DISCLAIMER: All My Children is the property of ABC/Disney.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Crossing the Line
By Alex

Part One

"What do you want?" The words were spit like venom from Lena's mouth. Michael smiled cockily as he proceeded to thoroughly violate the woman's personal space.

"Tsk tsk, Lena, you're a smart woman. You figure it out." Lena held back the urge to vomit as his hands caressed her face and shoulders. Slowly she stepped away from Michael, removing the offending hands.

"I'm not interested in being your whore any longer. It's over, Michael. I'm not going to seduce Bianca for your precious formula. Deal with it."

"Ah ah ah…" Michael started as he advanced on his ex-lover. Lena put up her hands to stop him, push him away, but he caught them easily, holding them with one of his own as he pushed her up against the wall. "It's not over 'till I say it's over."

"No!" She cried out as his free hand began to remove her clothes. Fear rose up in her as she realized she couldn't get away. She could feel how turned on he was by this, and it disgusted her. His blatant need for domination and control was not a stranger to her, but this was the first time she had been subject to it in all its glory.

A tear slid silently down her cheek as she resigned herself to what was about to happen.

"See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" Michael said mockingly as he fastened his pants. Lena was curled up on the bed, shooting daggers at him with her eyes as she clutched the blankets around her as some sort of futile protection.

"Go to hell, Michael!"

Bianca was about to knock on the door when she heard Lena's envenomed voice. Curious, she held off for a few seconds as a male voice reached her ears.

"This would all be so much easier if you would just realize that I'm the boss. The sooner you do what I tell you, the easier it'll be on you. Goodbye, lover." He blew her a kiss, smiling at her cold glare before turning to open the door.

Bianca jumped away from the door as it swung open. Michael caught her eyes and smirked, shaking his head as he strolled to the elevator.

Confused and a little scared, Bianca pushed the door open to find Lena clutching the blankets to her as she softly cried. The older woman's head shot up as she heard the door close.

"Bianca." She choked out. As their eyes met, Bianca could see the emotions raging inside Lena. Without thinking, she rushed to Lena's side, pulling her girlfriend into her arms.

"Lena, what...what happened?" Bianca asked, almost afraid of what the older woman was about to say.

"I...Bianca, I'm so sorry." Lena said softly, unable to look at the young woman who had stolen her heart.

"Lena, listen to me," Bianca started, tucking a finger under Lena's chin. "If I'm right about what happened here, you have nothing to be sorry for." Bianca said vehemently. She paused, then added, "Am I right?"

Lena's silence and averted gaze told her all she needed to know. Bianca pulled her close, her own eyes welling up with tears as the reality of what had just happened sunk in.

"Oh God, Lena, I'm so sorry." She said, crying. "It-it'll be okay. He won't get away with this, we'll go and, and we'll press charges. He'll pay for-"

"No." Lena cut her off, pulling out of Bianca's embrace, steeling herself for the inevitable questions.

"What?" Bianca asked, confused. "Lena-"

"No, Bianca. We can't do that."

"Why can't we go to the police? He…I mean, what he did to you…" Bianca choked out, unable to say the word. Lena took a deep breath, and placed her hand on Bianca's shoulder, her other hand still clutching the blankets to her chest.

"Bianca," She said slowly, searching Bianca's eyes. "I can't press charges against Michael. It won't do any good."

"Lena, I saw him coming out of here! I heard what he said!" Bianca insisted. Lena stiffened at the last remark.

"Bianca, do you trust me?" The younger woman was taken aback by the question.

"Of- of course. Of course I trust you Lena…why are you asking me that?" Lena's hand moved from Bianca's shoulder to place two fingers on her lips.

"You shouldn't." She said sadly. "But I need to tell you something, and I need you to know that what I'm saying is true. I can't lie to you, not anymore."

"Lena, what is this about?" Bianca asked slowly, dread growing in her stomach. Ever since Kendall had told her about Lena, she'd had an uneasy feeling...like maybe Kendall was right.

Lena's heart broke for the woman in front of her, who was about to get her heart broken herself.

"Bianca, I love you." Lena said passionately. Bianca's heart sunk as she got her answer. Slowly, she moved off of the bed.

"It's true, isn't it?" Bianca said, trying to harden herself. "What Kendall told me, about you, and Michael."

"Bianca-" Lena started to stand, but Bianca raised her hand to stop her.

"Don't." She said coldly. "You...you lied to me? All along?" Lena pulled the blankets around her and stood up, moving towards the woman she loved.

"Bianca, please, just let me explain." Lena begged, reaching a hand out to touch Bianca's shoulder. She felt like she was stabbed in the gut when the younger woman flinched at her touch.

"No need. Don't worry, Lena, I know. I was just a target for you. A means to an end."

Lena flinched as Michael's words came back to haunt her.

"And you...I loved you." Lena wasn't sure how much more she could take. Everything Bianca was saying cut her more deeply than anything ever had.

"God help me, I loved you. But then...that was the point, wasn't it? To make me fall in love with you? To seduce me into doing whatever you wanted?" Bianca's own heart was breaking with every word, as though saying it made it more true, more real. "Although I guess it didn't get that far, huh? You're busted now. Guess you won't be getting that nice big paycheck you were hoping for."

"Bianca, no. I don't care about the money, I swear to you-" It took all Lena had in her not to reach out to Bianca, but she knew her touch was no longer welcome.

"Yeah, 'cause I'm going to believe you now. You know what? Save your speech. It's a waste of breath. And you were a waste of my time."

Lena sunk back down onto the bed as the door slammed behind her ex-girlfriend.

Part Two

Kendall knocked frantically on Myrtle's door. Michael had just filled her in on select bits of the afternoon, and she knew she had to talk to her sister. She breathed a sigh of relief as the door opened.

"For heaven's sake, child, why are you knocking so hard?" Myrtle asked the desperate-looking woman.

"Myrtle, is Bianca here?" The younger woman asked in lieu of answering Myrtle's question. The older woman hardened.

"Yes, she's here. But if you think you can come here and make things worse, you can just forget it!"

"Myrtle please, I really need to speak to Bianca. It's important!" Myrtle looked at the younger woman skeptically.

"Now, I don't know what happened, because she won't even talk to me. But your sister is hurting, badly, and I don't think your presence will help matters any."

Kendall reached out an arm to stop Myrtle from closing the door.

"Please, I know what happened. I can help, please!" Something in the younger woman's eyes and voice told Myrtle to give in.

"Alright. I'll let you try. But if you do any more damage, you'll have to answer to me!"

Bianca cried softly into her hands as she replayed the day's events in her head. She didn't think she'd ever been hurt this badly before. Her words and Lena's raced around her head, coupled with the taunting image of Michael Cambias' face as he walked out of Lena's room. She was pulled out of her thoughts by a knock on the door.

"Go away, I don't want to talk." She heard the doorknob turn, and sighed. "Myrtle, seriously, I know you care-"

Bianca trailed off as she saw who had entered her room.

"You." She said coldly, glaring at her older half-sister. "Kendall, if you came to say 'I told you so', you can just save it."

Lena finally managed to drag herself out of bed, and slowly moved into the bathroom to turn on the shower. She scrubbed at her body, trying desperately to wash away the memory of Michael's hands. Bianca's words haunted her, as well as her own actions.

"God, how did I get here?"

When she was done with her shower, Lena moved back into her room, picking up her scattered clothing. Sighing, she sunk down onto the couch, avoiding the bed at all costs. She searched her mind for some idea as to what to do now. The phone caught her eye, and she picked it up, dialing a number she'd started to dial many times before.

"Hello? Yes, I need to meet with you. There's something you need to know."

Kendall gently closed the door behind her.

"I didn't come here to gloat." She assured her younger sister. "I came to see if you were alright."

Bianca sighed.

"Of course I am, Kendall. I'm just great, really. I just found out that my girlfriend is sleeping with your boyfriend, while trying to take over my mother's company. Why wouldn't I be alright?"

"He's not my boyfriend. Not anymore." Kendall pointed out, moving a bit closer to where Bianca was seated on her bed. "And I'm sorry, I'm so sorry you had to go through that."

"I'm sure you are, Kendall."

"Look, Bianca, I got played, too. I know how you feel, and I want to help." Bianca sighed, irritated.

