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Endear You To Me

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Brenda didn’t see or hear from Sharon at all Tuesday after their date.  She was beginning to a get a little worried that Sharon was having second thoughts about this probably ill-advised relationship. 

Brenda’s desire to be close to the older woman - physically or emotionally or whichever way she could manage - made her feel needy and out of control.  And now that she had spoken the words, that she and Sharon had acknowledged what was between them, Brenda felt like she was trying to push back the tide with her bare hands trying to deny her needs.  She didn’t want Sharon to be scared away by her dysfunction.  She had to act like an adult, not like a woman who had been falling headlong into love since Sharon had offered her unconditional support during an ugly lawsuit that had exposed all of Brenda’s warts to the world.

It was Tuesday night, and Brenda needed contact with her Captain.  She sighed and picked up her cell.

TO: S. Raydor

Can I bring something tomorrow?

A few miles away, Sharon was fixing herself dinner when her phone chimed with a new text.  She smiled and her stomach fluttered when she saw who it was from.  She wiped her hands and texted back.

TO: BLJ

Was thinking of you.  You don’t need to bring anything.  And don’t dress up.

Brenda’s heart skipped a beat at the knowledge Sharon was thinking of her.  A good sign, Brenda thought, though she was hard pressed to remember a moment she hadn’t been thinking of Sharon since their dinner at the pub.  During interviews, maybe.

TO: S. Raydor

You’ve been on my mind, too.  Are you sure I can’t bring something?  A bottle of wine, dessert?

Sharon was amused and touched at how thoughtful Brenda was proving to be, but tomorrow night was Sharon’s turn to court Brenda.

TO: BLJ

I’m making dessert.  With lots of chocolate.  All I need is your company.  In casual clothes.  And you can bring your swimsuit if you think you might like to take a dip in the pool.

Brenda shivered as visions of Sharon Raydor in a revealing bikini began playing like a film reel across her subconscious.  Brenda didn’t know if she was strong enough to keep their relationship moving on even a remotely slow and steady track in that situation.

TO: S. Raydor

If you’re sure.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Sharon was smiling so broadly that her cheeks were starting to hurt.

TO: BLJ

Me too.  It’s silly, but I find myself missing you tonight.

Brenda blushed at the words on the screen of her cell phone.  It was like Sharon was reading her mind.

TO: S. Raydor

Not silly.  Not at all.  I feel the same way, Shari.  I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.

TO: BLJ

Me neither.  Tomorrow.

That entire Wednesday, Brenda was beside herself.  She had never known a workday to pass with such agonizing slowness.  Her suspect in the murder of an elderly woman had obstinately refused to revoke his right to counsel, despite being confronted in her interview room with evidence contradicting his lies, so Brenda and Major Crimes were stuck putting together an evidentiary case, something that bored Brenda Leigh out of her skull under the best of circumstances.  When her interview room was off the table, Brenda Leigh had to admit that her interest in a case waned a little - not in it’s successful resolution, but the immediacy went out of it for her when a confession was not an option.

So she fidgeted and stared off into space and fiddled with the stuff on her desk as she watched traffic cam video and read witness statements and tried to determine what would be compelling for use in a jury trial.  Of course, all of the collected evidence would get turned over to the District Attorney, but the most relevant evidence went ‘on top of the pile’, so to speak.  Brenda Leigh sighed.  It was only noon!

*****

Andy Flynn leaned back in his chair and watched his Chief twitch and fidget behind her desk in her office.  She had been acting strangely for a while now; stranger, even, than the new, more contemplative and less prone to over work Chief that had emerged after the year of hell that was Goldman hounding the division and the slow collapse of her marriage to Agent Howard.

So the Chief was, ostensibly, single again, but although Fritz had only been gone about two months (as best the boys could tell), Andy wasn’t so sure that was the case.  The Chief had been smiling goofily while lost in thought, blushing apropos of nothing, and Monday, for something like a terribly tense hour, she had looked bereft and utterly lost.

But yesterday and today, the happiness was back, and now, Brenda was clearly anticipating something, though it was unclear what that could be, or with whom.  He would keep his eyes open.

