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

1601 WAIT

Slowly, I kiss up your body, my gloved fingers still inside you, teasing you, touching you.

It seems so foreign now, touching you through latex. When it was the only way before… We've come so far since those days. You're definitely a different person now.

And we're making a baby.

Our baby.

Even though it's not biologically mine, I feel like, like I have a hand in its creation. Well, I suppose I do, literally. Oh, god, your bad jokes are rubbing off on me… Somehow this makes me smile, and I share my smile with you, in a deep lingering kiss.

One kiss leads to another. Our tongue twining, our lips hunger for each other.

I continue my caresses, pushing you towards your next orgasm.

Then another.

And another.

Mostly because I don't want to end our sharing, because I want this moment to last.

Only when you finally clench around my fingers to make me stop do I oblige.

When you catch your breath and open your eyes, I tell you, "I love you."

You smile shyly and reach for me.

I pull back.


"Wait," I say, even though my body disagrees.


"We have to wait, remember?"

You groan. "It's gonna be so awkward."

"I know." I smile sympathetically as I slowly ease out, then help you fold your legs to your chest.

"How much time?" You ask.

"Let's just do the whole fifteen, to be safe."

You sigh.

"It'll be worth it," I remind you with a deep smile…

1602 Testing

"Well?" You ask expectantly as I open the door.

"We have to wait." I look at you, more nervous now than when we were starting this whole process. You cross your arms, and uncross them.

"How long?" You look at me, trying not to look disappointed or impatient. You've been so good to me, in the last few days. So careful not to ply me with the expectations that are running rampant in my head.

"Ten minutes." I say, looking at the back of the box.

You look at your watch. Patience is something we're definitely not good at.

"Where is it?" You ask.

"On the sink." I reply.

"Come here." You gesture as you climb onto the bed. We assume our waiting position, you holding me tight to you.

"Whatcha thinking?" I ask you, happily listening to your beating heart, trying to close my eyes and block out the thoughts and questions about whether there is a life growing inside me.

"I'm thinking about… about that no matter what that test says, that I love you more today than, well, than I ever have."

"You have to say that."

"No, I don't." I can hear the smile in your voice.

"Yes you do." I argue. You laugh, and we slip back into silence. This time, the wait is more bearable.

You nudge me softly, and whisper, "It's been ten minutes."

Suddenly, the time is going by too quickly. "Do you want to…"

"You can," you say.

I run into the bathroom and grab the stick, bringing it back into the room before reading the result. "It's…" I look at you, and take a deep breath. "It's negative, Allie."

"Oh." You sigh. You look like a deflated balloon. "It's still early."

I look at you for a second and sigh. "It didn't work." I shrug.

"So we try again next month," you say, trying to be casual. I know how excited you were, how excited we both were. And now, well, it's like we failed. Like I failed.

1603 AGAIN

"It's okay." I smile at you, taking the stick from your hand, and throwing it into the trash without double checking, then pulling you back into my arms.

You simply sigh and look like we ran over your puppy with a bulldozer twice.

"I was hoping…"

"I know." So was I, but I don't tell you. No sense putting the additional pressure on you.

"I'm sorry..."


"Because I couldn't give you a baby right away."


"It's true."

"Come on, Sweetie." I kiss you on your head and laugh. "You make me sound like some chauvinistic pig."

"That's not what I meant, Alex…"

"Why don't we try testing again in a few more days? Maybe we're being too impatient. Didn't the box say six to eight days?"

"I suppose." You sigh. "But I just don't think I'm…"

"Well then." I shrug. "We try again next month. We certainly have enough of everything."

You sigh again.

I smile, and kiss you playfully. "Just think, we have another month to be selfish," I say with as much jovialness as I can manage.

"Are you sure, Alex?"

"Yeah? It'll be fun. We can think of more things we want to do, just the two of us."

"No, I mean, are you sure you're not mad?"

"No! Why would I be?"


"I love you, Olivia. Even if you never get pregnant."

"I hope I do though. Soon."

Me too…

1604 Snap

I can't concentrate on anything. All I can think about is our second attempt, last night, the two of us together, making love and praying, trying to make a baby.

All I can think about is failure, another month of trying. Will this one end like the first one?

I'm being too sensitive, I know, but it's affecting everything about me. All day today, I've been snapping at everyone. Munch and Fin have the common sense to stay the hell away from me, but not El. He has to know what's going on - he'll never learn that when I get like this, he should back off.

"What?" I snap at Elliot from over the desk.

"Nothing." He says, looking down at his desk.

"Fuck you." I snarl back.

"Look, Liv," He sighs. "You and Alex gotta make up," Elliot complains. "Whatever you did…"

"Whatever I did?" I frown.

"Whatever either of you did, you gotta make it right. We can't work like this." He says.

"We're not fighting." I say, ignoring his last comment.

"Then what the hell is your problem?"

"You are." I complain.

"Jesus Christ." He slams his fist into a pile of paperwork. He knows that his temper doesn't scare me, though.


"Will you just talk to me."

"No, Elliot. It's private."

He looks at me and cocks his head, asking me without words to talk to him.

"It's private." I say again. "I'm just… I'm just stressed out. Too much on my mind."

"Fine." He sighs. "I just hope whatever it is you work out."