"That's great. Thank you for your concern. Now. Get. Out." Her cold tone left no room for argument.

"Alright, I'm going." Kendall conceded, moving back toward the door. "But I just want you to know that I'm here, and I understand." With that, she backed through the door, sparing one last glance at the heartbroken girl curled up on the bed.

Myrtle watched as Kendall left, closing the door behind her. Deciding to try again, the older woman went upstairs and knocked once again on the door.

"I thought I told you to leave!"

Myrtle slipped through the door, closing it behind her.

"Darling, I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what happened."

Lena looked nervously at the woman sitting across the desk.

"Thank you for meeting with me on such short notice." She said, fear clutching her heart at the thought of what she was about to do.

"I have a confession to make."

Part Three

Bianca sighed shakily, running her hands through her hair.

"Myrtle, there's not much to tell. It's the same thing that always happens to me." She laughed self-deprecatingly. "You'd think I'd figure it out by now. No one is ever going to want to be with me. Not really."

Myrtle sat down on the edge of the bed, grabbing one of Bianca's hands with her own.

"Bianca darling, I thought you were with Lena? What happened?"

Bianca took a deep breath, trying to control the tears that hadn't stopped falling.

"You were wrong, Myrtle. God, I wish you weren't, but you were wrong. Lena wasn't falling for me- she was just using me."

Lena sighed nervously as she stared across the desk, mentally debating her decision even after it was made. Anna Devane stared back at her, trying to digest everything the Polish woman had just told her.

"So you're saying that Michael Cambias is behind all of this?" Lena nodded, sighing again.

"Yes. I am merely one of his underlings. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty."

"But you're not working for him anymore. Why not? It certainly sounds as though he can take care of you, financially at least." A bittersweet tinge of a smile touched Lena's lips.

"Money isn't everything." Her eyes darkened. "And he's gone too far this time."

"Why? What else has he done?" Anna asked, her inner investigator taking over. Lena looked down at her hands, trying to find the strength to say the words.

"He...he came to me today. He wanted more than I was willing to give him. So he took it."

Myrtle pulled a sobbing Bianca into her arms, stroking her hair.

"Darling, I'm so sorry. But there's one thing I just don't understand." Bianca pulled away a little so she could look at the older woman.

"What? How I could be so stupid?"

"Hush, child, you're not stupid." Myrtle said sternly. "What I don't understand is, why was Lena about to leave you?"

The question startled Bianca. She had been so overwhelmed by what she'd found out today that she hadn't had time to think about it.

"I...I don't know, Myrtle. I guess it was just another game. Make me come after her, make it seem like it was my idea that we stay together." Bianca said, the pain in her heart worsening as she realized the extent of Lena's little game. "Does it really matter? Everything she said was a lie."

"Bianca, darling, I'm not so sure about that. What did she say to you when you figured it out?" Myrtle asked, unable to shake the feeling that Lena wasn't as bad as it seemed.

Bianca laughed bitterly.

"She told me she loved me. She tried to tell me the money didn't matter. I guess she just doesn't know when to admit defeat. She'll do anything to get Boyd's formula."

"Darling, have you considered the possibility that maybe Lena's telling the truth this time?"

Anna sighed. She didn't know what to think about what Lena was telling her.

"I'm sure you realize that you've broken some rather serious laws yourself."

Lena looked down in shame.

"Yes, I won't try to deny it. I've done things that I'm not proud of. Now it's time to make it right."

"Bianca, I think Lena really does care for you." Myrtle said.

"Well, she sure has a messed up way of showing it." Bianca said coldly, clearly not buying it. Myrtle shook her head.

"Darling, I know you're upset, and you should be. But if you ask me, Lena was trying to protect you from this whole mess."

"Myrtle, I think you're just too much of a hopeless romantic to see the truth." Bianca said, defeated.

"Bianca, think about it. What did you tell me, that day Lena was leaving? She wanted to be with you, darling, but she couldn't. Why do you think that was?" Myrtle smiled inwardly as Bianca's silence told her the girl was thinking about her words. "She never wanted you to be a victim, and she thought that by leaving, she could spare you some pain. But you made her stay. Your love made her stay. And darling, no one in their right mind could resist that."

"I suppose you want to gain something from this," Anna said. "What's in it for you?"

Lena sighed in relief. This, she at least knew the answer to. She couldn't forget years of shrewd business dealings, legitimate or not.

"I want full immunity for my crimes. If I help you to get information to take down Michael, I want to be free to try to make things right. That's all I ask."

"You've committed some serious crimes, Ms. Kundera. It's quite a lot to ask for us to turn a blind eye to it." Lena's face fell, and Anna smiled reassuringly. "However, I believe what you're saying, and I do not believe you are entirely to blame. If what you say is true, then Michael Cambias will have no intention of stopping here. Instead, we have to stop him. You have a deal."

Lena's eyes brightened, and for the first time since the whole ordeal with Bianca and Michael, a genuine smile touched her lips as she stood to leave.

"I'm just curious about one thing." Lena turned to face Anna once again.

"What's that?"

"What would you have done if I said no?" Lena's smile turned bittersweet.

"Whatever it took to make things right."

Tears ran anew as Bianca fought with her conflicting feelings. A part of her was convinced that Lena didn't want her, but a bigger, stronger part of her really wanted Myrtle to be right. Deep down, Bianca knew that what the older woman was saying made sense. Memories of the past two weeks raced through her mind.

"No, it's-it's not that I don't want to...it-it's that I can't."

"I don't want you to be a victim. That's exactly why I can't-"

"Are you leaving because of me?"


"The decision has been made for us. It's for the best."

"Don't ask me that Bianca."

"And if I did, if I leveled with you, then what?"

"Please, just understand that I care for you, and that what I'm doing is for you."

"I'm sorry, but I know you'll find someone who's worthy of your heart."

"Look, whatever reasons that you think you have for leaving, they don't matter. Don't you see? What we have is worth fighting for."

Bianca's own words rang the clearest in her mind. She winced as she recalled the harsh words she had spoken earlier.

"Myrtle...God, you're right." Bianca gasped, looking the older woman in the eyes. Myrtle smiled.

"Of course I am, child. You don't live as long as I have without learning a thing or two." Bianca smiled back.

"I-I have to talk to her. I have to go to her." Myrtle reached out a shaky hand and wiped a tear from Bianca's cheek.

"Then what are you waiting around here for? Go get her!"

Part Four

Lena opened the door to her room, her heart jumping at the possibility of her visitor being Bianca. She was unpleasantly surprised to find Michael on the other side.

"Hello, lover." Michael taunted. Lena's eyes shot daggers at him as she closed the door behind her.

"I hope you're not here for a repeat performance, Michael, because it's not going to happen." She said coldly, with more bravado than she felt. Michael shook his head and laughed.

"Lena, Lena...I think I've already proven that I always get what I want." He said, smirking at her obvious discomfort in his presence. "Besides, that's not why I'm here."

Lena's eyebrow shot up.

"Oh? Then what is the reason?" She asked, keeping her voice even.

"Well, I just wanted to see how things went with your little girlfriend earlier." Lena narrowed her eyes. "I can't imagine how tough that must have been to explain."

"She knows, Michael. About you and me, about Boyd's formula. She knows everything."

"And how exactly does your precious Bianca know all of this?" He asked, his jaw clenched, desperately trying to keep control of his anger. As much as she despised the man's presence, Lena took a great amount of satisfaction in the fact that Michael was squirming right now.

"I told her." The satisfied smile that spread over her lips was short-lived, as he grabbed her roughly by the shoulders.

"That was a bad idea, Lena." Michael said coldly.

"You didn't leave me much choice, Michael." Lena replied evenly, struggling to keep her composure despite how much her current position frightened her. Michael sighed angrily.

"Well, is she going to talk?"

"I don't know if she will talk or not. We parted on bad terms." Lena tried desperately to hold back her tears at the reminder of their previous argument.

"Well, you'd better make sure she doesn't. Remember your duties, Lena." Michael said, squeezing the woman tighter before pushing her away from him.

Bianca tapped her foot nervously as she waited for the elevator to reach Lena's floor. She welcomed the little chime it made when the doors slid open. Her heart beat faster as she got closer to Lena's door. She was about to knock when she heard the voices. Against her better judgement, she put her ear to the door and listened in.

