DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

First Moves
By Moet

Part 1

"What've we got?" said Olivia Benson as she sauntered into the squad room, meeting up with Elliot, Munch and a radiant Alexandra Cabot.

"I was hoping you could tell us something," said Alex, drinking in the detective from head to toe. Olivia's silver-blue v-neck body suit and black spandex slacks were duly inspected by the ADA.

"No, the parents were a dead end, pardon the pun. CSU handed off the crime scene photos though." Olivia handed them to Alex, their fingers brushing in the process. Alex tried to hide her reaction to the electric touch.

"Guess we better go talk to the boyfriend," Elliot said, nodding to Olivia. The pair headed for the door.

Olivia gazed directly into Alex's crystal blues. "I'll fill you in later, Alex."

You do that, Detective, Alex thought. Olivia's eyes--her entire person, had the most beguiling affect on Alex, especially since recent emotional cases had deepened the sense of understanding between the two women. Alex watched her every movement, stared at those lips that seemed to move in slow motion sometimes. What is happening to me? she asked herself constantly these days.

Office of ADA Cabot, 10:00 pm

A soft rap on her office door awakened Alex from her daydreaming. "Hey, I thought you'd still be here," said Olivia. "I'm pretty sure we've got something on the vic's boyfriend." Alex's laggy mood suddenly perked up with the appearance of her favorite new pastime.

"I've been going over the photos, pretty brutal stuff," said Alex, gesturing to her messy desk. Olivia sat down in front of her and went through the litany of the day's interviews and possible evidence, not noticing Alex occasionally zoning out.

Such round, full breasts, pink nipples or dark? Alex pondered. I'll bet they're exquisite. I smell some faint, pleasant fruit scent, she must use a shower gel.

Olivia snapped her notebook closed, snapping Alex into the present. "So, what do you think Alex?"

"Wha—oh I'm sorry it's so late, I was—could you repeat that?" Almost busted, better focus.

Olivia smiled broadly. "You poor thing. Did you have any dinner?" Alex shrugged and shook her head no. "I'm gonna run next door to Yips and get us some Chinese food. I'm starving. What do you like?"

I'll take you drenched in duck sauce, she thought. "I like Yip's chicken and broccoli," Alex replied.

"You got it. Be right back." Olivia bounded out of the office.

"Bring extra duck sauce," Alex called after her.

"Okay," Olivia yelled from the hallway.

Alex sighed deeply. She was touched by Olivia's caring over her lack of nourishment. But what was this aching in her chest and elsewhere whenever the brunette was near her? She knew at the very least it was a crush, and at most, what falling in love with a woman would feel like. Captivating. Deeply emotional. Frightening. She felt like she was on a roller coaster--chenk, chenk chenk slowly climbing upward to the peak. It seemed only moments had passed, when…

"Here we go! Yippee!" Olivia said, as she barged into the office with greasy, good smelling white bags.

"Oh jeez, Olivia," a startled Alex lightly touched her chest. But she couldn't help smiling at Olivia's light mood and hunger was gnawing at her in more ways than one.

The pair sat on the floor in front of the leather couch, setting up camp on the small coffee table, picnic style. They rummaged through the bags and set out their cardboard containers and paper plates. Olivia set the bags and packs of sauces on the edge of the couch above her. As they ate, Alex tried to get back to the case, but her mind and eyes started wandering again.

"Do you like opera?" Alex asked out of the blue.

Olivia chuckled. "Well, my mom used to take me, she was a huge fan. I haven't gone in years, but yes I do enjoy it." Olivia crinkled her nose, "Why would you ask?"

"Because I have tickets and thought you'd like to join me."

"Sure, I'd love to." Okay, this was confusing. Olivia enjoyed spending time with the beautiful blond and felt a growing attraction to her. But she thought the business-like ADA was way out of bounds, unattainable, impersonal. Whether this was a friendly or romantic gesture, Olivia didn't care. She wanted to be with Alex, so why not? Maybe she'd learn a thing or too about the mysterious Cabot.

"Great. We'll firm it up later this week." Poker-faced, Alex was inwardly in a state of disbelief and her heart was jumping for joy.

Suddenly, both women felt shy and awkward. "You know Olivia, things have been rough lately. I've found myself wondering why I, why we, do this."

