DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Other than Anya, I don't own anyone from the L&O universe. This story starts in Season 1, which means pre-Alex. Also, I'm not going to even attempt to translate Russian into English, so if I indicate that the language is Russian, but the typing is in English – use your imagination. :-) Feedback is welcome and encouraged.
SPOILERS: Starts in Season 1, after/during Contact. Many other spoilers later.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Delicate Balance
By brighteyedcat


Ch. 16

Anya told Olivia that she wouldn't be able to pick her up until around 10 on Saturday due to her rehearsal. Olivia assumed that the club was not a formal, snobby joint judging by Anya's description of it being a "hole in the wall" but she still wasn't sure what she should wear. She started with a long sleeved red top with a low scoop and a nice pair of black slacks, but when she looked in the mirror, she looked like she was just going to work. She went to the bathroom and applied a little more make up than she normally wore and curled the ends of her hair before smoothing in a pomade to keep everything in place. She found some small earrings in the top drawer of her dresser, put them in her ears, and slipped a silver bracelet around her wrist. She looked to the mirror again. Much better, she thought, but not overdone.

The buzzer sounded in her apartment from the ground level. Olivia took a deep breath and finished lining her lips before slipping on a pair of high-heeled boots. She grabbed her black leather jacket on her way out the door, flipping off the light switch on her way out. She walked down the dark hallway towards the exit and could see Anya waiting on the sidewalk, facing the street. Just her self-assured profile took Olivia's breath away. She wore what looked like a cream-colored cashmere sweater. As Olivia approached the door, she could see that she also wore a dark green skirt that went down to her mid-calves. There was only enough of a break in skin before her low, spike-heeled brown boots took over.

Anya heard the door open behind her and she smiled widely as she saw Olivia coming down the steps. Olivia was glad to see her and smiled back before securing the door closed.

"Hi." Olivia said. "I hope you weren't waiting too long."

"You're worth the wait." Anya said, giving Olivia an once-over. She stepped over to Olivia and took her hand before leaning in to kiss her. Olivia didn't protest, but kept the kiss brief before breaking away.

She smiled back at Anya and walked towards the club with Anya's hand in her own. They could hear the music before they even went down the stairs into the little dump. They settled on a table that was near the band and small dance floor, but not necessarily in the center of attention. A waitress came by their table offering them a wine and martini list. Anya handed it to Olivia and asked her to choose. Olivia scanned through the list before looking up at the waitress, ordering a Lodi Zinfandel.

When their wine arrived, they drank slowly and shared small talk between songs and genuinely enjoyed the company of one another. Olivia didn't feel like she was under any kind of pressure with Anya like she had felt previously and appreciated the woman's patience with her. She knew Anya probably wanted to dance, but Olivia really wasn't much of a dancer nor did she want to bring attention to herself, so she chose not to even bring it up. After a few songs passed, and the women had shared about two glasses of wine each, two men approached their table from behind Olivia. One walked past her to stand in front of Anya, but the other touched Olivia's shoulder gently and leaned over her. She flinched at his touch, but he didn't remove his hand.

The man in front of Anya spoke first. "The two of you are far to beautiful to be sitting here alone."

"Who said we were alone?" Olivia said, removing the man's hand from her shoulder herself.

He turned away from Olivia to look at Anya. "Would you like to dance?"

Anya looked up at him without much emotion, but turned to Olivia to see if she would protest. Before she could answer, the other man asked Olivia if she would dance with him. She rolled her eyes at him, remarking with biting sarcasm that she wasn't much of a dancer, before turning her attention back to Anya, sipping her wine.

"One dance won't hurt." Anya answered the man, taking his hand as he led her to the small and rundown dance floor. The other man immediately took Anya's seat with his back against the band and smiled at Olivia, who was less than thrilled. She watched as Anya put one hand on the stranger's shoulder and took his hand with the other. He immediately placed his free hand around her back to lead her. The music was slow, which only irritated Olivia more, and she watched as their bodies swayed in rhythm, but without touching. She was sure that the other man was talking to Olivia about something uninteresting, but she chose to ignore him completely, keeping her entire focus on who she thought was her date.

Anya's back was facing Olivia at first, but slowly the man turned them around so that she could see Anya's face over the man's shoulder. She turned her head to one side, sizing up Olivia with her eyes and smiled at her, trying to reassure the woman sitting at the table. Olivia's focus was soon taken to the man holding her date as he moved his arm further around her waist, pulling Anya closer. Olivia set her wine glass down and walked away from the man trying to communicate with her and strode up to her date and the suited man on the dance floor.

As gently as possible, Olivia tapped the man on the shoulder. He turned to look at her, as did Anya. His face lit up, assuming that the dark haired woman wanted to take the initiative and dance with him instead. Without another word, but while maintaining eye contract with him, she took Anya's hand out of his and into her own. The man stepped back, raised his hands in defense, smiled and nodded, allowing Olivia to put her other arm around Anya's back. Anya smiled proudly at her detective and placed her other hand on Olivia's shoulder and pulled her close. Because Olivia wore taller shoes than Anya, Olivia was taller tonight, which allowed the dancer to rest her head on Olivia's shoulder comfortably as they danced to the soft and romantic music being made on stage.

The two women swayed together without interruption or comment from anyone in the club or each other until Anya finally broke the silence. "I have to admit, Olivia, I was pretty surprised by that move."

"I guess I'm just full of surprises." Olivia said with a laugh. Anya snickered, curious about what else Olivia was hiding. "Besides, I thought you were my date."

"I am your date." Anya answered.

The detective in her couldn't let it go that easily. "Why did you even dance with him to begin with? To try and make me jealous?"

Anya raised her head from Olivia's shoulder to look her in the eye. "No." She shook her head with concern. "It was nothing like that."

"Then why?" Olivia insisted, but continued to dance with the woman, feeling the soft fabric of her skirt billow against her legs.

"Don't read too much into it, Olivia." Anya kissed her just below her jaw. "You're the only one I've wanted to dance with all night." She kissed her lower on the neck. "And now I am dancing with you. What we have here is perfect and I don't want it to end over a misunderstanding." She held Olivia's cheek in her hand and pulled her into a kiss and then settled her head back on Olivia's shoulder. Olivia relaxed at Anya's touch and wrapped her arm around the other woman tighter, holding her against herself. She took their linked hands up to her mouth and kissed Anya's hand.

