DISCLAIMER: Los Hombres De Paco and its characters are the property of Antena 3. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"I don't understand," Silvia began again as Pepa continued to plow through a stack of paperwork on her desk. "My father told you that I was making dinner?" Pepa just nodded and continued writing as if everything was fine. It was maddening. "And to make sure that you came to dinner?"
"Yes," Pepa said as if there was nothing strange about Silvia's father wanting to be in the same room with Pepa. Despite her father's declaration at the cabin, Silvia couldn't help thinking that he was plotting something. His sudden and complete turnaround on Pepa after years of animosity was more than a little suspicious. But what could he be planning? It was, after all, Silvia's apartment, so he couldn't throw anyone out but himself. Maybe he wanted to make sure that Pepa hadn't moved in. And this set off another round of panic as Silvia remembered how many of Pepa's things were already strewn around her apartment, including a pair of very sexy underwear on the lampshade in the bedroom that they had left in place as a joke after a particularly energetic night. Maybe he was looking for a confrontation? Or maybe he had done some digging into Pepa's past and Silvia was going to be confronted with a long list (with photos) of Pepa's probably disgustingly gorgeous, ex-girlfriends. After all, Pepa was supermodel gorgeous, so all of her girlfriends were probably supermodel gorgeous too. Unlike Silvia, who was just sort of pretty. Not drop-dead beaut
"Silvia?" Pepa was standing next to her now and Silvia realized she must have been obsessing. She looked up to find a look of serious concern on Pepa's beautiful face. The brunette reached out shyly to comfort Silvia with a touch on the arm, then stopped herself, looking around the crowded area to make sure no one had seen the aborted sign of affection. And that just broke Silvia's heart. She knew it was unfair to Pepa to keep them a secret, but she just couldn't seem to help it. Even though she knew the source of her fears the kiss that had started and ended everything, her domineering father, her own expectations for herself (a husband and children) even though she understood them, psychology seemed to be wrong. Her knowledge of the problem did nothing to help her overcome it. She'd never liked psychology anyway. Too imprecise. Too vague.
It didn't help that her father kept sending conflicting signals, giving his blessing one minute, then berating Pepa publicly for slight infractions he would have overlooked in any other member of the team. And Silvia was unable to come to her lover's defense, knowing that anything from her in the form of a defense would just make things worse. But that wasn't the real reason. It was the fear again, fear that they would be found out. That she would be labeled a lesbian and everyone would suddenly shake their heads and say, "Poor Silvia. Couldn't make it work with a man, so she gave up and settled for a woman."
Pepa's expression had moved all the way from concern to worry. The brunette turned away from Silvia, walking toward the elevators, a quick look at Silvia the only indication that she should follow.
The ride down to the lab was made in terrible silence as Silvia stared at the floor and Pepa stared at her. She didn't have to look up to know the brunette was staring at her. She could feel it-- could feel Pepa -- and that was more terrifying than her father. And she couldn't even figure out why. Wasn't she supposed to want this kind of love and she knew that Pepa loved her. The brunette had told her over and over without even a hint of fear and without any demands in return. Wasn't she supposed to want this? And she did. God, how she wanted. And not just the sex, although that want alone was enough to completely undo her, but she wanted the everything of Pepa, something she'd never wanted from anyone before because she'd always been enough. And now she wasn't.
Silvia stopped in the middle of the hallway, her eyes filling with tears.
"Oh God. Oh, no. No, no, no, no," she couldn't seem to stop saying it. At some point, Pepa must have realized Silvia was no longer by her side and returned for her because Silvia now felt her strong hand around her upper arm.
"Silvia?" Pepa said softly, but Silvia couldn't seem to say anything back. Pepa pulled gently on her arm to lead her down the hall to the lab, closing and locking the door behind them. "Okay, you're scaring me, redhead. What's going on?"
Silvia wiped furiously at the tears on her face, hoping to buy a few more seconds before she had to explain what she couldn't explain. Even to herself.
"I " Silvia began but couldn't even find the next word, much less finish the thought. When she looked up to see tears in Pepa's eyes, she couldn't help but start crying again. Pepa was crying because Silvia was crying. Her pain caused Pepa pain and that was too much all of a sudden. Everything was too much. Pepa reached for her, but Silvia held up a hand to stop her. "Please. I need "
"What do you need, Silvia? What?" Pepa asked, her voice breaking with pain. "Did Don Lorenzo say something to you?" When Silvia didn't answer right away, Pepa turned to pace angrily away from her.
"No," Silvia managed finally, her voice sounding ridiculously small. "I'm sorry, Pepa. I just " Silvia began again and stopped. She didn't know how to say all of this when she hadn't even said the important thing yet: I love you.
"You're breaking up with me." It wasn't a question. It was a statement of fact.
