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

1441 HOLD

"God, Liv," I gasp, trying to catch my breath while you kiss me. "I love you," I whisper in between kisses, lingering, deepening kisses.

The places you've touch, they still tingle. They still shiver to your now soft caresses on my skin.

Even with my eyes closed, I can feel the smile tugging at your lips, the same smug smile you have when you know you've got me.

"So," you breathe against my ear, your fingers grazing my skin.

"Mmm?" I sigh, my body already humming to your electric touch.

"You liked?"

"Mmhmm…" I nod, moving away from your gaze, and burying my face in the crook of your shoulder.

"What's wrong?"

Holding onto you, I shake my head.

"You're blushing."

"Just hush," I slide my arms around your body, with deeper need than I meant to convey.

You laugh a throaty laugh, and catch my lips with yours. "Somebody wants more," you tease.

I reply by sliding my leg over yours, and pulling you closer to me.


"Your fault."

"Oh really?" You smirk, and reach down between us, teasing me with the tips of your fingers. "God, you're wet."

"Shut up," I close my eyes against yours, and relax into your touch. Soon, whimpering noises are coming out of my throat, and I'm arching against you, and begging you, "Please, Liv…"

"You really like this?" You ask, while you replace your fingers with the toy.

My instinct is to push higher, and to clasp you closer. Something in your voice makes me pause; it makes me think for a moment. "I like what you do," I reply, kissing your face, your lips. "I like being yours."

"Good," you say, and pull away from my mouth. The intensity in your eyes hold me captive as you grab my hips, and push steadily into me, until our skin touch, and we're joined once more.

"Love you, Alex," you whisper, and share with me your smile…

1442 Come

"I love you," I whisper as I slide into you. You moan, you pull at me. "Feel good?" I ask you, with a devious smile.

The sweat gleans on your pale skin, you moan your approval as I push inside of you, each thrust of my pelvis you pull yourself in to me tighter, wrapping your legs around me, letting me push deeper into you.

"You gonna come baby?" I whisper. I know you hate that, the demand that you come for me, but I need to hear it. I need to hear it when I'm riding you like this. I feel powerful here, your arousal at my command.

"Mmhmm." You mumble, the blush returning to your face.

"Don't be embarrassed."

"I… I can't… help it," you gasp.

"I love you baby," I tell you, kissing you, letting our tongues mingle.

"Love you," You breathe.

I slide my fingers between us, sliding them into your wetness. I slide my fingers over your center, touching you, pressing you carefully, teasing you to the edge.

Carefully, I pull away from you, listening to your moan. "I want to taste you," I whisper, sliding down your body.

I place gentle kisses down your body, between your thighs. The salty taste of your sweat mixes with the taste of your arousal.

I slide my tongue against you and I feel your shudder. I slide my fingers inside of you just in time to feel the waves of contractions as your body releases for me.

I lick you gently, teasing the last of your orgasm from your body with careful concentration.

I feel you reach for me, pulling on my shoulders, pulling me up your body. You take me into your arms and kiss me deeply.

You slide me onto my back, still breathing heavy. "Your turn," you say with a huge smile.

"You don't have to," I say.

"I want you," you growl at me. "I want you."

1443 WANT

"I want you," I tell you, as I hover over you.

You lock eyes with me, and for a moment, I wonder if you're going to flip me over and take control again. Then you lean up and kiss me.

"I want you," I growl into your lips as I let my body rest on yours, pushing against you, while my fingers work the straps, loosening them from your hips.

"Alex," you gasp my name, your hands sliding up my sides towards my breasts.

With a grunt-whine, I grab hold of your wrists and push your arms over your head. "My turn."

A low chuckle escapes your throat, while you lace your fingers behind your head, then smile at me indulgently.

Is that a challenge?

Suddenly, I want to fuck that smirk off your face.

I want to make you mine as much as I'm yours.

Finally, the harness is off, and I dangle it in front of you. I smile when you react to my scent. "Want me to use this?" I ask.

You don't respond right away, perhaps debating in your head, or leaving the decision up to me.

I don't wait to find out. "I think I have a better idea," I whisper against your lips, before pushing into your mouth, thrusting my tongue against yours, until your breath comes in moaning gasps. Then slowly, careful to touch curves with curves, I drag my body off of yours.

"Baby?" You whimper as I move off the bed.

"Hmm?" I kneel before the box and dig through its contents.

"What are you…?"

"You'll see."

Instead of stalling and making both of us wait, I grab what I need, and climb back into bed. "Miss me?" I ask with my version of your cheesy grin, and stretch myself along your body.

"What?" You gasp, craning your head to see my prize.

"Shh… It's a surprise," I take your face in my hands, and kiss you deeply, tenderly, with equal hunger and love. "Do you trust me?"

Your brows twitch in reflex. "Of course."

"Good," I smile, and kiss you again, my kisses deepening, my hands sweeping across your body, hungry with want…

1444 Surprise

I watch you crawl away from me, off my aching body that wants you to do no more than touch me for an instant before I will be yours for an eternity. Instead, I watch as you slip off the bed, smiling at me, dangling the harness I was wearing only seconds before from your fingers.

I try to see what you're doing.

So this is how you felt while I smiled at you, feigning innocence but having a deviant plan in mind.

"Allie?" I ask, my voice breaking.

You tell me just a minute, and jump back on the bed.


"Surprise." You tell me, pressing your finger to my lips.

"OK." I say, waiting for you to touch me, but you don't.

For a second, you look hesitant

"Do you trust me?"


"No, Liv. Do you trust me?"

"With my life."

"Good," you say before pulling something over my eyes.

I reach up to feel for it, but I get your fingers in response.

"It's a blindfold sweetie."


"Trust me." You whisper.

"I do."

"Good," you say with a smile in your voice….

1445 PLAY

You're laying there, your body taut with arousal and anticipation, and maybe a touch of apprehension. Gently, I take your wrist.

"Allie?" You whisper when you feel the cold metal surrounding it with a click.

"Hmm?" I ask, taking your other wrist.

"What…" You sigh, and swallow when the handcuff slide over your skin.

Well, that's easy. The smirk is definitely off your face now. Now that I have you completely helpless, what should I do with you?

I glance at the toys I pulled to the top of the box, and the remaining ones, and make my decision. Reaching down, I grab what I want to start with, and take my space between your legs, kneeling on my knees.

"Baby?" You ask, when I open the tin with a pop.

"Shh…" I hush, while I twist the lid off the jar, and dip my index finger in the gooey sweet. "Mmm… not bad," I comment, smacking my lips.

"You're not…" you start. Then you taste my finger, and the sweet sauce I brush across your lips. "You're gonna kill me," you groan.

"Nah. You're strong." I smile.

You hold your breath, as I slide a line of chocolate down the center of your body, from the tip of your chin, down your throat, down the valley of your breasts, your tight stomach, drawing a circle around your navel, then further down, stopping just above your clitoris.

"Hm…" I pretend to think, for effects.

"Allie?" You whine.

"Hold on a sec," I tease.

"Baby, please?"

"Ah. I got it." Finally, I dip my finger in the jar again. Then, slowly, I start a spiral from the circumference of your breast, taking more chocolate when necessary, circling closer and closer, until I reach your nipple. Then I do the same with the other breast.

By the time I'm through, your breathing is coming in ragged gasps. "Alex?" You beg.

I think I like hearing you beg, just as much as I like being completely helpless in your control.

"Yeah? I'm right here," I smirk, and start a line of sugar from the top of your thigh to your knee, then down your leg, to the tip of your toe. To break the monotony, I draw on your other leg in reverse. "There," I say, finishing with a heart on your hips. "I'm done."

You sigh a deep sigh.

"You know, I think I should take a picture, so you can see afterwards," I suggest with mischief in my voice…

1446 Prisoner

With my eyes covered, I'm your prisoner.

I feel the cold metal against my wrists and for a second, I'm confused. Then I realize what the cold metal means. My arms are securely over my head, and I realize that you're making me helpless. Involuntarily, I test the cuffs you've placed over my wrists, and I know that they're strong enough to hold me.

I lick my lips in anticipation.

I can hear you. My ears carefully tuned into any sound. I hear a pop, and immediately questions flood into my mind. What's next?

You touch me with delicate caresses, gentle kisses along my collarbone, before you slip your finger into my mouth. There's something on it though, something foreign that isn't the normal sweet taste of your skin. It takes me a second to process what it is.

Chocolate. You have chocolate.

You draw the sticky substance down my torso, drawing light lines that betray your unspoken promise.

I take a deep breath, holding it, waiting for you, while you draw lines down my body.

You touch me, your kiss starts at my throat.

You slide down my body. I can hear you moving; hear you positioning your body. My skin is alive waiting for your touch.

You kiss me.

"I should take a picture," you say, "so you can see later."

I don't say anything, willing to give my trust over to you, knowing that you'd never take a picture. You would never take the risk that it falling into the wrong hands.

You move. You kiss me. You slide your body against mine, teasing me, licking the chocolate lines from my body.

I can feel my response, the growing tension, my lame attempts to press myself harder against you.

Even though my eyes are covered and my hands helpless, I can see your angelic face, your devious smile, as you circle my breast with your tongue and tempt me with your fingers.

When you slide between my legs, your tongue flicking over me, I am sure I will die happy.

1447 PACE

Carefully, I slide my tongue over you, picking up the chocolate sauce as I go, its taste a mixture of sweet and saltiness from your skin. "MmMmm…" I moan next to your ear, "I love having you for breakfast."

"Allie…" You groan. "That's so, bad."

"Yeah? But you love it," I smirk. An eye for an eye might not be a good idea in most instances, but it usually works in bed. Adjusting my body so that I won't touch you accidentally and smear the designs, I move down to your breasts.

Slowly, I follow the spiral until I reach your nipple, and I flick my tongue at you, and feel you push up against me.

You rasp a whimper when I close my lips over your aroused flesh, and I lick and nibble and suck until you tense, until you fight the handcuffs around your wrists. You're almost there, I know. And I stop.

"Alex!" You protest your frustration.

I smile, and move on to your other breast, while you hold your breath again in anticipation.

Much slower than before, I lap up the sugary sauce from your skin. Then I drag my body along yours. "Kinda sticky," I comment on us before I kiss you deeply, sharing sweet saltiness with you.

You moan, almost rhythmically, arching against me. You even loop your arms over my shoulders to hold me to you. And for a little while, I let you.

Then, with a giggle, and against your groan, I ease out from your embrace. Gently, I flip your arms up over your head again. "Guess we have to wash the sheets," I continue, knowing laundry is the last thing on your mind right now.

"Allie, baby," you beg. "Please?"

"Please what?" I ask, sliding away from you again.

"I want."

"What do you want?" I pick up the harness, and pull it up my legs. "Tell me."

"I want to," you stutter. "To."

"Yes, Liv?" I stall. Before tightening the straps, I pull out the toy you used on me, and replace it with another, one that comes with a vibrating attachment.

"Allie!" You whine. "You know what I," your complain dies on your lips when I turn on the vibrator, and the low hum reaches your ears. "Alex? What are you…?"

"It'll be good, I promise," I tell you, as I position myself between your legs. Then I glide up your body, letting you feel the mild vibration while I kiss you deep and loving and slow, pacing your hunger as well as my own…

1448 Tease

You're driving me insane.