"Michael, how am I supposed to convince her not to talk if she won't even look at me?"

"That's not for me to figure out. That's your job. That, and getting me Boyd Larraby's formula."

"This is ridiculous. She won't even speak to me because of what she found out, and you still expect me to convince her to get the formula?"

"I don't care what she does or doesn't know, Lena. And I don't care how you get the formula. Just get it."

"Fine. I'll figure out some way to get you your precious formula." Lena walked over to the door as she spoke, pulling it open. "Just get out."

She knew something was wrong when she saw the amused expression on Michael's face, and turned to lock eyes with Bianca.

Bianca was glued to the spot where she stood, tears welling up in her eyes as the pain of being wrong once again washed over her.

When she regained her composure, Bianca turned on her heels and ran down the hall. Lena wasted no time.

"Bianca, wait!" She turned to Michael. "Get out, I have to go after her!" Lena said desperately. Michael smirked at her obvious emotional weakness.

"I'm leaving. Just get me what I want, or someone you love may just have something unfortunate happen to them." With that, he strode out the door.

Lena rushed out into the hallway, running in the direction Bianca had gone. Seeing Bianca stepping into the elevator, she ran to catch the door.

She slipped in just in time, coming face to face with the teary eyes of the woman she loved.

Unable to speak, Bianca immediately pushed the button for the next floor, hoping to get off and take the stairs. Lena pulled the emergency stop button and the elevator grinded to a halt.

"Bianca, please, let me explain." Lena begged.

"I guess I don't have much choice, huh?" Leaning back against the wall, Bianca sighed resignedly. Lena took a deep breath, and began to speak.

"Bianca, what you just saw...it isn't what it looked like, I swear."

Part Five

"Bianca, I don't want to lie to you anymore. I can't."

"Well, why did you lie to begin with?" Bianca countered angrily. Lena sighed.

"I never lied about how I feel about you, I swear it." She said passionately. "If I had known that this would happen, I swear I never would have come here." Bianca looked down.

"Then, you never would have met me."

"Then I never would have hurt you." Lena said sadly. "I love you Bianca, and every moment I've spent with you has been the best of my life. But I would gladly give it up if it meant your heart was still safe."

Lena's words touched Bianca, but they weren't enough.

"Lena, you still haven't told me what's going on here. We can play 'what if' all day long, but it doesn't change what is."

Looking down for a brief second to gather her bearings, Lena looked Bianca in the eyes as she spoke.

"You're right. I have to tell you everything."

Bianca's mind was racing to comprehend everything Lena had just told her.

"Wow, I-I guess it all makes sense..." Bianca admitted. "But that doesn't explain what I just saw. I mean, if you don't want to hurt me, why are you still working with Cambias?" She asked vulnerably.

Lena warily placed a reassuring hand on Bianca's shoulder, her heart soaring when the woman didn't shrink away from her touch.

"Bianca, I have no intention of ever hurting you again." She swore vehemently. "What you saw just now, it was an act. I went to the police chief today, after you left. I'm helping to gather information on Michael, to make him pay for what he's done. I can't do that if he doesn't trust me." Bianca sighed in relief.

"Oh." Bianca's eyes widened as she realized the implications of Lena's police visit. "Does...does that mean you're going to go to jail?" Try as she might, she couldn't hide the hint of fear in her voice. Lena shook her head.

"No, I-I made a deal. As long as I help bring down Michael, I will gain full immunity for my...my crimes." She looked down, ashamed.

"Oh." Bianca said again, her voice not betraying a reaction either way.

Lena sighed nervously, searching Bianca's eyes for a response as she spoke.

"I know that I don't deserve it, Bianca, but can you find it in your heart to forgive me?" She asked, terrified of the answer. "I-I know I can't expect a second chance, I wouldn't ask you that-"

"Lena." Bianca said, placing two fingers over the older woman's lips. "You don't have to ask." Leaning forward, she replaced her fingers with her lips, her hand moving behind Lena's neck to pull her into a kiss.

Lena thought her heart would jump out of her chest as she pulled out of the kiss, love and forgiveness shining in Bianca's eyes.

"Bianca, I-"

"Shh." She said, stroking Lena's cheek as she spoke. "I don't know where this will lead, and I can't promise I'll trust you as completely as I did before, but I do know that I love you." Lena couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face, tears welling up in her eyes.

"I love you too."

"I still want to see where this takes us. I feel something with you that I've never felt before, with anyone. And that's pride." Bianca said, smiling. "I know I accused you of lying to me about your feelings, and for awhile I believed it...but deep down I knew you felt something, like I did, and you did something no one else has ever done for me. You weren't afraid to stand up and say that you were with me, that you wanted [i]me[/i]. You were proud of it." Tears fell from Lena's eyes freely as she responded.

"Bianca, loving you is the best thing I've ever done. Why wouldn't I be proud of that?" Lena's honest confusion made Bianca's smile grow wider.

"That's what I'm talking about. You don't even understand why you shouldn't be proud. It comes naturally to you. I'm so lucky to have found that, no matter what has or will happen with Michael Cambias." Lena's eyes darkened at the reminder of reality. She looked down as she replied.

"I still have to figure out what to tell him about you."

Bianca smiled softly, taking Lena's hand in her own.

"We'll figure something out."

Lena's smile widened.

"'We'...I like the sound of that." Bianca squeezed Lena's hands.

"I can pretty much assure you this isn't going to be easy. I mean, not just the whole deal with Cambias. There's still my mother to deal with, among other things." Lena let go of Bianca's hands to cup her face.

"Bianca, I would be a fool to let any of that get in the way of this, of us. I don't deserve it, but you've given me a second chance, and I'm going to do everything I can to be someone worthy of your love."

Bianca pulled her close again, so their lips were almost touching.

"You already are." She said as she caught Lena's lips in her own.

Part Six

The two women broke their kiss as they heard the trap door on the top of the elevator opening. They looked up at the maintenance man, embarrassed.

"Everything okay in there?" Bianca looked at Lena and at the same moment, they started laughing.

Michael Cambias opened the door to his condo with a cocky smirk on his face, sure that he would get what he wanted. His smile faded as he realized he wasn't alone.

"Hello, Father."

Bianca and Lena headed down the hallway back to Lena's room hand in hand, their giggles subsiding a little. Bianca leaned against the wall next to the door as Lena unlocked it. All thoughts of laughter disappeared as she watched the woman struggle with the key, biting her lip as she concentrated on the suddenly impossible lock. Her heart beating fast, she reached over and covered Lena's hand with her own, guiding it to the lock and turning. Her body pressed closer to Lena's as she pushed the door open, then just as suddenly she pulled away, a teasing smile on her lips.

"I thought you could use a little help." Lena looked down at Bianca, breathless.

Bianca closed the door to the room as Lena put her key down on the nightstand. Lena could feel the younger woman's eyes on her as she moved. Both hearts were pounding, and in an instant, Lena turned back to Bianca and their eyes met. An unspoken need passed between them, and slowly, they moved closer to each other. Bianca gasped as a shock of desire shuddered through her body as Lena's hand made contact, softly caressing her face.

"Lena..." She said breathlessly as she gazed into the woman's eyes. What she saw was desire, passion, a hint of fear, but most of all, love. All these and more were reflected back in Bianca's own eyes as Lena looked down at her.

"Bianca, I-" The woman's sentence was cut off as Bianca claimed her lips, unable to hold off any longer. Her arms immediately moved to encircle Bianca's waist, pulling her closer. She could feel the younger woman's urgency, and moaned as Bianca's tongue entered her mouth. When Bianca's hands moved to unbutton her shirt, however, Lena pulled away, gasping for air. Bianca looked at her questioningly.

"Lena, what is it? What's wrong?" She asked, her eyes betraying her insecurity. "Am I going too fast? Look, if you don't want to do this yet, we don't have to. I mean, I can wait." Lena's eyes shone with fear and uncertainty as Bianca searched them. Mistaking the look, Bianca backed away a little. "Do-do you not want to do it at all? I mean, are-" Lena silenced her, placing a finger on her lips.