Silvia started to say no, but nothing would come out. This was not what she wanted. But Silvia never got what she wanted. Wanting was dangerous. It was much easier to let things happen without the wanting. And they did. They happened. Like Lucas. And Montoya. And the baby. And the miscarriage.
Pepa was standing in front of her again, holding her hands in her own. "I'll do whatever you want, baby. Whatever you need." Pepa reached up and wiped the tears tenderly from Silvia's face. Tears were streaming down Pepa's face as well and Silvia was suddenly, inexplicably furious.
"You're just giving up? Like that?" she practically yelled at Pepa and stepped away turning her back on the brunette to wipe furiously at the wetness on her face. "So much for all those I-love-yous!"
Before Silvia understood what was happening, she was spun violently around to face a now pissed-off Pepa.
"I love you, Silvia. I have loved you since we were kids. I loved you all the time I was away. I'll never stop loving you," Pepa's voice was clipped and angry, but it suddenly softened. "But I can't make you love me. I won't." Pepa's shoulders slumped and the too-familiar self-deprecating smile formed on her lips. "It will probably kill me, but I'll give you all the time you ne "
Before Pepa could finish, Silvia threw herself into her arms, holding on tightly.
"Please don't," Silvia said and felt Pepa's strong, thin arms finally encircle her.
"Don't what?" Pepa asked, her voice muffled by Silvia's hair.
"Don't leave me," Silvia said finally. "Please don't leave me." She felt Pepa shake her head, her tear-slick chin sliding across Silvia's forehead.
They stood like that in each other's arms, rocking slightly, swaying as Pepa said it over and over: "Never. I'll never leave you." But Silvia kept hearing that other word: again.
They both snuck out of work, unable to separate for even the few hours before the end of the day. By the time they got back to her apartment, Silvia felt like she was on fire. Just inside the door, she hastily stripped off Pepa's shirt and bra, dragging her to the bedroom to finally strip them both.
God, she wanted.
Pepa tasted like everything: sweet and strong and a little wild. Like everything Silvia had ever wanted.
As Pepa reverently kissed and licked the scar from the bullet wound just below her ribs, Silvia groaned and reached for her lover, pulling her up to a long, deep kiss. She knew things weren't resolved. Silvia still hadn't said I love you. Still hadn't told Montoya to back the fuck off, that Pepa was very taken. Hadn't told her father that even though she loved him, she would choose Pepa over him if he made her. She hadn't done any of the things you were supposed to do to show that this was an 'us', but she felt like something had shifted and settled into place. Maybe it was her.
Pepa shifted a thigh between Silvia's and reached for her and Silvia mirrored her, fingers sliding through slick heat. They groaned into each other's mouths. They'd never done this before. It had always been give and take, never at the same time. Never this wanting that fed back on itself. Pepa's throaty moans fueling Silvia's need, widening that want impossibly further.
As Pepa slipped screaming into orgasm, the fingers between Silvia's legs stilled then jumped and Silvia felt her own back arch, felt the loud, liquid groan torn from her throat. Just the sound of Pepa's own pleasure sending her over the edge. She tried to concentrate on the movement of her own fingers, but it was lost in the pleasure so she shifted, her thigh moving between Pepa's legs, and settled back against Pepa's thigh to ride out her own climax.
After, they lay side by side staring into each others' eyes, smiling shyly as if it was the first time. And Silvia tried to understand why she couldn't say the words when they were all she could feel.
"I know," Pepa said softly as if she could read Silvia's mind and Silvia had to blink away tears again as Pepa kissed her hand gently. "No more crying though. Crying is not allowed," Pepa said very seriously and Silvia had to laugh. "I'm serious."
Silvia just laughed harder then pulled away to crawl to the end of the bed.
"Where are you going?" Pepa asked.
"To make dinner. My father will be here in an hour," Silvia said and looked down at the clothes strewn around the room, trying to decide what to wear and what to do first, cook or clean.
Her thoughts stopped completely at the feel of Pepa's hot mouth and tongue moving between her legs from behind, pushing inside her, separating her in long strokes. She yelled in frustration as that mouth moved away suddenly.
"He invited himself over. He can eat takeout," Pepa said and Silvia couldn't even think of a response. All she wanted was that mouth to return to its task. But that mouth was still busy talking. "Pizza maybe or "
"Pepa, please!" Silvia begged, still in the same embarrassing position. She felt like a cat in heat, but she couldn't seem to help it.
"Please what?" Pepa asked in that infuriatingly teasing voice, draping her still naked body over Silvia's back to breathe in her ear. "What do you want, Silvia?"
There was a moment when Silvia thought she would bolt. No one should have this kind of power over her. Because she would do anything to have Pepa inside her again and that was terrifying. But not as terrifying as the alternative. And Pepa always gave her what she wanted, even before she knew it.
"You!" Silvia practically screamed. She did scream when Pepa entered her without warning, kissing her neck and back as she slid slowly in and out of her.