You know what I want. You know what I need, but you don't give it to me.

Instead, you tease me with your tongue, you taunt me with the subtlety of the pressure you place against my aching flesh.

You make me beg.

You make me plead.

You still don't give in.

I'm angry at myself for the time I took in pressing you to the edge. Now you are truly enjoying your power over me.

I hear the vibrations of another toy you must have pulled from the box when you got both the blindfold and the handcuffs that are now painful against my wrists.

I can feel it sliding up the inside of my leg.

I moan in anticipation.

"Do you want me to touch you?"

"You don't have to ask." I whisper.

You press the toy into me, a jolt of unexpected sensation that makes me gasp.

Just as quickly you take it away.


"You want it back?" You ask, with a self satisfied smile. "Or would you rather this?" You ask, as I feel your tongue sliding against my inner thigh.

"That, that."

"That it is." You whisper before taking me into your mouth and pushing me over the edge.

1449 PUSH

My mouth storms over you, my tongue darting in and out of your wetness, tasting you, teasing, taking you further and further towards the edge.

I think about the toy strapped between my legs, and your preference for my touch. Somehow, that feels me with warm pride, and makes me smile.

I feel your body tense, and I replace my mouth with my fingers, my tongue rubbing, vibrating against you, slipping under the hood of your clitoris.

Soon, I have you arching desperately, pushing me further inside you. In and out, in and out, I move in time to your thrusts, until your cries of pleasure fill the room…

"Allie, please?" You gasp, your legs tensing against my shoulders.

"Please what?" I mumble around you, not stopping, not wanting to brake the momentum.

"Please, let me, let me," you plead, your voice keening with need.

"Let you?" I smile, curling my fingers and pressing against your magic spot.

"Oh, god, Alex," you sigh. "Please?"

You know I can't deny you. Maybe next time I'll make you say it. Inside and out, I rub against you, drawing more 'oh god's' and moans from you, until you inhale sharply and hold your breath.

And I move faster, deeper, finally pushing you over the edge…

And I stay with you, pumping the spasms of pleasure, again and again, until you explode in screams…

And I lay my tongue lightly over you, nursing the last contractions, until you relax and sink your hips heavily into the bed.

Slowly, carefully, I slip out, and deposit a parting kiss on your clit, drawing another ragged inhale from you.

"Allie!" You complain, and I smile.

"OK, I'll stop," I promise, and you sigh your relief.

With a less than appropriate grin on my face, I unbuckle the harness, kick it off, and wait until it lands on the floor with a satisfying thud. Crawling along your body, I reach up and unlock the handcuffs, so you're free to move. Then I rest my head on your still heaving chest, and listen to your slowing heartbeats…

And I close my eyes when you drape your arm around my body and pull me tighter into you, and I let myself adrift in our love and the warm afternoon sun…

1450 After

"I love you," I whisper, as, with my hands newly freed, I'm able to wrap my arms around you and hold you tight to me. You snuggle yourself against me, familiarly finding the way our bodies best fit together.

"Love you too," you say, with a satisfied sigh, as you wrap your arms through mine, allowing you to hold me as I hold you.

We both move enough so that our bodies fitting together like a puzzle. We're quiet, a familiar stillness as both of us happily let our bodies recover from our exertion.

"What are you thinking?" You ask me, your eyes closed, your head resting against my breast.

"I'm thinking…" I say, pausing to evaluate exactly what it is that I am thinking. "I'm thinking that I wouldn't give this up for the world."

"What do you mean?" You ask, with a sleepy yawn.

"I mean, I wouldn't give you up for the world. This, all of this, being with you. Having you in my life."

"Sap." You say with a smile.

"Guess so." I sigh, with a smile.

"I wouldn't either. Want to give you up." You add in, as though I needed the extra sentiment.

"I know," I say, with a kiss to the top of your head.

We fall back into a comfortable silence. "I don't remember how I lived before you." I say, with a quiet kiss to the top of your head.

"Sure you do," You say, with a teasing smile. "You were a savage."

"You changed my life."

"I made you civilized," you laugh.

"Yeah, no more drinking directly out of the milk carton for me." I say, with your same lightness.

"Just look at the progress." You say with a smile.


"Just look at the progress," I tease you, hoping you will follow the lightness and not veer towards deeper self-reflection, like you had in the past.

"Yeah," you sigh a satisfied sigh.

"And you even know how to wrap presents properly."

You laugh, and press another kiss to my head. "I still think there's some virtue to using grocery bags."

I laugh with you and squeeze you tighter to me. "Whatever you say, Liv."

"So," you start after a lull of gentle silence. "What are we gonna do today?"

"I don't know. Stay in bed?"



"You're not hungry?"

"Are you?"

"A little bit. You're not?"

I shake my head, and burrow deeper into you.

"I think I'm losing my touch!" Raising your head to stare at me, exaggerating your disbelief, you tease, "You're always hungry afterwards."

"Just sleepy," I respond, trying to shake off the drowsiness. "But we should get up. You're hungry."

"S'okay." You stroke my back with a soothing touch. "I can wait."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. Go to sleep."

Once more, I settle against your chest, hugging you to me. "You're not gonna leave after?"

"No, I'll stay, and wait for you to wake up."

"Good." I sigh my contentment. "Just gimme five, or fifteen."

You laugh a gentle laugh. "I'll wake you up in half an hour."

"Sounds good," I whisper, and let your warmth lead me to slumber…

1452 Sleepy

You fall asleep in seconds. I smile, holding you tight to me, listening as your breath comes slower, your body growing heavy as you fall off the edge of consciousness.

I stare at the ceiling, smiling at the warm feeling of your breath against my naked chest. I take a deep breath and snuggle you closer into me. My eyes grow heavy as I count the slow intake of your breaths. I take another deep breath and smile, remembering how happy I am. How happy you make me. A few breaths later, and my eyes start to close even more than they were before.

I struggle to stay awake, so that I can wake you as I promised. I'm content to hold you like this, but the slow rhythm of your sleep lulls me to join you.

When I awake, it's to your gentle kiss. Your hair tickles my nose as you lean over me, kissing my nose and whispering in my ear.

"Liv?" You say, with a gentle nudge to my shoulder.

"Mmmm…." I mumble trying to pin together how exactly it was that I fell asleep in the first place, fighting against consciousness as you push into my shoulder again.

"Five more minutes mom," I mumble, and you laugh.

"Nope time to get up," you say entirely too brightly.

"What time is it?" I grumble.

"Late, you were supposed to wake me up. You fell asleep." You say, as though I needed the clarification.

"So did you." I say, still refusing to open my eyes.

"But you weren't tired," you say with a gentle kiss to my nose.

"Guess I was," I say with a shrug.

"You were the one who was hungry."

"Still am," I say, with my eyes still closed.

"You're silly," You say with another gentle kiss.


"I'm hungry."

"Fine." I say, opening my eyes and pulling myself out of bed.


"Hey, come back here." I grab your arm, to halt your movements.


"Come back," I coax, gently.

Finally, you sit and turn towards me. "What?" You ask again, this time with a sigh.

"Why are you so grumpy?"

"I'm not!" You deny, just a little to quickly.

"Come on." I kiss you on the nose. "Smile."

You twist your lips.

"Uh oh."


I tickle the corner of your mouth. "I think it's broken."

"What's broken?"

"Your smile."

That brings a slight grin to your face.

"That's more like it," I smile back, and kiss you gently on your lips. "I thought we were having a good day."

"We were," you take my hands in yours, and lean in for another kiss. "I think I just waited too long to eat."

"And I woke you up from a good dream."

"I guess. How'd you know?"

"You were smiling and making happy puppy noises."

"Alex…" You sigh, blushing and not denying my observation.

"I'm serious, Liv."

Acting nonchalant, you shrug. "Okay…"

I kiss you again, on the chin this time. "So what are we going to have for dinner?"

"I don't know. What do you want?"


"You need to feed me first. Food, I mean." You laugh. "I need refuelling."

"I've got an idea. Let's go back to the café? Where we had our first date?"

1454 Going

"Why?" I ask with a whine. "It's so far away and I'm hungry now." I say as dramatically as possible. "We have food in the kitchen, we can eat in ten minutes." I say, trying to convince you. I can tell from the smile in your eyes though that you're not interested in eating at home.

"It is not that far. Come on, it'll be fun." You say with a smile, standing up and walking into the closet, throwing clothes to me as you pull out socks and start putting them on.

I look at the clothes and wrinkle my nose. "We can make out in the bathroom at home." I complain, as I slip out of bed and stick my head in the closet, pulling out another shirt and throwing the one you picked out back into the corner.

"Liv. That's not why I want to go." You say, blushing.

"Sure it's not." I say with a smile as I pull the shirt back over my head.

"It's not." You say again, louder, slipping you foot into your shoe.

"Fine, fine, it's not." I say with a smile, sliding the pants on. We both know you've won. I'm dressed and we're going.

"It's not." You say again resolutely.

"Fine." I say. "But we're eating this time."

"Okay." You say with a smile.

"Food." I say, clarifying.

"Food." You agree. "We don't have to go if you don't want to." You throw in.

"I don't mind. I guess it's kind of romantic."

"You guess?"

"It's romantic." I say, smiling at you and taking your hand. "Ready?"

"Yep," you say, pulling me with you out the door and into the cold winter night.

1455 WARM

"Jesus! It's cold!" I shiver as I settle in my seat and reach over to start the car.

You roll your eyes and close the door for me. "You know we're crazy," you say as you climb into the driver's seat.


"Christ, Alex," you flinch, and closed your collar. "Keep your hands to yourself!"

"But I'm cold. And you're warm," I whine.

"Fine," you turn the heat on, and reach around my shoulders. "C'mere."

"Maybe this isn't the best idea," I concede, while I warm my hands in your jacket this time.

"Sure it is. It's romantic."

For a minute, I can't tell if you're mocking me.

Then you smile. "Any warmer?"

"Yeah," I sigh my contentment.

"Shall we?"

"You really want to go? I mean, we can still go home and…"

You lean over and kiss me gently. "We're already in the car."

"Maybe we can go somewhere else?"

"Like where?"

"Somewhere with valet parking, so we don't have to drive around trying to find a spot?"

You laugh.


"What's this 'we' business?" You ask with a leer.

"Shut up!" I protest. "I usually drive around with you. Most of the time. All right, some of the time."

"Not tonight," you decide.

"Why? I want to."

"It's cold outside." You tell me, putting on your 'mom face'. "You just got well, you don't need to get sick again."

That's sweet. I kiss you to show my appreciation. "So we should go somewhere else…"

1456 Hunger

Instead of pulling away, I drop you off at the door. "Get a table," I tell you, while you try to protest. "Coffee." I say, as I start to pull away. "Hot Coffee." I say again, and you smile as you turn from me and step into the door. Five minutes and three blocks later, I manage to find a place to park the car and head towards the warm steamed glass of the café.

I open the door and it's not as familiar to me as I want it to be. The last time I was here, I was half hung over. I wonder if you remember that. I'm sure you do. You didn't add that, though, when you said how romantic it was. Maybe you don't remember. You must not. You must not realize that it would be hard for me to be here, hard for me to remember, or you wouldn't have suggested it. I force a smile and prepare myself.

