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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Finley

The rumble of thunder seemed distant at first, as if Tracey were asleep at the bottom of a deep well and by the time the sound reached her down below, she could only hear a faint remnant of it. She stirred, her limbs feeling leaden, her body too relaxed to move. Slowly, she allowed herself to drift upward towards consciousness, reluctant to let go of the comfort she was feeling.

She inhaled deeply, her senses registering the soothing scent of laundry detergent and the flicker of lightning behind her eyelids that told her it was still dark, late. She couldn't remember the last time she'd felt so contented, so at ease, so safe. She burrowed her cheek into the soft cotton under her head, suspended in that blissful state of not-quite-sleep. Her fingertips rubbed absently at the softness beneath them as she drifted in and out.

As she dozed and listened to the thunder rumble closer, her mind drifted to the previous evening. She and Kelly had worked all afternoon on that blasted case (she'd made Kelly laugh more than once by threatening to shove various forms and files up Branch's southern-fried ass) and finally, she'd had enough.

"My eyes are crossing. And if I don't get some food soon, I may have to kill somebody."

Kelly grinned across the coffee table from her place on Tracey's floor, well aware of her boss's penchant for crankiness when not fed. "Well, since I'm the only other human in this apartment, the chances of me being the one killed when you lapse into your starvation rage are pretty good." She set down the deposition she'd been going over. "What do you feel like?"

Tracey was stretched out on the leather couch, one jean-clad leg crossed over the other, papers strewn over every spare inch of space around her. She set down the file she'd been studying and gazed intensely at Kelly. "You know what I really want?"

She watched Kelly's throat move as she swallowed audibly – God, it was fun to play with her like that. She knew it was not smart to lust after one's subordinate, but it was still fun to flirt with her. And Kelly often played along. Propping her chin in her hand, she returned Tracey's stare, giving as good as she'd gotten. "Tell me what you really want, Tracey."

Tracey's eyes twinkled and for a split second, she almost said it: "I want you. Naked. Right now." Instead, she allowed discretion to be the better part of valor. "I want a deep dish pizza from Nino's with mushrooms and extra, extra cheese. I want to open a bottle of Cabernet to go with it. And I want to order in a scary movie and watch it with the lights off."

"What are you, sixteen?" Kelly teased, laughing.

"If only. What do you say? You up for it?" Kelly's laughter stopped abruptly and the expression on her face gave away the fact that she was surprised to be included in this little wish-fest, something that delighted Tracey. As she began straightening her papers, she added matter-of-factly, "It's already going on eight. Maybe you should stay over. I mean, if you want. I'm sure I've got some clothes that will fit you."

Tracey smiled in her semi-sleep now as she recalled how the two of them had fumbled over the offer. It certainly seemed like Kelly had wanted to stay, which made Tracey indescribably giddy. She knew she'd probably never get up the courage to make a move on her deputy – and never should. It was a terrible idea, given their work circumstances. But any chance she had to be close to her, to spend time with her, was not something to be missed. They had donned t-shirts dug out of Tracey's dresser drawers. She put on a pair of pajama bottoms and lent Kelly some boxers that were too big for Tracey, but she'd never gotten around to taking back to the store. Keeping her eyes off Kelly's bare legs had proven more difficult than she'd imagined, but it was a sweet torture.

They'd eaten the whole pizza between the two of them, polished off the Cabernet, and jumped and gasped appropriately during the horror movie. Tracey was sure one of those jumps had landed Kelly much closer to her on the couch. Their thighs touched as Kelly hid her face adorably behind a throw pillow, but Tracey didn't say anything and Kelly didn't move back to her own side. So Tracey reveled in the closeness, taking any opportunity to smell Kelly's hair, study her profile, follow the line of her jaw down along her throat to the neckline of the white cotton t-shirt Tracey had lent her.

Thunder crashed much closer as Tracey's thoughts screeched to a halt and she thought about the soft fabric under her cheek…the cotton that smelled like laundry detergent. She kept her eyes tightly closed now, not because she wanted to relax more but because she was afraid to open them. Her heart rate sped up as she searched her brain, but couldn't find any memory of the end of the movie. She'd started to doze, her eyelids drooping. She vaguely recalled Kelly's smile, Kelly telling her not to worry.

"I think I can figure out your remote. Close your eyes, Trace, really. It's okay. I'll be right here. Go to sleep."

And with a gentle tug, she'd pulled Tracey's head to her shoulder.

The rest was blackness. Blackness and comfort and bliss. Suddenly, things were clear: Tracey hadn't gone anywhere. She was still in her living room, still on her couch. And if she listened closely between growls of thunder, she could hear Kelly's heart beating under her head. She opened her eyes slowly, revealing the darkened living room; the cable box on top of the television told her it was 2:17am.

Oh, God, what the hell did I do? she thought, her head seemingly weighed down by dread. Lifting it slowly, her fears were confirmed. She was completely sprawled on top of Kelly, who was on her back, sound asleep, one arm flung above her head. Tracey laid on top of her, facing her, Kelly's legs on either side of Tracey's hips, Kelly's other arm loosely draped over Tracey's back.