1605 TALK

As soon as we got up this morning, I could tell you were already obsessing over what we did last night, or more precisely, what we were trying to create. Sure I think about it, too, but I don't forget that our love-making is still a way for us to connect, and not a means to an end. I wonder if you have.

Meanwhile, your concerned colleagues had to call to see if we're fighting, which means you're being generally surly or moody or both.

I don't know why you do this, why you do this to yourself. You have to be perfect. You have to succeed right away, even over things you have no control whatsoever.

Okay, I guess we're more alike than I care to admit.

But is this kind of stress even conducive to your pregnancy?

Maybe we should talk.

Maybe we should consider taking a break next month. But when do I bring it up? Now? You'll somehow think I have no faith in you, even though this has nothing to do with faith.

But if I wait a week, and you're not pregnant, you'll think I'm just trying to spare your feelings.

Maybe you'll be pregnant. Sure, it might not be probable, but it's possible… How is it suddenly our views are reversed? That I remember the difficulties you might have in getting pregnant and you don't?

I sigh.

And I pick up the phone. "Hey," I say, when you pick up.

"What's up?"

"Nothing. Just want to hear your voice, and tell you I love you." God, when did I turn into such a sap? It's a good thing I have my own office…

"Okay," you reply.

"I miss you."


This time I can't deny the distance in your voice. "What's wrong, Liv?"


"Did I do something?" I ask, even though I'm pretty sure I hadn't.

"Look, Alex, I've got work to do…"

"All right," I sigh. "I guess I'll talk to you later then…"

1606 Caught

I shuffle my fingers through my hair, knowing that as soon as I open your office door I'll have explaining to do. I shouldn't have been so curt with you; I don't want you to think that I'm upset.

I'm not upset. Just nervous and excited, and mixed into that is a streak of disappointment and fear. I want this for us. I want to be able to do it, and suddenly I'm full of insecurity. I hate this feeling. I hate not being sure, not being good at something.

"Hey," I say quietly as I slide your door open, and stick my head inside. "You ready?" I ask.

You don't look up for a second, and I swallow hard. Suddenly, I'm worried that you're mad, mad about the phone call.

"I'm sorry about…" I start to apologize.

"You don't have to apologize." You look up smiling, "I know you're busy. How was your day?"

"Elliot was being such an ass." I complain, sinking into the chair in front of your desk.


"Yeah, he was on my case the whole day. I didn't want to… you know how he gets." I shrug.

"He called." You say, still writing in the legal pad in front of your desk.

"Oh." Is all I can manage.

"He asked if we were fighting."

"I told him we weren't."

"Why do you think he'd…"

"I'm not in first grade Alex, I get it."

"You okay?" You ask, looking into my eyes.

"Yeah, why?"

"Because your partner, and nearly everyone in your squad room spent the afternoon begging me to forgive you."

"They should mind their own business."

"Baby, you're upset." You say, standing slowly and crossing to me.

"I'm scared Alex." I break down at your touch. "I want this to work…"

"I want it to work too. But baby, if it's going to cause you this much stress… this much pain."

"I want this, Alex. I want this worse than I ever thought possible"

"I know," you sigh, and hug my head into your stomach. "I know, but this takes time. I'm not disappointed Liv. I love you."

"I love you, too…"

1607 DATE

Finally, we let go of each other, and I move to sit on the edge of my desk, facing you.

You take a deep breath and shake your head, as if to shake off your solemn mood. Then you look at me expectantly.


"Aren't you gonna pack up?"

"Oh." I laugh. "I suppose I should."

"So why are you just sitting there?"

"Just thinking."

"About what?"

I reach down, extending my hands. You take them in yours and stand. Using the momentum, I pull you closer.

"Yeah, Allie?"

"Would you like to go to a movie or something?"

"A movie?" You gather your brows at me.

"Yes, a movie. Or we could see if anyone has tickets for something else."


"It's Friday."


"When's the last time we did something spontaneous?"

"Well…" You start to think. "Hm."

"See?" I swing our arms back and forth. "I can't think of it either."

You smile lightly. "A show, huh?"

"And dinner?"

"Sure, and dinner. Where?"

"I don't know. You pick."

You let out a breathy laugh, and fill your eyes with amusement. "What's the occasion, that you let me pick?"

"Shut up, I let you pick most of the time!" I swat you lightly and pull you nearer. "Let's make this a date date?"

1608 Joker

"A date date?" I giggle as you pull me into you.

"Yeah, a date date."

"With you?"

"Of course with me," you laugh. "Why, did you want to go with Elliot?"

I frown at you. "No."

"So?" You ask.

"Does that mean we have to dress up?" I ask.



"Just for a nice dinner and a movie." You lean against me, slipping your arms onto my shoulders and holding my head still.

"Are you paying?" I ask with a grin.

"Sure," you laugh.

I pretend to think about it for a second. "Is there a good chance of me getting lucky?" I ask pressing our noses together.

"Uh huh," You smile.

"I guess I'll go then."

"I'm glad." You whisper, as you give me a quick peck on the cheek and then pull away.

I watch as you turn to your desk and throw some files into it, haphazardly. Even though it looks like you have no order to what you're doing, I know that in your head, they're in an order that makes perfect sense to you.

I smile as you turn to me and take my hand in yours, grabbing your coat and throwing it over your arm.

"Ready?" You ask

"Yep," I smile, opening the door for you as we walk down the hallway ready for our night out.