I take a deep breath and slip my hands into my pockets as I look around for you. My hands are freezing, it really is a cold night

You're in a corner, two cups in front of you. When I sit down in front of me, you shove the cup towards me. I take it and wrap my fingers in it, warming them immediately. You reach over and slide the ring on my finger so it faces you, with a goofy smile on your face.

"What?" I ask you.

"Nothing." You say with a smile.

"Whatever." I laugh, "Can I have a menu." I say, pointing at them under your arm and you hand it to me, letting your finger touch my hand.

"You really are hungry, aren't you?"

"Can't talk, reading." I say, and you laugh.

"You make it seem like I was forcing you into bed."

"You were, I was wearing handcuffs if I recall correctly." I say, not looking at you, but scanning over what there is to eat.

"Liv," you scold me as you look around. "There are other people here."

"So you don't want me to talk about your constant need for sexual stimulation." I ask, still not looking at you, but knowing that a blush is crawling across your face with increasing speed.

"I hate you."

"You don't want to me to talk about that little noise you make when…"

"Jesus Christ Liv."

"Yes, dear?"

"Just decide what you want to eat."


As we wait for our food, and I watch your casual attitude and easy smiles, I wonder… I wonder if you minded being here. If it's difficult for you to be here.

I hope it's not eating you up inside, considering the events surrounding our first date.

Will you tell me if it's bothering you?

"Whatcha thinking?" Your warm hands reaching for and holding my hand and my mug bring me back.

I smile, and tuck my hair behind my ear. "Just thinking."

"What about?"

"The first time we were here."

"The bathroom?" You ask, wagging your brows.

"No. I mean, yes, I'll always think about that." I run my fingers along your rings. "It was our first kiss."

"So…" You stretch the syllable out, waiting for me to continue.

"I was just thinking how much we've been through and how far we've gotten, since then." Oh, and that I can't believe I thought you were in love with Trevor back then…

"Ah," you comment, and look down at our joined hands. Then you turn your head towards the kitchen. "Think our food'll be ready soon? I'm starving."

I guess it does bother you to be here. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Dragging you here?"

"Nonsense! We had our first date here; it's romantic," you insist with a gentle smile.

And I want to lean over, and taste it, and make it grow. Instead, I just smile back.

"What?" You ask, a little self-consciously.

I shrug. "Can't I just smile?"

"Yeah? But you look like you're thinking about something."

"I am."


I let go of my cup, and lace our fingers together. "Just how lucky I am, to have found you… and how much I love you…" How happy I am that I decided to fight for you, I add to myself. To you, with a shy smile, I say, "And how incredibly irresistibly sexy you were in your little black tee shirt…"

1458 Careful

"You know, Cabot, it always comes back to sex with you." I say with a laugh.

"You were hot in that t-shirt." You say with a goofy grin on your face. "It had nothing to do with sex. I'm not afraid to admit it that I'm attracted to you."

"That must be why you jumped me." I say with a laugh.

"I did not jump you." You say, indignantly.

"Yes, you did."

"You jumped me." You say, reaching for your mug and taking a sip.

"Yeah right. I was so scared that…" I say, letting my voice fade. Scared that you would reject me. Scared that you would push me away as I leaned in to touch my lips to yours. "I didn't think you'd kiss me back."

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah. I mean, I hadn't done that before." I say with a shrug.

"I wanted you so badly. I had been watching you, thinking about it, for, well, since I first met you."

I smile, feeling suddenly shy. "I liked you too."

"I know." You laugh. "I could tell when you shoved your tongue into my throat."

"I did not."

"You just don't remember," you say with a laugh.

"Why, because I was drunk?" I say, before I can stop myself.

"No." You say quietly.

"I'm sorry." I apologize.


The timing is perfect, as you search for your words, the waitress stands in front of us with trays of food. We slip into silence, the sentiments lost between us.


We stare at then waitress and then at our plates in silence. Without another word, we dig into our food.

Suddenly, I'm not hungry anymore.

Why does it always have to be like this?

Why can't we just get pass this issue and move on. Somehow, some way, it always creeps up whenever we revisit our past, and sometimes even when we're not. Then you become sullen, and I'm at a loss for words.

I pick up my cup, and sip from the lukewarm coffee, remembering the taste of your black coffee, and the indescribable way it hit my senses when I tasted it on your lips, in your mouth.

I wasn't thinking you spent the night before drunk out of your mind, or how miserable I felt crying myself to sleep. All I felt was… joy? Elation? Excitement? I'm not even sure how to describe that feeling if I tried.

I only knew I was head over heels in love with you.

And I still am.

Finally, you put down your fork, and look up at me. "Something wrong with your food?"

I shrug. "Just not as hungry as I thought."

"Is it about…?" You start to ask, even though you know the answer. "I'm sorry," you sigh.

"Don't be." I should've paid more attention to what I say. "I really didn't mean…"

"I know."

"Do you really?" This time I actually ask out loud.


"I just…" I don't really know what to say, so I reach for your hand, and squeeze your fingers. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Sweetie."

"I mean, I wasn't completely sure, not until the bathroom…"

"What do you mean?"

"You know?" I roll my eyes to hide my embarrassment. "The thing about sex? I wasn't entirely convinced that I wasn't just in lust with you."

"I see," you reply, not giving away your thoughts or emotions.

"But then, what we did, how I felt, and, you know, the things we did…" I take my hand back to hug the cup. "I knew then and there."

"You knew?"

"That you're 'it'."

1460 Honest

"That's sweet," I say with a shy smile.

"It's true." You say, reaching for my hand. "I'm glad I found you."

"I'm glad I found you too." I say quietly, squeezing your hand, still feeling guilty.

I give you one hand, but with the other I pick up my fork. I stare down at my food, and push it around my plate, not wanting to look you in the eyes because of the blush in my cheeks.

"I know who you are, Liv." You say. "I know who you were, and I know how far you've come. You can stop beating yourself up about it. That morning, that kiss. What I remember about it isn't that you were hung over, or that you were an alcoholic. What I remember about it was how much promise was in it. How much I loved you. How happy it made me. Maybe it's stupid, maybe it's not possible, but that kiss made me know how much I wanted to be with you."

"I just. Alex, when I think about it, I feel so bad. I mean, yeah, so I don't do it anymore. But I caused you so much pain. I mean, even that morning, we kissed and then fought. And instead of dealing with it, I went right back to drinking."

"Yeah, you did. But Liv, it wasn't just me. You caused yourself a lot of pain, too. But it's a disease. Look at what you've accomplished. You don't do it anymore. You're sober, we're married. Since that day, our whole lives have changed. We made it."

"I'm not sure what I've really accomplished." I sigh. "I mean, yeah, I'm not drunk right now. I'm afraid every day Alex. I mean, maybe not all the time, and there's certainly times when I can forget about it, but when I see a bottle. It's all there again. It's like, no matter what I do, I can't escape it totally."

"Liv. You don't do it though. That says something."

"But Alex, there's always that fear. That one day, I'll just give up and forget about it. Go crazy, kind of."

"But you choose not to."

"I just don't like that it's still tempting." I sigh.

"It's always going to be tempting."

"I know, I know it will be. I just wish that it would be easier. I don't want it to be a fight forever." I sigh.

1461 WISH

"I wish it would be easier, too," I rub my fingers across your knuckles, like I did when I first told you I how I felt about you. It's so different, even though the touch is the same. Or maybe that's not the same either. "Maybe it'll get easier. I'm sure it will."

You sigh, and stare at your plate, then at our joined hands, and back at your plate. Finally, you just put your fork down again.

"If I could make it less difficult, Liv, if I could take it all away…"

"You would, Sweetie, I know." You try to smile.

I just wish… I sigh.

"So let's talk about something else," you decide, with a cheerful smile.

"Like what?"

You wag your brows and grin lecherously. "Like what did you get me for Christmas? Something that keeps on giving, I hope?"

"Who said I got you anything?" I argue, hoping you won't see my blush.

"You were going to wrap my presents last night."

Oh. So I was. "What are you getting me?"

"I asked you first."

"I hope it's not Tylenol."


"Something I can open in front of my mom and whoever she's inviting to the house?"

"That's for me to know…" You leer, with another suggestive smile.

"Liv!" I swat you. "Tell me!"

"Nope," you say resolutely. Then you furrow your brows. "Hmmm…"


"If she's inviting other people, that means we won't get the guest house?"

"Probably not," I answer with suspicion. What are you thinking now?

"So that means I get to do you in your old bed?"

I open my mouth. Then I realize I have nothing to say. Except look away and blush.

You reach over to touch my flaming cheek. "You know what?" You ask.


"Sometimes I wish my mom, well, I wish my mom wasn't drunk all the time," you offer with a shrug. "But sometimes I wish she could see me now."

"I'm sure she'd be…" I start, then I stop. Happy for you? For us? Or would she hate me? I let my sentence trail off into silence…

1462 Ready

"Are you sure we have everything?" You ask me for the tenth time. I hold the duffle bag you've packed, and repacked, and repacked again, over my shoulder, and the enormous bags of gifts in both hands, while you run through the house one last time.

"Alex, we went over the list ten times."

"This is our first Christmas away."

"We're not going away, Alex. We're going to your mom's house."

"That's away. And it's Christmas. And we have a lot of relatives that are going to be there."

"Yes, I get to meet the family."

"Are you nervous?"

"No, I'm excited. And I want to leave. Now." I say as you head back into the bedroom.

"I just want to make sure…."

"Alex, we have everything."

"My presents?" You ask with a smile.

"Yes, the double dildo I bought you is all packed."

"Liv." You warn, smacking my arm as you take one last look around. "You better not."

"You give me no credit."

"I give you too much credit, that's why I'm worried."

"You'll love it." I promise and you smile. "And so will mom." I say, to assure you.

"If you're sure."

"Very sure." I say with a smile. "So you ready."

"I guess." You say hesitantly.

"Come here," I say, giving you a kiss on the cheek. "It's going to be fine. Promise."

"Okay okay." You say, as you close the door behind us.


"Stop, Alex, please?"

I turn from the window and whine back at you, "What?"

You rest your hand on my knee, stilling my leg. "Your syndrome is showing."

"It's all your fault."

"How is it my fault?"

"You started the leg shaking thing and I picked it up from you."

"Fine," you sigh, and turn back to the road. "Everything's my fault anyway."

I see the smile lingering on your lips, and know that you're only saying that. "Are you sure we packed everything?" I ask.

"Yes, Sweetie, I'm sure," you sigh again. "You only checked what? Twenty times?"

"I keep thinking we're forgetting something." Then it occurs to me. "Oh my god, our fish! They're gonna die!"

"I gave them a self-feeding tablet, remember?"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I did that last night. And El promised to go check on them if we're stuck in the snow again or something."

"It's not going to snow, is it? Did you check the weather? Mom's going to kill us if we don't…"

You squeeze my knee to halt my prattling. "We're going to make it there, with plenty of time to spare. Just relax."

"That's easy for you to say," I grumble, and try to take calming breaths.

"If I didn't know better, I'd ask if you took your pills."

"Shut up!" I stick my tongue out at you. "You're not helping."

