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.
"I don't think I've ever seen that woman smile."
Trevor Langan shook his head as he observed detective Olivia Benson. He was sharing an observation room at the 16th Precinct with Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot as Detective Olivia Benson questioned his client. Benson was getting nowhere, so he'd felt comfortable excusing himself to go and have a word with Cabot. After all, without a confession it was unlikely that she could put together a winning case against the man who had been arrested for the fifth time on suspicion of rape. Trevor had managed to keep him out of prison the previous four times, but that had been before Alex Cabot had started prosecuting sex crimes.
It was a warm day for October and Trevor could feel the perspiration breaking out in his armpits. It was even warmer in the interrogation room and Detective Benson had taken off her jacket, leaving her in a black sleeveless top that revealed strong, lean arms and a hint of muscle striations in her shoulders. The heat seemed to enhance the subtle fragrance of the perfume she wore and the faint sheen of perspiration on her skin gave her a look of healthy exertion and he found both sexual and intimidating. Her contempt for him only emphasized his feelings towards her and he wondered how Alex managed to be her friend.
"That's too bad."
"What is?" Trevor was confused and thought he might have missed a question from the detective.
"That you've never seen her smile. It's stunning."
"With what she sees every day, I wonder what there is to smile about when you two talk."
"You mean your clients' handiwork?"
"My clients aren't all guilty, Alex."
"Not that you'd dare to ask "
"They're entitled to a good defense."
"And yet they get you," she teased. She liked Trevor, but his effect on her just wasn't anything close to what happened to her heart rate, and to certain other parts of her anatomy, when she looked at Olivia Benson in snug, low-riding charcoal trousers, a sleeveless black top and a layer of sweat.
"Is that the kind of humor that makes Benson smile?" Trevor was a bit insecure about his talents as a lawyer, partly because of Alex's record against him when they'd gone head-to-head in court.
"Trevor, nothing about you makes her smile. But mentioning your name does make her get that fierce, predatory look and the corner of her mouth turns up in a sneer. It's magnificent."
"You sound as though you like having an attack dog by your side."
Alex laughed. "Olivia Benson in attack mode is quite nice to have on my side, but I still prefer her smiles."
"The smiles I've never seen." Trevor made an unsuccessful attempting to hide his impatience with Alex's blatant admiration for the detective. He decided that Alex was trying to goad him and he tried to hit back. "Quite frankly, Alex, the woman has a hell of a body on her, but I can't imagine her smile is more than feral. Cops aren't known for their sensitivity or their intellects."
He missed the angry narrowing of Alex's eyes and he didn't know enough to read the deliberately casual crossing of her arms as she leaned against the wall of the observation room in an attempt to lull him into a false sense of security. "Actually, Trevor, she has a hell of a brain on her to go with that body. I know for a fact that her undergrad academic record was better than yours and her IQ makes yours look like that of a house plant."
The insult was delivered with such indifference that Trevor took a couple of seconds to absorb it. Just as he flushed and opened his mouth to inform her of the extent to which he had taken umbrage, Alex continued in a matter-of-fact tone, "Where was I? Oh yes, her smiles. I have two favorites: one is where she's just plain happy; it's wide and open and her eyes sparkle with warmth. It lights up a room and makes me remember that, along with all the ugliness we see, there is beauty in the world. The second one is the one that comforts. Like the first one, it's completely unselfconscious and it reaches deep into those amazing dark eyes so that the warmth of the woman seems to wrap around you."
The ongoing battle of wills between his client and the detective temporarily forgotten, Trevor smiled sarcastically at Alex. "At least now I know why you've always refused to go home with me. I never would have guessed that you'd be taken in by the charms of a lesbian cop. Is she your bit of blue-collar rough before you settle for someone who would have made mom and dad proud?"
"Olivia's a lesbian?" Alex looked startled.
"You just said "
"I just said that the woman had a gorgeous smile."
"You implied "
"That you found her attractive."
"So that makes her a lesbian? God, if only! I can think of any number of women where that theory of cause-and-effect could have come in handy from my high school civics teacher to Sharon Stone, whom I once met at a Broadway opening."
"Very funny, Alex." Trevor shifted uncomfortably. "So are you saying that you're a lesbian?"
"Let's put that aside for a minute," she dismissed, casually. "Are you saying that Olivia is more 'blue collar' than you or that my parents would have thought less of her than they do of you?"
The question did nothing to help Trevor's comfort level. "She's a cop. Hardly the career choice of America's brightest and best."
"Unlike the law, you mean?"
Trevor unconsciously moved a few steps closer to the door. "You're putting words in my mouth."
"You should be so lucky." Anger flared as dark blue fire in Alex's eyes. "Unfortunately you, and your clients, are stuck with only the words you can come up with. But let's clarify a few things, shall we? Olivia grew up as the daughter of a New York academic; she was considered a gifted student and a scholar. She graduated with honors from a respected university and she chose to become a police officer because she wanted a better world than the one she was born into. You grew up as the son of a bureaucrat and you needed to have him pull strings to get you into law school - which you entered purely for the financial benefits of the profession."
"Not everyone has a trust fund, Alex."
She smiled. "You've missed my point. I fully appreciate the value of a professional qualification, whether it be in the practice of law, accountancy, medicine, teaching or something else, but your choice of career hardly makes you superior to a police officer who risks her life in the defense of others. And that's before we consider the fact that your practice is built almost exclusively upon defending the indefensible when predators are rich enough to make their desperation worth your while." She uncrossed her arms and took a step towards Trevor. "Now, given my parents' attitudes towards charity and giving back to society, which of you do you think they would have considered the more noble?"
"So you're really attracted to her?" Trevor did not attempt to deny Alex's assessment of his career, preferring to expend all available energy on maintaining his focus on her answer to the question of her sexual orientation. Alex had developed a sudden interest in the stalled interrogation of the suspect that had been droning on in the background, but he refused to fall for such a blatant attempt at distraction. If Alexandra Cabot was a lesbian, he wanted to know.
Alex's anger seemed to dissipate and a teasing light entered her blue eyes as they met Trevor's. "The thing about her smiles, Trevor? Is that they make me want to capture them with my mouth, taste them, find out whether her lips are as soft as they look and her tongue as sweet."
Trevor's flush deepened. "You're "
"Going to nail your client to the wall, because Olivia just got him to confess."
Trevor spun around to face the glass of the interrogation room, immediately registering the fact that the body language of its two occupants confirmed Alex's smug statement. "I need a glass of water," he said, hoarsely.
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