DISCLAIMER: Paula is mine, but the rest are not. The L Word and all it entails belong to Ilene Chaiken and Showtime.
SPOILERS: The first season. I takes place immediately after the final episode, and was written without looking at season two spoilers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wasn't sure about Clea's age, so I've written her as being around 17.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Fall and the Getting Back Up
By Gret

Chapter Nine

The door closed hard behind them; it wasn't quite a slam but it definitely had the resounding thud of finality, complete with the quick snibbing of the lock, not to mention narrowly missing catching Dana on the ass. "What the fuck?" she queried dazedly, still trying to catch up with what was going on, "Did she just…"

"I believe we've been kicked out," Alice explained with amused wonder. She looked up at Dana's expression of confusion, her brow crinkled as if figuring out the great mystery of life, when in actual fact she was merely trying to fight through the cloud of arousal to understand how they managed to get from the couch to out the door so fast.

She vaguely remembered Tina returning to find them making out and a thought dawned on her, if somewhat belatedly. "But it's your apartment!" she argued. "I can't believe she kicked us out when we stayed to support her." The athlete even pouted slightly, a little hurt at her friend's actions.

The blonde just smirked. "Dane, we were practically dry humping on the sofa."

"Believe me, there was nothing dry about it from my perspective," Dana complained huffily, reminded of the uncomfortably wet feeling she was left with now that her arousal had been sufficiently doused. 'No pun intended!' She grinned at her internal joke, then purposefully wiped it off her face when she saw Alice looking at her like she was insane. "This is all your fault," she accused as she grabbed the blonde's hand and turned to go, pulling her girlfriend with her.

"Well if you weren't so sexy, or look so damn hot when you're turned on I wouldn't…" She cut off her rambling argument when she realised they were moving outside. "Where are we going anyway?" she asked as Dana continued to pull her along the street. "Like I have a choice."

"My place."

"Oh, ok, great then, just what I was about to suggest," she replied, with enthusiastic agreement. "Carry on then," she added in a very bad English accent, grinning widely at the look Dana shot her even as she determinedly power-walked them to her car.

They were seated in a booth near the back of the long narrow diner, and Shane couldn't help but look around in total amazement. The place looked just like they had stepped into a burger joint from the 50s, complete with a classic jukebox that looked to her like it played only LPs. There were booths all along one wall and a bar-style counter along the other with stools that were covered in the same shiny red vinyl as the booth seats. In fact almost everything was red and white, including the clothes the staff wore, with stainless steel additions like the salt and pepper shakers and menu holder at the end of the table. It was all very stereotypical of what she'd expect from a 50s style diner, but somehow it looked too well-worn and comfortable to be an imitation. She brought her focus back to the redhead sitting across from her. "What is this place, it looks like something out of a time warp?"

"I know, it's amazing, and there's a story to it as well." Lara smiled, glad her choice to bring Shane here had been a good one. "This is Louie's Diner, and you see that old guy at the end of the counter playing cards, that's Uncle Louie." Seeing Shane nod she continued, "Louie bought this place after World War II, and he and his wife ran it until his son Joey, the guy serving people, took over in the 70s, and now he runs the family business with his daughter."

Shane kept nodding taking it all in. "Wow, that's cool. How did they manage to keep it like this and not be swallowed up?"

"Family love and good business sense," she replied with a grin as the waitress came over for their order. Seeing that wasn't going to be enough for Shane she waited until after they had placed their orders before continuing. "You see, while Louie was a good businessman, this was his dream and he was too stubborn to change it. But by the time Joey took over they were in danger of losing the whole building, so instead of changing the diner he convinced Louie to move out of the apartment upstairs and turned it into a disco club. Now his daughter Liv runs the club upstairs, Quirk, you've probably been there, it's not bad."

"Yeah," the scruffy brunette murmured, again looking around the diner that looked vastly different to the stylish modern club upstairs. "Never knew this was under it though." She looked back at Lara, not bothering to hide her inquisitiveness when it came to this increasingly mysterious woman. "So how come you know all this, and don't think I've forgotten about the Steve Jaffe thing either, or why you were at Paula's the other night. You seem to be a woman full of contradictions, there's definitely more to you than I thought."

There burgers arrived as they continued to stare at each other, before Lara smiled enigmatically at her companion. "Nah, no mystery here, I'm just a rich, boarding school brat that likes to cook," she said with a wink, then picked up her burger and took a big bite.