*****

Brenda had managed to make it through the day, though towards the end, it was a near thing.  Now, she was standing on Sharon’s porch in jeans, flip-flops, and pair of layered brightly colored v-neck shirts - her bathing suit underneath, though she was unsure about that - with her cell phone tucked in her back pocket and her hands clasped nervously in front of her.  Sharon opened the door, already smiling.

“Brenda, come on in.”  Brenda was once again struck dumb by her Captain as she stepped through the door.  Sharon was wearing a pair of loose linen drawstring pants in a pale creme.  A well-worn blue chambray shirt completed Sharon’s casual look - the sleeves rolled up to expose her forearms, the neck parted to once again expose her delicate collar bones and smooth chest, bracketed by what looked like a black halter top swimsuit.  Her hair pulled back in a long queue, the tail end pulled over a shoulder.  Brenda could do little more than wave dumbly, and awkwardly and stare.  Sharon closed the door behind Brenda.

“Chief, you’re staring.” Sharon said shyly.  Brenda flushed.

“I can’t…” She stammered.  “I can’t seem to help myself, Sharon.”  She dragged her gaze from the deep v at the neck of Sharon’s shirt and to the woman’s face.  There was a hungry look to Sharon that Brenda was sure mirrored her own.  In a blink, Brenda found herself pressed against Sharon’s front door.  Again.

Despite their fervor to touch one another, the first kiss they shared was gentle.  Sharon sucked lightly on Brenda’s bottom lip before plunging her tongue into the blonde’s mouth.  Brenda found her hands had slid themselves under the other woman’s soft shirt and were resting on the bare skin of Sharon’s back before she had ever realized her hands were moving.  Sharon pulled their lips apart, and stood panting, eyes closed, with her forehead pressed to Brenda’s.

“Jesus,” Brenda breathed.  Sharon laughed and pushed away from the door.

“Come on, Brenda Leigh.  I believe I promised to feed you.”

Sharon led the way into her kitchen.  Her house was as beautiful and comfortable and well put together as Brenda could have imagined.  “I love your place, Sharon.  It’s beautiful.”

“Thanks.  I like it well enough - I’ve been here almost 30 years now.”

“Wow.  That’s a long time, especially in LA years.”  Sharon’s eyes crinkled up with humour.

“Is that like dog years, Brenda Leigh?”

“Maybe,” Brenda said coyly. 

Sharon stepped from the kitchen into her back yard through a sliding glass door.  A open deck stepped down to a pool area paved with red stone and dotted with comfortable looking furniture.  Evergreen shrubs stood sentry around the property, just inside a wooden privacy fence. 

“Oh, wow.”  Brenda exhaled.  “How do you pry yourself away from this every morning?”

“It’s hard, but it is a nice place to escape from work and to pretend you aren’t in LA.”  Sharon pulled out a chair for Brenda at a solid wooden table, loaded with steaming dishes and set with lovely stoneware.  “I thought you might like eating out here tonight.”

“It’s fabulous - I think I’d eat every meal out here.  And the food looks great - what a spread.”  Brenda sat down and put her napkin in her lap.  Sharon poured her a glass of wine before sitting down herself.  They both assembled their own fajitas: tender steak and vegetables in soft shells.  There was also rice and salads.  As they ate, they talked. 

Their days were both rather low key - though Sharon found Brenda’s frustration with actually having to put a court case together rather adorable.  Sharon told Brenda about constructing her backyard oasis - after her kids moved out, much to Jackson’s dismay.

“Jack’s a bit of a fish.  He’s been surfing since age 10, and swam all through college.”

“Should I check you for gills, Sharon?” Brenda teased, grinning.  “Raising an aquatic child, and you do have your own personal pool and is that a hot tub down there?”

“I swim almost every morning.  I had to stop running after I took a round in the hip when I was working Robbery Homicide.”

“Oh, Sharon!”  Brenda reached out for Sharon’s hand.  “I didn’t know that you’d been shot!”  Sharon squeezed Brenda’s hand and smiled a little affectionate smile.

