Control never seems so important until it’s being slowly, inexorably stripped away. Jamie finds she’s been thinking about this concept more and more as the days go by, and it’s almost fascinating. It interests her, thinking about the concept of control--not the control of another person, but control of the self. Of a person’s own body, own mind, own future.
Control had seemed a simple thing before Dani, so absent from her childhood that Jamie taught herself to seek it out the minute she had the option. It didn’t always go well. There is a fine line between wanting control over a situation and the desperate desire to feel something, anything; it had taken her too long to discover the difference. Jail time had impacted the idea something fierce, reducing the notion of control from a childish impulse toward what I want, when I want it to something smaller. Easier to fit in the palm of her hand. Control became, instead, the simplicity of keeping herself to herself.
People can’t control you if they don’t understand you, she’d reasoned. People can’t control what you do, say, want, if you never let them in. And, to a point, it had worked. Jamie’s adult life became marked by a certain kind of quiet freedom, an awareness of her own limits. She learned to keep to herself. She learned to give no part of herself away.
And then Dani had happened. Dani, whose own relationship with control was tenuous at best. Dani, whose life up until this point had been very much marked by other people’s control over her body, her dreams, her right to love.
Jamie hadn’t meant to give her control, just as Dani hadn’t meant to ask it of her. There had been no part of the exchange intended for pain, for holding one another hostage--and Jamie knows that is the only reason it happened at all. The only reason either of them--two people so used to the shackles of other people’s expectations--were willing to let the dance begin. This mutual understanding that control is only granted so lovingly because the other person will not abuse the privilege, will not turn their grasp into a cuff.
It hadn’t been simple, exactly, so much as natural. Give and take. Dani’s ghosts for Jamie’s regrets; Jamie’s scars for Dani’s still-bleeding wounds. In a way, Jamie thinks, the idea of passing control over their life together back and forth was appealing because it was the first time either of them understood how to communicate. The first time Dani had ever learned how to speak her needs in someone else’s space; the first time Jamie had ever thought someone might actually be listening in return. Not simple. Not easy. Organic, though--very much that.
It has been...an evolution, certainly. There are things Dani is carrying Jamie can’t take off her shoulders--things Dani bears with the stoic acceptance of one already a little bit gone. Jamie tries not to think about it that way, tries not to look into Dani’s eyes and think, Not quite the woman I met. She’s in there, she’s still looking back at me, but there’s something else, too.
Dani thinks that something else will, one day, supersede her. Will, one day, take the wheel in a way Dani will not be able to ward off.
Dani thinks, someday, the question of control will have nothing at all to do with their relationship, with the bond built so carefully and so firmly between them, but rather to do with the thing in the mirror. She says as much to Jamie some nights, her hand tangled in Jamie’s hair, her breathing soft and steady against Jamie’s skin. Says, in a voice so weary, Jamie can’t bear it: “I don’t know what I’ll do, then. I don’t know what will be left of me when she wakes.”
Jamie can only take her hand in these moments, the ones she knows will pass by morning--the ones Dani will pretend not to remember by the end of the week. It’s still early-days, she tells herself, bringing Dani’s fingers to her lips as she did in a bedroom across an ocean. It’s still new, and fresh, and there’s nothing saying it will happen at all.
One day at a time.
In the meantime, there are other thoughts of control. Thoughts she finds considerably more pleasurable, considerably more safe. Thoughts of what Dani truly needs some days, to remind her who is still in the driver’s seat of her life.
Jamie is more than happy to help.
The day has not been bad so much as long, and Jamie finds herself dragging home with a gently thrumming headache. It’s sometimes still more than she can wrap her head around: the shop, where the hours are her own to set, and the apartment, where every inch of space is open to her, and Dani, who fits into both places so perfectly, Jamie has trouble thinking back to a time without her. The world they’ve built together is warm, constantly waiting to welcome her home, and Jamie doesn’t know if she deserves it. Doesn’t know if there is such a thing as deserve. She knows only that she is lucky.
And that even the luckiest soul needs a break.
“Medicine,” Dani had advised, her expression concerned as Jamie prepared to leave the shop. “A hot shower. Uh. A cold compress.”