"So where are we going?" I ask you as you pull out of the garage.

"You'll see," you say with a grin.


"You want to be spontaneous. Let's do it."

"So you have no idea either?"

"Nope." You laugh. It's good to hear you laugh again.

"Are we getting dinner first? I'm hungry."

"Dinner then movie?"

"Yeah? What's wrong with it?"

"You'll fall asleep in the theatre."

"Okay…" What else is new? Somehow I just can't seem to be able to keep my eyes open, no matter what time of the day we go.

"We can do that at home."

"Yeah, but this way, you get to see the movie."

"And you get to fall asleep on me," you tease with a smile.


"You're funny."

"Only you think so."

"I'm glad."


"You know, aspects of you that only I see?"

"You're funny," I say, shaking my head at you. When we stop for the light, I reach over, and scratch my nails along the denim of your jeans. "I love you."

"I love you, too, sweetie." You glance at me. "What's up?"

"Nothing." I smile, and lean in to place a quick kiss on your cheek. "Just looking forward to our date."

1610 Planned

"That's where we're going," I say, pointing out the window ahead of us. "We just have to find somewhere to park."

"There." You point to a space that is about seven inches shorter than our car. Sometimes I wonder how you ever drove anywhere when we weren't together. You rarely do drive anymore, always throwing me the keys, and I don't mind. It's the way we are.

"Yeah, right." I laugh, and pass it.

"That's a good place." You pout.

"If we were driving a golf cart." I laugh.

"What is this place?" You ask, letting my comment go.

"Ah, its one of those new theatres, you know, where they have everything all in there together. Dinner and a movie, one place? It's all reserved seating, Elliot told me he brought Kathy here awhile ago and they both were impressed."

"Elliot took Kathy out?" You ask, with surprise.

"Anniversary," I shrug for explanation.

"Ahh." You smile.

"So I thought you might like it, and…"

"You're sweet," you lean over and cut me off.

"I already have it all taken care of. I called for seats and reservations when you were taking a shower."

"So this wasn't spontaneous."

"Well, it is, it's just a little planned. I wanted to make sure we could get in."

"You're so sweet."

"Stop saying that," I laugh, "You're embarrassing me," I whisper.

"Just think if the guys could see you now…"

"They all know I'm a sap for you."

"There," you yell, pointing to a space that's reasonable this time. With a quick move, we pull in.

"You ready?" I ask with a smile.

"Absolutely," you say, reaching over and taking my hand. "Love you," you give me a quick peck on the cheek before getting out of the car.


"That was fun." I laugh, looping my arm through yours as we walk out of the darkened theatre towards the lobby. "Thanks for picking it."

"Thank you." You smile. "Since you paid for it."

"All comes out of the same place, anyway. So, thank you."

"Sure." You say, then laugh.


"This might be the place to go, to make sure you don't fall asleep during the show."

"Shut up!" I give you a light shove.

"It's true. You didn't even yawn, not even once."

"Olivia…" I warn. Then, through the glass door, I see the flakes coming down from the sky. "Look, it's snowing!"

"Oh, great. You wait here, and I'll go get the car."

"Let's just both walk, it's not that far."

"I don't want you to get sick."

"I won't, I promise," I say, and drag you towards the door.


"Look at it this way, it's warm enough to snow," I justify. You don't look convinced, but you don't argue…

"What's with you and snow anyway?" You ask as we stroll down the block arm in arm.

"It's pretty?"

"This is New York, Alex. The stuff is turning grey as we speak."

"It's pretty when it's falling," I say, and point towards the ornate façade of the building across the street. "See? It's still white over there, and it's just… gorgeous." There's no other word for it.


"Don't you think it's kind of romantic? What we're doing?"

"I suppose. Although I can think of more romantic things to do at home, where it's warm," you whisper suggestively, and pick up the pace.

I let you drag me down the street towards the car. "And you say snow makes me frisky."

"Finally. God, I hate snow," you grumble, as you brush the accumulation from the wind shield with your hand. "Come on, get in the car."

"I'll help," I insist, and retrieve the brush from the trunk.

"Okay." You take the brush from me. As you move back to the front of the car, you order, "Now, get inside."

"Not yet." I giggle. "Hey, Liv," I call, and throw the small snow ball I made at you as you turn around…

1612 Attack

When I turn around, I feel the freezing ball of puffy white snow hit me on the shoulder and I stare at you with my eyes wide. For a moment, you stand still, wide eyed while you wait for me to react.

"You just threw snow at me."

"Yep." You giggle. "And I'm going to do it again," You laugh, as you hit me with another snowball.

"You just…"

"Watch out!" You yell as another ball gets thrown toward me, missing and falling into pieces on the street behind me.

"That's it," I say, grabbing snow from the top of the car and making a ball. You shriek and duck behind the car.

"Truce," you yell.

"Oh sure, now you want a truce." I laugh.

"No more snow!" You giggle, as you pull the car door open.

"You should have thought about that before you threw the first one!" I yell back.

You duck into the car. "You can't throw a snowball at me, I'm in the car." You laugh.

"You wanna bet?" I ask, sticking my head in the other door.

"You wouldn't do that, you love me." You laugh.

"You're lucky." I laugh, taking the snow ball in my hand and throwing it onto the street. Quickly, I take the car brush and brush off the back window, with a quick sweep.

