DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
SERIES/SEQUEL: This is the first story of an ongoing series featuring these two women. Part four should be available soon.
FANDOMS/PAIRING: Law and Order: Trial by Jury/Law and Order Tracey Kibre/Serena Southerlyn
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Between Bombay and Manhattan
Serena Southerlyn slipped onto the red leather barstool and motioned to the bartender. It was just barely eight o'clock and the bar was already full. The pleasant hum of conversation and the dulcet tones of Ella Fitzgerald from the speakers in the corners fell into an uneasy rhythm with the thoughts swirling through her brain.
"Bombay and tonic," she ordered quietly, so that the bartender had to lean forward a bit to hear her, before straightening and turning to pull the square blue bottle off the shelf behind him.
A moment later and a rocks glass filled with gin and tonic, a thick wedge of lime secured to the rim was settled before her. She methodically took the lime and squeezed it into the glass, feeling the stickiness of the juice on her fingers. Absently, she raised her hand to her mouth, slowly licking the lime-coated digits, not even noticing the look of appreciation thrown her way from the occupant of the left corner of the bar.
"I'm fairly certain that there are any number of people in here who would be happy to do that for you," a voice said softly behind Serena, as the occupant of the corner rose to walk gracefully towards her, settling soundlessly beside her on the adjacent stool.
Serena chuckled low in her throat, her head shaking just a bit as she recognized that voice. She wasn't sure if she was happy to hear it or not, but at this point the issue seemed to be moot. After the day that she had just survived, watching as Jack and Arthur set gay rights back twenty years, Serena was feeling reckless. Throwing caution to the wind, she allowed herself the freedom to respond.
"You think so, huh?" Serena asked casually, turning her head to meet the flashing dark eyes of the woman sitting next to her. "You offering?"
"What would you do if I said yes?" Tracey Kibre replied, her voice like the honey-laden whiskey Serena's grandmother had fed her as a baby when she was teething, soothing and potent.
Visions of Tracey in her bed, sweat gleaming on satin skin, glowing white against the navy of her sheets, head thrown back, low, guttural moans issuing forth from that lovely mouth filled Serena's head. Unconsciously, she licked her lips, her tongue slipping out to slide along her full bottom lip, tasting the lime and the gin.
Seeing the look on Serena's face and correctly interpreting the somewhat glazed expression, Tracey smiled, a definite Cheshire grin lighting her face as she slowly ran her hand up the stem of her wine glass. She had no intentions of following through on this little bit of flirtation, but damn if it wasn't fun.
Jack had hit the mother load on this assistant, and Tracey was most certainly not going to miss the opportunity to see if the rumors were true about the gorgeous blonde. From the look on Serena's face, they most definitely were.
"Why, Ms. Kibre, I didn't know that you shopped on that side of the aisle?" Serena replied languidly, the images of Tracey naked in her bed still playing across her mind, sending a jolt down her body.
"I don't normally, but you know, there are some things that you just can't pass up. Sort of like not buying a five hundred dollar pair of Manolo's marked down to two hundred, just because they don't match anything in your wardrobe," Tracey grinned, her head tilted to the side.
"Ah, so I rank up there with expensive shoes?" Serena laughed, downing the last of her drink and motioning to the bartender for a double. "You do know how to turn a girl's head, don't you? Bet that you've been taking lessons on how to pick up chicks from Lennie Briscoe, haven't you?"
"Hey, with a couple of ex-wives, he must have done something right," Tracey laughed, carelessly tossing her hair to the side, pleased that Serena had decided to engage in a little harmless flirting.
"So, I'm a marked down pair of Manolos, is that what you're saying here?" Serena smirked back at her, admiring the confidence, and the slender curve of the brunette's neck.
Letting her gaze slide down Serena, from the golden fall of hair, to the subtle shape of her hips, and those impossibly long legs, Tracey couldn't quite keep the glint of something, something very akin to lust, that lit a spark in her dark eyes. All of the carefully constructed rules by which Tracey Kibre lived her life did not include having a fling with a female colleague.
Yet, this place, this anonymous bar with its red leather seats, and its polished wood, seemed for just this instance, to exist outside of the realm of rules and decorum, and all of those little niceties that made the world spin comfortably on its axis.
Raising her gaze to meet Serena's, Tracey was surprised to see the somewhat expectant expression on the blonde's face. Those crystal pieces of sapphire ice gazed back at her, warmed and melted a touch by the gin, and by something else. A need for something. For the simple comfort of another human body, for the validation of existence, for release. Maybe this wasn't harmless flirtation after all.
Tracey had never really contemplated the set of possibilities that, at this finite moment in time, were moving like molten glass to settle in the cracks of her brain, forming a mold she had never considered.
"No," Tracey answered carefully, "Honestly, I don't think that there is anything even remotely marked down about you. I have a feeling that you are very, very expensive."
"I see," Serena replied just as cautiously, "So if the price is too much, and you don't usually shop over here, why are you even bothering to look?"
Tracey didn't answer immediately. Serena watched, seeing first-hand that famous Kibre brain whirr into motion behind mahogany eyes, assessing the situation, weighing the pros and cons, determining the possibly risky outcome. She knew that this had begun, at least for Tracey, as a relatively innocuous way to pass the time, a little mindless, after hours banter with a colleague. Somewhere between that first suggestive remark and now, something had shifted and Serena waited patiently to see what the outcome would be.
She knew that allowing anything to happen was a remarkably bad idea. After all, Tracey Kibre was an E.A.D.A. She headed up her own small division. She was known to be brittle, bold, and intolerant of fools, criminals, and petty judges. Somewhere back on a bent hanger in her closet was an ex-husband, and she had never even spoken to Serena beyond the passing greeting in the hall, or a comment here and there in a staff meeting.
Yet here they were, hanging in this fragmentary moment when none of that mattered, when there was a shimmering possibility that they might leave here together, climb into a cab, and slip quietly into the sharp edges of the New York night. Maybe if they were as clever as they thought they were, they might not end up wounding themselves, or each other on the jagged margins between midnight and morning.
"I have this strange feeling that, even at the price, you'd be quite a bargain," Tracey murmured finally, her eyes fixed on the voluptuous curve of Serena's lips.
Serena felt the warm flow of heat, of blood start to move through her veins at the look in Tracey's eyes. Bad idea or not, the Bombay courage that had taken root in her after three drinks would not allow her to back down now.
"Just so you know, for tonight only, all sales are final," Serena whispered, leaning over to brush her lips against the silk of those dark curls. "Come morning of course, you are welcome to exchange or return any items."
Tracey's only reply was to draw two twenties out of her wallet and toss them on the bar. She slide off the barstool and began to thread her way through the packed room to the door. She didn't bother to glance back, feeling Serena's presence behind her.
Reaching the heavy wooden door, she threw it open, the cold air of November slipping under the layers of her light jacket, and sending a shiver down her spine. After a few steps on the sidewalk Tracey turned, silently extending her hand to Serena, and leading her incautiously into the fragile night.
Sequel Monday, Monday
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