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Cosima rolled onto her side, yawned, and groggily opened her eyes as the sunlight streaming through the window roused her from dreamland. Her brain dimly registered the numbers on the clock — 7:12 AM — before she reached over and preemptively turned off the alarm. All around her, the apartment was quiet. The only the stirring was the rise and fall of the French woman's chest beside her as she slept.

She smiled softly as she watched Delphine slumber. Their relationship had gotten off to a rocky start, but she had proven herself to be a dependable ally and an amazing sweetheart. More than a few times in her life, Cosima thought she had stumbled upon her soulmate or her "one true love". Now, with Delphine by her side, she realized she had finally found that person.

She briefly debated whether or not to wake up her girlfriend, but decided against it. Instead, she shuffled into the living room, sat down at the coffee table and opened up Delphine's laptop. She had forgotten to bring hers over, but the two of them had an agreement about using each other's computers to check email or do research. First, she logged into Gmail and scanned through the new messages. A couple items from Scott, DYAD's monthly safety reminder, and some at-home news from her dad — nothing that couldn't wait until later in the day. She skimmed through a few news stories, giggled at the latest XKCD comic, and made a mental note to bring her flash drive over next time.

Cosima exited out of the browser and was about to close the laptop when something on the desktop caught her eye: a folder labelled "Artwork".

She glanced back at the bed. As best as she could tell, Delphine was still asleep. A pang of conscience struck — the French scientist had been reluctant to show anyone her sketches from the past three weeks, ever since she had taken up the new hobby. Whenever Cosima or Scott or Felix asked to see, she had insisted that none of the pieces were good enough yet. The last thing Cosima wanted to do was violate her girlfriend's trust, especially after she had lashed out about Delphine's connections with DYAD. And yet… "Sorry, babe. I know curiosity killed the cat, but my illness will probably take care of that first."

She clicked on the folder and found that it contained three subfolders — "People", "Places", and "Other". The first collection was mainly sketches of Cosima (she noted with a smile), but there were also a few of her parents and famous female scientists. "Places" consisted of a pretty even split between landmarks, and more detailed scenery, from both Toronto and France. They actually looked pretty good for a beginner, and for a brief moment she wondered why Delphine was so reluctant to show them off.

The third folder was the most curious. Unlike the other sketches, the files didn't have real names — they were just labeled "IMG 3876" or "sketch # 25". Cosima shrugged it off as an accident on Delphine's part, clicked on the first one… and immediately felt her jaw fall open.

The sketch itself was risqué enough, depicting a woman stripped naked, lying on her front, and tied up in (she noticed the word scribbled in the margins) a "hogtie". Her elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles had each been tightly bound with rope, and there was another segment linking her wrists to her ankles. A piece of duct tape was plastered over her mouth, silencing any complaints she might have about her situation.

The most astonishing part of the drawing, however, was the facial details. The woman was depicted with dreadlocks and a pair of glasses — both of which looked a hell of a lot like Cosima's.

She was so shocked that for a few seconds, she didn't even know what to think. The feeling soon subsided, only to be replaced by denial and disgust. There was no way Delphine could be into this sort of stuff, right? Cosima had always known her as a somewhat straightforward woman — sensual, of course, but rarely displaying any intense passions outside of science and her own cultural heritage. For her to suddenly develop an interest in this… this weird, kinky shit… no way. It had to be an elaborate prank.

Still in disbelief, she scrolled through the rest of the drawings in the folder. The positions varied from sketch to sketch. One showed the subject in a "frogtie", with her legs bent at the knee and her calfs tied to her thighs (a pair of handcuffs kept her hands restricted behind her back). Another depicted her with her legs separated by a metal bar and her wrists tied above her head, like a virgin being offered up for sacrifice in some generic fantasy movie. The gags changed as well, ranging from a piece of cloth tied between her teeth to some kind of rubber ball with a strap looping around the woman's head. The only features that remained constant were the dreadlocks and glasses.

Cosima was so captivated that she didn't hear the footsteps behind her. She did, however, hear the soft voice that accompanied them: "Oh, merde."

A wave of guilt washed over her as she quickly closed the window and slammed the laptop shut. Turning around, she saw Delphine standing there, clad in a simple nightgown; her hand was at her mouth and a deep blush was beginning to spread through her cheeks.

For the longest time, neither of them said anything. Finally, Cosima shook her head and whispered, "What the hell, Delphine."