I get into the car and you lean into me immediately.

"I love you." You whisper.

I take my icy fingers and slide them up your shirt, causing you to shriek at me. I laugh, and smile at you. "Now we can have a truce."

"That was worse than a snowball," you complain, as you take my hands into yours and rub them.

"You should have thought about that! You're like a kid."

"Only with you." You laugh.


"So what else," you ask me as you start the car.

"What else, what?"

"What else only with me."

"Ah." I trace my fingers along a streak of snow melting down the roof.

"I'm waiting," you remind me as we wait for the car to warm.

"Well…" I smile. "I'm a sap with you."

"Hm. That's true," you agree with a smile.

"Shut up."

"There's nothing wrong with being a sap. I am."

"Yeah, well, people know you're sappy. I'm supposed to be an emotionless prosecuting robot."

"If only they knew what I know…" You wag your brow.

"Shut up!" I blush.

"Okay. What else?"

"I shared my childhood bed with you," I remind you of our holiday at my mom's.

"Oh, yeah. And?"

"Wasn't that enough? What does it matter anyway?"

You shrug. "I don't know…"

"I've never tried to impregnate anyone." I laugh.

You laugh with me. Then suddenly you turn serious. "I wonder if it worked this time."

I shrug. "Guess we'll see."

"Do you not care? I thought…"

"Of course I care. But what good does it do for me to obsess over it? I'd rather spend my time thinking about other things."

"Like what?" You ask, trying not to sound hurt.

"Like you." I lean over and kiss you on the nose. "Like how much I love you, and how lucky I am to have you."

"Ah." You smile.

"And when we get home, I'll let you do this..." I lean into your ear.

"Mmm..." You grin at my whispered words.

"No one else has before… Just you…"

1614 Wonder

Morning breaks across the sky, as I lie in bed next to you feeling your warm breath against my shoulder. I turn my head and smile at you.

You're still asleep, your blonde hair splayed on the pillow next to me, as you softly snore. Your body lays on the length of mine, just our feet mingled together, touching.

I love you.

I sigh and turn my head back into the light. You'll be asleep for another few hours, if I stay still. I slide my hand over myself, my stomach, wondering… waiting.

I wonder if it what it will feel like when I'm pregnant. How it will feel to run my hand over my growing stomach and feel something inside me.

But we're not there yet.

It's time for us to try this again, to test and find out if there's a life growing inside me.

I think about the test we bought.

How you tried not to make it a big deal.

Tried to pretend that none of this mattered, that today, that this test, was just another day.

I wonder if you're as scared as I am…

There's the fear that I won't be pregnant, the fear of another month of trying, another month of disappointment…

And then there's the fear that I will be pregnant…

What if something's wrong?

What if it's born with some horrible birth defect?

What if there's….

And I look over at you, sound asleep. I don't want to disappoint you. I really want this, for both of us.

It's hard for me to admit, but some of the impatience is my own desire for a family burning inside me, a desire I never saw myself espousing until there was you.

I sigh again, and stare into the light. Waiting for you and wondering…


I awake to find you staring at me. "What time is it?" I ask, wrapping my arms around your shoulders. I brace myself against you, and stretch luxuriously.

"After nine," you reply with a shrug.

"What?" I can't quite believe my ears.

"Last time I checked, it was five after. So it's probably nine thirty now."

"How long have you been up?"

"Since dawn?"

"And you let me sleep?"

"You needed it."

"Okay…" I touch the back of my hand to your forehead. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Yeah? Why?"

"You never let me sleep in."

"Sometimes I do."


"Well, you needed it."

I yawn. You're right. I did. "So what have you been doing for the last three hours?"


Is it me, or are you almost monosyllabic this morning. "About what?"

You're silent for a few seconds, then you answer softly, "The test."

"Have you already?"

You shake your head. "I thought I'd wait for you."

"So let's go…" I start to say and move out of bed. Then I realize you're not following. "What's wrong?"

"I just… I don't know, Alex." You sound like a lost puppy. "What if it's negative again?"

"We'll try again?"


"No buts, Liv. I think if it didn't work this time, we should go bulk on the test kits," I tell you what I've been thinking, hoping to take some of the pressure off of you…

1616 Number Two

You look at me expectantly, as I pull milk out of the fridge.

"What?" I ask you, as I pour cereal into a bowl.

"Is it time?"

"I don't know, is it?" I ask you, knowing that you're the one who's paying attention to the exact number of seconds before we find out if attempt number two was more fruitful than the first.

"Yeah." You smile. "Do you want to…?"

I can't help but smile a little. "I'm nervous."

"Me too." You smile at me expectantly. "And excited." You laugh.


"Do you think?" You ask.

"We should just go check." It's easier than speculating, I want to add, but don't. After all, this is really only our second try. It could take months… and you're right, if I give up after the first try… I should stay positive.

I just wish it weren't so damn hard…

We walk together towards the bathroom, where I left the test on the sink.

"You do it," I say pushing you ahead.

"You sure?" You ask me.


I put my finger in my mouth and nervously chew on my fingernail.

You don't have to say anything.

I can tell from your face.

"We can try again…" You smile, hugging me close.

"Yeah, we can," I say, trying to sound more positive than I feel


"We'll just keep trying," I tell you, hoping to sound more positive than you do.

"I know." You force a smile.