"I know Alex. I've wondered why someone as beautiful and intelligent as you would take these kinds of cases, but now I know we're in it for the same reason."

"Why is that?" Alex said, trying not to blush at the compliments.

"Because someone has to."

Alex nodded in agreement and felt like she might cry. She stifled her tears. Ah, a good time to grab some more condiments, she thought, raising up on her knees. She leaned over Olivia to reach the sauce packets on the couch, her breasts strategically positioned in Olivia's face.

God, Olivia thought, if those were binoculars I could see all the way to Staten Island. She started to inhale the fruity scent of Alex's hair, just as Alex lost her balance. Alex toppled directly on top of Olivia, whose cat-like reflexes caught her, both hands encircling Alex's waist in a firm grip. In stretching for the packets, her knit top had come out of her waistband, so Olivia was gripping skin. Soft, milky skin.

Both startled, they stared into each other's eyes, frozen in position. Olivia's hands felt so warm and strong on Alex's flesh, she didn't want to move an inch.

"Will you always catch me when I fall, Detective?" it came out more sultry than Alex intended.

"Well if you keep going out on a limb for me, I guess it's the least I can do." Olivia smiled and gently released her grip on Alex.

Recovered, Alex contemplated her motives. Did I do that on purpose? How high school!

"When I go out on a limb for you, it usually works in my favor. Your hunches are usually right. I've learned to trust them."

Olivia was flabbergasted. That was the biggest compliment she ever had from the usually stoic beauty. "Well thanks Alex, that's really nice to hear." Olivia leaned forward and pressed her lips to Alex's forehead in an affectionate kiss. Stunned, Alex felt the heat rush to her face and chest.

Olivia broke the silence. "I guess—we uh—we should get back to the case before midnight rolls around."

"I guess you're right," Alex said reluctantly. "I wouldn't want to turn into a pumpkin." Note to self, she thought: Gotta score some tickets to the opera before the weekend.

Part 2

Metropolitan Opera Lobby, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

"Dinner was great Alex, I really like Gabrielle's. I think it's my new favorite place." Olivia looked stunning, in a black, shiny-material dress that hugged her smooth curves and plunged at the neckline. Alex could barely look at her without staring and was afraid of getting caught with her eyes heading south. Alex was equally captivating in a longish, shimmering silver-blue dress.

"I'm glad they could take us early, so we didn't have to rush. Good food. Good company." She smiled that devastating Cabot smile. Olivia felt a little weak in the knees. "You did not have to treat, though, Liv."

"Alex, C'mon. You're taking me to the Opera!" At $500 a pop, Alex got what she meant.

"It's my one wicked indulgence," Alex admitted.

"You only have one? That's too bad." Olivia was teasing her, but it was quickly escalating into a flirtation. Alex liked it.

"Maybe you could share some of yours, so I'm not so deprived," Alex laughed.

Olivia smiled broadly, and Alex felt her heart light up like a Christmas tree. This woman is my goddess, she thought.

Just then the curtain call beckoned them to take their seats. The opera was Tristan & Isolde, a Middle Ages tale with hints of Romeo & Juliet, but with more mysticism. The pair were

star-crossed lovers and early foreshadowing hinted at their doom. As their painful love story unfolded in the First Act, Alex and Olivia were riveted. Silently, each could feel the parallels.

Isolde was supposed to marry a King, Tristan's uncle, but a magic potion caused them to fall passionately in love at the risk of death.

Their love was beyond reason and beyond their control, Alex thought. It made no sense, but they were ready to accept death for it. She glanced sideways at Olivia, who was entranced in the music and the story. I want to feel that way, I could feel that way about this woman. I know she'd risk life and limb for me. But how do I tell her?

In the final act, as Isolde threw herself on her dead lover, Alex saw a tear trickle down Olivia's cheek, followed by another. She reached over and touched her arm gently, giving her a comforting smile. Then came the deafening applause and ovation. Alex quickly guided Olivia from the theater, as the crowds headed for the lobby and exit doors.

"That was absolutely beautiful, Alex," Olivia said wiping at a tear with her hand.

"I'm glad you liked it," Alex took a tissue from her purse and gently dabbed Olivia's cheekbone. Olivia laughed nervously.

"Do you ever cry at these things?" Olivia said a little embarrassed.