"Oh, I don't know," you laugh. "I'm driving, and keeping us from getting into a wreck."

"Why would we be in a wreck?"

"Your twitchiness?"

"I can't help it. I keep thinking something is amiss. Are you sure we haven't forgotten anything?"

"Yes, Sweetie, I'm sure."

"Ok…" I try to convince myself…

1464 Shock

Your mother grabs us both into a crushing hug. "I'm so happy you could both came." She says with smiles. She pulls the bags from your hands, and kisses you on the cheeks, holding you close to her.

"Wouldn't miss it," I say, smiling, watching as she looks you over.

"You look good," She says to you, and then to me says, "You're taking good care of her."

"I try." I laugh. "It's hard sometimes. She's stubborn."

"I hate it when you two do that." You mumble. "I'm standing right here."

Your mother laughs and looks at you. "You know that you're staying upstairs." She says, with a meaningful look, like you and her had discussed this several times before.

"We know." I say with a smile, and behind your mother, you look at me in horror.

"I'm sorry it's not the most comfortable arrangement." She says, but you cut her off.

"We'll be fine." You say too quickly. I don't like the sound of that.

"Well, why don't you two get settled? Come down when you're ready."

You smile, and take my hand, leading me up the stairs.

"What does she mean it's not comfortable?" I ask, as you lead me.

"Well…" You say, without elaborating.

"Well what? Alex?"

"Here it is," You say without saying anything more, swinging the door open.

I look around the room and see it.


"Yeah?" You say slowly.

"Those are twin beds."

"I think that's what she was talking about." You say.

"But. But. We're… married."

1465 BEDS

"Yes, we're married."

"Then… your mom… I thought… I thought she's fine with us, you know?" You fret.

It would be so easy to let you think that, that mom has issues with us... But that's not fair to you, or mom. "She is. She threw us a party and welcomed you into the family, remember?"

"Then why is she putting us in twin beds?" You ask, slightly more relaxed. "For the sake of the relatives?"

Sometimes I hate my conscience. "No. They're going to be in the guest house. Besides, they know we're married."

"Then… why?" You look at the beds in disbelief.

"I wasn't going to give up my childhood bed," I tell you, with all the reasons in the world.

You turn to stare at me. "I wouldn't expect you to…"

"Well, there isn't room enough to put in a double bed." I motion at the space around us.

"That's true… but why another bed? We could've easily…"


"No? No, what, Alex?"

"Just no! We're not sleeping in my bed!"

You stare at me, and despite myself, I feel the heat crawling up my cheeks. Suddenly, confusion leaves your face, replaced by a leering smirk. "So this is not mom's idea at all…"

I shrug and cross my arms, and blush harder.

"Why aren't we sleeping in your bed?" You ask, moving closer.

I find myself backing away. "Because!"

"Because what?"

"It's my childhood bed!"


"It's, you know?" I grasp at straws. "Sacred? I don't know."

"Oh, I think I do," you grin lasciviously, edging me backwards, until my legs hit the mattress.

"Liv!" I protest, as you push me gently into the bed, and climb on top. "No, no! Get off of me!" I swat at you, only to have my arms captured and held above my head. Maybe I shouldn't have encouraged you to take charge…

"Why? We're married," you smile, your nose almost touching mine. "Let's devirginize your bed…"


1466 Seduction

"Come on," I laugh holding you tight to the bed while you fight me. "You know you can't resist me." I try to kiss you, and you shriek in laughter.

"Olivia. This is my childhood you're about to take. I was innocent!" You demand with a laugh as I try to kiss your nose.

"I thought you liked it when I took you." I say, punctuating it with a wag of my eyebrow.

"Bad pun," you warn, and struggle some more. "Just like you."

"You know you're never going to be able to hold out all weekend."

"Yes I can." You say, resolutely, but I can see your resolve melting like butter as I run my body against yours.

"Nope. You won't. You know why?" I ask.

You look at me with silence, a grin under the mock horror that's written on your face.

"Because you like it when I touch you," I say, placing a gentle kiss on your right cheek. You struggle against me some more, but I can see the love in your eyes, the sparkle as I kiss you.

You look up at me and don't speak.

"You like the way it feels," I continue, nipping your ear with a kiss, "When you feel my body sliding against you."

Your eyes close.

"You like the way it feels, when you feel my tongue sliding against your hot flesh."

You whimper.

I kiss you, and you kiss me back, deeply. I slide my fingers up your body, onto your breasts.

"Liv. Stop." You say with a light moan to your breath.

"Okay." I say, pulling off of you.

"Where are you going?" You ask, and I smirk.

"You said you didn't want me to…"

"I do… I mean. The whole family is here. And awake. And waiting for us..."

1467 LOVE

"Well, make up your mind," you smirk.

I fight the urge to pull you back onto me. I try not to let my arousal show as I peel myself from the mattress.

You're right. I wouldn't have been able to hold out. What was I thinking? Sometimes I wonder how you make me react like this.

I hope I never stop reacting to you like this.

Your smirk turns into a smile, and you hold out your hand to help me up. More than willingly, I accept. Readily, I let you take me into your embrace.

My body sighs against you.

With a chuckle, you whisper in my ear, "A quickie?"

Desperately, I make myself ignore the tingling warmth of your breath, and I glower at you. "No!"

"I agree."

"Glad you do," I say with mock sarcasm.

"Well," you slide your hands from my back to my ass. "If I'm going to take your innocence, I wanna do it right."

My body tenses to your cheesy words, to your touch. "Stop it."

"You sure?" You end your question with a more than sensual squeeze.

I close my eyes and inhale, and push back against you. "I hate you."

"But I love you," you say, instead of your normal 'no you don't'.

Without answering, I turn and grab the large bags from the floor, and shove them in your hands. Then I retrieve the rest of the presents from my luggage, making a show of hiding one of them.

You peer under the bed at the small box. "What's that?"

"You'll find out, but only if you're good."

"I'm always good."

"Oh yeah?" I grab your face and thrust my tongue into your mouth, and kiss the air from your lungs. You whimper when I pull away. Now is my turn to smirk.

"I hate you," you mutter, your voice sounding like a moan, your eyelids fluttering, refusing to open.

"Oh, but I love you!" I laugh, and gather the boxes. "Come on," I take you by the arm. "Let's go."

You sigh, and let me lead.

Yep, I'm definitely loving this feeling…

1468 Lust

You smirk at me, as you pull me down the stairs, slowly. You turn to me, and smile, giving me a quick kiss as you pull away and start leading me down.

I laugh, watching you. I can feel the smile growing on my face as I watch you walk away, knowing that I've gotten to you.

"Wipe that look off your face," You warn.

"What?" I ask, laughing even harder when I see the look on your face, because I'm sure that your horror will reveal far more to your mother than mine will.

"That look. You look like… like… you have ideas."

"I do have ideas," I say, reaching for you. "They all involve you, on that bed, and my tongue running over you…"

"Liv, shut up."

"What baby? I just love you." I say, reaching in for a kiss.

"Shut up," you say, stalking back down the stairs.

"But I do love you, Alex." I say, but you repeat your sentiment telling me you hate me. "You're nuts." I laugh.

"Maybe, but Mom'll know"

"Know what, that I kissed you?" I ask.

"No that you suggested that… In there." You say, gesturing over your shoulder back to your bedroom.

"I'm pretty sure your mom knows we have sex, sweetie," I say, with an exaggerated whisper.

"Shut up, Liv."

"You don't think she knows?"

"I'm sure she knows. I just don't want to think about my mom thinking about… it's just not right."

"I'll get it before we leave." I say with a laugh.

"Whatever," you say, swatting me.

"I promise," I say with another smile.


"Is the arrangement…?" My mom asks as soon as she sees us.

"It's fine," I provide quickly, cutting her off.

She looks at you for confirmation, and somehow I feel panicked. What is it about mom that makes me feel like I'm six years old again? I try not to stare too hard waiting for your reply.

"We'll work it out," you tell her with a casual smile, and I swear she gives you a knowing one in return.

"Where's Trevor?" I ask, to change the subject.

"He's not due until later this evening."


"He's driving in with his dad."

"You didn't tell me his dad's coming, too."

"I didn't? You know, I've been busy trying to get the house ready, I must have forgotten," mom replies, walking away. "Come, let's not keep everyone waiting," she says, without looking at us.

My mother doesn't forget anything. I give you a quick glance, as we follow her down the corridor, silently wondering what's up. You shrug, and lift your eyebrow to match your slight, lopsided smile.

Do you know something I don't? I narrow my eyes at you.

Widening your smile, you drop your gaze to my chest and lick your lips.

I hate you. I'm about to stick my tongue out to make a face when I hear people's happy chatters.

Guess this is it, I take a deep breath. Sure, most of them have all met you before at the party, but this is your first Christmas as a member of the family…

Suddenly, I see all those bad meet-the-relatives comedies, with us in the staring roles. Are they going to bombard us with questions? What are they going to ask? What would they want to know? I hope they don't eat you alive.

I reach over, and squeeze you gently on your arm. "Love you," I mouth.

"Love you, too," you whisper, with a smile.

Are you as nervous as I am? I wonder as we walk into the room…

1470 Suspense

I can tell the way you straighten your shoulders and hold up your head that you're suddenly nervous, and I can't help but wonder if it's because of me meeting your family.

I'm honestly more excited than nervous. You love me, and that's enough. And now, I'm going to be even more of a member of your family. I'm sure they're going to have questions, I'll introduce myself at least fifty times this weekend, I'm sure. But I get to spend the time with you. The holiday with you and your family. My family.

You start to open the door, but stop, looking back at me and telling me you love me. I look at you curiously, wondering why you have to tell me that now. Do you think they're going to attack me?

You swing open the door and we walk into a room that suddenly gets silent, while everyone looks at you, and at me.

"Hi, everyone," you say, obviously nervous.

I smile and wave behind you, and you reach for my hand, which I let you take.

Your mother takes over. "You all know Alex, she says, and this lovely woman behind her is her wife, Olivia."

The room looks at us.

We stare back.

I can feel my heart starting to beat harder. Why are they looking at us like that?

"Alexandra," one woman says, your full name makes you squeeze my hand harder. "We are all very upset with you."

You swallow hard, and I step closer behind you.

"You didn't invite any of us to your wedding." She says, and I can feel the breath that I've been holding too long escape in a gasp.

"We didn't know we were going to get married. We just sort of did it," You say, with a smile that I can see growing.

"Well sit down here, and tell us all about it dear." She says, standing up and hugging you close to her, and then me in turn. "Welcome to the family, dear," She says as she pulls me tight into her.

1471 TRIAL

Really, this isn't so bad. You're obviously charming the pants off of everyone. Everyone seemed genuinely pleased that I found you. Their only complaint is that we didn't invite them to the wedding.

So I let you tell them how you had researched the laws of the island, and surprised me with the proposal. I blush when you tell them my reaction. The dreamy smile on your face when you gush about our wee hour excursion to the chapel, I will never forget.

Now I listen to you tell my cousin how you fell head over heels in love with me, and how you knew you'd want to spend the rest of your life with me, the first time I showed up at the scene and lost my lunch. I should be mad at you for telling people how I almost ruin the evidence, but then you explain how it made you feel, to see my vulnerability… And somehow, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

"I'll be right back," I finally tell you, so I won't spend the rest of the night staring at you goo-goo eyed.