"You think Stabler and Kathy stopped having sex?"

"No? I don't know. I don't think about it," you whine and make a face.

"Isn't he super Catholic?"


"Obviously, he doesn't get Kathy pregnant every other time they have sex, or," I explain.

"He would've killed himself by now," you say, and laugh.

"So let's stay positive about this," I suggest. "Maybe we need to get into some kind of a… groove? You know, we don't think too much about it when, you know. That'll be more natural."


"And less stressful?"

"I suppose…"

"And it'll take practice."

You sigh, but you're smiling, turning around. "How much practice though?"

"More than a couple of times?"

You press your lips together, and stare at the space behind me. When our eyes finally meet again, I see new determination in your eyes. "Okay."

"Okay," I echo and kiss you on your lips. "So what do you want to do today?" I ask, after pulling away.

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

"You want to go for a walk in the park? Maybe a picnic?" Something we can do to distract ourselves from our failed attempt at getting you pregnant?

"Picnic? In the park? It's April!"

"Exactly, it's finally warm enough."

"I don't know, Allie…"

"Well, then you decide what we do, before we have to go have dinner with mom."

1618 Ours

"Is that tonight?" I ask wrinkling my nose.

"Yeah, why?" You ask. "It's going to be the whole group of us. Ted and Trevor and everyone."

"Oh." I manage.

"You don't want to go?" You ask.

"I'm just… I want to just hang around here today. With you."

"We can call her and…" You offer, but I interrupt.

"No, that's okay," I sigh, "we can go."

"Are you okay?" You ask me.

"Yeah, I'm just tired." I sigh, plopping myself onto the couch and closing my eyes. With the suspense over, my body collapses.

I close my eyes on the couch, and I can hear you coming towards me.

"Are you sure you're okay?" You ask, feeling my forehead, and giving me a gentle kiss.

"I am, really, Alex." I open my eyes. "Come lie here with me," I ask you, and you carefully comply.

"Are you upset?" You ask me, as you put your head on my shoulder.

"A little." I shrug honestly. "But it's still early. I mean, we haven't been trying very long."

"No," you say, squeezing me.

"And it might take awhile."


"It's still hard."

"I'm glad we're doing it though. Having a baby with you, our baby…"

I don't need to say more, and instead just feel the contentment in the way your weight makes me feel safe.


"Well?" My mother accosts us on our way to the study.

"Yes, mom?" I ask.

"How are you two doing? Or are there three of you now?"

You and I look at each other, and reach a silent understanding. "Mom, we're not, we haven't…"

"Nonsense!" She interrupts. "So which," she starts, then she narrows her eyes at you, then at me, then back at you again. "Olivia! I'm so happy you decided to carry my grandchild!" She wraps you in a big hug.

You stare at me wide-eyed; your mouth moves but nothing comes out. Kind of like our gold fish looking for food. I'm sure I look like that too. Except I'm looking for words.

"Mom?" I ask as she lets go of you, and pulls me into her arms.

"Yes, Darling?"

"How…" I shake my head. "Just how did you figure out?"

She steps back, and smiles at me, at both of us. "You'll be surprised how many subtle clues your children give off, especially when they're trying to hide things from you. You'll see when you're a mother."

"Right. We get our membership card to the special secret society of mothers."

"Now, now," my mom scolds me with a simple word. Sarcasm doesn't become you, I can hear the next thing she'd say in my head clearly, even though she speak it. Instead, she asks, "How are you two doing this? Who's the…"

"Sperm bank," I whisper.

"Good, good. Are you doing this at home?"

"Yes, mother," I answer, shifting my feet in discomfort. "We know what we're doing," I say. Can we stop discussing this? The expression on my face reads.

"Are you sure?" She looks at both of us again. "I remember when your father and I were trying to have you…"

"Mother!" I cringe. "Can we not talk about this? Please?"

"What did I miss?" A voice comes from the door behind me.

"Aunt Olga." I turn, and quickly step up to receive the pecks on the cheeks.

"Olivia," she nods at you. At least she's acknowledging your existence.

"We're going to have another Cabot."


"Whoa, whoa. We haven't discussed names yet," I argue without thinking.

"Alexandra?" My aunts demands with her simple word.

Oh shit. Why can't I keep my damn mouth shut?

1620 UGLY

Your aunt looks at you like you've just announced that Jesus had a sex change operation and wanted from now on to be known as Shirley. The horror is written large all over her face.

"We're just thinking about it," you say quickly.

"Nonsense." Your mother says, "Isn't it exciting?"

"You're pregnant?" Your aunt says to you.

"No," you almost scoff.

"Olivia is going to carry…" Your mother explains with a huge smile.

I feel like an accident victim.

"So you're pregnant." Your aunt looks at me.

"No," I say honestly.

"Good," you aunt says. "I can not stand by and condone…"

Your mother looks at her with warning in her eyes and she stops talking.

"Mom," you say. "We're just thinking…"

"How long have you been trying?" Your mother asks.

I wish I could hide under a chair. Why… and your mother… and it's just not right.

You, thankfully, don't explain. "Mom, can I talk to you for a second?" You ask, pulling her aside and excusing your aunt in a cloud behind you.

I stand staring at her, while she looks to me for an explanation.

I just shrug.

I don't have anything to tell her.

"How could you do that to a child?" She asks me in a hushed whisper.