"Bianca, I want to do this. I really do." She couldn't help the tinge of need in her voice. "Don't ever think that I don't want this, don't want [i]you[/i]. But there is so much you don't know about me." She said sadly, her heart racing. Inside her, a battle was being fought between her love for Bianca and her love for her mother.

Bianca smiled, her heart jumping with the knowledge that Lena did in fact want her.

"Lena, I don't have to know everything about you all at once." She said, running a hand through the older woman's hair. "You don't know everything about me, either, you know." She said, a smile teasing her lips. Lena smiled lovingly, reaching up to caress Bianca's cheek again.

"Bianca, I don't think anything you say could make me love you any less." She said, leaning down to drop a soft kiss on the woman's lips. As she pulled away, Bianca moved her hands behind Lena's neck, pulling her down for a longer kiss.

"Likewise." She said as she pulled away. "Lena, I love you. It may take some time for me to completely trust you with my heart again," Seeing Lena's expression change, Bianca tucked a finger under Lena's chin to regain eye contact, "but I trust you with this. No matter what happens, I want this. I want [i]you[/i]. Make love to me, Lena." Bianca's voice lowered to a longing whisper as she said the last part.

Lena thought her heart would explode with joy and desire as she leaned down to capture Bianca's lips in a passionate kiss. This time, when Bianca's hands moved to the front of her shirt, she allowed it, shrugging out of it as she reached for Bianca's own shirt, pulling it over her head. Hungrily, Bianca reached again for Lena's lips as they moved toward the bed.

Gently, Lena laid Bianca on the bed, her heart racing with desire and fear as she gazed at the younger woman in amazement. Bianca's eyes were dark with desire as she looked up at her, and her cheeks were flushed pink. The sight was breathtaking, and Lena was so overwhelmed that a tear slipped unbidden from her eye, dropping onto Bianca's cheek.

Concerned, Bianca reached up to wipe away the trail the tear had left on the woman's face.

"Lena, what is it?" She asked softly, stroking the older woman's hair. Sighing, Lena moved to sit on the edge of the bed.

"I'm sorry, Bianca. I don't mean to-to 'ruin the mood', so to say." Bianca moved to sit next to Lena stroking her back reassuringly.

"Lena, you don't have to apologize. What's wrong?" She asked sweetly, her desire quelled by her concern for her girlfriend. Lena sighed shakily, forcing herself to look at the younger woman.

"I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm scared, Bianca." The younger woman had to admit, she was confused.

"Why? I mean, we both know you've...well, you have done this before." Bianca said, genuinely curious. Lena chuckled softly and shook her head.

"Bianca, you are so innocent. It's really very charming." She said, smiling as she looked over at the younger woman. "I have slept with people before, men and women. More times than I can count. But it was dirty, and deceitful, and it was nothing like I imagine it would be with you. I've had sex before Bianca, but I've never made love."

Bianca couldn't help the tears that welled up in her eyes at Lena's heartfelt admission. Placing a sweet kiss on her lips, she laid back down on the bed, motioning for Lena to join her.

"C'mere." She said, smiling softly. Nervously, Lena laid down next to her, the front of her body almost touching Bianca's.

"I don't want to hurt you." She said passionately. Bianca leaned over and kissed her softly.

"I don't think you will." Lena laughed a little.

"Look at me. I'm a seasoned professional in this area, and I'm shaking like a little girl." Bianca reached over to caress Lena's cheek.

"Lena, we don't have to do anything you don't feel ready for." Lena leaned over, kissing Bianca with all the desire that still burned inside of her.

"I am ready, Bianca." She said fervently. "We may have to, how you say, 'take it slow', but I am ready."

"Are you sure?" Bianca asked, praying that the answer was yes.

Her answer came in the form of another kiss as Lena moved to fill the space between their bodies.

Part Seven

Bianca awoke to the soft sensation of Lena's hand gently caressing her cheek. Opening her eyes, she was awed by the look of sheer amazement on her lover's face. Smiling, she reached a hand up to tuck a lock of hair behind Lena's ear.

"Morning." Bianca said softly, her hand resting on the back of Lena's neck. "What are you thinking?" A smile spread over Lena's lips.

"I'm thinking...I don't know what I ever did to deserve this. To deserve you." She said, still awed by the beauty of the younger woman lying next to her. Bianca's dark hair splayed over the white pillow, her cheeks flushed, the porcelain skin of her bare shoulders just showing from under the blankets. Bianca's smile faded as she looked up at her beautiful lover.

"You are amazing, you know that?" She said, leaning up for a lingering kiss. Lena responded in kind, shifting so she could be closer to her young lover. Their passion was interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Lena groaned as she pulled away reluctantly.

"You should probably get that." Bianca said, disappointed. Lena dropped one more quick kiss on Bianca's lips before reaching over to the nightstand to grab her phone. Her face fell as she saw the name on the caller ID.

"Michael." She spat. Bianca moved closer to her lover, stroking her arm comfortingly.

"Hello darling." "Don't call me that."

"Ouch, that hurts. First you don't answer my calls, now this. I take it things went well with your little girlfriend?"

"Not that it's any of your business, but yes. We have come to an understanding."

"Well good. Now get over here. Something's come up."

Michael glanced nervously at his father, the one person who could make him feel like a little boy again.

"Michael, really, can't this wait? I'm a little busy at the moment." Lena couldn't help but smile as she felt Bianca's arm slip around her waist, the younger woman's lips dropping a soft kiss on the back of her neck. She could hear the smirk that spread across Michael's face as he spoke.

"She's there right now, isn't she? Nice work. I knew you worked fast, but this has to be a record. I had no idea she was that easy."

"You shut your mouth Michael. You don't have the right to speak about her." Bianca's arm tightened around her, keeping her from losing control.

"Fine. That's not the point anyway. Ditch the girl and get over to my condo now. There's a new factor involved." *click*

Lena sighed as she hung up the phone, placing it back on the bedside table. Bianca leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her cheek.

"You have to go, don't you?" Lena turned back around, kissing Bianca's lips gently.

"Yes. He sounded pretty urgent. It takes a lot to rattle Michael, so this is probably very important." Lena said, disappointed that she had to leave Bianca's arms so soon. "I should go shower." Bianca smiled mischievously.

"Care for some company?" Lena felt a jolt of desire run through her body as she took in the implications of the question. A lazy smile slowly crept across her face.


Bianca sighed happily as she unlocked the front door to Myrtle's. Her dreamy smile faded when she saw who awaited her in the living room.


Lena took a nervous breath as she knocked on the door to Michael's condo.

"Good, you're here." Michael said as he opened the door, ushering her inside. Lena froze in shock as she saw who was sitting on the couch.


"Look, if you're here to gloat, just save it Mom. Lena and I are back together." Bianca said, a smug smile covering her face.

"Oh, Bianca." Erica said, getting up from the couch and moving toward her daughter. "You've always been a loving, forgiving person, but sweetheart, this is too much. Lena belongs behind bars, not-"

"In my bed?" Bianca jumped in, getting a little kick out of her mother's horrified expression. "Well, I guess that's not true. I was the one in her bed last night...not to mention the shower."

"Bianca please. Please just stop. There's no need to, to give me a detailed run-down of your activities. It seems Lena has blinded you, has convinced you that she still loves you, when the truth is, she's done nothing but lie." Bianca turned away, intending to head up to her room, but Erica reached out a hand to stop her. "Bianca, please. Lena is not good for you!"

"Look, I appreciate your concern, Mom, really I do. But I'm an adult now. I make my own choices. And I choose Lena."

A broad smile spread across Lena's face as she rushed into the arms of Michael's father. He enveloped her in a big hug, holding her close to him.

"Lena, darling, it's so good to see you." Alexander said, pulling away to stroke her cheek paternally.

"You don't know how wonderful it is to see you." Alexander's smile faded as he pulled away and sat back down, his demeanor quickly changing to business.

"Now, maybe you can explain to me how my son here has managed to mess things up so badly."

Lena glanced over at Michael, who was silently fuming.

Erica's heart broke for her young daughter.

"Bianca, sweetheart, it's the wrong choice." She said, trying desperately to convince her daughter that she was right.

"You know what, Mom? It will always be the wrong choice. You will never accept anyone I date, and I'm sick of hearing about it. I'm with Lena, and you're just going to have to deal with it. You don't like that? Fine. Get out."