When the song ended, so did their dance. They reluctantly parted, applauded the band with the rest of the attendees, and returned to their table. Olivia took out several bills from her coat pocket to pay for their wine. She tossed the money onto the table, put her coat on, and took Anya's hand, leading her to the exit. Olivia didn't speak as she made her way up the stairs and out the door.

It was now past midnight and Anya followed a few steps behind Olivia and continued to follow her into a rather dark and dank alley off of a quiet street. Anya hesitated a little, but only because it was so late and the alley was very dark. She wondered why they couldn't just go back to Olivia's apartment that was only a few blocks away, but the questions in her mind were put to rest when she noticed that Olivia had turned around to face her.

With an excruciating amount of care and gentleness, Anya stepped up to tuck one of Olivia's short locks behind her ear. She kept Olivia's cheek in her hand, tilted her face sideways and kissed her. The kiss they shared was the kiss they had wanted at the Brooklyn Promenade: soft, deep, and intoxicating. Olivia returned the kiss and raised her hands to meet at Anya's back, pulling her closer. Anya waited with patience for Olivia to open her mouth slightly and permit her to deepen the kiss. When it came, Anya seized the opportunity to seduce the detective by sucking lightly on her lip and barely flicking her tongue on Olivia's. The sensation running through Olivia's body and mind overrode every doubt or question that might have been present in being with this woman. Resting her other hand on Olivia's strong arm, Anya gripped it slightly as she felt the detective's kiss weaken her.

Olivia broke the kiss and moved her lips to Anya's neck, kissing her softly beneath her hoop earrings as her hands roamed down the woman's soft sweater to hug her hips against her own. Anya had wanted to feel this woman against her for weeks, but she brought her hands back to Olivia's jaw and pulled her face up, gauging the other woman in her eyes for reassurance and confidence before moving forward to kiss her again.

Depressing her lips onto Olivia's, she moved her delicate fingers down the woman's neck to the inside of the leather jacket before coming up again and resting over Olivia's breast. As she touched her gingerly, Anya moved her mouth to the side of Olivia's neck, nipping at the tender skin. She wanted to be gentle so that Olivia wouldn't snap out of this passion-filled trance and suddenly leave her. She knew Olivia had never been with another woman before, but on the other hand, she had wanted nothing more than to make love to this woman from the second she saw her at the bar in Chelsea and she consciously wanted to move this relationship forward. With intent, but care, she caressed her thumb over Olivia's shirt and felt a shift in the fabric when Olivia's nipple hardened. She massaged her harder and heard the woman softly moan, Olivia's hands becoming tighter around her waist as Anya continued to kiss upon her neck and at her ears.

The touch of Anya's hands pinching and massaging her compelled Olivia to grab Anya's neck and pull the woman's lips back onto her own, kissing her hard, wanting more that just soft teasing from the woman. They moaned into each other's mouths as Anya desperately reached both of her hands around Olivia's neck to keep her locked against her.

She had finally succeeded in penetrating the detective's resolve. Olivia's kiss was insatiable, her tongue crusading its way into Anya, urgently crying out for attention. As clear as day, the kiss spoke volumes, confirming that Olivia wanted from her exactly what Anya had wanted from the detective all along. Olivia's stomach was doing cartwheels with ever grasp and caress that Anya bestowed upon her flesh, and her desire for this woman was running away with her. She wanted her to touch her, to taste her, to be inside of her.

Anya opened her lips and Olivia returned the invitation again with her tongue, tasting the inside of the woman's mouth and playfully tugging at Anya's tongue until she turned her body towards the wall and forcefully walked forward, pushing Anya abruptly against the dirty and uneven bricks. Anya wasn't expecting to hit the wall as hard as she did and yelped at the sharpness cutting into her back, but Olivia distracted her from the jagged pain by attacking Anya's neck with bites of her teeth and lashes from her tongue. Anya's fingers slowly made their way down Olivia's lower back, hooking her fingers into the belt loops and pulling the detective tightly against her hips, pushing one of her legs between her own and moaning into the sensation flowing between her legs, becoming wet with the contact.

Olivia relentlessly kissed and sucked at her neck as Anya rose one of her legs, rubbing her thigh against Olivia's while she pressed herself harder against the dancer, crushing herself into her and against the wall. Anya hooked her calf around Olivia's knee, which forced it to bend into the space between her legs. Sinking down frantically onto Olivia's leg, she savagely ground herself against the divine woman, breathing heavily into Olivia's ear while wrapping her arms around her neck, which only made the detective want to seize the dancer with more ferocity. Olivia dropped her hand and found the end of Anya's skirt, moving it slowly up the long and seemingly delicate leg that wrapped around her own, feeling every detail of the strong muscles under such soft skin, tantalizing herself with every brazen touch in the dark alley. It sent shivers up Anya's spine and she grabbed Olivia's face to kiss her more, begging her to do with her as she willed.

Olivia wasn't sure where the sudden confidence came from, but she knew she was tired of being teased and controlled by this outspoken waif and decided it was time to return the favor she had given to her. The woman oozed with desire for Olivia and she could feel that a shift in control had occurred and it invigorated the officer. She held the woman against her leg, and her other hand roamed over the dancer's delicate figure, up her skirt until she reached the back of her panties. Grabbing her there, she further dictated her control of grinding Anya against her. Olivia's hair had long since fallen into her face, some over her eyes as she watched Anya's every move and reaction, listening to her moans and the sound of her back scraping against the bricks. She realized that she could have her in this disgusting alley if she wanted to. Olivia wasn't sure if she wanted to take her for lustful enjoyment of watching the woman collapse by her own hand or if she should slow down and torment the woman by making her wait longer, making her beg like Anya was making her. Her hand left from under Anya's skirt and searched underneath the dancer's sweater to the space between her breasts before rounding them over her lacey bra, tugging at the top of the seam in order to reach the skin.