Dana pulled the Subaru SUV into the driveway of her condo and switched off the ignition. Alice had been unusually quiet on the drive over, seeming to become more withdrawn as they got closer to the tennis player's house, and it in turn served to spark Dana's own insecurity. She turned to Alice and grinned a little nervously. "So, should we go inside or just hang out in the car?"

Alice exhaled forcefully and glanced across at Dana. "Ah, go inside, I guess," she answered with a hint of uncertainty, but seeing the brunette's worry she tried to pull herself together. "Sorry, Dane, I'm just a little nervous."

"Yeah, me too. Part of me still can't believe this is really gonna happen," she said dreamily, staring out the window with a goofy grin on her face. The grin slid off her face as she snapped her head around to face Alice seriously. "It is gonna happen, right? I mean it doesn't have to if you don't want…"

"Dane," the blonde interrupted, grabbing her shoulders in an attempt to stave off a Dana babble. "Baby, I want it to happen too. I'm just experiencing a little performance anxiety."

"What? You are? Why would you be? I mean, come on, I'm the one with less experience here," the brunette tried to reassure her, not really understanding where Alice's insecurity was coming from.

Not able to look at Dana as she explained, the blonde turned to the windscreen. "Well, you know, given the heights of pleasure you've previously been taken to." She shrugged meekly, feeling herself blush and frustrated at not being able to stop it.

Dana frowned in confusion, before the metaphoric light bulb switched on and her eyes became impossibly wide, her mouth forming a silent 'oh'.

"Al, you can't be serious," Dana began imploringly. "It was a one time, freak occurrence. After a considerable drought, no less. God, you saw what I was like before I got together with Lara, I was a little…"

"Overgrown horny teenager?" Alice inserted without thought only to smile at Dana's melodramatic jaw drop.

"Ah, ok, well, I was going to say a little 'sexually frustrated', but I'm not a writer so I don't have your unique gift with words." She smiled back at Alice glad for the tension release. "But yeah I was kinda champing at the bit before; can you imagine the mess I was in when I realised 'It' was actually gonna happen?"

Trying to grasp the meaning in Dana's words Alice said thoughtfully, trying to cover the teasing smirk, "So, you're saying you were ready to spurt and she just happened to be there?"

Dana's eyes bulged. "Fuck, Al, do you have to put it like that?" She felt a slight flush flood her features at the thought. "And no, that's not what I meant; I was just trying to explain that circumstances worked in Lara's favour."

"It really only happened that once?" Alice asked finally, eyes pleading with Dana, needing further reassurance against insecurities she rarely revealed.

Dana reached out and gently brushed her knuckles against Alice's cheek. "Yes, it only happened the first time." She cupped the cheek as she leaned in and kissed the blonde softly, careful to keep the kiss chaste, lest they get stuck in the car. "Can we go inside now?"

"Yep." Alice jumped out the passenger side door. "Race ya," she threw back, slamming the door and running toward the house.

"But I have the keys," Dana murmured dazedly as she pulled said item from the ignition. She looked up to see Alice racing up the stairs to the front door dangling her spare key for Dana to see. "Hey, not fair." The brunette quickly exited the car, remembering to lock it before running after her girlfriend who had already rushed in the front door and was making her way up the interior stairs, undoing the buttons of her shirt as she went.

Finished eating Shane sat leaning back, slumped casually in the corner of the booth sipping her coffee and waiting for Lara to divulge the secrets she had dangled luringly like carrots. The redhead had gone to the bathroom and was now saying a quick hello to Uncle Louie, whom she appeared to know fairly well, given the hug she received and the peck on the cheek she returned. 'God, who is this woman?' Shane thought curiously, determined to get answers as Lara made her way back.

"Well?" Shane prompted, when the redhead didn't respond to her raised eyebrow of inquiry.

Lara just grinned. "This is killing you, isn't it?" At Shane's glare she relented. "Ok, I knew Liv, Louie's granddaughter in college and I used to help out here on weekends. See no huge mystery."

But Shane wasn't satisfied. "What would a self-proclaimed 'rich boarding school brat' be doing flipping burgers?" she asked, watching Lara carefully to make sure she was telling the truth.

"Honestly, I think my father was just happy I didn't pull a Paris Hilton on him and turn into a public airhead, flipping burgers was nothing; as long as I kept my personal life discreet and didn't get my dirty deeds flashed about in the media he was ok with it."

"Your father?" Shane asked uncertainly.

"Jonathon Perkins"

The brunette almost spat out her mouthful of coffee. "The senator?" she blurted out, struggling not to wince at the hot coffee she was forced to swallow in a big gulp. "I guess that explains how you know Steve Jaffe."

