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Endear You To Me

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Brenda and Sharon had spent Tuesday night at Brenda’s apartment packing up the rest of Brenda’s clothes and deciding what furniture would be making the move, and which would be offered back to Fritz or donated to the shelter.  Brenda’s bedstead was vetoed once Sharon heard the story of its origins, but the new and very comfortable mattress was going to go on their bed in their bedroom. Sharon had tossed around the idea of finding a new suite for their bedroom, something that Brenda helped to pick out, but Brenda liked the furniture Sharon had - it already had memories attached for her, and she told Sharon so.  It definitely gave Brenda a little thrill to think of Sharon’s spacious and comfortable bedroom as ‘theirs’.

The couch was in, too - they both agreed that the stately leather piece was attractive and comfortable.  They would shop for an armchair to match at some point.  Surprisingly, Sharon also liked Brenda’s vintage kitchen set - she wanted to replace the vinyl on the seats and give it a fresh coat of varnish, but she much preferred the delicate chrome and laminate to the sturdy and serviceable wood dining set she had purchased 25 years ago solely because the chairs were too heavy for rambunctious five year old Jackson to tip over backwards.

Sharon had been up and out of bed early, pulling sweatpants and a t-shirt on over her swimsuit.  With a kiss for Brenda, she left to use the pool at HQ.  Brenda couldn’t fall back to sleep - she had found herself thinking about the nameless, faceless female police personnel that could potentially see her Sharon naked in the locker room showers; see her Sharon dry and style that wealth of hair wearing only a few scraps of lace or silk; see her Sharon zip and button herself into immaculately tailored business wear.  Brenda decided she didn’t much like the idea of Sharon using the pool at HQ.  Jaw clenched, those thoughts had propelled her up and out of bed.  After pacing for a few minutes, Brenda had settled on packing up her bathroom instead of dwelling on her jealousy.  Other people could look all they wanted, but Brenda was the one who slept with a nude Sharon Raydor curled around her and that thought was enough to see her happily through the rest of the morning and into the office.

So it was Wednesday morning and the back of Brenda and Sharon’s Crown Vic’s were full of clothes.  Brenda hoped she didn’t have to go anywhere with any of the squad or bring in a suspect in her car today.  The hope was to clue the rest of her boys in so they could enlist them to help with her move - both Sharon and Brenda wanted to get everything taken care of before the start of the holidays.  Brenda was confident that bribed with a home cooked meal and good booze, Flynn, Sanchez and Gabriel at the very least could be persuaded to lend a hand.  And there was always Tomás.

Brenda sat down at her desk, ready to get back to the task of finding her still missing homeowners and the also disappeared 19 year old grandson that had been visiting from a small town in Oklahoma.  Her gut was telling her that the grandson was her perpetrator, but despite a warrant served on his residence in Elk City, she had no idea what he was a perpetrator of or where he and his grandparents had gotten to.  Though a pile of material waited on her desk along what she was sure had to be a mountain of digital information on the Major Crimes server, she was going to start the day off with something a little more pleasurable than people vanishing into thin air.

TO: Shari

Missed you this morning.  Got the bathroom packed up.  Have some unopened stuff that could maybe be donated somewhere.

FROM: Shari

You didn’t go back to sleep?

TO: Shari

Naw.  Lunch?  I’ll order salads in.

FROM: Shari

Yes, please.  Get my dressing on the side, if you would.  12:30?

TO: Shari

See you then, baby.

Now confident of her ability to concentrate without distraction, Brenda dug into the work on her desk.

When she next looked at a clock, it was 11:30.  She was huddled in front of the monitors in the media room watching footage from tollbooth cameras, trying to find some hint of the location of her missings - otherwise, they were going to have to write this one off as cold, and there was nothing Brenda hated more than a case that she couldn’t resolve.  It was time to order lunch.  She stood and stretched, smoothing her peacock blue sheath over her hips; two hours staring at a monitor really did a number on her back.

“I’m gonna go take a break - rest my eyes,” she said to Tao and Buzz, still engaged in peering at license plates and drivers on slightly grainy black and white surveillance footage.  “Make sure you two get some lunch, and not in front of the computer.”

“Sure, Chief,” Tao said absently, and Buzz made a noise of acknowledgement.  Brenda rolled her eyes and clicked out of the room. 

In her office, she called the little bistro down the street, the one that Sharon sometimes frequented, and ordered their lunch.  They didn’t deliver, but one of their servers would walk down the block and drop the food with a desk sergeant, and a hefty tip would ensure that someone would be willing to do it again.  Sometimes it paid to be Chief.  Brenda decided she would take a look at the daily homicide report while she waited, since this case was going nowhere, she was interested in finding another to dabble in until they got an official assignment.  Not wanting to spend the next hour staring at the computer, she printed the report, and kicked back in her desk chair with it, sliding off her brown sling backs and propping her bare feet on an open drawer.

Brenda was startled out of her homicide induced reverie by a knock on her door.  She scrambled for her shoes, jamming her feet into them, not bothering with the straps.

“Come in,” she called out and made as if to stand up, but didn’t when she saw who was at the door.  Fritz was standing in the entryway, smiling at her.  The nerve.

“Agent Howard.”  Brenda wasn’t about to make the first move in this little dance.  She could tell by his hesitancy and the grin on his face that whatever the reason was, it had nothing to do with work.  He closed the door behind him.

“Brenda.  Hi.”  Fritz pushed his coat back and stuck his hands in his pockets.  “How’ve you been?”

“I’m fine,” she said warily.  Fantastic, wonderful, amazing, was how she had been.

“You look good.  Really good.”  Brenda could feel his eyes on her narrowly tailored dress.  She felt exposed, very glad that she had the matching bolero covering her shoulders and arms. Brenda covered her urge to roll her eyes with a tight-lipped smile, ignoring his comment about her appearance.