"No. I try not to let it in. Like my job, for example. If I started crying, I'd be afraid I couldn't stop. Then all the bad guys wouldn't get their due. I came close tonight, though."

They walked out into the night air. "Do you want to stop for a drink?" Alex said in a husky tone.

"Gee, I'm on call tomorrow. I think I better call it a night, as great as it's been." Okay, I admit I'm scared out my mind with where this could go. All I need are a couple of drinks in me and I'll be drinking champagne out of her shoe. It's that kind of night—fairy tales, love, sexy dress. Get me outa here.

Alex was visibly disappointed. "Oh I understand how that is, Liv." She's bored to tears—that's what it is. She's thinking, opera, how stuffy. She can't get far enough away. "Well, let's try to catch cabs then. You're going downtown, I'm going up, so I'd better cross the street. "Thanks for coming with me," she said a little sadly.

"Alex, I loved it! You've got me hooked again. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" Olivia reached over and hugged Alex around the neck, then kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you for the best evening I can remember."

A cab slowed and Olivia hailed it. "Here's one going my way. See ya!" She jumped in and was gone, as Alex touched her fingertips to her cheek and attempted to pick her chin up off the sidewalk.

Apartment of Olivia Benson, NYC Sunday 10 a.m.

Olivia's cell phone blared, as she gathered her laundry. "Benson. Hey, Alex, I was dreading answering this thing because I thought they were calling me in."

"Hi Liv. Just thinking about the opera and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed—being with—how much I enjoyed it. I don't get many elegant evenings out."

"Neither do I. I was going to call you and say thanks again, but you beat me to it. I had fun, Alex. And you looked amazing. Let's do it again okay? But I will pick the place for you next time."

Her day was made. I looked amazing? "Sounds good. See you tomorrow."

SVU Monday 11 a.m.

Alex rushed into the squad room. "What happened?"

"Crazy dude with a knife, tried to kill his wife after he beat and raped her," said Elliott. "We were already on the scene, when he broke free from a rookie cop and pulled a knife. Olivia took him down before he stuck it in his wife."

"Is she okay?!" Alex almost shrieked in his face.

"Yeah, she's at the hospital with the vic, they'll be here soon," looking at Cabot like she was nuts. "We saw the whole thing, it's a slam dunk."

"I'll be the judge of that," Alex said tersely.

What crawled up her ass? Elliot wondered.

"Tell me what happened, Elliot."

"We got a special vic call about a rape victim. Husband kept yelling F-ing dyke I'm gonna kill you. Apparently, she had just told him she was a lesbian and wanted out. So he beat the crap out of her and raped her in a rage."

"Sounds like we've got him on assault and attempted murder at the very least. Did he hurt Olivia at all?"

"Nah, she nailed him mid-swing of the knife, kicked him in the gut and then stomped his wrist to release the knife. Otherwise, the woman would have been stabbed. The husband's being processed right now."

Olivia walked in with the victim Crystal Hargrove, who was clinging to Olivia's arm. Crystal had cuts and bruises on her face and arm. Her feathered blond hair still had bits of blood hardened in it from her wounds, which were now bandaged.

Crystal was holding on to Olivia for dear life. "Detective, you saved my life, please stay with me. I don't know how to ever thank you."

Oh pleeeease, Alex thought. Save the bad drama for the Lifetime Channel.

Olivia took Alex aside. "Hey Alex. I'm gonna get the vic calmed down and help her get cleaned up a little better. Rape kit was positive. You want to sit in?

"Sure. I heard it got pretty hairy. I'm glad you're okay."


Twenty minutes later, Alex sat in as Olivia took Crystal's statement. She had told her husband that she knew she wanted to be with women. He smacked her, kicked her to the floor and started pounding her in the face. Then, he dragged her by the hair into the bedroom and forced himself on her. The screaming caused the neighbors to call the cops and they broke the door down. They called in SVU.

"You were there for the rest, Detective, when David broke free from that young cop and came at me with a knife. You sprang up and floored him--it was like you were some kind of action hero." Crystal reached out and touched Olivia's bare arm, massaging it lightly.

Alex was seething. Give me a break. And take your hands off her, she thought.

Olivia gently eased out of Crystal's grasp and started pacing.

