DISCLAIMER: This is a love story about two consenting female adults. Can't handle it, don't like it, don't read it. We're just borrowing Dick Wolf's characters for fun; we aren't making any money from it.
AUTHOR' NOTE: When two writing heads get together in a round robin...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

It's Gotta Be Love
By Katherine Quinn & Adrienne Lee


When was the last time we did this? I don't remember. Have we even done this?

Yeah, we have. But it was different. It was us, kissing each other, touching each other hesitantly, hoping to reconnect. Hoping the pure physical reaction would take us that extra step.

We didn't even go through the normal courting rituals did we? We just jumped from a kiss to mauling each other in the bathroom. And when you did court me, it was to get back into my heart. And when I did let you, we jumped right back into bed…

The music in the air signals the end of the movie. "Finally," I comment, kissing you briefly. Then I ease away again. "You want to put in another?"

"So you'll get bored again?" You teasingly lift your brow.

"Not if you keep me entertained," I smile, and place another small kiss on your lips.

"What? So we pretend this is a theatre?"

"Sure, why not?"

"And we just neck?"

"That's what you wanted," I remind you, running my thumb gently against your nipple, feeling it hardening against me. Then I ease off again. "So?"

"We can just switch over to the TV."

"But then we won't have the sappy background music," I contest with a small smile, and run my tongue gently along your parted lips. "It's kind of romantic."

"We can just hit 'start' again," you murmur softly, lining my throat with soft sucking kisses. Your hand mirroring what I did to you earlier.

I arch against you, the warmth in my center spreading outwards, making my thighs tremble. "Okay," I say, reaching for the remote. Finally, I push my eyes open, and hit the button. Then with great reluctance, I bring your head up, and I kiss you. Lingering kisses. Trying to hold back.

When all my body wants is to hold you, and feeling your nakedness against me. To feel our skin touching, our sweat mingling, the two of us becoming one… I want to feel the vibration of your name through my vocal cord, or of my name from your lip drumming through my ears…

"Love you," I whisper, and slide my hands from under your shirt, to remove myself from temptation.

"I love you, too," you say, and kiss me again, softly, without any urgency…

1202 Teasing

You reach over slowly and grab the remote, watching the screen fill with the same logo as it did the last time. You lean back into me and kiss me harder than before, pushing the boundaries we've set for ourselves.

"Let's watch something else." I say, suddenly, and look at you expectantly.

"What? You wanted to watch it again." You ask, hazy.

"Changed my mind." I say, with a shrug, pulling back from your kiss.

"But Liv," you whine, reaching into me again.

"Let's watch another movie."

"But we're not watching." You frown at me.

"Come on sweetie," I smile my sweetest smile, and you sigh.

"Fine." You grumble.

I nearly laugh when you reach for the remote control. The way you move your body as you pull yourself off of me gives everything the way. I can see the way you carefully adjust your thighs as you stand up. The way you feel my breast one last time before pulling your hand away. I smile at you and you look at me for a second, before grabbing the remote and hitting play.

I wonder how much it's killing you to pretend.

I can tell by your kisses that you're turned on. You're trying so hard not to show it.

Of course I'm turned on too, you lying on top of me, your kisses on my neck, it's hard to keep control, to stay calm.

It's something I've thought about a lot, the way we touch each other. We fight and make love the same way. Hot and fast, quickly and using every bit of ourselves. I wonder what we would be if not extremes. Without you, I spiral out of control, and I wonder if that's not the same for you.

You being turned on, though, is a good thing. That was the point. To make you want me. To be together in a soft and romantic way that doesn't involve ripping each other's bodices off and falling into bed with each other the way we always seem too, passionate and fiery.

Instead, it's nice to connect to you.

To carefully slowly tease you, make you realize how important you are to me instead of just being quick and easy, in a few seconds, naked and writhing together.

You watch the screen fill with the logo of the movie company, and then you slide back into my arms…


I punch the buttons on the remote control, as if forcing my frustration outside of me, channeling it into some inanimate object that doesn't have feelings. That doesn't want what I want.

I wonder if you noticed.

I wonder if you noticed how stiff my body is when I slide back into your arms. It's not that I'm doing this intentionally. On the contrary. I'm trying to remember this is supposed to be a weekend for us to reconnect.

If you want to do it watching stupid sappy movies, so be it.

I guess I'm supposed to play along with that. So I just need to control my hormones, then we're all good.

However, your fingers stroking my side absently do not help.

Maybe it's the frustration. I mean, I'm no stranger to deprivation of my base needs. I've gone without water, food, sleep for school, for my work. If I thought I could survive without air, and that I could save time without breathing, I'd do it.

Sex, though, is different, when I'm with someone, when I think I'm in love with them. Well, I'm not sure I'd sleep with them if I didn't think I am, at least I haven't since college. But it's always been like that -- I want it when I want it. Why is that?

Part of me considers it a rejection. It's almost like I took the risk to put myself out there, and while I'm sure you don't mean it, your change of heart in the middle feels like a slap on my face.

And right now, I feel myself withdrawing into my control. I find your touch on my skin irritating. But we're supposed to be connecting.

I can sit through a sappy movie with you if that's what you want. If you don't want to go any further than necking, if you want to stop when you did, you must have your reasons.

I cross my arms tighter around myself.

But I'm already always in control, why do I have to do it with you? I'm not supposed to have to, not around you, at least not when we have privacy…

"Hey," I pick my head off your shoulder to look at you.


"I'm going to get a glass of water, would you like some?"

"No, I'm good. Thanks though," you say, and gave my hand a warm squeeze as I get up from the couch and away from you.

You smile at me, when I walk back into the room with my water. The smile takes on a tinge of confusion when, instead of sitting next to you again, I slide onto the floor.


"Hmm?" I look up and smile, as if nothing's bothering me.

"What's wrong?" You ask, "Why are you sitting down there?"

"Nothing's wrong. Just feel like having a firmer back support. I'll come back up in a little while," I say, then return to the television, and try to focus on the movie…

1204 Explanations

"Alex," I mumble, watching you sit roughly in the corner of the couch with your back straight. You pull away from my feet, and stare at the screen blankly.

"What?" You grumble at me, barely turning your head to me.

"Come on Alex." I say, pulling myself around and sitting up next to you. I reach for you hand, which you give me, but unwillingly. It feels like a dead fish, and when I try to lace my fingers with yours, you barely let me. With a soft kiss to your neck, I can sense you pulling away.

"Let's watch this," you say, turning your head from me and staring at the screen.

"Alex, I don't want to watch this."

"But you said."

"Alex, I just want to spend this time with you. I want to hold you and kiss you, and make you realize, make you know how much I love you. How special you are to me."

"I know you love me," you say with a sigh.

"Then why are you acting like this." I ask, exasperated. I wish you would talk to me, explain what's going on in your head, making you act so suddenly like this. A few moments ago, you were warm in my arms, and now, like so many times before, we're on the edge of not talking.

"I just want to sit up." You say, quickly.

"Alex, you know that's not true."

"I feel like, like," you take a minute and look at me, sadly, "I feel like you're rejecting me." You say, quickly.

"Sweetie, I'm not rejecting you. I just, sometimes, I think we just fall into bed a little too easily."

"I like falling into bed with you."

"And I do too, baby, that's not what I'm saying. I just, I think we're more than sex."

"We are."

"So why can't we just lie together and hold each other without making love?"


"So why can't we just lie together and hold each other without making love?" You ask. You insist. Just like you're insisting on pulling me back into your arms.

"We can, we have," I tell you, "I just need…"

"What do you need, Sweetie?"

I scramble back onto to the couch, and away from you, away from your hovering breath tickling my skin. "I need to get my hormones back under control, okay?"


"Just, just give me a minute, okay?" I wrap my arms around my legs. "Then we can watch the movie, or just cuddle, or do whatever you want."


I can tell you have no idea what I'm going through. I can also tell you're about to withdraw into your own shell. "Please, Liv? I just, I just need a minute."

"Fine," you say coldly, and turn your back to me.

Great. Now you're sulking.

Well, at least I no longer feel the need to get naked with you, to lose control in your arms. At least I now have my control again, firmly, comfortably, in place.

"Look," I sigh, sliding onto the floor again to sit with you. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah, me too. I was hoping we wouldn't fight," you say, throwing it at me.

"I didn't realize we're fighting."

"If you say we're not, I guess we're not."

"Liv, you're not making this easy for me."

You snap your head to stare at me, looking like you were going to say something hurtful. Then you sigh, and rest your head on your knees. "I just don't understand… We were okay just a little while ago. And then we're not. Why? Just because I don't want to rip your clothes off and fuck you?"

Well. That's a way to put it, I guess. "Yes… and no." I reply slowly, willing my walls to stay down. "I don't think of it as fucking. I might use that word in the heat of passion, but I wouldn't have let you touch me, if I didn't think you love me. Our lovemaking, it's an expression of our love."


"It's also one of the few situations where I totally let my guards down, where I'm completely out of control. That I'm not concerned about what's going on in the world, only about what's happening between us, and the love we share." Running out of words, I look at you, confusion coloring your face. And I wonder how I manage to try cases and convince juries. "I'm sorry, I don't know how to explain it…"

1206 Expectations

You look at me with desperation in your eyes, trying to explain something that I can't quite understand. I'm not sure that you actually understand it either, the way you're searching for words. I know that there's one way to fix it, to quickly apologize to you and forget the whole thing ever happened, but I'm not quite ready to tell you I'm sorry, because I'm not entirely sure what I've done.

"I'm not explaining this very well, am I?" You ask, quietly.

"Not really." It sounds harsher than I mean it to, and I sit quietly, staring, straight ahead trying to sort this all out in my own head.

"When we, start fooling around like that, I want to carry it all the way through. If we don't, I guess I feel like you're rejecting me." You mumble, and I try to listen to you, try to take you at your word.

"But Alex, my point is that sometimes, it's nice not to go all the way."

"I don't like it," you state simply.

"Fine." I say quickly, still angry that you're so upset at me. I pull myself off the floor and stretch my hands over my head. "You know what, I think I'm going to go take a nap or something."

"Liv, don't…"

"Don't what Alex?"

"Don't walk away right now."

I sigh and plop back into the couch. "So how do we fix this?"

"I don't know how we fix it. I…I guess we both have to grow a little." You mumble.


"Well, I think I have to learn that sometimes, you like to just cuddle without... the rest, and you have to understand that sometimes, when we just cuddle, and I have a different expectation, I'm going to be disappointed when we don't follow through."

"I guess."

"That's all you have to say?" You ask, expectantly.

"I guess." I say again.


"That's all you have to say? You guess?" I ask you, again.

"What then, Alex, do you want me to say? I'm sorry? I'm not aware that I've done anything wrong!"

"I didn't want your apology."

"Then what do you want?"

"I want your understanding!"

"But you can't even explain it yourself!" You argue. "How am I suppose to understand something you can't explain? I'm not a mind reader!"

"I know that." I try to calm down. We weren't going to fight, and now we're quickly heading that way. "Look, there's cuddling, and there's 'cuddling'. Okay? If you just want to lay around and watch movies or read or do whatever, just sitting in each other's arms, and enjoying each other's company, then fine. We can do that."

"Okay… But that's not how you reacted! You acted like I scorned you, and I didn't."

"But that's not what we did!" Maybe this is where our communication failed. "We were necking, like high school kids."


"Well, using high school lingo, we were on second base moving to third when you stopped. Sure, I'm supposed to accept that. 'No' means no right? That's what I advocate everyday."


"But we're not teenagers. We're married. And for our entire relationship, up until this very moment, you have never given me any indication that I'm supposed to stop, in the middle. That you'd want to stop in the middle. We always followed through, even when we weren't quite getting along."

"Alex, Sweetie…"

Tears are flowing unbidden from my eyes, and I wipe them away angrily. "So don't act so surprised when I need a few minutes to myself, for my pea brain to absorb what you were saying, and collect myself, so I don't force myself on you."

"But that's not what I meant…"

"But the end result is the same: I'm wondering 'what the fuck' and 'what have I done'. And what made you stop, and that maybe suddenly you don't find me desirable or as irresistible as you used to. Since you can stop in the middle, just like that."

"But I…"

"I know, Liv, it's not me. You just don't want to fall into bed all the time, I get it now." I say, even though I don't understand why. But I don't want to fight about this. "And now I know, I'll just have to remember that you might want to stop, and be prepared. Okay?"

1208 Sorries

"Jesus Alex, I wasn't rejecting you. I fully intended to go all the way. I just wanted you, wanted us, to go slow. We were teasing each other. I was just as turned on as you were, I just, I like that feeling."

"I like that feeling too." You sigh.

"So then what's the problem?"

"It felt like you were rejecting me. I guess, I just didn't expect you to just stop. Or that you would be interested enough in what was going on behind my head on TV to want me to stop to change it." You say, wiping tears out of your eyes.

"I wasn't interested in the TV. I was just trying to slow down a little, make the moment last. Why are you crying?" I ask, feeling more and more hopeless.

"I can't help it," you mumble.

"Come on Alex. I really wasn't trying to hurt you. I was happy to keep going. I wasn't intending to leave you hanging." I say, reaching out and putting my hand on your shoulder.

"Wait, you…"

"I want you just as badly as the first day I met you, sweetie. I guess I just wanted to go a little slower than we have, recently, at least. You know, keep you wanting more?" I say, trying to smile.

"Well I wanted more."

"I know, but, if you had just said that… then, I wouldn't have asked you to change the movie. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"I know, but I just…"

"I wasn't clear," I say, as my way of saying I'm sorry.

"I guess I wasn't either."

"So, we'll work on that?"

"Yeah," you say, with a half smile.

"So you gonna get back up here on the couch?"

"Yeah," You say, carefully climbing off the floor.

1209 TEARS

"C'mere," you say, pulling me gently into your lap.

I lay my head on your thighs, and stare out into the television, trying to focus on something else, on your hand lightly stroking my stomach.

After several moments, you coax, "Come on, Sweetie, don't cry."

"I," I swallow, and take another deep breath, "I can't stop."

You ease me off you, and carefully lay down behind me. Wrapping me in your arms, you whisper, "Are you upset about something else?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Then why are," you start, then stop abruptly.


"Doesn't matter, Baby," you soothe, kissing my head, my neck softly. "It's okay, just let it out."

I try to relax into your kisses, your gentle caresses…

Finally, my sobbing stops.

Then, I realize.

I haven't cried like this for a while. I haven't felt so out of control since… The sobbing starts again.

"Alex?" You lean up to peer into my face.

I turn over, and bury my tears from your concerned gaze.

"What's wrong?"

I shake my head.

"If you're going use my shirt as Kleenex, at least tell me what's bothering you?" You ask, your voice teasing, without malice.

"I think," I hiccup. "I need my pills." That's what you figured earlier; that's why you stopped in the middle of your question. "I'm falling apart without them." And so quickly.

"Or maybe you're just finally letting out the tension, now that we're safe."

"You mean," I follow, perfectly willing to be convinced.