“Can I help you with something?” Brenda knew she sounded short, but whatever Fritz’s motives for stopping by were, she didn’t really care.  At this juncture, all she wanted from the man was for him to leave her be, and a timely signature on their divorce papers.

He shrugged.  “I’ve been missing you, Brenda, and then your mother called the other day and suggested I stop by and talk with you.”  Now Brenda did roll her eyes.  She was going to give her mother a piece of her mind.

“There’s nothing to talk about, not unless you have an FBI case that’s intersected with one of mine, or are officially requesting the assistance of Major Crimes in an FBI investigation,” she snapped, standing up.

“I never wanted a divorce, Brenda.  I just wanted you to take notice of my needs for once.”  He rehashed the reasoning he’d given the day she’d asked him to move out of the apartment, the day after he had presented her with divorce papers.

“Your needs!  Having children isn’t something one can compromise on Fritz Howard.  Pretty much an either or proposition.  And my job, the oath I took to protect and serve, was never somethin’ I was going to give up, not for any reason.”  Brenda hated that she couldn’t control the tone of her voice in anger; she heard herself getting more shrill.  “You knew.  You knew who I was and what my priorities were when you moved in with me…” She paused, because she was nearly yelling now, and she had had this same argument so many times, and she was done.  Fritz tried to interject while she was calming herself.  She stopped him.   

“No.  That the fact that you filed for divorce as some sort of bargaining chip to get your way was just the cherry on top of the whole fucked up sundae.”  Brenda hissed the last few words, fighting the urge to shout at him for his presumption and his arrogance, coming here during working hours to have this discussion yet again, as if it would change anything.

“Now get out.  If you need to talk to me again, contact my attorney.”  He hesitated, not moving to open the door immediately.  “Leave, or I’ll have Gabriel and Sanchez haul you out of here.”

“You can’t threaten me, Brenda,” Fritz snarled, and whirled, yanking the door open and stomping out of the office and out of the murder room.

“I just did,” she said, weary, and flopped down in her chair.  Brenda knew without even looking that at least two of her boys were hovering.  She lifted an arm and made an exaggerated ‘shooing’ gesture, hoping to stave off their worrying for now.  She needed two things to put herself to rights: lunch and Sharon Raydor, and those two things would conveniently arrive in her office in about 15 minutes.

It took one look at the Major Crimes detectives, pow-wowing anxiously around Gabriel’s desk, for Sharon to know that something was up with Brenda Leigh.  Even though she was a bit concerned, Sharon had to chuckle at the mother hens of Major Crimes.

Her Chief’s door was closed, though the blinds were open - Sharon could see the back of Brenda’s blonde head through the window.  Sharon made for office, heels clicking authoritatively across the linoleum.  Gabriel moved to intercept her.

“Captain, now isn’t a good time.  The Chief is expecting someone for lunch.”  He blocked her path to the door with his body.

“Yes, Detective,” Sharon stated evenly.  “That someone would be me.”  She tilted her head just a fraction, waiting to see what he would do next, wondering how far his protectiveness of the Chief would extend.

“David,” Andy said, and Gabriel glanced away.  Sharon winked at the Lieutenant, a infinitesimal twitch of the muscles at the corner of her eye.  Andy’s gaze shot up briefly to the ceiling - a discreet eye roll.  She smirked.  “David, leave it.”  Gabriel shot Andy a disbelieving look but stepped away from the door, eyes narrowed at the Captain.  Sharon smiled at him, tight lipped and pulled open the door.

“Hey sweetheart,” she murmured when the door had shut behind her with a soft ‘whump’.  “What’s gone pear shaped in the world of Brenda Leigh today?”

“Oh you know, cold cases, visits from a obnoxious ex-husbands, you’re pretty much the only bright spot,” Brenda groused, pouting fiercely.  Sharon took a seat in the empty chair and took Brenda’s hand, pulling it across the short distance and into her lap.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Sharon asked gently, tracing a circle into Brenda’s palm with her thumb, over and over, the pad of her thumb ghosting over the creases of the soft skin.

“It was the same old argument with Fritz - though apparently my mama called him after I talked to her Sunday, told him he should ‘come talk to me.’”  Brenda barked a short, bitter laugh and swiped angrily at her eyes with her free hand.  “Comin’ to my work to try to talk me out of somethin’ I’ve held firm on for more than six months.  Maybe he thought I’d agree to continue the conversation later, just to get him out of my office.” 

Brenda paused in reflection and then she chuckled, a dark and unhappy sound, gaze fixed on a knot in the faux wood of the table.  “He skedaddled right on out of here after I told him I’d have the boys drag him out the front door.” 

“Good.” Sharon said simply.  It gave Sharon some peace of mind to know, if Sharon herself couldn’t be there, that Brenda was almost always in the presence of someone who was willing to intercede on her behalf if things got out of hand.  Not that she expected anything more than hot air and empty threats out of the man - Brenda hadn’t explicitly talked about the reasons for their divorce, but Sharon had surmised that Fritz’s motives in filing weren’t ‘on the level’ so to speak, and that Brenda had not only been at the end of her rope in the relationship, but had also railed against his manipulation.  Fritz was an idiot.  Sharon squeezed Brenda’s hand, wanting to offer a more overt gesture of comfort, but the blinds weren’t drawn, and the boys were watching.

Brenda jerked her head up to look at Sharon, brown eyes limpid, a hint of moisture sparkling in their depths.

“Hey, Brenda Leigh, honey,” Sharon cooed, unsure of what had Brenda close to tears.  “What can I do?”

“Ugh,” the blonde groaned, and pressed the heel of her hand into her eye.  “Just hold me a minute, please?”

“Gladly.  Should I close the blinds first?”

