"So, what’s for dinner?" Laurel asked for the seventy-eighth time. Nicole had counted.

"Will you stop asking me that? You’ll know when it is ready." The photographer grinned. Sometimes the worldly bassist presented a childlike persona that she usually found charming. Today however, Nicole found it slightly annoying, which she was sure was her lover’s intent. "Go do something." Nicole pushed her lover from the kitchen.

"Like what?"

"I don’t know. Do you want to watch a video?" One year and seven months had not dulled their love for one another, only their creativity for activities outside of the bedroom.

"Sure, do I need to go get one?"

"If you want to. We’ve seen all the ones I have." Nicole turned back to the stove.

"Am I bugging you that much?" Laurel walked up behind her and wrapped her in an embrace. "I’m sorry. I was just kinda getting…"

"Bored?" Nicole turned around and faced her lover. "I know how you get when you get bored. I got you something for graduation, it’s on the bed if you want to play with it." She leaned down for a kiss. "I think you’ll appreciate it."

"There’s a toy on the bed you think I’ll appreciate?" The bassist arched a blonde eyebrow. "Something tells me it’s not what I think it is."

"No, it’s not what you think it is." The photographer laughed. "Hon, can’t you get your mind out of the gutter just once?"

"Can’t. I need a ladder just to see the gutter when you’re around." Those blonde eyebrows waggled. "Thought you liked it when I think dirty thoughts?"

"Oh, I do. Now go open your present." She instructed. "Otherwise, you won’t get to play with it at all tonight if you keep that up." She struggled to push the bassist away. Laurel had been lightly kissing her throat.

"You sure?" Reluctance was thick in her voice.

"Yeah, I’m going to burn dinner."

"Ok, ok. I’ll go open my present if you promise I can open you later."

"Laurel!" Nicole swatted her lover’s behind with a kitchen towel. "Go before I change my mind and we order pizza."

"Yes ma’am." The pleased laugh echoed after the bassist had left the kitchen.

Nicole shook her head and continued to stir the contents of the skillet. If the roux did not thicken properly, the jambalaya would not be all that edible. She wanted this dinner to be perfect, but her thoughts were not on cooking. Stifling a laugh, she heard Laurel’s shout of joy right before she heard the heavy footsteps as the bassist ran back into the kitchen.

"How the hell? Thank you." An excited bassist wrapped her lover into a hug just shy of bone crunching. "Why?"

"It is customary to give gifts upon graduation and layaway works wonders." Nicole explained. "Besides, I knew you wanted one. Just think of how jealous BJ will be that you got it before he did."

"Oh yeah, he’s gonna be green with envy. Thank you again." Laurel dipped the photographer back and leaned down for a kiss full of gratitude and passion.

"You are more than welcome." Nicole took a moment to get her breath back. "Now go hook it up and practice your new game. Maybe you can teach me to play later."

"That’s a deal. Though it will take a while to get used to a new controller. Can I set it up in the living room?"

"Sure. Its not like I have more than one TV." Nicole laughed. "Now go so I can finish dinner."

"Alright. I’ll be playing baseball if you need me."

"Kids." Nicole muttered under her breath as she turned back to the stove.

Unbidden, Jenna’s words from earlier that afternoon ran themselves ragged in her inner ear. Nicole was forced to wonder what would happen if the bassist got too bored here. She once privately thought that her lover had ADD until a conversation with Mandy threw that theory out the window. Laurel simply could not stand being bored. The bassist needed some excitement and mental stimulation or she got restless, and a restless bassist could and often did lead to interesting situations. Nicole wondered what she would do if Laurel got bored with her and their life together. She did not think that she would be able to continue living if the bassist left her. She loved her enough to keep her, but did she love her enough to let her go?

"Sweetheart? What’s burning?" Laurel’s call brought the photographer back from a dark place in her head that was reserved for doubts and second-guesses.

"Shit." Nicole waved the smoke away from her face. She grabbed the pan and threw it into the sink. She ran water on it to put the fire out and almost choked on the thick, black smoke that maneuver created. "Honey? What do you want on your pizza?"

"Pizza? What happened?" The bassist asked from the doorway. "Did you get burned?"

"No, I’m fine. Roux is just not all that easy to make sometimes." Mozart entered the kitchen and then quickly left after sneezing at the smoke. The smell was still strong.

"That’s ok. You want to order a pizza or do you want to go out to eat? My treat?"

"Whatever you want to do. Today is your day after all."

"Let’s order in and snuggle on the couch. How’s that sound?"

