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.
SERIES: Second part of the 'Tea' trilogy following Tea – Earl Grey.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Tea – Green
Alex probably hadn't laughed that much since her undergraduate days and, back then, the laughter had been fueled by a bit more than good company and two glasses of eggnog.
"I'm really glad I decided to go to the party," Olivia's heartfelt comment reflected Alex's thoughts and made her feel warm inside.
"Me, too. I'm pleased that Don invited me even though I'm no longer an ADA. And thanks for giving me a ride home. I know you wanted to leave immediately after the party."
"Don invited you because you'll always be the best ADA we ever had and the only one to come back from the dead! The ride home was no problem. It's not like I have anything pressing to do when I get to the Hamptons. My only plans are to catch up on my sleep, relax by the fire, read, listen to music and walk on the beach."
"It is. It's a small house but the setting is beautiful and peaceful. I've been doing it every year since " Since you went into the witness protection program and all the holiday cheer in the city combined with memories of you to make me almost insane with loneliness and grief.
"Since?" Alex looked curiously at her.
"For the last four years," She admitted, looking away to hide the expression in her eyes.
Alex stared at her. The beauty of Olivia's profile made her heart ache and gave her a perfect view of the curl, just above her ear, that refused to do what the rest of Olivia's thick, dark hair had been styled to do. She clenched her fist as she fought the urge to touch Olivia's hair to touch Olivia. The detective's dress was a burgundy sheath with thin straps and a skirt that ended mid-thigh. She wore it with sheer stockings and black heels that tightened her calves and made Alex wonder about what they did to her strong thighs. The knowledge that Olivia had started to go to her winter retreat the year Alex had been shot, moved the lawyer deeply.
However, Olivia's body language was practically shouting that she didn't want to talk about it. So Alex asked, "Would you like another cup of tea?"
"Thanks, but I need to hit the road. It's after midnight and I have a long drive ahead of me."
"Are you sure you shouldn't get a good night's sleep and have a fresh start in the morning?"
Olivia shook her head. "My stuff is in the car and I want to avoid the weekend shoppers."
"We're close to the FDR Drive. Spend the night and get an early start tomorrow before the shoppers get up. You can be on the L.I.E. in fifteen minutes."
"Spend the night here?"
"Why not? Your car is directly in front of the building, so the doorman will see to it that nobody interferes with it, I have a spare toothbrush "
"The logistics aren't the issue, Alex."
"Then what ?"
"I can't spend the night in your apartment."
Alex looked hurt. "I thought we were past all that. I thought we'd repaired our friendship "
"We have "
"But you'd rather drive until four a.m. than spend more time with me." Alex couldn't hide the pain that caused. "Ok, then I think you should go home and drive out to the beach tomorrow."
"Alex, I'm not driving tonight because I'm angry with you or your decisions immediately after you got out of the program. I had a great time at the party, mainly because you were there. I drove you home to prolong our time together and I came up here because you offered me green tea, which should keep me alert for the drive. I also came up here because I wanted to spend another half an hour or so with you. Does that sound like someone who's angry with you?"
"I'm sorry. Maybe I'm just a bit paranoid about our relationship."
"Just a bit," Olivia teased.
Alex pretended to glare at her, then she stood restlessly and said with a wry smile, "I notice you haven't told me your reasons for not spending the night here, just what they aren't."
Olivia's eyes drifted over Alex's midnight blue cocktail dress that clung to her body from breast to thigh and then flared slightly, but not enough to allow her to walk comfortably. That freedom was provided by the slit that started near the top of her left thigh, showing off a beautifully sculpted leg with every step she took. Her underwear formed no lines under the soft fabric, so Olivia couldn't decide whether she was wearing the tiniest g-string and stick-on cups ever invented, or whether she was completely naked under the dress. Neither option did very much to lower Olivia's blood pressure. "Staying's just not a good idea," she said shortly.
Alex turned away to hide her hurt, but Olivia knew her too well to be fooled. Shit. The problem was that Alex's new position gave Olivia an unobstructed view of Alex's ass and reminded her of all the reasons why she should just get the hell out, the blonde's offended state notwithstanding. Against her better judgment, she rose from the sofa and stood just behind Alex. "I'm sorry. I just Baby, it's because of our friendship that I have to leave."