“Be fine,” Jamie murmured, glancing around for customers. Not a soul to be found, she pressed a kiss lightly to Dani’s lips. “Shame you can’t join me. Can think of one thing that tends to help nice and quick.”
Dani’s face lit with visible warmth, as Jamie had known it would. “I--you--”
“Easy,” Jamie said, kissing her again. “I’m only teasing, Poppins.”
“Right,” Dani said, a bit hoarsely, her arm sliding instinctively around Jamie’s waist. “Exactly. Rude to tease when I’m already worried for your health.”
“My health’ll be just fine as soon as I get home and into bed,” Jamie told her. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll just, ah, handle it myself?”
“Tease,” Dani repeated in a low, fervent whisper, even as the bell above the door chimed. Jamie tipped her a wink.
It’s always fun making Dani turn new colors, but she hadn’t been kidding--about the headache or the proposed solution. Little aggravations tend to slip away to nothing with Dani present, Dani’s hands searching her skin, Dani kissing her until she forgets any minor aches or pains. Of course, until they hire additional staff, Dani can’t really afford to join her in the middle of the afternoon just because she’s Jamie’s favorite form of migraine therapy.
Not so bad, anyway, she thinks, even as she takes Dani’s advice piece by piece in the empty apartment. Medicine, a nice tall glass of water, a shower so long it ceases to be productively hot midway through. She stands with her face against the comparatively-cool tile, trying not to think of Dani’s expression as she’d said tease under her breath, Dani’s grip on her shirt threatening to remain as Jamie slipped out from behind the counter.
Should just sleep, she thinks, changing into shorts and one of Dani’s shirts. Sleep it off, sure. Better for the whole system. She’ll just lay down for an hour or two, letting the cool of the sheets soothe the warmth of her skin as she remembers the mingled longing and worry in Dani’s face as she’d walked away. Just close her eyes, letting the steady pound in her temples lull her...lull her...
“Fuck,” she mutters, rolling onto her stomach and pressing her face into Dani’s pillow. What does it matter; anything that’ll banish this throb is worth a shot, and anyway, there’s something about the way Dani had watched her go she can’t erase. Something about the way Dani’s lips had lifted ever so slightly, the way they do when Dani wants nothing more than to remind Jamie how glad she is--how glad she’ll always be--that Jamie stayed in her life.
Just take care of it, she tells herself with the air of brushing her hands clean. The idea of Dani watching her, the idea of Dani missing her, is too strong to ignore. Just Jamie’s luck, to be the having the sort of day where a headache and a painfully strong desire to bring Dani to bed collide.
She realizes belatedly her hips are already moving without the rest of her noticing, rocking slowly against the mattress, and she sighs. Won't be enough. Won’t be nearly what it would with Dani beneath her, dragging her nails down Jamie’s back, a thigh flexing between Jamie’s legs. Still--the image isn’t nothing. Dani’s pillow smells of her shampoo, the one Jamie never uses because it should be Dani’s, should remind her of Dani whenever Dani isn’t around. She presses her face against it now, lips parted in a sigh, gripping the sheets in loose fingers.
She’d intended to be quick and dirty with it, a true resolution followed by actual sleep, but her body has other opinions on the matter. Her body, it seems, wants full control of the situation--wants her full attention on the idea of Dani thinking of her at the shop. Dani, moving among the arrangements, picking flowers, chatting with strangers, all the while thinking of Jamie here. Of Jamie having mentioned a hot shower. Of Jamie beneath the spray, one hand sliding down her breasts, the other between her legs.
Dani, thinking of her for the next hour, her breath coming in sharp little pants she’ll try to hide behind her smile. Dani, pressing her hips furtively against the counter in the empty shop, closing her eyes for a moment and wishing she could have followed Jamie home.
This’ll do it. Her grip tightens on the sheets, her legs spreading slightly. It’s all too easy to imagine Dani going slightly mad, working faster in an effort to distract herself. Easy to imagine Dani’s hands pushing back her hair the way she does when she’s most frustrated--or when she’s astride Jamie, rolling her hips to match Jamie’s pace. She breathes through the image, the perfect memory of the last time Dani had, in the middle of a movie, climbed into Jamie’s lap and kissed her like she’d been wanting to do so for hours.