“No,” Brenda stated firmly, standing and using Sharon’s grip on her hand to pull her up.  She stepped into Sharon’s body without hesitation, and Sharon wrapped her arms around the other woman’s thin shoulders.  Brenda’s arms slid under Sharon’s blazer and came to rest between her shoulder blades, fingers gripping tightly.  As her feet were bare, Brenda’s head tucked neatly into Sharon’s neck.

“Mmmmmm,” said Brenda, and Sharon dropped a light kiss on the smooth golden strands, not wanting to disturb the neat perfection of Brenda’s bun.  Sharon could see at the edges of her vision that all movement outside the office had ceased; Gabriel practically had his face pressed against the window, Sanchez was watching over Gabriel’s shoulder, mouth agape.

“We have an audience,” Sharon whispered and Brenda grumbled.  She lifted her head and glared at Gabriel and Sanchez, giving an aggressive jab with her chin.  Gabriel jumped like the jab had actually connected and turned away, running a hand over his head sheepishly and colliding with Sanchez.  Brenda kissed along the length of Sharon’s collarbone, under the curtain of her hair, before tucking her head back into place and inhaling deeply.

In the murder room, Gabriel banged a foot against the leg of Flynn’s desk.  “Andy, do you know what’s going on with those two?”  Andy turned his head and took in the slender blonde leaning against, perhaps fully supported by, the impeccably appointed brunette Captain.

“Looks like a little post argument with the ex cuddle session.”  Then the Chief’s face tilted up towards the Captain’s, as if towards the sun, and they kissed lingeringly.  It was an attractive sight.

“How long have the Captain and the Chief been…cuddling?” Sanchez asked.  Neither he nor Gabriel had noticed the lip lock.

“A couple of months,” Andy confirmed.

“Huh,” said Gabriel, a contemplative set to his features.  Sanchez mostly looked a little shell shocked.  “Is it serious?”

“As far as I know.  The Chief seems smitten - so don’t get weird, David.  You either, Julio,” Andy admonished.

“Don’t get weird,” Gabriel spluttered.  “Everything about this is weird.”

“The Chief is happy, has been playing well with other divisions and agencies, goes home at a regular hour most nights, which means we can too, and hasn’t been insisting on ridiculous amounts of unpaid overtime.  Don’t rock the boat about who she happens to be going home to, because if either of you do something that could fuck any of that up…” Andy paused without finishing the threat and clenched his jaw grimly.

“So how do we act ‘not weird’ about the Chief and Captain Raydor dating?”  Gabriel asked.  Then he paled.  “Oh god, they’re having sex aren’t they?”

“It took this long for you mind to go there, David,” Andy smirked, and rolled his eyes.

“I think I have that porno,” contributed Sanchez with a satisfied nod, a wicked grin on his face.

“Oh god,” Gabriel groaned again and collapsed in his own desk chair.

Things quieted down after Gabriel fell voraciously into his lunch, head down, attention completely on his food.  Sanchez sat down to eat, but would smile to himself occasionally.  Andy was sure he didn’t want to know what was going through his head.

The sound of booted feet in the hallway caught Andy’s attention and he swiveled around.  A woman from a case they’d caught a few months ago - Kristina Winn - was lurking at the entrance to the bullpen, a confused look on her face.  Andy stood to greet her.

“Ms. Winn.  How can I help you?”  She gave a relieved little smile at seeing a familiar face.

“I was wondering,” she said, her hands clasped tensely in front of her, “if I could talk to Chief Johnson for a few minutes.  Is she in?”

“She is.  Let me just…”  He strode over to the door and knocked smartly on the doorframe.  The Chief waved him in.  She was kicked back in one of the chairs at her table, styrofoam box of salad empty in front of her.  The Captain was dunking the end of a breadstick into a ramekin of dressing, some sort of vinaigrette, perhaps.

“Chief, Lucy Winn’s aunt is here.  She’d like to speak to you.”

“Oh, uh, show her in.”  The Chief jumped out of her seat and ushered her visitor in.  Sharon rolled her eyes at her Brenda Leigh’s bare feet, stood and dumped the empty boxes in the trashcan.  She leaned against Brenda’s desk, crossing her bare legs at the ankles.  Brenda directed Ms. Winn into the chair Sharon had vacated, shut the door in Andy’s face and sat back down herself.

“What can I do for you today, Ms. Winn?” Brenda asked.

“Please, call me Kristina.  Thanks for interrupting your lunch.”  Sharon thought the young woman looked tense and rather haggard; there were circles under her eyes that makeup couldn’t hide, and her skin had a grayish cast - exhaustion.  Sharon had seen it before.

“It’s no trouble.  We were through eatin’, just chattin’.  Is everything ok?  How is Lucy?”  Brenda saw the same signs of distress in Kristina Winn that she did, Sharon was sure.

“That’s why I’m here - I need your help with something.”  Brenda cocked her head at Kristina inquiringly.  “Lucy was ok for a while, but the past few weeks have been rough.  Her therapist said that the symptoms of PTSD didn’t appear until after the shock wore off, and now she’s having night terrors and panic attacks and has bouts of hyper vigilance.”  Brenda clasped Kristina’s hand on top of the table.

“What can I do to help her?”  Brenda’s voice held a note of deep sadness and Sharon itched to put a hand on the blonde’s shoulder.

“She’s been waking up, screaming, desperately afraid for your wellbeing, flashing back to what happened here, I guess.”  Kristina inhaled shakily.  “I know you must be busy, but Maureen and I were wondering if you would be open to spending some time with Lucy; the doctor said that it might help diffuse the terrors faster, if she had actual knowledge that you were ok.”

“Oh my god, oh my god, of course.  Tell me what you need from me.”  Sharon did lay a hand on Brenda’s shoulder, and not only for Brenda’s comfort, for her own, too.

“Um, I don’t know what your schedule is like, but Lucy is mostly managing to get through the school day, so lunch isn’t really an option during the week.  Dinner?”  Brenda turned to Sharon, who nodded slightly.  “Oh, and Captain Raydor is welcome too, of course.  I just assumed that the two of you are a package deal when you’re not working.”  Sharon smiled broadly at Brenda and then at Ms. Winn.