Anya leaned back against the wall and pitched her hips forward against Olivia's thigh, pushing her back a little so that Olivia could watch her writhe at her will. She bit her lower lip as heavy, frustrated groans escaped between her teeth. She gripped Olivia's hand at her breast and moved it back down and under her skirt. With her other hand, she grabbed Olivia's hair at the nape of her neck and stared into her dark eyes with want as she continued to crush herself against the other woman. "Touch me." She commanded her, moving Olivia's hand up her skirt. "Please," she whispered.

Olivia did as Anya asked, shoving Anya off of her leg and back up against the wall, keeping her hand between her legs, pushing her fingers underneath the seams of her panties to enter the soft, wet flesh that begged for her attention. Olivia moaned at the incredible power she felt over Anya and the allure of making this exotic woman come onto her fingertips. Anya felt herself loosing control, indulging herself selfishly, but she was too far-gone to let up and the ravenous look in Olivia's eyes told her that this was what she wanted. "Fuck," she painstakingly whispered in her native tongue when her back arched and her arm tightening around Olivia's neck so hard that Olivia thought the woman might break her in half from the strength. Anya pulled her forward to take her mouth on her own as her body pulsed against Olivia's hand, anxiously waiting for the wave to pass.

"Olivia..." Anya breathed between kisses. Hearing her own name being moaned out of Anya's mouth awakened Olivia from her shameless conquest. She removed her hand and straightened the dancer's skirt. She quickly took a glance around to see if anyone had discovered them and was relieved to see that they were still alone. She held Anya up, noticing that the woman holding her was not the same foul-mouthed and zealous Russian woman she had met in Chelsea, but now a mere vulnerable kitten breathing softly into her hair. Olivia stood a little straighter and protected Anya until she could stand securely on her own. Olivia wanted more from this woman, but she was not ready to be devoured by her completely because she wasn't sure if her intentions were pure. She kissed Anya, slower and gentler in an effort to douse the flames to mere embers and Anya willingly reciprocated.


Ch. 17

Moments passed slowly until their pets and kisses dissipated into the alley darkness. Olivia stepped back from the wall and peeled Anya off from the bricks hearing little tears of fabric fuzz that got stuck in the wall.

"Oh no." Olivia said after looking behind Anya to inspect her sweater.

"What?" Anya asked.

"I think we may have ruined your sweater. It's filthy." Olivia said, noticing that the dirt from the bricks now covered the back of Anya's formerly cream-colored sweater in irregular black rectangular patterns.

"Really?" Anya asked trying to look over her own shoulder to see the damage. "Oh well. It was worth it." She said, sighing and fluttering her eyes with satisfaction.

Olivia smirked, feeling a little self-conscious, but proud at the same time. "Don't say that, it's was such a nice sweater. I feel awful." Olivia removed her coat. "Here, at least wear my jacket. It looks pretty bad." She helped Anya into her favorite jacket and led her out of the alley, pressing her forward on the small of her back with her hand.

The two walked side by side for the few blocks to Olivia's apartment. Before they arrived; however, Anya stopped in front of the 18th Street subway station.

"It's so late, Anya, won't you just take a taxi?" Olivia recommended. Anya started to remove the jacket to give back to Olivia, but Olivia pushed the jacket back over her shoulders. "Just wear it home. I'll get it back when I see you again."

"Okay." Anya smiled, hearing Olivia verbally confirm that they would see each other again. She could only hope that Olivia would wake up in the morning with those same thoughts and not regret what they had done. "So when can I see you again?" She asked.

"I don't know. Maybe I should be asking you that. You're in pretty heavy rehearsals right now, aren't you?" Olivia asked.

"Actually, yes. Until the show opens, my life will pretty much be at the studio. It could be a couple of weeks until things settle down, unfortunately." Olivia sighed. It wasn't like her life was filled with hundreds of open days for scheduling, but she knew she could at least squeeze in a date or two within the next few weeks. "Unless, of course, you were interested in coming to the ballet." Anya suggested. "I understand that it is certainly not for everyone – people are very into chatter in this country – but if you wanted to come, I could make arrangements for you to attend."

"I wouldn't want to inconvenience you, Anya." Olivia answered.

"Nonsense, Olivia. I won't be offended if you aren't interested, but my first opportunity to go out won't be until after opening night."

Olivia thought about it for a minute before answering the invitation. It wouldn't kill her to attend. She did enjoy the arts and this was a good opportunity to see a ballet at the Met for free. It was an opportunity that was not likely to come up in her life again. She nodded to Anya, "I think I'd like to go."

"Good." Anya said, pleased.

"What ballet is it?" Olivia asked, putting one of her hands into her pocket to keep warm.

"Swan Lake." Anya beamed, proud to be a part of ABT's world-renown production.

"Is it depressing?" Olivia asked, not really wanting another reason to be depressed.

"It's a love story, Olivia." Anya replied.

"So is Romeo and Juliet…is it sad?"

"If I say 'yes' will you change your mind and not come?" Anya asked, raising her eyebrows with concern.

Olivia laughed a little, knowing the answer. "No, I'll still go."

"Did you want to bring a friend?" Although Anya of course hoped that Olivia wouldn't want to bring anyone with her.

"No, I don't think so." Olivia knew she didn't want to but also honestly couldn't think of anyone that she knew that would be interested, even if it were free.

"Okay. I'll set it up and give you a call sometime next week with the details."

Olivia nodded, but rethought her affirmative answer with the inevitable and constant question in her life. "Anya." Olivia interrupted. "What if I get called into work and can't make it?"

"Then you get called into work and can't make it. I won't be upset." She paused. "However, if you stand me up for no reason at all, then yes, I'll be upset. And you don't want that." She said, drawing a line with her finger along Olivia's neckline and up her chin.

"Okay." Was that a threat or a tease? She couldn't tell. What she did know was that Anya was very understanding when it came to Olivia's work. It was something she was completely unfamiliar with outside of the precinct.

"I should get going." Anya said, nodding towards the subway steps and taking a step down.

"It's so late, Anya. I'd really prefer you take a taxi." Olivia said with concern.

"You're so protective, Olivia." Anya observed with a smile, coming back up the step to stroke Olivia's cheek with the back of her hand. The amethyst in her ring softly scratched Olivia's face.

