DISCLAIMER: The original characters are ours; the rest we're borrowing from Dick Wolf. This is a love story between two consenting female adults, and may contain adult material. Caveat emptor.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Third prequel series to the Lemon Seed Orange Tree series. This is the second of seven stories
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Falling For You
By Adrienne Lee
2. ANGELS DON'T FALL
"Tell me why I'm doing this again?" Alex asked her companion.
"You said you wanted to get in better shape, and believe me rock climbing gets you in shape," the detective promised, straightening up her spine, and flexing her lean cut body to prove her point.
"Are you saying there's something wrong with my shape?" The blonde's eyes narrowed, taking on the shade of blue ice.
Olivia gulped. She wasn't quite sure how repeating the woman's own words had gotten her in trouble so quickly. "No of course not, Alex, your shape is fine, more than fine. I mean, I just, I just meant..." She sputtered.
"I don't know the first thing about climbing." She continued, as if the last minute of their conversation hadn't occurred. "Isn't it dangerous?"
Recovering quickly, the brunette was back in her take charge, reassuring self. "You'll have your safety harness, and one of the trainers will be holding onto the rope as you climb. Even if you come off the wall, you can't fall."
"You sure about this, Liv?"
"Yes, Alex. I do this every week, sometimes two or three times a week" She assured, exuding confidence. "And I'll be with you all the way."
Alex attempted a smile. She was almost certain she was the cause of Olivia's treadmill mishap the week before. Meanwhile, could she handle following the detective? Watching her biceps and triceps and whatever else work their way up to her top, the top, of the wall? Falling off a rock wall could have devastating results. She worried, for both their sakes.
"Come on, Counselor, no guts, no glory."
"I don't know." She hesitated. "Especially after last week..."
"Why, what do you mean?" The brunette suddenly found herself on the defensive.
"You know, the treadmill. Oh hell, you and the treadmill."
"Oh, that?" She brushed the reminder off with a nonchalance she didn't feel. "Like I tried to explain to you before, I'm just not used to jogging on a treadmill, and for some reason, my shoelaces kept getting undone..."
"I just don't know, Liv..."
Their second weekend date was not at all going well. Olivia fretted. Wait, is this even a date? Did we specify? Or is it just two colleagues spending their free weekends together? Never mind the lengths she went to get this weekend off. She was sure Munch would demand her first born when it came time for him to collect.
Still, she was determined. They couldn't just leave now. Besides, this was her chance to prove to Alex that she really wasn't such a klutz.
"Come on, Alex, you'll have fun. I'll get Cody to hold you, he's the strongest guy there." Olivia turned around and waved to the man. "He'll be able to hold up someone as light as you with one hand."
"I'd prefer he uses both hands, thank you very much."
"Well, of course, he will. Jeez, Alex, it was just an expression. If you don't want to do this with me, just say so, and we'll do something else today," Olivia finally offered.
"No, I said I would and I will. You don't have to pout about it," Alex teased.
"I'm not pouting. I'm a detective, I don't pout."
"Sure, Liv." She turned towards the wall, and tugged on the nylon straps. "It's really too bad."
"Huh? What? What's too bad?"
"It's actually quite charming," Alex mumbled while her trainer helped with the final adjustments on her harness.
Olivia started to ask, "What is?"
Cody interrupted, cheerfully, "Who want's to go up first?"
"Alex, why don't you?" Olivia offered.
An elegant brow arched in question. "Since you're so experienced, Liv, you should go first, so I could follow and watch how it's done." Yes, it was her only reason, a perfectly legitimate one at that.
"It'd be better if you went up first. Then I can come right behind you. I mean, that way if you slip, I'll help break your descent." The brunette was careful not to use the word fall.
For a brief instance, Alex was disappointed. She had to admit, she was so looking forward to the possible view. On the other hand Hm
"Come on, Alex. You'll be fine, trust me."
"All right. If I land on your head, you have no one but yourself to blame." The blonde smiled and reached up, silently congratulating herself for her foresight. Always be prepared, that was her motto.
"You're doing great, Alex," came Olivia's cheer from a short distance below. "Keep a tight grip on the rope, Cody. I don't want anything to happened to my friend." Olivia warned with her authoritative detective voice before turning to her own handler. "You ready Jeff?"
"Sure thing, ready when you are." He winked and took a quick tug on her safety rope.