"It was stressful, dealing with Veronica. When's the last time you lived a Stephen King novel?"

"I guess…" I wipe my eyes and try to smile. "Maybe you're right."

1210 Drugged

"But I still think," I murmur into your ear, "that it's a bad idea to stop taking your medication. Or at least to just stop it yourself without a doctor being involved. It can be dangerous to just stop them. And it can make you sick." I say, trying to be as non-judgmental as possible. I can't shove them down your throat, but I don't agree with your anti-drug campaign.

I've watched you, since you started taking them. You seem lighter, you smile a little more easily. I've watched you start losing your nervous habits. You seemed to relax, seemed to be happier. So why would you want to stop doing something that helped you feel that way? I also understand not wanting to feel reliant, since that was my biggest fear when I first started taking them. But I don't feel addicted, I just feel happier. I guess having to take the pills in the morning is a small price to pay for that piece of happiness.

You barely turn your head, staring straight ahead, still letting tears fall from your eyes. "I don't want to have to take them," you sigh.

"Why Alex?" I ask. "What's the problem with taking them, if they make you feel better?"

"I don't like the idea of being dependent on something like that for happiness." You say, wiping away another tear that's threatening to fall down your face.

"What about me?" I ask, quietly.

"What do you mean?"

"I take them." I respond simply.

"But you needed them." You explain. For a second, I'm hurt by the simplicity of your statement, and then I remember that this is supposed to be about you, and not about me.

"You need them too sweetheart."

You wipe a tear from your eye, "I think you're right."

"Want me to go get them?" I ask, hopeful you'll make the right decision.


"Good choice," I say, jumping up from the couch and heading to the kitchen to grab your pills from the counter.


You come back with water and my pills in your hand. I take them from you.

You stare at me expectantly, while I stare at them, sitting in the middle of my palm.

"Well?" You ask with a smile.

"What about tomorrow?"

"What about tomorrow?"

"I only brought meds for today." Then I realize with panic. "Oh shit, what are we going to do tomorrow? We have to try to get back to the city."

Your smile grows. "No, we don't."


"I packed them," you say, pointing towards the kitchen. I see the blurry shapes of our prescription bottles sitting on the counter.

Without another moment of hesitation, I pop the pills into my mouth and chase it down with water.

Satisfied, you take the glass from me, and return it to the kitchen. Then you carefully get back into the couch, tucking your body behind mine.

I turn onto my back, and snuggle deeper against you. "So you planned this. Us getting snowed in."

"Well, no, I didn't make snow clouds or anything like that." My responding swat on your thigh only makes your amused grin wider.

"But you thought we'd be gone for more than a weekend."

"I'm just always prepared. It is the middle of winter." You deny at first, then you admit, "But yeah, I was hoping…"


"It is kinda romantic to get trapped in the snow with my wife," you reply, and tickle my rib lightly.

It's been a while since you called me that. And the tone of your voice just now, and the way you're looking me, they make me suddenly shy. To hide my blush, I lean up and kiss you loudly on the tip of your nose. "You're a sap."

"Nope. Just in love."

"Yeah?" I smile, reaching up to touch your features, to catch your lips with mine…

1212 No Hesitation

This time when our lips touch there is no hesitation. Quick desperate kisses take us quickly back to where we had been only an hour before in a matter of seconds. Deep and strong, we hold each other tightly, kissing as if we needed each other for air.

Your hands are on me, and I moan into you, while at the same time, I desperately move my hands up your body. They slide against your cool skin, and leave warm trails behind. Your face flushes with arousal as I feel.

You sit up for a second, and urge me to follow you. You pull your shirt over your head, and then pull mine off too. You kiss my neck, down my collarbone. You gaze at my body, and then press me into you.

Your gentle kisses tug at the arousal building inside me. I feel your weight shift, and your thigh slip between my legs. Involuntarily, I push against you at the same time you push against me. We both moan in harmony to each other.

Your fingers lace in my hair while you kiss me, and I take my chance to slide my fingers down your body. Your naked torso warms to my touch, and in a few minutes, I slip my fingers into the waistband of your tight jeans. In a second, I manage to free the button and slide my fingers into the zipper.

I pull at your pants, and they slide off your hips, just enough for me to slide my fingers between your thighs.

You moan as I make contact with you.

You moan and pull back, making me lose my contact. You kiss my breast, pulling it into your mouth. I moan, both because I've lost contact with you and you gained contact with me.

Your fingers trail down my stomach, into the waist band of my pants. With your kisses constant, you fight with the button on my pants, and without breaking our embrace.

You pull the pants from my hips, quickly replacing your thigh with your fingers.

You push inside me, and I can feel my body lighting up, responding to your touch.

"I love you," I whisper, as you slide your fingers over me.

"I love you," you whisper, as you make me crash down around your fingers…


I love that I can bring you so much pleasure just by doing this: a flick of my thumb against you, a twirl of my fingers, pushing deeper and deeper into you, pushing you over edge.

I understand you don't want to fall into bed and get to this point in such a hurry, all the time. And sometimes we don't. Sometimes I tease you, and make you wait.

But you know patience has never been my strong suit.

I love the way you crash around me, pulling me inside you deeper and deeper with each shudder, each contraction.

I love the way you feel, surrounding me, holding me tight.

Love the way your eyelids flutter closed, the whimpered sounds you make. Love the way you hold onto me, as if I'm your anchor, even though you're so much stronger than me.

"Love you," I whisper, as your arms relax around me, as your breathing begins to calm, and a smile grows on your lips. Carefully, I withdraw from you, and watch while you suck in a sharp breath, hold it until your body relaxes once more, then quietly release it.

Gently, you open your eyes. They hold mine captive as your mouth curls in a slow smile. "Your turn," you almost growl. You flip us so that I'm now under you, and you capture my lips, parting them with your tongue.

I want to return your kiss with the ferocity I kissed you earlier. I want to take your wrist, and impale myself on your fingers. I want to feel you filling me, taking me, with the same urgency I did you.

But I know from your careful kiss, from your grazing touches that you have other things in mind.

"I love you," you murmur against my ear, as you lick and nibble on my neck, as you dip your tongue into the hollow of my throat, and trace the edge of my collar bone.

I can only close my eyes and sigh.

The touch of your hands on my skin, so gentle, so unhurried, it makes me ache for you. Makes my body cry out for you.

"Patience," you taunt me. My groan of frustration only succeeds in drawing a chuckle from you. "I love you, Allie," you say, "And I want this to last."

I sigh again, my body melting to your soft kisses, to your sweet words.

By the time you take my breasts into your mouth, I think I'm already out of my mind with need. "Please?" I want to ask, but your knowing tongue robs me of speech. Instead, I moan, I whimper, I push against your shoulders and arch up into you at the same time.

You laugh again, the deep rumble vibrating through my body.

Another sharp sound pierces the silence as you touch my nipple with your teeth, then soothe it with the wet velvet warmth of your tongue. We repeat, as if building a counterpoint, a fugue…

1214 Taken

Slowly I tease you, slowly you respond to me. You moan at my touch, and I slow it down carefully. I watch as your back arches, feeling your fingernails pressing into my back. I feel you responding to me, and by the way your eyes are wild I know that you want more. You want to beg me, want to plead with me to take you, but I wait. Wait for my tempo to catch up with yours. Wait for you to need me so badly that you can't wait for another second for my touch. My body presses into you, against, you, and you take a deep breath that catches in your throat.

"I love you," I whisper as I kiss you on the stomach.

"Love, you," you gasp, as your eyes flicker closed for a second, before opening them and staring at me. Your whimper in response makes me move, and slowly I slide lower, pulling your jeans off slowly, inch by inch exposing your creamy white skin to the cold air around us.

You reach up, your hands on my face. Your fingers stroke my features and pull me into your kiss. Slowly I pull back, and kiss you, a slow and teasing kiss. I can feel your pressing urgency, the desire that burns in your eyes. Slowly, I lean back and kiss a trail that goes down your stomach and between your thighs.

With a slow kiss on your inner thigh, I feel your fingers guiding my head. I know where you want me, I know that it's time.

I kiss you carefully, gently letting my tongue make contact with you. You moan, loudly, deeply.

I tease you and you respond to every touch, begging me without words to give you what you really want.

With slow precision, I make my move. I slide into you, touching you in places I know you love. With slow steady sure strokes, I drive you to the edge, listening to my name dying on your lips.

A few sure strokes, and you collapse around me. Your breath is ragged, and you pull on me, up your body and back into your arms.

You kiss me, without reserve, full on the lips, tasting yourself there. You smile, as you snuggle into me.

"Hold me," you whisper.

I wouldn't let you go for the world…

1215 WORLD

I shift in your arms, in your warmth. Slowly, I open my eyes; slowly, I adjust to the dimmed light in the room.

Did I fall asleep?

For how long?

I almost open my mouth to ask when I sense your eyes on me. I turn my head to find you smiling, a Cheshire Cat grin taking up half your face. "Shut up," I warn.

"Did I say anything?"

"You're thinking it."

"Didn't realize you're a mind reader," you counter, your eyes lit with tease.

"I know you."

"Yeah, but you have to admit I'm good," you gloat.

I swat you lightly, like you'd expect. Then pulling your arms tighter around me, I change the subject, "So how long was I out? It's kind of dark outside."

"It looks like it's going to snow again."

"Wonder how long it's going to stay like this."

You shrug. "Does it really matter?"

"Uh, our jobs? Criminals don't go on vacations just because we're snowed in."

"People will cover for us. Competent people."

"True." I smile, and shift against to stare out the window. "It almost feels like we're at the edge of the world."

"We are at the edge of the ocean," you state simply, reminding me.

I sigh. "I know that. Do you ever think about…"


"If we've reached the end of the world, right now, would you have regrets?" I struggle for words, not really sure I'm going. "Like things you've always wanted to, places you wanted to visit, but never had the chance to?"

"What brought that on?"

"I don't know." I shrug. Okay, maybe I do. Maybe your getting hurt, and now this thing with Veronica, and us getting trapped here by Mother Nature, make me realize just how fragile we are. "I don't think I'd ask for anything more," I say, then lean up to kiss you playfully on the nose, hoping to take away the seriousness.

"Maybe except for time, to spend with you…"

1216 Regrets

"I have regrets." I say, slowly, looking into your eyes which quickly cloud over.

"Like what?" You say, trying your best to not sound judgmental. I can tell you're not sure you want to hear what they are, but still you look at me patiently waiting for me to explain.

"I regret not having asked you out sooner." I say, kissing you gently on the nose. I feel you relaxing, as your face breaks out into a smile.

"Awww…" You sigh, "That's a good regret." You comment, punctuating your statement with a kiss.

"And I regret that we don't get away as often as we should." I say, with another kiss.

"We work too hard." You smile again and pull me tighter into your embrace.

"I agree. Which is why I don't regret that we're unfortunately snowed in." I say, with a slight smile.

You laugh. "The Captain's going to question our judgment on trying to escape in the middle of the winter to a cabin on the ocean on the eve of a great snow storm."

"Eh?" I say, which makes you smile even brighter.

"That's all you have to say?" You giggle.


"That'll go over real well. I think you'll need a better excuse."

"Sorry, Captain, I couldn't come in today, Alex is horny."

"Ha ha."

"I think he'd buy it."

"Probably not." You reply with a smile.

"I have one more."

"One more what?"

"Regret." I say, with a deep breath. "I regret that, I regret that I'm an alcoholic. And I regret every time I've hurt you because of that. I… I'm sorry, Alex."

1217 CHAT

"Isn't that technically two or more regrets?" I ask.

You seem taken aback at first, until you see the small smile tugging on my lips. "I suppose."

"That's it then?"

"That's it? Those are huge regrets, Alex."

"But you're changing the alcoholic part. So that's a corrective step," I suggest, and kiss you playfully, flicking my tongue against your lips as I pull away.

You kiss me back, gently. Then you ask with sad eyes, "Yeah, but what about the times I hurt you?"

I shrug, smiling a small smile.

"That's it?"

"What do you want me to do, Liv? Beat you over the head?" I pull the cushion over and lay it on your head, then I press down, only to pull you closer. "It's the past. I've forgiven you."


"But nothing, Liv," I put on a bigger smile. "Just as long as you don't hurt me the same way again, we're good."

"I never intend to…"

"I know," I cut you off with another kiss. "Actually, you didn't really answer my question."


"Well, maybe I wasn't clear, but I was asking about what you still haven't done, that you want to do. Not something you wish you could go back and fix."

"But I did answer, about getting away."

"But we could work on fixing that. We should," I announce with excitement. "We can be globe trotters."

You're finally smiling again. "That'd be nice."

"So what about other things, bigger things."

That's really not what I asked earlier, but you decide to cooperate anyway, and reply, "How big?"

"If you run into a genie big."

"Win the lotto?"

"The lotto?" You don't even play.

"Unless it's a Barbara Eden lookalike genie…" You wag your eyebrows suggestively.

Do you just like to be swatted? "Liv! Be serious!"

1218 Adventures

"I don't really know, Alex." I try to explain. What I haven't done yet isn't as painful as what I have done, and since that entertains most of my focus, I haven't really thought about the things I would like to try sometime.

"Come on, there has to be something." You prod, punctuating your sentences with tiny kisses.

"It's embarrassing," I whine, when the first thing pops into my head.

"Come on, Liv."

"I'd like to travel more."

"You're been out of the country now, at least," you say with a smile.

"Yeah, but before you, my traveling was limited to that time we all went to Canada."

"For the extradition?"


"I didn't know that," you say with a smile. "So I have been with you every time you've gone away."


"So as a kid you never…"

"Never left the city."

"That's sad."

"I guess." I mumble my response.

"So where do you want to go?" You ask.

I sigh. "It's silly."

"Come on," you prod, your curiosity increasing.

"I want…I'd like to go to Disneyworld sometime."

"That's so cute." You giggle.

"Shut up," I mumble.

"No, it really is cute."

"I just never got to go. And everyone I knew went. Or it felt that way. I just wanted that normal kid experience, and now, well, I'm an adult, and it's just…I could make that come true, I guess."

1219 PLANS

"That's so cute!" I comment and giggle again.

"Shut up!" You whine. "You're making fun of me. And you're not supposed to!"

"I'm not making fun of you," I kiss you lightly on the nose. "I just think it's cute."

"Can you stop using that word?"


"Shut up!"

"Oh, come on, Sweetie, I think it's a great idea."

"You do?"

"You are talking about the one in Florida, right?"


"Cool. I've never been to that one. We can explore together."

"You went to Disneyland then?"

"Yeah, my dad took me, when I was really little," I tell you, and wonder if pictures from that vacation are in the albums, too. "Can't say I remember much of it though. Except that it was fun."

"So we're really going to Disneyworld?" You look so excited, so like an excited child, it's charming.

"The next vacation we take?"

"Too bad we can't go during Christmas."

"Yeah, I don't think my mom will forgive us. You know, your first Christmas as a member of the family."

"True," you smile. Then your smile turns into a frown.


"Is your aunt… you know."

Oh. That. "I don't know. I don't know if she'll be there." I sigh. "I'm not sure if she's even invited."