"He and my father have business dealings," she stated matter-of-factly.

"Ok," Shane replied calmly, trying to regain her composure, and not really interested in knowing any more about such dealings. Unsure whether she should ask her next question, trepidation crept into the husky voice, "What did Jaffe mean by 'like mother, like daughter'?"

Lara shook her head with amusement. "You must be a gun at twenty questions, McCutcheon; right to the point, no 'is it bigger than a baby's arm' for you."

"Why dance around the issue, I've always been more of a dive in kinda person." Amusement twinkled in her green eyes in a deliberate attempt to lessen the tension for Lara, who she knew was about to bare her secrets, and in turn share a little of her soul. Shane allowed her lip to curl into a cheeky smirk before adding, "I usually like to undress first, though."

The redhead couldn't help but smile when she saw the other woman's eyes light up with humour; she took a deep breath and tried to keep her voice steady as she prepared to reveal her personal history and with it the pain. "My parents separated when I was twelve after my father found out my mother was having an affair with another woman." She stared into her coffee as she continued. "At the time I knew nothing of what went on, only that my mother left suddenly and then I was shipped off to boarding school without explanation. Later I found out that my mother stayed in LA with the same woman, not knowing where I was and the scare tactics my father's lawyers pushed on her stopped her from looking."

"Huh. Bastard." It was the most articulate response Shane could come up with. "Ah, sorry," she retracted, realising it probably wasn't a good idea to call her father names right now.

The redhead held up her hand to wave off the apology. "No, it's ok. I mean I love my father, I love both my parents, but I realise they both did some fairly questionable things. I can also understand that most of what my father did came out of a sense of hurt and betrayal. He was in love with her and thought she felt the same only to find out that she had lied to him, maybe even tried to lie to herself." She looked up at Shane, her eyes shining with the beginnings of tears and she tried to smile through them. "Doesn't make up for what he did, but I can't hate him for it, you know?"

Shane just nodded in understanding and placed a hand gently on top of Lara's that was laying flat on the tabletop, reaching for a serviette with the other. She gently pressed the napkin into the redhead's free hand before asking, "So what about your mom and you? You said she stayed in LA, and given that you're in LA I'm guessing you saw her again?"

"Yeah, I was able to meet up with her again when I was seventeen, after I got myself kicked out of boarding school and shipped back to LA." She grinned at the surprised smile on Shane's face.

"You got kicked out of boarding school? What for, stealing the other kids lunch money?" Shane smirked, watching the slight red tint appear on the other woman's cheeks.

"Moral turpitude," Lara answered with attempted seriousness, that was offset by her stifled grin and hints of laughter behind her bright blue eyes.

"Excuse me?"

"I was, ah, caught in a compromising position with a fellow student," she explained further.

Shane raised an eyebrow, her trademark smirk remaining in place. "Compromising position?"

Lara couldn't help the slight grin. "Yeah, she was…going down on me, and I thought the door was locked, but it wasn't, and the dorm supervisor walked in and got an eyeful." She looked up at Shane sheepishly, the brunette looking decidedly amused, and she couldn't help but laugh as she added, "I thought she was going to pass out."

Shane cracked up as well, both of them leaning back in their seats trying to cover their laughter with their hands. Realising they were drawing attention from the other customers they sat up and tried to compose themselves. "Man, talk about getting caught with your pants down, literally. My, my, Miss Lara; you little rebel, you. Bet your Dad was pissed."

"God, you have no idea how pissed he was," she revealed with a sigh, shaking her head with a small smirk, trying to keep the light mood as she thought about the tense first weeks back in her father's house.

"How did he handle the gay thing?" Shane asked and took a sip of her coffee only to realise it was now cold so she signalled the waitress for a top up.

"Surprisingly well, actually" she replied with a smile, which soon turned into a small chuckle. "Especially considering the circumstances of my coming out." At Shane's furrowed brow she elaborated further. "My father never really had a problem with that. With my mother it was more about the betrayal and the lies. The fact that she knew she was gay even before they got married and she still did it. He never regretted the marriage, because he got me, but the lies hurt." She stopped while the waitress filled up their coffees before going on. "He's been fairly supportive of me and my life, including my sexual orientation, he only insists that I be discreet and not draw public attention to myself, and in turn him."

"Maybe you shouldn't be seen with me then," Shane murmured quietly, and Lara wasn't sure if the comment was really as light-hearted as the brunette tried to make it. Seeing the odd look from the redhead Shane felt suddenly exposed, so she decided to refocus the conversation. "So, your mother?"

