DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: of sorts to Worthy

First Chair
By EponinesGhost

Stirring slowly, not yet ready to leave such a sound sleep behind, Kelly Gaffney rubbed her cheek against the pillow gently. She was on her side, facing the middle of the bed, covers pulled haphazardly over her hip and chest. A ghost of a smile touched her lips as she slid her hand forward, realizing as her fingers met only the rumpled sheet that Tracey was no longer next to her. Easing one eye open, her suspicions were confirmed. Alone. Early morning sunlight seeped into the room and for a brief moment she was gripped by the thought that she had overslept. Just as quickly, one of her favorite words replaced that dread. "Saturday." Mmm. Stretching her arm under the pillow and arching her back, she savored the idea of staying right here in bed as long as she wanted ... with Tracey. She rolled to her other side, yawning. Almost simultaneously she picked up sounds from the bathroom. The doorknob turning, light switch flicked off. And there she was.

"Hey sleepyhead," Tracey's voice almost faltered as she took in the tousled hair, dreamy expression and general nakedness of her partner. Damn. She willed her feet to move at normal pace toward the bed. She couldn't do anything about her accelerated heartbeat.

"Mornin'" Kelly yawned again. Her eyes roamed all over Tracey's body as she advanced. "You're beautiful." She hadn't necessarily intended to say that out loud, but she didn't necessarily mind that she had.

Tracey's breath caught as she moved around the end of the bed toward her side. Hell, the whole bed was hers. The side she had slept on. "Flattery will get you everywhere, counselor, but "before coffee" is not my best look ..."

Turning so that she was again facing the middle of the bed, her head propped on her hand, Kelly begged to differ. "Under oath, I'd stand by my assessment." She smiled up at Tracey. "Come here ..." She raised the edge of the sheet in a welcoming gesture.

One knee on the bed, Tracey leaned over her, her hand sliding warmly up the inside of Kelly's lower leg. "Here?" She was delighted by the flicker in Kelly's eyes as her fingers traveled up toward the back of her knee.

"N-no ... all the way in .. with me." Kelly haltingly patted the bed next to her.

"Did you miss me?" Leaning even further in, Tracey pushed firmly at Kelly's shoulder, guiding her back against the pillows. Deftly she dodged Kelly's attempt to pull her down on top of her. Her hand edged further up under the sheet.

As much as she relished the effect Tracey's caress was having on her, Kelly had something else in mind. "Terribly."

Again she reached for Tracey's waist. This time, when Tracey eluded her, she protested. "Hey ..." She was silenced by Tracey's finger pressed to her lips.

"Let me do this ..." Her thumb rubbed lazily against Kelly's thigh.

Kissing the finger touching her mouth, Kelly tilted away from it. "I'll be glad to ... afterward." She waggled her eyebrows at Tracey and curled one hand under the mass of dark curls. "It's my turn ..." Using her grip on Tracey's neck as leverage, she raised herself up even as she drew Tracey's head down toward her.

Sinking into the kiss, Tracey struggled to keep her concentration. She stroked the inside of Kelly's thigh, deliberately, alternately squeezing and massaging it. Tearing her lips away, she breathed warmly, "Next time."

Kelly stifled a moan as Tracey's fingers worked their magic. She wasn't giving in this easily. "That's what you said before. And the time before that. And the time before that .." Nudging Tracey's hair aside with her nose, she sucked softly on the area just below her ear, exulting in the tremble she felt shake Tracey's body.

"You're keeping count?!?" The words were practically whimpered. The lips on her neck, the steady pull ... too damn distracting.

Breaking contact with Tracey's skin, Kelly sat up. "Yeah, I suppose. I guess I am." Running her fingers through her hair, she realized that although she had been partly teasing, suddenly it was very important to her.

"I'll make it up to you." Tracey pressed in, trying to guide Kelly backwards onto the bed. Her hand crawled higher, determined to erase any coherent thoughts either of them might have. She was startled back to herself when Kelly shrugged away.

If anyone had tried to tell Kelly a few weeks before that she would ever voluntarily leave Tracey Kibre's bed, naked, while an equally naked Tracey was making love to her, she would have sworn they were crazy. Beyond insane. And yet she was out of the bed like a shot. Looking for her night shirt as soon as her feet hit the floor. She needed to think. She felt too exposed and off-balance. Dammit where was her shirt? Spotting it on the arm of the chair, she stalked over to it and yanked it over her head.

