DISCLAIMER: Copyrighted 2003 by K Kelly Non-original characters and real people, if applicable, are used without permission under "Fair Use" doctrine. Authors reserve all rights attached to all original aspects of this work. This is a work of fiction.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is stolen from another book I'm working on. The setting sort of worked for this story. Feedback, if you like. This is my first SUV fic.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Beat
By Kit2132

Olivia swirled the wine in her glass, keeping her eyes riveted on the shifting shades of red. It felt strange to be sitting here and making small talk with Casey Novak. It felt even stranger that she was finding herself not only enjoying herself but also strangely drawn to the pushy attorney.

There was something about Casey that Olivia couldn't ignore. Casey wouldn't allow that. On the surface she was Alex Cabot's complete opposite. A night to day difference that had only added salt to Olivia's aching wounds.

It had taken a few months of continuous contact and observation to realize they weren't so different. Not that Casey could ever replace what Alex meant to her, but Olivia found herself gradually starting to respect the attorney.

The tenaciousness she witnessed in Casey's legal battles was nothing compared to her personal relationships. Before she knew it, Olivia had found herself confiding things to Casey that she barely admitted to herself. After that, Olivia realized there was no avoiding the friendship that had sprung up between them.

"You still here?" Casey asked, flashing that farm girl smile that belied her sharp mind.

"Sorry," Olivia said, looking up from her wine. "Just thinking about . . ."

"A case?" Casey finished.

"No," Olivia said, knowing how easy it would have been to say yes and let the subject drop. "I was thinking about you."

Casey's body seemed to jerk in suppressed shock. "Really? Should I even ask?"

"Your choice, counselor," Olivia said, taking a sip of her wine.

"A career reference. So were you thinking about my performance as a prosecutor?"

"A little."

"Then it was more personal?" Casey asked, and Olivia felt her breath catch at the slightly seductive tone in Casey's voice.

"Why did you ask me to dinner?" Olivia asked, forcing her eyes back to her wine. "And don't say it was because we were both finishing up for the day." She looked around the restaurant. "The Village is a long way from our office."

"Why did you say yes?" Casey shot back, with a feline grin.

"You first."

Casey laughed, her voice dancing like candlelight. "I thought you'd like this restaurant."

"Thank you, it's very nice," Olivia said, leaning forward, her elbows on the table. "But you didn't answer my question."

"Remember. I've watched you interrogate, detective. I know how you work."

"Then you know I get the answer I want," Olivia said, lifting her wine.


"If I didn't know better, I'd say you just flirted with me."

"I don't flirt." Olivia sipped her wine, watching Casey's reaction over the rim. In the flicker of the candlelight she could just make out a blush. "Now, care to answer my question?"

Challenging eyes met her head on. "I wanted to spend time with you. To get to know you a little better outside our work relationship."

Olivia traced the rim of her wine glass. "And bringing me to the Village?"

"I figured we both fit here," Casey said, without blinking. "Was I wrong?"

Before Olivia could even think of an answer, Casey's cell phone chirped and she lifted it from her pocket. With a sigh, she looked over at Olivia in apology. "Excuse me for a second," Casey said, pushing her chair back. "I have to take this."

Olivia watched Casey walk towards the restroom where she could talk without disturbing anyone. In her absence, Olivia felt a semblance of control returning. For a second she'd been teetering on the edge of giving into whatever Casey had been suggesting.

She didn't want to care about Casey. She didn't even know if she wanted to be here anymore. It was obvious that their friendship was dangerously close to shifting under her feet, and Olivia wasn't ready to get involved with anyone right now.

"What am I saying?" she muttered, folding her arms across her chest. "I'm not getting involved with her."

Except she was already getting involved with Casey. She could feel it every time she looked at her. It was becoming easier and easier to forget what she'd lost. The connection with Alex that had been severed so sharply that it had taken months to condition herself to not feel the pain. It terrified her that Casey was helping her forget.