Alex turned around, but the step she took to do that brought her even closer to Olivia, making the detective inhale sharply. She could smell Alex's perfume and see the fine blond hairs on her temple. She dared not look fully at Alex's face. She didn't have the strength to face those deep blue eyes or the lips that had been playing a distressingly prominent role in her erotic dreams. "Why?" Alex asked quietly, taking in the soft blush that warmed Olivia's skin and the way she refused to meet her eyes. "Why would your spending the night here affect our friendship? I can understand why it might create an issue for you with David, but "
Olivia looked confused and her eyes met Alex's for the first time since the attorney had turned towards her. "David? Alex, David's my friend. I gave up long ago on dragging any more poor, unsuspecting men into my emotional issues and casual sex is something that I think I've outgrown. Or at least I understand myself well enough now to know why it doesn't meet my needs. So David is not a factor in where I spend my nights."
"So why ?"
"Because I want you." The words, said through gritted teeth, were almost savage and Olivia's eyes blazed with anger, because Alex had kept on pushing until the admission had been wrenched from her. "We've both worked hard to get this friendship back on track and I enjoy the time we spend together, so I don't want to ruin it, but every time I look at you, every time you look at me, every time I'm close enough to hear your voice, close enough to touch you I want you. And I know that if I spend the night here, I'll end up tossing and turning, getting no sleep, because you're only a few yards away and wearing next to nothing. I have a three-hour drive ahead of me and I don't need that shit. So stop asking me to stay, ok?"
Olivia wanted her. But Olivia didn't want to want her because Realization came slowly and painfully. Because casual sex no longer met her needs and the attraction she felt was just physical. "I'm sorry that you've outgrown what you feel when you're with me." She stalked off towards her bedroom and slammed the door behind her. It took a few seconds for Olivia to absorb what Alex had said and when she did, she rushed after her, even more annoyed than she'd been before Alex's outburst. She knocked on the door.
"No! I'm fucking pissed at you right now and I'm not going to vent on anybody else."
The door swung open. "You're pissed at me? Am I the one who implied that sleeping with you would be some sort of casual encounter of a kind that I've outgrown?" Alex was mortified that her voice broke on the last word and her eyes filled with tears. She moved to close the door and Olivia put out a hand to hold it open.
"I didn't imply it; you assumed it." She looked thoughtfully at Alex. "And you're upset."
"You don't think I have a right to be upset that my best friend thinks her sexual attraction to me is something she wishes she'd outgrown?"
Olivia let her hand fall and she moved away from the bedroom door. "Maybe the problem is that I'm your best friend. You're closer to me than anyone. I don't want to chase you away."
"And you think I'll run away if I know you want me? For such a hot-shot detective, you're not very good at following clues are you?"
"Clues? Clues to what?"
Alex stepped closer and said, "Here's another one." Before Olivia could react, she put a hand behind the detective's head, pulled her close and kissed her hard. When Olivia's mouth opened in surprise, Alex deepened the kiss. Olivia whimpered, her hands coming up to rest on Alex's waist as Alex stroked the back of her neck, moaning when Olivia kissed her back. Eventually Alex drew back and took in the stunned look on Olivia's face. "That's right, detective, you're not the only one."
"I love you." Olivia hadn't meant to say that. Blurting out your feelings was so high school.
Alex's breath seemed to leave her body and tears stung her eyes. Nothing had ever sounded so sweet to her. "Tell me again," she urged quietly.
Olivia's eyes roamed over Alex's face, looking for a sign of doubt or any indication that she wasn't serious, but all she saw was unguarded hope, abject fear and something else; something she was afraid to put a name to. The brunette's eyes filled with tears, because Alex's vulnerability was as great as hers. "I love you, Alex. And there's nothing casual about it."
"Do you understand now why it hurt so much that you wanted to leave?"
Olivia nodded, still thrown off-balance by the unwavering emotion she saw on Alex's face. She loves me. Struggling to take it all in, she looked into Alex's eyes and asked softly, "How long ?"
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