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The first time Joan Watson picked up a woman at a bar had been three days after she'd had her medical license revoked. And, in all honesty, it hadn't even been her primary objective when she had gone out that night. Her plan had been to sit in a discrete booth in the back of the corner bar near her apartment and get wasted. She had, of course, been in an alcohol-induced haze for the last two days, but her mother kept calling her house phone, concerned about her state of mind after the Board delivered its verdict, and the constant ringing was driving her slowly insane. She didn't want to talk about it. She knew she'd screwed up. She just wanted to forget, if only for a little while, that her meticulously planned life had collapsed around her.
The second time she picked up a random woman had been a month later. The third, a month after that. And then another one a month after that. The women's faces blended together, and she had forgotten each of their names before she had even gotten all of their clothes off. Their names didn't matter to her, only the blissful feeling of freedom and control that she experienced as she gave in to her most base desires. She never saw the same woman twice and she liked it that way. No strings. No expectations. Nobody depending on her to be strong and capable.
She eventually settled into a career as a sobriety companion, and she found a sense of purpose in helping addicts reclaim their everyday lives. She hated the job, though, and whenever her contract ran out and she was relieved of her duty to keep someone else on the wagon, she fell off her own and back into bed with a woman whose name she never really cared to learn.
And, as she had wrapped up her last assignment earlier that afternoon and wasn't scheduled to begin her next until the following week with a recovering drug addict named Holmes, she was ready to fall again. She was ready to lose herself in the feeling of silky-smooth skin under her fingertips and the breathy sounds of a woman on the edge of climax. She doubted she would find anyone to satisfy her needs in this small, corner bar that was about six blocks from her apartment; but she was tired and unwilling to put any real effort into finding a woman to share a bed with for the night. If, as she suspected, she ended up going to bed alone, she would just go out to a more crowded place that she knew of in the Village that she always had better luck in.
She was staring blankly into the rich, ocher depths of her second glass of scotch when she saw her walk into the bar. Tall. Fit. Custom-tailored charcoal gray slacks sitting low on her trim hips and a fitted pale blue Oxford shirt rolled at the sleeves to expose toned, muscled forearms. The woman's dark hair fell in loose waves around her shoulders and she had the most enigmatic smirk on her face as she surveyed the crowded bar. The woman took a seat at the very end of the bar, away from a group of men who were arguing over the Yankees/Red Sox game that was on the television, and ordered a drink, seemingly content to be alone.
But the small smile that still tweaked her lips said that, for the right person, she was open to having company.
Joan finished the last of her drink and slid smoothly out of her booth. She licked her lips as she approached the woman at the bar and smiled as she caught her eye in the mirror that ran behind the bottle-lined shelves on the far wall.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked, waving a hand at the empty stool to the woman's right. Her smile grew wider when she was answered with a thorough once-over, a small shake of the head, and an inviting wave of a hand. She perched herself on the edge of the stool as she caught the bartender's eye and made a circling motion with her finger, indicating that she would like another round of the scotch she'd been drinking, and then turned her full attention to the woman beside her. "My name is Joan," she said, holding her right hand out in greeting.
The woman shook her hand firmly and said, "Diana."
The bartender set her glass in front of her and Joan nodded her thanks to him as she pulled her hand from Diana's, letting her fingertips drag across the other woman's palm. At first glance, she had figured her for a stockbroker, corporate executive, or perhaps a lawyer - definitely something white-collar - but those calluses on her hand suggested that her job didn't strictly entail paperwork, meetings, or court hearings. "You come here often?" she asked as she picked up her tumbler.
Smiling at the predictable come-on, Diana shook her head. "This is actually my first time in here."
Joan nodded and toyed with her glass, swirling the alcohol inside it as she waited for Diana to elaborate. Women always did, when faced with what could be perceived as an uncomfortable silence. But Diana didn't, and she found herself even more intrigued by her. It had been a long, long time since she had been faced with a woman who didn't conform to the behavioral standards she was used to. In fact, the last woman who had piqued her interest this way had ended up to share her bed for the better part of her third year of medical school and the first two years of her residency. "New to the neighborhood?"
"Mmhmm," Diana murmured, nodding. "Just bought a place about a block down." She waved a hand in the general direction of her apartment. "You?"
"I've lived here for a few years," Joan answered.
Diana nodded and took a sip of her drink as she appraised the woman beside her. "So, what do you do?"
"I'm a sobriety companion," Joan answered, managing to look somewhat proud of the job that she hated. "How about you?"
"I work for the FBI. White collar."
That explanation fit with both Joan's initial perception of the woman and her conclusions after having shook her hand, and she smiled and nodded as she said, "That sounds exciting."
"It can be," Diana agreed. "Most of the time, however, it's anything but." She took a healthy drink of her Jack and coke and gave Joan a speculative look. It used to be that, on nights like this, where she was both mentally and physically exhausted, she would go home and lose herself in Christie - her scent, her taste, the feeling of her skin against her fingertips. But, with her ex-fiancée now living in an entirely different state, she needed to find something else to lose herself in.