"I know I don't have any business telling you what to do. It would just make me feel better." Olivia said, not realizing that she was probably being overbearing to someone who was perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

"It's okay." Anya gave Olivia a final kiss for the evening. "Don't you worry about me, Detective Benson." She gave her a smile and turned to walk down the steps, leaving Olivia at street level. "You get home safely yourself." She said, wagging her finger at Olivia. She turned around at the last step to see that Olivia still stood at the top of the staircase, waiting for Anya to fall out of sight. She waved.

"Goodnight." Olivia answered before turning her attention uptown to return to her apartment alone.


Ch. 18

Anya sat at the vanity, putting on the final touches of make up and affixing rhinestones to her hair. Her vanity was covered in make up, hairpins, and fake swan feathers. Cards stuck into the edges of her mirror, all bidding luck and support. She had a couple of vases with flowers in them as well at her vanity and on the cocktail table behind her. A picture of her father was the only framed personal item on an otherwise empty end table. As she lifted a large brush to sweep across her face with a loose, white powder, the door to her dressing room knocked.

"Come in." She called.

One of the male dancers from the company came in, already in costume and make up. He practically skipped over to Anya's chair, spun her around and asked her point-blank, "So, is she coming?"

Anya sighed and rolled her eyes at him. "She was invited and I set her up with a seat, but who knows with her job. I do hope she comes though." She said with a little sadness. Anya reached beside her for a needle and pink thread.

The man wearing gobs of necessary stage make up squealed; he was dying to know about this woman Anya was keeping hidden from him. "If she's here, can I meet her?"

"I don't know, Justin. You're a little too…exuberant? She's not out of the closet, and I don't want you to scare her further into it." She leaned over in her chair and started to stitch the ribbons of her pointe shoes under the flat knot so they wouldn't fall out during the performance.

Justin pouted, "Then when you leave, I want you to walk by the front of the Met instead of going around back. There's so many people and you'll be out of your make up, so I could just be in the general area to catch a peek?"

She looked up and smiled. "I suppose I could do that. But if I don't show, then it will mean that she didn't come." Anya bit the end of the thread to tie a knot so she could stitch the other shoe's ribbons.

"She'll show." Justin got up to leave, but as it turned out, he had more questions for his partner of the evening. "What does she do anyway? Does she work on Wall Street? Is she an attorney? A musician?" He asked with a fire in his eye.

"Nothing like that. And it's none of your business, Justin." Anya answered, turning back to her mirror to pin the feathered tiara into her hair. She knew Olivia's work was very private and serious. Not anything to be shared with anyone even if Justin and her had known each other at ABT for years. Justin immediately grabbed the crown from her hands. Anya tried to snap it back from him, but he insisted to pin it to her hair himself. She sat still and allowed it.

"Where will she be sitting?" Justin asked with pins in his mouth.

"Front and center in the Grande Tier." Anya spoke as she applied fake black eyelashes.

Justin cooed, "Spare no expense?"

"She's worth it." She said looking up to him above her. Through the monitors, the stage manager announced that the house was open. They could hear last minute work being done to the stage as well as the sounds of the audience coming into the theatre. Another knock came at the door. Anya got up to answer it. She wasn't completely dressed yet, so Justin went to the rack to pull the exquisite white swan tutu from the hanger. Anya opened the door to find a stagehand holding a bouquet of irises and red roses.

"Ms. Krilov." He said nodding at her. He brought them in and set them down on the cocktail table and then went out.

"I'll bet I know who those are from." Justin remarked as he snatched the card from the flowers. Anya seized it back from out of his fingers before he was able to read it. "John told me to wish you "merde." I may not know Russian, but I do know some French so you will have to explain why your good luck charm is the French word for 'shit' – Olivia"

A wide smile came across Anya's face as she walked away and tucked the small card into the sole of her pointe shoe. Justin protested at not being able to read the card, but he complimented Olivia's taste in flowers. He then assisted Anya into the costume and looked her over to double check everything. When the stage manager called for "15", she scurried him towards the exit of her dressing room. He wished her "merde" on his way out. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and wished him the same luck charm. He bowed out of the door, so that the dancer could properly prepare.

Olivia arrived at the Met about 15 minutes before the performance began, which she knew was cutting it close. Munch informed her that if she didn't get there early, she'd likely be late. That there was no being "on time" for the ballet and if she was late, she'd miss the entire first act. She wore a slinky black cocktail dress with black lace at the base. She had to dig through her closet to find an acceptable purse and pair of shoes appropriate for the evening. It made her a little sad to see that her nice heels and evening purse at the bottom of her closet were so dusty. She applied her make up carefully, accentuating her eyes and her lips. Olivia was also careful to make sure that every strand of her hair was perfectly in line. She knew she was fussing too much about her appearance, but she was nervous and wanted to look nice for Anya. She didn't want Anya to be the one teasing her anymore. Not to mention, she really didn't want to draw attention to herself by looking out of place on a Saturday night at the Met.

The ushers of the Met directed Olivia up the stairs and down the hall until arriving in the center of the mezzanine. Olivia could see everything from her seat and was in awe of the majesty of the theatre itself. It was a slice of New York's history that she had never experienced first hand and was grateful to have the opportunity, thanks to Anya. The orchestra below started to tune their instruments, beginning with the distinct oboe and continuing on with a crescendo of musical instruments playing hundreds of different notes, but somehow all finding some melodic way of tuning that didn't sound atrocious. Gosh, this is so nice. It's a fantasyland, but it's a nice one.

Olivia quieted her mind as the lights went dark. She sat back in the comfortable chair and readied herself to see Anya at work. A soft sound of the oboe came from the orchestra pit, followed by a cluster of French horns, as the ballet began. The curtain rose and within only a few moments, Olivia spotted Anya on stage in white, surrounded by dozens of other women in white with feathers around their crests. She knew it was Anya because she was the one swan with a distinguishable crown on her head.

During the performance, Anya never once strayed from her role as Odette (or Odele as it turned out later in the ballet.) Even though it was the same woman that teased and tempted her, and the same woman she had satisfied so shamelessly in an alley only a week ago, it was as if Olivia was watching a completely different individual on stage. She was passionate about her art. Her balance and ability was amazing. She could feel everything Anya and the other dancers said just by moving across the stage. Every hope and every sorrow up until the ending tragedy that left Olivia's eyes wet. The woman was undeniably talented as she was equally beautiful. She couldn't believe she knew the woman as well as she did and didn't understand what this woman saw in her. We are so completely different, aren't we?