“Brenda, it was almost twenty years ago!  I rarely even think about it.  The ball of my left hip is made of metal and grafted bone, and I can’t run regularly, but I can swim and ski and bike and wear heels.”  Brenda looked doubtful, but relinquished Sharon’s hand, laid her silver on the edge of her plate, and leaned back in her chair.  Sharon did the same.

“Give me five minutes to put the leftovers away and I’ll have dessert for you,” Sharon said, stretching.  She felt comfortable and relaxed on this warm fall evening with Brenda Leigh.

“Let me help, Shari.  Get the food and I’ll get the dishes.”  She stood and reached for Sharon’s plate, stacking it with hers.  Sharon stood too, and lifted a hand to Brenda’s cheek, running the backs of her fingers across the smooth skin, before smiling and hefting the platter of vegetables and meat.  Brenda followed her into the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher while Sharon scraped food into tupperware.

When everything was cleaned up, Sharon leaned a hip against the counter and cocked her head at Brenda.  “Hot tub?  Pool?  Dessert?  Dessert in the pool or hot tub?”  Brenda mirrored Sharon’s head cock and nibbled on her bottom lip, letting the desire show on her face as she ran her eyes over Sharon’s body.

“Is it the prospect of chocolatey dessert you’re lusting over, or…”  Sharon teased, her shimmering malachite eyes dark and piercing when she caught Brenda’s gaze.

“You.”  Brenda said simply.  She allowed the magnetic attraction she was feeling pull her straight into Sharon’s body and guided their lips together.  Brenda slid a hand up Sharon’s torso and let her fingertips flirt with the underside of Sharon’s breast through her shirt and swimsuit.  Sharon groaned, and Brenda pulled away, chuckling.

“I probably shouldn’t get into a hot tub with you, not yet.”  Brenda admitted, and Sharon smirked and leaned in to nuzzle at Brenda’s temple and then press a kiss there.

‘It’s okay, you know.”  Sharon whispered.  “We can do what feels natural for us - we don’t have to fight it.”  She slid her hands down into the back pockets of Brenda’s jeans and pulled the blonde’s slender hips more firmly into her body.  Brenda shifted a little so one of her thighs slipped between Sharon’s legs, pressing the seam of her jeans against Sharon’s thigh and into delicious contact with her center.  Brenda moaned.

“If I wasn’t fighting it, we’d be in your bed with whatever dessert you made and a bottle of wine, Sharon.”

“Is that supposed to be a threat, Brenda Leigh?”  Sharon purred, her voice dropping a register and a leg lifting to curl around the back of Brenda’s leg to keep the blonde close.  She could see Brenda’s pulse hammering in her neck, could feel the heat between her legs.

“I don’t want you to think this is just about sex or that I’m wooing you just to, you know, get into your pants.”  Brenda sounded rueful and Sharon smiled.

“Brenda Leigh, there are easier and faster ways of getting into my bed than being sweet and supportive through nearly two weeks of professional hell.”

“All I did was bring you pancakes!”  Brenda tried to jest.

“Don’t minimize.  The pancakes were the least of it.  And now…” She trailed off.

“And now we’re here, together,” Brenda sighed happily and snuggled in deeper to Sharon, like she wanted to merge their masses and share the same space.  Sharon was happy to let her try.

They cuddled awhile - Sharon enjoyed the feeling of Brenda’s breath against her neck, the comforting weight of her body and powdery floral scent of her hair and skin. 

When the edge of the counter against her back became uncomfortable, Sharon shifted. 

“I have a chocolate torte with strawberry creame glaze in the fridge for us,” Sharon said, low voiced and a little sultry.

“Chocolate, you, hot tub.”  Brenda asserted firmly.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive about how I feel about you, Shari.”  Brenda placed a soft kiss on the very edge of Sharon’s mouth and then looked at her, face somber and searching. 

“But can you honestly say that you are sure about me?  That you know that I’m not on the rebound or experimenting or having some sort of midlife crisis?”  Sharon shrugged, their gazes were locked.  Brenda’s large brown eyes radiated sincerity and affection.