She needed to get out of here. Leave before she had to face the choice Casey was holding out to her. If she left she wouldn't have to explain. She wouldn't have to admit that Alex was slipping away, or acknowledge that it was time to let her go.

"Excuse me," she said, to a passing waiter. "Can I get a pen, please?" She pulled her notebook out of her jacket pocket and opened it.

She looked at the candle, trying to decide what to write. When the man laid a cheap ballpoint pen on the table she hesitantly reached for it.

I can't explain, but I have to go. You're going to think it's you, but it's not. I'm just not ready to become attached to anyone - and that's exactly what's happening. Please forgive me.

She set the pen down and quickly folded the note. Standing, she dropped enough money on the table to cover the bill.

"Will you give this to my friend?" she asked the waiter, holding the note out. "I have to go."

"Absolutely. Would you like your food packed to go?"

Olivia shook her head, and moved past him. She was stepping off the curb to look for a taxi when she felt a hand on her arm.

"Trying to ditch me?" Casey said, her voice a careful mix of humor and hurt.

"I need to go, Casey," Olivia said, not turning around.

"Was it because of what I told you?"

"No," Olivia shook her head. "It's not about that."

"So it's because you're becoming attached to me?" Casey held her note out, but Olivia barely glanced at it.

"What difference does the reason make? Just let me go."


It was said with such finality that Olivia turned. "What did you say?"

"You're not leaving."

"You can't tell me what to do."

"I'm not telling you what to do. I'm tell you what not to do. And you're not leaving me. Not tonight."

"And why's that?" Olivia asked with a derisive tone.

"Because I want you to stay."

"And why's that?" Olivia repeated, softer.

"I want you to stay," Casey repeated, her voice causing a ripple to rush through Olivia. "C'mon." Casey offered her hand. "I'll buy you a hot dog." She pointed to where a street vendor was standing, and looking over, Olivia knew she was staying.

"Those things will kill you," she said, allowing Casey to lead her across the street.

"We'll risk it."

Olivia stood back while Casey ordered two complete dogs. There was a purpose in Casey's movements that entranced her, and she had to remember to blink when Casey passed her hot dog over.

"So do I have to worry about you leaving every time I answer my phone? Casey said, before biting into her dog.

Olivia could tell that Casey was trying to be funny, but it was also a thinly veiled attempt to set some ground rules. "I don't usually run like that," she said, eyeing the mess of mustard and ketchup. "My life is just complicated right now. I'm not sure if I want you in it?"

"Is it work?" Casey asked, not looking up.

Olivia almost laughed. If only it were that simple. "No, it's not work." She bit into her hot dog.

"And you don't want to talk about it. Got it."

"I know you don't let all the people you cross off so easily. What makes me so special?"

"Here," Casey said, leaning forward, her thumb slowly moving down the side of Olivia's mouth. "Mustard."

"Thanks, but I do have a napkin."

"I know. I wanted to touch you."

"Are you always so forward?"

"Yes. Like you, I don't flirt."

"So why didn't you just use your lips? Your fingers seem flirty."

A determined look entered Casey's eyes, and she closed the distance between them in a step. Olivia didn't blink as Casey's mouth moved towards her, and she couldn't believe how much she wanted to feel those lips upon her.

"This is flirty, don't you think?" Casey whispered, her warm breath tickling Olivia's nose. Olivia leaned forward, determined to capture those lips, but Casey pulled back.

"You're playing with me now?" Olivia asked, her eyes still intent on Casey's lips.

"I don't play, either."

"I think you do," she said, consuming the last of her hot dog.

"Well," Casey said, holding her hand out. "Now that dinner is done, I think we should do something fun. It is Friday night and the Village is full of fun places."

This seemed to be Casey's show, and Olivia found herself willing to participate. "What did you have in mind?"

"Feel like dancing?"

"You do dance then?"

"Not well, but I'm confident you can tame me to the beat," Casey said, adding a decidedly seductive tone to her voice that made Olivia's mouth go dry. "Do you know a place near here?"

