DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Posted in 2006 with the same title to ff.net.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To howlingturtle[at]hotmail.com
Dance With Me
"Dance with me." Zoe Carter, daughter of Jack Carter the sheriff of Eureka, says as she holds her hand out towards Jo Lupo, the now very uncomfortable deputy sheriff of Eureka.
The seventeen year old Zoe had once again been left in Jo's care by her father as he went to deal with some crisis and refused to leave her in their home. "What?" Jo asks this stiffly as she arches her eyebrow and tries to keep a blush from her face.
"Come on, please? Dad said that you liked to dance, and I'm bored. I know you're bored too, there's nothing to do in here! So dance with me." Zoe punctuates her words by making frustrated hand gestures and once more holding out her hand to Jo.
Jo could kill Carter for telling Zoe that she liked to dance. She only told him because of those stupid genetically altered psycho plants that brought out all those repressed urges and dropped the whole town's inhibitions. It wasn't her fault that the repressed side of her personality was a valley girl with a penchant for dancing. And he'd gone and told his delinquent daughter about it. Cripes.
Zoe, oblivious to Jo's mental hissy fit, starts forward to take Jo's hand and pull her out from behind her desk. Before she can take hold Jo folds her arms across her chest and leans back, out of reach once more. The move unintentionally offends Zoe and she withdraws fighting the sting of tears in her eyes.
"Fine. Forget it. I was just trying to make sitting here less dull." Zoe won't look at Jo as she speaks knowing her eyes would be shining brightly with wetness. She sits in a chair across the room from Jo with her head down and her hands in her lap.
Looking at her now Jo wishes she'd just danced with her. She looks so small all the way over there. It's like Jo had taken all the light and spirit from the girl. That isn't what she'd wanted, if Zoe knew just what Jo wanted she wouldn't be so eager to dance. The problem was that Jo was harboring a deep attraction for the younger girl; she'd grown so much in the last two years that the whole town was surprised. Zoe had turned into a true beauty, at least in Jo's humble opinion, and dancing with her would make it impossible to resist kissing her.
Watching the dejected girl Jo felt her heart twist painfully knowing she'd hurt her. Jo's brows furrowed and her lips pursed as she tried to think of a way to make it up to Zoe. She sat for a moment more at her desk before deciding on a course of action and standing to cross to the room's radio.
When the music came on Zoe lifted her head in surprise. She'd thought that Jo was angry with her for making such a foolish suggestion, now she wasn't so sure. She'd had an ulterior motive in asking the fiery officer to dance; she wanted to be close to her. For two years she'd had a crush on this strong woman and she'd tried to get rid of it, to no effect, by dating a string of boys. Now she accepted it, she was even taking steps to make something more of it.
Now Jo stood before Zoe with her hand held towards her and a light blush tinting her cheeks as she asked in a low, husky voice "Dance with me?"
Jo couldn't believe how nervous she was looking into Zoe's eyes with her hand out there. A few moments passed and Jo was about to take her hand back when she felt Zoe's take hold. Pulling Zoe to her feet Jo let a small grin stretch her lips, the relief she felt turning that grin into a full blown smile.
Zoe was shocked, not sure if she should believe this was actually happening or if she was daydreaming in class again. When she saw the look on Jo's face she decided she was in reality and joy brought out a vibrant smile as she moved closer to Jo and they began to dance.
Zoe laughed as they started with an upbeat song and unsure of their movements were a little awkward until Zoe twisted herself under Jo's arm like a ballerina. They danced as though they were in a club full of people, with a freedom of movement and spirit that they hadn't known they needed until that moment.
Inevitably the song changed to a slow one and before Jo had any time to think Zoe had drawn herself closer and put her arms around Jo's shoulders. "What are you doing leaving your hair up like this?" Zoe asked to distract Jo from their closeness. With deft movements she pulled Jo's hair out of it's confinement and let it fall loose. Barely conscious of what she was doing she combed her fingers through Jo's hair to make it settle.
Jo was surprised by Zoe's initiative; first with pulling her close for the song and now with her hair. She watched Zoe intently as Zoe continued to absently comb her hair with a dreamy look on her face. A soft smile graced Jo's lips as she calmed and let her arms slide around Zoe's waist comfortably pulling them ever so closer together.
She wondered what Zoe was thinking as the younger girl's fingers continued their movements. The simple action had put Jo at complete ease and she let her eyes drift closed in a lull.
Zoe noticed Jo's eyes close while she continued running her fingers through Jo's hair. She savored their closeness. She could feel Jo's arms warm around her waist and their bodies brushing tantalizingly together. Staring into Jo's face she made a decision that she hoped she wouldn't regret in just a moment. That decision was to kiss Jo. Zoe was going to do it.
Leaning closer Zoe was careful to keep her fingers going so Jo didn't suspect anything. With her face just millimeters away Zoe closed her eyes as the remaining distance disappeared and her lips met Jo's.
The action made Jo's eyes pop open but she didn't pull away. She wanted this as much as Zoe apparently did. Slowly she closed her eyes again and kissed back softly while holding Zoe all the more tightly in her arms.
Zoe couldn't help but smile into the kiss as she felt Jo kiss back. She'd been worried Jo would push her away and dash her hopes for any relationship, friendship or otherwise. But knowing Jo felt the same she slid one hand further into Jo's hair and the other down to cup the side of Jo's face.
In this manner neither noticed when the song changed; content to remain in their embrace they continued their soft exploratory kisses. Unfortunately they also failed to notice Jack Carter barge into the room and just as he was about to ask a question he looked up and saw his daughter in the arms of his deputy. To say he was shocked would be putting it mildly, so stunned was he that words failed him and for a few long moments he could only gape open mouthed. Then his brain shut down and he fell into a dead faint falling heavily to the floor.
That was a noise the women noticed, a thump that loud is hard to ignore, and they looked to the door to find Sheriff Carter sprawled on the threshold. Chuckling lightly Zoe removed herself from Jo's arms, bent herself to tend her father, and asked "Do you think he'll believe this was all a dream, or some experiment of Fargo's gone horribly awry?"
With chuckles of her own Jo replied "As long as I keep my job and he still leaves you unattended in my presence I don't really care what he believes."
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