“How about,” Sharon posited quietly, “I cook tonight, if that works for you.  I was planning on whipping up some mashed potatoes, though I hadn’t gotten so far as figuring out vegetables and protein yet.”

“That would be ok,” Kristina hesitantly said.  “Are you sure we wouldn’t be intruding?”

“Not at all.  Any dietary restrictions I should be aware of?”  Sharon hoped their erstwhile guests weren’t vegetarians because she was thinking steak or burgers - something slightly rare and juicy.

“No, Lucy has her moments of pickiness, but she’ll eat mashed potatoes with two forks.  And Maureen and I will eat nearly anything.”

“Excellent.” She twisted to pluck a yellow pad and pen off Brenda’s desk.  On it, she wrote her address, Brenda’s cellphone number and her cellphone number.  She ripped the top sheet off the pad and folded it over, handing it to Brenda who handed it Kristina.  “Is 6 alright for you?”

“Yes, yes 6 is fine.”  Kristina looked a bit astounded at how smoothly Sharon had taken control of the situation and engineered a meal.  Brenda had to smirk: Sharon had made sure everyone got what they needed - Lucy got to see Brenda, Lucy’s aunts got a bit of a break from kitchen duty, Brenda got the comfort food she’d been promised over lunch, and Sharon got an at least semi-relaxing evening at home with Brenda.  Sharon was good at arranging things like that.

Sharon took off from work a bit early - her briefings with Chief McIntire had been going well, and he was already confident that Sharon was well versed in departmental policy, all that was really required was her being read in on on-going investigations and trials.  McIntire had waved off her apologies for needing to leave early:

“I’m going to play Angry Birds for 30 minutes and then pack it in at five,” he confessed, rather gleefully.  “What would we have been doing?  Talking about cases I can’t just as easily tell you about tomorrow.”  She had given him a conspiratorial little smirk, and left.  Angry Birds.  She’d have to steal Brenda’s phone and give that one a whirl.

As she clipped into the grocery store a few minutes before 5, Sharon was glad she didn’t need much in the way of groceries, because not much was going to fit in the car.  Brenda was going to have to empty out the back of her Crown Vic that very night, though Sharon was going to have to clean out her closet before Brenda could fit much in there.  It shouldn’t be hard - there was some outdated stuff that could be donated, some situational clothing that could be relegated to the closet in the guest room, etc etc.

Sharon shivered a little in pleasure or anticipation thinking of ‘their closet’ and ‘their bedroom’, though an observer probably would have attributed the chill to Sharon approaching the open faced refrigerators in the produce section.  She examined the carrots and other root type vegetables mechanically, her forebrain truly focused on Brenda Leigh.  The cohabitation question had been resolved with much less angst than Sharon had expected.  In fact, Brenda had seemed almost relieved that Sharon had asked.  Sharon passed up the leafy greens altogether.  One salad a day was her limit.  Along past the lettuces was a shelf of sweet white corn, still in its husk.  She picked up an ear and peeled away some of the casing and silk.  The kernels were plump and unblemished.  Sharon pinched one off and placed it on her tongue.  It tasted like candy.  She put a half dozen ears in her basket - she could do something tasty with the leftovers.

Paper number in hand, Sharon leaned against a massive refrigerated cheese case, waiting to be called to the counter by the butcher.  Five or six small filet mignons would round out their meal nicely.  Her mind wandered. 

Sharon was still a little surprised Brenda had so placidly let her orchestrate this meal.  After Ms. Winn had departed, Sharon had been anticipating annoyance from Brenda, at the very least, she was usually so loathe to give up control in front of a complete stranger, and a stranger connected to a case, no less.  But Brenda had merely sidled up to her for a kiss, heedless of green teeth and salad breath.  Sharon had nearly swooned at the salacious tongue that had teased along the curve of her ear during their seemingly chastely affectionate parting hug.  She blushed a little, despite the chill of the refrigerator she was leaning on, and groaned.  She likely wouldn’t get to pay Brenda back for that little move for many more hours.

The final additions to Sharon’s basket were a small carton of cream and a package of feta cheese (she had an inkling of what to do with what she hoped would be plentiful leftovers).  The cream was for the mashed potatoes - a dash of cream along with milk and butter would make the comfort staple that much more decadent.

Brenda’s car was in the drive, doors hanging open, when Sharon pulled in.  Brenda was nowhere to be seen, not even through the front door, also agape.  Suddenly the blonde shot out onto the porch, her feet bare, sweater discarded, neat bun unpinned and refashioned into a messy ponytail.  She trotted down the stairs and walkway and waved cheerfully at Sharon, who was extricating herself and the bags of groceries from the front seat.

“You know Brenda Leigh, I might be inviting trouble saying this, but I almost relish the thought of you trying to explain how your city issue car was stolen from my driveway.”  Sharon snarked, her mouth etched into a grin.

Brenda smiled coquettishly.  “Our driveway,” she purred, and sashayed past.  “I only have one more load to bring in from my car, then I’m going to change and I’ll report for kitchen duty.”

Sharon laughed.  “Can I trust you with a potato peeler?”

“Yes m’am,” Brenda bent into the back of the car and gathered up the last of her clothes.  She kicked the door shut with a flick of her ankle.  “Even my mama trusts me with a potato peeler,” she sassed.  “Though you should do the boilin’, unless you want potato water all over the stove.”

“Oh my god.” Sharon groaned.  “You are officially banned from using the stove, the grill, the oven - basically anything that isn’t the microwave or coffee maker - without direct supervision.”  Brenda snarled at her as she trudged past, loaded down with clothing.  Then winked. 