"Really? Your mom would…"

"Mom has a stubborn streak, especially when she thinks she's right. Where do you think I get it from?" I wrinkle my nose at you.

"Are they still not talking? Your mom and your aunt?"

"I don't know. I didn't ask. Think maybe I should?"

1220 Family

"Do you think I should ask?" You ask me.

"I don't k now, Alex. If you want to, I guess. I mean, it's kind of sad that your mom and her sister are going to fight about something like us loving each other. I mean, come on , how many times have you seen your Aunt in the last year?"

"None, but we used to…" You say, letting the words die on your tongue.

"Do you miss her?" I ask.

"Sometimes. But it's hard to feel that way. I love you so much, that it hurts me that she can't be happy for us. I mean, I wouldn't give up what we have to be close to her. It's kind of her loss, but at the same time, I wish she knew you. I wish she could see how happy we are. I think she'd like you."

"If she could get over the fact that I corrupted you?" I ask.

"Yeah." You sigh.

"Maybe she'll come around?" I ask.

"I don't know." You sigh again, "My Aunt has always been dedicated to her views, and my Mom can be just as impossible. It's kind of a family tradition."

"A Cabot? Impossible?" I laugh.

"Yeah, yeah." You say, with another kiss to my nose. You shift closer to me, deeper against my skin.

"You cold sweetie?"

"A little," you say snuggling into me.

"Want me to get a blanket?" I ask, already starting to get up to retrieve it.

"No, just hold me." You mumble, pulling my arms back around you.

"So what about you?"


"What are your regrets?"

Your blue eyes sparkle with mine, and you smile. "Well…"


"Well," I pretend to think about my answer. "I regret that Veronica interrupted us. Making love in the snow might be fun."

"Or she may have saved us from pneumonia."


"What else?"

"Hm." I pause, then reply in all seriousness, "I regret we didn't make love on the beach, under the moonlight, when we're on the island. It would've been really romantic."

"Okay…" You laugh.

"Oh, and too bad I didn't know you had the hots for me when we were in Toronto."

"Why? So we'd make love on top of the CN Tower?"

"I was thinking about getting a room at the Casa Loma, then we could say we made love in a medieval castle. But the CN Tower! That's a great idea!"

"Alex," now you're laughing and shaking your head. "Do your regrets all revolve around sex?"

"Well, not just sex. Not specifically."

"What specifically?"

"Sex with you?" I tell you, and kiss you on your lips.


"I'm serious!" I say, though I'm sure you know I'm not.

"What about other regrets?"

"There's my aunt," I state the obvious.

"But you don't have any control over that."

"True." I take a deep breath, and look down at our bodies pressed together. "There are things, mostly work related, that I wish I had done differently. I think you know what they are."

You look at me, and smile sadly. "You did what you thought was best," you try to console me.

"Yeah. That's what I tell myself." I nod. "That's what I try to do, really. To do what I think is best for any given moment."

"That's all you can, Alex; that's all anyone can."

"Yep." I try to smile. "So I really shouldn't have any regrets…"

1222 Honest?

"Well, then, you have no regrets except for all those places you've never had sex." I laugh.

"Sex with you." You correct me for the second time.

"So, wait, are you saying you have had sex in the moonlight with someone else?" I ask with a bemused grin.

"No." You say, a blush creeping in your cheeks.

"Alex, be honest." I scold, knowing the blush means you're not being entirely truthful.

"Maybe once. But it…"

"With who?" I ask, quickly cutting you off.

"It was a long time ago, Liv." You start to explain slowly, but I stop you.

"Oh come on, I'd tell you," I whine.

"You would not." You reply quickly.

"Yes I would. I'm very honest." I say with a huge grin. You can tell I'm teasing you, and you pretend to frown at me, but even you can't keep a straight face.

"Oh come on, Liv. Let's change the subject."

"Just tell me who." I beg.

"What difference does it make? It's not like you know them, and it's not like I'd like to remember them."

"I don't know, I just want to learn more about you," I say, grinning.

"You are so full of it. You just want to know who it was."

"And if that's a consequence of learning more about you, then that's the price I have to pay," I say with a huge smile.

"You suck." You say, kissing me on the cheek.

"Only if you ask nicely, sweetheart."

"Jesus Liv. That's horrible."

"Ahh, but you love me."

"I do." You say, smiling.

"So are you going to tell me the story?"

1223 STORY

"There's really nothing to tell!" I say, hoping to convince you.

"Come on, Sweetie, why won't you tell me?"

"It's not nice to kiss and tell?"

"So you did do it!"

"Maybe?" I say, suddenly shy. I'm not sure why it bothers me to tell you about my past. Although I think it bothers me to hear about yours.


"I don't ask you about the people you slept with before me."

"I'll tell you if you really want…"

"No, that's okay," I cut you off. "I really don't."


"I just, I'm jealous. Okay?"

You wrap me tighter in your arms, and kiss me on the nose. "Why? I'm with you now. Anything else is just history."

"Well then, why do you want to know about history?"

"To know you better, Alex, I'd already explained that." You smile, and kiss me again, softly, on the lips this time. "So who was she?"

"It, uh, wasn't a she."

"Wait, I thought…"

"I told you, I dated men." I tell you, then feel obligated to add, "Just a few, in between girlfriends."

"I see."

"It's bothering you." I know for sure. "I'm not sure how or why I did, but I knew you wouldn't be happy about it."

"No, no, no," you deny quickly, with an even quicker smile. "I dated men, too. In fact, that's all I dated before you, so I'm not upset, I shouldn't, can't be upset about you, that you had, you know…"

You can't even say it? "Had heterosexual sex?" I help.

"Yes!" You're acting like I just pricked you with a needle.


1224 After

We lie together for a second in silence. I don't know why it bugs me to think of this, you and a guy. I mean, I had sort of supposed that you had never… but that was kind of an unfair perception. I guess what bothers me is that I never knew, that I just assumed that you never had.

I suppose it was just like how you had assumed that in the beginning that I was far more experienced than I was. I wondered why you never asked about the guys I had dated or the people I had loved. Or the guys I thought I loved. Or the guys I had merely found and brought home with me when I was too drunk to care.

I hate that about myself, those years, when whoever was there was better than dealing with the commitment of being in a real relationship. I remember in the beginning, when you demanded our blood tests, and I knew it was because, deep down, you knew you couldn't trust me, couldn't trust my judgment when it came to being selective and playing it safe. I never thought that you could…

"Did you like it?" Is really the only thing I can ask you.

"What?" You ask, slowly.

"The guy?"

"You mean having sex with him?"

"Yeah." I say, quieter.

"It was okay."

"Just okay?"

"Yeah." You say back. "It's not my thing."

"How'd you know?"

"Know what? That I liked girls?"


"I just did."

"I guess I did too. I mean, now, that I'm with you, I can sort of look back and remember little things that should have been a hint to me? You know, like girls I looked at. Stuff like that."

"It's funny how once you kind of identify as something you can look back and can't understand how it can't be clear to you."

"Yeah," I say with a kiss.

"And if you ever… decided to go back, you'd think of me as a horrible mistake." You say quietly.

"That's not going to happen, Allie."

You smile, and kiss me. "Hope not."

1225 TRUTH

You smile at me, and reassure me again that you'll never go back.

"How can you be so sure?" I ask you.

"Because I love you."

"What if, what if you fall out of love with me one day? People do it all the time…"

"Are you saying you might fall out of love with me?" You ask, rhetorically I presume. But I can see the uncertainty growing in your eyes.

"No," I kiss you again, quickly, to reassure you. "You're stuck with me forever."

"Well then, you're stuck with me forever." You smile. "No divorces, remember?"

"Yeah." I smile, and hug you close.

I feel bad. I feel bad lying about the men. I liked sex with them just fine; but it's not all about sex, is it? For the longest time, I couldn't decide what I was. Then I decided it shouldn't matter, that I won't label myself. It's the love that matters, and I'll love whom I love. And I love you. That's the only thing important thing, right?

I suppose I don't want to tell you for the same reason I don't want to know about your past. I don't want to wonder how I might compare.

And I don't want you to have the same insecurities, same issues I do…

I know I can't compare.

I know I shouldn't even try.

But somehow I can't stop myself. "You really think you liked girls? All along?"

"I think so. I mean, I've always hung out with boys more than girls, and whenever I started to develop a real friendship with a girl, somehow I'd manage to sabotage it. In retrospect, I think maybe I was afraid? Maybe in denial? I didn't want to deal with it? Since it's socially easier?"

"But what about the sex? Any preference?"

"This is a trick question right?" You smirk at me, incredulous. "I've only been with one girl. A woman. You."

"And?" I demand, perhaps a little to anxiously.

"I prefer sex with you. I love you." You gaze into my eyes with unvoiced questions. "And I thought we were just talking about how quickly we fall into bed."

"That's true. We were." I look down at the non-existent space between us, and I sigh.

"What's wrong, Sweetie?"

"I just," I finally tell you the truth, "I'm just afraid you might find me lacking. Maybe not today, not tomorrow. But maybe someday? With another woman, I can try to compete. But I can't do that with a man…"

1226 Forever

"You think I'd leave you for a man?" I ask, not quite believing my ears. I can't imagine, can't believe that you can't see how much I need you now. How much you've become a part of my life. Each moment, each struggle, each triumph I want to share with you. You've becoming the most important reason that I've had to live. Each day, you've become my life.

"Yeah, I mean, you always chose that before." You say, trying to explain.

"I've never loved a guy the way I love you." I say, simply, kissing you.

You smile a wistful smile. "Maybe you just hadn't met the right guy."

"I don't want to meet the right guy, I want to be with you." I say, again. Wishing that you could just see how much you mean to me. How much being with you has changed my life in such good ways.

"But, Liv. A guy would have things that I can't give you."

"Yeah, something I can buy for nine bucks at a toy store."

You smile, even though I can tell you're far more serious about the possibility than I am. "That's not what I was referring to." You say.

"It's not?"

"I'm not talking about the sex, but that's part of it. I mean, Liv, there's a lot you're giving up."

"There's a lot you're giving up too." I say

"But I've always made the same choice. I've always picked to date girls. You might decide one day, that all you give up to be with me isn't worth it."

"Alex. Sweetheart," I say, pressing my fingers under your chin, pulling you tight to me. "I love you. I love you more than I've ever loved another person. I love you, sometimes, more than I love myself. And there's no one, not a man or a woman I'd rather spend my life with.


"There's no but Alex. As long as you want me, I'm yours."


"Promise?" I feel necessary to ask.

"I already did, when I asked you to marry me," you smile gently, your voice certain. "But yes, I promise. I'm yours, for as long as you want me."

I look into your eyes, deep with emotion, with love, and I want to believe you. I know I believe you. "Okay."

"Okay." You echo, smiling your approval.

"But what about when I don't?"

"When you don't what? Want me?" You ask, your shoulders, your arms around me tensing.

"I'm just teasing," I hold you tight, and kiss you. "Relax, I'm definitely keeping you."

"That's not something you should tease about!" You whine.

"I'm sorry," I kiss you again. "I didn't think. But at least I know you care."

"Of course I care, Alex," you purse your lips together.

"Come on, don't pout. I love you."


"Forever," I promise.

"Good." You smile. "So we're gonna love each other forever, and be together forever."


"No more doubts?"

"Nope. Not if I can help it, anyway."

You hold me to you, stroking my skin tenderly, "Don't worry, I'll help."


"I'm glad we have that settled."

"Yeah," I sigh, and lean up to kiss you. Then, snuggling back down against your chest, I whisper into your heart, "I love you."

"I love you, too, Alex."

1228 Lazy

You lean into my arms and close your eyes again. I smile at you, brushing your blonde hair off your face, and watching as your breathing starts to slow.

"Hey sleepy?" I ask, kissing you gently.

"I'm not," you say, your eyes not opening.

"You sure?"

"Mmmhmm." You mumble

"Are we going to lie here all afternoon?" I ask you with a smile.

"Mmmm…" you whine, holding me tighter.

"Is that a yes?" I ask with a smile.

"Do you have somewhere you'd rather be?" You ask, with a quiet laugh.

"Well, not really, but my arm is going numb. And the fire's going out." I say, looking over your head and into the burning embers that are lingering in the fireplace.

You turn and look over your shoulder. "It is going out."

"I told you that silly," I laugh.

"Yeah, but I thought…"

"You thought I would lie about the fire?"

"No. I just don't want to move."

I laugh. "Well then you stay here, and I'll fix the fire."

You look at me for a second and move your head, freeing my arm. "Come right back," you whine.

I stand up and pick my shirt up. "What are you doing?" You ask quickly.

"I'm not putting wood on the fire naked Alex."

"Nooo…" You whine reaching for me, and I laugh at you.

"Come on baby," I say, with a kiss. "We've got to eat, and we should try to start shoveling the driveway at least."

"I don't want to," you say with a pout.

"Fine, then, you wait here, and I'll be back."

1229 POUT

"Nooo!" I whine, sitting up reluctantly.

You only laugh harder. "Come on, baby. You're so spoiled."

"If that were true, you'd be right here." I point to the spot next to me on the couch. "And keeping me warm."

"Well, I'm gonna build the fire for you," you say, and reach for the fire wood, pushing them into the fireplace.

"Then you're coming back?" I watch while you light the fire-starter.

"No." You insist, "I have to go shovel the snow."

"Why? It's still snowing."

"If we waited until it stops, we may never dig the car out. Don't you know these things?" You place your hands on your waist and wrinkle your brows at me.

"No, why would I?"

"We get snow in the city, too. And what about when you were growing up?"

"We have a garage, remember? And my dad hired people…"

"Must be nice," you say, rolling your eyes.

Somehow, I feel the need to defend my parents' bourgeois ways. "Well, later, mom bought this machine…"

You just laugh harder. "A snow blower?"

"Sure, maybe, whatever. It would wake me up every morning."

"And you say you're not spoiled."

"Shut up!"

"Poor little Alex…"

"Shut. Up." I warn.


"Olivia Benson! If you don't stop this minute…"

"Or what?" You smirk. "What kind of empty threats are you coming up with next?"

I cross my arms, and turn away. "That's it, I'm not talking to you."

"Okay," you move towards the door, "You can come get me when you change your mind."

"Don't go? I'll miss you." I jump off the couch, and walk over to you, pulling you into my arms. "Besides, it might not be safe…"

1230 Digging Out

"Yeah," I laugh at you, "I might get frozen to the driveway."

"That's not what I mean."

"There could be an avalanche," I laugh, pulling on my boots, despite your protests. "I could be buried under a mountain of white fluffy snow!"

"There could be a psycho out there."

"This isn't Misery Alex. There's no reason to believe that woman's so psycho that she's going to go against police orders. Plus, we have to start digging out. One day, we can slide with, everyone'll understand, but we can't stay here till spring."

"Why not?" You say, wagging your eyes at me, which just makes me laugh harder.

"You're a nutcase."

"I know, but you love me," You smile, "and that's why you're going to stay here, and not go out into the icky cold snow, right?"