Why wait? Jamie had laughed, and Dani had given a happy breathy sigh against her lips.
It’s better with the anticipation, don’t you think?
“Yes,” Jamie mumbles into the pillow now. The anticipation, that’s the trick of it. Can’t go straight for the thing, can’t just let her hand slide between shorts and skin like she wants. If Dani can’t have her at work, Jamie ought to be polite enough to hold herself out of reach here, too.
Already, she can feel the headache ebbing away, replaced by the adrenaline of pure desire. She presses herself against the mattress, enjoying the way the seam of her shorts moves against slick skin. She wonders, dimly, how long she could keep this up--how long she could hold herself in this limbo, biting down on Dani’s pillow to keep quiet, rocking at this leisurely pace. Could she do it until Dani gets home? Could this be how she greets a Dani pent-up from missing her: holding what she wants at arm’s length just until Dani comes to check in on her?
The idea nearly makes her shudder: Dani, stepping into the room just in time to catch her like this, rutting against the mattress and sighing Dani’s name. Dani, walking in just in time to watch her come apart.
Control, she thinks, forcing her speeding hips to slow again. Forcing herself to wait until she’s confident she won’t lose her patience, take a hand off the sheets, press up and in until she’s--
“Couldn’t wait for me at all?” Dani asks, and Jamie gives a leap of guilty surprise, twisting to look over her shoulder. Dani is, in fact, leaning in the doorway. Dani is, in fact, looking at her exactly as she’d been imagining: her eyes dancing, her tongue darting out to wet her lips. Jamie presses her burning face against the pillow, closing her eyes.
“Hi,” Dani says. She’s still just standing there, Jamie senses, in her jacket and boots. Just watching Jamie try to smother mild embarrassment on Dani’s side of the bed. “Oh, don’t stop on my account.”
“I wasn’t--” Oh, there’s no bloody point. “Headache’s gone.”
“Good,” Dani says mildly. “Then I won’t feel bad about what I’m about to do.”
Jamie darts another look over her shoulder, curious despite the mortification sending ripples through her arousal. “Why do I get the feeling I’m in trouble?”
“Not trouble.” Dani slips out of her coat like this is a perfectly normal conversation. Like there’s nothing out of the ordinary at all going on. She leans against the wall, removing her boots with the casual disinterest of a woman who has not just walked in on Jamie grinding against their bed.
“Dunno if I believe you,” Jamie says, a bit breathlessly. Dani smiles.
“What’s not to believe? You told me exactly what you were heading home to do...and, if you didn’t happen to do it fast enough, well...”
Fuck, thinks Jamie, her heart rate--which has not precisely calmed since Dani’s arrival--ratcheting back to full speed. She rolls onto her back, sits up, aware of the throbbing heat between her legs even as she pulls the sheets higher.
“Mm?” Dani is still moving with the grace of someone in absolutely no hurry to explain herself. As Jamie watches, she removes her earrings, sets them in a bowl on her dresser. Removes her watch, lays it beside the bowl. Reaches up to unbind the tie she must have used in Jamie’s absence, irritated with her hair falling into her eyes as she worked.
“Dani, are you--”
“I’m wondering,” Dani says, “why you didn’t work harder at it.”
Jamie’s mouth is suddenly very dry. “Work...harder?”
“If you wanted to take care of it yourself,” Dani says. She’s walking closer now, almost strolling; Jamie draws in a breath, her hands bunching around the sheet. There’s something about Dani this calm, Dani moving with this kind of easy indolence, that makes her stomach do funny things. This version of Dani is one no one else ever sees. This version of Dani comes out with purpose.
Usually a very particular purpose.
She’s climbing onto the bed now, sliding under the sheet to recline against Jamie’s side of the headboard. Her expression is cool, but there’s a light in her eyes Jamie couldn’t miss even with that headache still thrashing away, a certain bright hunger specific to this room, this sort of situation, Jamie.
“So, I’m thinking, if you didn’t want to take care of it enough to do it fast,” Dani says, patiently parsing it out as she adjusts Jamie’s pillows behind her back, smooths her hands across the sheet over her lap, “there was a reason, right? You always have reasons, Jamie.”
She’s right, Jamie thinks with helpless attraction. Even now, playing whatever thrilling little game Dani has cooked up since arriving home, Dani understands her. Understands, maybe, more than Jamie even realized in this particular situation.