Going around the room, I try to catch up with the rest of the relatives. Every chance I get, I rave about your accomplishments. Not because I feel the need to convince them that you're likable. They already like you. But because I'm genuinely proud of you, and I want them to know what a great person you are. So far, everyone is impressed.

Yeah, this is definitely going well. I'm not sure why I was so nervous.

Well, suppose I was worried about how people might react, considering… that you're not a man, for starters. Which reminds me, I wonder if mom invited her sister this time. Are they back on speaking terms? Guess I'll find out sooner or later.

"Hey," you come up behind me, and wrap your arm loosely around my waist. "How's the egg nog?"

"Not bad," I hand you my glass. "Want a sip?"

"Uh, I'm not sure," you start, sniffing the liquid.

"It's ok, Liv, it doesn't have alcohol in it," I reply without thinking.

"You don't drink?" My second cousin asks.

"No," you reply, "At least not anymore."

"Oh!" She shows her surprise.

I look at you and back at her, and for a second, I freeze.

Meanwhile, you smile casually, "Just decided it isn't for me."

"Well, good for you," she says jubilantly after a brief pause, and smacks you on the arm. Then she proceeds to ask you about your job.

Whew. And apparently the question didn't faze you. Double whew.

Now if I could just find out what's going on with mom…

1472 Aware

I'm very conscious of your eyes on me, watching me as I talk to your relatives with ease.

You're watching me, and I wonder if you're afraid that I'll say something wrong. If there are things that are missing.

Your relatives seem to miss the scrutiny. They're all interested in me, asking me questions about what it's like to be a cop, asking me about how dangerous it is, and if I'm ever scared while I'm talking to perps.

They're all questions I've heard before, and I have in my head my own rehearsed answers to them. It can be scary but you don't think about that or you couldn't do your best, you have to pay attention, stay alert, it's really rewarding work.

You jump in every few minutes with some kind of emphasis that I'm good at what I do, and that makes me feel silly. But you're proud of me, and it feels good.

When they get over me being a cop, they ask me about you, how we met and what made me ask you to marry me. They want to know all the details, each moment recalled for them so they can be a part of it. We show them our rings, and they scold us both again for not inviting them to the wedding.

I smile and tell them the stories, which are a mixture of the truth and what they want to hear. I watch you, across the room, as you talk to someone I haven't met yet.

You look over at me, and smile, her look at me assures me that you're talking about me.

Even your mother smiles at me, watching me with a pride in her eyes that I'm not used to.

It's strange to be in a room so full of approval.

Everyone happy and hanging on our words.

They listen to us, and smile.

I keep waiting for something to crash.

And then it does.

With a swing of the door, Trevor steps in.

1473 SHOCK

I watch you talk to my relatives. Scratch that. OUR relatives. That thought still makes me smile. Like an idiot, I'm sure.

Anyway, you seem so at ease with them. Much more so that I expected you to be. Much more so than I would've been had I been in your boat. It's selfish of me to think this way, but I'm glad I don't have to go through this… with your relatives. Although, if you had a 'normal' family with a father and a mother, would you be the same person I fell in love with?

I'm so glad everyone here's so taken with you. I'm not sure what I would do if they weren't.

Sure I do.

I would tell them all to go screw themselves.

I'm glad we don't have to cross that bridge.

You're looking my way again, smiling, and I smile back, while answering questions about you.

By now, I think I have the routine memorized. They all ask the same questions - how we met, how you're like, how the wedding was, who picked the rings, etc. etc. etc.

Most of the people assume I'm happy. It's probably written all over my face, the way we smile at each other and catch each other's eyes. I thought I'd be embarrassed, to have my relatives witness our… interaction, for lack of a better word. But I'm not.

I want everyone to know, that you're the love of my life.

Do you know how proud I am of you? I see pride in mom's eyes, too. I'm so glad she accepted us. Thinking back, I wonder if she's always known. She didn't seem that shock when I first told her about us in the hospital.

Although Trevor's probably kept her posted about my love life.

Trevor. I wonder what he's up to these days. Guess you and I have been so wrapped up in our own little world that we haven't…

Oh, well, suppose we'll just have to do better. I'm sure mom and he understand.

Speak of the devil. Hm. I wonder what in those bags, and what he got me. Something presentable, I hope.

His father follows. I suppose I'll have to introduce you to him. Is that why he's spending Christmas day with us this year? To meet you?

Wait, where's the bimbo?

And why is mom…


1474 Awed

With a bang, Trevor thumps into the living room with a man I've never seen before. Trevor oozes into the room, smiles his charming shit eating smile, and greets the people that have suddenly seemed to lose their interest in me.

I look to you for an answer as to who's following, but you're occupied with Trevor, as he grabs you in his arms and gives you a quick hug, before letting you go and moving onto one of your cousins.

Behind you, I see your mom, crossing the room. She smiles at the man who came in with Trevor. After a second, I remember that you told me that Trevor's father was coming to Christmas this year. It figures. Trevor is obviously his son, now that I remembered they were related. They have the same smile, the same style.

I look back at you to try to ask you if I'm right, but I see your face pale, your mouth open. By the time I turn around, I'm just in time to see your mother kissing Trevor's father.

And that's not just a friendly kiss.

I look around the room and everyone seems to look like you, shock going around.

I want to believe I'm imagining things, but it seems like the whole building, the whole town gasps in concert.

I don't know what to do or to say.

I don't even know what's going on.

You break the silence, "Mom!" You yell, as though she has suddenly lost her mind.

"Alexandra." She says, turning as the man behind her laces his arms around her waist. "All of you. I invited Ted here, because I felt it was time to tell you that we've decided to try again. We've been dating for awhile now, and we've decided to get remarried."

"But he cheated on you." You say loudly, plainly.

"Alexandra. I'm a grown woman and I can make my own choices, thank you. You could at least pretend to be happy for us."

You frown, closing your mouth, acting like the scolded child. "But mother."

"Alex. Stop." She says, with a hand out. "We're happy. I don't question your choices, you will not question mine."

1475 GASP


Excuse me?

"But he cheated on you!" I say without thinking. It's public knowledge anyway. The man who could've been my father but for the fact he couldn't keep his pants zipped up.

I hear mom tell me sternly about not questioning her choices.

"But he couldn't even stand by you… with Grand Dad…" I try to argue. Everyone in the room knows this. Judging by the shock on their faces, everyone agrees with me.

"Look, Alexandra," he opens his mouth. "Everyone. I've made some mistakes. Horrible mistakes. And I'd like the chance to make it up to the woman I love.

"And Alexandra," he turns to me with a too polished smile, "You're a grown woman now, and I'm not going to try to be your father, but I've always wished that we have a better relationship. Maybe…"

I don't let him finish. "You know what? If you want a better relationship, you could start by keeping your filthy paws off my mother!"



"Apologize, right now."

"For what? Telling it like it is?"

"Alexandra," she starts.

I know she's furious with me. I shouldn't be making a scene. But I just can't help myself. "I'm not listening."

"Stop acting like a child."

"Then stop acting like a…"

"Like a what, Alexandra?"

"I don't know, Mom, why don't you tell me!" I fume. Why him? Of all people?

"Fine. If you insisting on acting like a child, maybe you should go to your room."

"What? Are you going to ground me?"

"Sweetie," you say in a placating voice, and tug on my elbow.

"Not right now, Liv," I say, and storm out of the room, leaving a collective gasp behind…

1476 Confrontation

Not quite sure what to do, I follow you out of the room and up the stairs to your room. With a lopsided grin to your relatives, they watch as we retreat away from them. You storm up the stairs while I chase after you, but you won't stop.

When we get to the room you slam the door behind me and when I reach for you, you pull your arm away, twisting them instead in front of you while you angrily pace back and forth. I sit reluctantly on the bed while you storm around the room like a child.

"Alex?" I ask quietly.

"I don't want to hear it." You say.

"We need to talk about this. You're upset.

"I'm fine." You snarl while you go back to pacing.

I close my eyes and sigh. It's going to be a long afternoon. You're angry. I understand that, but, I mean, who cares who your mom dates. It's not like you live with her. It's not like you're going to be living with him. And if he makes her happy?

I hear a knock on the door and I turn.

As if this couldn't get better than it already has.

The door opens, even though you don't speak, and I flinch while I see your soon to be step father stick his head in my door.

"Alexandra." He says, curtly, stepping into the room.

"Get out." You say, dangerously angry.

"You listen to me." He says, without stopping or backing down. "You've always acted like a brat, but this time, I'm not going to let you and your attitude problem ruin the relationship I have with your mother."

"You don't have a relationship with her."

"I do and you're going to learn to accept it."

"You can't make me do anything." You frown.

"You certainly are a hypocrite," he says to you cruelly.

"I am not."

"You think your mother was happy with what you brought home? You disgraced your family."

"What are you?" You ask, choking on your words.

"A lesbian, Alexandra? And a drunk to boot? Do you really think that you should be the first to cast stones at other people's choices?"


Disgraced my family? I disgraced my family.

I take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Then I stare up at him with cold calculation that makes the best of them flinch. And he's not the best, not by a long shot. At least Trevor has the substance to back up his style, this guy just bullies green prosecutors and plays golf with the judges. "I will forget I heard that, and rack it up to the fact that you're high on coke."

His eyes narrowed slightly. "What are you…"

"Does my mother know you snort?"

"How dare you, Alexandra, accusing me…"

"You mean to tell me you only procure the stuff for your wife? That walking into the courtroom at 8:45 just gives you a natural high?"

"I don't make court appearances, not…" He swallows his last words, realizing the source of my information.

Sorry Trevor, you should've warned me. "Of course not," I smile a superior smile.

"It's purely recreational," he defends himself.

Being on the side of the right is definitely nice. "And you can quit, like you can quit screwing around."

"I can, I did. I'd never screw around on your mother, not again."

"Right. If you couldn't keep your pants zipped up with a high class call girl half your age…"

"Alexandra! I will not have you insult my wife!" He barks. Then he sees the lift of my brow. "Soon to be ex-wife."

"I'm done talking with you, Ted," I say, with as much venom as I could muster. "Get out of my room," I order, and move towards the door. And I slam it hard behind him.

"Sweetie," you come up.

"I can't believe he called you a drunk."

"But I am, I was."

I see the pain in your eyes, and I want to run back out and throw him down the stairs. "Do my family act disgraced?" I ask. I can see you're concerned.

"No, but they could be faking…"

"Cabots don't fake. We're not like the Langans," I insist with righteous anger. "I can't believe…"

"Come on, Sweetie, maybe he can change, maybe he already has. Like I did," you reason. "And maybe he'll make your mom happy, this time, to make it up to her. Your mom deserves happiness."

How come you're suddenly so positive? "Would you remarry if I die?"

1478 Quandries

"This is a 'do I look fat in this dress'" question," I say, unsure of how to answer. Would you want me remarry? I can't honestly say I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do if you were to die. I spend too much of my time desperately trying to keep you safe.

"It's not a trick. You must think about it."

"Not really," I sigh. "I don't like to think about it."