"I suppose I owe you a bit of of an explanation," the immunologist sighed as she shuffled her weight from foot to foot.

"Yeah, I would sure as hell say so," Cosima replied, her disbelief giving way to anger. "All this time, I thought you were a relatively normal person, and now it turns out you're one of those kinky freaks who gets off on—"

"Please don't say that," Delphine said sharply. Cosima fell silent, somewhat surprised at this assertive side of her partner; after a few seconds, she murmured, "I'm sorry. That was uncalled for. And I'm sorry I looked at your sketches without asking permission."

"I know this is a huge shock to you," Delphine added gently as she walked over and sat down on the couch. "I'm not asking you to immediately accept this side of me without a second thought. Just let me explain how I got into this. D'accord?"

Cosima smiled inside. When Delphine spoke French to her, it could have a variety of meanings, but the intent in this case was clear: she wanted to be as honest and open as possible. "D'accord."

"So… about two months ago, I read 50 Shades of Grey."

"No way," Cosima groaned in exasperation, grinning a little in spite of herself.

"What can I say? I was curious to see if it was really as bad as everyone claims," Delphine chuckled. "I don't want to rag on the book too much, given that the rest of the world has already been there. But I found myself inexplicably drawn to the bondage scenes."

"Bondage." The word sounded strange on Cosima's tongue — it felt eerie and loaded with negative connotations, but at the same time, there was a certain lightness and simplicity to the term.

"Oui. So, I did some research online and found out two things. First, that a lot of people were into this, more than just the fans of the book. And second, that the bondage practiced in the book was pretty unsafe compared to the norm. The more research I did, the more fascinated I became. I longed to try it in real life, but you're the only person I felt even remotely comfortable asking, and I figured you wouldn't be up for it… so," she gestured at the laptop, "I started drawing it instead."

Cosima remained silent for a few seconds as she continued to process the story. Fidgeting, Delphine placed a hand on her shoulder and continued, "I realize this is a lot to take in. If you want me to stop drawing these—"

"What if I said yes?" The words were out of Cosima's mouth before she had a chance to think. Delphine's eyebrows raised as she whispered, "What did you say?"

Well, kind of hard to take it back now. "What if I agreed to be tied up like this — or, um, agreed to tie you up? Whichever you would prefer."

"Uh… wow. That would be nice, as long you don't mind."

"Just promise me we'll go easy the first time?" Cosima quickly added, trying to do at least a little bit of damage control. "I don't think it would be the best introduction for you to tie me up in an extremely contorted position and then ram a 12-inch strap-on up my ass."

"Of course," Delphine said with a nod, smiling ruefully at the example. "I won't do anything that you're uncomfortable with. But, in general, you'd be willing to try this?"

After a few seconds, Cosima sighed. "Sure. Who knows, I might end up enjoying it."

Delphine beamed, leaned over, and lightly kissed her cheek. "Thank you, Cosima."


They planned out their first session whenever they got a chance. Delphine sent Cosima a dozen links on safety and good dominant/submissive communication, while Cosima wrote up a list of what she was comfortable with being done to her while she was tied up — what Delphine called her "soft limits" and "hard limits". They talked at length about what kind of materials to use for rope, gags and the like, before finally settling on duct tape and whatever items Delphine happened to have around the house. No point in getting specialized materials if Cosima didn't want to do it again after the first time.

Finally, about a week after discovering the sketches, Cosima received a text at work.

D: Is tonight OK for you-know-what? 7:45, my place?

C: Works for me. Do you need me to bring anything?

D: Just wear one of your favorite pairs of underwear. You won't be wearing much else while you're over ;)

Cosima smiled before putting the phone back in her pocket and returning to her samples. At 7:44 that night, she stood outside Delphine's apartment; taking a deep breath to steel herself, she rang the doorbell.

When the door opened, Cosima's brain almost short-circuited. Delphine was leaning against the doorframe with a coy smile on her face, wearing nothing but a black camisole and matching leather pants. In a sultry voice, she murmured, "Well, hello there, Miss Niehaus."

"Hi. I— this— wow, you look great."

"Thanks. I was cleaning out my closet and found these. The pants are a little too tight, but I figured it would be more appropriate than a worn-out tank top and gym shorts."

"Are you going to get hot in those?"

"Not really. If I do, I can always take them off. However," she added, reaching out with one hand to grab Cosima's jacket and pull her close, "neither of us are here for you to ask questions."