Angled sideways on the bed, braced on her hip and hand, a bewildered Tracey watched her. "What are you doing?!?"



"You heard me. I'm leaving. Going home. Walking away." She grabbed her overnight bag from where she had dropped it near the closet and tossed it onto the foot of the bed.

Tracey shook her head slowly. "You can't be serious ..."

"Why Tracey? Because you're so damn irresistible?" Kelly exhaled shortly and harshly. Shoving a sweater into the bag, she muttered, "I'm not one of your conquests."

Increasingly confused, and more than a little irritated, Tracey drew herself upright on the opposite edge of the bed. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?!?"

Pacing and packing, Kelly seemed to be talking more to herself than her companion. "I thought ... I was sure ... I was different ... that it meant the same to you ... that this was mutual ... we were both in as deep ... that you ... that we were..." She stopped abruptly, hands falling to her sides. Her eyes moved up and around the room as if she were searching for the words there.

Tracey wanted nothing more at the moment than to calm the situation, to get back to where she could make some sense of it. "Kelly, I have no idea what I've done, but just let me ... "

"That's it. That's it exactly. YOU don't let me ... it's all about you ... I can't get through to you ..." She swallowed hard. Determined not to cry. Forcefully, she zipped the bag closed.

"Baby, if that's what you think, then you haven't been paying attention." Tracey's mind raced to grasp any thread of understanding. If she just knew what was broken, she could fix it.

Kelly was incredulous. " I haven't been paying attention?!? I haven't been paying attention?!?" Her hands fluttered up even as her voice rose. "You can call it keeping score, count ... whatever you want. But I can't stay here and face any more rejection from you. It hurts too much."

Before she knew it, Tracey was on her feet as well.

"What are you talking about?!? You take my breath away ... I can't stop touching you when we're together and I can't stop thinking about you when we're apart ... I want to give you everything you could ever want from me ... there is NO WAY this is about rejection ..."


Kelly's anger and emotion exploded. "BULLSHIT it's not! Bullshit that you want to give me everything ... You won't give me YOU. You won't let me in ... you won't give me permission to dismantle any of your defenses, you can't show me one moment of real vulnerability, you have to keep the walls up. More than you want me, you want to stay in control of yourself, of this ... of us ... You've REJECTED the idea that you can trust me. Even now, after all I've shared with you. I've ripped myself open for you, held nothing back, damn the consequences! Because I thought this was more ..."

Tracey was stunned by the fierce intensity of Kelly's speech. And by the fact that it hit so close to home. Her first reaction, as always, was to hit back. "I never asked you to."

She would have given anything in the world to have those words back the minute they registered on Kelly's face. She took a step forward as Kelly stood blinking rapidly and was mortified when Kelly flinched at the movement. Dammit.

"No. I suppose you didn't." Kelly's tone was hushed. "My mistake."

Godammit! This couldn't be happening. How had she fucked this up so badly? Say something Kibre! She could feel her panic rising, feel Kelly slipping away from her. This was her nightmare. What she had guarded so carefully against. Or so she'd hoped. Without realizing it, she hugged her arms protectively around herself, trying to hold back the chill that was gradually overtaking her.

Closing her eyes briefly and taking one last long steadying breath, Kelly gripped the handle of her bag. Silently she pleaded with Tracey to say something, to prove her wrong. When she heard nothing, she spun away from the bed toward the door, her eyes wet with tears.

"I'm afraid."

Barely above a whisper, the words stopped Kelly just as her hand touched the doorframe. She froze there, allowing the comment to hang in the air. Hardly daring to disturb it. Finally, without turning her head she asked quietly, "Afraid of me? That I might hurt you?"

When she didn't get any answer, she slowly brought her eyes around, still somewhat wary, but unable to look away. Tracey was nodding. Standing there, naked and shivering, her arms clasped tightly around herself, she was heartbreaking.

Placing her bag down in the chair, Kelly eased back toward the bed. As soon as she could reach it, she draped a blanket around Tracey's shoulders, drawing it together in front. While she was fixated on making sure Tracey was warm and covered, she avoided speaking or meeting her eyes. Only after they were both seated on the edge of the bed did she manage, "I would never hurt you, Tracey."