At the curtain call, the entire audience rose to their feet for Anya and Justin, who played the leading roles. "Bravos" and cheers swelled through the theatre. Olivia followed suit. When Anya came to the front of the stage for a final bow, alone, she lowered her head and took a deep curtsy. When she rose, Justin escorted Anya to the center of the stage as the curtain fell a final time for the evening.

Anya told Olivia to meet her by the stage door after the performance. After placing her rolled up program into her small purse, Olivia followed the crowd outside but split from most as she made her way around the corner. She found a few people surrounding Anya, who was now out of her make up and costume, wearing street clothes. Her hair was damp from taking a quick shower and the curls were just starting to return as it dried. Most of those adoring her were young girls, around 12 or so. Anya was so sweet and encouraging to the young dancers. Olivia couldn't help but wish that she saw these children when they were as happy and carefree as they were with Anya. Anya saw children when they were full of life and hope about their futures. Olivia saw children full of sadness, children whose souls had been stolen from them. It made her catch her breath. It made her wonder if she should be out having such a nice time, knowing that someone, somewhere was in pain.

Anya looked up as Olivia approached and saw the melancholy expression that crossed Olivia's face. She didn't understand at first, but then she saw that Olivia wasn't looking at her; she was looking at the children around her. Anya followed Olivia's unspoken thoughts and it filled her with unspoken sympathy. Olivia brought her expression up from the girls to Anya. Anya smiled and waved her over to take a small bouquet of daisies from her hands so that she could sign the little girls' programs. The mothers soon escorted their children away from the dancer, thanking her for her time.

"I got your flowers." Anya said, hauling her dance bag over her shoulder. It seemed heavy, so Olivia attempted to take the bag from her, but Anya insisted that she could manage to carry the bag herself. "They're beautiful," she said continuing her thoughts. "I'm going to leave them in my dressing room for the remainder of the performances. For luck." She said with a wink.

"You probably get lots of flowers by the looks of things," she said waving the bouquet of daisies at Anya.

"But I like yours the best, Olivia. Besides, no one else gave me irises and I love irises." She said. Anya allowed her eyes to drift from Olivia's eyes, down her neck and followed the curves of her body before returning to Olivia's sable eyes. She took a step forward before taking the other woman's chin with the tips of her fingers, angling her head back before placing a tender kiss on Olivia's lips. "You look beautiful again tonight, Olivia." She said stepping back and hooking her arm into Olivia's as she had done on the Brooklyn Promenade. Olivia looked down because this time she couldn't help but blush. Anya had jumbled Olivia's brain with just a kiss and a genuine compliment. "What did you think?" Anya asked about her performance.

"It was wonderful, but very sad." Olivia said, looking over to Anya's beautiful green eyes. "You were amazing. Took my breath away."

Anya caught Olivia's eyes and gave her a mischievous smile before looking forward again. "I hope to do that more than once tonight." Anya proclaimed as she directed Olivia around the corner to the front of the Metropolitan Opera House, towards Amsterdam Avenue. Olivia was hoping for that too. She had wanted to make it difficult for Anya to seduce her, but she thought back to the bar and then again to the alley and truly didn't see the point in wasting anymore time. As they walked, Anya caught Justin's eye from across the fountain as he mouthed, "she's gorgeous" to her, then making obscene gestures that made Anya giggle under her breath.

"What's so funny?" Olivia asked, looking around.

"Nothing. My friend Justin is being childish." She said pointing over to the fellow dancer who was also now in street clothes heading home for the night. Olivia turned to look at him and he blew her a kiss.

"He seems like a character." Olivia joked.

"You have no idea." Anya said, rolling her eyes.

"Where are we going?" Olivia asked, although she had an idea. Anya lived on the Upper West Side and they were walking towards Amsterdam, which was a one-way street headed uptown. Anya held out her hand on the street corner and a taxi immediately screeched to a halt in front of them. Olivia opened the door for Anya and allowed her to enter the taxi first.

"We're going to my apartment, Olivia." Anya said turning to the woman who entered the cab as well, taking a seat next to Anya. "Unless, of course, you'd rather go home alone?" Anya asked, dipping her chin down and raising an eyebrow at Olivia.

Olivia turned her soft brown eyes to Anya's green, allowed them to travel down the front of her body and then back up again. "No." Olivia answered simply.

"92nd and Amsterdam." Anya directed the cab driver. The car jolted forward, speeding the few blocks of brightly lit city streets to Anya's high-rise.


Ch. 19

The doorman at Anya's building opened the taxi door before Olivia could even reach for the handle. He bid her a good evening and reached his hand down to help Olivia out of the back seat. She was hesitant, but eventually took his gloved hand and stepped out onto the sidewalk. He nodded at her before rushing around to the other side of the taxi to assist Anya out.

"Ah, it's you Ms. Krilov. How was the performance tonight? Wonderful, I expect." He was very jubilant for it being so late. Olivia assumed that his shift had probably just started.

"Yes, it went well. Thank you, Jack." He escorted her to the sidewalk. "Quiet night?"

"Yes, and a little bit cold, but summer is on its way." The man stepped in front of Olivia to grab the door before she had the opportunity. "Now, now, my dear let me do my job." He said with a smile, tipping his hat to Olivia and Anya as they went into the building.

Olivia was feeling pretty confident about her choice to go home with Anya until the elevator doors closed. She did her best not to let on how excruciatingly anxious she was, but of course Anya lived on the 31st floor, which made for a terribly long pause in conversation and movement as the elevator ascended. There were only four apartments per floor and Anya's was on the end. Anya inserted her key and turned it until a soft click was heard between the walls.

"Would you like something to drink?" She asked.