“I’m thinking about it,” Dani says, folding the sheet down once--again--pulling it down the bed until it’s barely covering either of them at all. “And the most I can come up with is...you wanted me here for it. Is that about right?”
Jamie grins, though her skin prickles in the chill of the air-conditioned room. “Always, Poppins.”
Dani nods, making a show of it, like there isn’t a fire burning low in her belly just now. Like she didn’t catch Jamie in the act and want to join her. Like her eyes aren’t blazing with that exact desire just now, pupils blown wide, dragging down Jamie’s body to drink her in.
“You wanted me to watch.”
“Uh huh,” Jamie says, because whether it was true at the start doesn’t matter; it’s true now. “Or, y’know--since you’re here. Can always join in.”
Dani seems to consider it. One hand trails up Jamie’s thigh, toying lightly with the hem of her shorts. Jamie moves to twist at the waist, to shift into Dani’s lap and kiss her lips--and Dani’s hand rises, catching her by the front of her t-shirt.
“You wanted me to watch,” she says, leaning in until the words are tracing Jamie’s lips. She does not, Jamie notes with a low groan of frustration, actually make contact. “So. Show me.”
Jamie swallows. “I--uh--just--”
“Here,” Dani adds, spreading her legs. She pats the mattress, a signal for Jamie to settle between them and lean back against her chest. Jamie draws a ragged breath.
“Really think this could go faster if you just let me help you out of those clothes.”
“Think you’re right,” Dani agrees, and gives the mattress another firm pat. Jamie moves, dreamlike, where she’s been directed. Sits back, her hands uncertain of where to land.
“Dani, honestly, I want--”
“You had a whole hour,” Dani says, “to get what you wanted. Now it’s my turn.”
Fuck, Jamie thinks again, a fresh surge of need clenching in her stomach. She turns her head, leans until she can see Dani’s expression clearly.
“Maybe I didn’t start right away. Maybe I’d only been at it a minute.”
“You weren’t.” Dani smiles, the sort of smile she tends to wear immediately before kneeling between Jamie’s legs and offering a thorough distraction from their nightly routine. “I was there a while before you noticed.”
“And you didn’t speak up?” Years together, Jamie thinks. Years together, with no shortage of good sex between them, but this side of Dani is special. This side of Dani, the one perfectly in control of a situation, is to be cherished. “Just stood there, huh? Watched the show?”
“Thought you’d finish fast,” Dani says. She’s got Jamie’s right hand in her own, turning it over to inspect Jamie’s fingers, to trace a nail down Jamie’s palm. “Thought I’d come in just in time for the grand finale. But then I saw your hands.”
“What about them?” There’s challenge in her voice, pushing up against Dani’s calm. It’s always best this way, giving Dani a bit of resistance before she surrenders. Dani scratches a little harder, drawing a thin red line to match the ones grooved into Jamie’s palm.
“You weren’t using them. You weren’t using anything. I thought that was interesting. Why not touch yourself, if you really wanted to take care of things properly?”
Jamie is struggling to keep her breath, struggling to keep from leaning that last little bit to press her mouth to Dani’s neck. That, she senses, is not the right move. That, she senses, will get her in trouble--and she’d really rather see where this is going.
“I realized,” Dani is saying, turning Jamie’s hand over and mapping her knuckles with slow, tracing circles. “You were actually trying to make it last. Trying to go as slowly as you possibly could. Driving yourself crazy, I bet.”
“Yes,” Jamie says, unable to stop herself. She pushes back, aware of Dani’s body, of how warm she is.
“I’m curious,” Dani says, applying light pressure to Jamie’s hand, steering it toward Jamie’s body. “How long do you think you can last?”
“Only...if you want me to watch...” Dani smiles again, the smile that says she’d like nothing better than to drive Jamie out of her mind. “I really think I want a show.”
She’s dragging Jamie’s hand slowly down her own breasts, tracing down her taut stomach, pausing at the waistband of her shorts. Jamie holds her breath, waiting for Dani to slide with her beneath the band, waiting for Dani to use her hand as she sees fit--but Dani presses her farther down, curling around Jamie’s fingers as they cup together between Jamie’s legs over the loose material. And then she’s gone, leaving Jamie in place, her hand moving to rest on Jamie’s hip.