"Not intentionally." The one hand that was outside the blanket picked at the material. "I'm almost more afraid of myself. That I won't be able recover ... All the King's horses and all the King's men .. and all that." She smiled ruefully.

"Of course you could ... if it ever came to that ... which it won't. You can do anything you set your mind to. I've seen it. I'm in awe of it. Your strength ..."

"Is sometimes just for show." Sighing heavily as she confessed this, Tracey huddled deeper into the blanket.

Incredibly moved by the admission, Kelly took her hand, intertwining their fingers. "You are wonderfully human, Tracey. There's nothing weak about you. We're all scared of something."

Looking down at their clasped hands, Tracey whispered, "You're braver than most, you know."

Touched, but puzzled, Kelly leaned closer, her own voice low and quiet. "Why do you say that?"

Dark eyes looked up until they found Kelly's blue ones. Unguarded, Tracey held her gaze. "Because you came back."

"I never really left." They were only inches apart now and Kelly was having trouble keeping her balance.

Chuckling low in her throat, Tracey nuzzled her nose against Kelly's cheek. "So you were bluffing?"

"Not at all. Deadly serious. Had to force your hand somehow." Her fingers slipped into Tracey's hair just above her ear, cupping her head, thumb trailing over her cheek.

The warmth enveloping Tracey now had nothing to do with the blanket. "You win. I can't promise that I'll be able to change overnight, as far as opening up, letting go ... but I do promise to try. With all my heart."

"Then we both win." Kelly closed the distance between them, capturing Tracey's mouth with a deep kiss.

As she surrendered to the crush of Kelly's lips against her own, the spiraling sensation that she was drowning, Tracey remembered something important. Unfinished business. Returning the kiss almost desperately, she struggled to override her mind and give into her desire to never breathe again. Drawing back, nearly gasping for air, she murmured, "I'm so sorry."

Lightly licking Tracey's lower lip, Kelly permitted a few seconds to pass without acknowledging the apology. "I know."

"Tell me what to do and I'll do it ..."

Grinning, Kelly brought her mouth up to Tracey's ear. Nibbling and toying with her earlobe, she whispered in her sexiest voice, "Make me breakfast."

Despite the care Tracey had used in extricating herself from her partner's embrace, Kelly felt her slipping away. She murmured a weak protest without being fully conscious. Even as her arm curled around the displaced pillow, she was aware of a drop in temperature, the loss of Tracey's delicate skin close to her own. Slowly she drew her knee up, swimming against the current that pulled her toward wakening. It was Sunday. They were sleeping in. Emphasis on sleeping. The harder she tried to stay under, the more alert her mind became. She didn't want to open her eyes and confirm that it was still dark outside. Tracey and her teacup bladder. She smiled and pushed her face between the pillows. It was no use. Giving in, she flipped completely over and fluttered her eyelids open. Surprisingly enough, the sun was already up. Still, she grimaced when she glanced at the digital clock. Too early. Pedaling her feet, she pushed the tangled sheet completely off of her legs. Yawning she stretched her whole body, popping her neck and twisting slightly at the waist. The movement and the cooler air caused her nipples to tighten pleasantly. Unbidden, memories of Tracey lavishing attention on them flashed through her mind. Groaning she pushed herself upright, eyes fixed on the door. Just as she was about to call out, the embodiment of her craving stepped back into the room.

"Speak of the devil ..."

"No, no, no ... I was hoping I didn't wake you ... I planned on being back before you even missed me."

"That's not possible."

Kelly was gratified to note the effect her comment had on Tracey's expression. She'd practically stopped her in her tracks. Good. Remembering the conflict from the previous morning, Kelly decided to press this advantage. Before Tracey reached the end of the bed, Kelly held up her hand.

"Wait ... I want to look at you."

Tracey was instantly self-conscious, a feeling she had little experience dealing with. She had to resist the powerful urge to cover herself with her arms, even though she knew that was ridiculous. This was Kelly. And she had to admit, it thrilled her to see those blue eyes deepen as they admired the view. Every inch of her skin was warmed by Kelly's gaze. Still, she shivered.