"We will need you to testify," said Alex. "The detectives and beat cops will be called to verify your story—they saw your fresh wounds and the attempted stabbing. And, we have the rape kit."

Olivia took a more sensitive approach. "You know Crystal, what you've been through was very traumatic and it's going to take time and a lot of counseling for you to get past this. I have the names of groups and really good therapists who specialize in this."

"Who specialize in wives almost killed by their husbands?" Crystal burst into tears and clung to Olivia's shoulder. Olivia rocked her gently, smoothing her hair.

"Elliot can handle the perp," Alex said rather coldly, heading for the door. Olivia handed Crystal some tissues and caught up with Alex.

"Do you need us to do anything more Alex?

"No, Xena Warrior Princess, I think we will get him," Alex said sarcastically. Your little friend's testimony should put her husband away for life. That is, unless we get a jury that empathizes with the fact that his wife just told him she's a lesbian. Or, if he pleads temporary insanity. We will have to see how it shakes out."

"Hey Alex, she's not my friend. She's a victim and it's part of my job to comfort the victim. What is the problem, here? Is it because she's gay?"

"No, of course not. It's just another case, there's no problem." Actually, it is because she's gay and pretty and plastering herself all over you.

Perplexed, Olivia watched Alex walk away. Olivia shook her head, "Xena?"

SVU 2 days later 2:00 pm

Olivia tried avoiding Alex most of the morning. She was acting creepy and aloof, as if their beautiful night at the opera had never happened. Maybe she's got a screw loose and I'm better off not getting close to her, Olivia thought. But she'd have to deal with her now. It was time to prep Crystal for the upcoming hearing. Olivia entered the conference room, where Crystal waited.

"Detective! Good to see you."

Olivia sat facing her. "How are you holding up?"

"I'm okay. Thanks for meeting me at the diner the other day and for talking so long on the phone last night. You've given me strength—you've been my rock. I called all the counseling places you gave me." Crystal reached across the table and took Olivia by the hands. "I don't know what I'd do without you--well I guess I wouldn't be here!" Just then Alex walked in and took in the scene, hearing the last part of Crystal's adorations. Scowling, she said, "Detective can I see you outside before we start?'

Olivia followed her into the hall. "What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to destroy my case?"

"What are you talking about?"

"The impropriety of you and Crystal—real or imagined. The defense could say you're involved with her—that you set up the husband—all kinds of things."

The green-eyed monster had swallowed Alex whole.

"Alex, how dare you accuse me of jeopardizing a case for my own personal gain. Don't you know me at all? Because suddenly, I don't know who you are. If Crystal were straight, you wouldn't be making these accusations."

"After we win the case, you can pursue her any way you'd like. But try to be professional in the meantime."

"Read my lips. I—am—not—pursuing her!! Why are you so sure I'd be interested in a woman anyway?"

"I—don't know---I thought. I guess I assumed that you're a very open person," Alex said softly, almost in a whisper.

"I am. But you don't have to worry. She's just got this hero worship thing going on and she's a little touchy feely. I will take care of it. By the way, I was going to keep this as a surprise. I got tickets to something fun—remember I wanted to—

"You don't have to repay me Olivia. Maybe you can take your new friend after the trial."

During the prep for the hearing, Olivia just wanted to crawl under the table and stay there. What's gotten into Alex? Was it homophobia? Or jealousy? But she and Alex weren't dating—not yet. Not that she knew of anyway. She was stumped. Every time I think I've cracked the ice on this broad, she turns on me like some yappy poodle. I don't get it. Olivia was so hurt she couldn't stop turning it over in her mind.

Afterward, Olivia approached Alex before she left. "Alex, whatever you think I've done, I'm sorry. Crystal has initiated all of the contact and the phone calls—maybe I should have seen it escalating."

"What phone calls? Don't tell me she's calling you at all hours."

"Just once and I gave her the numbers for the counseling places. Listen, I really had a good time with you and apparently now everything's changed. Maybe if it's going to affect our work relationship it's for the better." Olivia was tearing up. "I should go, it's quitting time anyway."

Alex felt her heart breaking as Olivia walked away from her. What the hell have I done now? I hurt her with stupid, baseless accusations. Because Crystal was trying to get close to her, like I want to. She could feel her eyes burning. No, I don't cry. I'm not a crier. But tears started to spill out against her will. She started to head for her office when Huang spotted her.

