Something was wrong with Laura.
At first, Leo hadn't really noticed. He was far too preoccupied with watching Bianca and Greenlee interact as a couple. For some reason, maybe the fact that he was a heterosexual male, he found the two of them pretty damn mesmerizing to watch. Even if they were disgustingly cute.
Once the caveman part of his brain could get past the fact that his best friend was dating his former girlfriend Leo couldn't help but notice Laura's condition. She had a distant expression on her sculptured features and a frown marring her face. It wasn't a look that he liked much.
"Boo," Leo said jokingly, approaching Laura from behind and scooping her gently into his arms. He felt her laugh against his chest and smiled. "What's up? You sick of our guests already? I can scream fire to get them out."
Giving a quiet chuckle, Laura tilted her head back to gaze up at Leo. "That's okay," she replied. "I don't quite feel like scaring the life out of a household of people."
"Damn," said Leo with mock disappointment. "And here I was hoping to cause my weekly riot ahead of schedule. You're just ruining all my plans, you know that?"
"Mmm, sorry," said Laura in a slight purr. She looked at Leo deeply, seeming to search his expression before she asked quietly, "What do you really think about this thing with Bianca and Greenlee?"
"What do I think?" Leo repeated, tipping his head up to stare at the ceiling. "I think..." he began in pensive tones as he dropped his gaze to look at Laura. "That it's a big surprise, them being together, but they seem happy about it so we should leave them be." He paused to study Laura then continued, "I know that you're worried about Bianca being with Greenlee. Hell, I'm worried about her being with Greenlee. But it is her life."
"Yeah," Laura sighed as she moved in Leo's embrace while he gave her a slight squeeze. "I know." Her expression grew distant again and she said softly, "I'm still worried about her though. I can't help it."
"You're a worrywart," teased Leo, pulling her close and kissing the top of her head while he rocked them back and forth. "Isn't that why we had to get all that tons of insurance on this place when buying it? Hmm?"
"That," drawled Laura, smirking up at Leo. "Wasn't being a worrywart. That was just being smart."
"Uh huh," said Leo skeptically, forming his best charming smile. "Tell me another one."
Wearing an expression of great consideration, Laura smiled widely as she turned around in Leo's arms, snaking her hands behind his neck to hold him close. She then stood up on her tiptoes and whispered in the most sultry of tones, "I love you endlessly, Leo du Pres."
"Hussy!" Leo accused with a slight gasp, sounding humorously offended as he wore a shocked expression.
"You better believe it," murmured Laura, moving in closer for a passionate kiss which Leo happily returned.
As they kissed, Laura felt the worries she had about Bianca begin to leave her. The worries that she'd been having ever since she talked with Greenlee. Worries about the true nature of her feelings for Bianca. But while in Leo's embrace all of those worries left her.
The problem was, soon as Laura was out of his embrace her worries would come back again. And come back with a powerful vengeance.
Which was the last thing she needed.
So when Laura reluctantly was parted with Leo and his embrace, the very first thing that she found herself doing was moving her eyes across the room to lock on the figure of Greenlee sitting next to Bianca.
And as she stared at Greenlee, feeling the quiet rage build up inside of her, Laura had one thought only.
Damn you, Greenlee Smythe.
Greenlee was happy. No, nix that. Greenlee was ecstatic. No, nix that too. Greenlee was splendiferous.
What was splendiferous anyway? Who knew. But whatever it was, that's what Greenlee was. All because she caught Laura looking at her with searing hatred.
Most people would be disturbed by someone that they considered an enemy looking at them like that. Then again, most people aren't Greenlee. She found the utmost delight in the fact that she riled Laura so much that she could cause that sort of look to form in her eyes.
It meant that she was getting to Laura. It meant that she was winning. It meant that she was in charge.
She had to hold back the impulse to give a maniacal chuckle as she thought about it. Finally, after more than a year, she was exacting her revenge on Laura for taking Leo away from her. And all she had to do was what she wanted the most right now.
To just be happy being with Bianca.
Greenlee was still busy delighting in her triumph over Laura when she felt soft hands gently cup her chin to turn her head in the opposite direction. Moving with the hand, her eyes were soon met with Bianca's dark ones.