“Go on,” she says against Jamie’s ear, her free hand shifting Jamie’s hair aside so her lips can graze skin. “Show me.”
Jamie groans, letting the palm of her hand press hard against the heat pulsing through her shorts. She moves her hips, aware of the need she’s been cultivating for far too long already--
“Slowly,” Dani says into her ear. “You go until I say you’ve had enough.”
Jamie slumps back against her, boneless, a small noise escaping her lips. “I--fuck--rules?”
Dani gives the ridge of her ear a gentle nip, the barest scrape of her teeth. Jamie shivers. “That’s it. Go slow. Make all the noise you need, but remember: you are done when I say you’re done.”
Control, thinks Jamie, understanding, and knowing this is something Dani needs as much as she does. She licks her lips, drags her hand slowly against the front of her shorts. It would be so easy to rebel, so easy to wrench back from Dani what has been given to her--she could make herself come in no time at all, after all this.
She turns her head, finds Dani watching her face with avid interest. She closes her eyes.
“Slow,” she repeats, a promise. Her fingers slide across the soft material, tracing as though she has all the time in the world. Dani’s chin rests on her shoulder, her lips grazing through Jamie’s shirt once before she settles in.
“Oh, and Jamie? Make it good.”
Jamie strangles another groan, too aware that letting herself go this early will have dire consequences. She cups lightly, the heel of her hand pushing against painfully throbbing nerves. Her fingers continue their soft work, index trailing down, circling where it would much rather be pressing in.
“Good,” Dani says softly. She slides an arm around Jamie, spreading her hand low on her stomach, her eyes devouring Jamie’s tentative progress. Jamie leans her head back, breathing shallowly, trying to think desperately of flowers, of buds in bloom, of open petals and--
Nope, she thinks hastily, as her hips give a particularly sharp jerk. She pauses, closing her eyes, searching for solid ground before she can tumble.
“Very good,” Dani adds, sounding impressed. “See, you’re doing great already.”
“Want you,” Jamie mutters. Dani gives her ear another nip.
“Show me, then.”
It’s a balancing act, Jamie finds, letting her hips set a slow rhythm against the flex of her hand. A nice, easy balancing act, with her head braced back against Dani’s shoulder, every inhalation filling her senses with the scent of Dani, the push-pull of Dani drawing breath against her back, the trace of Dani’s fingernails across her stomach. A nice, easy, not-at-all-breaking-her balancing act.
“I think you’re ready to step it up,” Dani says. Jamie, who has been trying to ride the friction of her own palm as minimally as she can stand, gives her a searching look. “I think it’s too easy on you. I think you need more.”
“More,” Jamie repeats. Dani’s hand is slinking lower again, grasping the band of Jamie’s shorts and lifting. Her free hand covers Jamie’s, pressing with sudden strength once between Jamie’s legs. “Fuck, Dani.”
“Not quite yet,” Dani says pleasantly, that too-nice voice she uses when she’s actively working to drive Jamie up the wall. It’s more effective than it has any right to be, Jamie thinks, though she's smiling, her body already desperate.
She watches, her muscles loose to allow Dani full control, as Dani slides their joined hands higher, tucks Jamie’s hand into her shorts. Her fingers remain tight around the waistband, pulling it aloft and down until she gives herself a proper view of exactly where Jamie’s fingers rest.
“There,” Dani says with dangerous pleasure. “Keep going.”
Jamie wants to twist, wants to capture her lips in a hard, brazen kiss. Instead, she lets her fingers resume their work--pressing in slow, careful circles against herself. She can hear the slick slide, the soft wet sound of skin on skin, and her stomach clenches with the near-painful urge to finish. She pauses.
“Don’t think I told you to stop,” Dani says. Jamie bites down hard on her own lip. Her wrist turns, her fingers rubbing lightly--then harder, her desire sparking hard against Dani’s command. She works the throbbing little bundle of nerves between two fingers, her breath sharp, her free hand searching out Dani’s thigh to dig her nails into denim.
“Can,” Dani corrects. “So good, Jamie. You’re doing so well. Show me how much you can take.”
