Now she has another chance to win the whole pot, if she has the nerve to make the play.
This story was part of the Lambda Award Finalist Anthology Lesbian Cops.
“Lily, you lived in my back pocket for three weeks straight. I don’t think you took a minute off. You should get away and have a real vacation.” I took another sip of my tea. “You’re always so focused on everyone else that you never take time to heal your own wounds. You need to smell the flowers and get laid before you go bonkers.”
Her eyes widened. “I know the woman with no love life isn’t telling me I need to do the horizontal mambo.”
“Maybe I am.” I hadn’t realized it, but I’d just made the first move in this dance. The time was right to raise the stakes.
She laughed bitterly. “I can’t just turn the job off. I don’t get to have a personal life. When I am at home—which is rarely—all I do is think about work. And don’t get me started on dating. Either my badge turns them off or their parole officer calls while we’re making out.”
I shook my head slowly, smiling at her bad joke. “You overthink things. Sometimes you just need to take a chance. I learned that playing poker.”
“All I know about poker is to fold when the cards suck.”
“People fold too often when they shouldn’t. Sometimes you have to go big even if you don’t know how the hand is going to play out.” I set my teacup on the saucer beside hers, pushed aside the butterflies in my stomach, and kissed her. That hollow place inside me that I had suppressed for so long opened up and desire raced through me.
She stiffened and pushed me back. “What are you doing?”
“Something I should’ve done five years ago. Back then, I was too lost in my own fear to see what was right in front of me. I’m not going to make that mistake again.”
Her mouth opened and closed twice before she found the words to speak. “I think you misunderstood something.”
“Did I? I don’t think so.” I smiled as I leaned in again, my nose almost touching hers. My nervousness had vanished, replaced by the confidence of a professional gambler who knew she held the winning hand. “You wanted me then, and you want me now. I can see it in your eyes.”
And I could. The blooming arousal she protested didn’t exist made her pupils grow larger as I watched, signaling the heat building inside her even better than the red flush that crept up her neck.
She licked her lips, a nervous habit I hadn’t seen from her before. In gambling, we called that a tell. “Look, I don’t think either of us needs this kind of—”
Sometimes talking was a mistake. I captured her lips with mine again and, after a moment’s hesitation, she melted against me. Her mouth opened in surrender to my advances and she brought her hands to my arms. My heart soared.