DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She lies next to me, her breathing shallow and on the verge of wakefulness, the fluttering of eyelashes telegraphing her ascent into the world around her. It is a precious moment, a last reprieve from the judgement that will befall us when she wakes. I hold on to it as a child clutches to their mother's warm embrace, in the full knowledge that she will keep them from harm.
It's a question, although whether she's questioning my position in her bed or merely my worried stare, I do not know. I'm terrified that it is the former and unsure how to explain the latter.
Her eyes abandon me for but a second, sweeping across the room and assuring herself of her location or perhaps safety. She is safe. I would never let her be otherwise. Then those warm brown eyes revert to me and I am once again captured by their intensity. "Alex, what's wrong?"
"N-nothing." My voice breaks and with it a piece of my heart. I want this to be easy. I want to be able to greet her with a morning kiss and recapture some of last night's brave desires. But fear holds me in its clutches, squeezing the life and joy from my being and leaving behind a frightened child. I don't know what is wrong with me.
As she begins to move I am convinced she will leave me, abandon her bed and retreat from the fool that I am making of myself. She doesn't leave.
"Come'ere." Her hands are warm, her embrace welcoming, and little by little I feel the terror begin to fade. I burrow my head into her shoulder, savouring the scent that is at once new and familiar. Her perfume overlaid with the essence of our lovemaking, producing a scent that is at once essentially Olivia and at the same time 'us'. Beautiful.
Her hands are in my hair, soothing me, reassuring me, arousing me. I'm sure she has no idea of the power her simplest touch has over me nor the effort it has always taken to battle my own desires when I'm around her. "That feels good." My voice is muffled but I can almost feel the smile in her touch.
"Alex, are you okay?"
Her concern is real. Last night she fell into bed with a forthright attorney and today she's awoken to a clinging child. I wish I could explain it to her. I wish I could explain it to myself. "I'm sorry."
Her hand in my hair doesn't stop its caress. "What are you sorry for?"
For being terrified you'll wake up and decide it was all a mistake. For spending the last two years pining away for you, too afraid of rejection to even let you be my friend. For loving you. "I'm behaving like a fool."
She chuckles, the reverberations echoing from her chest to mine. "You are a lot of things, Ms Cabot, but a fool isn't one of them." She captures my face in her hands and pulls me back to look in her eyes. She is smiling; a full smile that I've only seen on rare occasions and this one is especially for me. "I'm scared too, Alex, but there's nowhere else I'd rather be."
She kisses me and with the first touch of her lips I know that all my fear has been misplaced. I am safe.
Return to Law & Order Fiction
Return to Main Page