It was obvious to Lara what her friend was trying to do, but she decided not to push Shane, sensing that she would have other opportunities to find out more about who Shane McCutcheon really was. She took a sip of coffee, and kindly waited for the brunette to take one as well before saying, "Didn't you wonder what I was doing at Paula's bar the other night?"

Shane's eyes grew wide and her eyebrows shot up in stunned surprise before knitting together; and she was glad she had already swallowed her sip of coffee, knowing she would have sprayed it all over Lara who only looked amused at her reaction.

Chapter Ten

"Paula is your mother?"

Shane gaped at the redhead seated across from her, trying to see any evidence of a genetic connection between this beautiful and mysterious woman and the rough and ready bar owner. She couldn't help but smirk at the thought of Paula as a high society wife.

Lara smiled at the dramatic reaction from the increasingly less stoic brunette she was coming to know. "No, not quite." She slowly took a sip of her coffee, beginning to realise just how much she enjoyed this gentle toying with Shane. "Paula was my mother's partner."

Shane immediately picked up on the past tense, prodding carefully, "Was?"

"Yeah, my mom died five years ago from breast cancer." Shane could see Lara's pain clearly as she spoke of her mother, not quite knowing what to say she continued to hold her hand across the table, lightly stroking her thumb across the chef's knuckles allowing Lara to go on at her own pace. "It was fairly fast, she'd only just been diagnosed when I got back in contact with her and less than two years later she was gone." She gently squeezed Shane's hand in acknowledgment of her support. "I got to know Paula pretty well in that time, as well as her family, so I try to keep in contact." At Shane's crinkled brow she added, "Paula is Uncle Louie's daughter; Joey's little sister."

Shane was a little dumbfounded. Not only had Lara just revealed a fairly significant chunk of her life history, but she'd also pulled back the veil to some degree on the woman Shane regarded as her saviour. She had never really known any personal details about Paula's life; about her family, or her relationship, or the loss of her partner. She had almost been like a mythical figure to the brunette; a guardian angel who had picked her up, healed her wounds and pointed her towards the light. That had been almost five years ago, and given what Lara had just told her she figured her first fateful meeting with Paula in that dark alley must have taken place not long after the death of Lara's mother.

"Shane?" Lara prompted, seeing her friend was lost in thought.

The brunette snapped back at the sound of her voice, still trying to put together the timeline in her head. "Sorry, I'm just trying to work stuff out. When did your mother die?" she asked tentatively.

"Five years ago on Thursday. It's why I was at Paula's that night, we got together for dinner at Uncle Louie's and then some of us went for drinks at Paula's."

The brunette just nodded. "Three months," she murmured, more to herself then anything.


Shane cleared her throat, trying to bring her focus back to the redhead and away from her memories. "Sorry, just thinking. I met Paula not long after that, about three months later. I never really knew all that much about her, other than she's pushy and stubborn, she owns a bar, and she changed my life."

"Ok." Was all Lara could say, even though her companion's explanation had only opened up new questions. "How exactly did she change your life?"

Shane's eyes lit up as she smiled across the table. "She saved me," she answered with reverence, not sure she was ready to go into her life pre-Paula in any great detail, but feeling that she needed to at least be honest with her friend. 'After all, turn about is fair play,' she thought ruefully. "I didn't exactly have a picture perfect childhood and adolescence. By the time I was 14 I was living off my own means and I wasn't exactly doing the best job of it. Let's just say I abused my body and soul in many different ways and sometimes that left me open to abuse from others. Well one of these occasions left me beaten and unconscious in the alley behind Paula's bar almost five year ago. She took me in, cleaned me up, and told me that I was worth more than a senseless death in a dark alley. For some reason the message sunk in and I decided to change." She finished with a sigh, knowing she hadn't given Lara anywhere near as much information as she wanted, but also somehow knowing the redhead wouldn't push her. She looked up into the steady gaze of her friend seeing only kindness and knew that she would one day tell Lara the whole story and that in doing so would make her the first to know everything. 'God, getting a bit ahead of yourself, McCutcheon. What is it about this woman that makes you want to spill your guts,' Shane thought to herself.

Needing to escape the potential melancholy of her thoughts she forced a grin and added with sarcastic self-deprecation, "So here I am!"

