It started with a drunken conversation as Laura and Carmilla laid on the roof and gazed at the stars. Laura idly commented on LaFontaine still not trusting Carmilla not to try to eat Laura when Carmilla had proved her trustworthiness by battling Lophii.

"Mmm, yes, the mad scientist does have an awful distrust of vampires," Carmilla agreed. "And how ironic when you're the one who abducted me. If anything, I shouldn't feel safe around you."

Laura scrunched up her face, surprised by Carmilla's words. "You're... You're not still hung up on that, are you?"

"Well, you did keep me tied to a chair for over a week, slowly wasting away. An event like that leaves an impression on a girl." Carmilla shrugged and sipped more wine. "I know you thought I was going to eat you, but because I wasn't, it would be nice to hear an apology."

"Oh, my God!" Laura never thought about it like that. She hated to think that her girlfriend felt slighted by all that Laura did to hurt her when she thought they were enemies. "I'm sorry, Carm. I didn't think... I didn't think. Is there something I can do to make it up to you?"

Carmilla grinned. It was a familiar wicked, lascivious grin that made Laura feel all gooey inside. "I'm glad you asked. Since you tying me up was what caused this, it's only equitable that I repay the favor."

"You... mean..." Laura swallowed, wondering why her mouth suddenly went dry. "You want to tie me up?"

Carmilla nodded. Her grin was a Cheshire Cat's grin, looking like it would wrap around her whole head.

"Oh. Oh!" Laura's skin tingled. She felt vulnerable, like her clothes were just an illusion and somehow Carmilla saw her nude, and she blushed for reasons completely irrational. She closed her eyes, not wanting to make a decision while facing Carmilla's piercing gaze. Opening her eyes only placed her right back in the hot seat. "Okay. That's... only fair."

Carmilla kissed her. Laura became lost in her girlfriend's soft lips, the taste of alcohol obscuring all but the tiniest hint of copper. Then Carmilla carried her to bed. They stripped each other's clothes off and embraced, the conversation all but forgotten in Laura's mind.

When Laura woke up the next morning, however, she found Carmilla had hardly forgotten it. Sitting at the foot of the bed, facing her, was the same desk chair in which she had tied Carmilla. A bundle of rope and fresh roll of duct tape were placed on the seat.

"Remember this?" Carmilla was already dressed. She stood behind the chair and smiled teasingly at Laura. "I went out early and stole it from our old dorm room. I remember it very well. Why don't you sit down and try it out?"

Laura let out a little panicked eep. She hesitantly got out of bed. She looked at the chair. It was just an ordinary chair, but it suddenly seemed very imposing to her. Oh, God.

"Oh, don't worry," Carmilla reassured her. "We're not doing this now. I just wanted to give you a little taste of what's to come."

Carmilla pulled the chair back. She pushed it to the side of the room, away from them. She walked back and gave Laura a little peck on the cheek. "Just remember: You deserve this, bonbon."

Laura knew she did. She didn't want to hold any power over her girlfriend. If their relationship was going to be an equitable one, they couldn't let their history hang over them. She deserved it. She didn't have to look forward to it.

"I plan to keep you in there all night," Carmilla said as Laura dressed. "It will be a fraction of the time you kept me tied up, but I know you humans can't sit still long, so I'll cut you a break. That said, I highly recommend you refrain from drinking very much today. I will give you the same number of bathroom breaks you gave me: zero."

"Vampires don't need bathroom breaks, though," Laura said, automatically defending her actions. Yeah, vampires could eat human food, but they didn't need to expel the waste the way humans did. They were, fundamentally, walking corpses. Wasn't that obvious?

Carmilla narrowed her eyes. "Wow, an astonishing lack of empathy from the girl supposed to be atoning. I'll keep that in mind tonight."

"I'm sorry," Laura said meekly. She hadn't really thought about it, but it was kind of mean of her to only think about what Carmilla was able to survive and not what would be humane. That was why there were Geneva Conventions for handling prisoners of war. Laura hadn't looked them over, but she was probably in violation of a few rules. Did that make her a torturer? "Really, I'm sorry, Carm."

Carmilla eyed her, judging her apology. She seemed unconvinced. "Well, you can apologize by paying me back tonight."

"I will," Laura promised. She looked Carmilla in the eyes, trying to communicate her sincerity.

This time, Carmilla looked convinced. She nodded.

Laura moved for the door, but Carmilla caught her arm.

"Ah, one more thing." This time, Carmilla looked serious, not teasing. "As we established last night, LaFontaine doesn't trust me at all. The last thing I need is for that meddler to decide that my tying you to a chair and... provoking you... is some indication I'm trying to eat you. I need you to convince them that what we're doing is completely consensual and under no circumstances are they to interrupt us."

"How would they find out?" Laura was honestly confused.

"You might scream," Carmilla said with a straight face.

Scream? What? "Why would I...?"

"Shit happens," Carmilla said simply. She raised her eyebrows at Laura as if daring her to inquire further.

"Oookay, Ms. Scary Vampire..." Laura laughed it off as she exited.

Sometimes Carmilla could act scary. Laura supposed that came with the vampire territory, though she wasn't convinced Carmilla wasn't just acting tough to cover up her warm, chocolatey real attitude.

Laura doubted that Carmilla would actually make her scream, but then again, there was the possibility that she might. Laura wasn't quite sure what to make of that. She trusted Carmilla and knew she wouldn't actually try to eat Laura. Maybe she would just try to scare her. Maybe jumping out of the shadows and saying "Boo!" would satisfy some deep-held monster urge.

If Carmilla making her scream was actually on the table, Laura knew she would actually have to talk to LaFontaine. She didn't want to. She was fine with being out and open with dating a woman, even a vampire woman, but actually discussing this, what amounted to a kinky game they had planned, with her platonic friend... Well, that was a whole other matter.

There was no way Carmilla couldn't know how awkward that was. And that made Laura suspect that Carmilla's whole reason for telling her that was to make her embarrass herself talking to LaFontaine. It sounded like just the kind of thing that sneaky vampire would pull. And, yet, Laura couldn't ignore the possibility that Carmilla was actually telling the truth, because Carmilla was right that she would need to talk to LaFontaine if Carmilla was indeed telling the truth.

Laura gritted her teeth. That stupid vampire! She was probably laughing at Laura right now.

She walked to LaFontaine's room and knocked on the door.