The words are low, calm, but Dani’s body is beginning to betray her, too; Jamie can feel the way her fingers are driving into Jamie’s hip, can see the tremble in the hand pulling at the shorts. Most of all, she can feel Dani beginning to rock slowly against her, her hips pushing up into Jamie in search of friction of her own.
“Could be touching you,” Jamie hisses, urged into a better station of control simply by the knowledge Dani wants her to give in. “Could be three fingers deep by now, giving you--”
“You’re giving me exactly what I need,” Dani breathes. Jamie hears her own words coil into a soft moan, her hips beginning to buck. Dani’s fingers squeeze around her hipbone, dragging sharp red marks under the pulled-aside waistband. “Ride it out. Do what I tell you.”
Jamie grits her teeth, every muscle in her body tightening against the urge to lose control. Her hand is quickening, her fingers stroking and slipping and pressing until she’s certain she’s going to break. The friction is too much, every circle drawn tight around herself snapping a little more self-restraint.
“Longer,” Dani whispers into her ear. She wraps her lips around Jamie’s earlobe, sucking hard enough for Jamie’s eyes to roll back. “Don’t give up on me yet.”
“Please,” Jamie hears herself whine, even as she obediently increases the pressure. “Please, I can’t--”
“Faster,” Dani says. “Come on, be good, be good for me, you’re so--”
She makes a noise, low and desperate, a spark of electricity straight to Jamie’s core. She’s grinding herself against Jamie, her hand gripping hard to Jamie’s hip for purchase. Jamie rubs faster, feeling as though she will lose this game, she will certainly not make it much further, and finding she doesn’t actually care as long as Dani is holding her this way.
She loses herself in Dani’s voice, Dani saying with the rapid-fire recklessness of staggering toward the edge herself, “Inside. Inside, I want to see--” Dani, pulling the shorts sharply down now, allowing Jamie to spread for herself, watching as Jamie slides two fingers deep, pressing hard with the heel of her hand.
“So good,” Dani mutters, “so good. Keep going. Make it last. It’s my mouth, imagine it’s my mouth, my tongue you’re riding, god, Jamie--”
Control, thinks Jamie, aware she’s losing it fast, aware there is little left that her body can possibly take even as Dani bites down hard on her shoulder. Imagine, Dani had said, like she isn’t right there, like she couldn’t be shifting Jamie out of her lap, sliding down her body, replacing Jamie’s hand with long, slow strokes of her tongue.
But that isn’t what Dani wants. This is what Dani wants, to hold Jamie, to watch her finish the work she started wishing Dani could see. Dani knows all too well what this is doing to her; she can feel it in the cant of Dani’s hips, hear it in the sound she’s muffling against Jamie’s shirt.
“Tell me,” she begs, as her muscles clench around her thrusting fingers. “Tell me, I won’t--I won’t until you--”
“How much,” Dani asks, her voice shaking with effort. “How much do you want it?”
Jamie curses, straining away from the edge. “You know,” she pants. “You know I--”
“How much,” Dani says directly into her ear, her hands digging into Jamie’s hips, “did you want it to be me all along?”
“Always,” Jamie breathes, the word a high, helpless plea. “Always, fuck, from the very start. Please, please, I--it’s you--it’s you--”
“Yes,” Dani agrees. “Show me how it feels.”
Jamie adds a third finger on yes, allowing her body at last to clench and shudder. It’s Dani, she thinks, turning her head and muffling her ecstatic cry against Dani’s neck. She can feel Dani’s grip tightening, pulling at her as Dani spreads further, rocks with sharp, needy thrusts while Jamie’s body chases the height of her orgasm.
It’s Dani, she thinks again, Dani pushing in deep, Dani riding it out, Dani in control, this is all for--all for--
And then there is no thought at all, nothing but Dani crying out as she squeezes a hand over Jamie’s and feels for herself what she’s done. Nothing left but Dani’s name on her lips as Jamie arches, eyes closed, feeling very much as though she is no longer in possession of a body at all.
She slumps against Dani, breath coming in short waves, her head clear of anything except the residual electricity from Dani’s fingers threading through her own. She exhales, rolling her eyes to watch Dani’s face.