“I promise I won’t burn the house down,” she tossed back over her shoulder.  “Could you close that door for me please?”  Sharon rolled her eyes and kicked her own car door shut before doing the same to Brenda’s.

Groceries abandoned in the kitchen, Sharon jogged up the stairs.  She popped her head into the guest room - the bed was invisible under the masses of Brenda’s clothes, a riot of bright color and floral patterns, intermixed with the staid colors of more traditional business wear. 

Sharon had started to appreciate Brenda’s unique fashion sense at the same time she had started to appreciate the other woman’s unique approach to the business of solving crime, though she would be loathe to admit that to anyone.  Now the splash of color in a monochrome and uniform world that was Brenda Leigh was as comforting as her southern drawl and the wrinkle-nosed grin that was the blonde’s most common expression of enjoyment.

In the bedroom, Brenda was riffling through Sharon’s drawer of t-shirts and knit tops.  She had stripped off her dress and slip, and Sharon was pleased to note that her bra and thong were a demure shade of pink.  Though there was nothing at all demure about the pale, round cheeks of Brenda’s ass bracketing the tantalizing string of that little thong.

Sharon couldn’t resist cupping that ass and pressing herself against Brenda’s back.  Brenda made a happy little noise in her throat and dropped her head back onto Sharon’s shoulder, exposing her long neck to Sharon’s hungry mouth.  Sharon tongued the hollow of her clavicle, relishing the hint of salt on her clean skin, and left an open mouthed kiss on the mole at the base of her neck.

“Hey baby,” Brenda murmured.  She gave a sinuous little wiggle against Sharon’s suit clad body and Sharon slid her hands around to cover the angular bones of the blonde’s hips.  She plucked at the waistband of Brenda’s underwear and groaned in regret.

“I find myself sorry we have company coming early,” Sharon said, nuzzling soft blonde hair.

“I find myself sorry every second of every day I’m not in bed with you,” Brenda retorted.  “Mashed potatoes will just have to make do until I can get you naked, Shari.”

“Not everyone gets sexual satisfaction from starches, Brenda Leigh,” Sharon grumbled, playing her fingers up Brenda’s ribs and across her flat stomach.

“Awwww, don’t get grouchy,” Brenda cooed, turning her head and tilting her chin to nuzzle along Sharon’s jaw.  “Later, I’m going to lie you down on that bed, on our bed, and I’m going to put my mouth on your pussy and eat you till you scream.  Do you count as a starch?” She asked demurely, wickedly.  Sharon moaned at the image - Brenda loved using her mouth on Sharon, the last time had been yesterday, against the door in the bathroom in Brenda’s apartment, and Sharon came so hard that her knees buckled and dragged her down to the floor - and then chuckled throatily.

“Fuck,” breathed Sharon.  “Fuck.  You’d better put some clothes on or I won’t be held responsible for my actions and our guests won’t get any further than the front porch.”

“I will.”  Brenda flattened her nose on Sharon’s jawbone and inhaled.  “Just let me look at you a minute - I didn’t get to see you put yourself together this morning.”  Brenda turned in her arms and gazed at Sharon, absorbing every detail with her eyes; the sumptuous tan tweed of her dress and blazer, the brown velvet accents along the edges, a gold cuff below the cropped sleeve of her blazer matched the gold accented watch on her other wrist.  A pair of two toned pumps set off the outfit, and Sharon’s calves, perfectly.

“Mmmmm, look how pretty you are, Sharon Raydor.”  Brenda trailed her fingers across Sharon’s chest and under the lapel of her jacket.  “Let’s get this off; I have a burning desire to know what color lingerie you’re wearing today.”  Sharon shrugged off the jacket and tossed it on the chest at the foot of the bed.  She gathered her hair up and pulled it over her shoulder, turning around.

“Unzip me,” Sharon husked.  Brenda fumbled at the neck of the dress for the zipper and lowered it with a slow ‘snnkkkkkkkk’.

“Ohhhh, burgundy.”  Brenda peppered the back of Sharon’s neck with kisses.  “Sheer or opaque?”  Sharon let the top of the dress drop forward and turned around, inhaling a bit to better display her décolletage.  “Lace.  Gorgeous.”  Brenda reached out to cup Sharon’s breasts.

“Ah ah ah, Brenda Leigh.” Sharon cautioned, stepping back.  “You get your little peep show and then you’re peeling potatoes.”  She pushed the dress off her hips and let it puddle to the ground, then stepped out of it.  When she bent to retrieve it from the floor Brenda groaned, taking in the smooth curve of Sharon’s spine and the flex of her shoulder blades and the stretch of her panties over the swell of her ass.  Sharon had moved away before Brenda could react to the tantalizing sight.

Sharon hung up her suit and slipped her shoes off in their place.  Brenda watched a moment; Sharon could feel her eyes on her body.  She shivered.

Brenda thought Sharon looked unreasonably sexy in her black lounge pants and tunic shirt in the same color as the bra that Sharon had pulled off before pulling on the shirt.  If Brenda concentrated on Sharon instead of on peeling potatoes, she could see the brunette’s nipples brushing against the lightly textured cotton as she seasoned the steaks with a dry brown sugar and white pepper marinade.  Brenda pursed her lips in frustration.

“Get to peeling or mashed potatoes are going to be a pipe dream instead of reality, Brenda Leigh,” Sharon admonished playfully.  “I’m going to heat up the grill.”  She disappeared out onto the porch.  Brenda huffed and attacked the russet in her hands with renewed vigor.  The naked potatoes went in the pot on the table, the skin into the garbage can between her knees - Brenda worked faster without the potent visual distraction of Sharon massaging spices into red meat.

The corn and steaks were on the neatly set table (Brenda was rather proud of her table-setting skills), and Sharon was working on the potatoes when the doorbell rang. 

