DISCLAIMER: Most characters are not mine, but I'm using them for entertainment and not for profit. The story is my own.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The “Drinks” series of short pieces: limited to fewer than three full pages, written primarily as fragments of conversations, each featuring at least one drink. The stories are completely unrelated, unless otherwise stated and don’t fit in any particular timeline. They also may be unrelated to canon. I just try to keep the characterization true. I hope I’ve succeeded in that.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
It was one curl; one maddening little loop of hair that fell out of Alex's ponytail and brushed against the creamy skin of her neck.
They'd gone shopping for a wedding present for Briscoe, who would be tying the knot the following Saturday. Olivia had told Alex that the SVU squad would be passing the hat and getting him something and Alex had insisted on contributing. Somehow Olivia had got nominated to do the shopping and Alex had volunteered to help. So there they were, sitting in a trendy NoHo bar, drinking some expensive bottle of red wine that Alex had chosen and insisted on paying for. "It's a Côte Rotie," she'd explained to Olivia who required no information other than what was supplied by her nose and her taste buds and they had already informed her that the wine was excellent.
But maybe I'm drinking too fast, Olivia thought, because that one unruly lock of blond hair was driving her to distraction. Every time Alex moved it slid against her skin and Olivia wondered if it felt like a breath, or the touch of a finger, or like a lover's lips.
"Are you having second thoughts?"
About being just your friend? It took a while for Olivia to realize that there was no way Alex could have read her mind. "No, I think they're going to love the gift."
"Good, because you seem pensive. Not that pensive isn't a good look for you, but I just wondered if I'd done or said something that I shouldn't have."
"Sorry. No it's not you. Well, not really. I mean it's not something you've said or done." Just shut up, Benson. At Alex's quizzical look, Olivia sighed. "I've actually been distracted by your hair."
"Why? Has a pigeon used me for target practice?"
Olivia smiled. "No, nothing like that. It's just you have a curl "
"Olivia, I have a lot of curls. My hair is wavy, which is why I put it in a ponytail when I'm not working and can't be bothered to blow it dry."
"One of them has escaped," Olivia explained, exasperated with her own inability to communicate. She sounded like an idiot.
They were seated in a booth near the back of the restaurant, because the waitress had had pity on them and the numerous shopping bags they'd been carrying, since Olivia now owned a new pair of jeans and Alex had acquired a handbag and a new pair of shoes, in addition to the mutually chosen wedding gift. Alex slid along the seat until she was next to Olivia. "So help me tuck it back in. I don't have a mirror with me and I don't want to go to the ladies' room just for that."
"I don't think "
"Hey, you're the one who keeps staring at it, Benson, so fix it."
Olivia reached up and tried to tuck the curl into Alex's ponytail holder, but it was clear that the only way she would get it to stay would be to take off the ponytail holder and then put all of Alex's hair, including the damn stray curl, back into it. "I have to take your hair out of the ponytail holder to fix it."
Olivia reluctantly lifted both of her hands to Alex's hair, which was secured with a navy scrunchie. She carefully removed it, causing the warm mass of Alex's soft hair to fall over her hands and the subtle fragrance of Alex's shampoo to fill her head. Her movements stilled and she inhaled, unable to stop herself from savoring the brief intimacy. The hand holding the scrap of navy cotton lowered until it rested in her lap, but the other one remained in Alex's hair. As she hesitated, Alex turned to face her and she inhaled sharply as she became aware of how close they were. Their thighs were touching, their faces were inches apart and Olivia's hand was tangled in her hair.
Her eyes drifted from Olivia's equally stunned gaze to Olivia's lips, which parted as the detective tried to inhale more air and stop the dizzying, inappropriate arousal that flooded her body. It didn't help that she could see the pulse quicken in Alex's throat and, when their eyes met again, Alex's pupils had dilated so that her eyes looked dark and haunted.
"What is this ?" It wasn't really a question that required an answer from Olivia; it was an expression of confusion, because whatever had flared up between them had not offered the courtesy of a warning.
Olivia's hand moved slowly, caressing Alex's soft scalp with her fingertips and making the weight of Alex's long hair sway over her forearm and brush against their breasts. There was the sound of a sigh and then an almost inaudible moan. Olivia's eyes drifted shut as her other senses struggled to cope with stimulation that was subtle enough to be almost nonexistent and intense enough to overwhelm.
The soft moan made Alex whimper. She wasn't sure if it had come from her or from Olivia. She could smell Olivia's perfume, she could smell her skin and she could feel the gentle caress of fingertips on her scalp, sending shivers down her spine and making her nipples almost painfully erect.
"Liv?" she whispered.
"I " Olivia paused. As her brown eyes slowly opened, the heat in them stole Alex's breath and the ADA felt as though if she didn't kiss Olivia Benson she would die. Her gaze broke away from the eyes of a woman whom, until just seconds earlier she had persuaded herself was no more than her best friend. She focused on the soft mouth that seemed to be drifting closer to her lips.
"I'm sorry I took so long."
It took a few seconds for the two women to realize that neither of them had made the statement. They glanced up in surprise to find their waitress looking expectantly at them, notepad in hand. "Do you ladies know what you want?"
Olivia was the first to find her voice. "Yes."
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