"Me either. But one day, one of us will die."

"Alex. It's Christmas. Do we have to talk about this?"

"Liv. I don't want him with my mom."

"I know baby, but, what choice do you have? Your mom's an adult. You want her to respect your choices?"

"But it's such a bad one." You frown, as you sit on the side of your bed.

"And I'm sure your mother said the same when she met me."

"She did not," you lie. I remember the disapproving looks your mother gave me when she first met me in the hospital after I had crashed Trevor's car while in an alcoholic stupor.

"Alex. Maybe he changed."

"I just don't get it."

"He could make her happy."

"He'll hurt her like he did before."

"You know, I can't believe that you refuse to see the parallels here between their relationship and ours. You want everyone to love me when I've done nothing but fuck up over and over again. I mean, Alex, they all know my story as well as they know his. You don't know that this is real for him. Like it was for me."

"But he cheated on her."

"And you dated Serena." I supply.

"We weren't together then. And it wasn't the same."

"It was to me." I say. "Knowing I didn't have you made me change. Maybe it's the same for him."


"I can't believe you said that. It so isn't the same," I grouse. Part of me wants to bean you over the head because you're right, the other part of me wants to do it because you just compared me to Ted. Argh. "Besides, he's like, thirty years too late. Actually, more, since mom didn't marry my dad right away."

"Alex…" You sigh.

"I just don't like it."

"You don't have to. It's not like you're the one sleeping with him."

"Ewww!" Then it occurs to me. "Ewwwwwwww! Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew."

"Like I said, you don't have to…"

"It's not that! Ewwwwwww!"

"What? What's so 'Ew'?"

"My mom, having, you know. EW!"



"Alex!" You laugh.

"Stop laughing at me. It's not funny!"

"Sure it is." You wrap your arms around me. "Come here."

"Stop laughing."

"I can't believe you're such a prude."

"Am not!"

"And you wanted kids? What are we gonna do? Stop having sex?"

"Yeah, well, it's moot anyway, since you don't want them."

"I didn't…" You stop, furrowing your brows. "I mean…"

"It's ok, Liv. We don't have to talk about it." I cross my arms and sink into you. "What are we going to do with mom? I can't let her do this to herself. I mean, maybe she's just lonely; we haven't been spending any time with her. We should spend more time with her."

"What's this 'we' thing?"

"I thought you liked my mom!"

"I love your mom, and I don't object to spending more time with her, but I personally think 'we' should go downstairs and apologize, and wish them…"

"Wish them."

You sigh to the ice in my voice. "Best wishes? Something. We have to do something, it's Christmas. We can't stay up here the whole weekend."

"I was sent to my room, remember?" Then it occurs to me. With a smile, I turn around to face you. "I've got an idea!"

"Do I even wanna know?"

"Let's sneak out. We can spend Christmas alone, just the two of us?"

1480 Refusal

"Oh, no, no, no, no," I start, without even letting your mind keep going with running away. "We're not going anywhere."

"But Liv, we could have so much fun," you say, standing in front of me, looking into my eyes and running your fingers through my hair, trying to be seductive. It's not going to work. You wanted to be here so badly, and now that we're here, we're not running away.

"Alex. No. You wanted to come here, and we have to stay. It's your family and its Christmas. You wanted to be with your family, and we're going to stay here."

"I don't want to spend the holiday looking at the two of them. Thinking about them."


You give me a dirty look and cross your arms, sitting on your bed in an exaggerated pout. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Sweetie?" I ask again, standing up and sitting next to you. "What's really wrong?"

"I don't want her to get hurt." You say quietly. "When I was growing up, I could see the pain he caused her, even when she wasn't really with him. And now, she's throwing herself into something so…"

"And what'd she say to you when she first met me."

"That she didn't want me to get hurt."

"And what'd you say?"

"I said I knew what I was doing and that I loved… fine. It's not the same though."

"Okay, it's not the same. But we still have to be supportive of her choice. I hate to tell you this, but even if she's only with him because she's lonely, us being there for her isn't going to change anything. She's your mom and you love her, and she loves him. You want her to be happy?"

"Of course."

"Well this is making her happy, sweetie, even if you don't like it. We have to be supportive."


"Do you think it's really making her happy?" I ask you with a sigh.

"She looks happy."

"I'm not sure it's there."

"What's there?"

"The same look she gave my father. She really was happy with him. He loved her. He was always there for her, even with grandpa getting… really difficult," I tell you, looking at the photograph of the three of us on the wall. "They loved each other so much. I just wish…"

When I don't continue, you prod. "You wish?"

"That he's still around. Then she wouldn't have to look to Ted." I turn in your arms and rest my head against your shoulder.

With gentleness, you run your fingers through my hair. "I'm sorry, Sweetie. But, right now…"

"I know, it's Christmas," I take in a deep breath, "And dad's not… anyway, I suppose you're right," I sigh. "I should be supportive."

"That's the spirit!" You cheer with a warm squeeze.

"Even if she's making the biggest mistake of her life."

"Gee. I hope she didn't think that of me."

I'm about to respond, then I see the playfulness in your eyes, so I swat you instead.

"Ow!" You rub your thigh. "One of these days, I'll have to arrest you for spousal abuse."

"Yeah, yeah. I think you just like putting me in handcuffs."

With a chuckle, you extricate yourself from our embrace. Standing up, you hold your hand out to me. "Shall we?"

"What?" I stall, knowing I'm only delaying the inevitable.

"Go downstairs?"

"I don't know. What would I say…"

"Tell her you're sorry for your outburst? For starters?"

"I'm not sure what she expected from me. She should've told me, and given me time to think about it. I'm her daughter, you know?"

1482 Apologies?

"Alex, she probably thought…" I want to tell you that she probably thought that you'd accept him the way that she accepted me. I don't remember much from that first meeting with her, but I can only imagine that your mother was not exactly pleased. We've never really spoken about it, never really talked about that first time that your mother came and decided that she could save me.

I can't help but sympathize with the guy, even though I can tell that he's all the things I hate about Trevor only more so. I can't help but see our similarities. If I changed, what makes it so that he can't? "She wanted to surprise everyone," I say instead.

"I just… I wish she had told me. I wish that it hadn't been a surprise."

"Well, sweetie, you can talk to her about that, but for right now? We need to smooth over the waters or we're spending the holiday hold up here."


"If we don't, it's going to be a miserable Christmas."

"It's just not fair."


"I don't understand why you're so… damn calm about this."

"Alex, it's your mom's choice."

"I know that," you say annoyed, "But you don't have to be so damn right."

That makes me laugh. "I should get you to write that down. You don't say that very often."

"Yeah, yeah," you sigh.

"So we gonna do this?"

"Yeah, I guess." You say, slowly.

"Besides," I say, smiling at you, "We can't leave until I get you on that bed."

You laugh as you swat me a last time before we walk out the door and down the stairs.


"Look, mother, I'm sorry," I say, immediately, when I find her in the kitchen.

"Fine, Alexandra, we'll talk about this later," she gives me the cold shoulder.

That makes me mad. "Was Trevor in the dark, too?"


"Did he just find out about this today?"

"No, but he's been around…"

"Is this about me not spending time with you? Fine, I'm sorry if I've been neglecting my duties as a daughter, I promise I'll…"

"This is not about you, Alexandra."

"Then it's about him. Is he in some sort of financial trouble? One too many divorces?" It's a long shot, and a cheap one, but I can't help myself.

"Alexandra!" Fire flashes from her eyes.

I feel you step up protectively behind me. Well, at least now you know where I get my temper, and it wasn't my dad.

We stare at each other, neither willing to back down. Finally, I twitched.

She takes that as a sign of my surrender, and sighs. "Why can't you be happy for me, like I was for you?"

"It's not the same, mom. You two have decades of history."


"No, I mean, he's not…"

"I know how he is, I'm not blind."

"Then why?" I feel defeat, still I try. "If it's about wanting someone to share your life with, someone besides me and Trevor, I know people, respectable, nice, people, judges, who would love to…"

"I don't need you to be a matchmaker, Alexandra," she uncrosses her arms. "I just want you to be happy for me, because I'm happy."

"Are you really happy, mom? Does he make you happy?"

"Actually, yes."

"But..." But dad.

She must've seen how her response stings me. "Not madly in love happy," she adds hastily, and glances at you, "We're not spring chickens anymore, we both have marriages behind us. But I'm not sure why I should justify my choices to you."

I can see I'm not going to win. "I'm just worried, mom. I don't want you to get hurt."

"I know."

1484 Watched

It's very apparent from the get go neither of you are going to back down. You eye each other, staring with tempers flaring. I watch as you both flash fire at each other. I guess all the Cabot's are the same. You're all obviously stubborn as hell.

Your mother looks at you, and watches you for a sign I can barely see. She sighs, then your mother tells you she's happy.

I believe you want what's best for her, I really do, and I know why you're so reluctant to accept her choice.

It must have been hard for her to accept me. Seeing your side of it, it makes it clearer how hard it was for her to accept me. But she took me in with open arms. She's taking in him too, though. Maybe she's just overly hopeful. Maybe you were too.

I wish you would both get over yourselves.

Part of me is getting just slightly irritated that you're making this into such a big deal. Especially when your mother didn't throw this kind of fit for you. You're being a hypocrite, even if you don't like the guy because you're afraid he'll hurt her.

You ask her if she loves him, like she loved other people in her life. When she says she does, I can see your face fall. She must see it too, because she immediately qualifies her answer.

Your father. This reminds me that we've never really talked about what happened with your father. I know he died, and that you two had been close, but you've never brought it up, and I've never asked. I didn't want to pry, hoping that you, in return, wouldn't ask too many questions about my family.

I wonder what it would really be like, to grow up in a house like this, with so many people to look out for you all the time. To fight with your mother over her choice of boyfriends instead of having to pick her up out of jail, still hung over.

In what seems like seconds, you're in your mothers arm's and she's holding you to her, telling you that she'll be careful.

She's comforting you.

It seems so strange to me, so foreign.

But it's beautiful…


In my mother's arms, listening to her comforting, reassuring words, and feeling the warmth of her touch, for the first time I wonder what you're thinking. You were adamant in your defense of Ted, even though you barely know the man, and you merely tolerate his son. Do you really see yourself in him?

I suppose I could see the familiarity. I suppose my mom had all the reasons to reject you, but she didn't. She tried to help you, and help me understand what might be like, to love you.

Do you think I'm being a hypocrite?

Does mom?

Am I one?

Maybe Ted is willing to change.

Maybe helping him become a better person is part of what makes mom happy. She's always happiest being mom, secretly relishing the role when we needed her even though she'd scold us and tell us we needed to grow up.

Dad needed her. I used to wonder if he'd forget to change and go to work in his pajamas if she didn't lay his clothes out for him… that was how dedicated he was, to his job… to us…

I guess part of me didn't want him replaced in her heart.

While I'd never admit it out loud, I guess I'm also jealous of Trevor. That he has his parents back together again, while I, I'm…

But I guess it's worse for you, much worse. Does it bother you to see my mom and me together? Like this? Were things so completely awful with your mother that you never want to talk about her, or about growing up in her house?