“I’ll get it,” Brenda trilled.  She smoothed down her shirt and readjusted the cuff on her denim shorts, fingers fluttering nervously.  She second guessed the choice of the shorts a moment - they were a little more revealing than what she would usually wear around victims and their families, but Sharon really liked them, so she had pulled them on.

Brenda schooled her face into a smile and opened the door.  “Hey.  Welcome.  Come on in.”

“Miss Brenda!” Lucy squealed and launched herself at Brenda, burying her face in Brenda’s stomach.  Brenda stooped to pick her up.

“Hey, little bit,” Brenda murmured.  The little girl wrapped her legs around Brenda’s waist and thin arms around Brenda’s neck and squeezed.  Brenda squeezed back gently and stepped aside to allow the adults into the house.

“I thought he hurt you too,” whispered Lucy in Brenda’s ear.

“No honey, I’m right here,” reassured Brenda.  Lucy clung tighter.  Brenda carried the girl into the kitchen, aunts following behind silently.

“Miss Sharon!” Lucy chirped excitedly.

Sharon looked up, potato masher in hand, when they walked in.  “Heya, little Lucy,” Sharon said, and smiled welcomingly at Maureen and Kristina.  “Hello.  Please have a seat.”  She banged the masher on the side of the pot and dropped it in the sink, then she picked up the electric hand mixer waiting on the counter.  “This’ll just take a minute.  Brenda abhors lumpy potatoes.”  She clicked the appliance on.

The whir of the mixer made conversation difficult, to say nothing of the odd situation - this was about Lucy, and her troubles, so the adults felt a little awkward initiating small talk.

“I love mashed potatoes!” Lucy chirped excitedly, bouncing once in Brenda’s arms.

“Me too,” Brenda confessed.  “And Miss Sharon makes really, really good mashed potatoes.”

At the table, Lucy refused to be separated from Brenda, so Sharon took the seat on the short side of the table, caddy corner to Brenda and Kristina, hiding a grin at the little girl’s clinginess.  Food was portioned out, and it was left to Brenda to cut Lucy’s steak for her.  Not that the Lucy was all that interested in the meat or corn once she got a taste of the potatoes.

“Ohmigod,” Brenda moaned after her first forkful of the fluffy, white delicacy.  “Did you put real cream in these?”  She took a bigger bite, eyes fluttering shut at the rich taste.  Sharon felt a reciprocal flutter in her abdomen and smiled secretively at Brenda.

“It doesn’t count as comfort food unless it’s bad for you,” Sharon stated, winking at Lucy, who was watching her and Brenda intently.  The girl giggled and turned back to her meal.

It was easy to let Lucy carry the conversation - she had had to switch schools when she relocated to her aunts’ house, so she was fully of stories about the new faces in her first grade classroom.  Even with the issues the PTSD was causing, Lucy was gregarious enough to have made a number of new friends, and her old friends were still present in her life, though it was hard on Lucy answering their questions about her parents.

After two (fairly large) helpings of mashed potatoes, Brenda and Lucy were slowing down.  “Brenda Leigh, eat your corn.  You’re setting a terrible example!” Sharon snarked.

“Yes m’am,” Brenda answered in a pretend sulk, picking up her discarded ear of corn.  It was good - she didn’t know how Sharon had managed to find such sweet corn at this time of year - but it wasn’t as good as the mashed potatoes and tender, smokily sweet beef.  Lucy giggled at them, but imitated Brenda in taking a bite of corn.

Kristina and Maureen watched as Brenda and Sharon tidied up the kitchen.  They had both refused any offers of help, and were working efficiently to put away leftovers and wash dishes.  Sharon flicked water on Brenda when the blonde leaned into the sink, pointed at the pot Sharon was washing, and said officiously, “You missed a spot.”  Kristina couldn’t suppress a snort and Brenda smiled over at them.

“Think you have room for a brownie, Miss Lucy?” Brenda asked the little girl who was standing with her forehead pressed against the glass door, looking into the back yard.  Lucy looked up at her.

“Maybe later.  Can we go swimming?” She asked, bouncing in place enthusiastically.

“It’s a little cold for the pool, kiddo,” Brenda answered, with a wide-eyed glance at Sharon.  She didn’t want to say no, really.  Sharon lifted a shoulder, leaving the decision up to Brenda.  “The hot tub is on, though.  But only if it’s ok with your aunts.”  Lucy nodded wildly and rushed to her aunts.

“Krissy, Krissy!  Can I get in the hot tub?”  She wrapped her hands around Kristina’s forearm, excited.

“You don’t have your swimsuit, Lucy.”  Lucy gave her a look that was full of scorn.

“We’re all girls, Krissy,” the six year old explained patiently.  “I can just wear my panties.”  Her aunt still looked skeptical.  “Please,” Lucy wheedled.  “I don’t want to go home yet.”

“Who’s going to get in with you?  Mo and I don’t have our swimsuits, and we are definitely not hot tubbing in our panties.”  Lucy pouted and Brenda’s heart melted a little.

“I’ll get in with her,” she offered.

“You don’t have to do that,” Kristina replied.  Brenda cocked her head and smiled at Kristina and then at Lucy.

“Let me go put my suit on.”

Sharon was making coffee when Brenda flounced into the kitchen, arms full of towels.  The look Sharon shot her was full of heat.

“If you’re going to be swimming with minors on a regular basis, we’re going to have to get you another bathing suit.”  Sharon’s eyes lingered on where the brightly colored lycra arched over the smooth curve of Brenda’s hip.

“Yea?  Why’s that?” Brenda asked, one eyebrow arched knowingly, brown eyes liquid and soft, and very, very inviting.

“Fishing for compliments, Brenda Leigh?”  Brenda smirked at her and Sharon relented.  “You are a walking wet dream in that bikini, honey.  You wouldn’t want to be inadvertently responsible for any sexual awakenings, hmmmm?”