Thunder crashed as the storm rolled ever closer.

Tracey swallowed hard as she was seized by equal parts desire and panic, and tried fiercely not to notice how gorgeous Kelly was in the peaceful comfort of sleep. This was so not a good idea. She should not be this close to Kelly and she should certainly not be touching her, for God's sake. What would Kelly think if she woke up right now and saw her boss stretched out over her like a sleek, black panther on the prowl, ready to pounce on her prey? She had to get up, get away, before she was discovered, before the look in her eyes and the raggedness of her breathing revealed what was in her heart, her mind. If there was one thing in the world Tracey Kibre refused to be, it was exposed. She was certain if her desire for Kelly was brought to light and Kelly was disgusted or insulted, or simply not interested, it would crush Tracey so badly, she might never recover. She much preferred to live in her own oblivion, thank you very much.

She was about to gently push herself up onto her hands when lightning flashed again and Tracey's gaze was drawn to Kelly's face. Her perfect, creamy complexion was awash in the night lights of the city that shone through the open living room windows, giving her skin a peach-hued glow. How many times had Tracey wanted to reach out and touch Kelly's face? Just stroke her cheek tenderly, finally feel whether it was as smooth and soft as it always looked? She moved her gaze to Kelly's ear, and couldn't help but grin at the whorls of flesh, amused that something shaped as strangely as an ear could actually look sexy. The same line of thoughts came marching through her head: how many times had she wanted to tuck a stray lock of hair lovingly behind that ear? Whisper dirty things into it? Bathe it with her tongue just to make Kelly squirm with desire?

A soft groan, a mix of frustration and want, escaped from deep in Tracey's throat as she moved her hands to the couch on either side of Kelly and pushed herself up slowly. At that moment an enormous crash of thunder shook the building.

Kelly jerked awake.

Tracey was halfway through her push-up when Kelly's eyes caught hers and she felt the heat of embarrassment flood her face. She was captured by the blue, held immobile, when she wanted nothing more than to pull away, to hide what was surely evident on her panicked face.

"I…I'm sorry, Kelly," she stammered as she tried to extricate herself from their incredibly intimate position. "I'm sorry. We must have…I must have fallen asleep…I'm so sorry…" She continued to ramble as she pushed up again, but stopped when Kelly grabbed the neckline of her t-shirt to prevent her from going anywhere. Their faces were mere inches apart.

"Tracey." Kelly's voice was raspy with sleep, husky and sexy. She tugged at Tracey's shirt gently, forcing eye contact. When she had it, she continued. "It's okay. I did this."

Tracey's eyebrows furrowed. "I don't…" She shook her head to indicate her confusion.

Kelly's grip on Tracey's shirt eased, but she didn't let go. Tracey tried not to read into that bit of information as she listened. "You were tired," Kelly explained in a whisper. "So was I. You fell asleep on my shoulder first, but…" She smiled sheepishly and wet her bottom lip with her tongue. "I moved you to my lap so you'd be more comfortable."

Tracey nodded slowly as relief blossomed in her belly, along with something else…hope? What exactly was Kelly saying? Her heart hammered so loudly, she wondered if Kelly could hear it.

"Then the movie ended," Kelly went on, "but you looked so peaceful. You've been working so hard on this case…I didn't want to wake you."

Tracey pointed out the obvious. "You could have gone to the guest room. I would have been fine here alone."

"Yeah. I could have done that."

"But you didn't."


"Why not?"

"I wanted to stay with you."

And there it was…such a simple, straightforward statement, but it caused Tracey's breath to leave her in a whoosh and she wondered if she'd actually heard Kelly correctly. They still lay face to face, eye to eye, as the thunder rumbled overhead and their chests rose and fell in an uneven duet.

The thought that the path was now clear, that Kelly had made sure of it, hit Tracey's mind with a bang, nearly jolting her clear off the couch. Kelly continued looking at her with those blue, blue eyes, blinking innocently, but at the same time not-so-innocently. Waiting. Almost daring. Even in the indigo of the night, Tracey could see the darkness of her dilated pupils, the blackness of desire. Kelly's tongue skittered quickly over her bottom lip again, and Tracey's nostrils flared, aroused by the sight.

"Do that again." Her voice was raw and deep, commanding.

Kelly swallowed and the corner of her mouth quirked up just a hair. She rolled her bottom lip in and ran her tongue over it one more time, watching Tracey's face. She had no time to even take a breath before Tracey's mouth crashed down onto hers in a fury of hunger and heat.

Their first kiss was all-consuming and there was no pretense of gentleness or caution. Tracey was torn between the fear of scaring Kelly with her intensity and the desire – the overwhelming need – to get closer to her … closer … closer. She felt Kelly's fingers snarl in her hair and it only fueled the fire within as she pushed her tongue deeper into Kelly's mouth, pushed herself into Kelly's pelvis until she felt Kelly's knees tighten against her hips.