Reluctantly, I pull away. Before letting me go completely, Mom reaches up and brings my head down to place a kiss on my forehead, just like when I was a little kid, to show me I'm forgiven. Then, without skipping a beat, she orders us to help carry the trays of food.

In the gathering room, our relatives watch us carefully when we enter. I put down the platter, and walk up to Ted, and congratulate him, and let him pull me into a hug. Then I turn back, and smile at my mother, and feel the tension in the room dissipate. Almost immediately, it's filled again with happy chatter.

Now I watch you and mom both get swarmed by the relatives, and I see them engaging Ted with cautious but sincere welcome.

Suppose mom does look happy.

Maybe he would work extra hard to make it up to her.

I hope you don't think too badly of me for my reaction…

1486 Bedtime

In what seems like only seconds, the night is over. With one of your cousin's yawn comes a round from everyone, and the promise to go to bed and wake up early to share presents under the tree that your mother has had painstakingly directed us in decorating. Every single piece of tinsel was placed with her approval, each of us getting a turn with her careful scrutiny.

We recess to our room, your room, and I watch you as you change with your back to me, sliding on a t-shirt as though I had never seen you naked before -- as though you were suddenly shy and we haven't been married for nearly a year.

"What are you doing?"

"You're staring at me," you say with a smile.

"That's because you're beautiful."

"Sap," you say, sliding your t-shirt over your head.

I smile to myself and watch you, as you brush your hair out, with long strokes. "So, your first big night with the family." You say slowly, and look at me.


"Did you have fun?"

"Yeah, Alex. I love your family."

"Are you sure?" You ask, not sure you believe me.

"Come here," I say, pulling myself back on my twin bed and letting you sit between my legs, I take the brush into my hand and run it through your long blonde hair.

You smile and pull your legs up on the bed. "I like it when you do that." You say, as I slowly run the brush over your scalp.

"I know," I say with a gentle kiss to the back of your neck. "I like being here Alex. I like being with your family. And I love being with you."

You smile and lean into me, letting your head rest on my shoulder. I wrap my hands around your waist and kiss your neck. You sigh, and moan. You let me catch your lips, but then quickly pull away.

"We can't. Not here."

"Allie?" I whine.

"No, Liv. Besides, we need to go to bed. Santa comes early in this house." You smile, pulling yourself off my bed and into yours.


You sigh with exaggeration, and I wait for your next protest. When it doesn't come, I settle deeper into my blankets, and tell you 'good night.'

'Night, Alex," your voice, then the click of the lamp, echo softly in the room.

As I watch you tug the sheets loose and climb under, I can't deny a tinge of disappointment. Quickly, I squash it, and close my eyes.


"What's wrong?"

"I'm cold." I pull the cover tighter around my neck, and rub my legs together, before drawing my limbs around myself.

You chuckle.


"You look like a big worm."

"It's not funny, I'm cold."

"Well, you can always let me warm you up," you say smoothly, your eyes twinkling in the moonlight.

I squelch the flutter in my stomach. "That's okay."

"Your choice."

"That's okay," I repeat, with a sigh. Then I see you climb out of bed. "What are you doing?"

"You've got a spare blanket somewhere?"

"Probably in the closet." I watch your shadow disappear inside the closet door. "Check the top shelf."

"Aha. I see it."

"Thanks," I whisper, holding my breath while you spread the extra layer across my body.

Then you lean in and press your lips warmly to mine.

"Liv," I warn.

"Good night." You pull away with a soft laugh, and climb back under your covers.

I swallow my sigh, and close my eyes, willing my nerves to calm.

Why is it so damn uncomfortable? What's wrong with the bed? I wonder as I turn onto my back, and readjust my cocoon.

When sleep still doesn't come, I begin counting, stretching the numbers out in my head.

"What's wrong, Sweetie?" You ask, picking up my sigh of frustration.

"I lost count."

"Of what?"

"Sheep. What did you think? Flying bunnies?"

"Take it you can't sleep?"

I ignore the laughter in your tone, and turn once more onto my side, this time with my back towards you…

1488 Barter

I can't help but laugh at you, the way you're tossing and turning in the too small bed. I already know that it's going to be a long night. I know why I'm wide awake. I can't sleep unless you're next to me. I miss your warmth, the beating of your heart, the feeling of your breath on my skin. I know that until you're next to me, I'm going to stay awake.

You shift again, and sigh, your giant cocoon of blankets moving with you, as you turn onto your back.


"What?" You say, with a touch of irritation in your voice.

"Are you sleeping?"

"Yeah, Liv. I'm sound asleep."

I ignore your sarcasm. "I can't sleep either."

You sigh and turn over, facing me this time. "Are you warm enough?" You ask me.

"Yeah. It's not that. I miss you."

"I miss you too." You say quietly, not wanting to admit it even to yourself.

"So let me come over there?" I ask, hopefully.

"You can't." You whine.

"Why not?"

"Because if you come over here, we won't behave ourselves."

"Sure we will,"


"I promise. No matter how much you beg."

You laugh at that. "Fine." You lift the covers and I quickly take my chance, slipping into the bed behind you and taking you into my arms. "But any funny business and you're out."

My body relaxes and so does yours. You slip your head onto my shoulder and twist your legs into mine. I kiss you chastely on your cheek, and smile, holding you tight to me.

1489 FUNNY

"Liv…" I moan groggily, pushing you away. "Lemme sleep."

"Allie, wake up!" You shake my shoulders.

"Why?" I force my eyes open, just barely. "It's still dark out," I whine, slamming my eyelids shut.

"Yeah, but I think your mom's up. I heard noises."

"What time is it?"

You reach over me to grab your watch. "Five fifteen."

I groan. "Of course she's up. Probably in the kitchen, directing breakfast."


"Yep. Family breakfast."

"When do we open presents?" You ask, sounding like a little kid.

"After breakfast."


"Yeah, 'oh', let's go back to sleep."

You sigh loudly. Without looking at you, I know you have a petulant pout on your face.

"Let me guess, you're not sleepy."


"Well, but I am."


"Shh…" I turn onto my side, and pull your arm across my stomach. Then suddenly, I'm wide awake. "Liv!"

"Shh…" You mimic, and slide your hand higher up my shirt. "Allie…" You mumble, your nose nuzzling my neck.


"But I don't wanna. I'm bored."

"Here," I reach into the drawer, and take out your portable video game player, jamming it into the small space between us. "Play with this."

You pick it up and drop it back on the dresser. "But I'd rather play with you."

"I'm not your toy!" I push your hands away, and pull the covers tightly around myself. "And I'm going back to sleep."

"Hey! You stole all the blankets!" You whine.

"I told you, any funny business, you're out."

"But that was last night, and I'm cold."

I sigh, knowing I'll regret my decision. "Behave, and I'll let you back in…"

1490 Begging

"Allie?" I ask, as you let me pull the blankets back over each of us.

"Hmmm…" you whine, shifting so your back is to me. I happily snuggle back into you. I close my eyes, but I can't sleep. I can feel adrenaline flowing through my veins. I'm too excited for Christmas - too excited for what's ahead. And I want you, want to show you, wake you up with a reminder of how much I love you.

"Whatcha thinking?" I ask. Your closeness is getting to me. I know I'm annoying you but I can see the slight smile on your face that lets me know that I'm still not really bothering you.

"I'm thinking about sleep." You say, wrapping my arms back around your waist.

"Want to know what I'm thinking?"

"No." You say with a smile.

"I'll tell you anyway. I'm thinking about that time, when we were here when we first got together and we snuck into the laundry room and…."

"Liv," you say with warning in your voice. "I don't want to hear about it."

"But it's a good story!" I say, feigning innocence.

"It's a horny story. And not in this bed."

"Want to go fool around in my bed then?"

"No." You say again. "And you call me the horndog."

"I can't help it. I love you," I whine. "And it's Christmas."

"Too bad."

"But what about my present?"

"Huh?" You ask.

"I told you. I wanted something lacey and frilly for you." I say.

"You'll have to see what Santa brought." You say with a half a smile.

"But half the fun of that is taking it off you."

"You're incorrigible," you say, turning over in bed and kissing my nose.


"But it's Christmas!" You whine.

"Shhhh!" I cover your mouth with my hand. "You're going to wake everyone up!"

"Then you did get yourself frilly things for me?"

"I didn't say that."

"But you did though."

I sigh, and reach under the bed. "Here. Merry Christmas." I give you the box I tucked underneath last night. "Now let me get back to sleep," I pull the blankets over our heads.

Just as I expected, you throw the covers off. "For me?" You squeal.


"Sorry," you gasp. "For me?" You repeat, in a loud whisper, with a excited smile on your face.

Your smile is definitely contagious. "Yes, it's for you."

"Frilly lacey things?"

"You'll have to wait and find out."

"Wait? What do you mean 'wait'?"

"You'll have to wait until we get home."

"But, but, that's days from now!"

"Guess you'll just have to learn patience." I kiss you on the nose and smile.

"But Allie," you whine. "That's cruel, cruel and unusual punishment, and I don't deserve it."

"Too bad," I tease. "But now that you got your present, can we go back to sleep?"

You stare at the brightly wrapped box and chew on your lip. "When's breakfast?"

"I don't know. Seven? Seven thirty?"


I'm not sure I like the look on your face. What are you contemplating now?



"Can I at least have a Christmas kiss?"

"Just a kiss?"

1492 One Kiss

"Yep, just one kiss." I agree.

You look at me, and I can see your mind weighing your options. You have a half smile, watching as I hold the unopened box in my hand. "Fine. One kiss. For Christmas."

You close your eyes and steel your resolve. You close your eyes, and prepare yourself for one slow gentle kiss. Instead, I move my hands down your body, and slowly start to slide your shirt up. "What are you doing?" You complain, quickly pulling it back down, and staring at me.

"You said I could have one kiss."

"On my lips." You say, realizing desperately that you didn't say that at all.

"Nope. I want to kiss you there." I say, pointing to your breast.

"You can't!"

"Too late. You said one kiss, I want my kiss." I say, knowing that I'm not playing fairly.

"But if you… that's not fair!" You say way too loudly.

"Shhh… You'll wake everyone up." I say, parroting your earlier complaints.

"This is my mom's house." You complain.

"Like that's stopped you before." I laugh.


"Alex. I love you. I love you so much. And I want to show that to you. I want to make you feel good."

"I want that too." You admit quietly.

"So then…"

"If we do it we have to be really quiet."

"As a mouse."

"I can't believe you're talking me into this."


"You know you want it as much as I do," you whisper, your lopsided smile pressing towards me.

I force myself against reaching out, to shorten our distance. "I do. But for the record, you tricked me."

"I'll make it up to you," you say, the sensual movement of your mouth distracting.

Involuntarily, I lick my lips, and swallow my whimper. "How?" My question sounds more like a breath.

You smile a slow smile, and push your present out of the way. Then you lean in, careful to slide your body over me, letting me feel the lush weight of your breasts against mine. "First," you start, flicking the tip of your tongue along the shell of my ear. "I want my kiss."


"Then, I'm gonna."

"Shhh…" I hush, my eyes closing. "Just show me," I sigh, and slide my hand down to the small of your back, so you may raise up, to access my shirt.

Chuckling lightly, you shift, your hand moving down to graze the skin on my stomach. I hold my breath while you slowly push the fabric up, revealing my skin.

