit down.”
Leaning back into her chair Maura made a sound of disgust. “What possible link could there be between standing and growth?”
“What kind of genius are you? It’s a colloquialism Maur.”
“I still think it makes no sense at all.”
“I know, I know. But that’s what it means.”
A comfortable silence once again settled between them and together they watched as the sun started to rise over the water.
Jane paced around the large library nervously. Maura gazed at her studying the taller woman unobserved for a moment. Even injured Jane had a certain sensuality about her. She moved around catlike looking as if she could pounce on an unsuspecting prey at any moment.
"Jane?" she called softly as she stepped into the room. Jane spun around and allowed her gaze to settle on the smaller woman.
"I hate waiting." Jane grumbled before resuming her pacing at a more leisurely pace.
“Why don’t you sit down?” Maura asked indicating to the two chairs positioned in front of the large bay windows. She slowly walked over to the nearest one and carefully sat down looking pointedly at Jane. "Calm down and sit?" She asked again.
Sighing loudly Jane stalked over and dropped into the other chair. She glanced at her watch and said through clenched teeth. "She's ten minutes late, you know?"
"I know. Some of the guests arrived early and she's showing them their rooms. She asked me to let you know."
"Still. I hate waiting." Jane's leg bounced up and down in an impatient staccato rhythm.
"You don't need to be nervous."
"You seem nervous."
"Well I'm not nervous."
"Why were you pacing?"
"I was looking at the room."'
Maura got up from the chair and walked around the room. "It is beautiful." She said as she looked around. Bookcases filled the room and they were all lined with well-worn volumes of books. She pulled out a random book and smiled at the title.
The Price of Salt.
"Have you read it?" Emily's low voice startled Maura and she dropped the book. Their fingers touched as they both bent to pick it up.
Maura cleared her throat before answering. "You know I have. We read it together."
"It has always been a favorite of mine. All that drama!" Emily laughed as she handed the book back to a blushing Maura. Her hands closed over Maura's as she tried to put the book back on the shelve. "Why don't you keep it? For old times’ sake?" She asked before stepping away towards Jane. Leaving a flustered Maura staring down at the well-worn book in her hands.