"Do what?" I ask.

"Raise them in a home like yours. It's one thing," she says, looking over her shoulder, "for you to corrupt Alexandra and for me to have to live with that, but for you to bring an innocent life into this, little 'lifestyle choice,'" she spats with distain, "is just disgraceful."


"Mom," I start as soon as she and I are in the next room. "Can we not discuss this?"

"Discuss what? That you're having a child?"

"We're not pregnant, yet."

"All right. That you're trying to have a child? I think it's a great idea, and I can't wait for it to happen."

"Yes, mom." I sigh. "I can't wait for it to happen either. But I don't think we should discuss it with other people until we know for sure…"

"We're not discussing it with other people, we're telling members of our family. Your aunt Olga, for instance, will have time to get over herself before the child is born."

"Yeah, right, and pigs will replace pigeons on the Empire State Building."


I sigh again. "Look, mom, Liv and I, we'd rather not talk about it."

"How long have you been trying?"

"Mom," I start to deny. Oh, what's the use? "Two months."

"What did you do?"

"Mom!" I cross my arms and back myself against the wall. "Everything the doctor says, okay? We just need to give it time."

"Did you try…"

"I don't know, mom, can we not talk about this?"

"I'm just trying to help."

"I'm sure Liv needs help right now. We shouldn't have left her all alone with Aunt Olga."

"She's a cop, I'm sure she had handle Ogre."


"That's what you and Trevor call her, isn't it?"

"How'd you…" I start to ask for the nth time, then decide to provide my own answer. "Never mind, mothers know these things."

"Exactly," she smiles and pats my arm benevolently. "Now, if you'll stop being such a prude, at least for the next few minutes, I'll tell you all the things I learned when your father and I were trying to get pregnant."

"Things? What kinds of things?"

"Things that will help." Before I can protest, she reminds me, "You're here, aren't you?"

1622 After

By the time you and your mother return, I've had more than plenty of your all too opinionated aunt. It's not even worth trying to talk to her, it's just easier to let her hate me.

You come back into the room and latch onto me. Your mother, for her part, goes on with her conversation, thankfully letting go of us having a baby.

When we get in the car, finally heading home, you tell me your mother's advice.

"She wanted to tell me all about how to conceive," you shiver.

"Really?" I ask, with a smile.

"Yeah. She wanted to make sure we were…" Your voice drops off.

"What?" I laugh.

"She actually asked me if I was making you orgasm."

"What'd you say?"

"I told her I didn't think it was a problem."

"I love your mom." I laugh.

"I'm glad you think it's funny."

"It is just to see your face right now when she asked you that."

"She also wanted to make sure we were doing it enough times a day, and wanted to make sure that…"

"I get it." I laugh. "I definitely get it. She wanted to check in on your sex life."

"Our sex life."

"You said she wanted you to be happy," I laugh

"I hate you. So what'd you and the evil Ogre talk about?" You ask.


"What do you mean nothing?"

"She didn't say anything," I shrug. "Just looked at me."

"Really?" You ask.

"Yeah, really." I shrug and stare at the window.

"It just doesn't seem like her," you say, softly.

"Well, that's what happened, can you just drop it?"

"Fine." You sigh, as you stare out the window.

1623 HOME

I know you well enough by now that I know you're lying. I suppose you know me enough to know that I'm on to you, too.

So you don't want to talk about it. Fine. It's not like I can't guess what she had to say.


"Liv?" I have to ask, have to make sure.

"Hm." You acknowledge, and keep your eyes on the road, even though we're stopped in behind traffic.

"Are we still…" I turn away from the window towards you, so that you'll have to face me, too. "Are we trying again next month?"

"Yeah? Why wouldn't we be?"

"I don't know. Maybe Aunt Olga said some things…"

"I told you already, Alex, she didn't say anything," you insist, looking away again.

"So you haven't changed your mind?"

"No. Why would I?"

I shrug and return to my window. "Just checking."

"I'm not sure your mom will forgive me if I don't give her a grandchild," you say with a laugh.

"You shouldn't let what my mom said decide whether or not you get pregnant."

"No. My body decides that." You slap the steering wheel in frustration.

"Liv…" I reach over and take your hand.

"Anyway." You turn to me, and smile lightly. "I didn't let your mom talk me into getting pregnant, I'm not going to let your aunt talk me out of it either. I want this. For both of us."

"Okay." I smile, accepting your answer.

You lace your fingers with mine, and we rest our hand on the console, our minds no doubt focused on the same thing.



"We've got a three day weekend next month. What would you think if we used my Christmas present?"

"But I might…"

"We can take the stuff with us… or we can just take a break."

1624 Sapped

We check in to the hotel together, after nearly a week of you vacillating between themes and times. You keep asking me what I'm thinking, but I refuse to give you any input, wanting you in the end to make the final decision. Besides, I think all of them look fun, and the point isn't the theme, it's a weekend alone with you with no pagers and no calls and no interruptions.

You finally decide on a Roman themed suite, complete with white marble pillars, a jacuzzi tub that looks to be about the size of our entire bathroom at home and boasts it's own running waterfall, and a king size bed shrouded in beautiful red sheets that contrast starkly against the white marble everywhere else.

"So what do you think?" I ask you while you wander around smiling.

"This is so nice." You smile. "How'd you think of this?" You ask.

"I just thought it'd be something you'd like."