Erica was taken aback.

"Bianca, I-"

"No, mom. Just leave. I'm happy, and I don't need you ruining it. Again. Get. Out."

Erica lowered her head, defeated.

"Alright, I'm leaving. But darling...if you're going to give your heart to Lena, just make sure you know what you're doing."

Bianca sunk down into an arm chair as her mother left. A small smile touched her lips as she spoke softly to herself.

"I do know what I'm doing, Mom. I'm living."

Part Eight

"Alexander, I'm really not one to judge your son's business dealings." Lena said, nervously dodging the question. She prayed Alexander wouldn't push. He nodded imperceptibly, a glimmer of understanding in his eyes. He knew his son was ruthless, but he was honestly frightened to discover what the man had been up to here in the States.

"Fair enough, dear. In that case, why don't the both of you fill me in on the current standing of your little project?"

Lost in her thoughts, Bianca didn't notice Myrtle's entrance to the living room. She carried a tray with two teacups on it, and placed it on the coffee table, taking a seat across from Bianca.

"So, child. You're home. Now tell me everything." Bianca smiled at the older woman, taking a sip of her tea as she began her story.

Alexander nodded, knowing he hadn't gotten the full story. He would have to fix that.

"Alright, I think I have heard enough. You seem to have things under control here, Michael. I think I'll stay around for a day or so, take in the sights, and then I'll be headed back to Europe." Standing, he pulled Lena into another hug. "I hope I might have a meal with you while I'm in town, Lena. I'm sure you've plenty to tell me." He said, giving her a pointed glance. Turning to his son, his expression turned cold. "You, be sure you stay on top of everything. I do not wish to come here and bail you out."

With that, the older man left, leaving Lena and Michael facing each other bitterly. The woman's eyes glistened with fear as Michael moved in close to her. She let out a gasp as he grabbed her arm. She was sure she would have a bruise later on.

"If you tell him anything, I will make you pay."

Lena pulled her arm out of his grasp.

"I'll keep your dirty little secrets, Michael. You just ensure that my mother remains safe."

With that, she stormed out of the condo, leaving Michael to pour himself a drink. A cocky smirk covered his face as he sunk down into an arm chair, taking a sip.

Myrtle's smile was broad and genuine. She stood, pulling Bianca into a warm hug.

"Oh, child, I'm so happy for you. You've finally found someone to love." Bianca smiled.

"That's never been a problem for me, Myrtle. What's special about this one is she loves me back."

Before Myrtle could reply, there was a soft knock on the door. Bianca smiled, motioning for Myrtle to sit down.

"I'll get this."

Bianca's suspicions were happily confirmed when she opened the door to reveal her lover. Her smile faded, however, as she saw the distressed look on her face.

"Lena, come in." She said, ushering the woman in from the cold. Lena flinched as Bianca's hand came in contact with her arm. Bianca looked at her lover suspiciously. "What's wrong?" She asked, unable to conceal the concern in her voice. She spoke softly. "He didn't-"

"No." Lena cut her off firmly. "No, he was just...enthusiastic. I have some news."

Bianca looked at Lena inquisitively.

"What kind of news? Good or bad?" Lena considered this for a moment.

"I think it's good. However, not as important as this." The tall woman smiled as she leaned down to give Bianca a lingering hello kiss. They both inhaled sharply at the contact.

"Nothing is as important as that." Bianca smiled as they pulled away. "Come on, why don't you come upstairs, we can talk in my room." A sneaky grin covered the younger woman's face as she led her older lover upstairs.

"Mmmm..." Bianca moaned as Lena's lips and tongue caressed her neck. She forced herself to speak, her breath coming in short gasps. "Lena, you said you had news."

Reluctantly, Lena tore her mouth away from the sweet skin she'd been devouring.

"Yes, Michael's father is in town." She said quickly, intending to return to her previous task. Bianca's hands gently guided Lena's head away.

"Wait a second. You said this was good news." Abandoning her intention to taste every inch of her young lover, Lena sighed, resigning herself to draw lazy circles on Bianca's belly with her fingers.

"Yes, it is. Michael's relationship with his father is strained at best. There was some tragedy in his family years ago, and it drove a wedge between the two."

"What kind of tragedy?" Bianca asked, her hand idly stroking Lena's arm.

"From what I understand, his elder brother Andrew was in a car accident when Michael was about sixteen. Their mother was in the passenger seat. Andrew survived, their mother was not as fortunate."

"Oh my God." Bianca said softly. "That's horrible." Lena smiled at her lover's compassion.

"Yes, it was. Alexander loved his wife very much, and her passing broke his heart. Michael had never wanted anything to do with the family business, so his father put all of his energy into conditioning Andrew to one day take over Cambias Industries. Michael was sent to a boarding school in Vermont, where he managed to make decent grades while terrorizing his fellow students. He moved on to go to a university nearby. A few years later, when Michael was home for the holidays, his brother met with an unfortunate fate. The way Michael tells it, he and his brother had been out drinking, and had decided to take a walk along a local pier. Andrew stumbled, and fell over the side into the waters below. He drowned."

Bianca's mind raced as she took in all this new information.

"Wow. I guess the tragedy didn't bring father and son closer together then, am I right?" Lena nodded, her fingers moving from Bianca's stomach to her side, slipping under her top to trail back and forth over the smooth skin.

"I believe Alexander still blames Michael for what happened, and Michael resents being forced to take his brother's place in the family business. They don't get along at all."

Bianca processed this information slowly, her mind quickly being overtaken by the sensation of Lena's fingers on her skin. Her own fingers moved to tangle themselves in the older woman's hair.

"That was a sad story. I think I may need some cheering up." Bianca said mischievously, leaning in to capture Lena's lips with her own.

Later that evening, Lena smiled as she opened the door to her room. A quick shower and a change of clothes, and she would be on her way to meet her lover for dinner. She froze, her heart jumping as she noticed a tall figure in the room.

"Who's there?"

Part Nine

The figure stepped over to the dresser, where he turned on a light. Lena sighed in relief.

"Alexander." She smiled, moving inside and closing the door. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm here, darling, because I know that you're scamming my son."

Lena's eyes shot up to meet the older man's.

Tentatively, Kendall knocked on the open door to Erica's office, stepping just inside as the cosmetics guru hung up the phone. The younger woman took in her mother's haggard appearance and tread lightly.

"Hello Kendall." Erica sighed tiredly, resting her head on a propped hand.

"Erica, you- you don't look so good." Kendall said carefully. Erica shook her head.

"No, no of course I don't. My daughter is in love with that-that horrible woman!"

Lena stared back at Alexander Cambias with fear in her eyes. The man had always been a surrogate father figure to her, but she was afraid of what the man was going to do now that he knew she was working against his son.

"H-how do you know that?" Alexander smiled wryly.

"Lena, dear, you know my contacts are limitless. And you also should know that I keep very close tabs on all of my employees."

"Of course." Lena hung her head, her mind racing as she awaited her sentence. To her surprise, Alexander walked over and put an arm around her shoulders.

"I'm most proud of you, however. You had the sense to realize that my son has gone too far this time."

Kendall looked at Erica in disbelief.

"Bianca's still in love with her? I talked to her yesterday, she knows the truth." Erica laughed humorlessly, getting up from her desk to pace the office.

"Well, apparently the truth didn't matter to her! That-that woman has Bianca convinced that she really loves her, that she's in love with her."

"Well, did you talk to her? I mean, did-did you explain to her that-"

"Yes, Kendall." Erica said resignedly, putting up a hand to cut the younger woman off. She sighed once again as she sunk down into an arm chair. "I tried to tell her, to convince her that Lena is just using her, but she refused to listen. She thinks I'll disapprove no matter who she dates."

"Is she right?"

"Alexander, are you saying that you're happy that I'm working against your son?"

The older man moved to sit on the couch, looking up at Lena who stared down at him nervously.

"Lena, Michael stopped being my son a long time ago. Now it's time he learned his place. Please, sit down." Lena complied, a small smile crossing her face.

"Do you want to tell me what you have in mind?"

Erica sighed.