"Hey," murmured Bianca, giving a sweet smile that never failed to stop Greenlee's heart. "Want to tell me why you have the cat that ate the helpless canary look on your face? What are you up to this time, huh?"
"Me? I'm not up to anything," said Greenlee, wearing her best innocent expression. Leaning closer to Bianca, she wound her hand up to move the hand cupping her chin downwards so their fingers were entwined and Bianca's hand was resting lightly on Greenlee's thigh. "I'm your girlfriend now, remember?" Forming a smirk, she whispered in Bianca's ear, "And don't you know? Bianca Montgomery only dates the good girls."
"Uh huh," Bianca drawled, eyeing Greenlee with careful eyes as she pulled back slightly to smile. "Why is it that I'm still doubting your good girl status then?"
"New girlfriend trust issues," replied Greenlee wisely, her brown eyes twinkling mischievously. "You love me but you don't exactly trust me yet. At least not in the confines of a romantic relationship. It's to be expected, since everyone knows how jittery you are in romance."
"Jittery?" asked Bianca, sounding indignant and feeling very distracted by the gentle caress of Greenlee's fingertips on the inside of the palm of her hand. "I'm not jittery in romance, Greenlee! You're nuts! I happen--"
Bianca was cut off from saying anything more by Greenlee quietly pressing her index finger against Bianca's full lips. "Silly," Greenlee said with gentle teasing. "It's not a big deal. I'm jittery too. Hell, I think that there can't be anyone who isn't jittery about love. Because, really, who hasn't been hurt by being in it?"
"You think so?" asked Bianca quietly, her voice echoing of an honest need. "You too?"
"Me too," Greenlee said, her confession just as honest as Bianca's question. She was silent for a long moment and then, looking down at their hands that were still entwined and resting on her thigh, she said, "I think I get nervous about people knowing the real me. Because when you start to care about someone... really care, you let them see things no one else does." Lifting her gaze, she gave a wry smile then joked, "And frankly, there are some things I rather not let people see about me."
"Like what?" Bianca asked gently, her eyes searching Greenlee's features but remaining supportive.
"Like my past, the things I've done, my insecurities, all of the crap that no one wants to deal with but has to anyway," said Greenlee, still smiling wryly.
"What if someone saw it already?" asked Bianca. "And they wanted to deal with it all, to be with you. What would you do then? Try your best to scare them away?"
"Probably," admitted Greenlee, looking almost angry at herself for saying it.
Catching the look, Bianca squeezed Greenlee's hand in her own and said softly, "You haven't scared me away yet. I'm here for the long run." She paused for a moment, then added humorously, "Girlfriend."
"Is that so?" asked Greenlee, quirking an eyebrow while she formed a smile. "I guess if all of that's true then I should just give up and get used to you being around." She then formed an exaggerated expression of haughtiness and declared, "You better not cramp my style, Binky."
"I'll do my best, Greenbeans," drawled Bianca teasingly, returning the smile that Greenlee wore.
"The vegetable name," Greenlee's brown eyes narrowed decisively. "I detest the vegetable name. You know this and yet you continue to use it."
"Right," said Bianca slowly, giving a nod of her head. She looked rather impish as she continued, "It's just because it sounds so cuuuuute. Just like you. Besides," she wore a shrewd expression now. "You insist on calling me a name that sounds like a little kid's blanket."
"But it's so cuuuuute," Greenlee mocked, imitating Bianca's earlier voice with a smirk. "Binky."
"Greenbeans," Bianca replied, smirking also.
"Binky!" Greenlee said a bit louder.
"Greenbeans!" Bianca said more loudly.
"Binky poo!" Greenlee improvised.
"Greenbeans giant!" Bianca improvised too.
"Binky poo, oh, screw it," Greenlee muttered before she formed a definitely evil smirk and moved in to give Bianca a sudden and very unexpected kiss.
Bianca, having her lips occupied, had no reply to the latest answer in their verbal sparring match.
And frankly, no one can really blame her.
The rest of the party went off without a hitch. Just as Bianca and Greenlee predicted, they were the main talk of the evening, especially after Greenlee's sudden kiss.