"Hey Alex, I wanted to ask you—oh. Alex are you okay?"

"No George, I'm not okay. I manage to fuck up everything good in my life. Not that I really even have a life."

"C'mon, in here. Talk to me."

"I uh, I've been behaving badly toward Olivia and Crystal. Just when Olivia and I were starting to socialize and get to know each other. I turned into someone I don't recognize. I can't even separate reality from imagination when it comes to Olivia. And, I let it affect my job.

"You've got a lot of very deep, unexpressed feelings for her, yes?"

"Yeah, being that I'm in love with her, I'd say so."

"Well that's what caused the exaggerated feelings of jealousy. You saw a pretty, gay woman obviously interested in Olivia and telling her how wonderful she is. You have not had the courage to tell her how much she means to you and you felt threatened. It became all or nothing, you were about to lose the prize."

"George, isn't it chauvinistic to think of her as a prize, like she's some chattel or property?"

"But that's the way we think, Alex. We try to break things down into simple black/white, good/bad, winner/loser, prize/shit."

"I think I get it," Alex sniffled. "What would you advise me to do?"

"Go to her as soon as possible and fess up. You need to be completely honest with her about your behavior or she will never understand. And you need to tell her how you feel about her—and yes, that means risking rejection. It's actually easier to be strong and brave on behalf of the victims, but when it comes to our own hearts, it's like they're made of jelly."

Alex swallowed hard. "Okay," she said mustering up her strength.

Apartment of Olivia Benson 8 p.m.

After finishing up the dishes, Olivia heard a tap at the door. She glanced into the peephole and saw the sheath of blond hair. She opened it cautiously. What is she going to take me task for now?

Alex leaned against the door jamb, half inside, half out. Her eyes were red.

"I don't expect you to want me to come in. But I'm here to apologize, that's all. Are you alone?"

"Yes," Olivia rolled her eyes. Come on in Alex."

"I'll be brief. I've been lying to myself and to you and I've let my emotions overrule my judgment on the job." She let it roll out in one breath.

"That's a pretty heavy briefing Alex."

"I'm so sorry I let this happen. It's almost like our work and personal lives have to overlap, because of the horrors we deal with and lack of time for a personal life. It's like this big family with all of it's dysfunction and conflicting personalities and drama."

"Yeah there's no other job where you stare evil in the face everyday, except maybe if you work in the television industry."

Alex had to chuckle out loud. Olivia had been rivaling Munch lately for the Lenny Briscoe one-liner award.

"So how were you lying to yourself? And to me?"

"I was jealous of how it appeared Crystal was getting close to you. I didn't know how to get closer to you, even when were out and having a great time. I lashed out at your professionalism when it had nothing to do with the case."

"Just for the record, Alex, forget Crystal. She's in no emotional shape for a relationship. What she needs is months of counseling."

And what do you need Detective?

Olivia looked down at the floor. "I need my Alex back. The one who sat next to me looking gorgeous at the opera. The one I've been aching for."

Alex encircled her waist and pulled her closer. "I should warn you that I'm falling in love with you."

"You think that's gonna scare me off? I had a knife waved in my face earlier this week."

They both chuckled softly and Olivia moved in, pressing her lips gently against Alex's. The softness, the contact, drove Alex to grow frantic, exploring every soft spot in Olivia's mouth with her tongue.

They sought the comfort of the couch. As their tongues intertwined again and again, Alex became so aroused she was trembling. "You don't know how long I've wanted this," she moaned against Olivia's mouth. With shaky hands, she pushed Olivia's knit top upward and her bra along with it. She grinned as she lowered her head and took a hardened nipple in her mouth. They're pink, she thought, mystery solved. She sucked one, then the other, feeling the moisture building between her legs.

Olivia was now crazy with desire, as Alex consumed her breasts. Between rasping breaths, she said, "I wanna make love Alex, do you think you're ready?"

"You've no idea how long I've been ready. Let's go in the bedroom."

Olivia led Alex by the hand and they shed the rest of their clothing. Alex just stared in awe at Olivia's naked from. "I feel like I've won the prize," she said.