"Allie," I whine.

"Livvy," you whine back. "Stay, and I'll go out with you later, please?"

"It'll be dark later," I mumble.

"Then in the morning, first thing. We can drive back and be home tomorrow night."

"Alex, if there are a few feet of snow in the morning, we won't be able to shovel out."

"We'll call someone."


"I'm sure Trevor knows someone. He probably gets it done anyway, it was clean when we got here."

I look out the window and stare at the snow. Despite my better judgment, I walk back over to you on the couch.


"Yeah," you smile and crawl into my arms like an oversized kitten.

"So, what do you want to do now?" I ask, with a laugh.

1231 STUCK

"What do you wanna do now?" You fret.

"I don't know," I say patiently, determined to stay in a good mood.

"You should've let me shovel last night!"

"You didn't want to shovel in the dark, remember?" I walk up to you, and hang my arms around your neck. "Why don't you let me call Trevor's guy?"


"Why not?"

"There's gotta be someone else in town," you mumble, staring at the floor.

"There isn't."

"Maybe we should try again."

"Sweetie, just let me call him."


I sigh, and tip your chin up so I can see your eyes. "Is it because he's the lock guy's brother?"

You press your lips tighter together, answering with your silence.

"That doesn't mean he's going to come out, too. So what if he does, and he stares? You made me go topless on the beach."

"But that was on the island."

"So? People looked."

"That's different!"

"You keep saying that. How is it different?"

"It just is!"

"I don't know if jealousy is something I should encourage, but you're so cute when you're jealous," I say, kissing you gently on the nose.

"Am not!"

"Why don't we just wait it out then? Trevor said he'll go rent a snow truck or something, and come get us."

"But our bosses…"

"It's just an extra couple of days. They didn't seem to mind when we talked to them, the judges would rather be planning their Christmas shopping list anyway, and it'll give the rookie detective some practice."

You sigh loudly, deeply. But at least your hands are finding their way out of your pockets to circle my waist.

"Come on, smile a little," I try to lure you into a better mood. With a soft kiss and a teasing wink, I add, "Is it really so bad to be stuck here with me?"

1232 Skills

"Of course it's not bad to be here with you," I say, slowly letting the anxiety flow through my body. My arms cross, and uncross as I fight with myself to not grab a shovel and run. "I don't know why I'm so…"

"Nervous?" You ask.

"Something like that. I just want to make sure that we don't get stuck here forever. We really do have jobs. I mean, Elliot's not going to cover my ass forever." I say, looking over at you.

"It'll be okay Liv. We deserve a break every now and then."

"I think I feel guilty that we're here, and they're there…and we're supposed to be there, and…"

"Liv, it's okay. Really, sweetie." You promise, putting your hands on my shoulders and rubbing them gently.

"It's going to be dark, soon." I say, staring out the window. "Are you sure you don't want to shovel even a little?" I say, looking over my shoulder at you.

"Come on, Liv," you say, pulling me away from the window, where I stand brooding. "We can make dinner." You suggest with a smile.

"You mean, I can make dinner and you can watch?" I laugh.

"No, I mean, we can make dinner. Teach me something." You giggle, your eyes brightening with the suggestion.

"You? In the kitchen?" I laugh, and duck as you swat at my shoulder.

"I can learn."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Come on, sweetie," you say, snaking your arms around me. "Teach me something."

"What do you want to learn?" I ask with a smile.


"How about boiling water?" I ask, and laugh as you reach out to slap me again.

"I know how to boil water." You complain, chasing me as I duck out of your reach.

"We'll see," I laugh back as I run into the kitchen with you a few steps behind…


"Okay, I think I know how to use a knife," I talk over my shoulder. "Stop hovering."

"Are you sure?" Instead of stepping away, you actually press your chin down on me. "Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. I happen to like those fingers."

"Olivia Benson!" I elbow you in the gut.

You feign innocence. "What?"

"Forget it," I decide, lest you accuse me of having a dirty mind. "Will you go do something else? I'll let you know when I'm done, okay?"

"But you want me to teach you."

"Yes, not follow my every move!"

"I have to watch you to make sure you're learning properly."

"I'm just cutting vegetables!" I can't help but whine.

"Ah, yes, but there's an art to cutting vegetables."

Great. "You've got to be kidding me."

"I'm serious, Alex."

"Okay, maybe if you're a restaurant chef, or if we're preparing food for company, but not when it's just for us."

"If you're going to learn, you should learn it right, from the beginning."

"Fine." I sigh, and hand you the knife.

"Hey, where are you going?"

"I'm going to look for pasta in the pantry. I'm sure I know how to open the box properly, and put it in the pot when the water starts to boil."

"You might want to finish cutting the veggies first. The sauce takes longer to cook."

"I changed my mind; I don't wanna to it anymore…"

"But Sweetie."

"It's not fun." I sulk.

"Come on," you slide your arms around my waist, trapping me against the counter. "I'll try to make it fun, okay?"

"And how are you going to do that?"

1234 Lessons

I smile at you and hand the knife back, which you take begrudgingly. "I don't want to do this anymore," You pout.

"Come on, Alex. I'll show you how it can be fun."

You sigh a loud sigh, and grab the knife out of my hand. "Teach me." Carefully, you turn back to the cutting board and slam the knife into a pepper. With a few quick strokes, you start hacking at the pieces, and cutting them into jagged pieces.

"No, sweetie, watch," I smile. I slowly put my hand on your hand, taking your other hand and placing it on the board, I guide the knife slowly. You stand between my arms, letting your body tense and then relax into my embrace.

"Like this," I say, pulling the knife back. "See how nice the slices are?" I ask, as I move my hand slightly, letting you see what's being cut.

"It doesn't matter, it's going to taste the same." you complain.

"Of course it does. The shape of the vegetable affects the way it cooks. If you spend time here, you get better results," I whisper in you ear, with a gentle kiss to the back of your neck.

"Oh." Is your only response, punctuated with the sharp intake of your breath as I kiss the back of your earlobe, still sliding the knife wrapped in both of our hands.

"Cooking is very sensual, Alex. This is about sensation. Close your eyes. Focus on the movements." I say, watching as your eyes flutter, trusting my hand to guide the knife.

"Getting it?" I ask you, breathing on your neck.

"Just a little more," you say, letting your hand go limp while I hold the knife for both of us.

"The way the food feels, the way it tastes, the colors, the smells, the sounds it makes when it cooks, it's all there, all your senses."

"Mmmm…" you moan, as I kiss you again, still guiding the knife.

"See?" I ask, as I let your hand guide itself, you carefully pull back the knife exactly as I was showing you.

I slide my hand down your body, while you cut the peppers carefully. "Better?" You ask.

"Yeah," I say, while you press back into me. "This is much better."


We go from the yellow peppers to the red peppers, peeling and slicing them slowly, carefully. As they simmer in the tomato paste, we move on to the garlic, you showing me how to cut the cloves into thin slices just like before.

Your kisses, they're distracting. In a way, they also help me focus. If I'm doing it right, if I can hold the knife on my own, then your hands are freed to roam over my body…

I suppose cooking is not very different from baking. It just depends on how you look at it. The taste, the smell, the feel of dry flour and moist dough on your skin, they all can be rather sensual. And the senses you want to engage and the emotions you wish to invoke with the final product, they can be quite similar…

Closely, you follow me to the sink. Standing behind me, you reach around to wash the spinach with me, explaining to me how the different colors complement each other. Your color theory is sounding more and more like a lover's whisper.

My breathing is more than ragged by the time we're finished with shredding the spinach. In my fantasy, we are slowly undressing each other, tasting every inch of the other person's skin, savoring the different scents and delicate flavors…

In reality, you're showing me how to spread and control the parsley, to chop them into small delectable pieces that would excite the palate.

I almost moan when you pick up a caper, and roll it around with your fingers before you crush it over the steaming sauce. Then you instruct me to follow, and all I can think of is the touch of your flesh in my hands. And when you withdraw and graze the tip of my breast through my shirt, I shiver.

And when you put the spoon in my hand, and guide my wrist to stir and stir, I try to relax, to peel my body away from yours.

But then you taste the sauce, and you share it with me on your tongue, I'm undone.

"Liv?" I suck in a shallow breath, and a whimper escapes.

You laugh, a thick throaty laugh that lets me know you're as aroused as I am.

"Maybe we should call it a day," I suggest. "Why don't you take over, and I'll just pick it up again next time?" So I can wrap my arms around you, and touch you to my heart's content.

"No, Alex," you say, hoarsely. "We've come this far, let's finish."


"Don't you want the satisfaction of preparing your meal?"

I'd rather have other kinds of satisfaction, I think to myself. Aloud, I agree, "All right. What's next?"

1236 Waiting

"Well, now," I whisper in your ear, "we wait."

"Wait?" you nearly croak.

"You have to give time for the flavors to marry together, for them to be one." I say, letting my hands resume their explorations over your body. Pressing you tight against me, I finish, "We let the sauce slowly simmer."

"How long?" You whisper.

"For awhile," I say, knowing what's running through your mind. The same thing I'm sure that's running through mine.

Watching you, seducing you through an art that you've always just left up to me, has left me as distracted as you. My body throbbing, waiting for your touch, but my denial of those needs let's me further explore yours.

With teasing caresses and breathy kisses on your neck, I can sense your body responding to me. You tighten against me, your breath quickens, your heart pounds.

You turn around in my arms, quickly, and press your tongue into my mouth, with a deep kiss you steal my breath away. Your hands, which until now have been involved in slicing vegetables into small pieces are in my shirt, pulling at my clothes, my waistband.

"I need you," you whisper between deep kisses.

"Mmm…" Is my only quasi response, my body too focused on the pleasure running through it now that your hands are all over me.

"How long?"

I carefully look over your shoulder…. "thirty minutes, maybe forty?"

With that, you take my hand and pull me towards the bedroom. "Come on," you say, when I slow in the door, catching sight of my own reflection in the mirror. You pull me onto the bed with your kisses, and reach for my shirt. I pull at yours, kissing you, stroking you.

"I love you," I whisper.

"You too," You whisper. "Livvy?" You ask.


"Make love to me." You sigh.



On your lips, I taste the sweet pungent taste of the peppers that you munched on while I chopped. And on your fingers, the vinegary flavor of the caper berries. The salt of the tomatoes. Somehow they all vaguely remind me of you.

Or maybe I just have sex on my brain.

Or maybe cooking is just that sensual.

Who knew?

Quickly, I peel off your clothes, suddenly needing to feel your bare skin on mine. Needing to seize whatever time we have while the sauce is simmering.

Judging by the force and desperation in your movements, when you strip me of my clothing, I'd say you're as aroused as I am.

The fire in your eyes, when you agreed to make love to me, it makes me weak. It melts me from my core, and makes me burn.

Spread on the queen size bed, I pull your body to drape across mine. I push your body to me, wrapping myself around you. "I need you," I tell you.

Ravenous, you hold my eyes. Without a word, in single motion, you stroke your fingers inside me. Filling me, I welcome you.

"God, yes," I moan, forcing my eyes open to meet your gaze. "Yes, Liv," I encourage, as you take me with hunger, as I rock against you. I love you.

As if hearing my silent declaration, you smile, a remarkably gentle smile. "Love you, Alex," you mouth, as you hold me, strain against me.

Our bodies rocking together now, my legs wrapped around your thighs, I clutch at you, claw at you, and pressing up towards you.

I feel like I'm pulling you inside me, like you're touching me from the outside, caressing my heart with your fingers. Your gentle, yet assertive hands, I feel so safe when they hold me like this. I feel so protected when you love me like this.

Unable to hold them open any longer, I close my eyes, and cling onto your strong shoulders. They anchor me as I float away in our sea of passion, as I crash over and over around you.

And over and over you push me, while holding me, and whispering soft sweet things in my ear.

I have no other words for you at this moment, with only your name on my lips. My body my heart beating, surging - from me to you…

1238 Girly

When I touch my tongue to your skin, I can taste your arousal, ready for me. Within a few moments, you're on the edge. Your body lifts from the bed, full of expectation. Within seconds, my name like a song comes drifting from your lips and you're pulling me up your body, kissing me deeply.

"God, Liv," you moan, while I continue my gentle kisses on your neck. "I was never like this."

"Like what?" I ask with a smile, still sucking gently on your neck.

"So… easy," you moan, your hands on my body.

I laugh my response. "You definitely are easy."

"That's not funny," You say, laughing back. "I mean, just, your hands… the way you look at me. It's so, intense."

"Complaining?" I ask you, knowing full well you're by no means complaining.

"No, I mean, you make me feel….special. Beautiful."

"You are," I say easily, your fingers tracing lines down my back as I hover over you.

"But you make me feel that way. I don't know how to explain it." You mumble.

"I know what you mean."

"Do I make you feel that way?" You ask, hesitantly.

"Yeah. I mean, I wouldn't say beautiful. But desirable?" I more ask than state, not sure how to describe the love and feeling that fills my chest when you look at me much like you are right now.

"Why don't you think you're beautiful?" You ask, gently pushing my flopping bangs away from my eyes, so you can stare straight into them. "You always fight me when I call you that."

"I don't know. It's just not how I think of myself."

"You should. You are beautiful." You say, capturing my lips in a kiss.

I can feel my face getting hot and red. "Okay, okay," I say, kissing you again, mostly to get you to stop talking. Within seconds, your hands are on my body, sliding over my skin, but my mind is focused on how you're right. You're right that I don't let you call myself beautiful, but I don't know why I really hate it so much. It's always been that way for me. On the other hand, if someone calls me tough, or a fighter, I swell with pride. I guess beautiful is for girly girls. Even though I have my feminine moments, I'm not girly. Not by a long shot.


You kiss me. You kiss me ardently, covering my lips with yours, occupying my mouth with your tongue. It feels good. Your kisses always feel good, even when you're kissing me to shut me up.

Your hands are sliding all over my body again, insistently, distracting me from my exploration of your body. Your touch feels wonderful. Unfailingly, they turn my insides liquid, and hot. And I want you to make love to me again, even though I know you're trying to prove some sort of point.

"Liv?" I breathe, while you place sucking kisses all over my throat.

"Mmm?" You ask, skipping lower.

"I want…" My sentence dies as you take my breasts in your hands, and knead and squeeze them together, running your tongue back and forth between them.

When you finally pull away, I sob, "God…"

You chuckle. "What was that?"

"Mmm?" Your body your weight pressing down against me is driving me to distraction. "What?"

"What did you want?"

"Take me," I gasp. "Make love to me."

You begin to slide down my body, and I stop you, brushing your hair out of your eyes so I can see you. "You are beautiful," I whisper, "To me."

A dark flush quickly washes over your features. You're ready to duck between my legs, and rob me of cohesive thoughts.

My hands holding you under your arms prevent you from moving. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," you say quickly. Then your voice drops to a dangerous low growl. "I want you, Alex. I want you now."

I love it when you're like this - all forceful and demanding. I can see the hungry want in your eyes, and I'm almost ready to surrender…

When it clicks.