Dani makes a muffled sound a bit like a whimper, her hips still twitching as though out of her control. Jamie shifts with some effort, breaking contact, leaving her rocking against nothing at all.
“You’re still hanging on? Well. That won't do.”
She tugs at Dani’s shirt, catching her in a hard kiss that seems only to draw Dani’s urgency higher. Dani’s hands are scrambling to pull Jamie back into her lap, and Jamie allows herself to be positioned. She lowers herself with a groan, loving the dark marks she’s leaving behind on Dani’s jeans as she presses flat against her tense thigh.
“Ride it with me,” she insists, pushing her own knee hard between Dani’s legs. Dani’s head thumps back against the headboard, her hand anchored at Jamie’s back, watching with glazed eyes as Jamie provides friction to both of them with each rough grind.
It’s a graceless thing, and yet, perfectly matched--Dani gripping at her shirt, Dani pushing up into her as she rocks down, and, this time, Jamie finds the force shattering. She’s wrapped around Dani, hands clawing into Dani’s hair, down her back, hips pumping, even as she feels Dani begin the age-old sign of falling apart: Dani, repeating her name as an endless mantra, over and over.
Control, she thinks, as she’s losing the last of it all over again, as Dani is joining her with a long, shuddering kiss. What little good it does, when it is held too tightly. What little grace it offers, when not shared.
“I should, ah, call next time?” she breathes as Dani wraps both arms around her, squirming down the bed until they're lying in a sweaty heap. “Maybe just...set up in the back and wait for you to join me?”
Dani laughs. “If you did that, we’d never leave.”
“Perfectly content with never leaving here, either, if that’s how we’re going to play it.” Jamie leans back, reaching down to brush her fingers across the ruined leg of Dani’s jeans. “Made a mess of you.”
“It was mutual,” Dani teases. She closes her eyes, draws in a long breath that turns to a yawn. “How is your head, for real?”
“Good as new. All beasts banished back to whence they came.” Jamie winces, peering at Dani’s face for sign of shutdown, but Dani’s expression is placid.
“Good. I still think you should start with medicine.”
“Took medicine!” Jamie protests. “Did all the goddamn tricks. Not my fault this works best.”
“I think you just say that,” Dani says, “to get me naked.”
“Well, not doing a good goddamn job of it, am I?” Jamie sits up, gesturing broadly. “Still wearing every last fucking stitch.”
“Mm,” Dani agrees. “Maybe you should...do something about that?”
Jamie is still laughing when Dani pushes her onto her stomach, stretching out almost flush against her back. Her breath catches, something about the press of denim against her bare legs, the way Dani’s sliding the t-shirt Jamie stole from her side of the closet up her back making her feel deliciously undone. The idea of Dani, fully-dressed, pressing her half-naked body into the mattress draws a long shudder through her.
“Unless you’re tired,” Dani adds, her hand curling around Jamie’s hips, sliding teasingly toward soaked, swollen skin. Jamie groans into the pillow, gripping the sheets in one hand, reaching back for a grasp on Dani’s jeans with the other. Dani’s hand, pushed between damp sheets and sticky skin, strokes her once, testing. She kisses the back of Jamie’s neck, rolling her tongue over the chain of Jamie’s necklace, drawing it between her teeth.
“This is,” Jamie pants, even as Dani is playing her exactly as she’d watched Jamie work herself over, “exceptionally unbalanced.”
“Then do something about it,” Dani teases, kissing along her shoulder. Jamie, somehow, finds herself quite without the will to fight back. There is nowhere she’d rather be than angling herself toward Dani’s hand, seeking the firm, rough stroke of Dani’s fingers.
Tonight, she reasons, is Dani’s turn. She’ll turn the tables some other time, when Dani isn’t itching for this exact thing, this exquisite dynamic: when the ability Jamie gives her to tell Jamie exactly what to do, exactly what she needs of her, isn’t the most important gift she could grant.
Later, she’ll pin Dani to the wall or the counter, tease her until Dani is wild for her. It’s only fair, and Jamie knows it won’t take long at all for the power to change hands again when it’s done.
“Stay with me,” Dani commands, rocking against Jamie with one authoritative motion even as her fingers sink deep and Jamie gasps.
“Always,” she promises, feeling luckier than she could possibly explain.