"By all means, take your time." Tracey was incredibly proud that her sarcasm hadn't failed her, even as she felt her composure falter.

Smirking, and pretending that Tracey was being straightforward, Kelly nodded. "Thanks. I will."

Reaching behind her, she propped the pillows up against the headboard. She made a production of scooting backwards and slightly reclining as if she were settling in to watch a movie.

Tracey arched an eyebrow. "Comfy?"

"Uh huh. Very. You?"

"Can't complain." She rested her hands on her hips. "Not sure I can say that if you plan to make me stand here all day ..."

Beaming, Kelly shook her head slowly. "Oh no. I have a MUCH better idea."

Tracey knew that for her, taking the next step toward climbing up onto the bed was the equivalent of stepping off of a ledge. She had a brief flashback of her mother's voice saying, "If your best friend jumped off a cliff, would that mean you had to do it?" Shaking her head abruptly, she was struck by the thought that Kelly had already leapt. With both feet. And she was waiting. Had already been waiting too long. "Yes," she breathed, as much to her mother as to herself.

From her half-sitting, half-reclining position at the head of the bed, Kelly watched the struggle play out briefly on Tracey's face. She hadn't been aware that she was holding her breath until Tracey's knee made contact with the bed. Exhaling deeply, Kelly experienced a twinge of doubt. Was she wrong to test Tracey this way? Yesterday morning had been heart-wrenching and it might be best to let it lie for a while. Another part of her was cognizant of the fact that this was a test SHE needed to pass as well. As painful as it might have been, she had been prepared to walk away. She knew she wasn't willing to settle. Not when it came to Tracey Kibre. No matter how the woman touched her soul. It was all or nothing.

Tracey wondered what in the world she had been worried about the moment she began to crawl toward Kelly. After all, what was the worst that could happen? Immediately she answered herself. You could break, fall completely apart. That's what could happen. Worse still, you could need her. Desperately and deeply. So much that you might not be able to function without her. And you've never needed anyone, not like that. Oh god. And she could know it. Tracey halted with her knees between Kelly's calves, waiting for Kelly to indicate what she wanted. After all, she had first chair.

Kelly imagined that she could feel each and every blood vessel in her body throbbing with want as she watched Tracey inch closer. She forced herself to concentrate on Tracey's eyes, trying to capture them with her own. She wanted to communicate so much with that one look. Reassurance, excitement, strength, compassion, invitation and even a hint of challenge. And try as she might, she couldn't contain the burst of triumph reflected there when Tracey paused to listen for further instructions.

"Turn around."

Kelly was amazed by how steady her voice sounded under the circumstances. She prayed it would last.

Disappointed, Tracey almost balked at the first directive. She thought would be okay as long as she could see Kelly's eyes, face. It occurred to her to ask why, to try and persuade her partner toward a different course, anything that would allow her to continue to keep this connection. Then she recalled the profound hurt she had seen wound those gorgeous blue eyes the day before. Without further hesitation she shifted until she was facing the opposite direction. Almost instantaneously she felt Kelly's arms encircle her waist and pull her back against her body.

"Perfect." Kelly couldn't think of a more appropriate word to describe the feeling of Tracey's petite frame resting against her this way. That perfect ass settling into the cradle of her hips, those perfect legs stretched the length of her own, ankles draped to the outside of Kelly's lower legs. That perfectly luxurious head of hair tilted back against her shoulder. She almost stopped breathing just to savor it all, freeze this moment. She placed a gentle kiss on the temple closest to her lips, bringing one hand up to comb through the curls on the other side. Over and over she repeated this ritual until she noted Tracey's body totally relaxing, sinking completely back into her. Even then she continued to rake her fingers through Tracey's fabulous hair, marveling at how often she used to long to touch it, and how free she felt to do so now.

With her chin tucked over Tracey's shoulder, she also marveled at the view. This angle would certainly rival any of her previous favorites. She stroked her fingers up and down Tracey's upper arm, other fingers still busy sifting in and out the long black hair. Holding Tracey like this, feeling even the tiniest movement, knowing she could explore to her heart's content, the complete acquiescence ... it was almost enough in and of itself. Almost.