"So come over and collect your winnings." Olivia held her arms out enticingly. Alex flew into her arms as they seemed to touch each other everywhere at once. They fell on the bed, lips burning flesh, tracing inner thighs, sucking breasts, tongues swirling against each other.

Alex's eyes flew open as she realized where Olivia's mouth was headed, as she traced a path downward with her tongue. Most men from her past found this a chore and were not very good at it. But the thought of those beautiful, full lips on her most sensitive area was almost more than she could bear. Alex had a fleeting thought of self-consciousness, did I scrub really well? But that gave way to total abandon when Olivia made contact.

"Ohhhh my God," Alex shrieked as her hips rose to meet Olivia's soft lips. It was beyond heaven--she hoped she wouldn't faint. Alex was making soft, child-like whimpers, as Olivia's tongue seemed to dart everywhere, deep inside Alex, lapping over her painfully swollen clit, between her folds. Alex's pleasure was building, her body coiled tensely. Like a wave behind a wave, her orgasm was about to reach shore. Suddenly, she drew her legs up and clenched Olivia's back, thrusting upward, driving Olivia's tongue deep inside her. Alex screamed a deep, guttural, groan, that sounded almost animalistic. It was followed by shorter, breathless moans, as she rocked against Olivia, until her body quieted.

Olivia came up beside Alex, holding her gently, as she tried to catch her breath. Alex covered Olivia's face with tiny kisses, curling into the curve of her neck with a satisfied smile. She lifted up on one elbow and looked deeply into Olivia's eyes with an expression of wonder. "You never cease to amaze me, my warrior princess." She pulled her into a soft kiss. Alex finally had her heart's desire and the sexual satisfaction that had escaped her for so long. She thought, Imagine someone knowing what you want, how to please you, without having to make any embarrassing pleas.

"You're pretty amazing yourself, Cabot. By the way, I still have those tickets, but I'm keeping it a surprise."

"I've got a few surprises for you, too, Detective," her hand moving slowly down Olivia's torso.

Part 3

Alex awoke to the sound of Olivia's soft breathing, as she spooned her, with an armed draped over her lover's torso. She looked down, taking in the sight of Olivia's slightly bronze body and gently heaving breasts. God, I love this woman, she thought. I can't believe I'm lying here wrapped snuggly around her. Or, that I almost really blew it.

Alex began to replay the night's passions in her mind and absently started to massage Olivia's breast. It felt so warm in her hand. She heard Olivia moan sleepily, then she covered Alex's hand with her own, enjoying the contact. Alex rubbed a taut nipple with her thumb.

"Alex, she said groggily, "what a way to wake up. It could become my favorite way."

Alex liked hearing the promise of many mornings to come, as her hand ventured south and found the increasing wetness between Olivia's legs.

Still spooning her, she gently circled Olivia's now engorged clit with two fingers, applying gentle pressure until Olivia's body stiffened against her. She cried out and thrust her hips to meet Alex's pressing fingers. "Alex…ohhhhh yeah right there, right there. Ahhhhhh!" Then she let out a series of soft, quivering gasps and moans. She smiled contentedly as her body relaxed and she settled back into Alex's warmth. "My very, very favorite way to wake up."

Alex pressed soft kisses along the back of her neck. "Mine, too," she said.

Office of ADA Cabot, 1 week later

The trial of Crystal Hargrove's husband was in a few days. Alex and the squad had been working hard to prepare, so she and Olivia had only stolen moments to explore their new romance. A few late nights and a brief, naughty interlude against Alex's desk was all they could manage. The squad's cases were already piling up. Alex hoped that they could reconnect when the weekend rolled around.

Crystal sat down across from Alex in the conference room to go over the questioning on the stand.

"Keep your eyes on me and just tell what happened. I know it's hard, but try not to get angry or emotional."

"Will Detective Benson be there?"

Alex sighed lightly. "Yes, she will take the stand briefly to explain what she saw and the knife attack. When he turned the knife on her he was attempting to kill a police officer. We've got him on much more than rape."

Crystal shook her head in agreement.

"I have to advise you Crystal, I know that you're—well—grateful to Detective Benson for saving your life. But try to keep it to that. We don't want any incorrect assumptions made that there may be a personal relationship between the two of you that could be used against us."

"She really is a hero, you know," the young blond woman sighed. "And, so beautiful."