Someone else to lose herself in.
And Joan, with her sad, tired eyes and brave, cocky smile seemed to need the same thing. "You wanna get out of here?"
She knew her assumptions were correct when Joan didn't hesitate to answer, "Yeah."
Diana dropped a twenty down on the bar to cover their drinks and smiled at Joan as she got to her feet. They made their way out of the bar together, hands in the pockets of their coats as they ignored the handful of knowing smirks that were shot their way as they passed.
The door to the bar closed heavily behind them and Diana took a deep breath as she turned to look at Joan. Licking her lips, she stepped into her and watched her carefully for any sign of discomfort on the smaller woman's part as she leaned in and captured her lips in a chaste kiss that deepened when Joan's mouth opened invitingly under her own. Her stomach tightened with anticipation as small hands fisted her shirt, pulling her closer, and she couldn't resist using her body to guide Joan back until she was able to pin her against the rough exterior wall of the bar they'd just left. Their tongues stroked languidly together as they became acclimated to each other, and it wasn't long before their kisses became deep and hungry, their bodies rocking together as their need to touch and to be touched grew.
The sound of a car horn honking broke them apart, and Diana cleared her throat softly as she pointed down the street to the left. "My place is just down there."
Relieved, because she knew her shoebox of an apartment was in no shape to receive visitors after having been virtually abandoned for the last four months, Joan nodded. "Lead the way."
They walked briskly side-by-side down the wide, deserted sidewalk, the cool autumn night wrapping itself comfortingly around them in a gray-black blanket of anonymity. They didn't talk as they made their way to the agent's apartment, conversation wasn't what either of them were looking for. What they both sought was simple just a few moments of stolen happiness. Intelligent, stimulating conversation could always come later, if they so desired.
Diana led the way up a set of narrow stairs that led to a surprisingly deep stoop on an elegant brownstone, and Joan hung back, her hands once again jammed in her pockets as she waited for her to open the door. She followed Diana inside and noticed that while the foyer was predictably narrow, the black and white checkerboard marble floor was polished to the point that it shone and the rich dark wood trim and warm ivory-colored walls gave the space a feeling of warmth. There were only five mailboxes set into the wall beside the stairs, and from the single door visible on this entry level, Joan concluded that each floor of the brownstone, including the basement, was its own apartment.
"It's a walk-up, I'm afraid," Diana said, smiling apologetically over her shoulder at Joan as she started for the stairs.
"That's fine," Joan murmured, busy looking around at the building that reminded her of the one she had lived in when she was still a surgeon. She had been forced to sell that place when the mortgage payments had become too much for her anemic savings account to keep up with.
"You say that now," Diana said. "I'm on the fourth floor."
"I guess it's a good thing I go running every morning in the park then, huh?" Joan smirked challengingly at Diana and was rewarded with an amused smile before the agent started up the stairs.
The fourth-floor landing was small, just a tiny four-foot-square space that sat in front of a single door, and Joan once again hung back as the taller woman opened the door. The light in the foyer was on, revealing light oak hardwood floors, white baseboards, and walls that were painted a deep crimson. In the living room beyond, Joan could see a beige sofa and a tower of boxes stacked beside the windows that were framed by sheer golden-hued curtains. Before she could take any further stock of her surroundings, however, strong hands slid around her waist, pulling her back into an exquisitely toned body as soft lips latched onto the side of her throat. Her eyes fluttered closed as Diana sucked against the sensitive spot just below her ear and she smiled as she felt the agent's lips ghost higher to brush against her ear.
"You're sure?" Diana asked, her voice low and rough with desire.
A delicious shiver of expectation rolled down Joan's spine and she let loose a tremulous breath as she spun around in the taller woman's arms. "Yes," Joan husked, smiling as she lifted herself up to claim her lips in a kiss that was instantly hot and deep, their tongues thrusting boldly together as they clung to each other.
They stumbled down the hall in stumbling, halting steps as neither was willing to release her hold on the other, the promise of escape too strong for either to ignore or risk letting slip from their grasps. This, here, now, was what they each craved. Desired. Needed. They each wished for nothing more than a moment's respite from the crippling feeling of failure that haunted them. A few stolen hours of something that wasn't quite happiness, but which was close enough to tide them over for the time being.
Clothes were removed piece by piece, soft exhalations marking the removal of each until they tumbled together into bed, their legs intertwined as they each fought for the control they so desperately craved. Control over their emotions, control over what was happening around them. Control over the woman in their arms.
It was that last desire that made their coupling so powerfully feral, as neither was willing to concede defeat and submit. Kisses grew harder and more bruising as fingers dug into soft, supple flesh. Twisting hips made up become down and back again as dominance was obtained and then lost in a heart-pounding instant, over and over again, incoherent gasps falling in an increasing tempo as their bodies rocked together desperately.