"I won't pretend to understand Bianca's...preference, but I certainly do not intend to sabotage any chance she may get for love. It's not my fault she has horrible taste in women." Kendall chuckled.

"I guess it must be hard for you, being accused of homophobia every time you try to help her with her relationships." Kendall said sympathetically.

"I think that's the problem, Kendall. She's an adult, and she'll make her own choices. She certainly won't listen to me..."

Kendall sighed, contemplating for a quick second before responding.

"Maybe she'll listen to me." Erica looked up at the woman she gave birth to.

"Kendall, you tried that before and she didn't pay you any mind. What makes you think she'll listen to you now?"

"I'll figure something out." The young woman said, determined.

"I don't think I can do that." Lena said, her mind reeling with what Alexander had just asked of her. The man looked at her sympathetically.

"I know it's hard, child, but you must realize he won't trust you as long as you're with her." He pointed out. "Michael will only be satisfied when he has complete power over you. And that's when he'll slip up."

"But this could ruin everything." Lena said, her heart breaking at the prospect.

"I wouldn't suggest this if it weren't the only viable option." Lena's mind raced through all of the reasons she had to do this, and her jaw set as she made up her mind.

"I know." She said softly, determinedly. She picked up her phone, dialing a number she knew by heart. Her heart jumped as she heard the sweet voice of her lover answer.

"Bianca. Yes, it's me." She smiled in spite of herself. "I need to talk to you."

Part Ten

Bianca sighed nervously as she stepped into the busy club. Her eyes searched the room, landing on the lone woman at the corner table. A smile spread over her face unconsciously as she moved through the crowd to sit with her girlfriend. Lena forced herself not to light up when she saw her lover, knowing in her heart this was what she needed to do.

"Bianca." She said, her body stiff as the younger woman leaned in for a quick kiss. "Please, sit down." The bewildered look on Bianca's face broke Lena's heart.

"Lena, is something wrong? You said it was urgent." The bewildered look on Bianca's face broke Lena's heart. She glanced nervously around the club, noting that Michael and his father were in place before beginning her charade.

"Yes, there is something wrong." The older woman replied, raising her voice slightly for Michael's benefit. "We can't see each other anymore."

Kendall cursed her chronic tardiness as she walked into SOS to find her sister already seated with the enemy. Swearing softly to herself, she grabbed a table with a good view of the unfolding scene. She was about to order a drink when her view was impeded by a petite brunette.

"Greenlee." She said dryly. "What brings you here, and what did I do wrong now?"

Bianca stared back at her girlfriend, her eyes full of questions.

"What do you mean, we can't see each other anymore? You love me. You said so earlier. Just today-"

"Today was a nice bit of fun." Lena cut off the younger woman, inwardly wincing at her own tone and Bianca's reaction to it. She laughed coldly. "You didn't honestly think you would be enough for me?"

"What-what do you mean?" Bianca asked softly, fighting back tears.

"Please, Bianca. You're a child. You cannot honestly believe I would be satisfied with you for very long." Lena fought not to expose her true feelings, knowing this was for the best. "Eventually, I had to get tired of teaching you."

"Teaching me? We shared something!" Bianca replied, a tear slipping down her cheek. "I know we did. You feel something for me Lena, you can't deny that." Lena shrugged nonchalantly.

"Of course I feel something." She leaned forward to emphasize her next statement. "It's called lust."

Greenlee looked bewildered as she sat down across from her business partner.

"Why do you just assume you did something wrong?" She asked as she motioned for the waiter to come over.

"Well, let's see Greenlee...you never talk to me unless I've done something wrong, or you just need someone to dump on. So what is it?"

Greenlee was taken aback.

"You didn't do anything wrong, Kendall. I just saw that you were alone, and I thought you could use some company."

"Since when do you care?"

"You're a very attractive girl, Bianca. I just had to know what it was like." Bianca's chin trembled as tears continued to run down her face. "Oh, look, you're crying now. This is why I could never be content with you- you're a sniveling little child, turning on the tears whenever something doesn't go your way."

Bianca stared back at Lena in disbelief.

"How can you say these things?" She asked through her tears, her voice rising in pitch. Lena rolled her eyes, clenching her jaw briefly to force back her own tears.

"Please, Bianca. Let's at least be grown up about this. What we had was fun. But it's over now."

The petite brunette stared back at Kendall in shock, realizing that she probably really did come across as uncaring. Softening her voice, she replied quietly.

"Kendall, I do care. I have for awhile now-" Her confession was cut short by a commotion in the corner. Both pairs of eyes shot to Bianca, whose voice had risen above a conversational tone.

"How can you say this?" Bianca all but yelled at the older woman. "We had something really special, and-" Lena sighed, deciding that she simply couldn't do this any longer.

"Look, Bianca," Lena said loudly as she got up from the table. "What we had was fun. It's not fun any longer. Grow up."

Lena's parting shot stung both women as she sauntered out of the club, every fiber in her being screaming for her to turn around and pull her lover into her arms. Denying the urge, she made it out of the club and into a waiting taxi cab, where she let the tears come.

"Bianca," She choked out through her sobs. "Please forgive me."

Kendall glanced quickly at Greenlee, a silent question in her eyes.

"Go to her." The brunette replied. "She needs her sister."

Slowly, Kendall crept up to Bianca's table, where the younger woman was sobbing into her hands. Bianca jumped as her sister placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Kendall, what do you want?"

The phone rang as Lena walked out of her bathroom, having just erased any trace of her earlier crying. Sighing apprehensively, she picked up the phone, noting the caller.

"Michael." She said evenly, not betraying any emotion in her voice. "I was just thinking about you."

"I saw your little show in SOS." The man responded. Lena rolled her eyes.

"Yes, well, you never did mind your own business."

"Ah, Lena, everything you do is my business. And I must say, I did enjoy seeing the return of the Lena I once knew."

"Oh?" Lena responded, pushing herself to continue the charade.

"Yeah, it turned me on." Michael responded. Lena felt her stomach turn at the thought.

"You always did like it when I was cold."

"You know it." The man's smirk was audible. "So how about you come over here and I can, uh, try to thaw you out?"

Disgusted, Lena forced herself to sound amiable. "Yes, I think I can arrange that. I'll be over soon."

Kendall looked down at her little sister, her heart breaking at the crushed demeanor of the young woman.

"I just wanted to come and see if you were okay." Bianca's tear-filled glare broke Kendall's heart all over again.

"I just had my heart ripped out and scattered all over the floor, Kendall, do you really think I'm okay?" Bianca said angrily, standing up and heading for the door. Kendall's hand on her arm stopped her from going any further.

"Look, Binks, I know we've never been the best of friends. But I'd like to help."

"I don't need your help." Bianca said coldly, pulling her arm from Kendall's grasp and walking out of the club.

Disgusted with herself, Lena slipped out from between Michael's sheets as soon as she was sure the man was asleep. Carefully, she crept around the room picking up her clothing before moving to the living room. Listening carefully to the man's snoring, she slipped a disk into the laptop and immediately set to work copying files.

Greenlee came up beside Kendall, placing a comforting hand on the taller woman's shoulder.

"She's hurting." The petite woman explained. Kendall turned to her business partner, a bewildered look on her face.

"Why are you being so nice to me, Greenlee?" Greenlee shrugged.

"It gets tiring, being the bitch all the time." She offered, a weak smile on her lips. "What do you say we go back to my place, and have some tea or something? You look like you could use a girl's night."

Kendall smiled softly, considering the idea.

"Sure, that sounds great."

Lena sighed as she stepped off of the elevator on her floor, beyond ready to take a shower and wash herself clean of this night. As she turned the corner to her room, she noticed the crying figure huddled in front of her door.

"Bianca." She said, tears welling in her eyes all over again as her lover looked up at her.

Part Eleven

Lena looked down at Bianca nervously, glancing quickly up and down the hall.

"Bianca, come inside." She said, forcing her voice to remain even. She resisted the urge to offer a hand to the younger woman, instead opting to let Bianca stand up on her own as she busied herself with her door.

Stepping inside, Lena quickly moved to turn on a light as Bianca closed the door behind her. Satisfied that no one was watching, the women gravitated toward each other.

"Lena," Bianca gasped as she pulled the older woman's body close to hers. She could feel Lena's tears dampen her neck as the woman buried her face in Bianca's hair.