“I’ve been so happy the past few days, Brenda Leigh.  I was trying not to think about that, but it’s always a risk when dating women who were previously straight, but then again, putting your heart in someone else’s hands is always a risk.”  Brenda smiled fondly at her and reached up to cup her cheek.

“I want us to both be in the same place on this, Shari, because my heart is already invested.”  She peeled herself away from Sharon’s body.  “So now, I want to eat dessert in your hot tub with you.”  Brenda kissed Sharon again, this time flicking her tongue gently along the crease of Sharon’s closed mouth.  “And I want to tell you something about myself, a story from my past.  One that I think you’ll find relevant.”

“Ok.  I’ll cut the torte.  There are towels in the box on the deck.”  Sharon palmed Brenda’s hip possessively.  “Water or milk or wine with your torte?”

“I’ll have milk.  What do you want?  I’ll carry the drinks out for us.”

“You can refill my wineglass.”  Sharon took the torte out of the refrigerator.  “Tumblers are up and to the right of the sink.  Milk is on the door of the fridge.  Big piece, little piece or somewhere in between?”

“In between, please.”  Sharon cut and plated two slices, a larger one for her Chief, while Brenda poured a glass of milk and returned the carton to the refrigerator.  They stepped outside together and Brenda paused at the table to empty the last of the wine into Sharon’s glass.

Sharon set the plates next to the hot tub and began to unbutton her shirt.  Brenda dropped two towels well away from the cake, put the glasses next to the plates, cut her eyes over to Sharon, and unbuttoned her jeans, letting them fall from her hips and puddle on the flagstones.  Sharon bit her lip at the sight of the blonde’s smooth, toned legs and then parted her shirt and pushed it off her shoulders.  She couldn’t help but feel that her nearly 60 year old body wouldn’t live up to Brenda Leigh’s expectations; Sharon was still in decent shape, but middle aged spread had hit her around the middle, and she had nursed two children - she had no illusions about what her highly flattering designer clothing concealed.  And Brenda’s body, for all that Sharon could tell, was as tight and toned as a distance runner’s.  She steeled herself and undid the drawstring of her pants, letting them drop down her legs.

Brenda had paused in the midst of pulling off her shirts.  Sharon’s bathing suit was a simple, black bikini.  The halter style top didn’t enhance her cleavage, but did emphasize the heft of her breasts, which were set wide and a bit low on her chest.  Sharon was slender, but Brenda already knew that.  The brunette’s lightly muscled torso flared with a little drama into her hips and the bottoms of her bikini clung to slight softness of her belly and arched over her hip bones to cover an ass that Brenda desperately wanted to see.

Sharon could see that Brenda was staring again, panting heavily through her nose, trembling a little and biting down hard on her bottom lip.  When Sharon lifted her arms to scrape her hair into a higher ponytail and re-secure it with her elastic, it was as though someone had pushed a button on Brenda Leigh, because she had whipped off her shirts and had hands cupping Sharon’s breasts and lips on Sharon’s throat and a thigh pressed against Sharon’s pussy before Sharon could even secure the mass of her hair firmly on her head.

Sharon persevered with her hair against the sensations of Brenda’s tongue on her pulse point and Brenda’s thumbs on her nipples and Brenda’s muscular thigh between her legs.  When she finished with it, she dropped her hands to Brenda’s bare back and gently played her fingers along the shallow indent of Brenda’s spine.  Her Chief was all soft, pale skin and sinew and delicate muscle and she felt exquisite pressed, nearly bare, into Sharon’s body.

Brenda’s mouth stopped tasting her neck, though her thumbs on Sharon’s nipples continued moving.  Sharon was holding herself very, very still, trying to resist the desire to clutch the blonde to her and ride the thigh that the other woman was offering for her pleasure. 

“I knew,” Brenda whispered.  “I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off you once I saw you like this.”  She stepped back, sliding her hands down to Sharon’s waist.  Brenda’s bikini was a brief, royal blue affair with a bandeau top.  She was so very slender - every muscle of her body stood out in sharp relief beneath her skin, like she had been chiseled from marble or cast in bronze by some Renaissance master of anatomy.  The lushness of her breasts was an unexpected bounty on the firmness of her body.