"You are so fucking beautiful, redhead," Pepa whispered in her ear, her breath and the feel of her nipples against Silvia's back making her groan. "You feel so fucking good. So good."
Don Lorenzo looked disappointed when Silvia informed him that he'd be having takeout for dinner.
"Oh, I was hoping for a nice, home-cooked meal," he said in that way that always managed to make Silvia feel terrible, even though (as Pepa had pointed out) he had invited himself over at the last minute.
"Then you should have cooked one," Silvia said then laughed out loud at the look of surprise on his face and at herself for even saying such a thing to her father.
She was still laughing and he was still staring at her, speechless when Pepa returned with their dinner. Her lover hadn't knocked and had used her own key, which Silvia was sure her father had noticed. For some reason, this only made Silvia laugh harder. Now they were both looking at her like she was crazy. Maybe she was. She wondered if anyone had ever gone crazy from incredible sex.
"What? Did I miss something?" Pepa asked nervously. When no one answered, she shrugged and moved to the kitchen to set their food down on the small table.
Silvia managed to stifle her laughter as the food was served and the wine poured. Her father remained quiet, a look of stern concentration on his face as he tucked in to his dinner.
"This is fantastic!" Pepa said with an enormous grin as she took another bite and Silvia started laughing again. When she noticed her father staring at her, she realized suddenly that he probably thought they were stoned again. This, of course, only made her laugh harder.
"I'm sure you're wondering why I asked to come over tonight," her father said finally and Silvia managed somehow to stop laughing and nod, fearing the worst. Pepa took a deep breath and leaned back in her seat.
"Not for the takeout?" Pepa asked and Silvia choked down another laugh.
"I want to know your intentions toward my daughter, Pepa," her father said, ignoring Pepa's joke altogether.
Suddenly, nothing was funny anymore. The panic from earlier was back. The terrible fear that always followed her had caught up to her from behind.
"Dad! No," Silvia said shaking her head. "This it's not your place," Silvia said, desperately trying to find a way out of this situation. How could he ask Pepa about her intentions when he couldn't even stand the woman? It had to be a trick. Another not-so-subtle attempt at breaking them up. Pepa didn't do well with ultimatums and he knew it.
"It is most certainly my place," he said, his voice rising slightly to take on that authoritarian tone she hated. "I am your father and I want to know whether this person who is obviously already sharing your bed and your apartment, plans to actually make a commitment to you or whether she will do what she's always done and run away when things get tough."
Silvia's fear evaporated immediately replaced with a white-hot fury at her father. How dare he try to insinuate himself into something that was about Silvia and Pepa only. This was theirs, not his and he had no right. If Pepa ran, it would be because Silvia wasn't strong enough or just wasn't enough. It would be because she pushed Pepa away. "You have no right! Pepa would never " she began, but Pepa's hand on hers stopped her.
"It's okay," Pepa said softly and Silvia swallowed afraid that he had finally gotten to Pepa. That she was finally going to give up on waiting for her. "He's right."
"What?" Silvia asked. She forgot about her father, all of her attention focused on the brunette and her last statement. He was right? About Pepa running away from her? She didn't want to cry again. Laughing felt so much better. She was tired of crying. She refused to cry as she waited for the inevitable.
Pepa reached into her pocket with her other hand and placed a small velvet box on the table between them. Silvia stared at it, but couldn't seem to place it. It must have meant something. Pepa's hand shifted in hers, squeezing her fingers before moving away to open the box.
"Will you marry me, redhead?" Pepa said and Silvia's confusion only deepened. There was a diamond ring and Pepa was asking her to marry her. She had done this before with someone like Pepa, but it hadn't felt anything like this. She wasn't even sure what this felt like. She was feeling everything at once and it was so big she couldn't even find the edge of it. There was nothing to hold on to.
Pepa seemed to take her silence for an answer and began speaking again. Silvia couldn't hear her at first, too lost in the pained, resigned smile on the woman's beautiful lips. Pepa thought she had already said no. Had she?
" okay. I know you're not ready and I can wait. No pressure, redhead. I just want you to know that when you're ready," Pepa ducked her head down in that way that broke Silvia's heart. "I mean, if you're ever ready, if you want this, then my answer is already always yes."
Silvia looked at the beautiful ring on the black velvet, then at her beautiful lover sitting there looking so insecure, so sure Silvia was going to say no, but still having the courage to ask. She heard a sniffle from somewhere to her left, but couldn't think of anything but Pepa sitting there looking so vulnerable yet strong at the same time. How could this woman love her like that?
Silvia wanted . she wanted everything. She wanted this and them. And more than that, she wanted to be the woman that Pepa loved. The woman that this strong, beautiful woman loved. It was impossible, but she wanted it anyway. And for once, she wanted to want it.
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