Olivia nodded as Anya pushed the door open. Anya dropped her bag and coat by the entrance. She turned around and offered to take Olivia's coat as well. After she removed the coat, Olivia looked around the apartment, taking everything in. Her living space was very modern with sleek lines and bright colors. It was definitely a beautiful and well-kept apartment without being pretentious. She owned very unique art, most of which was abstract and none that Olivia recognized. The one that struck Olivia the most was at the edge of the living room, on a hallway wall. The print was of a pink rose that had fallen out of a water glass. She walked up to it to see that it was titled "Weeping Rose"by Vladimir Tretchikof. It was such a simple print, but amazingly powerful to her. Almost like she could relate to it in some way. Olivia stepped away from the art and took a seat on the bright red couch in the living room.

While Olivia tried to make herself comfortable, Anya walked to the kitchen and opened the freezer. She pulled out a bottle of vodka and then two rocks glasses from the cabinet. She filled the glasses with a shot and a half of vodka each before returning the bottle back to the freezer.

Anya took a sip of her own vodka and walked over to Olivia who was rummaging through Anya's magazines on the cocktail table. She handed the other glass to her. "Thanks." Olivia said, taking a sip, but quickly noting that there wasn't anything mixed with the beverage.

"You've been going through my things already?" Anya asked, noticing that Olivia had paged through her magazines.

"I'm a detective; I'm inherently curious and nosy." Olivia said, taking another sip of vodka before rising from the couch to further investigate the room. Anya could think of a number of inappropriate comments to say in return to Olivia's innocent remark, but she decided not to. "You're into politics." Olivia observed. In addition to some of Anya's politically inspired art, she subscribed to The Progressive, Time, and The New Yorker.

"Yes, I am, but I've never had any personal political ambitions. It's an ugly world." Anya took another sip of her vodka and removed her shoes. "You can take off your shoes, Olivia. They look uncomfortable."

"Actually, I can't tell anymore. My feet are numb." Olivia laughed, turning back to Anya briefly. "You're one to talk." Olivia said noticing all of the white medical tape affixed around each one of Anya's toes used to protect her feet against the blistering pain of pointe shoes.

"It's just part of the job." She commented.

Olivia continued to scour over a collection of books and movies on a shelf by her television. She pulled a copy of Dance Magazine that had Anya's name printed on the spine. She turned it over to look at the cover, which had a much younger Anya performing a perfect arabesque at an angle from the camera. The cover proclaimed her as the rising star of ABT. Olivia turned to Anya with a smile, showing her that she'd found the magazine. "The only press I ever get is usually bad press in the Ledger." She joked. "This is very impressive, Anya."

"Thank you. I was the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. The costume is pretty, isn't it?"

"Yes, but I think I liked the one you wore tonight better." Olivia put the magazine back into the bookcase.

Olivia removed her shoes. Given the silence between them and the hardwood floors, Olivia's shoes made quite a clunk onto the floors when she kicked out of them. Olivia took two large gulps of the cold liquor and tried to think of something to say to Anya. She looked over to her again briefly, and then walked towards the window. Anya wasn't dressed in any special manner. She looked so simple that Olivia felt overdressed around her. Whenever she looked in her direction, Anya looked so hungry to Olivia, knowing that she was just waiting for her on the couch. "You should get that framed." Olivia suggested about the magazine.

"I've been meaning to for years. Just never seems to happen." Anya replied, sipping her vodka again. She enjoyed watching Olivia squirm in her own skin; it was sexy but she grew tired of waiting for her. Enough with the chitchat. She set her glass down onto an end table and stepped over to Olivia, who was now looking out the window. Olivia heard her footsteps approaching and knocked back the remaining liquor in her glass as she felt her heart beat a little stronger.

Anya's hand touched the small of Olivia's back as she gazed out the window with her. Olivia turned to face the slightly taller woman and smiled, placing her glass onto the windowsill. "That was quick, Olivia." Anya said, noticing the empty glass. Not quick enough, Olivia thought to herself as Anya reached her hand down to Olivia's face, cradling it, and pulling it up towards her own.

The kisses started quick and gentle. The two women brought their lips together hurriedly and briefly, piercing each other multiple times until Olivia held her lips against Anya's, wanting to consume her completely. She opened her mouth and allowed Anya's tongue to enter her own. Her mouth was much softer and passionate than anyone she had ever kissed and Olivia wanted more of it. Anya kept her hand on Olivia's back and pulled her closer, against herself, as Olivia's hand went down Anya's cheek, down her neck, slowed as she curved around her breast, and then continued to her back.

Olivia moved her lips to Anya's neck, supporting her head as it tipped to the side to allow her to graze her lips and teeth upon her neck. Her breathing intensified as she held Anya's body tightly against herself and moved to push her against the window. Anya sighed as Olivia's tongue coursed over her skin and she dropped her hand to Olivia's thigh. She scrunched the base of the silken dress in her hand and slowly pulled it up so that she could reach underneath and touch Olivia's soft skin. As soon as she did, Olivia met Anya's lips again with her own, except that the gentleness was gone.

Anya moaned in sync with the intensity of Olivia's kiss, wanting to speak sweet nothings into Olivia's ear, but was interrupted by her own wicked thoughts as Olivia's hands wandered down the front of her body, curving her hand around her breast, massaging it gently.

"Where's your bedroom?" Olivia asked, pushing Anya harder against the windowsill, moving her hands down to fumble with the zipper of the woman's pants.

"The opposite direction of this window." Anya joked, realizing that the officer enjoyed being in control. She wondered if she should allow it. She pushed Olivia off of her. She gave Olivia another longing kiss, catching her breath as she led Olivia out of the living room. As Anya walked down the hall to the bedroom, she decided that it would be she to have all of the control that night. She stripped herself of the first layer of clothing without ever looking back at Olivia, dropping one garment at a time to the ground. Olivia watched her, in awe of the smoothness of her back, the delicate swing in her hips, and the length of her slender legs as they crossed the floor to her bedroom. Olivia started to follow suit and reached beside herself to unzip her dress, but when Anya heard the zipper, she immediately turned around to face Olivia. "No." Anya ordered, now with only her lacy pink bra and panties on. "You will stay clothed…for now." She said with a kiss.

Olivia sneered, "I'm not used to taking orders." She said as she pulled the straps from her dress down her shoulders, disobediently.

As much as Anya wanted to see Olivia without that slinky dress on, she had other things in mind for her. She stepped up to the brunette, locked her eyes on her and pulled the straps back up. She then put her hand on Olivia's undone zipper and redid it with a snap of her fingers. "You just might have to tonight, detective."