"That sounds wonderful." Nicole grinned happily. Some may find it boring, but she did not. They had been unable to spend much time snuggling lately.

"Good. I’ll call if you find a movie. Meet you on the couch." Laurel reached for the kitchen phone.

"That is a deal."


"You know, you are way too competitive." Nicole rested her head on her lover’s shoulder.

"I am so not competitive." Laurel protested. It was not true. She was very competitive, but she was not about to admit that to her lover. "However, I did win and we did decide that winner takes all."

"Ugh, how did you talk me into betting against you?"

"It was easy. You just can’t refuse me."

"That is true. Not that I would want to of course."

"Good. Now, pay up, loser." The bassist laughed as she leaned in for a kiss.

"Mmmm. I don’t mind losing, if that is the reward." She returned to her previous position.

"Not so fast there, Hotshot." Laurel pushed her lover back onto the couch. "I get to claim my reward. Shall we to the bedroom?"

"I suppose. If we must."

"Ah you’ll enjoy it as much as I will. C’mon." The bassist got to her feet and offered her arm to her lover.

"You make a convincing argument. Now what do I have to do?" Laurel could tell that her lover was trying to affect a bored tone. Fortunately, she knew her lover well enough to see through the act.

"All you have to do is undress, relax and enjoy."

"Oh I think I can do that." Nicole untucked her shirt and unbuttoned her jeans. "What?"

"Nothing. Just thought I’d sit back and enjoy the show." Laurel took a seat on the bed. "Slowly, slowly. It’s too nice a job to rush." She instructed.

Laurel settled back on the bed and watched as her lover slowly stripped for her. It was a test of patience as she watched the personal strip show. Nicole was taking her time. Laurel felt her mouth water as long fingers guided tight jeans down even longer legs. Her eyes traveled back up and settled on the red bikini briefs until she noticed her lover’s hands on the buttons of her shirt. Nicole unbuttoned it slowly before sliding it gracefully down slightly tanned arms.

"All of it?" The photographer asked.

"Oh yeah." Laurel discovered her mouth was dry. She swallowed hard as the white, lacy brassiere hit the floor. Her resolve almost broke as the red panties were added to the pile. "Now, come here." She patted the pillow beside her. "All the way. Face and hold the headboard."

"Shouldn’t you be dressed in leather?" Nicole asked. Laurel could hear the suppressed laughter in her voice.

"Nah, leather is too confining. I like to let my body breath. Now, come on. You lost. Pay up."

"Alright." She was pleased to see her lover do as requested.

Laurel knelt behind her lover and just stared for one long moment. Gently she placed her hands between the photographer’s thighs and pushed them apart. Laurel lay down and slid beneath Nicole so that the photographer was straddling her shoulders. She made a minor adjustment before pulling down and taking her first taste of the evening. She heard the gasp above her and smiled. The photographer was already wet with desire and the bassist knew it would not take long. However, she had other plans for her reward.

Laurel teased her lover to the brink twice. Each time she felt the muscles in her lover’s thighs tense, she eased back and slowed her pace. She could tell the photographer was getting frustrated, but enjoying every minute of it. The bassist was enjoying it as well. She loved winning bets. Of course, Nicole would be upset if she ever found out that Laurel had let her win the game just for this purpose.

"Where are you going?" Nicole panted.

"Just back here." The bassist slid from beneath her lover and kneeled behind her. "Hang on." Without warning, Laurel thrust three fingers into her lover. Nicole jerked forward in surprise. "You ok?"

"Yeah." The answer was a drawn out groan.

"Good." Laurel pulled out and thrust into her again.

She set a fast pace, knowing that Nicole needed release. She slid her hand beneath her lover’s body and caressed an already hard nipple. The photographer bucked against her. The groans her lover was releasing almost made Laurel lose control. She brought her hand down and placed two fingers on either side of the tight bundle of nerves between her lover’s legs. It did not take long before her name was being shouted to the heavens.

"Remind me to lose bets more often." Nicole commented with a weak smile as she relaxed into the bassist’s embrace.

"I will." Laurel laughed. "Tired?"

"Yeah it’s been a long day."

"Let me change clothes and we can get some sleep ok?"

"Yeah. I think I’m going for a last cigarette and to let Mozart out."

"I’ll meet you outside as soon as I pull on my pajamas." Laurel still brought pajamas over out of habit. She rarely wore them when she spent the night. She preferred sleeping beside her lover without anything separating them, even a thin bit of cotton.

Part 4

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