"Hey, are you coming or not?" Alex called from several feet above. "You can't break my fall if you're still on the ground," she said, grinning, surprised at how quickly she had picked up the rhythm. Rock climbing wasn't something she'd want to do on a regular basis, but it wasn't as bad as she had imagined.
"I'm coming right now." Olivia grabbed for the next piece of protrusion, then another. Soon, she was at eye level with her friend's knee, at the hem of her bicycle shorts. Settling on her foothold, she looked up. "Hey..." she began. The rest of her greeting died in her mouth. Whoa! Hello nurse! Wait, is there? Is she not... Nah, that's not possible. Maybe they're just hidden by the harness or something... Under-shorts? Thongs?
At that same exact moment, Alex looked down. "What took you?"
"Huh?" She blinked, tearing her gaze from the black spandex.
"What are you staring at? Did I get chalk on my butt?"
Olivia felt like one of Alex's perps on the witness stand. She blushed and stared straight ahead at the wall. "Um. No..." She muttered.
"What?" Alex asked again.
"Just checking to make sure you were okay up there," Olivia provided. Great Benson, just great. Can you get any lamer?
"I'm fine," the blonde replied, sounding slightly exasperated.
If the brunette had paid attention though, she would have seen the hint of amusement in Alex's smile. Instead, she trained her eyes at the textured surface directly in front, at the little cracks and specks of colors in the fake rock. Quickly though, she realized that wasn't going to work either. She had to look for the next hold, or stay put.
Oh God, what insanity made me come up with this bright idea? She tried to avert her gaze, to focus on the ceiling. Maybe I should move over to the other side, way, way over Yeah, that's it.
"Where are you going?"
"Uh." Towards the voice from above, she had to look. "Just trying to give you more room?"
"Then how are you going to break my fall?"
"Oh. Sorry. You're right." She sighed, and watched Alex resume her ascent. God. What I wouldn't give to sink my teeth... "Damn it!" She cursed as she missed her hold and came away from the wall.
Jeff held her in place with a hard jerk on the rope. "Hey, Benson, what's the matter? You never fall," he commented from the floor.
She ignored him, and sighed to herself. This is going to be a long climb, a very long climb. Possibly the longest damn climb of your miserable life... Once more, she tried to focus on her task at head.
Finally, she made it past the length of black material, now she was even with Alex's waist. Before she could breathe her relief, the blonde reached up, her short tee pulling away from her shorts.
Oh, god. Olivia stared, the fractions of seconds it took Alex to pull herself up to the next foothold went by in perfect slow motion. She swore she could see the small beads of perspiration building up on her smooth creamy skin.
They were definitely close enough that the brunette could smell the light fragrance Alex was wearing, evaporating from her body heat. She could almost imagine how it would feel to slide her own skin up along the blonde's deliciously naked body. . .
Just as her imagination took off, she felt her foot give way. Once again, she was dangling in mid- air.
Alex saw the rope jerk, and glanced down. "Are you all right?"
In turn, Olivia glared down at Jeff and griped, "Not so tight on the rope." Hoping Alex would think he had something to do with her fall from grace.
"I'm not doing anything I don't normally do," he insisted.
Great, just great!' Here she was, supposedly showing off her athletic prowess. All she managed was to make a complete fool out of herself.
By the time they both got to the top, Olivia had fallen six more times. She wished she could just stay up there forever, then she wouldn't have to face the certain ridicule.
When they finally repelled back down to the floor, Alex turned to her and smiled. "That was fun, but not nearly as hard as you made it sound.'
"I'm glad you enjoyed yourself," the detective half snarled.
"Hey, Benson, what's your problem today? Got oil on your shoes?" Jeff teased.
Olivia glared at him; she snapped, "Just a bad day, don't you ever have them?"
"Come on, fearless climber." Alex tugged on the brunette's sleeve, pulling her towards the locker room. "I'll buy you a caramel frappe, maybe that will improve your disposition."
"I really am good at this, I just, I don't know what happened."
"It's all right, Liv. You're entitled to a bad session now and then."
"I suppose "
"Come on, I need a caffeine and sugar fix. Let's get rid of all these straps, and get showered and changed." Alex walked on ahead.
Olivia trudged along, nursing her wounded pride.
Then the blonde turned around, a slight smile pulling at her lips. "So..."
"What else do you have planned for our second date? Or was this it?"
The brunette beamed, endless possibilities filling her mind. "Of course not!"
Sequel Angels Would Fall
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