A kiss, she noted with pleasure, that managed to get her another severe look of death from Laura. Despite the party being a low key event, with only about twenty or so people showing up, they were positive that a picture of their lip lock or at least news of their dating would end up in the news tomorrow morning.
That's just how being a celebrity in Pine Valley is. You do anything remotely interesting, bad, or unexpected then it's going to be in the news the next day.
Somehow or another, they were the last guests at the party and Greenlee found herself alone with Leo while Bianca talked to Laura on the other side of the room.
"So," Leo began, tilting his head back to gaze up at the ceiling. "How long have you liked girls, Greenlee?"
"Ever since I was with you, Leo," purred Greenlee in reply, giving him a sardonic look. "The experience left me so bitter about men that I just had to move on."
"Ouch," winced Leo, holding onto his heart. "I'm dying here, lying on the ground wounded, you killed me."
"Hardly," Greenlee pronounced, smiling. "You're a little more difficult to kill than that. You do have Vanessa's cockroach genes running through you, after all."
"Sturdy and reliable, I can withstand a nuclear strike and still get up early in the morning," said Leo in his usual playful tones, returning the smile.
"Really?" Greenlee quirked an eyebrow.
"No," said Leo, shaking his head. "I can't wake up early in the morning. I'm not that civilized."
There was a moment of silence as both of them searched for what to say next when Leo formed a serious expression and said, "About you and Binks... I just wanted to say, well, good luck. You both seem pretty happy about the whole thing so I'm happy for you. Just don't--"
"Hurt her, I know," Greenlee interrupted, her face sardonic once again. "Your girlfriend already told me that I would be ripped to itty bitty shreds if I hurt Bianca." She looked rather solemn as she said, "Just for the record, I'm not planning on doing that. I don't even know how anyone could think of hurting Bianca. She's..." Greenlee trailed off as she looked lost for the words. "She's special."
"Yeah," Leo agreed quietly. "She is." He was silent for another moment before he said, "Laura warned you?"
"Vehemently," drawled Greenlee, wearing a rather sly expression on her features. "It seems that she has quite the protective streak when it comes to my Binky."
"Your Binky?" Leo asked, smirking widely.
"MY Binky," Greenlee affirmed. She moved closer to Leo then murmured seductively, "Don't you remember? I'm very possessive about the people that I love."
Leo studied Greenlee then asked, "You love her?"
"I... that is... I'm..." Greenlee stammered, appearing to be off kilter for the first time that night.
"Busted," said Leo slowly with a smile as he reached out to tap Greenlee on the nose. "You actually do care about this relationship, don't you, Greens?"
Greenlee gazed at Leo for a long moment before she took a deep breath and replied in earnest tones which echoed of utmost honesty, "I care about Bianca."
"You love her," Leo persevered.
"I think so," Greenlee confessed, her eyes wide, seeming surprised she was admitting this to someone.
Smiling softly, Leo pulled Greenlee in for a hug, leaning down as he murmured in her ear, "I'm glad."
"Me too," whispered Greenlee.
"Hey," Bianca said, her eyes lighting up as she walked away from Laura and towards the sliding glass door that was in front of them. "You didn't tell me that you have a pool. We'll have to go swimming in summer. Now that you know how to swim, that is."
"What?" asked Laura distantly. "Oh yeah, it's in ground," she murmured, walking after Bianca to stand at her side as they looked out the door. "Who would think that me of all people would want a pool, huh?"
"You're a good swimmer now though," said Bianca, smiling. "Almost as good as me. Despite the fact that you never joined the swim team yourself."
"But I never wanted to join," Laura teased.
"That's denial speaking," Bianca rolled her eyes. "Everyone wants to join the swim team. We're trendy."
"Yeah, speedos are so in this winter," said Laura, giving Bianca's hips a slight bump with her own.
"The yard is big," Bianca said in thoughtful tones, continuing to study the back yard to the house. "There's a ton of room for Happy to run around."
"Yeah, he seems to like it," Laura said distantly. She was quiet for a moment before she said, "Bianca?"
"Yeah?" asked Bianca, looking to her.