“I wear it for you, Shari,” Brenda drawled.  “Anything else you can chalk up to collateral damage.”  Then she turned and sauntered out the door.  Dear lord.

Lucy was waiting not so patiently next to the hot tub when Brenda stepped off the porch.  Kristina and Maureen were sitting a little back from the tub, on one of the double loungers.  Brenda couldn’t help but smile at Lucy’s little girl eagerness.  She dropped the towels on the edge of the tub and went to rummage in the little shed where Sharon kept her pool toys.  She pulled out an inflatable ball and a noodle and turned back to the happy child.

“Holy shit,” Maureen hissed in Kristina’s ear.  “Look at that.  Do you think she’s in that pin up calendar that the cops do to fundraise every year?”

“That’s the fire department,” Kristina corrected, casting an appreciative glance at the deep valley between Chief Johnson’s breasts, and along the fine definition of her abdomen.  “And if she was in any calendar, I would buy multiple copies.  If either of them were, actually.”  Maureen chuckled.

“Too bad the Captain isn’t hot tubbing it, too.  Nearly better than a night out for ourselves.”

“Perv,” Kristina murmured, chuckling.

“You like it,” said Maureen, and kissed her wife on the cheek.

Sharon walked out of the house with a tray, a hastily assembled coffee service clinking gently with her steps.  Brenda was talking quietly with Lucy in the tub, and Kristina and Maureen were laid back on one of the loungers. 

Sharon seated herself on the corner of the large piece of furniture and placed the tray on the cushion beneath their drawn up legs.

“Thank you so much for this,” Kristina stated softly.  “This is the most relaxing evening we’ve had in months.”

“You’re very welcome,” Sharon husked in that smoky alto of hers, pouring coffee in generous measures into the matching mugs.  “I know that Brenda Leigh appreciates being able to help Lucy.”

“We’re very grateful for that.  A six year old dealing with PTSD is…” Kristina trailed off and sighed.  Sharon gave her a tight smile and they changed the subject to something less heart-wrenching.

“Miss Brenda?” Lucy chirped.  She was floating on the noodle in the middle of the hot tub, bobbing slightly.  Brenda was slumped in one of the molded stone seats, enjoying the relaxing properties of the body temperature water - it wasn’t warm enough to make inroads on the tension in her lower back, but it was nice.

“Yes, Miss Lucy?”

“Are you and Miss Sharon wives, like Krissy and Mo?”

“No honey, we’re not wives,” Brenda answered, a little cautiously.

“Do you love Miss Sharon?” 

“Very much.  And she loves me very much,” Brenda stated truthfully.

“Oh, well that’s good.”  Lucy looked a little unsatisfied with Brenda’s answers.

“Why do you ask, kiddo?”  Brenda kept her tone gentle.  Lucy chewed on her lip a little, considering whether she wanted to share what was bothering her.

“There’s a boy, in my new class, and he said some mean things.” Lucy said, still hedging.

“What kind of mean things did he say?”

“He said that Krissy and Mo are dirty dykes.  I don’t know what it means, but I know it’s not a nice word.  I didn’t want to ask Krissy or Mo about it - it would make them upset.”  Brenda’s eyes widened in surprise.  A six year old spouting anti-gay rhetoric.  This little boy must have a stellar home life.

“Honey, some people think that love can only be certain ways.  You know that Krissy and Mo love each other and love you.  Love is never dirty.  You should always ignore people like that boy, little Lucy.”

An exhausted Lucy buckled herself into the car with strict instructions to call Miss Brenda if she got scared.  Brenda lingered in the drive until the Winns had pulled away - she was under strict instructions to get the rest of her clothing into the house while Sharon did a bit of preparation for lunch tomorrow.  They would reconvene in the bedroom.

Brenda, still in her damp swim suit, worried abstractedly that her top would fall down as she jogged armfuls of clothing into the house and up the stairs.  In the kitchen, she could hear the sound of a knife against the cutting board; the confidant strokes of Sharon conjuring up something delicious for their lunch tomorrow.

Her last load was two canvas bags full of shoes - Sharon’s grocery bags, and knowing that the woman in question would grouse at being made to use plastic the next time she went to the store, Brenda made one final trip to the car to return the bags and lock the doors.

Before she hit the stairs, Brenda stuck her head into the kitchen and said: “I’m going to go wash the pool chemicals off.  And maybe touch myself a little.”  She paused.  “I’ll be waiting for you.”

“Tease,” Sharon called after her, but Brenda knew she wouldn’t hurry; wouldn’t risk a knife wound to get to their bedroom a few moments faster.  Sharon would let her wait, and let the tension ratchet up in each of them.  Brenda hurried up the stairs.

When Sharon entered the bedroom, Brenda was on her back in their bed, knees bent, legs akimbo.  One small hand was hidden from view, between her legs, the other clutching at the duvet.  Sharon could see the smallest of shivers roll through the blonde’s sleek body, toes curling under, the long muscles of her thighs jumping just a fraction.  She was teasing her clit; Sharon knew that the same way she could tell when the blonde was lying to her - familiarity - and these days, Sharon was as familiar with the minutiae of Brenda Leigh Johnson lost in pleasure as she was with Brenda Leigh Johnson engaging in subterfuge.  She found them equally compelling, which might be why this love between them had been easy and familiar, rather than combative and uncomfortable.

Brenda’s head turned toward the door; Sharon didn’t know if it was her suddenly heavy breathing or the creak of her feet on the floorboards that had dragged the blonde’s attention away from her own hand between her thighs.  Brenda smiled a welcoming, naughty smile at her and Sharon smiled back, breaking eye contact only to drag her shirt over her head.  Her pants she unfastened blind and pushed to the floor, along with her panties, and she crawled onto the bed to curl on her side next to Brenda, weight resting on one outstretched arm.