Placing both hands on Tracey's shoulders, she rubbed soft, spiraling circles. As her hands slid lightly down the length of Tracey's arms, Kelly nibbled the top curve of her ear. Crawling her fingers down, she covered the back of Tracey's hands with her palms, clasping them from above. When their fingers were completely intertwined, she whispered warmly, lips brushing Tracey's earlobe, "Trust me?"

Tracey heard something between a question and a command. Either way, she agreed.

Immersed in the sensations Kelly was creating, Tracey drifted in and out of rapt awareness. Her eyes had been closed since the fist pass of Kelly's fingers through her hair, but she hardly needed another sense to fully absorb the experience. Every nerve was a live wire, every cell of skin on heightened alert. Despite the intensity that buzzed through her, she was completely enveloped by an aura of calm and security. She squeezed Kelly's fingers, trying her best to signal her both her appreciation and compliance without words.

Her heart constricting in her chest in response to Tracey's simple gesture, Kelly tenderly kissed the juncture of her jaw. Breathing warmly there, she used her grip on Tracey's hands to guide them up over her body. With their fingers clasped tightly together -- hers above, Tracey's below -- Kelly scraped their knuckles across both of Tracey's nipples. Fascinated, she watched as they stiffened further with each approach. Letting their fingernails trail along the same route, she nearly lost it as Tracey arched into her, the combination of the sexy-soft moans and Tracey's ass shifting against her practically doing her in. Instead, she grasped Tracey's fingers tighter and lowered her palms until they hovered just above the darkened peaks. When Tracey's back bowed again, demanding contact, Kelly crushed their hands down, deliriously aroused by the feel of Tracey rubbing and clutching her own breasts beneath Kelly's hands.

My God. Tracey was unraveling. She didn't know which fingers belonged to her and which were Kelly's. She didn't care. Somewhere in the recesses of her tortured mind, she registered Kelly's hiss of reaction to the movement of her ass. With deep satisfaction she noted that she wasn't the only one being swept away, but before she could pursue it, warm hands mercifully covered her aching nipples and all thought was gone.

The hardest thing Kelly had ever done was to maintain even a thread of sanity while Tracey writhed on top of her. Initially she had planned for this to last all morning ... the holding and caressing and gradual build up. Fuck that. Her blood was boiling, her mouth was bone dry, and every drop of liquid in her body seemed to be collecting under the velvety pressure of Tracey's ass. Unintentionally rough, she forced Tracey's right hand away from her breast ... dragging and pushing it down her body. Bearing down with her hand, she drove the heel of Tracey's palm into the thatch of dark curls, pulling back with her fingers to keep either of them from moving lower. At the same time, Kelly slid her legs farther apart, shoving Tracey's wider as well. She could scarcely breathe, her chest heaving under Tracey's back. And it took all of her remaining strength to hang on.

Fuck. Her head lolling from side to side against Kelly's neck and shoulder, Tracey was almost frightened by the monstrous need that was overtaking her. The harsh pressure of the heel of her hand was so close ... so close. She strained to alter positions, to reach it, both with her body and her fingers, but Kelly's grip was like iron and with her legs extended like this she could gain no leverage. . She knew she was whimpering uncontrollably, each breath deep and ragged. It took her a moment to realize that the words in her head where coming from Kelly because they so closely echoed her own. "Yes. Yes. Oh God."

"Please ..."

The sound had barely cleared Tracey's lips when Kelly flattened their right hands, fingers sliding and sinking, curling against her. She heard Kelly growl into her ear as their tangled fingers grew slicker, but she wasn't aware that Kelly was speaking until she sharply grabbed Tracey's hand.

"Listen to me ... I'm going to ... take this hand away ..." She squeezed her left hand, the one that had been anchoring Tracey's hand to her breast. "But ... I don't want you to move yours." There was a low rattling quality to Kelly's voice that sent extra shivers up Tracey's spine. "Understand?"

Tracey jerked her head in a semblance of a nod. As Kelly moved to draw her hand away, she could sense the a slight wavering on Tracey's part, the smallest resistance. Slipping her free hand over Tracey's waist and under their right forearms, holding her more securely, she whispered, again directly into Tracey's ear, "It's okay. It's me."

With that, Tracey let go of the ledge. Surrendering utterly and totally to where Kelly was taking her, she pinched and tugged her nipple between her finger and thumb. Rolling her hips back into her partner with abandon, she shuddered as Kelly groaned hotly against her neck.