"Why are you dating Greenlee?" asked Laura softly, lifting her blue eyes to gaze deeply at the other woman, searching her features. "I'm only asking because I don't understand it. What you see in her, that is."
"Greenlee's... well, Greenlee's Greenlee," said Bianca wryly, forming a sheepish smile. She sighed as she looked out of the sliding glass door. "She can be a pain, I know that. I mean, everyone knows that. But at least with her I always know where I stand." Moving her gaze, she looked back at Laura and smiled softly. "No matter what happens she's there to tell me the truth. Even if it isn't what I want to hear, that's what she tells me."
"And that's why you're dating her?" Laura asked skeptically, looking a bit confused as well.
"No," Bianca said slowly, averting her eyes and forming a rather guilty expression. "But it's part of it."
"Then why?" Laura persisted, moving closer to Bianca, seeming to hover over her shoulder.
Bianca turned towards Laura, studying her anxious and somewhat desperate features with puzzled eyes. "Why do you want to know, Laura?" she asked softly.
"Because I..." Laura began hesitantly.
"Binky! It's time for us to go! Leo hugged me and I think I have a severe case of the straight boy cooties!"
Rolling her eyes, Bianca looked around Laura to gaze at an impatient Greenlee who wore an expectant face as she placed her hands on her hips. "Okay, okay," Bianca said, heaving an exaggerated sigh. "We'll go home and get you treated before you have a sudden urge to reproduce."
"Thank god," Greenlee said dramatically, flipping her hat in her hand then putting it firmly on her head. "The last thing that I need is a house full of whining brats. Why do you think I converted?" She formed a wicked smile as she added, "Besides your ravishing good looks, that is."
"Right," drawled Bianca sardonically before she turned back to Laura who wore a sad expression. "Hey," said Bianca quietly, looking concerned as she reached out to gently clasp Laura's arm. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay," Laura reassured, giving a small smile. "I think that I'm just tired... from the party and all."
"You sure?" asked Bianca in worried tones.
"I'm sure," said Laura more brightly now. She reached down to remove Bianca's hand from her arm and gave it a slight squeeze. "You shouldn't keep her waiting. I recall something about Greenlee being impatient."
"You and the rest of the town," said Bianca humorously. She studied Laura's features for a moment longer then moved in for a hug. Whispering in the other woman's ear, "Call me if you need anything. Like maybe wanting to talk about what's really bothering you."
Laura didn't respond and Bianca took this to mean that she had nothing more to say. So with that, she walked over to Leo and Greenlee, said goodnight to him and then left the house with Greenlee happily chatting at her side.
All while Laura watched her and wondered.
Wondered why it was that her skin was on fire when Bianca touched it. Wondered why her breath stilled in her chest when Bianca hugged her. Wondered why all she could think about was Bianca...
Bianca being with her.
And watching as Leo shut the front door to their house, letting Bianca and Greenlee exit, Laura once again had only one thought in her mind.
Damn you, Greenlee Smythe.
This time Bianca managed to last a good ten seconds before she went tumbling over a pile of something as Greenlee turned on the lights in her apartment.
"Greenlee," said Bianca with a laugh, pushing herself up in a sitting position. "We are SO cleaning this place tomorrow. I don't care how much you rather not."
"I thought you have class," said Greenlee, using her best innocent expression as she took off her coat and hung it up on the rack. "And you simply mustn't disregard your studies, Bianca. Learning is important."
"We can clean after my classes," said Bianca in droll tones, looking up at Greenlee who was hovering over her. "When I come home."
"Home?" Greenlee asked, offering her hand to Bianca and pulling the other woman to her feet. They were a few inches apart as she smiled up at Bianca. "Are we now calling this home, Binky? Shall I call for a U-haul in the tradition of all lesbian relationships? You do realize that you already have a toothbrush and clothes here."
"So I do," said Bianca, smiling at Greenlee, her eyes twinkling a bit as she lightly rested her hands on the other woman's hips. "What about you? Are you ready for such a big commitment this early in our relationship?"
"I think I can handle it," replied Greenlee in confidential tones, moving closer to Bianca and winding her arms around Bianca's neck. She tilted her head to one side and said with a smirk, "Unless you're chickening out."