Olivia's desire was overwhelming her from the inside out, but she didn't like the idea of relinquishing power to this other woman. When they got to the bedroom, Anya demanded Olivia to lie down on her low and modern bed. Instead, Olivia sat up, refusing to take orders. Anya straddled Olivia on the end of the bed and kissed her, knotting her long fingers into the detective's hair just long enough to deteriorate her.

"I said: lie down." Anya gently shoved Olivia back onto the sheets with little resistance. Wearing her pink, lacy bra and panties, to give Olivia a taste of what she could have but not making it so easy on her, Anya crawled up Olivia's body like a snake, wanting nothing more than to tease the detective into oblivion. As she slithered her way up Olivia's wonderful curves, Anya's hands roamed over Olivia's hips, stomach, and chest; her hands pioneering before her lips, following the same pattern. She felt Olivia's body curl and jolt with various touches. As Anya worked her way up, Olivia's hesitant hands reached to touch whatever was in reach: her hair, shoulders, and fragile arms. When she was level with the detective, who ached and sighed with every touch from Anya, the corner of Anya's lip curled just slightly, realizing that she had won. Olivia looked up at the woman hovering over her, her eyes soft and waiting. The crusade was over and she had Ms. Benson exactly where she wanted her.

She plunged her tongue into Olivia's mouth as Olivia took both her arms around the other woman, pulling her on top of herself completely. Olivia's hands smoothed over Anya's back, feeling her silken skin under her fingertips. Olivia relished in her own thoughts of touching this other woman, knowing it was somewhat of a taboo in her world. The weight of the other woman on top of her turned her on in an entirely new way and she craved it endlessly.

Anya sabotaged any remaining reservations Olivia might have had by running her fingers down the side of her black dress, searching for that special, unique place that would drive the woman crazy. Anya slipped one of her legs between Olivia's and pushed her thigh against the other woman's panties under her dress. Olivia's breath deepened and moaned with the contact she had been begging for. "God help me, Anya– " Anya ceased Olivia's words with another kiss. Olivia groaned into her mouth as Anya's hand rested upon and started to massage her breast over her dress and her strong legs applied a steady, powerful pressure between her legs as her hips rolled against the detective. Olivia felt Anya's fingers leave her breast and burn a trail down her torso until she reached up under Olivia's dress to tug on the black undergarment. Anya kept her eyes on Olivia as she moved her fingertips beneath the seams, asking for permission to remove the article. Olivia looked up at the petite woman; her eyes dark and heavy with desire as she slowly lifted her hips against Anya so that she could pull the black panties down her legs and toss them to the floor.

Anya grappled her way back onto her detective, and Olivia impulsively reached behind Anya's back for the clasp of the woman's light pink bra. She fumbled with it for only a second, but it was long enough for Anya to reach behind herself and stop Olivia's hands and rest them both above her head. She wasn't done playing and she knew the second she was naked and available to Olivia that she'd lose control. She held the detective's hands secure with one of her own as she lowered her mouth and kissed Olivia's neck and down across her chest before meeting the strap of the dress with her teeth, cinching it, and slowly pulling it down off of her shoulder while listening to Olivia breathing in deeply at the sensation. God, this woman is amazing.

While she pulled the strap off of Olivia's shoulders, the hand that was not securing Olivia's hands trailed down Olivia's smooth legs, slowly and playfully. Anya could feel the heat between Olivia's thighs and knew she was wet and wanting her to touch her. Olivia's hand slipped out from Anya's grip and held Anya's hand at the inside of her thigh. Anya thought for a moment that Olivia wanted her to stop. Just when Anya was going to back off, she looked up and saw instead that her face was pleading with the woman. Olivia pushed the dancer's hand higher on her leg as her hips slid lower onto the bed to entice the woman to take her. Please, Anya. Anya bit her lip, looking down on the woman, wanting nothing more than to do exactly as the detective wanted.

Olivia's eyes closed as Anya's fingers grazed upon the damp skin, touching the inner folds delicately and savoring in how wet and ready Olivia was, but she played with her only for a second before trailing her fingers again along her inner thigh. Olivia groaned as she reopened her eyes and glared at Anya. "You are a fucking tease. Why are you doing this to me?"

"Because you love it." Anya said before biting her neck, expelling a soft cry from Olivia.

Olivia continued. "I won't be submitting to this game for much longer." She said running her fingers up Anya's neck and through her long hair.

"Is that a threat, Olivia?" Anya asked, rising up and straddling across Olivia's legs and smoothing both of her hands symmetrically up Olivia's chest to her neck, gently gripping her throat, and massaging the tendons. "Because I don't believe you're in a position to be handing out threats right now." Anya unzipped Olivia's dress slightly so she could bend over the woman to pull off the other strap with her mouth while teasing her skin with her tongue. She folded the dress and bra down that covered her breast and leaned in to suck at the perfectly round skin. Olivia's response was immediate, holding the dancer below her hips, and she arched her back so that Anya could taste more of her. Anya placed one hand by Olivia's head to support herself and she continued to kiss and lick Olivia's breast as she shifted herself to one side of Olivia so that she could slip her hand underneath the dress again. Her fingertips teased and played between Olivia's legs, becoming saturated and electrifying every nerve of Olivia's being. With her eyes closing and her head arching backwards, the detective felt nothing short of bliss.

Olivia's once stubborn and protective self was immediately turned into dripping clay, willing and desperate to obey Anya's every whim. Anya started to apply that same pressure to her clit as she had done at the bar weeks ago, only this time Olivia didn't need to conceal her vocal reactions to the startling sensations. The woman was so gentle and patient, giving her what she wanted, selflessly. Moaning and crying out, she clung to Anya, digging her nails into her back, and pulling her down on top of herself until Anya could no longer maintain her oral contact on her breast.

Anya giggled at Olivia's raw response and slipped out from under Olivia's hands, slowing the motion of her fingers and marking a trail of wet kisses down the woman's body. Anya removed her hand from between Olivia's legs and dragged her way to Olivia's calves. She slid to the floor and kneeled at the foot of the bed. She reached forward to grab Olivia's hips. She arched one brow at the detective. She tugged at the dress on her hips to try and move Olivia to the end of the bed as well. Olivia didn't budge but her chocolate eyes gave Anya all the answer she needed. "Come here, Olivia." Anya requested.