"Bianca," Lena cried, "that was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."

Greenlee flicked on the light as she stepped into her loft, holding the door open for her companion. Something caught Kendall's eye, and she bent down to pick up the small white envelope.

"Greenlee, there's something for you here." The petite brunette accepted the proffered envelope, dread filling her as she read the words on the front.

"To Greenlee Du Pres
To be delivered on Father's Day."

Apprehensively, she pried the envelope open, her heart sinking as a she slipped a letter out.

"It's from Leo." Kendall noticed the tears welling up in the smaller woman's eyes and slipped a comforting arm around her shoulders as Greenlee read.


I know this day is going to be hard for you, after Roger's death. Know that I am always here for you, and I will always love you.

Your Husband,


Bracing herself against her tears, Greenlee stuffed the letter back into the envelope, shoving it under a pile of old mail. Kendall reached a hand out to her co-worker and friend.


"You know what?" Greenlee cut off the taller woman. "I think I'd rather have champagne. Tea is just so old granny, don't you agree?"

Kendall's heart ached as she watched her friend hurry around, searching for a bottle and two glasses. Seeing Greenlee struggle vainly with the cork, she moved to help her.

"Just let me help, okay?" She asked when the smaller woman tried to fight her. Both women were startled as the cork went flying and champagne began spilling onto the carpet. Kendall moved immediately to grab towels and start cleaning up the mess, pausing when she noticed that her friend wasn't moving.

A sob escaped Greenlee's lips as she sunk down onto her couch, the bottle of champagne still in her hand. Kendall pulled Greenlee into her arms, her own heart aching as the woman sobbed in her arms.

Lena pulled away from Bianca slightly, just enough so that she could look her lover in the eyes.

"I didn't mean one word, you know that, right?" Bianca nodded, her chin trembling.

"I know. We talked about it on the phone. I knew it was coming, I just...didn't know it would hurt so much." Lena's hands moved to wipe away Bianca's tears as she leaned in to place a reassuring kiss on the younger woman's lips.

"I love you Bianca. I would never say those things to you, I would never mean them. I can't imagine my life without you Bianca." She repeated her lover's name like a prayer, as though it could erase the earlier events of the evening. Sniffling, Bianca nodded again, her own hands stroking Lena's waist.

"I know." She said, more calmly this time. "I know it's what you had to do. What we had to do." Taking Lena's hands, she moved to sit them down on the couch. "Did you get what you needed from Michael?"

"Yes." Lena said darkly, hanging her head in shame. Bianca placed a hand under Lena's chin, forcing her to make eye contact.

"If you got what you needed, why can't you look at me?" Lena's eyes were full of shame.

"Because, Bianca...I had to sleep with him to get it."

Bianca sighed, trying to quell her jealous heart. Lena needed her right now. Stroking her lover's cheek softly, she looked her right in the eye.

"Lena, that doesn't change anything. We discussed that possibility. I mean, I was pretty sure it was going to happen." Lena was amazing by the younger woman's strength.

"That doesn't change what I did. I feel so dirty." The words were barely audible, but Bianca caught them. Leaning in to press a fervent kiss on Lena's lips, Bianca spoke vehemently.

"You did nothing wrong. You just did what you had to do. I don't think any less of you because of it." Tears sprung anew in the older woman's eyes.

"How can you be so forgiving?" She asked in amazement. Bianca smiled, leaning in for a lingering kiss.

"There's nothing to forgive, Lena. Let me prove it to you."

Bianca proceeded to slowly make love to Lena, replacing all of Michael's touches with her own.

Kendall awoke to find herself being used as a human pillow. She was lying on Greenlee's couch, the smaller woman draped over her. She was all too conscious of the warmth of her friend's body where it touched hers, and what confused her more was how good it felt. Gazing down at her friend's tearstained face, she furrowed her brow as she noticed the scared expression that marred it. Her speculation on what the woman was dreaming about ended as Greenlee began to struggle.

"Leo!" She exclaimed in her sleep. "No! I have to save him! Leo!"

Kendall tightened her arms around Greenlee's waist, whispering softly in her ear.

"Shh....it's just a dream. Come on, Greenlee, wake up." Slowly the woman was pulled from her sleep by the comforting voice of her friend. As she woke, she realized the position she was in and quickly moved off of Kendall, sitting in her own corner of the couch. As the taller woman sat up as well, their eyes met, each pair full of questions.

Michael Cambias did not like waking up alone, and he woke this morning with a sick feeling of dread when he found Lena to be absent from his sleeping chambers. Then he heard the knock on the door.

He smiled cockily, thinking his employee must have simply gone out for breakfast, he sauntered to his front door in only his boxers. His smile faded as he saw the uniformed officers on the other side.

"Michael Cambias, you're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say......"

He tuned the officer out as he was handcuffed and led to a car. He fumed silently as he was escorted to the police station.

Part Twelve

Michael fumed as he sat on the bare mattress; the only piece of furniture the empty cell provided. Lost in thoughts of how to get revenge on his ex-lover and employee, he didn't notice the tall figure approaching until a light tapping on the bars called his attention.

"Father." He said, breathing a sigh of relief.

"I'm sorry about that." Greenlee apologized, straightening her clothing and running a hand through sleep-tousled hair. "I guess I was more tired than I thought."

"Greenlee, you don't have to apologize. You needed a friend last night, and I'm glad I was here for you." Kendall replied seriously. A strained smile covered Greenlee's face.

"Great, well thanks for that. But I'm okay now, so we should really get to work." She said, rising from the couch and heading in the direction of her bedroom. "I'll go get changed, and-" She was stopped by a gentle hand on her arm.

"Wait. You and I both know that you're not okay right now." Looking up at Greenlee, she could see the woman's emotions warring in her eyes.

"Alright, here we are." Bianca said as she stood in front of her mother's office, holding onto Lena's hands.

"Yes, we are here." Lena replied, smiling weakly. Bianca released one of her lover's hands to gently stroke the woman's cheek.

"I can still go in with you. You don't have to do this alone." She offered again, wanting desperately to see her lover through this difficult conversation. Lena's smile grew at Bianca's offer.

"Yes, I do, Bianca." She reached up and grabbed the hand that was caressing her cheek, kissing it and giving it a reassuring squeeze. "I'll be fine. I'm a big girl." Bianca smiled, squeezing Lena's hands before placing them on her waist, moving her own hands to cup her lover's face.

"Okay." Bianca smiled, squeezing Lena's hands before placing them on her waist, moving her own hands to cup her lover's face. "Just remember, I'm right down the hall. If you need me..."

"I'll always need you." She responded seriously, locking eyes with her lover. She smiled, leaning in to place a quick kiss on Bianca's lips before gently pushing the young woman away. "Now go, get to work. I'll be alright."

Bianca smiled before heading to her office. Lena sighed nervously as she watched her leave, composing herself before knocking on the door. A muffled voice told her to enter.

"Erica," She started, stepping into the office. "Do you have a moment? I need to speak with you."

Michael's relief faded quickly as he felt the chill of his father's glare.

"Father, you're here to bail me out, right?"

"No, Michael. I am here to make sure you are getting what you deserve." Alexander responded coldly.

"W-what do you mean?" Michael replied, cursing his father's ability to make him sound like a child.

"I mean, Michael, that I know what you've been up to, and you've gone too far."

Greenlee sighed as she jerked her arm from Kendall's grasp.

"Look Kendall, I appreciate the concern, but really, nothing is wrong except for the fact that I am late for work. You are too, by the way."

"Greenlee, you were having a nightmare about your late husband. I'd qualify that as something being wrong."

"You don't know what you're talking about." Greenlee spat, dismissing the woman and moving to her bedroom.

"Oh, don't I?" Kendall replied, following the smaller woman and stopping her in her tracks once again. "Greenlee, I know you're hurting. I want to help." The woman's gentle tone caught the petite brunette off-guard.

"Why?" She asked, genuinely curious. "I mean, you said it last night; I only talk to you when I need someone to blame. Why would you care if I'm hurting or not?" Kendall sighed.

"I just...I do, okay? I care about you." Greenlee's face softened.


"Why, Kendall? Why do you care about me?" The petite woman's gaze made Kendall uneasy, and she couldn't put her finger on it.