Putting her height advantage and martial arts training to good use, Diana rolled her hips and maneuvered herself so that she was cradled between Joan's legs, pinning the smaller woman to the bed as she settled her full weight on top of her. A quiet chuckle fell from her lips at the surprised look the smaller woman shot her and she smiled as she leaned in and captured her lips in a kiss that was marginally softer than the ones they'd just shared. She ran her right hand up Joan's stomach to palm her breast possessively and gave the small mound a squeeze before she shifted her grip to tease the rapidly hardening nipple with her thumb, brushing back and forth across the nub.
Despite her slight stature, Joan was used to being the dominate one in bed, but there was something in the way Diana kissed her that had her relaxing back into the mattress. There was something in the rough, yet gentle way she touched her that made her feel safe. Made her feel like she could give up her highly prized control for a few hours and that she wouldn't emerge from the encounter any worse for wear. It was there, in the way Diana's fingers closed around her nipple, squeezing and plucking at the nub as the agent's hips rolled slowly into her own. It was in her kiss that was so demanding yet yielding. This didn't have to be an all-or-nothing affair, she could give up control for a time and then reclaim it later.
Diana hummed softly as she felt Joan truly relax beneath her and she knew that to have earned her submission was a gift. Because, if there was one thing she knew about the virtual stranger in her arms, it was that she didn't yield easily.
Joan swallowed thickly as she felt Diana's hand slide down her stomach and she licked her lips as she let her left leg fall open wider, exposing herself to the agent's wandering touch. Her heart sped as nimble fingers traced the line where her leg and torso hinged, and she sighed as those fingers dipped into her folds for the first time, running boldly through the length of her before rubbing to rub firm circles against her clit. She groaned and rolled her hips needfully, and a low moan tore itself from her throat when Diana thrust two fingers deep inside her.
"Harder," Joan husked, when the agent's first few thrusts, while firm, weren't quite what she wanted. "I won't break," she added, and groaned approvingly when Diana's next thrust pounded powerfully into her.
Eager to take her dark-skinned lover deeper, Joan rolled her hips into each thrust, quiet grunts escaping her as Diana's palm slapped hard against her clit on every stroke, and she found herself fisting the pillow beneath her head as her body fell into a brainless rhythm, hips rolling, chest heaving, as she blindly sought out her release. And then it hit her and she whimpered as white light flashed across the backs of her eyelids and her body seized. She licked her lips and moaned softly as Diana continued to stroke her through her orgasm, and when it finally passed she hummed softly as she opened her eyes to find the agent hovering above her with a prideful smirk on her face.
And, while Diana had more than earned the right to be pleased with her performance, the smirk also came across as a bit of a challenge and Joan rose to it eagerly, lifting herself off of the mattress to capture the agent's lips in a searing kiss as she used her own background in Judo to flip the taller woman over so that she was in the dominate position.
"Hi," Diana chuckled.
"Hi," Joan murmured, leaning in to claim Diana's lips in a slow, deep kiss that gradually built in intensity. She arched a brow questioningly as the need for air forced her to pull back, and she licked her lips compulsively as she stared down into dark, desire blown eyes. "What do you want?"
Diana didn't hesitate as she looped her arms around Joan's neck and rolled her hips needfully up into the smaller woman. "Fuck me."
The rest of the night was spent in an exhaustive dance of giving and taking what they needed fingers pumping, stroking, touching, teasing, as kisses rained down on flushed skin, sucking, licking, tasting, worshipping until they fell to the bed in a tangled, exhausted, sated tangle of limbs, minds quiet for the moment in the blissful afterglow of hours of fucking, hearts beating wildly as their chests heaved with the desperate need for air.
It was just after three a.m. when Joan came awake, pleasantly sore in all the right places. She gazed almost regretfully at the woman beside her and could help wishing that things were different. That their situations were different. Because she had found something in her arms that she had, quite honestly, given up looking for. Acceptance. From both Diana and herself. For a few short hours, she had once again been the woman she used to be, and it was with a soft, regret-filled sigh that she forced herself out of the agent's bed.
No matter how much she wished for it, she knew she could never be that woman again and she dressed quickly and quietly in the dark, forcing herself to not look at Diana's beautifully naked form because she knew that if she did, she wouldn't have the strength to leave.
And she needed to leave.
She didn't want to, but she needed to. She didn't belong here anymore, in another woman's apartment feeling safe, sated, and, dare she even think it, happy. She didn't deserve happiness.
She paused in the doorway as she made her way silently out of the room and allowed herself to steal one last glance at the woman in the bed behind her, the loose flat bedsheet bunched at her waist, leaving her beautifully lean, toned torso and full, pert breasts on display. When the urge to climb back into bed beside her threatened to nearly overwhelm her, she forced herself to leave. To walk down the hall and out the door. To make her way down to the street. To walk home alone beneath the cool yellow glow of the streetlights.
She undressed in her spartan bedroom, feeling better than she had in quite a while and, as she crawled into her own bed wearing nothing but her panties, she couldn't help but think that if she ever were fortunate enough to run into Diana again, that she wouldn't be opposed to spending another night in her bed.
Acceptance, it seemed, was addictive. And she couldn't help but to selfishly wish to feel it again.
Even if she didn't believe she deserved it.
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