Olivia's breathing was deep, panting almost, as the woman had again teased her into a void. She sat up and looked down at the flaxen-haired woman as she waited for Olivia on the floor, on her knees. Looking at her, knowing that she finally wanted nothing more than to submit to Olivia's pleasure was the sexiest thing she'd ever experienced. The woman was a vision. She cautiously scooted forward until her legs dangled off the end of the bed. She leaned forward to the waiting girl and kissed her lips, wanting to give herself to Anya completely and wanting Anya to follow through with her promises to her. She leaned back on her hands and opened her legs. Anya kept her eyes on Olivia's as she picked up one of Olivia's legs, kissing her ankle. She slowly kissed Olivia up her leg, to her calf, the inside of her knee, before raising the leg above her shoulder and resting it on her back. She grabbed Olivia's other leg around the calf, gripping it with her nails, as she crept below the base of Olivia's dress and out of sight as her kisses went up her thigh. Olivia reached down to the end of her skirt and pulled the lacy edge up until she could see Anya's eyes.

Anya kept her head down, but gazed up into Olivia's dark eyes, noticing that she had raised her skirt to watch her. She slowly opened the wet flesh with her fingers before closing her eyes and placing her mouth and tongue softly onto the woman's cunt. Olivia's eyes rolled back and her mouth opened allowing a slow moan out between her teeth. Her body went limp and her head fell back steadily at the touch from the woman's tongue licking and suckling her. Her breath quickened and she struggled to balance, using her hands behind herself to stay sitting up. Anya continued her tender strokes against Olivia, now half-watching her pleasure unfold, and moved one hand up to Olivia's chest as their eyes met once again. Anya deliberately pressed her seemingly fragile fingers against Olivia's shoulder and pushed the woman down against the bed. Olivia could feel every flick of her tongue and every pulse of her mouth as her hands slid backwards onto the bed until her back and head lay weak and helpless on the sheets.


Ch. 20

Whether one lives in Coney Island in Brooklyn or in Astoria Queens, police or fire sirens are likely to drive by your home at all hours of the night, almost every night of the year. The sirens of New York are unique in the fact that they have the capability to be a constant stream of an up and down ill-melodic scale, just like any other police vehicle in America. Instead though, New York officers prefer the sound to be let out in little erratic blips. It is still difficult to sleep through the ascending and descending siren, but to sleep through the annoying and inconsistent beeps takes talent. It was a talent that Olivia did not possess.

The irregular sounds sped by Anya's apartment and although the windows were closed, the noise startled Olivia awake from what was once a very restful afterglow. The sirens passed, but now Olivia was wide awake, having realized that she was not at her apartment. Instead, she was at Anya's apartment, in Anya's bed. She struggled in the dark room to see what time it was, but was unsuccessful in reading the clock hands on the wall. If it's so dark in here that I can't tell what time it is, then it's damn late. Too late, Olivia thought.

Now that Olivia was more aware of her surroundings, she could hear cars driving by outside, but other than that, the room was silent. Not even Anya made any sounds as she slept. Quietly and slowly, so she would not wake up Anya, Olivia turned over in the bed to look at the woman, who was facing away from Olivia. Part of her hair was scrunched underneath her head on the pillow, but most of it fell softly down her back and onto the bed. Her back was perfectly curled and her satin negligee tugged at her shoulders. She didn't remember Anya putting it on. She must have fallen asleep before her. She watched as her ribcage rose and fell under the cotton sheets with her soft breathing. Olivia was tempted to touch her, to move closer to her, but she didn't want to wake her. How did I get here? On second thought, how did she get me here? I never thought about women before I met Anya, but here I am, lying half-naked next to a woman that I had exquisite sex with just hours ago.

But on the other hand, Olivia felt a sense of panic running through her nerves. She liked Anya, but she didn't love her and she didn't want to fall in love with her either. Her life was already filled with too much work. She didn't want to bring Anya into that or deal with a relationship with Anya on top of everything else. She thought about leaving before she woke up. She'd done that with men, but something about doing it to Anya seemed wrong. She noticed something else too. Her cell phone hadn't rang all night. She had turned it off when she was at the Met, but Olivia distinctly remembered turning it back on afterwards. She remembered that there weren't any messages, but she still felt the need to double check. She turned back over in bed and reached for her phone on the nightstand. She was right. It was on and there weren't any messages or missed calls. She actually wanted Elliot to call her. It would give her an easy way out, but then as she thought about it more, it made her sick to her stomach knowing what a call in the middle of the night really meant.

Olivia's thoughts continued to run in every direction, knowing that she couldn't physically do the same at the moment, until she felt the need to just get up and go for a walk. Just down the block and back. It was a safe area and it wasn't like Olivia couldn't hold her own, although it was true that she didn't have her gun; just her badge. But then she realized that she didn't have any clothes other than her lacey black dress and there was no way her ass would fit into Anya's clothes other than the old t-shirt she gave her to wear. I can't go anywhere, and I don't have a legitimate reason to. Olivia turned over again and laid on her back, let out a sigh, and stared at the ceiling to think about what the hell was going on and what the hell she wanted to do about it.

"Olivia?" Anya's distinct voice cut through the darkness and ceased Olivia's thoughts, but she hadn't moved. Slowly, Anya turned over in the bed, still lying on her pillow. Olivia turned to look at her. Anya pursed her lips, trying to read Olivia's face. "You're wide awake. Can you not sleep?" She thought again. "Or maybe you are trying to think of a reason to leave?" She said, brushing her fingers across Olivia's cheek.

"No." She was lying and didn't like it so she settled on vague honesty instead. "I'm not sure what I want to do."

"Well, it's probably 3 in the morning, so why don't you just sleep? Chelsea is a long way from here." Anya ran her fingers through Olivia's hair gently. "Figure it out in the morning…okay?"

Easy for you to say. "Okay." Olivia said, leaning forward to give Anya a brief kiss before turning her attention back to the ceiling. Anya flipped over in bed, leaving Olivia alone with her thoughts, and went back to sleep.

Part 21

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