"You know what? You're right. We're late for work. I'd better go home and change." She replied, rushing to the door. Greenlee watched her go, completely bewildered.

"What just happened here?" She asked out loud, receiving no answer from the empty loft.

Kendall leaned against the wall of the elevator, her mind racing through the events of the morning. She had to figure out what it was that made her so uncomfortable about Greenlee's question. A thought struck her, and she pulled out her cell phone, dialing a number as she stepped out of the elevator on the main floor.

"Bianca? It's Kendall. No, don't hang up. I need to talk to you. Can I come by your office?"

Lena stared nervously across the desk, watching Erica contemplate how to address everything she had just been told.

"Lena, I already know about your involvement with Michael Cambias." She said evenly, enjoying the look of shock on the young CFO's face.

"But why-"

"Why didn't I say anything about it?" Lena nodded, confused and a bit scared at the older woman's calm tone. She had expected rage; she had expected things to be thrown, and people to be fired- namely, her. Anything but this calm, even demeanor the Enchantment mogul now donned.

"If you knew of my activities, why did you let them continue?" Erica smiled evenly.

"To be honest, Lena, I didn't say anything because I intended to exact my revenge in a more devious fashion. Now, you seem to have thrown my plan out of whack by owning up to what you did. Now the question is, what do I do with you now?"

Bianca looked up to see Kendall enter her office.

"Kendall, I don't know why you just had to see me, but if it's to comfort me about Lena, you don't need to. Our breakup was just for show." Kendall was caught off-guard.

"What?" She asked. "No, wait. That's not why I'm here. I need your help."

Bianca's eyebrow shot up at Kendall's admission.

"You need my help?" She asked in disbelief. "What could you possibly need my help with?"

Kendall sighed, willing herself to come out with it.

"Well, I need your advice, more specifically. You're the only person I could think to talk to about this."

"Advice? About what?" Bianca asked, intrigued. Kendall moved to sit down in front of her sister's desk, fidgeting with her purse.

"H-how did you know?" She asked. "I mean, that you were attracted to women?"

"Too far? What do you mean?" Michael asked nervously. Alexander sighed.

"I know your intention was not to make me proud, Michael. I'm very aware of your plot to take over my company. It's not going to happen."

"What are you talking about? I don't-" Michael's lie was cut off by his father's booming voice.

"Don't lie to me!" The older man said loudly. "You've never wanted to be my protégé Michael; you just wanted to take my place."

Realizing he'd been caught, Michael reverted to the truth. "That's right Father. I've always known I wouldn't be good enough for you. I'll never be Andrew." He said bitterly.

"Don't you dare speak your brother's name." Alexander spat. "You are right; you will never be the man he was. He was a bright, kind young man with a good future. Until you destroyed it." Michael scoffed.

"You've always blamed me for that. Hell, if I knew that's what would happen, I wouldn't have been so careful." He shot back, enjoying his father's wide-eyed expression.

"Are you saying your brother's death wasn't an accident?"

Part Thirteen

"Answer me, Michael!" Alexander boomed, seething with barely restrained anger. "Did you kill your brother?"

"Now, Father, what possibly could have given you that idea?" Michael said, an expression of mock surprise on his face. Michael's expert performance pushed his father over the edge, and the older man reached through the bars to grab his son's shoulders.

"Michael, if I find out that your brother's death was planned, I swear I'll-"

"You'll what?" Michael asked cockily, prying his father's fingers off of him. "You won't be around forever, old man. It's only a matter of time before I'm the head of Cambias Industries, and when I am, your reign will be forgotten."

"You are despicable." Alexander replied coldly, stepping away from the cell. "You'll get what's coming to you Michael, I'll make sure of it."

As his father stepped out of the room, Michael sunk down onto the cot, rubbing his temples as he tried to figure out what to do next.

"Bianca?" Kendall continued when she didn't get an answer. "Tell me, how did you know you liked women?"

An amused smile teased Bianca's lips as she processed her sister's question. "Kendall, why would you possibly want to know about that?"

The older woman fidgeted with her purse as she tried to come up with an answer. "I just do, alright? I want to get to know my sister better."

"Right." Bianca scoffed, her amusement fading. "Kendall, if this is some kind of joke, some way to mock the lesbian, I swear-"

"No!" Kendall said, cutting her sister off. "No, that's not it. Look, it's just a question. But, obviously, you're not willing to share, so I'll just go."

Bianca watched her sister turn to leave for a split second before speaking up.

"Kendall, wait!" The older woman turned around, a hesitantly hopeful look on her face. Bianca sighed. "If you really want to know about this, I'll tell you."

Lena stared across the desk at Erica, her heart pounding as she awaited her fate.

"Lena," Erica started evenly, her voice betraying nothing. "You have been a valuable asset to this company. Your financial expertise has certainly been quite helpful." The younger woman's face lit up with cautious hope as the cosmetics mogul continued. "However, you have proven that you simply cannot be trusted. It is with no small joy that I tell you this Lena: you're fired."

Lena took a deep breath, nodding her understanding as she stood. "I understand, Erica. I'll go clean out my office."

Erica watched Lena exit her office with great pleasure, a smug smile covering her face. When the ex-CFO had closed the door behind her, Erica picked up the phone, pushing a button.

"Yes, Val? Get me the INS, immediately."

Kendall looked at Bianca expectantly as she sat across from her. Bianca took a deep breath as she began to speak.

"I don't know, Kendall...I just- I always felt different. Like I didn't fit, somehow. Mom has always been man-crazy, you know that." Kendall nodded, her sister's words resonating more than the younger woman knew. "I could never figure it out, though. I just felt out of place, like something was missing. Until I met Sarah."

"And then you just knew?" Kendall asked. Bianca shook her head.

"No, I didn't even consider it at first. We were just...friends. Really good friends. And somewhere along the line, that changed. I fell in love with her." A wistful smile slowly spread on Bianca's lips as she remembered her first love. "But even then, I didn't think I was gay. It just seemed like a natural progression. We were in rehab, it's like a different world there. It was our world, and there was just us. We didn't think about what it meant."

Kendall looked down at her hands as she thought of Greenlee. She wouldn't have the luxury of a fantasy world with Greenlee; they would have to face the paparazzi, and Erica, and the scrutiny of the whole town. Bianca noticed Kendall's distance, and spoke.

"Kendall, why did you want to know about this?" She asked gently. "Do you have feelings for a woman?" Kendall looked up like a deer in headlights. A knock on the door interrupted her answer. "Come in." Bianca said, her face lighting up when she saw Lena enter.

"I don't mean to interrupt." The tall woman said apologetically as she looked back and forth between the two sisters. Kendall shook her head, standing up.

"No, Lena, it's alright. I was just leaving."

"Kendall, wait." Bianca said, standing to try to stop her sister from leaving. Kendall looked back, her eyes betraying the uncertainty she felt. "My advice? Think long and hard about how you feel. If what I asked is true, then talk to her, whoever she is. Honesty is important if you value the friendship."

Kendall nodded in gratitude, then quickly left the office. Lena watched the woman leave, her curiosity piqued.

"What was that about?" She asked, semi-amused in spite of her newfound lack of job.

"I may have more in common with Kendall than I thought." Bianca said, smiling as she moved around her desk to greet her girlfriend. "But that's not as important as this." She said, pulling the box out of Lena's hands and putting it down on her desk so she could pull the older woman down for a lingering kiss.

When they broke, Bianca took a moment to register the box she had just put on her desk. "It didn't go well, did it?" Lena sighed as she responded.

"No. I'm fired. But I'm not surprised; I deserve far more than a mere firing." She said self-deprecatingly, unable to meet Bianca's gaze.

"Hey, listen to me." The younger woman said as she cupped Lena's face, forcing their eyes to meet. "Don't beat yourself up over this. You did what you had to do to survive. We've been through worse than this, and we got through together. We'll find you another job in no time."

Lena smiled at her lover's optimism, and leaned down to press a gentle kiss on her soft lips. "I love you, you know that?" Bianca smiled back, pulling Lena down for another kiss, lingering for a few moments before replying.

"I love you too, Lena." She said firmly, capturing her lover's lips once more.

To Be Continued

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