Every time I tell you you're beautiful, your reaction is almost the same. You'd dismiss my comment, then sooner rather than later, one way or another, you cop a rough attitude.

"Sweetie?" I smile up at you, gently stroking your face.

"Alex…" You tense.

I can tell you're either going to break from my hold and devour my body, or you're going to run away. Plan B is definitely not an option. "You can be beautiful without being a chip-a-nail." I can tell by your reaction that I've hit the mark. "You're as tough as a nail, the kind you hammer, and you're absolutely beautiful. In fact, your strength makes you more beautiful, to me."

1240 Unaccepting

"You're beautiful to me," you explain, and I can barely contain my sigh.

"Okay," I say impatiently, while I reach for your skin, trying to pull away from your gaze which pierces my veneer far better than I would like. I wish you would drop it. I wish this talk wasn't something that would cause us to be filled with this silence, this impasse.

"Liv?" You ask, not letting me go, not letting me move away from you.

"Come on, Alex. Just drop it okay?" I nearly beg. I hate the way it sounds, when I feel.

"Baby," you whisper, and I know suddenly that this isn't going to end as quickly, with me taking you and making you forget what this was ever about in the first place.

"I just don't like it, Alex. Okay? It's not personal, I know you love me." I try to explain, still trying to pull away from you.

"It's not about me loving you." You say, quietly, your fingers tilting my chin forcing me to look into your eyes which are pleading for my open mind. "It's about you loving you."

"That's what we go to therapy for." I say, with more sarcasm in my voice than should be there. I flinch at my own response.

"I just don't see, don't understand how you can't see it." You say, with a sad wistful smile.

"I don't see how you can. I guess that makes us even, huh?

"I guess," you say, quietly.

"Come on, Allie. This doesn't have to ruin our night."

"It's not, it's just, I think it's a little sad. Sad that you don't see how great you are."

"I have issues. Okay?"

"We all have issues, sweetie. But, I guess the important thing is that we're trying to change."

"I don't think that's going to change Alex." I mumble quietly.

"That's sad."

"I guess," I say again, wishing this would stop. You wipe my bangs back again and look into my eyes, staring with silence.


I sigh. It's obvious that we're not going to get anywhere with this. Maybe someday you'll change your mind. Obviously, not today, not tonight.

Leaning up, I kiss you softly, before letting your bangs fall. "I think you're great, anyway."

"Yeah, right. If I were so great, how come I made you cry?"

"That was yesterday, and I needed my pills."

"And what about all the other times?"

I shrug. How do I respond to that? How do I make you forgive you, when you're unwilling. "We're both stubborn people, and we can be overly emotional, in our own ways. Anyway, it doesn't take away the fact that you make me happy, most of the time. Deliriously happy."

You only wrap me tighter in your arms and remain silent.

"I'm not just saying it, Liv."

"I know, Alex," you say.

I can almost hear the 'why can't you just leave me alone?' following your statement. "Okay," I respond, without thinking.

"Okay what?"

"I won't say it again."

"Say what?"

"That you're beautiful. I'll just keep it to myself from now on."

"Oh," you reply. For a moment there, you almost sounded disappointed. Then you say, "Great. Thanks for seeing my way," and you kiss me quickly.

"You know that doesn't change the way I feel about you."

"That's great," you repeat. Then you make a show of sniffing the air. "Well, Sweetie, I think your sauce is done."

"But it hasn't been that long?"

"We should go check on it anyway. Wouldn't want it to burn."

"I guess…" I can't help but sound disappointed.

You see right through me, and you laugh, as if nothing had happened. "Come on Sweetheart," you grin and kiss me again. "We'll continue after dinner. We've got all night."

I swallow my sigh, and pull on my clothes, and follow you into the kitchen…

1242 Escape

More nervously than I want to admit to myself, I pull on my clothes and run into the kitchen with you slowly following behind. I know that you're not happy, I can see it in your eyes, but somehow, I'm promising myself that if I can just pretend that we haven't had the conversation, we'll be fine.

Quickly, in the kitchen, I pull the lid off the sauce and stir it, carefully. It smells delicious, and I can feel myself smiling that it's going to be a success. In a quick second, I put the water on the stove to boil, ready to start the pasta to finish out the meal.

"You did a great job," I tell you with a smile, as you slowly find your way into the kitchen, fully dressed again.

"It was you." You say, with a shy smile, as you come towards me. You reach out for me, but I turn quickly, and your arms instead find their way around your waist instead of mine.

"Taste?" I ask you, holding out a spoon with the sauce on it.

"You first." You say, looking at it leeringly, not quite sure you want to taste it at all..

"You don't trust your own cooking?"

"Absolutely not."

"Ringing endorsement," I laugh. "I promise that this you'll like this."

"Fine," You say, taking the spoon from my hand and closing your eyes. "It's actually," you say, tasting the sauce slowly, "not that bad. It's good even."

"See?" I laugh.

"So you really did it," you say.

"No, I helped. You were the chef."


I look at you, and see your frown as you watch me. "What's wrong?" I ask you.

"Nothing." You say, quickly.

"Come on Alex. You're obviously…."

"It's something you don't want to talk about, so let's just drop it, okay?"


"Look, Sweetie," you sigh, and reach for me. When I don't cooperate, you sigh again. "C'mere. Please."

Reluctantly, I move into your arms, still firmly holding myself.

"I don't know how to explain this…" You look at me. When I don't say anything, you continue, with another big sigh, "But I'll try, okay?"

With a lift of my brow, I give you the go-ahead.

You stare at my crossed arms, and you shake your head, and rest your hands on my hips. "It's not really about self-hate."

"But you just said…"

"It's… an easier response. One that's more, expected?"

My eyes wince.

"I know I'm attractive. I have a good body, not a bad face, and I clean up nice. I know all of that."


"But there are just certain adjectives I'm not comfortable with."

"Like beautiful," I state.

You nod. "Yes, like beautiful. Or cute. Or adorable. Pretty; I really hate pretty."

"But you are pretty…"

You visibly cringe. "Please, Alex."

"What's wrong with pretty? Or beautiful? You're gorgeous!"

You smile, an almost prideful smile.


"Gorgeous I can deal."


"That's fine."


"I'd hope so, in your eyes anyway."

"So… this is about semantics?"

"Sort of. Some descriptions are just a little too… girly?"

"But you're a girl! You have feminine features, and feminine behaviors, and when you put on a dress, you're drop dead gorgeous!"

1244 Tough

"You're a girl!" You pronounce, hugging me closer.

"Yeah, I am. But…" My voice trails off. "For a lot of my life, Alex, that's been a detriment. What I do? I work in a place where men are the rule, and I'm by far the exception. I have to prove my chops every day for no other reason than because I'm a woman. And, I guess, it's been too many years that I've avoided some of the more feminine things about myself. Being called pretty? Pretty is weak."

"That's not true, sweetie." You say, quietly, giving me another hug.

"It is for me. I've forced those aspects of myself down to prove that I'm tougher, or stronger, or more dedicated the rest of the guys. And they accept me as that. I mean, you think that Fin looks at me as the girl? I've worked damn hard to get to that point."

"But you can be good at your job and still be pretty. Or beautiful. Or sexy as hell."

"I know, Alex. But being pretty can get you killed. Pretty is soft."

"It doesn't have to be. Sweetie, who you are at work doesn't have to be who you are. I understand needing to be tough. But that doesn't make you someone who can't have that side. Besides, sometimes that side, you being a woman, helps. You can get confessions when the guys can't." You explain.

"But a lot of that is because the psychos we see have…well, problems with women. I'm bait, Alex. I'm bait that's tough enough to take it."

"You're good at your job."

"I try to be." I say with a sigh.

"I still don't quite understand, but I can respect it, I suppose."

"Thanks, Alex. I mean, maybe someday…" I say, letting my voice drift off.

You laugh. "Yep, maybe someday. So what's next?"

"Next?" I ask, suddenly confused.

"Yeah, next. Here, with our cooking adventure?"

"Oh, we need to cook the pasta. And if you're interested in salad, we can do that too."

You look at me seductively. "I'll cut the vegetables," you whisper.


"I'll cut the vegetables," I say, and turn away from you. When you laugh a teasing laugh, I turn back. "What?" I ask, trying to hide my smile.

"You sure you know how?" You ask, hiding your grin.

"Why don't you show me then?"

Without another word, you slide up behind me, pressing your body lightly against my back.

I shift my shoulders, and wiggle into you.

Your breath hitches. "So, let's start," you nearly whimper.

I reach for a tomato, and stop when your hand covers my arm. "What?"

"We start with lettuce."

"Even in a tossed salad?"

"God. Don't you pay attention when we get salads to go?"


"We start with lettuce," you repeat with absolute authority.

"Okay…" I say, and watch you open the bag and lay the shredded lettuce on the bottom of the bowl, arranging the leaves so they're not sticking out all over.

"See? Now we have room for the other stuff."

"So what's next?"

"You start with the biggest things first then build up."



"Ah. Okay," I grab a cucumber and wash it over the sink. Then a thought occurs to me. "Hmm…" I turn around in your arms, and smile at you.


"I saw this experimental film when I was in undergrad," I say slowly, my fingers playing with the button of your jeans.

You swallow audibly. "Yeah?"

"It was a bunch of lesbian shorts, actually," I tell you, my breath whispery against your lips. And I watch you close your eyes to my warm gentle kiss.

Then your eyes fly open when I tickle your cleavage with the small end of the cucumber. "Alex?"

"It was quite funny, really. In one scene you see them making out, and you see their dog running away with the strap on while they were busy. Then you see one of them looking for something all over the place, finally stopping in front of the fridge."


"Then it cuts to later, where she's tossing this really shriveled up cucumber in to the trash with this huge smile on her face…" Sort of like the one on mine right now. "You wanna try?"

1246 Choke

You look at me expectantly with the cucumber dangling from your hand, the full impact of what you're suggesting hits me. "You want me? To? With that?" I croak, my face burning hot with what I'm sure is a blush of total embarrassment. I just didn't see it coming, and the vivid scene is running through my head.

"I'm sure we wouldn't be the first." You supply, still smiling.

Suddenly, the air seems to thick, and I think I'm choking. "I'm… I just…I hadn't…"

"We don't have to, it was stupid anyway." You say, turning from me and facing the cutting board, taking the cucumber and chopping it in half with a dramatic flair. In a few seconds, you've cut it into tiny slices, before I have a chance to protest.

"Hey, why'd you?" I ask, stopping your hand, which is still chopping away furiously.

"Because you didn't want… it was just stupid, Liv." You complain.

"I didn't say that."

"I could tell by your face."

"Alex. I just… I hadn't thought about it before. That doesn't mean…"

"You don't think it's stupid?"

"It's different," I say, trying to be honest, "But it's an interesting thought. You know we have those toys at home."

"Yeah," this time it's your turn to be shy.

"We could… use them more often. If you wanted to."

"It's just something different."


"And it can be fun. I mean, you seemed to like it the last time we…"

"I definitely did," I return to you. "So when we get back…"

"Sounds good," you smile.

1247 BRAG

"It's really not so bad, is it?" I think out loud, twirling pasta around my fork.

You smile at me. "Not at all. You did great."

"Thank you." I smile back.

"For what?"

"Teaching me?"

"It's really not a big deal."

"You've got to be kidding, right? I can't wait 'til I tell my mom, or better yet, show her." I reach over and squeeze your hand.

"Maybe instead of going to visit her, we should invite her to our place for dinner."

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah? Why?"

"I don't know, I didn't think you'd want… I don't know."

"Your mom's been very nice to me, and she's like, kind of, my mom now."

"True. That's sweet," I say, and watch you blush. "And my mom will love you even more."

"Why? Just because I taught her daughter how to make pasta?"


You just laugh and shake your head. "It's not that big a deal."

"Trust me, it is. I'm probably the only Cabot who knows how to make spaghetti."

"You've got to be kidding."

"Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But, man, poor Trevor."


"Any woman he brings home will have some tall shoes to fill," I say, and watch you blush a deep crimson.

You shrug, and chuckle self-depreciatingly. "Well, I'm sure she won't be alcoholic," you say, without bitterness.

Keeping the lightness of the moment, I laugh and roll my eyes, "Hm. Who do you think my mom favors? My cultured colleague who willingly loses to her at Scrabble, or Trevor's ditzy chip-a-nail stepmom who probably thought Scrabble was a country… Or, my gorgeous wife, who just happened to be a recovering alcoholic, or his obsessive psycho neighbor?"

"The obsessive psycho neighbor?" You smirk.

"Shut up. You know my mom thinks you hung the moon. Maybe you can even teach me how to make soup, and maybe stuff a chicken or something…"

1248 Happy

"Whoa, there cowboy," I say with a smile. " Stuff a chicken?" I laugh, and you blush a light pink.

"What, you don't stuff a chicken?" You ask with a laugh. "What do you do with it then?"

"No, you can stuff a chicken. I'm just saying, we should start small and work up to the chicken stuffing."

"It doesn't look so hard." You say with a grin.

"Says the woman who didn't know how to cut a tomato until two hours ago."

"I knew how to do it in theory."

"Yes if your theory was to hit it real hard with a hammer and hope it breaks into tiny little pieces, then yes, you did." We both laugh, and you lean over the empty table and kiss me on the cheek.

"Okay, you made your point." you laugh, "I trust you. I'll start small. But it would be nice to show mom that I've learned something new."

"Well," I say, pushing my plate back. "I'm never eating again."

"You always say that." You laugh at me as I unbuckle the top button of my pants. "That's real charming."

"I'm pretty sure I mean it this time. And I'm always charming." I smile at you.

"I'll remember that tomorrow morning when you wake up and run for the kitchen to make breakfast."

"I can't help that you wear me out. I need food for energy so I can keep you satisfied."

"You make me sound like a nympho."

"And that would be an incorrect assumption?" I ask, wagging my eyebrows at you.

"You're a jerk."


You fake pout. "You are too." You whine.

"Not as bad as you are." I laugh even harder.

"Be nice or I'll cut your off."

"You couldn't do that." I laugh.

"Yes I could." I look at you for a second, and then you smile. "Okay, you're right, I couldn't. Are you happy now?"


"Yes, you're right, you're irresistible," I tell you, and cross the table to sit in your lap. "Happy now?"


"No?" I feign shock. "I gave you sex, and I fed you, what else do you want?"

"You can make dessert."

"But you just said you're not eating again."

"I said I'm not eating food. I didn't say anything about you," you say and wag your brows at me.

"Liv!" I swat your shoulder.

Your smile just grows wilder. "What?"

"That's crass," I scold.

"Yeah? You love it that I'm a little rough around the edges."

"I do huh?"

"Yep. So you could polish me."


"Come on, I know I'm right."

"Whatever." I smile, and kiss you on your nose. "I suppose we should go clean up the dishes."

"I suppose. Or you could just sit, and think about what you want to do, while I go clean," you offer with a smile. "After all, you cooked."

"Yeah, but when you cooked, you also did the dishes."

"Exactly, I always do the dishes. It's not like it's hard to load up the dishwasher."