“Don’t you make a pretty picture,” Sharon husked.  In the low light coming from the open bathroom door and the bedside lamp, looking down at the supine blonde, Sharon could see the hand working slowly, unerringly, on Brenda’s pussy.  She was touching herself to arouse, to tease herself and to tease Sharon with this little spectacle.  With her free hand, Sharon plucked at one of Brenda’s nipples, rolling it firmly between thumb and forefinger before sliding her palm around to cup the soft flesh of her breast.

“Shari,” Brenda moaned, her hips jerking into firmer contact with her hand.

“I know you had particular designs on me tonight, Brenda Leigh, but would you mind terribly if I fucked you this evening?”

“As opposed to all the other evenings?” Brenda snarked a little breathlessly.

“No, what I mean is…” Sharon leaned over, opened the bottom drawer of her nightstand and pulled out the harness and cock she’d ordered a couple of weeks ago.  Brenda’s eyes widened.

“I was going to suggest we christen it and the new bed at the same time once you’re officially moved in, but…” She stopped talking because Brenda was nodding fervently.

“Yes, yes, yes.” She drawled impatiently.  “Put it on already.”

Sharon wiggled into the black leather straps, tightening them down so they bit into her flesh just a little - she figured they would loosen during vigorous activity, though she had no first hand experience.  She fitted the flesh-colored dick into the o-ring over her mound and gave the whole apparatus an exploratory wiggle before positioning herself between Brenda’s legs.  She drew a gentle finger up the blonde’s slit.  She had guessed right assuming she wouldn’t need any lube - Brenda had excited herself quite thoroughly with her own fingers.

With one hand Sharon brought the tip of the cock to Brenda’s cunt; she leaned forward onto the other hand to kiss Brenda.  Brenda opened her mouth to Sharon’s tongue in supplication, whimpering softly, hips surging blindly towards the phallus strapped between Sharon’s legs.  Sharon’s hand on the cock was the only thing preventing Brenda from impaling herself on the toy.  When she felt Brenda’s heels digging into the backs of her thighs, Sharon moved her hand and allowed Brenda to pull herself onto the dick.

The look on Brenda’s face when the toy bottomed out was a sublime mix of anguish and relief.  “Fuck,” she exhaled, as if the cock had pushed all the air from her lungs.  “Just hold still a minute.”

“How’s that feel?”  Sharon wanted to know.  Brenda groaned; head tilted back, eyes clamped shut and locked her ankles around Sharon’s waist.  Sharon held absolutely still for one long breath, then another, and then Brenda’s ankles loosened their death grip and Sharon pulled out what little she could, paused infinitesimally, and slid back in.  And again, and again, and again, until Brenda was pinching and rolling her nipples between thumb and forefinger, her eyelids fluttering in pleasure.

“Fuck me harder, baby.” Brenda moaned.  “I want to feel you between my legs tomorrow.”  Sharon wanted that for Brenda; wanted the blonde to know who she belonged to whenever she felt a twinge of soreness the next day, so she put enough force behind her still short strokes that Brenda was grunting rhythmically in time with her movements.  Sweat was forming in a glistening haze in the small of Sharon’s back and on the planes of her chest and damping the hair at her temples.  They kissed again - Brenda’s mouth still open and wanton, accepting Sharon’s tongue as willingly as her cunt had taken Sharon’s cock.

Brenda came without warning: her body bucked up into Sharon’s suddenly and she moaned and shook through four or five more strokes.  Then she was still; eyes closed, sucking in great, panting breaths through her slack mouth.  Sharon stopped moving.  Brenda’s ankles remained clasped around her waist, preventing her from pulling out.

Then Brenda’s body tensed again and twisted and all of a sudden Sharon was on her back under the blonde, the cock still buried inside her, the stretched lips of her pussy reddened and glistening beneath her stiffened clit, which was hard enough to be peeking out from it’s swollen hood.

Brenda caught Sharon’s gaze with lust darkened, lascivious eyes.  She bore down and ground her hips so that the crotch of the harness rubbed with delicious friction against Sharon’s clit.  Sharon moaned and involuntarily she thrust upwards.  Brenda let the weight of her body bring the brunette’s hips back to the bed.  Sharon bent her knees and dug her toes into the duvet, desperate to keep her hips steady so Brenda could continue her seductive grind.  Sharon’s hands rested in the curves of Brenda’s hips, where she could feel the contraction and release of the muscles in the blonde’s torso. 

Sharon tightened her grip, fingers nearly meeting around Brenda’s slender waist, and growled, “Mine.”  Brenda swooped down and crashed her lips to Sharon’s, then pulled away to hunch and take one of Sharon’s nipples in her mouth.  She had to bend awkwardly to keep up the pressure on Sharon’s clit while applying lips and tongue and teeth to Sharon’s breasts.  It was the teeth that ultimately did Sharon in; gentle, but firm molars working at one nipple while thumb and forefinger pulled at the other sent Sharon over the edge.  Her hips rocketed upward and Brenda slid off the cock, perching lightly on Sharon’s abdomen, now pulling at both her nipples as her orgasm wound down.

When Sharon could breath again, she smiled a blinding smile at the blonde, who moved to lay alongside her.  They both plucked awkwardly at the straps of the harness until it was loose enough for Sharon to wrest it from her body and toss it on the floor.  Brenda snuggled in closer, hooking a thigh over Sharon’s hips, and they both sighed contentedly.

After a long moment, Brenda nuzzled at Sharon’s hairline behind her ear, agile tongue darting out to taste the sweat that darkened the roots.  “I’m still gonna use my mouth on you - don’t think you’ve gotten out of it,” Brenda stated saucily.

“Mmmmmm,” Sharon managed to force some sound out of her parched throat and through her dry lips.  “Just give an old woman a minute to recover. 

“Not too long,” Brenda groused.  “I’ll have to start without you again.”  Sharon chuckled hoarsely and fisted a hand in Brenda’s messy tumble of curls to pull her in for a kiss.