Alex stiffened and gritted her teeth. "That's exactly where we do not want to go here, Crystal. Stay close to the subject. Our goal is to get David behind bars for as long as possible."

"Yes, I will focus. I suppose it's okay to see Olivia after the trial though, if I wanted?"

"You will have to discuss that with her," Alex said, biting her inner lip in frustration. She wanted to tell Crystal to back off, keep her hands and thoughts off Olivia, that Olivia was taken. But through sheer will, she resisted. Trust is the word she kept repeating in her head. Trust her. Trust her. If not Olivia, than who in this world could she trust?

Trial Day, 8:00 a.m. Office of ADA Cabot

"And so, ladies and gentleman of the jury, in good conscience you must find the defendant guilty on all counts." Alex was practicing out loud and reviewing her notes. Suddenly, there was a tap at the door.

"Delivery," the young man, said as Alex opened it. "They cleared me at the front."

"Thanks," she said as he handed her a delicate crystal vase wrapped with plastic. He left her office and she closed the door excitedly. She unwrapped a dozen, sweet-smelling baby roses, the scent filling the office immediately. Alex anxiously opened the card.

To my beautiful Isolde,

How do I thank you for bringing magic and meaning into my life? For stilling my fears, for wrapping me in your warmth, for captivating me in your light? I cherish you in life and will defend your honor in the face of death.



P.S. Break a leg today Counselor.

Alex laughed and began to cry at the same time. I'm not a crier! she once again argued loudly in her head, as tears spilled down her chiseled cheek bones.

Trial of David Hargrove, Judge Petrovsky's Courtroom

Alex gave her notes a once over, waiting for the gavel to open the proceedings. She caught sight of Olivia entering the front of the seating area, where she'd wait to be called to the stand. Alex looked at Olivia with pure adoration and nodded to her. She got the flowers, Olivia thought, and smiled reassuringly at her lover.

The trial went as smoothly as Alex anticipated, with incriminating evidence and witness testimony building a brick wall against David Hargrove that would not waiver. As the day wore on, it was Olivia's turn to take the stand.

Alex looked at the beautiful Detective, who was dressed more elegantly and feminine than usual for court. She tried to keep her composure.

"Detective Benson, when the officers called you to the scene to investigate a possible rape, what happened when you arrived?"

"We observed the victim, Crystal Hargrove, bloodied and bruised, crying and begging us to help her. The cops on the scene were in the process of restraining Mr. Hargrove, when he broke free and produced a knife. He lunged at Crystal and I subdued him. He then tried to wrestle the knife from me and we struggled."

Alex was visibly shaken at the thought of Olivia in such grave danger—possibly being overpowered by this man and stabbed. She had to move on to keep from getting upset.

"So he not only assaulted, battered and raped his wife according to witness testimony, he also attempted to kill her and stab you when you intervened?"

"Yes, that's right." Olivia said without emotion.

"Thank you, Detective."

Following the final damning witness, the people rested and the jury convened. Alex, Olivia, Elliot and Crystal waited outside the courtroom, pacing and nervously making small talk. Elliot went to the deli next door to get everyone a soda. Crystal chatted about her favorite places in the city. " I just love the Guggenheim Museum, it takes you into another world," she said, trying to take her mind off the possible verdict.

"I like the Guggeheim, but it's opera that takes me to another place," Olivia said, fixing her eyes on Alex. Alex smiled playfully, remembering their magical night.

"I'd love to go sometime," said Crystal, gazing at Olivia. A quick sideways glance at Alex intimidated her into not expanding it into an invitation.

Elliot returned with sodas and they continued chatting. Half an hour later, a court officer emerged and handed Alex a note. She looked up at the group, who formed a circle around her.

"The jury's in, let's go back in." As the four returned to the courtroom anticipating the verdict, Alex reminded herself that anything can happen.

The jury foreman read aloud. "In the charge of aggravate rape, we find the defendant guilty. On two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, guilty. Battery, guilty. Assaulting a police officer, guilty. Two counts of attempted murder, guilty."

Alex let out a sigh of relief and smiled broadly.

Judge Petrovsky's gavel slammed as she announced, "Sentencing is 9 a.m. tomorrow, court adjourned."

The jubilant four returned to the hallway.

"Thank God," Crystal breathed, throwing her arms around Olivia and hugging her tight. "How can I ever thank you? He can't hurt me ever again."