Suppose that's true, I have to agree. Still, I say, getting ready to stand up, "I'll help anyway"

You hold me fast, refusing to let me go. "Sit with me for a little bit?"

But we have dishes to do, I want to argue. Then I see the charming smile on your face, and the entreaty in your eyes, and I comply, "All right. What do you want to do, while we're sitting?"

1250 Tease

"Why do we have to do something?" I ask, as you crawl deeper into my lap. You let your head rest on my shoulder, while I take the chance to squeeze my arms around you and hold you close to me.

"You're the one who likes to be busy." You say, giving me a light kiss on the neck, the flirtatious tone not lost on me.

"Me? It's you that wants to be entertained all the time. I'm perfectly content to sit here and do nothing." I say, trying to keep a straight face while you continue to kiss a line up and down my neck.

"Sure you are." You whisper.

"You're so impatient," I laugh.

"I am not," You complain. "I just think that you have other things on your mind."

"Like what?" I ask with a smile, and a breathy kiss to your cheek.

"I don't know,' You say, leaning over and kissing my neck. "But I think you do."

"It looks like you're the one with something else on your mind." I tease as you slip your hand into my shirt. I let you, and relish the sensations as you touch me.

"You're projecting." You laugh, quietly, while you kiss me. "It's not what I want, it's what you want."

"So it's not your hand in my shirt?"

"Oh, no, it is my hand."

"Then what am I projecting?"

"You're projecting that you want it there."

"I can't deny that." I laugh, which turns into a quick moan as you pinch me gently.


"I guess you're right. The fact that you're feeling me up, is in fact, my fault."

"I knew you'd agree."

1251 TAUNT

"And the fact that you're unbuttoning my shirt, that too, is my fault?" You ask, your voice growing breathy.

"Yep," I say, kissing you softly on the side of your lips. When I pull away, you follow, not wanting to relinquish our contact. "See?"


"I'm just giving you what you want."

"In other words, you're blaming the victim," you whisper into my mouth.

I chuckle and slide my tongue against yours. Then I pull away, to reply breathlessly, "You're no victim."

"Oh, but you're sitting on me, holding me down," you remind me, sliding your hand across the side of my thigh, making my skin tingle.

"You could've easily pushed me off, or picked me up," I slide against you, my hands brushing up your torso, cupping your flesh. "It's not like you haven't done that before."

"But…" You protest, with your eyes closed.

"And it was your tongue in my mouth," I add quickly, and trail kisses down your throat.

"I suppose it's true then," you half whimper, "It's all my fault."

"Yep." I whisper, alternating between gentle pinching and sweeping caresses.

You moan against my neck, "And if it's going to be my fault anyway…"


"I'm gonna do this," you warn, then close your lips over the sensitive spot under my ear.

"Liv…" I breathe, and pinch a little harder, only to make you respond with a deeper pressure. "Be careful."

"Why?" You ask, your teeth grazing now.

"You'll leave a hickie."


"What will our bosses think?" I ask, with a smile, urging you on. My fingers continue with their own teasing, drawing moans and sighs from you.

"You can just blame it on me. Tell them I make you horny."

"Oh but you do…" I pull away only to push our lips together. Parting them just long enough to tell you, "Let's go…"

1252 Amazed

"Where do you want to go?" I tease, feeling you pulling on me.

"Bed." You whisper.

"Don't you think we've spent enough time in bed today?" I ask you, with a smile.

"But I want you," you whisper in my ear.

"And I want you too, baby."

"So come on." You try to stand up, but I keep you pressed into me, my arms holding you tight against my body.

"Remember when we first got together. We would just…"

"On any horizontal surface?" You finish the thought for me.


"You want me to push the dishes off the table." You laugh, and I can tell for a second you're actually considering it.

"No, come here." I say, not giving you the choice, I lift you as I stand up.

"Put me down," you laugh.

"In a second," I say, slowly walking with you in my arms, your legs wrapped tightly around my waist. I take you carefully into the living room and lie you down on the floor in front of the raging fire.

"Here." I say, letting your feet touch the floor and pull you down onto the floor with me.

"Such a romantic," You smile up into my eyes, pushing my bangs out of the way so you can see my face.

"I can be."

You reach up and kiss me. Our lips touch together, melding. Your hands slowly wander back up my body, while you push me onto my back. "I want… for you," you whisper, as you straddle my hips.

In your eyes, I can see the love you have for me. It sparkles there, as you look down at me, carefully pulling my shirt open and exposing my body to you. You lean over me, and kiss a trail down my chest, your hair tickling my skin next to where the warmth of your mouth presses against my skin. I watch you, watch you amazed that you love me.

1253 LOVE

Slowly, carefully, I move down your body, placing light, gentle kisses, here and there, and everywhere, teasing you, growing your pleasure.

"I love you," I mouth, silently, my eyes smiling into yours.

The way your deeps eyes sparkle, the flush on your face, and the light parting of your lips, they show me how much you want this. "Love you, Alex," you whisper back, almost sounding like you're in awe. Of what? My desire for you? The depth of our love?

You're beautiful, I tell you wordlessly, with my gaze.

I think you heard me; the way your blush darkens convinces me you did.

And the way your fingers hover around the hem of my shirt tells me what you're contemplating, or debating. And I smile as I ease up, and peel the tee over my head.

And I watch your eyes glaze over while they follow my curves; I smile a deeper smile.

Bending down, I tempt you with my arousal. I'm not sure I completely get it, but I know it turns you on when I hang over you like this. When I put myself on display for you. And I watch you, mesmerized by the sight. And I wait for you to lick your lips and lift your head.

That's when I slide away from you, and drag my body down, slowly, oh so very slowly across yours…

I watch your muscles shiver to my touch. I watch you watch me lower my head, to tease your skin with my hair, with my breath…

Do you want me to want you? Do you need me to need you?

When I look into your eyes, like this, I'm certain you do. "I love you," I only think it this time.

Still, I think you heard me; the smile on your face tells me you do.

Lowering my body onto yours, then my lips to yours, I kiss you. I kiss you deep and soft and slow, showing you how much I love you. How much I want you.

But see? I don't always have to tear off your clothes and jump your bones. We both still have our bottoms on, in fact.

Carefully, I slide the flat of my palms, my fingers across your skin, tracing your luscious curves with my touch. At the same time, slowly, lingeringly, I draw your sensual mouth with my tongue, outlining your smile, lapping up your needful sighs.

I can feel the control in your hands, the gingerly way they rest on my waist, that you want more. That maybe you're close to flipping me onto my back and taking over. "Oh, no, I want you first," I tell you with another smile.

Silently, you close your eyes, as if in compliance.

Now, my fingers tug at your nipples, now my lips cover your chest…

1254 Sweet Surrender

You're teasing me. Taking your time hovering over me, knowing I'm watching as the gentle light from the fire flickers on your beautiful creamy skin. Your curves, your body, and my hands fit together perfectly. You tease and you kiss and you torment me, slowly, wonderfully.

You look up at me, as you kiss lines down my body. I can see your shining blue eyes telling me all the things that are most important. That you love me. That you want me. That you're glad I'm yours. Things I knew, know, without you having to tell me.

I can feel my arousal building with your kisses, as they slide lower down my body, and then achingly move back up, away from where I need to feel your kisses.

You slide your leg between mine, and with a slight move of my hips, I can feel my inseam pressing against me, against your thigh. You smile at me as I try to make contact with you.

You kiss me, and mercifully, slide your hands into my waistband, pulling back from me and carefully pulling the button at my waist. I listen as you teasingly slide the zipper down, and let your thigh press into me.

I hear myself moan before I fully register that it's coming from me. You take my breast into your mouth, without warning, and it feels… it… it's like heaven.

Words are starting to fail me as the sensations rushing through my body gather in intensity. I want to beg you, beg you to touch me, but this torture is too exquisite to ask you to stop.

You pull yourself off me, and I whimper as I feel your weight leaving my body. You stand in front of me and smile, slowly unbuttoning your pants and letting them drop slowly to the floor. With your foot you kick them out of the way, and pull at the legs of my pants freeing my body from them.

You slide back into my arms, your familiar weight again on top of me, while we reconnect in a fiery kiss.

Your fingers slide down my body, to the space between us. Your fingers tease me, carefully stroking against my inner thighs.

"I want you," I whisper.

"I love you," I gasp.

You lean down, kissing the gentle path down my body, this time you don't stop until your kisses are where I most want them…

1255 LIGHT

Slowly I slide my tongue over you, and feel you jerk against me. You raise your hips towards me, as I glide up your body, and kiss you deeply, sharing your sweet saltiness with you.

All the while, I keep you wanting with my touch, with my hands, my skin against your skin.

I love you.

And I want you.

Your soulful dark eyes, they're closed now, their lids heavy like your breathing. The smile tugging at the corners of your lips, I love, I want. Just as much as the strength in your muscled body, that contrasts and accentuates your luscious womanly curves.

Again, I kiss down your body, slow and gentle, covering your flesh with my mouth, tasting you, all over. I brush my face along the taunt flat of your stomach, the smooth hardness of your legs.

God, you're beautiful, even though you don't want to admit it.

And right now, you're sexy as hell, and if I had wings, I'd gladly give them up, so I can be with you. So I can burn with you.

I want you.

Finally, I tuck my shoulders under your thighs, letting you know I'm staying this time. I smile when you sigh. I slip my tongue where you want me…

Slowly, I push, touching and teasing, drawing out your liquid fire. Gently, I ease you, both of us, closer and closer…

I slide along the length of you. I push in, as far as I can, touching you in deep secret places with my tongue. I touch you in places I know you love…

Then, without warning, you tense, you grasp at me, clasp around me and draw me to you. Your body igniting, taking mine with you, erupting into million shards of tingling lights.

Then I feel your hands tugging at me, pulling me up. I let you guide my body up along yours. I let you take my face in your hands. Let you kiss your taste from my lips.

"I love you," I hear you whisper, in my mouth, in my ears, in my heart.

"I want you," I hear you gasp, as you push me back.

As you lean your weight into me.

As you reach into my soul…

1256 Glowing

Still gasping, I kiss my way back up your body and collapse heavily next to you. You kiss me, and pull into my shoulder, your eyes fluttering closed. You let your arm flop over my stomach, and pull yourself into me with your thigh. I smile, a uncontrollable happiness floods through me. I'm totally content just to be here, with you, right now. I smile as I listen to your breathing slow back down to normal, the jagged gasps turn into gentle sighs of contentment. You kiss the side of my face, and pull yourself into me. "That was…" You ask, and let the comment die on your lips, and I smile.

"Yeah." I whisper, not moving, not wanting to break this moment.

Silence fills the air, just us, our bodies stay pressed into each other. You stir next to me, propping yourself up onto your arm, looking into my eyes. "What are you thinking about?" You have a gentle smile, one that reassures me of all the love you feel for me.

"Hmmm.." I ask, turning to you. My eyes staring at the fire, which seems to be dancing for us. I'm stuck, still basking in the afterglow.

"What are you thinking?" You ask again, with a gentle kiss to the side of my face.

"Nothing." I say quietly.

"You have to be thinking something." You smile at me, with love burning in your eyes, love that reflects the dancing fire that holds my attention.

"I'm thinking," I say, looking into your eyes. "I'm thinking that I'm lucky."

"Why?" You ask, coyly.

"Because I'm lying here. Naked. With the love of my life. We just made love next to a roaring fire. And you're still in my arms, and you're smiling at me, and if I died right now, I would be happy."

You kiss me again, gently and carefully.

"What about you?" I ask, pushing your blonde hair behind your ear, which makes you smile brighter.

"I'm thinking that… that… that… I'm lucky too. Because I have you."

"You know, if other people were around they'd be gagging." I say, and you laugh.

"Good thing there aren't other people around." You smile.


As soon as I said it, it occurs to me… "Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew."

"What?" You laugh.

"Having other people around," I shudder.

"We've done it with other people around, sort of."

"Yes, and it was captured on film for perpetuity! Don't remind me." I swat you, and shiver closer into your body.


I can tell you're amused, but I can't help myself. "Ew."

"What's so 'ew'?"

"What you said before… about, you know."

"No, Allie, I don't know."

"Trevor, about Trevor watching! Okay?"

"Ah, and your mom," you add, straight-faced.

"No! Ack!" I close my hand over your mouth. "Shut the fuck up!"

You respond by licking me in the palm.

I tear my hand back.

"What?" You ask, with a smirk tugging at your lips.

"Just shut up."

"Come on, you know I'm just teasing. I'm sure Trevor has more scruples than that. Besides, remember how grossed out he looked when he found us in the laundry room?"

"I suppose."

"And if your mom paid any attention, I'm sure it was to make sure you weren't acting like a quote 'common whore'."

Oh yeah, all the good girls do's and don't's. What exactly are they now? I can't remember… "I wasn't acting like a common whore! Never did!"

"Aren't you protesting a little loudly?"

"I'm not." I glare at you with narrowed eyes. "Are you accusing me?"

"Nope. I'm just sayin'."

"Saying what, Liv?"

1258 Whoops

I look at your face and it hits me. I'm choking on my foot here.

Uh oh.

Why does this suddenly feel like you asked me if you look fat in this dress? Is there a right answer to the question? I can tell by the way you're looking at me, that you want me to explain, and I smile at you, trying to keep a straight face. "Alex, you're not a whore. With other people."

You swat me again. "So you think I'm a whore with you?"

"Not a whore. Whore's the wrong word for it?"

"What's the right word for it?" You demand.


"You think I'm easy?"

"Yes. No. I mean." I answer, choking on my words.

Your mouth drops open. "I can't believe you said that."

"I, I didn't mean yes. I mean, I meant that you're easy with me. Not like with people you meet on the street."

"I can't believe you think that." You complain and pull away from me.

"Alex." I reach for you.

"No, don't talk to me." You say, pouting.

"Come on baby," I reach for you, but you pull back. "I didn't call you easy."

"Of course you did."

"Okay, I did, but that's not what I meant."

You pull your legs to your chest and sigh.

"You're right."

"What?" I ask, stunned.

"I am easy with you." You say, smiling at me.

Thank God.

1259 PLAY

It's funny, the way you paddled and back-paddled, while trying to dig yourself out of the hole you made only to turn it into a crater.

"Really?" You ask, still not quite believing that I had so readily admit to being easy.

"Yes. Just with you though," I smile.

"Well, I mean, I hope, I mean, I knew that!"

"You hope?" I ask, raising my brow at you.

"No, I mean, yes. Oh hell, Alex…" you stammer, turning more and more flustered. You're so much fun to play with.

I lean over and kiss you with a loud smack. "You're so cute when you're like this."

"Like how?" You ask, forgetting to react to the adjective I used.

"Like you know you're in trouble?"

"I feel like I'm always in trouble with you."

"That's not true," I smile, and kiss you again, softly this time. "Just sometimes."

"Hmm…" You respond breathily.

"I love you," I say, in between light kisses.

Suddenly you pull away. "Waitaminute!"


"I don't know how you did it; you set me up!"