Brenda drew in a deep, shuddering breath.  “I think we should get in the hot tub and I should occupy my hands with cake before I start taking off your suit.”  Sharon chuckled throatily.

“Maybe I’ll be the one taking off your suit, Brenda Leigh.”  She stepped into Brenda to bring their skin into contact again.  Brenda groaned.

“Can I at least tell you my story and eat that cake before you start undressin’ me?”

“If you must.” 

They settled facing one another in the hot tub with their plates of torte.  Brenda forked off a large bite and crammed it in her mouth.  She chewed slowly, her eyes rolling back in her head, the pleasure on her face was nearly enough to make Sharon jealous of her own baking.  Sharon took a bite for herself.  It was good - the glaze had turned out better than she thought, but Sharon didn’t derive a nearly sexual satisfaction from chocolatey desserts like Brenda Leigh Johnson did.

Brenda ate slowly, enjoying each bite, occasionally taking a long draught of milk to wash down the heavy chocolate confection.  They didn’t speak, and the eye contact they maintained was intense - though the silence wasn’t awkward, just laden with desire and whatever Brenda Leigh wanted to tell her.

Sharon was sipping at her wine when Brenda slid her plate back onto the pool deck.  The stoneware scraped across the flagstones with an awful grinding noise.  Brenda winced; then shrugged, smirked and ducked under the water; Sharon saw Brenda’s distorted image push her hair back from her face.  Then the blonde emerged from underneath the water, exposing her torso and breasts, covered only by the soaked lycra of her strapless bikini top.  It sagged a little with the weight of the water and Sharon couldn’t drag her eyes away from valley between Brenda Leigh’s breasts and her hardened nipples.

“Sharon,” Brenda purred in a playful sing-song.  “Eyes up.”  Sharon gulped and flicked her eyes up to Brenda’s.  They were sparkling with levity.  The blonde smirked at her and wormed her way into Sharon’s arms, straddling her lap and resting her chin on her shoulder.  She settled into Sharon’s body and made a blissful little noise.

“Feels nice, Shari,” she breathed.  Sharon brought her hands to Brenda’s back again and wrapped the blonde in her arms.

“So, are you going to tell me this story or can I start undressing you?” 

“This isn’t a clothing optional kind of story, Sharon.”  Brenda shifted in her lap and sighed gustily.  “I’ve never told the whole story to anyone before.”

“If you aren’t comfortable…”  Sharon started, but Brenda cut her off.

“No, no I want to tell you.  It’s just, once I start, you can’t interrupt, or I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish.”

“Ok, Brenda Leigh.”  She tightened her grasp on the blonde.  “Stay here, though.  Please.”  Sharon felt Brenda nod, then she paused a moment.

“Once upon a time, in the eighties, a bossy little southern blonde moved to DC to go to college.  She was a very serious girl - serious about school, about her goals, and awkward around people, partly because of her bossiness, but also because her peers confused her.”  Sharon gave her a little squeeze at this.

“I think I’ll abandon the third person thing; too confusing.”  She sighed again.  “I knew exactly what I wanted to study - Slavic languages, but I liked everything about the classes I was taking, and the library to get lost in, and the professors to pester.  My first semester, I was taking a freshman English seminar.  Pretty standard really, lots of reading and writing.  There was this one brilliant girl in my class - she was a tiny, dark haired Texan - she was the only other southerner I had encountered at Georgetown - and I was absolutely captivated by her.  I was too nervous to even talk to her until our professor assigned us as peer review partners for the rest of the semester.”

“Her name was Neecie.  Short for Bernice - though the only person who ever called her that was her father.  The first time I tried to boss her around, when I didn’t like the comments she made on the first assignment she critiqued for me, she just smiled calmly and turned her comments in to the professor anyways.  God, I was so scared she wouldn’t like me, it made me act like an idiot.”

“I was lost, after that very first smile.  I didn’t even care anymore that she had ripped my paper to shreds.  And after that class, we were inseparable.  She became everything to me so quickly.  And we fell in love.”