"So fucking amazing ... beautiful ..." Kelly was overwhelmed. Watching Tracey, moving with her, she wanted to scream. She pinned Tracey's right hand against her flesh, practically yanking it up and down, both of their fingers working frantically, twisting together and apart. Confident now that Tracey was too far gone to stop touching herself, Kelly tore her right hand away. She was so fucking glad they weren't lying flat, that she had propped the pillows up like she had, as she watched Tracey's graceful fingers dance. OH GOD.

The absence of Kelly's hand over hers caused Tracey to cry out in protest. But when Kelly's warm wet fingers smeared across her throbbing right nipple, the cry of protest changed to deep moans of pleasure. Want to. So close. Now nothing was holding her back.

"Tracey ... baby ... don't stop ..."

Hanging on for dear life as Tracey bucked and twisted against her, Kelly finally closed her eyes. It was almost too much, this level of desperate desire. Listening to Tracey, the delicious friction, the wracking tremors that seemed to flow from one of them to the other ... GOD. She was going to explode. Or die. Right now, at this moment, she didn't care which. Then she heard Tracey shout her name. Fuck. That's it. Thank god she lived long enough to hear that. That voice ...

She barely had time to relish the surge of pure adrenaline that accompanied Tracey's collapse before the rush of it plunged her over the abyss as well.

Tracey was silent and still for so long that Kelly was beginning to think she had passed out. While she had to admit that the idea of causing Ms. Kibre to swoon made her awfully proud, her concern got the best of her. Raising her cheek from where it had been resting against Tracey's temple, she tried to peer around at her face.

"You okay?"

Chuckling at the question, Tracey smiled. "I think that might be the understatement of the year." She shifted a bit in Kelly's embrace and was delighted by the sharp intake in breath from behind her. "How are you doin'?

"Fabulous, really. Just watch where you're going with that."

"With what?"

Kelly slid one hand down and smoothed it over the curve of Tracey's ass, just over her own hip. "This ... it's lethal."

Laughing again, but absurdly pleased, Tracey responded. "Maybe we should put it away then. Do you want me to move off of you so you can be more comfortable?"

"Never." Kelly's tone was suddenly serious. She kissed the side of Tracey's face that was closest to her.

See Kibre, this is the power the woman has over you. Mind-blowing sex aside, she keeps you completely off balance. She can go toe to toe with you, match you in every important area, deal with your bullshit, dish it out and take it ... and then with barely a flick of her wrist, she has you captured completely. Willingly. She's well on her way to owning you, Tracey. Can you handle that? Like a moth to a flame. The sly sense of humor, fierce protective streak, sexy ... hell ... sexy everything.

"Hey you ... still with me?" Kelly nudged her lightly.

"Yeah. I was just thinking ..."

"Thinking?" Kelly's teasing tone made it clear that her choice of activity at the moment was distasteful.

Tracey weighed whether or not she needed to say anything. "Yes ... about today .. what we ... "

Kelly waited patiently for her to finish.

"It's just ... I never ..." Dammit Tracey. You're a top prosecutor, stammering and floundering over a simple sentence.

"Never thought I had it in me?" Tracey could feel Kelly smiling against her cheek. "Let me guess ... you always had me pegged as too ... vanilla, right?"

Rescued again. Tracey's face split into a grin. "Vanilla is fast becoming my favorite flavor, counselor."

"Lucky for you I'm a veritable Baskin Robbins." As they both laughed, Kelly brought her hand up to comb through Tracey's long hair yet again. If she wasn't careful, this was going to turn into something of a fetish for her.

"Mmmmm. I was just going to ask you to do that some more."

"It's my pleasure." If you only KNEW. "And please, always ask if there is something you want."

After a beat or two, Tracey replied. "Well there is something ..." She flipped over awkwardly, briefly knocking the wind out of Kelly before settling down facing her, eyes sparkling.

Charmed, Kelly encouraged, "Yes?"

"Can we grab a matinee and sit in the back and eat popcorn and hold hands and make out?" The words all tumbled after each other in a rush.

Kelly loved this side of her. Smiling indulgently she changed her expression to a mockingly stern one.

"On one condition ... You have to promise not to go past second base. I don't want to get arrested."

The End

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