This is an excerpt from "Going Down" by Barbara Bell. It has been republished here with permission from Carina Press.

Ellie didn’t know what did it.

Perhaps it was the complimentary glass of wine working its way through her blood. Perhaps it was the heat of Australia’s “hottest summer on record.” Or perhaps it was just the way Casey looked at her. Hair wild, cheeks flushed, and eyes dark with a strange kind of expectation. So different from the well-presented boss Ellie was used to working under.

Whatever it was, it drove her to do the stupidest thing she’d ever done.

There, in the middle of the office Christmas party, in front of everyone, she reached over and touched her boss’s face. Just a brush of fingers down her cheek. The motion gentle but unmistakable.

And in an instant that dark look in Casey’s eyes flashed, both intense and dangerous.

Ellie tried to pull her hand back, tried to apologize. Before she could, another hand joined hers, fingers interlocking. Casey’s hand. Holding her in place and looking at her with a fierceness she’d never seen before. A fierceness that had nothing to do with anger.

“I don’t know—”

“What don’t you know?” Casey asked.

Ellie didn’t have an answer.

They stayed like that for a second. Then two.

Then five.

And in that time something passed between them. Something like permission.

Before Ellie could figure out what the fuck she was doing, Casey was kissing her. And she was kissing Casey right back. The fact that they were at the Christmas party and that Casey was her boss didn’t seem to matter. All that mattered was the taste of salt and wine, the heat of her breath, and the press of a body against hers.

Hard in some places. Soft in others.

She wasn’t drunk. She’d only had the one glass of complimentary wine. But somehow everything was warm, blurred, and buzzing despite that.

She didn’t quite remember how they got to the bathroom, who led the way, or what was said. But when the cubicle door closed with a loud click everything was crystal clear.

She was about to have sex. With a woman.

That thought shouldn’t have been as terrifying as it was.

Ellie had identified as bisexual for years. And why the hell shouldn’t she? It was what she was. So what if she’d never actually had sex with a woman before? She didn’t need to “prove” her sexuality to herself or anyone else. It was who she was, not who’d she’d banged. Except now she was standing in a bathroom stall with a goddamned goddess and she had no idea what the hell she was meant to do.

Ellie opened her mouth to tell Casey that. To say I am probably going to be the worst lay of your life. It took me years to figure out how my own vagina works. It’s probably going to take me twice as long to figure out someone else’s.

But before she could utter a sound, Casey grabbed her and pulled her in for another long kiss.

And maybe that whole lack of experience thing didn’t matter that much after all because kissing Casey felt like the hottest most natural thing in the world. Holding her even more so. And when Casey pulled back and wriggled her dress up over her head, revealing two glorious and thankfully braless breasts, well… Her hands sort of figured out what to do by themselves.

She touched those breasts. Felt the soft fullness of them, the weight, the rock-hard tips.

Casey tipped her head back and just breathed. No moaning, no groaning, not even any gasping. It was not the way Ellie was used to seeing women behave in porn. There was no exhibition in this, no performance. Everything she was seeing was real, was something she had wrung out of Casey and that made it so much hotter.

Want to read more? Buy the book here.