“The way I felt for her scared me at first, and even after almost four years together, I always felt a little…out of control around her, a little possessive, and tender, always tender and I always needed her in ways I couldn’t explain.  We had our happiness, though it wasn’t perfect, by any means.  Neecie could never reconcile what she felt for me with her very conservative faith, so she was always in crisis, a little, because of our relationship.”  Sharon could feel tears trickling onto her shoulder, but held her tongue, like Brenda had asked of her.

“We shared an apartment, a bed, and did everything together for three and a half years, and I loved her, and it was enough.  Looking back, I should have known that she would leave.  We never talked about the future beyond the abstract; I was never a part of the future she saw for herself.  A few weeks after we walked across that stage, she was gone.  I went to the class I was TA-ing for summer semester, and when I got home, everything that was hers had been taken away.”  Brenda choked back a sob and Sharon nuzzled her wet blonde hair and made soft noises of non-sensical comfort.

  “No note, no goodbye, no anything.  I stayed in that apartment for two years, alone, hopin’ that maybe she’d change her mind and come back to me.  After I finished my degree, I joined the CIA with the thought that they could teach me to be someone else.  But apparently operative training is a no go if you’re incapable of hiding your natural accent.”  Brenda sighed and snuggled deeper into Sharon, tightening her grip. 

“Later, I heard from a mutual friend that Neecie was working as a missionary on a remote island in the Pacific, and that she was engaged to some man her father had practically picked for her.  I never heard from her again.”  Brenda stopped talking and just cried for a few minutes.  Her voice was hoarse when she started speaking again.

“She died a few months ago, just before my marriage ended, from some disease that doesn’t exist in the developed world.  I had to find out from the GU alumni magazine  She had a whole passel of kids and had only come back to the states a few times since she graduated from college.” 

She pulled back to look at Sharon now.  “It didn’t even take a smile from you and I was done in, Sharon Raydor.  And then I got to know you a little and all those feelings came rushing back like they had never left me.”  She cupped Sharon’s jaw with both her hands.  “All the need and the tenderness.  After everything, I never thought I would feel this way again, didn’t think I was capable anymore.” 

She kissed Sharon then, and in that kiss, Sharon felt all the out of control passion and need that Brenda confessed to feeling, and Sharon did her best to let Brenda feel that those emotions were in her, too.

When the immediacy was extinguished, Brenda slumped bonelessly in Sharon’s arms, emotionally wrung out from relating the story of her first love and its loss.

“I want to take you up to my bed and hold you tonight, Brenda Leigh.  Will you let me do that for you?” Sharon husked into Brenda’s ear.  The blonde head nodded listlessly.  “Come on, I’m starting to prune, honey.”  Brenda pushed up out of Sharon’s lap to a standing position and stepped out of the hot tub.  She looked small and a little broken and Sharon wanted to wrap her up and not let her leave until both their hearts were healed.  Brenda stooped for the towels, wrapping one around herself, handing the other to Sharon as she rose from the water.  They gathered up the dishes, and they headed silently into the house.

Brenda remained silent  as Sharon guided her upstairs and into her bedroom.

“Are you sure you’re ok with this, Sharon?” She asked, standing hunched next to Sharon’s big bed. 

“Of course I am, Brenda Leigh.”  She pulled the blonde into her body, holding her to her tightly.  “Do you want to rinse off before I give you some pajamas?”  She felt the blonde nod.  “Sweats or gown for sleeping?”

“Sweats, please.”  Brenda said.  She nosed along the hollows of Sharon’s collarbones and sighed.  “I dunno why I’m feeling so worn down all of a sudden.”

“Getting something like that off your chest can take a lot out of a person.”  Sharon’s voice was a muted rumble where Brenda’s ear was pressed against the brunette’s chest.  They both shivered, suddenly overcome by the chill of damp bathing suits and towels.

“Let’s get you out of that clammy suit and into a warm shower.”  Sharon said, gently turning Brenda and herding her towards the bathroom.  Brenda adjusted the water in the large, built in, granite tiled shower while Sharon fished some sweats and a thermal out of her messy bottom drawer. 