"How did I set you up?"

"I don't know, I just said I don't." You whine. "You just like to see me squirm!"

"That's true, I do," I curl my lips suggestively. "But I like making you squirm even more… And feeling you squirm."


"What?" I breathe against your lips. "Don't tell me you're not thinking about it, and wanting me to… do things… to make you squirm."

"No," you deny with a loud swallow. "I'm not that easy."

"Not like me?"

"No, I mean, yes, I mean, Allie!" You're flustered again.

I just laugh and kiss you, again…

1260 Twisting

"I'm real glad you're enjoying this." I say, watching you laugh as I continue to squirm.

"I am. Trust me." You say, with a giggle.

"Well then, I'm not sorry I called you easy. With me." I clarify not able to help myself.

"It's endearing." You say.

"What, that you're easy?"

"No," you laugh, "That you care so much that you don't hurt me. And that you love me enough to care about how I feel."

"Well of course," I say, leaning up and meeting you in a kiss. I lie back down and put my arms over my head, stretching my body until I hear my shoulders crack.

"Doesn't that hurt?" You ask, looking down gently at me.

"Not really." I mumble. "Feels kind of good."

"It sounds painful." You announce, quietly.

"It's really not." I insist.

Suddenly, your eyes light up. "Turn over," You say, pushing me over.

"Why?" I ask.

"Just do it," you say, and I follow your instructions. I feel you straddling my back, and I know what's coming, a repeat of the heaven you gave me last night.

"Alex, you don't have to…" I start to say, when you interrupt.

"Shhh." You lean down and kiss the back of my neck, a sensation that sends shivers down my spine. "You deserve this."

I don't agree but I don't argue, while you slowly work the tension out of my muscles.

"That feels so good," I moan.

"Good," You say, with another kiss to my neck.

I feel your hands slipping lower, to the backs of my thighs and I can feel my body starting to respond to you. I wonder if you notice…


Carefully, I run my hands along your neck, your shoulders, and down your back, slowly kneading out the kinks in your muscles. I don't know how you get so knotted up so quickly.

Are you stressed out about something?

Or are you just terminally stressed out, like me?

Quickly though, you relax to my touch. Gently, I kiss you on the nape of your neck, taking care not to touch you with the rest of my body.

Now I work up the length of your arm, back to your shoulders, and down your spine.

Softly you moan, and I realize you didn't protest this time. You didn't try to argue how you don't deserve to be pampered. That's definitely an improvement.

And I kiss you again on your neck, this time I let my body graze your skin. Do you feel the way my breasts tighten against you?

I think you do.

You're tense again when I return to your lower back. How curious.

With my hands splayed, I bear down, rubbing your hips, and kneading your ass. With my fingers, I dig into the back of your thighs, and try to work out the tension there, too. Then your calves, then your feet, stretching your toes and flexing your heels.

All the while, you lay beneath me, pliant. You try hard to control your moans and sighs, to not react to my touch.

Judging by the jerking shiver when I touched your inner thighs, I'd say you're fighting a losing battle. I'm glad.

Slowly I ease my body off yours, and you raise your head to look back. "Stop," I order. "Just relax," I add, gently this time.

And gently, I make a space for me between your thighs.

And I push my hands up your muscles, making you think it's just another style of massage, until my palms rest on your buttocks.

Then you yelp, in surprise, when I dip my tongue between your rounded muscles. As my probing continues, you relax, your moans and whimpers and sighs growing in volume…

Then I slide sensually up along your body, my skin touching your skin…

Then I whisper in your ear, with a smirk in my voice, "Easy."

1262 Intense

I hear your whisper in my ear, "Easy." I wonder for a second if you're referring to yourself, but somehow, I'm sure, you're talking about me. And yeah. If you run your tongue over me, I'm going to respond. But it's so easy for you to get to me. It's so easy for you to turn my mood from sullen to sexual. I guess I'm easier than I thought. I turn over and look up at you. "Thanks," I whisper.

"For what?" You ask.

"For the massage." I say, forgetting to mention your tongue running over me. You look down at my body and suddenly I feel shy. The way you're looking, like you're appraising me, makes me feel exposed. You sit next to me, and let your finger trace down my stomach.

"You're blushing." You say, quietly, smiling at me as I feel my cheeks burn.

"You're looking at me." I try to explain, but the explanation seems wrong. It's not that you're looking at me, it's the way you're looking at me.

"I look at you all the time." You shrug.

"Not like that," I say.

"I'm just admiring you. You have a great body," you say, tracing the lines of my muscles in my stomach.

"Thanks." I smile. "You're not half bad yourself."

"I'm softer."


"I don't have your tone." You complain, flexing your arm with little result.

"That's because you get all your exercise from sex. I actually go to the gym sometimes."

"Very funny." You say with an obvious fake laugh, which only makes me laugh harder.

"If we could figure out a way to work some sit ups into your sex life, you'd be ripped." I say, nearly choking on my laughter.

"You know, you make me sound like some kind of nympho."

"Alex, sweetie. You are a nympho."

"Shut up," you whine, before breaking into laughter with me.

1263 WORRY

As quickly as I laughed at myself, I stop. I stretch my left hand, and I run my fingers over the rings, twisting them, and looking at them thoughtfully.

"Alex?" You ask, peering up into my face.

"Hmm?" I smile, and hide my sigh in a full body yawn.


I shrug.

"What's wrong?" You ask.

I shrug again and smile at you, at the question marks and concern in your eyes.

"Talk to me."

"There's really nothing," I start. Then I change my mind. "It's just a little unnerving sometimes."

"What is?"

"How much sex we actually do have."


"What have we done all day today?"

"We made phone calls. And you learned how to cook!" You offer helpfully, grinning from ear to ear.

"Yeah," I say, the look on my face reminds you that we've done nothing else except shower, and even then we had sex.

"Okay, you have a point," you say, still smiling, clearly not grasping my worry. "I mean sort of."

"That was not the first time you called me a nympho…"

Swiftly, you sit up, and pull me into your arms. "I was just teasing, Sweetie, you know that."

"But you also complained about how quickly we fall into bed."

"It really wasn't a complain." You explain with a teasing smile, and soft kisses on the back of my hand. "I was just thinking, wanting to go slow, so that it'd last. That's all."

"Do you really think I'm a nympho?"

You laugh. "Sweetie, we both are."

"It's really not that funny, Liv. I mean, it's, nymphomania is defined as having excessive, abnormal desire for sex… It has a negative connotation."

1264 Talk It Out

"You're right, it does." I say, trying to be more thoughtful than I feel, knowing that this is something that really does seem to be bothering you. "I'm sorry I used that word then."

"Fine, but I think you know what I'm talking about."

I sigh. "Alex, I think that it's a good thing we want each other as badly as we do. I think that sex is part of a healthy relationship. I mean, I think that other people would be jealous that we still love each other that way. That we still feel passion for each other."

"You're right. Sex is part of a healthy love life. A part." You say. "But we should have other things."

"We do have other things," I insist. "Alex, this weekend, hell, this really isn't who we usually are."

You look at me warily, urging me to continue with our eyes.

"When we're at home, we don't do this."

"I guess. I just worry, sometimes that we substitute sex for having to deal with each other."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, that rather than have to talk to each other, we substitute sex and expect that to make our relationship stronger. I mean, Liv, when was the last time we sat around and just talked. Or just did something that didn't end with us making love to each other."

"We do that a lot."

"Like when?"

"Like last night. When you gave me the massage. We didn't have sex."

"If you hadn't been asleep we would have."

"But sweetie, that's why we're here."

"To have sex."

"Basically. I mean, it's us getting away. To a romantic cabin in the woods with no distractions but each other and a warm fire."

1265 SILLY

"Okay. That's fine," I agree with you about the reason why we came here in the first place. "But why is it that suddenly I seem to be the only one who has a problem with us having so much sex? And then why am I suddenly the one with the issue."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, before, you were worried that sex is all we have."


"And I was the one who told you we're about more than just sex."

"Yes," you say, furrowing your brows. "Yes, and now you're suddenly having issues..."

"That doesn't make sense."

"You're right, Alex, it doesn't."

"So what's wrong with me?"

"Maybe you think too much?" You offer, with a shrug.

"So you're not bothered about this?" I point at our naked bodies.


"And when you called me a nympho…"

"I was just teasing, Sweetie." You smile, and rub my shoulder with your hand. "If I had known it'd give you issues, I wouldn't have used the word."

"So it's not a complaint."

"What am I? Stupid?" You smirk.

"What do you mean?"

"To complain about having sex with you? I'd have to be stupid. I'm sure there are people out there willing to kill for the privilege of getting in your pants."

Your words melt me, and I smile. "How do you manage to make something so crass sound so charming?"

"Ear of the beholder?"

"I love you," I lean in, and kiss you on the lips.

"So we're okay?"

"Yeah, I think so." I sigh, and snuggle up next to you. "I feel so silly…"

1266 Co-Dependent

"Don't feel silly" I say, pushing hair behind your ear "I mean, I think… oh never mind," I say, stopping myself.

"What?" You ask.

"Don't worry about it. I'm just glad you feel better." I say, slinging my arm around you shoulder.

"I really want to know, Liv."

"I was just… I was going to tell you what I thought the problem was earlier. I mean, why I really thought we should take it slow."

"Now you have to tell me," you say sitting up and looking at me.

"It's stupid."

"What?" You ask again.

"Sometimes… I think, that this bothers me because we don't seem to know what to do with ourselves when we're together."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, sometimes… it's like if we're together, we have to be together. You know? I mean, we have to be in the same room, together, doing the same thing. And I think that we're both afraid, sort of, that if we go do something by ourselves, that the other person will be upset. And sometimes, I think we have sex, just because it's familiar and we can be together, the most intimate form of together."

"Hmmm…" You say with a pause. I wait for you to be upset at me, but your face is a mix. "You think I would be upset if you wanted to go do something by yourself?"

"No, I mean, yes, I guess. It's not that I don't love spending this time with you. I want to be with you, and I'd rather be with you." I stumble. "I think that we're co-dependent when we have so much time like this."

"I think we're co-dependent even when we don't have time like this."

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"I just… I guess I'm glad we're talking about this. I think sometimes, we need each other too much."


"Sometimes I think we're co-dependent," I say quickly, quietly, watching the reaction on your face.

You're thoughtful for a long moment. Finally, you say, "Hm."

I wait for you to continue. When you shrug, I realize you're done talking. "Hm? That's all?"

"I'm not sure what to say, Alex. Maybe we do need each other too much."

Are you upset? You don't look upset. "I'm not sure how to… You know, when we're at therapy though, we are more concerned about keeping us together, and fixing ourselves. We never talk about how unhealthy it might be for us to be together so much, and need each other so much."


Your monosyllabic answers make me nervous. I press, "When's the last time we go out with our friends?"

"I can't remember."

"Right. We go to work, we don't seem to be able to go through a day without phoning each other, then we go home and…"

"You are our ADA. We have to talk to each other about work."

"And sometimes when we get home, all we talk about is work."


"But I still miss you when we're apart."

"And I miss you, too. But is it such a bad thing? Do you think about how much you miss me when you're in court?"

"I feel better when you're sitting through the trial, when I know you're there to cheer me on."

"You haven't answered my question though."

"Well… No, I don't…" I say slowly, still trying to watch your reaction.

You smile. "I didn't think so."


"I don't think about you when I'm interrogating a perp either. Well, at least not in the 'I miss you' sense. I do however think about the things that would help you in court. But it's really not for you, you know?"


"So maybe you should go back to hanging out with your friends."

"And you should hang out with the guys more often," I reply.

You shrug non-committally in response.

Then we look at each other. Perhaps you too are remembering that you don't hang out with the guys at least partially because all they do is drink and then they go home to crash and burn, and that I don't see Serena as often partly because she's always working.

"You're my best friend, Liv."

"Me, too."

"And I think all of us are married to our jobs… It's sad."

1268 Addict

"I guess we're all married to our jobs," you say, quietly, sadly.

I look at you, and take your hand. "I'm married to you first, Alex. I love you. When I made that commitment, I made my job come second. It has to. It doesn't mean that I'm not dedicated, but if you need me, I'm there first."

You smile at me, and squeeze my hand. "I'm married to you too first."

"And I'm not complaining about the time I spend with you. I'm not complaining at all actually, but this sex thing. Well, I think it's indicative that we might have some kind of issue. You know, something we need to work out together."

"Yeah," You say softly, with a half smile.

"You look so sad." I say, trying to catch your eyes which are cast down at the rug below us.

"It's not sad. Well it's just… I think I knew that there was a problem. But it was easier to not talk about it. To pretend that everything was fine."

"Most things are fine, Allie. This isn't something we can't fix."

"You're right," You say, with a braver smile.

"But I still agree. I think sometimes we're so worried about each other, we forget that we are individuals too."


We need to get hobbies. Hobbies that don't include each other."

"I guess." You say, quietly.

"We don't have to spend all the time we have apart though," I say with a smile, trying to reassure you.

"I know. I mean, Liv, I know this is silly but I almost feel panic."

"Me too…a little."

"I guess this really isn't healthy."

"I think there are probably worse things we could be doing, but yeah, I think we have a problem. We're addicted to each other."


"Love is like drug," I say, more to myself, not looking at you.

"Drugs are bad for you," you say, as a matter of fact.

You're so confusing sometimes. Whatever happened to people being jealous of how much we love each other? It's taken me forever to admit to myself that I need you. I thought you wanted me to need you. Now you tell me it's bad.

I suppose it's bad, too. Shouldn't be difficult for me to get back to being self-sufficient. Should be a snap, I try to convince myself.

"Hobbies, huh?" I ask, with cautious excitement.


I guess that's what George had wanted us to acquire anyway, on that list he compiled when you were having memory issues. "Like what? You go to the gym, and you rock climb…"

"And you have yoga."

"And I jog… Although I guess I used to do it more often."

"So maybe you could go back to doing that."


"But maybe I should go with you. It's really not safe in the park so early in the morning…"

"Liv, I thought the whole point is for us to do stuff separately."

"Yeah, but…"

"So I go jogging around the block or something. Okay?"

"Okay," you agree hesitantly. "What else?"

"What else? I don't know…"

"What did you before I came along?"

"Uh. Work?" I remind you, incredulous. "I really didn't have time to do anything else. I mean, I'd go out with Serena once in a while. And when I was with Abbie, we'd see each other when we had the time. Looking back, that was almost like a hobby."


"I'd love to go take a class at NYU or something," I provide. "I'm sure they have evening or weekend continuing ed classes. Which reminds me, I still need to order the CLE material for next year… Hey, sometimes they have packages where you could…" I stop, wondering if it's such a great idea.


"I don't know. I'm not sure if they'll let me go away for those anyway."

1270 Away

"Go away for what?" I ask, not quite sure what a CLE class is or where they are. Whatever it is, it sounds far away and way too hard. I'm not sure that I want you to be jet-setting without me. I want us to be separate, to be happy, but I don't want that to mean that you go away for a long period of time.