"I guess not," Cosima replied sheepishly. As her other hand reached out to push the door shut and lock it, Delphine leaned in and kissed her passionately. No matter what happened, she realized, one thing would always remain the same — Delphine's ability to melt her heart with the slightest touch of their lips.

Once they broke apart, Delphine turned and walked to the center of the room. "Do you want anything to eat or drink first? I have a few leftover donuts from the weekend."

"Nah, I'm fine for now," Cosima said as she shrugged off her jacket and removed her shoes. "I can tell you're eager to get started."

"Very well. First things first, then…" Delphine grabbed something off the living room table, then turned and walked back towards her girlfriend. As she got closer, Cosima saw what was in her hands — a black sleep mask.

"Improvised blindfold, I'm guessing?" Delphine nodded. "All right, then."

Cosima removed her glasses, took the mask, and slipped it snuggly over her eyes. Instantly, the apartment was replaced by blackness — the mask was a little too big for her, and it completely obscured her field of vision. After a few seconds, Delphine asked, "How many fingers am I holding up?"

"Three?"

"OK, good — you really can't see." Cosima felt Delphine move behind her before a pair of hands gently gripped her shoulders. "I'll guide you from here."

As they walked, she continued, "Now, before we begin — take a few steps left or you'll run into the couch — do you remember the safe words we agreed on?"

"Yep. Green means 'I'm OK with what you're doing at the moment', dark green is 'I like what you're doing and want more of it'. Yellow means 'I'm a little uneasy about what's happening, but I'm willing to keep going'. Red is 'I don't like what you're doing, please stop', and dark red means 'something's wrong, untie me right now'."

"Very good. And — watch out, there's a step down — what's the number one rule of communication in bondage?"

Cosima had to think for a few seconds before it came to her. "It's the dominant's responsibility to ask the submissive if they're doing OK, and it's the submissive's responsibility to answer honestly or to speak up if something doesn't feel right."

"Perfect. OK, stop here."

Cosima stopped. Judging by the feel of the carpet against her feet, they were in the bedroom. Reaching out, she found that the bed was just a foot or two away. Delphine let her feel around for a little while longer, then said quietly, "I'm going to take your clothes off now. OK?"

Cosima nodded and raised her arms above her head. Delphine gripped the T-shirt from the bottom, pulling it up and over Cosima's dreads and tossing it to the side once it was fully removed. Next, she knelt down to unbuckle and unzip the blue jeans, then started to pull them down. After a few seconds of struggling, however, Cosima mumbled, "Here, let me get it."

Delphine leaned back and waited as she extracted one leg, then the other, and set the jeans aside. As she pulled Cosima's white ankle socks off, she looked up and chuckled, "I'm glad you followed my instructions."

Cosima blushed and smiled. Her favorite underwear — and, often, Delphine's favorite as well — was a Jurassic Park novelty set she had stumbled across at a thrift shop. Once she was undressed, she asked, "Now what?"

"Now… hmm…" Soon, she heard the creak of bedsprings as Delphine sat down. "Sit on the bed, facing away from me, with your arms behind your back and palms together."

Cosima did as she was instructed. She heard a sort of ripping sound, then Delphine gently took hold of her wrists and began wrapping duct tape around her arms. Soon, everything from her elbows to her wrists was secured. Delphine leaned in close and asked, "How does that feel? Is it too tight?"

She wiggled her arms experimentally, testing the range of movement she had. The duct tape against her skin was a weird sensation; it was very sticky and constraining, and crinkled whenever she tried to move her arms. After a few seconds, though, she concluded that it didn't feel too tight — or too loose. "No, it's perfect."

"OK, then let me just—" Delphine gripped her shoulders and gently pulled her back until her legs were up on the bed. The duct tape came out again, and soon Cosima's ankles were taped together. "How about now?"

"Still fine."

A few seconds later, Cosima yelped in surprise as Delphine effortlessly flipped her around so that she was lying face-down across her lap. She chuckled and broke out the sultry voice again: "So, Miss Niehaus. What on earth should we do with you?"

"I don't know, Miss Cormier." The roleplaying (although it might be too vague to even be called that) was new for both of them, but Cosima had to admit that she was enjoying it a little bit.

"Let me think... have you ever been spanked?"