When Sharon entered the bathroom, Brenda was stepping into the steamy cubicle, flesh goose pimpled, dark pink nipples drawn taut.  Sharon didn’t try to hide her lingering perusal of the curve of Brenda’s buttocks or shape of her naked breasts.  The blonde left the glass shower door hanging open.

“I’ll leave these on the counter with clean towels, Brenda Leigh.”  Sharon pulled two bath towels from her closet and put them on the vanity counter next to the pajamas.  She turned to leave.

“Where’re you going, Shari?” Brenda’s voice echoed out of the shower.

“I was going to go rinse off in the guest bathroom.  I won’t be long.”

“Please don’t go,” Brenda implored, popping her wet head out the shower door.  “Come in here with me,” she said shyly, unable to meet Sharon’s eyes, staring at the burgundy polish on Sharon’s toes.

“You’re sure?”  Sharon wanted to know.  Brenda lifted her eyes then and smiled at Sharon, nodding.  Sharon smiled back and let her towel drop.  Brenda’s gaze on Sharon as Sharon unhooked her swimsuit top was as physical as a touch and the shiver that ran through Sharon’s body had nothing to do with removing the cold lycra from her body.  She blushed a little but kept her chin up and her eyes on the slick, flushed skin of Brenda Leigh, as she hooked her thumbs in her bikini bottoms and rolled them off her hips.

Brenda Leigh grinned coyly at her, and disappeared back into the shower.  When Sharon stepped in and closed the door behind her, Brenda was in her arms.

“It’s funny how I was talkin’ about wanting to take it slow, and now I’m naked in your shower.”  Brenda joked, her head was resting on Sharon’s shoulder, and she looked content and relaxed, despite her humorous protestations.

“As much as physical intimacy is something I want to share with you, a little emotional intimacy isn’t unwelcome, either.  Even if we are naked.” Sharon whispered, wry, but serious, inclining her head to rest on the blonde’s. 

“I am very glad you trusted me with that story.”  Sharon could imagine the pain that Neecie inflicted on Brenda - loving someone so much and it turns out they don’t even see you in their future - to say nothing of loving you without reservation or condition.  Sharon felt that pain everyday, too, because of her daughter.  It was different than the hurt and anger that her ex had caused in her; it was a raw wound that never quite healed.

“It was easy to tell you about Neecie, easier than I thought it would be.”  She sighed happily.  “Are you sure my dysfunctional past isn’t gonna scare you away?”

“If that’s what you’re thinking, then I’ll have to ask you the same question.”  Sharon splayed her hands in the small of Brenda’s back.  “I have my own issues, you know.  Infidelity is an absolute deal breaker for me.  And what my husband did after I came out…- well, I haven’t had a relationship longer than six months since then - he soured me on people in general for a while.”

“What’d he do to you, Shari?”  Brenda Leigh wanted to know, her hands mirrored Sharon’s, finger’s resting on the swell of Sharon’s ass.

“It took seven years after my divorce to find someone to love and trust, that I wanted to share my life with.  When Kellan found out that person happened to be a woman, he tried to take the kids from me again - charged that I was an unfit mother in the courts, had investigators questioning all my co-workers and my children’s friends.  I lost my lover because of the shit he pulled.”  Sharon chuckled darkly, remembering.

“I already had a reputation as a ball-buster, though I’m sure you know that, so people nosing around asking about me dating women got the department gossiping like I’d never seen before.  It wasn’t long after that I joined FID - if my coworkers were going to treat me like a leper, they might as well have good cause to do so, and I might as well get a promotion out of it.”

“Oh, Sharon,” Brenda murmured, happy to be holding Sharon, much as Sharon was holding her. 

“It was a long time ago, Brenda Leigh.  I made my peace with what happened, and with my choices.  And besides, Kellan got his in the end.  He eventually got fired for screwing around with the wrong intern and had to move to flyover country to find a firm that would hire him.  Reputation is everything in law, and his is worth shit on both coasts.”