Lara recognised the wall going up, and couldn't help but notice that it seemed to be getting thinner and thinner around her, she smiled openly, her bright blue eyes locked with Shane's green. "Yes, here you are," she agreed gently, taking all the sarcasm of Shane's comment and turning it into affection.

Alice groaned pitifully before taking a quick gasping breath into her starved lungs only to release it with another groan under the dead weight of her girlfriend. She continued to take short sharp pants trying to recover. She felt her body start to unconciously relax now that she was breathing semi regularly, and brought her hands up to push at Dana's shoulders trying to ease the weight on her squashed ribs. "Get off me, you big oaf!", she huffed, as she flopped the athlete over onto her back with little help from Dana.

The brunette pulled her top off her head and chanced a glance across at Alice, trying to read her face to determine if the blonde was really as pissed off as she sounded. 'Good one, Dana, way to kill the mood geek-style.' Seeing that Alice looked to be in pain, she sat up quickly. "Are you alright? Are you hurt? Alice?"

"God, I think you corked my thigh." Alice moaned, sitting up slowly and tenderly prodding her bruised thigh through her pants. She looked across at Dana seeing the worried frown on her face and smirked slightly to ease her mind. "You and your knobby knees," she joked, letting the smirk turn into a grin.

"Hey, my knees are not knobby, thankyou!" Dana cried in outrage and hurriedly covered her knees with her hands as if for their own modesty, despite their being already covered in denim. "And besides, if you hadn't decided to take your shoes off right at the top of the stairs I wouldn't have ran into you," the brunette stated indignantly.

"Well, if you hadn't tried to take you top off while running up said stairs you would've seen where you were going," Alice shot back with a serious tone that was totally put off by the grin on her face. Their eyes locked for a moment before they both broke into a fit of laughter, Dana flopping back on the floor with a thump, covering her eyes with one arm as she continued to shake with laughter.

"God, I'm such a geek, trust me to do something klutzy at the wrong moment." Dana lifted her arm slightly to peek up at Alice. "Are you sure you know what you're getting into?"

Despite the slight throb in her thigh and tenderness of her ribs, the blonde rolled onto her hands and knees and slowly crawled her way up Dana's body until she was looking directly down into hazel eyes. She laid her body down flat along the length of the tennis player, resting her forearms on either side of Dana's face. She leaned down gently brushing her soft lips against Dana's in a hint of a kiss before pushing back up to lean on her elbows. "Lucky for you, Dana Fairbanks, I know exactly what I'm getting into, geek and all. In fact, I happen to be in love with a geek. Yeah, really, you wouldn't believe it. A beautiful, klutzy, very adorable geek; with a hot body and a habit of sticking her foot in her mouth. She's my best friend, I can tell her anything, and just the thought of kissing her makes my stomach go all mushy." At the mention of a kiss Alice leaned down to bestow another fleetingly light teasing kiss on the brunette's lips, and then suddenly pulled back. "Oh, and she's an athlete, can you believe it, I'm dating an athlete. I'm thinking, hel-lo stamina, if you know what I mean," she finished with a cheeky grin and exaggerated wink, topping it off with a suggestive cluck of her tongue.

Dana reached up, threading her hands into the grinning blonde's hair and pulled her down into a hungry kiss. Alice responded immediately, moving to cup the back of Dana's head trying to increase contact and opening her mouth to meet Dana's seeking tongue. As their tongues brushed against each other they both moaned, revelling in the sensation of the heated kiss, but knowing they needed more. Needed to touch, to taste, to crawl inside each other or as close as possible. Dana slowly ran one hand down Alice's side and slipped it under the blonde's open shirt, sliding her hand around to cradle Alice's bare back as she carefully rolled them over. Alice was so caught up in the taste and feel of Dana's mouth on hers didn't fully register the change in position until she felt the slight press of her girlfriend's weight on her sore ribs. She pulled back from the kiss with a pained gasp.

"What? What is it? Alice?" Dana questioned worriedly, pulling back and glancing down at Alice unsure what she'd done. "Baby, what's wrong?"

"Hey, Dane, it's alright, just sore ribs, remember," she replied soothingly.

"Oh my god, are you alright? I didn't even think. Could they be broken, maybe we should go get them x-rayed to make sure. Oh god, I'm sorry." She glanced up into Alice's eyes with shame. "I hurt you."

"Hey, Dane. Dana? Hey, baby what are you talking about, I'm fine. They're just a little sore, I'd forgotten as well until you pressed on them." Alice reached up cupping Dana's cheek with a smile. "And you didn't hurt me, you idiot, it was an accident."