"I do like it." You smile.

"I'm glad." I laugh, as you wander around in amazement.

"I don't know what to do first." You say, staring at the waterfall that runs down the wall and into the tub.

"Me." I smile at you.

You laugh.

"You can put on my Christmas present and we can celebrate the holidays the way they were meant to be celebrated." I say, flopping myself backwards onto the bed which springs. With a leer, I pat the spot next to me, and you walk over to the bed and look at me.

"What makes you think that I want that?" You giggle, as you crawl onto the bed and straddle me. You take my hands and pull them over my head and kiss me on the lips.

"I don't know, you came here with me."

"Yes, I did."

"And I figure since we're in ancient Rome, we should probably be wearing togas."

"You're incorrigible."

"Yep." I laugh.

"I'm glad you're smiling," you say, taking your finger and running it along my cheek.

"I'm with you." I shrug, taking your finger and giving it a kiss. That makes you smile down at me.

"You really are a sap." You giggle, as you lean in and kiss me…


I look all around us at the marbled walls and floors, stark white against the blood red silk satin sheets. It could all potentially be so cheesy. Somehow it isn't though. It's all very tastefully done. I could almost imagine myself in Ancient Rome…

Yeah, I think this is the vacation that we need. The uninterrupted togetherness that my mom had suggested, where we don't have to jump into bed the minute you start ovulating, paying attention only to what we have to do before someone beeps either or both of us.

We can be downright hedonistic if we wanted.

"I can't believe it," I say, as I rain playful kisses on your skin.


"Three whole days, where we have only one care in the world. Us."

"Yep." You smile.

"Thank you." I kiss you again, softly this time. "This is a wonderful present."

"Are you gonna show your gratitude?"

"Oh?" I smile, and slide the tip of my tongue along your ear. "And how would you like me to do that?"

"I've got ideas. Many."

"I'm sure you do," I breathe against your lips, before sliding my tongue along yours.

Our clothes are nearly undone by the time we stop for air. "Did you bring it?" You ask.

"It?" I pause. "It's in the bag."

"Are you gonna put it on?"

"Oh, you meant the lingerie."

"Yeah? What did you… oh, that," you say, both acknowledging and dismissing 'that' with the same light smile. "So, did you?"

"Yes," I whisper. "I thought you want me to, you first."

"I do. But I'd like to see you in the outfit, for more than two seconds."

I take a slow breath, to prepare myself. "All right," I agree, and lean in to kiss you again, to rob air from your lungs. When your hands begin to roam, I ease away.

"Allie!" You whine as I retreat from the bed.

"I'll be right back," I say, reaching into my bag and pulling out and showing you the pink satchel, before slipping into the bathroom…

1626 Tease

You're such a tease.

You really are.

And you love it.

I can hear you in the bathroom, moving around. It sounds like you're humming something soft and lyrical. I shift impatiently, looking eagerly towards the bathroom door.

It can't take that long to put that little on.

I wish you'd hurry.

Well, I think I know what you're doing. You're standing in front of a mirror criticizing your own appearance in the black lacy silk. You're still not content with whatever is stopping you from coming out here and presenting yourself to me, but I wish you'd hurry.

You're doing this on purpose. Making me wait.

I put my hands behind my head and close my eyes, waiting for you to emerge, but you still don't.

"Allie?" I call to you.

"What?" You call back.

"Are you coming out?" I ask.

"In a second," you call back.

I chuckle to myself and sit up on the bed, arranging the pillows to support my back and wait for you.

You don't disappoint me, though it takes you longer than I thought I could handle.

You slip out of the bathroom door, and I can see the gentle blush on your cheeks.

The black silk cuts beautiful lines against your creamy white skin. Your body, soft and slender,

"What do you think?" You ask with a shy smile.

"You're beautiful?"

"Really?" You ask.

"Really." I sit up and smile at you. Definitely.

1627 PREEN

When I step into the bathroom, I look around again at the décor. So easily, I can see us frolic under the waterfall. I imagine that's something we'll do before the end of our stay.

Then, slowly, I walk back to the double sink, and stare into the mirror. To see traces of our breathless kisses on faintly my cheeks, more obvious on my lips.

Consciously, I stop myself from gathering the front of my opened shirt, and from adjusting my bra which I will soon be taking off.

And I look down at the drawstring bag I left on the white marble, and realize I'm stalling. That I feel nervousness bubbling inside, just barely under the surface.

I wonder if and when you'll stop having this kind of effects on me. I hope never.

And I wonder if your impatience is growing on the other side of the door. The desire and want were so honest and apparent in your eyes when we parted; I hope you'll never stop reacting to me like that...

I hope having a child won't change that…

Although I suppose I should've thought about that earlier…

To distract myself from my nervousness and most likely baseless concerns, I begin humming whatever tune that pops into my head. Meanwhile, I look through the amenities the hotel provided, and I remember the expression on your face when you caught me dining with Trevor, before you realized he was my brother.

Your discomfort, your unwillingness to meet my eyes, even how your glances avoided the general area of my chest, those signs of attraction I see so clearly now.

With a smile, I turn on the curling iron, and withdraw make up from my bag…

I'm putting the finishing touch on my face when I hear your voice calling for me. The slight whiney undertone tells me you're getting impatient. I smile at the mirror and proceed to curl my hair, fixing it around my face.