Olivia smiled at the subtly. It was either an attempt to shift the power into a give and take, or Casey was testing her. "This way," she said, pointing them down Hudson Street.

"You never did tell me the deep dark secret that made you run."

"No, I didn't."

Casey laughed, an enticing ripple that sparked the night. "A challenge. How wonderful."

"Why didn't you kiss me?" Olivia asked, the question surprising her.

"Where are you taking me?"

"Henrietta's is up here. I think they have a . . ."

"Sounds good," Casey responded, quickly, the pace of her steps picking up.

Olivia could find Henrietta's with her eyes closed. The club used to be a favorite hangout in year's past. On a Friday night the music would be loud enough to override rational thought, which was just what she needed right now.

She could sense the beat of the music down the block. It pulsed into the night with a tribal rhythm that pulled her forward until her body was throbbing with it. Inside it would be easy to forget. Easy to lose herself in the abyss.

They joined the line outside the door. It felt surreal as she moved closer to the door. Dante's Inferno beckoning her. Calling her into the darkness. And the beat. Rhythmic. Hypnotic. Every present. Her beat.

Casey's hand pressed against her back and she gasped at the contact.

"Here, I've got it," Casey said, paying their entrance covers.

She felt her hand being taken, and she willingly let Casey pull her into the burning depths of the bar. The place was crowded, and Olivia felt eyes consuming her. Lust. Appreciation. Contempt. None of it interested her. She just tightened her hold on Casey's hand.

The music pulsed louder in here. There was no room for anything in her but the beat. It pounded like a lover's heart, weaving itself into her chest until her body was forced to become one with it.

Casey turned, her eyes darker in the dim light. Her lips moved to say something, but Olivia placed a finger against them. They were warm and soft, and Olivia burned to feel more, but the beat drove her forward.

Taking Casey's hand she lead her through the throng of women to the center of the dance floor. It was hotter here. The apex of existence. Casey's hand's slid against her hips, and despite the heat Olivia shivered.

She allowed Casey to turn her until she was staring directly into those unbelievable eyes. They lured her, drawing her body forward until she glided effortlessly into place against Casey.

Everything slipped away. There was just the beat and Casey. With every pulse she was driven deeper into her desires. She moved with it. Moved with her.

A small, knowing smile played on Casey's lips, but Olivia didn't care. All she cared about was feeling. Feeling the beat. Feeling Casey. Feeling herself. She couldn't get enough.

Her eyes closed. The gap in the beat was filled by the friction of Casey's body moving against her. Hands like tendrils of fire scorched her everywhere. Her head tilted back on the feeling and she cried into the void.

Her legs trembled at the touch of Casey's lips to her neck. The hot wetness of her tongue sent chills through Olivia's body, and a deep, delicious moan escaped from her like an unchained succubus.

Their bodies swayed in symbiotic rhythm. Nothing existed outside their orbit. Bodies brushed against them like lost comets but Casey was her existence. Everything came from her.

Casey's thigh slipped between her legs, the exacting pressure a blissful torment. The music was faster now. Pulsing. Pounding. Throbbing. Casey matched each beat with a stoke of her thigh that left Olivia's body shuddering on the edge.

She was burning up with the beat. Her body aching for release and requital, but she would not be consumed here. Not like this.

Pulling back, she stared at Casey, who stood motionless. Those amazing eyes dark with need. Burning with hunger. They held her. Commanded her. Devoured her.

Everywhere the beat pulsed. It pounded in her chest. It drove her forward, her hand slipping behind Casey's neck and pulling those soft lips to her own.

The intensity of the kiss almost drove her to her knees. Everything swirled in a haze of colors and sensations that converged with the beat. Powerful. Relentless. Ancient. A beat before time.

Breaking away, she reached for Casey's hand and led her from the dance floor. Lead her away from the memory. Moving forward didn't mean forgetting. Moving forward meant living.

The End

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