Dana started to lighten up, but continued to look concerned. "Are you sure you're ok?"

"Yes Dana, I'm fine, they're just a little tender." She looked up at the brunette mischievously. "But you know what this means, don't you?"

"What?" Dana answered carefully, not quite knowing what the blonde what getting at.

"I get to be on top," Alice smirked cheekily and she carefully stood up, intent on finishing this in the bedroom.

The sun was setting as they walked quietly and leisurely along the street having left Louie's Diner, Shane insisting on paying despite Lara's arguments. They had decided to walk the couple of blocks to Paula's bar to say hello and maybe share a drink, but really neither of them wanted the evening to end and this seemed like a good reason to continue it. They had both revealed certain things about themselves and their pasts in the comfortable surroundings of Louie's and now that they had walked back out into the bustling street and the real world they weren't sure what was expected.

Shane already knew she was attracted to the beautiful redhead, and had been ever since she first saw her during their mission to determine her sexual orientation for Dana. The fact that she didn't even get a hint of reciprocated attraction from Lara had only made her more appealing at the time. She would never have made a move though, because regardless of her well-known reputation as a player she was a loyal friend and would never even think of betraying Dana like that. But now she was in an unknown area for her, she liked Lara too much as a friend to fuck her, there was already a personal investment here, she wouldn't be able to just walk away and what's more she wasn't even sure she would want to. But did she want to risk what was turning into potentially a close, trusting friendship by pushing for more? 'Face it, McCutcheon, you don't even know if she'd be interested. Ok, so maybe you can see she's interested, doesn't mean she wants to actually get involved with you. I mean, come on, why would she; she knows what you're like, she's seen you in action, how can you expect her to trust you?' Shane swallowed hard at her inner monologue, her eyes focused on the pavement as she continued to berate herself for even considering someone like Lara would stoop so low. The brunette chanced a glance up at her companion, the movement caught Lara's attention and she looked across meeting the surprisingly open and vulnerable green eyes, holding her gaze for a moment before refocusing on the street ahead.

Lara too was confused by her own thoughts and reactions to the friendship developing with this scruffy enigma of a woman. She had bared her past to Shane today; told her private details about herself and her parents, things she rarely talked about and never with someone who hadn't been directly involved. But telling Shane had been so easy, and although she knew she should feel vulnerable, she trusted Shane with the information and knew that she would keep it in confidence. Lara glanced across at the brunette whose eyes were fixed to the pavement, she could feel this mutual attraction growing between them with the gentle flirting and occasional glances that held more than friendship. She somehow also knew that Shane would leave the ball in her court even though it seemed to go against her confident nature and definitely against her reputation.

Determined to get away from her internal musings Lara decided to break the silence. "So do you want to tell me why Steve Jaffe felt the need to accost you in the street?" she asked, even though she already knew the reason, but she was finding out she liked playing with Shane, drawing out a reaction.

Shane kept her eyes firmly on the pavement. "I slept with his wife," she said simply. "More than once." Somehow what had seemed like a great thing at the time now seemed tawdry as she confessed it to her friend. 'God, what the hell is wrong with me. It's not like she was the first married woman I've fucked. Hell, she's not even the second.'

"Yeah, I figured." Having expected a little more out of the brunette, Lara realised if she wanted the dirt she was going to need a shovel. "So how did you meet her?"

Shane shoved her hands in her pockets and shrugged. "Did her hair. She was interested, I was willing, situation was right...She almost seemed lonely, like she was looking for something and I was it. It was fun while it lasted."

Lara could see Shane's defensive posture creeping in, but trudged on anyway. "I know you probably don't want to hear this, but you weren't the first and probably won't be the last. Granted she usually goes for toy 'boys', but she's fairly notorious in the 'A-ladies' circles for her younger flings."

"Yeah?" Shane glanced across at the redhead knowing she was being honest. "I wouldn't have guessed at first, she seemed so new to it. She seemed to like the risk factor though. Did Steve know about the others?" Shane relaxed her posture a little though kept her hands in her pockets, unconsciously letting her guard down again as they neared the bar.

"I'm fairly sure he would have, so obviously Steve has more of a problem with your gender than your age or the fucking his wife thing," Lara reasoned, opening the door and holding it open for Shane.

"Seems that way." The brunette simply walked through the door, not even thinking of her usual reaction to such a gesture.

The redhead only raised an eyebrow before turning to follow Shane to the bar. Upon seeing the two enter the stocky woman behind the bar looked a little surprised but nonetheless pleased.

To Be Continued

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