"Uh—it was Ms. Cabot who did the job and proved her case," she said pulling gently away from Crystal.

"Yes of course, thank you Ms. Cabot. Thanks for your advice and hard work. I can finally feel safe again."

"Good job Alex. See you both back at the squad," Elliot said as he left the three women.

"You know, Detective, you don't have to be so modest about your heroics," Crystal smiled sheepishly. "Whoever might have you in their life would be so lucky." She was testing the waters. Olivia never mentioned a significant other. "Maybe we can grab some dinner to celebrate?"

Alex nodded a silent yes to Olivia that it would be okay—that she would be okay with it.

"Actually, I do have someone special in my life and any night I have free for dinner I really need to be with them." Olivia said. "I just don't have much time for my personal life."

Alex's eyes widened. Where is she going with this?

"Oh,?" Crystal was visibly disappointed. "I didn't know. Is it—are you in love with someone?"

"Very much," Olivia said adamantly.

As always when blindsided by Olivia, Alex found herself once again picking her chin up off the floor.

"But if you ever need to talk or find some help, I'm here for you," Olivia added.

"Okay," Crystal said with acceptance. She smiled at both women and extended her thanks again, then walked out of the courthouse, heels clicking on the marble floor.

"Can I have a word with you Detective?" Alex said taking Olivia by the elbow and leading her down the hallway in the opposite direction of the exit door.

She found a dark, empty conference room and pulled Olivia in. Closing the door behind them, she pinned Olivia against the wall, capturing her lips in a deep kiss. Breathlessly, Alex whispered, "You sounded pretty sure about some things out there, Detective."

"I know. I wanted to be honest and to let Crystal know that I'm not available. I wanted to save it for a private moment, but"—Alex kissed her again.

Their lips close, Alex moaned into Olivia's mouth, "I'm so in love with you, Liv."

"Oh Alex. I love you. I love being with you. Olivia teased, "Even when you piss me off, get snotty or use legal mumbo jumbo to intimate me—I love you. I couldn't scrape you off my soul if I tried—you're so embedded in me."

"And you are so romantic—you make me sound like a disease!" Alex laughed in spite of her mock anger.

"If you were, it would be lovely way to die," Olivia said, kissing Alex until she had to fight for air.

Saturday 1 p.m. Yankee Stadium, NYC

"So these were the surprise tickets, I never could have guessed. You sure know how to treat a lady, no wonder you're so in demand," Alex teased.

"Alex, these aren't just any seats, she said pointing to their proximity to first base. These are box seats, compliments of a very cool guy named Jim."

"And what kind of 'cool guy' is this Jim?" Alex said raising an eyebrow. "And what exactly earned you these seats?" Alex noticed that they were very close to the players.

Olivia rolled her eyes. "Jim is a retired cop and he and his wife are good friends of mine. Now, notice that in box seats, you can order from a menu and they bring the food to you. You get more choices, too."

"So you don't even have to stand in line for your mystery meat. How incredibly posh!" Alex laughed.

As the game started, Olivia ordered foot long hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and beer for she and Alex. Before long, Alex was yelling and cheering with the crowd and getting mad at the umpire.

When their food arrived, Olivia leaned over to Alex. "Do you like the shirt I got you at least?"

It's a little big, but I like the pin stripes," Alex said pulling it out a bit. It reminds me of a suit I have. Hey Liv, I was only kidding this is really fun. How did you ever make the jump from the opera to a ballgame?"

"Well, at the time, I was still plotting on how to get to first base with you. Then a light bulb went on and I remembered that Jim sometimes doesn't use the tickets."

"You thinking you might score tonight Detective?" Alex said with a sly smile.

"As long as you don't throw me any curves," Olivia said taking a big bite out of her hot dog. She got some mustard on her finger and Alex grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand toward her mouth. She took her whole finger into her mouth and slowly sucked the mustard off.

Olivia felt a rush to her more sensitive region. God, I hope this game doesn't go into extra innings.

Just then Alex jumped to her feet, "YOU'RE A JACKASS! A BLIND, STUPID JACKASS!" Alex was screaming with the rest of the fans at the umpire's bad call.

"That's my sophisticated lady, she's all mine folks," Olivia grinned.

The End

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