"I'm not chickening out," Bianca said indignantly. "I hate chicken so I would never imitate chicken qualities."
"Even crossing the road?" Greenlee teased.
"Crossing the road? Please," drawled Bianca. "Who do you think I am? I'm Erica Kane's daughter, I take the limo to cross the road, baby cakes."
"Baby cakes?" echoed Greenlee skeptically.
"Hey, I'm improvising here," Bianca said, sounding a bit offended. "Work with my attempts at humor."
"All right," Greenlee said, giving an exaggerated sigh. "I suppose that it was funny." She looked sneaky as she then added quickly, "For you."
"That," Bianca said in dramatic tones as she formed an almost evil expression. "Deserves a tickling."
"No, no!" Greenlee cried, jumping away from Bianca at lightning speed. "No ticklings! I hate ticklings!"
"Tickling!!" boomed Bianca, stretching her arms out and moving after Greenlee who was backing away.
"NO!" Greenlee screeched, dashing away as Bianca chased after her stealthily.
The harried tickling pursuit went on for several minutes before Bianca finally caught Greenlee by the waist and having both superior height and weight, lifted her up to then deposit her firmly on the couch. Softly pressing Greenlee's wrists into the cushions of the couch, Bianca then smiled down at the other woman.
"Caught you," Bianca said triumphantly.
Taking a deep breath of air, causing her chest to heave just slightly, Greenlee smiled up at Bianca and said rather coyly, "Now what are you going to do with me?"
Looking deep into Greenlee's eyes and seeing desire and something else, something more complicated lurking there, Bianca slowly released her wrists.
"Greenlee," whispered Bianca, her hands now resting on either side of Greenlee's head, on the back of the couch. "What's going on?" Her mind flashed to the kiss they shared at the party and how good it had felt, the way that it made her feel alive inside. Alive and complete. "First the kiss and now this... why?"
"Do you care for me?" asked Greenlee quietly, her hands reaching up to tenderly cup Bianca's face.
"Yes," said Bianca immediately, her voice and expression revealing nothing but the truth. "But this..."
"Feels good," Greenlee cut in softly, moving her hands to rest behind Bianca's neck as she pulled the other woman towards her. "I care for you and being with you makes me feel good." Their faces were now inches apart as she murmured, "This makes me feel good."
Then their lips met for the third time. And that saying about the third time being a charm? Well, it couldn't be more true in this case because this kiss, it surpassed all of the others. So much so that it shocked them both to the core and it showed as they parted moments later.
"What," gasped Bianca, gazing down at Greenlee with a stunned look on her pretty features. "Is going on?"
"I have no idea," Greenlee confessed in breathy tones, forming a slow smile as she moved her hand down to lightly caress the side of Bianca's face. "But it makes you feel good, doesn't it?"
"Yeah," said Bianca softly, studying Greenlee closely as she smiled. "Yeah, it does." She pulled away to sit next to Greenlee on the couch, leaning against the far end of it, to put her feet up on the cushions as Greenlee then leaned back against her. Feeling the other woman shift in her arms, she asked, "Is this real?"
"Does it feel real?" asked Greenlee, tilting her head back to look up at Bianca. For a response, Bianca gave a slow nod and soft kiss to the top of Greenlee's head. This caused Greenlee to smile as she said, "Then it is real."
"But what about--?" Bianca began, only to find herself silenced the second time that night by Greenlee's index finger pressing against her lips.
"No more talk," Greenlee instructed. She seemed to search Bianca's features for a moment before she said, "Lets just rest for now. Rest and be together. We can try to figure this all out tomorrow if you want."
"Oh, I want," said Bianca, smiling deeply and giving Greenlee's head another soft kiss. "I most definitely want to figure out just what is going on here with you and me, Greenbeans. I think that's a necessity."
"What a coincidence, Binky," said Greenlee in teasing tones as she smiled up at Bianca. "I think the very same thing. We're just made for each other, aren't we?"
"To say the least," Bianca drawled.
Having nothing more to say, the two women remained on the couch, caught up in each other's presence and the feeling that being together gave them.
It was a feeling they both wanted to keep with them always. Even though neither of them could be sure exactly how long, if at all, that it would last.
But that was a worry for another time.