"Spanked?" Cosima blushed at the question. She definitely hadn't been expecting this for their first session. "I don't think so, but—"

*SMACK*

Cosima yelped again as Delphine's hand sharply smacked against her rear end, leaving an acute stinging sensation followed by a milder, more persistent soreness. She could practically feel the smile on the other woman's face, but it quickly vanished as she asked, "Is this OK? Do you want me to stop?"

"Nnngh… no, it's fine, just — maybe go a little softer? Do some warm-ups or something?"

Delphine nodded in understanding. The next strike came just as suddenly, but had a lot less force behind it. She continued with the "warm-up" spanks until it seemed like Cosima was barely registering each one, then gradually ramped up the intensity. Soon enough, she was moaning in pain at almost every hit. Around the edges of her panties, her skin was starting to turn pink; Delphine had to resist the urge to pull the undergarments down and tenderly kiss the pain away.

"Are you ready to try something a little bit harder? A ping-pong paddle, perhaps?"

"Sure," Cosima replied, feeling slightly emboldened by now. She was starting to get accustomed to the pain, and a ping-pong paddle didn't seem like it would be that much worse. "Even if I wasn't, I'm not exactly in a position to stop you, am I?"

"No, but remember — I want to go at a pace you're comfortable with." Nonetheless, without further ado, Delphine reached over and grabbed the paddle off of the nightstand. She placed it against Cosima's rear, took a few practice strokes (stopping just short of making contact), then pulled back and swung it as gently as she could.

Of course, it still hurt like a bitch — stinging even worse than Delphine's hand and leaving a hot, prickly feeling behind. "MmmmmotherFUCK! Argh, that smarts…"

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Delphine apologized as she quickly threw the paddle away. "Let me just — um…"

For a few seconds, there was absolute silence; then she sighed, "I'm sorry, I'm really not sure where to go from here."

You can still back out of this, Cosima thought to herself. Just say the word. Instead, however, she shook her head and replied, "I'm fine with it if you keep going, but can we ditch the paddle?"

"Of course." Delphine had been planning to go for another four or five minutes, but seeing the pain that her girlfriend was in, she decided to cut things short. "I'm going to do five more strokes, and I want you to count each one, OK?"

"Got it." Cosima braced herself. There was a brief moment of anticipation, and then…

*SMACK*

"One."
*SMACK*

"Two," she whispered.

*SMACK*

"Three…" she breathed, feeling a grimace cross her face despite her best efforts.

*SMACK*

"F-four…" she groaned.

*SMACK*

"Five!" she cried out, tears of pain starting to well up in her eyes. Instantly, Delphine switched gears, running a reassuring hand up and down Cosima's arms as she leaned down and gently kissed the clone's neck. "There, there… it's over now."

After a few seconds, she smiled and added, "You know, you're a lot tougher than I imagined. If somebody had done this to me, I would be bawling my eyes out after the first four or five hits."

"Well, I'm glad you think that," Cosima replied, feeling a little bit snarky now that she knew the spanking was over. "But it doesn't change the fact that it's going to be nearly impossible for me to sit down for about a week. You happy with yourself?"

Delphine chuckled. "Somewhat, yes. I have some lotion in the bathroom that should help, but before we get to that, do you mind trying a new position?"

"Sure, as long as my ass is shielded."

"It will be. Let me go get something to cut the duct tape." Once Cosima was sitting upright again and Delphine made sure she had her balance, she left the room to get a pair of scissors. While she waited, Cosima tested her bonds again — still secure. She still wasn't sure how to feel about this whole situation. Her skin tingled like crazy, but it was very different from the kind of pain she was used to from her illness... in a strange way, it actually felt kind of nice.

A creak of the bedsprings alerted her to Delphine's return. Without a word, she placed an arm around Cosima's head and lifted a glass to her lips; Cosima sipped at the water gratefully. Once she had had enough, Delphine set the glass on the nightstand and said firmly, "Now keep your arms and legs very still. I don't want to nick that pretty skin of yours."

Cosima nodded and let her limbs hang motionless as Delphine quickly cut through the tape. When she was free, she rubbed her wrists before — per instructions — laying down on the bed. One by one, Delphine took each of her limbs and tied them to the bedposts with scarves. As she tied the knot on one leg, a mildly unpleasant thought occurred to Cosima; she lifted her head up and asked, "You're not using any of your good scarves for this, are you?"

"No. Just the old ones that are too worn out to use for their intended purpose… does that feel all right?"