They stood, skin to skin under the spray, bodies pressed together and washed the chlorine from their hair and skin, neither willing to pull away, both a little lost in memories, but grounded in one another’s touch.

Brenda Leigh looked adorable in her borrowed pajamas - the pants hung low on her slim hips, and the thermal clung to the planes of her torso and molded to her breasts.  A sliver of pale skin peeked out in the gap between the sweats and the shirt. 

Brenda sat on Sharon’s bed in Sharon’s clothes, pulling Sharon’s brush through wet blonde waves, and Sharon, standing naked in the door to the bathroom toweling the excess water from her hair was punched in the gut with a wash of emotion.  Affection, desire, and love, certainly.  Once their walls had come down, Sharon was sure it had only taken mere moments for her to fall in love with Brenda Leigh Johnson.  But there was a sharp thread of possessiveness that Sharon was unfamiliar with and that thrilled her and sent a tendril of fear through her at the same time.  She let the fear chase through her with a shiver, then banished it.

Brenda noticed her watching and wrinkled her nose.  “What?  Do I have something in my teeth?  Or is something hanging out that shouldn’t be?”  She made a show of checking herself over then cocked her head inquiringly at Sharon.

“Just admiring how cute you look in my sweats, Brenda Leigh,” Sharon positively purred.

Brenda smirked at her, biting her bottom lip and letting her eyes travel from Sharon’s face to her chest, over her stomach and finally, between her legs, to the thatch of wiry brown hair there.  She worried the lip between her teeth. 

“You’re looking pretty cute yourself there, Sharon Raydor.”  She pursed her lips.  “Though maybe cute isn’t the word I’m really looking for.”  Brenda cocked her head and raised her chin, invitation clear on her face. 

Sharon dropped the towel, crawled onto the bed and curled on her side around Brenda, tugging at her hips to pull her down onto the bed.  Brenda giggled and put the brush down on the bedside table.  She laid down facing Sharon, throwing a leg over Sharon’s bare hip and pulling them closer together.

Nose to nose; Sharon could feel Brenda’s breath puffing across her lips, could feel Brenda’s hard nipples against the underside of her breasts through the textured cotton of the thermal, could feel the heat between Brenda’s legs against her hipbone where the blonde had entwined their legs.

They both moved at the same time to bring their mouths together - not a lusty kiss, but a sweet kiss, a mere grazing of the lips.  They both grinned broadly when they pulled apart.

“Are you ready to sleep, Brenda Leigh?”  Sharon asked.  She wasn’t tired yet, but holding Brenda while she slept would be immensely satisfying.

“I could.”  She kissed Sharon again.  “But I could also be persuaded to stay up a little longer if you aren’t sleepy, since you’re bein’ so sweet and lettin’ me bunk up with you tonight.”  She sounded drowsy, like she was half asleep already.

“You’re drifting off, honey.  Get under the covers and I’ll turn out the light and go lock up.”  She kissed Brenda, on the forehead this time and swung her legs out of the bed to hit the switches for the bedroom and bathroom.

Brenda pushed down the duvet and sheet and folded herself under it.  Sharon left the room to flip the locks and double check that her service weapon was secure.

When she came back into the bedroom, Brenda was facing the door, curled up on her side, watching for her with lidded eyes.  She smiled sleepily, sultrily. 

“No pajamas for Sharon Raydor?” she asked huskily, her gaze on Sharon’s naked body was hungry.  Sharon let the corners of her mouth curve up a little.

“I sleep a little warm, usually.”  Then she smiled fully.  “And something tells me that you’re a cuddler.”  Brenda bit her lip, her sleepy eyes glittering, and nodded.

Sharon rounded the bed slid under the sheets and into Brenda’s body, and this time, it was Sharon who cocked a hip to pull herself as close to Brenda as she could manage, her nose seeking out the hollow at the base of Brenda’s skull, an arm slung over the bare skin around her middle where Brenda’s shirt had ridden up, fingers ghosting over an exposed hip bone.

“Shari,” Brenda murmured.  It took no time at all for the blonde’s body to relax completely and her breathing to even out and deepen.  Curled around the warm woman, Sharon followed not long after.