Tracey was lost. She was lost in this woman beneath her. Lost in the sensation of her, the taste of her, the smell of her, the sounds she was coaxing from her. It had been so long…so long that she'd watched and worshipped from afar. How many fantasies had she had that were just like this? She wanted nothing more than to stay lost, to touch every part of Kelly, to taste every inch of her body. She pulled back from Kelly's mouth and Kelly whimpered at the loss, tugging at the handful of Tracey's hair she still held, trying to fuse their lips again. Instead, Tracey pulled Kelly's t-shirt up roughly, salivating at the expanse of creamy smooth skin she'd exposed, entranced by the quivering stomach, the perfect breasts, the hardened pink nipples announcing themselves with pride. She dove at them, teasing them with her tongue, her lips, her teeth. Kelly writhed beneath her, arching, groaning, offering herself to Tracey. So Tracey took more.

There would be time for tenderness, for exploration later. Right now, Tracey was on a mission. She plunged her hand through the open fly of the boxers, both women crying out at the sensation, Tracey swallowing Kelly's moans as she rubbed against the panties that had been soaked through. Moving the fabric aside, she felt her breath leave her as her fingers were coated with the silky wetness she'd helped create. She continued to plunder Kelly's mouth, her tongue and her fingers moving in tandem. Kelly had a fistful of Tracey's shirt in one hand and a fistful of Tracey's hair in the other and she tightened her grip on both as Tracey's fingers danced between her legs. Tracey kept up the steady rhythm until she felt Kelly's legs jerk, her abdomen contract, and knew instinctively that they were signs of her impending orgasm.

She wrenched her mouth free of Kelly's, but kept her face within inches. Looking into the impossibly crystal-blue depths, she continued moving her fingers, but a little more slowly, methodically. Kelly blinked, taken aback by the abrupt change in pace, but entranced by the passion reflected in the dark eyes above her.

"Trace…?" She asked uncertainly.

"I want to see you," Tracey whispered in response, her voice at once tender and dominant. "I want to see your face."

Kelly swallowed as Tracey's fingers continued to move, continued to own her, to play her. The slow tempo was sweet and maddening, but Kelly didn't pull her eyes from Tracey's. They breathed one another's air as the thunder rolled and Tracey lovingly laid claim to Kelly's body. Kelly's chest rose and fell with the erratic gasps Tracey was pulling from her. They moved together with ease, their eyes locked on one another's, until the climax washed over Kelly like ocean waves. Her entire body arched up into Tracey's as she squeezed her eyes shut, an erotic groan emanating from deep in her throat, one arm slamming over her head to grip the couch. Tracey watched in joyous fascination the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. She tailored the rhythm of her fingers to the reactions she was witnessing, drawing out Kelly's pleasure until her tensed muscles began to relax, until her fingers unclenched and released Tracey's hair. Tracey's hand stilled against the swollen, warm wetness and she watched as Kelly licked her lips and blinked rapidly, struggling to regain control.

When her eyes were able to focus again, Kelly looked at Tracey, who smiled at her with affection. Kelly brought her fingertips to Tracey's lips, fluttering over them with a feather-light touch, wonder on her face as she attempted to catch her breath. Tracey took a finger into her mouth and sucked it gently. She kissed the tip, then let it go.

"Tracey," Kelly said simply, but there was so much emotion in her voice that a lump developed in Tracey's throat.

"Was that…? Were you…?" Tracey exhaled an annoyed breath at her own stuttering, then tried again. "Did I just completely freak you out?"

Kelly moved her hand to Tracey's cheek, stroking it, then toyed with a lock of her hair. "If that's what it's like to be freaked out, I'd like to be freaked out all the time." They chuckled lightly together, and then Kelly's face became more serious, though her smile remained. "No, you didn't freak me out, Tracey. I'm a lot of things right now, but freaked out isn't one of them."

"What kind of things?"

"Happy. Nervous. Scared. Safe. Worried. Proud."

Tracey nodded. "Oh. Is that all?"

Kelly laughed. "Yeah, that about covers it."

They continued to gaze at one another, Kelly still toying with a lock of Tracey's hair. "Do you think we could move to the bedroom?" Tracey asked. She cleared her throat and her voice dropped to a near-whisper. "I'd really like to hold you and this couch isn't quite big enough." Her eyes danced away from Kelly's, a flash of insecurity zipping across her face.

Kelly grinned widely. "Who'd have thought hardnosed Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kibre was really a big mush-ball at heart?" she teased.

Tracey arched an eyebrow and began moving her fingers where they still rested against Kelly's center. Kelly inhaled sharply at the retaliation, her grin replaced by surprised arousal.

"What was that again?" Tracey purred, stroking gently and rhythmically.

Kelly swallowed and licked her lips, breathing hard already. "B-bedroom. I said bedroom. Now."

Tracey's quiet laughter rumbled up from her throat. "That's what I thought."

The End

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