Cosima shook her arms and legs a little, testing the strength of her bonds. Not only were they just the right tightness, but the scarves actually felt a lot nicer and smoother against her skin than the duct tape. "Yeah. It feels quite good, actually."

As Delphine laid down next to her and began gently running a finger up and down her body, she smiled coyly and asked, "Well? What sinister plans do you have for me now?"

"Hmmm, I wonder. How ticklish are you?"

Instantly, the smile disappeared from her face. Oh, SHIT. "Delphine, don't you dare—"

Without warning, Delphine dug her fingers into Cosima's armpits and began tickling her mercilessly. The clone burst into laughter and thrashed against her restraints, trying to escape. It was futile, however — she was trapped beneath her girlfriend's devilish fingers.

"Uh-oh. I think I might have just discovered one of your biggest weaknesses," Delphine giggled.

"Goddahahahamn it, Delphihehehehiiiine!" Cosima chuckled as her body shook and writhed. Secretly, however, she was relieved. OK, so this was frustrating and embarrassing as hell but at least Delphine hadn't stumbled upon the most ticklish part of her body yet.

Of course, that could easily change. Delphine soon abandoned her armpits, shifted to the other end of the bed, and started attacking her feet. Her hands danced all the way up Cosima's soles, lingered on her trembling toes for a few seconds, then flew back down to her heels. "I think maybe you're liking this, non?"

"You're evihihihil," Cosima chortled as she continued to struggle in vain against her bonds. She couldn't see it, but Delphine raised her eyebrows in mock surprise and replied, "Evil? Well, I wasn't planning to tickle your belly, but since that's obviously what an evil captor would do…"

Really gotta keep my big mouth shut in these kind of situations, Cosima thought as Delphine began to focus on her abs and hips. God, she was good at this — the clone laughed and quivered as every nerve in her sensitive skin was lit on fire. And then, just when it seemed like she wouldn't be able to take any more, Delphine slowed down until her fingers were just barely grazing Cosima's skin.

"Have you had enough, Miss Niehaus?"

"Yes, Miss Cormier," she whispered. Thank goodness Delphine was going to stop — the only part of Cosima's body she hadn't attacked was also her most ticklish spot. "Please, just cut it out…"

"Oh, I don't know. I'm curious — are your thighs very ticklish?"

Oh, no. Ohhhh, sweet Jesus, not there. "I swear to God, if you even think about—"

Before she could finish the threat, Delphine started viciously tickling her thighs. Cosima burst out laughing even louder than before and struggled against the scarves with renewed vigor. "HAHAHAHA — I SAID STOP IHIHIHIHITTT!"

"Gootchie gootchie goo, Cosima," Delphine teased as the torment continued.

After a few minutes, Cosima could feel herself starting to run out of air and shouted through her laughter, "I CAN'T BREAHEHEHEHETHE…"

Finally, Delphine relented. As Cosima took deep breath after deep breath and tried to cool herself down, her girlfriend lied back down and stroked her cheek. "Just for future reference, ma cherie: actually saying the words 'I can't breathe' requires air to move across your vocal chords. In other words, you have to be able to breathe."

"Well, I was certainly getting close to that point," Cosima panted, her chest still heaving. "In the future, promise me that if I really do run out of breath and start mouthing words, you'll stop right away?"

"Of course. Here, you should probably have another sip of water." She felt Delphine place a hand behind her head and lift it up before bringing the glass to her lips; Cosima drank until there was no more left. After about 20 seconds of awkward silence, she coughed and asked, "So, um… what now?"

"Let me think." Soon enough, Delphine came up with a response: "Well, I have a few studies on immunodeficiency I need to catch up on, and you look incredibly cute all tied up and helpless, so why don't we leave you like this for about half an hour?"

Cosima frowned. She had plenty of her own reading to do, but this was supposed to be her girlfriend's night, in an odd sort of way. Delphine must have noticed, because she added, "Of course, if you don't want to, that's perfectly fine."

Finally, Cosima sighed. "This is supposed to be your evening — your chance to explore your new fetish. If you really want to leave me here for the next 30 minutes, I can think of worse ways to spend the night."

Delphine smiled, then remarked, "Of course, it would be best for me to read those studies in silence."

"Absolutely. I promise I won't make a peep."

"Oh, I'm sure you won't. Just to be on the safe side, though… open your mouth."