Despite myself, I arch towards you.

That only deepens your laugh. "I love you," you say, your voice soft.

"Love you, too," I reply, in a rush, as you pull the shirt over my head. I feel you ease away.

"You're beautiful, you know that?"

"O.K." Now about that kiss.

Instead of my breast, it's my lips you chose to bestow the favor. Soon a kiss turns into kisses, lingering, deepening, quickly robbing me of senses.


"Wait, wait," I gasp, pulling away.


"Let's move." I push at your shoulders.

"Move where?" You ask, your breath against the back of my ear igniting my skin.

"Your, the other, bed?"


"But Liv…"

"I want you, here," you insist.

"But it's…" It's what? I open my eyes, to find you looking back at me with a half smile. For the first time, I wonder, Really, what's the big deal about making love in my childhood bed? We've done it on every surface in our apartment. Is it really about doing it in my mother's house?

1494 Question

I hang above you only for a second, before I lean in reaching and kissing you directly on the lips.

It only takes a second, our lips coming together, the feeling of your body against mine for my body to react to you. The first gentle kiss leads into a second one. I pull back, letting my fingers trace your cheekbone before I kiss you again.

You look into my eyes when I kiss you, lacing your fingers through my hair as you kiss me.

"Why are you doing this?" You ask, with a breath, as I kiss your throat.

"Because I love you?"

"Besides that?"

"Because I want you."

"Why here?"

"Because, it's… has anyone ever… here?"

"Of course not."

"Then I'm the first." I say with a smile.

"You… so this is…"

"I just, want you."

I kiss you again and I hear your moan in my mouth.

"But here?"

"Because no one's ever done it."

"I've never trusted anyone enough to…"

"That's my point," I say, kissing you deeply stealing your breath away.

You melt against me, my hands run up your body, my kisses mix with yours.

"I love you," I whisper as I take your breast into my mouth. You whimper.


As my body reacts to your touch, I remember the days I had spent convincing mom to put in an extra bed, and how silly she thought it was, only that she tried to put it in different words. I wonder why she didn't just tell me so, like she normally would… Maybe she wanted me to figure out for myself.

Suppose it was silly. I trust you, love you; I'm sure enough about us to promise to spend the rest of my life with you… You have my heart, why not my bed?

It's sweet though, the reason why you wanted to, here.

You teased about wanting to take my innocence, or at least that of my childhood bed. In a way, I think you're giving it back to me.

I trust you, indubitably. I'd trust you with my life. I'm not sure I can say that about too many people in this world…

And right now, and all the other times your lips touch mine, all I can think of, is you, and how much I love you. "Oh, Liv," I moan, my fingers in your hair, as you kiss down my throat, the gentle pressure of your teeth and tongue entirely distracting.

"Love you, Alex," you whisper, before closing your mouth over my breast.

I gasp, I whimper, holding you to me while pushing up into you at the same time.

"I love you," I whisper my reply, my body trembling to your touch, to the tip of your tongue circling my nipple, lapping, flicking back and forth, and pulling in.

Your hands slide down my sides, wrap around my back, to squeeze my buttocks, knead my flesh. You take your time. To show me…?

"Love you," you tell me, your voice thick, as you kiss goose pimples across my body.

Then you shift.

Then I feel your hip bone nestling against me, pressing into me. "Liv!" I want to scream. I want to scream for you to take me, fuck me, to push me to delirium and drown me in your desire.

"Shhh…" You chuckle, skipping over to my other breast.

"God," I gasp, as you begin slowly rocking against me.

That feels so good.


I can feel the delicious pressure building, tightening within me.

Then you do something I wished you wouldn't do – you stop.


You look up at me, the lust in your eyes fading into love, and you dip your head once more…

1496 Closer

I slide down your body, between your legs, slipping my tongue over you. Your whole body tenses, tightly, while I tease you. I know exactly where you are, how close, just by the way you're breathing. I know what I have to do to make you come. I love having this control over you, control that no one else has.

I hate to think of anyone but me touching you like this, even though I logically know they must have. That's what makes moments like these for me, knowing I'm the first with you. Knowing that you've never trusted anyone else enough to be like this with you.

I love knowing you like this, so intimately. I feel sometimes that I know everything about you, and yet, so much of you is a mystery to me. You love me, and I love you. And I suppose that should be enough.

I smile, while I tease you. Listening to your gasps, reminding you that there are other people sleeping in this house besides us, all of whom will know what we're doing if you keep making noise.

You quiet down only for a second, before you gasp again and moan my name. I pull away from you and you whine. "Liv," you beg without the rest of the words.

"Alex, shhh…" I scold you before dipping my tongue back into your warm center, teasing you with it. Your fingers find their way to my hair, which you grab, pushing me into you.

I slide my finger inside you, feeling your wetness, I let myself push into you while you bite down on your lip, your hands tensing in my hair, holding me tighter into your body.

I hear your moans. I hear your whimpers.

I feel your wetness, your tightness, your heat.

You're so close… we're so close.

So close that the knock on the door doesn't seem real.

So close that the second louder knock on the door seems less real.

"Are you two okay?" Your mother asks, sticking her head inside the room looking at the two of us, who are suddenly very still.

Oh god.

You scream and push me away, pulling blankets with you, leaving me entirely exposed.

She looks at both of us. She looks at both of us and laughs. "I knew it wouldn't work." She says, closing the door behind her.

1497 CLOSE

Oh god, it feels so good. So good, when you slide over me like this. And that, when you touch me like that. I bite my lips to stifle a scream - something that used to be so difficult becomes almost automatic, nearly impossible to control when I'm with you.

I hear you tease me about keeping quiet, but all that register are my erratic gasps, the staccato hammering of my heart, as my body roars for release and for you to take me there.

Please? I beg you silently. Or did I say it out loud? I'm not entirely sure.

You deepen the pressure of your touch, bringing me closer, but not quite close enough. Easing back, then pushing further, never quite far enough. You play me, like an instrument you've honed. How did this happen? When? Do I really care?

Liv? I hear my whimper. Please? I moan and push against you.

Then my mother's voice hits my ears.

It cannot be real.

It simply cannot be.

I open my eyes. To see her amused grin, to see sunlight bouncing off the moisture on your face. I scream, my body suddenly turning cold, my eyelids slamming shut. Maybe this is just a nightmare; maybe I'll wake up and you'll be in your bed. And I'll be in mine, alone, fully clothed and innocent.

Her laughter sounds almost surreal. I don't dare look when I hear the door slide gently closed. When I hear your chuckle, I'm furious.

"Get off me!" I yell, closing myself from you.

"Shhh…" You remind me, that there are other people in this house, that I wasn't dreaming and that my mother just witnessed…

I scream again. This time I'm pretty sure it's just in my head.

"Come on, Baby," you smile, prying the edges of the blanket from my fingers.

"Stay away," I back myself up against the headboard, shying from your touch.

"Allie," you laugh. "It's no big deal."

"No? My mother just saw me, she saw us…" I can't even complete the sentence.

"Obviously, she doesn't think it's a big deal," you reason with laughter in your eyes, as you hover over me, reaching for me.

"Don't get any closer!"


"It's all your fault!"

1498 Talk

"How's it my fault?" I laugh. I can't help it. The more I laugh the angrier you get, and the angrier you get, the more I laugh. It's a vicious cycle.

"You made me…" You say, with an accusing finger sticking out of the blanket. I try to grab a piece of it, and crawl in under it, but you hold it tightly in a cocoon around your body.

"Made you?" I laugh. "I'm pretty sure you consented."

"I did, but, but you tricked me!" You nearly scream.

"Shhh…" I whisper, "I did not trick you. You told me…" I say, reaching for you.

"Don't touch me," you say too loudly. "This is all your fault."

"Allie," I say, trying to keep a straight face and control my laughter.

"Don't talk to me." You say, pouting.

"Allie, nothing bad happened."

"How can you say that? My mother just walked in here, while you were… while I was, while…"

"I'm pretty sure your mother knows we have sex."

"She does now."

"I think she knew before. Like when I married you. And before that, when we were in the guest house, and spent hours and hours in the middle of the afternoon making love to each other. I mean, I don't think she thinks we're celibate."

"We should be in this house." You whine, and then add, "And my mother does not think we have sex."

"I'm pretty sure she does, sweetie."

"That's so wrong."

"I'm sure your mother has…"

"Don't you even say that. Don't you ever say that."

"Well Alex, how do you think you got here?"

"Immaculate conception."


"Your mother might have been born without original sin." You snicker. "But I'm sure she had…"

"Shut up! Don't even say it!"

"Come on." You tug at the blanket. "Why are you acting so silly?"

I pull the edges tighter around myself. "I'm not!"

"You deal with sex every day… We have sex almost every day, sometimes more than once a day."

"That's different. And not in my mother's house!"

"We had sex in your mother's house. Just now, we were in the middle…"

"Don't remind me!" I warn.

"Or what?" You laugh. "You're going to cut me off?"

"I just might."

"Right." You roll your eyes towards the ceiling. "You're being ridiculous."

"What would you do, if it were your mother walking in on us?"

"I'd freak."

"My point exactly."

"No, I'd freak because we'd be seeing ghosts."

"Why do I even bother talking to you?" I turn onto my side, away from you.

"Aha!" You manage to slip your hand under a gap.

"Don't touch me!" I whisper loudly. My attempts to squirm away only provide you more access. "Liv!"

"Shhhh…" You slide your hand up my thigh. "Allie, come on, Sweetie."

"I mean it, Liv." I grab your hand and push it out of the cocoon. "Don't touch me."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, I'm serious."

"Fine!" You huff. The next thing I know, you're scrambling off the bed, and pulling on your clothes.


"What do you mean what? You don't want me to touch you, I'm just giving you what you want!"




After a beat, you say, in a much calmer, smaller voice. "I thought we love each other. I love you."

The sadness in your statement makes me pause, and I turn again so I can see you. "I love you, too, Olivia."

"Then why are you acting like this?" You ask, while peering out the curtains, letting in the light.

"Like what?"

"Like we've done something wrong." You demand, spinning around to face me, "Why, Alex, why?"

"I don't, I don't mean it like that."

1500 Sad

"It sounds like you mean it." I say quietly. "It sounds like you're ashamed," I say, staring back out the window.

"I'm not ashamed Liv. But I don't want my mom to see…"

"She didn't see anything. She saw your head. I was under the blanket, and so was most of you."

"It's the point Liv. She knew what we were doing."

"I think that our sex is beautiful. It's an extension of our love."

"Yeah, but not when my mom is watching."

"I don't think it matters."

"It's not your mom."

"My mom's dead, Alex," I say more cruelly than I mean.


"She fell down the subway stairs drunk out of her mind."


"And just so you know, she wouldn't have approved of me being gay. She would have hated it. But you know what, I'd have been proud to take you home to her. I'd have been proud to show her that I love you, and to show her what that's really like. I'd be happy to have her walk in on something as beautiful as…"

"Liv," you start.

"Don't apologize. Just save your breath."

"I wasn't going to apologize."

"Let's just drop this, okay?"


"It's Christmas. I think your mom was trying to tell us that breakfast was ready. Let's go down."

Part 1501

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