"It's a continuing education class. They have them all over the country, they fufill your requirements to keep your license. They usually have them in some tropical hot spot and attorneys from all over the country go to talk about whatever the topic of the moment is."

"Why would you want to go somewhere exotic to study?" I ask, with a half smile and a bit of panic that I try to push out of my voice.

"They give you some time off to see the sights. But not a lot," you say, quickly qualifying your own remark. "Mostly, they're just a series of long conferences, mostly."

"Oh. So you want to go away?"

"No, no, I'm just saying, I could get more involved in that kind of stuff. I like to get them done so I don't have to worry about it at the end of the year. It makes it easier. But…"

"Makes sense," I shrug.

"And mostly I just take them from the workbooks, I don't actually go anywhere."

"You could." I say carefully.

"Do you want me to?"

"No." I say too quickly, too desperately.

"Then I won't. Besides, I'm not sure the city of New York is going to want to pay for me to learn in Key West. NYU, maybe. Key West, probably not. Even if it does improve my trial procedures."

"I think we should date." I say suddenly.

You look at me like I've lost my mind. "We're already married, sweetie. It's too late for that."

"No, I mean, I think we should go on actual dates. We are usually just...together. If we go somewhere, it's a given we'll go together. We don't go out like we used to when we weren't together. I kind of miss that."

"That's really sweet," you say with a smile. "What do you have in mind?"

1271 DATE

I hear the panic in your voice as clearly as I hear the panic in mine. That's good. For a minute there, I was actually afraid you'd say 'yes', that you'd want me to away without you.

What would I do with myself then? Well, learn. That would be the purpose of my trip. That and network. I suppose that's why people pick cruises and exotic locales… Yeah, like the City of New York is going to pay 3 grand for me to go somewhere when I can order the material off the 'net and watch the video tapes.

Anyway, more importantly, what would you do if I went away? It's not that I don't trust you, I do. But you'd miss me, at least I hope you'd miss me.

Would you miss me as much as I'm sure I'd miss you?

Okay, yep, I have issues.

Actually, judging from the desperation in your voice telling me not to go, we both have issues. What am I saying? It takes two to be co-dependent…

"We should date," you say, so suddenly I'm not even sure I heard right.


Then you explain how we could be together, but do more than just being together. Isn't that what George and all the therapists suggested before?

You really are so confusing sometimes. You want us to have hobbies, so we can spend time apart. Then you want us to date, so we can be together…

Still, that's a sweet idea, and I tell you exactly that. Besides, I really don't look forward to my spare time without you. "What kind of dates, I mean, what would you want to do?"

"I don't know… Something we both want to do?"

"Like what?" I ask, wondering what you have in mind.

"Movies? Concerts? Operas? Something on or off Broadway? There are so many things we could do in the city."

I nod enthusiastically and add, "Or a nice dinner out, and a long walk?"

"We could do that too."

"And we could go to the museums on weekends we have off."

"Or a canoe ride in the park?"

"Yeah," I smile. "I think it'll be fun to go on dates."

"Cool," you say, excitement brimming from your eyes and your smile. "So would you like to go on a date with me this weekend?"

"I'd love to." I lean in and kiss you softly. "What do you have in mind?"

1272 Out

"Where do you want to go?" You ask me expectantly, waiting to hear the details of my plan.

"I'm not sure. I'll figure something out. Something that's perfect." I say smiling as my mind starts working on my plans.

You smile at me, with a huge grin. "Perfect, huh?"

"Well, maybe not perfect. But pretty good. Something I think you'll like." I say, trying not to set the expectations too high.

"Okay, sounds like a deal." You laugh. "Will you at least tell me what to wear?"

"I'll give you some ideas." I smile and pull myself up off the floor.

"Where are you going?" You ask me quickly.

"Shoveling, remember?"

"Oh." You say, looking nervously outside. "It's dark."

"I'll turn the light on," I say, grabbing my coat off the rack.

"Are you sure you want to go out there?"

"Allie, I've got to start, there's no way I'm going to be able to do it all in the morning, and we have to leave. We can't stay here all week."

"Why can't we?"

"Those pesky jobs. Besides, if I don't get back into New York, I won't have time to plan our date."

"So it's something in the city."

"Are you going to do that all week?" I ask.

"Do what?"

"Ask me a million questions about our date, because if you are, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to take it."

You laugh, and smile at me. "I'll stop."

"Thanks." I smile, "I'll be back."


"Hey, wait up," I yell after you.

You turn around and start, "Come on, Alex, I really have to do this…"

"I know, I know. You already said that. Just give me a minute."

"For what?" You ask, impatience filling your voice.

"For me to get dressed. I'll help."

"What?" You stare.

"I'll help," I say, while pulling on my jeans. "Can you look a little less surprised?"

"I'm not sure…"


Then you start to snicker.

"What's so funny?" I demand, finishing lacing up my boots.

"I don't need a supervisor, Allie."

"What do you mean?"

"I can shovel just fine without you directing which patch of snow to do first."

"That's not what I meant by help!"

"You're kidding me right? Alex?"

"Why can't I help?"

"It's not that you can't," you snicker, "I just…"

"You just what? And stop laughing at me!"

"Allie," you wipe the grin off your face, but your eyes are still laughing. "You really don't have to help. I can manage."

"Yes, but I want to help, and that's that!" I say, and march towards the door, swinging it open with a whoosh.

Then I stop. "Oh shit."

"What's wrong, sweetie?"

"Oh shit," I say again…

1274 Hallucinations

"Oh shit," you scream, as you shove the door closed between us.

"What?" I ask, craning my head to look while at the same time trying to stop the door from closing. You don't let me and slam it shut between us and the snowy outside. "Alex, come on." I say, trying to keep the frustration out of my voice as I try to get between you and the slammed door.

"There's someone out there." You say, panic evident in your voice. I look at the door between us and wish I had looked out to catch sight of what very well could be a phantom of your overactive imagination.

"Oh let me look, Alex." I mutter, trying to open the door. "We really have to shovel. It was probably a shadow. Or an animal or something. I'm sure you scared it away."

"No, Liv, really," you say, throwing yourself against the door. "There's someone out there."

I look at you and see the fear in your eyes. "Let me look." I say, feeling far braver than you.


"What do you mean no?"

"What if it's Veronica?" You say, grabbing my arm. "What if she has a weapon?"

"Why would she come back here? What if it's someone who needs help?" I ask, trying to be rational in the face of your irrationality.

"Because she's insane?"


"Olivia," you parrot back.

"We've got to shovel." I say again, staring at the door. Not to mention that if there really is a psycho out there, I'd like to know before she comes flying through a window.

"So you'd rather go out there and die than believe me?"

"No, I just think that you might be seeing something that's not really there. We need to be sure. We can call the police, and get this woman arrested. If she is out there, she obviously needs help. If." I say again, trying to calm you but having the opposite effect.

"So what, you're saying I'm hallucinating?"

"No, I'm just saying, sweetie, that you might not have seen right."

"So what, so we wouldn't have to shovel? I can't believe you." You challenge me with anger in your eyes.

"No, not at all. I just, I'd feel better if I saw something too."


"Fine!" I say, knowing you're not going to back down.

"Fine!" You reply and move pass me, your frustration barely under controlled.

Before you reach the door, I grab your sleeve. "Would you at least go get your gun?"

"It's dark outside, Alex. I won't be able to see what I'm shooting at."

"Exactly, it's dark outside. They might be armed."

"Fine," you sigh, and retreat. "Stay away from the window!" You yell back just as I move towards it.

"Fine." I mumble, and go back to the door. I hate sitting on my hands. There could be a psycho out there. Or an animal. The psycho has a dog. Okay, it could be someone needing our help. I follow your line of reasoning. Yeah, right. Someone in the middle of the snow storm so late at night? Highly unlikely.

Finally, you're back with your gun in your hand.

"It is loaded, right?"

"Yes, Alex, it's loaded. Jesus."

"I'm sorry, I just worry about you."

"I'm a cop, Allie."

"I know. Still. We don't know what we're dealing with."

"Don't worry," you say, and slowly open the door. "Stay back," you whisper.

"No," I insist, following closely behind.

You look around the perimeter of the house. "There's nothing, Alex."

"But there was. I swear."

"Well, whatever it was, it's gone now."

"How can you be so sure, Liv?"

"I don't see anything. Do you?"

"No," I begrudgingly admit.

"Good. Now let's go back and get the shovels."

Before I can answer, I hear it. Soft muffled crunches that sound like foot steps.

"Get back to the house," you order in a low voice. Obviously, you hear the noises too.

And they're getting louder and louder…

1276 Scared

I barely control my frustration with you as I pull the door open and look around. There's nothing, exactly what I expected to find. There's nothing there.

You pull on my sleeve and beg me to get my gun. I sigh, knowing that getting my gun is exactly the kind of thing I don't need to have in an environment I'm unfamiliar with. With your high anxiety and me holding a gun, we're far more likely as a team to make a bad choice.

I finally relent to you, pulling back, watching as you run to the window. You don't listen to my warning to pull away. Even though I don't want to buy into the idea that there's something outside in the woods stalking us, I don't want you to make yourself an easy target either.

You don't listen again, making it harder to protect you, I have to pull you from the window. "You stay here," I warn you, knowing that the chances of you listening to me are low, and sure enough, you immediately make your protest.

I feel the need to protect you rising. "Alex, please." I ask you, and you stand behind me, though I can feel your fingers on my shoulder.

This time, with my gun ready, I step onto the porch and look around the perimeter of the property line.

"Alex, I don't see anything," I whisper.

"I know there was something there."

"Where?" I whisper.

"Over there."

"Alex, there's nothing. It's fine."

And then I hear it.

A strange sound coming from the pitch blackness of the road.

It sounds like a crunch. I push you backwards, into the house and stand where I can see and not as easily be attacked. "Stay there," I whisper, as I close the door behind me, leaving you inside.

"Who's there?" I yell.

I know they can see me, and I can't see them. Whatever it is, I hope that I can either scare them away, or in the case of a psycho, let them see that I have a weapon. In my tone, I try to reinforce that I'm not afraid to use it.

"Who's there?" I yell again, listening to the increasing sound of the horrible crunch…


Before I knew what's happening, I feel you push me bodily backwards, into the house. "Liv!" I try to argue, when you close the door in my face.

I can't believe you.

I know you're trying to protect me, and you're a cop. But who's going to protect you?

"Who's there?" I hear you yell.

Slowly, I turn the door knob, leaking light onto the porch.

"Alex!" Immediately, you scold. "Get back. Inside."


"Alex!" You hush, pushing back, forcing me inside the door.

Meanwhile, the crunching gets louder and louder.

What could it be? Or who? I wonder while I fight to stay with you. "Liv, stop it."

"You, stay."

Before I could argue further, I stop. "Do you hear that?" I whisper.

You cock your head towards the direction of the noise. "No."

"It's silent."


"Whatever it is, it's gone!"

"We can't be too sure," you say, with authority.

"Let's just get back in the house," I suggest, pulling on your arm.

"No, I need to check around."

"No." I grab you by the sleeve and drag you towards the door. "Let's go back in."

You look at me, and I look at you. Finally, you give in. "Fine," you agree, and closing and locking the door quickly. Then you rush over to the windows to make sure they're also closed and locked. "You okay?" Finally, you ask, resting your hand on my shoulder.

"Fine, I think. What do you think that was?"

1278 Afraid

"What do you think it was?" You ask me, with fear in your voice. I can feel my frustration rising, as I try to stare out the dark window to see what I can see. Your hand is on my back, while you lean over me.

"Get back," I whisper; knowing if there is a weapon involved, besides mine, it's easier if we don't make ourselves walking targets.

"What do you think it is?" You ask again.

"I don't know," I mumble, not wanting to show you the fear I feel. The fear that comes from thinking that I might not be able to protect you/

"What do you think we should do?" You ask.

"Alex, I don't know."

"Fine." You say, turning. "Sorry."

"Don't be sorry, sweetie, I'm just not sure…" I say, desperately looking out a piece of the window again, to see if anything moves.

Nothing does.

Maybe this isn't such a big deal. We're acting like children, afraid of a bump in the night. And we are out here, in the middle of the woods. It could be an animal.

In fact, I'm nearly sure of it.

Of course, it was. Probably just a deer, or a bear…or a mountain lion.

Suddenly, the idea of it being an animal isn't making me feel better.

Or it could be a person.

It could be the crazy stalking neighbor.

It could be anything.

We could be perfectly safe, or entirely in danger, and your eyes, blue and pleading are begging me to make you safe, but I'm not sure what to do, and I hate it.

1279 VIGIL

"Think maybe we should call the cops?" I ask you, softly, not wanting to set off your temper again.

"And tell them what?"

"That we heard footsteps?"

"Are we even sure about that? It could be the waves. Or a tree branch. Yeah, that's it, a fallen tree branch getting blown around and scraping against the snow."

"It's not windy, Liv."

"Oh. Maybe it's a squirrel moving the branch?"

"It's the middle of winter, Liv." I sigh. "I know you're trying to make me feel better, but making things up doesn't help."

"It perfectly reasonable speculation," you argue with a straight face.

"It's getting kind of late," I remind you.


"So if we're not calling the cops, then what are we gonna do?"

"I don't know… Maybe you should go sleep."

"What about you?"

"I have to watch the place, just in case, you know."

"Then I'm staying up with you."

"But Sweetie," you start.

"No buts," I interrupt. "We're a team."

We stare at each other. Finally, you give up. "Fine."

"So what should we do?" I ask, then it occurs to me, "I should probably go make some coffee."

"Okay," you reply absently, peering out the curtain again.

"Liv? I thought you said it's not safe?"

"What is?'

"The window!"

1280 Failing

"It's not safe," I say quickly.

"Then get away." You say, your arm reaching for my shoulder.

Quickly, I push your hand off my shoulder. "It's not safe for you." I clarify quickly.

You sigh and turn away from me. "Liv…this…" You say, letting your voice drift off. I know you want me to turn and face you, want me to speak to you and urge you to continue, but I don't. Instead, I choose to ignore you still intent to see anything that might happen across the landscape. I want to believe it's nothing menacing, but I can't be sure. And as long as I can't be sure, I can't keep you safe. And if you're not safe, then I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I don't turn my head as I hear you walk away, but then remember that there are more than one window in this house, there's one in the kitchen.

"Alex," I yell a little too loudly.

You turn back to me, and stare. "What?"

"Stay away from the windows."

"This is insane." You say. "We need to call the cops. That's what we'd tell anyone else to do."

I sigh. "I guess."

"I mean, come on, if this was all reversed, if this was someone else and you were called out, you wouldn't be upset to check. For a little piece of mind at least."

"I suppose. We're at a disadvantage here, we can be seen from a distance. I just don't want to end up looking stupid when they show up and it's our imagination."

"Do you think it is?" You ask.


"Then we need to call."

"Fine. You do it, I'll keep watch." I say quietly feeling slightly defeated.

"It's okay to ask for help," you say, which stings more than I want it too.

"Just call," I sigh, quietly looking back out the window

Part 1281

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