Her curiosity growing, Cosima did as she was instructed. A few seconds later, she felt a piece of clothing being pushed into her jaw. The item was soft and frilly, and she blushed as she realized she was being gagged with a pair of Delphine's panties. Placing one finger against the undergarments to keep them in place, the French woman tore off another piece of duct tape and placed it firmly over Cosima's lips, sealing them in.

eaming at her handiwork, Delphine put her hands on her girlfriend's cheeks and planted a tender kiss on her forehead. "Now, don't go anywhere, ma petite chou. If you need anything, just make three short noises."

The bedsprings creaked once more as Delphine stood up and walked away, presumably planning to sit in the chair that resided in the corner of the room. Cosima wiggled her limbs a little bit, worried that the scarves might have come loose while she was being tickled to death, but they seemed to be plenty secure. So she relaxed into the mattress as best she could, let her head rest against the pillow, and just… waited.

For the first few minutes, she actually felt pretty annoyed with Delphine. In addition to the studies she needed to read, Sarah had been on her ass a lot recently about Rachel, and Scott was starting to get more and more suspicious about the true reason for their research. But what was she doing? Letting her girlfriend tie her up and play with her however she liked.

As she thought about it, however, Cosima came to a weird realization. All of those problems had been stressing her out more and more, to the point that her usual relaxation technique (smoking pot and listening to music) barely worked. With the physical restraints holding her down, she literally had no choice whether to spend time dealing with those issues, and — strangely — this lack of choice was the greatest source of relief she had experienced in weeks. If anybody else had been the one to tie her up, she might be worried or fearful; but Delphine was someone that she could trust with absolutely anything.

Still, after what felt like roughly 20 minutes, there was one thing she couldn't deny: she needed to use the restroom. Badly. Praying that the gag wasn't too effective, she turned her head in Delphine's general direction and said loudly, "Hmn. Hmn. Hmn." [Hey. Hey. Hey.]

Instantly, Delphine was by her side. She gently peeled off the duct tape and asked worriedly, "What's wrong? Does something hurt?"

Cosima spit out the panties, licked her now-dry lips, and smiled sheepishly. "No, everything's fine, but… I really gotta pee."

"Oh, right," Delphine chuckled. "Well, it's been about 25 minutes since I left you like this, so I guess we can call it good for now."

Her hands made quick work of the knots, and soon Cosima's wrists were free. As Delphine worked on the scarves binding her legs, she sat up, pulled off the blindfold, and stretched her arms gratefully. "Do you have my glasses somewhere?"

"Of course — here." Cosima took the glasses and put them on, blinking as her vision came back into focus. "If you still want some lotion for your rear, it's in the top drawer underneath the sink, on the right."

"Thanks, babe," Cosima said with a smile as she gave Delphine a quick kiss before standing up and walking to the restroom. On her way, she grabbed her clothes from off the floor. Locking the door behind her, she lifted the seat, sat down — wincing as she did so — and let her bladder empty itself. "Not going to be able to sit down for a week"? More like two or three.

Once she was finished, she flushed the toilet before standing back up and looking for the lotion. It only took a few seconds of digging through the drawers to find the right tube; she unscrewed the cap, rubbed the cream against her skin, and sighed in relief as the pain lessened. She pulled her shirt and pants back on, then opened the door and returned to the bedroom.

"So — what did you think?" Delphine asked nervously as she came out.

Cosima sat down on the bed next to her and sighed before answering. "I kind of have mixed feelings, honestly. The spanking was my least favorite part, although that might partly have been because I wasn't expecting it. I didn't like the tickling at first, but I have to admit, it's been a long time since I laughed so much."

"I'm glad. I know I had fun with that part." Cosima smiled and continued, "When you left me tied up on the bed, it was an odd kind of stress relief from everything that's been going on lately. With the restraints holding me in place, I didn't have any actual choice whether to spend time worrying about my reading or Rachel or Scott or any of that. And the fact that I feel like I can trust you completely just made me feel even more relaxed."

"…wow," Delphine finally replied with a shake of her head. "I mean, I was hoping you would enjoy it, but I didn't think your reaction would be this positive. So overall, you'd be willing to try it again?"

"Sure — but, can we switch roles next time? I think that's only fair," Cosima said with a smile.

"Absolutely," Delphine whispered playfully. As Cosima wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close, she sighed contentedly and added, "Thanks for indulging me, Cosima."

"Anything for you, Delphine."