Quickly, I slide off the rest of my clothing and slip on the lingerie, making sure the ribbons and folds are draping in ways that flatter my figure most. Then, for the final touch, I dab on your favorite perfume.

Before I turn the door handle, I check my reflection one last time.

Sitting on the bed, propped up with pillows, you have your hands clasped behind your head. You smile, your eyes sweeping across my body.

"What do you think?" I ask, wondering if you notice the tremor in my voice. Like I notice yours when you bring your arms forward and sit up and reassure me of my beauty. Unconsciously, you lick your lips.

I smile, and carefully join you in bed. Leaning in, I trace the tip of my tongue along where yours had been just now.

You pull back when I wind my fingers in your hair, to move in for a deeper kiss.

So I stop, and wait…

1628 Beautiful

You walk across the room, intent on crossing it in as few steps as possible. Sometimes, I like it that my gaze makes you blush, and then I know that I'm having some kind of effect on you at least.

You crawl onto the bed, slowly, keeping your body straight. You smile at me when you lean over me and kiss me deeply.

I reach for you, but stop myself. The whole point was to see you like this, not to rip these clothes off of you.

"You're beautiful." I whisper, and you look away, suddenly fighting another bout of shyness.

You pull your legs up under yourself. "You keep saying that."

"I mean it."

You smile at me and lean in, giving me a quick kiss, but not saying anything back. You look at the bed spread for a second, your hand resting in mine while you stare ahead.

I sit up and really look at you. "Stand up for me," I ask, taking your hand and pulling you off the bed.

You stand, unwillingly, and stare at the floor.

"Why are you shy?" I laugh, kissing your neck. You lean your head to the side to give me better access, and I wrap my arms around your waist.

"I don't know," you say, blushing a deeper red.

"I've seen you in less." I whisper.

"I know."

"And you're fucking hot like this." I whisper.

Instead of saying anything back, you smile and wrap your arms around my shoulders. "You're wearing too many clothes," you complain, as you slide my t-shirt over my head.

"I am?" I ask pretending innocence, but loving the way our skin touches, the lace from your lingerie teasing my skin.

"Mmhmm…" you mumble, as you kiss my neck.

"Thanks," I whisper.

"For what?" You kiss my collar bone.

"Loving me. Wearing this. Everything." I sigh, floating in your arms.


"I do love you," I whisper, my lips gliding down the soft skin of your throat.

You moan your pleasure in reply.

Suddenly, I feel my breath catching, my heart hammering in my chest.

I want you.

I want to feel our naked skin sliding together.

Your hands, your mouth doing delightful things to me.

My name coming in gasps as I take you to the same wonderful place.

"I want you," I mumble, before catching your lips in anther kiss. Your hunger matches mine as we breathe each other's air. Quickly, my fingers find your belt, and I pull it loose. When I reach the fly of your jeans, I growl.


"Too many clothes," I complain, tugging at the buttons, which seem to be growing to match my frustration.

You laugh, and push my hand away. "I'll get 'em," you say.

My resignation filters into a moan when our lips touch again, when our tongues twine together. When your fingers find their way into my hair this time, I can barely contain my want.

"Alex," you gasp, laughing again as I push at your pants.


"Wait," you say, as I lean into you.

"For what?" I ask, while we tumble into bed.

"Wait," you repeat, your lips curling slowly into a smile. "Now you're wearing too many clothes."

"Fine." I toss my hair back, and reach for the ties.

Gently, you lay your hand over mine. "I wanna see you."

"See me? As in?"

You nod. "You're fucking hot," you say. Your touch, your gaze, your smile, they burn my skin.

I take a deep breath, and ease back, until I'm straddling your hips. Your smile deepens as my hands trail from your sides towards my thighs…

1630 Whimper

I watch as you stretch out in front of me, your legs wrapped to my sides. You flip your hair up on the pillow and look at me expectantly, while I look at you. Your hands come to your sides and reach for mine, which I give you.

I gently run my finger over your skin and watch as your body responds to me. Your eyes flutter closed, you bite your lip. I let my fingers run trails down your thighs, and I smile as you take a deep breath and hold it in.

"You're beautiful." I tell you, and watch as you blush.

"Why do you keep saying that?" You ask. Your head turning away from me.

"Because it's true." I smile.

"You're embarrassing me." You whisper.

"Why? Because I think you're attractive?"

"Yeah," you smile up at me. "You're just looking at me."

"I've never been as turned on by anyone else, Alex."

"Yeah, right." You smile at me, coyly.

"You want to bet?" I ask, as I lean over you.

"I think you're just saying that because you want to get lucky."

"I do want to get lucky." I laugh. "What do you think the chances of that happening are?"

"Pretty good." You giggle, as you reach up and kiss me.

"You sure?"

"Uh huh," you whisper as you reach for my pants again, pulling at them.

I take your hands and pull them away. "Patience is a virtue," I whisper while you moan and whine. "I'm not kidding you, Alex."

"I know." You reach up and try to touch me.

"I want you," I mumble.

"Take me," you whisper. I kiss you gently on the skin not covered by the black lace. You whimper while I tease kisses on your skin.

"I intend to," I whisper to you.

1631 TEASE

"Is this payback?" I half gasp, half whimper in frustration.

"For?" You lean in, touching my skin with your lips.

"Keeping you waiting earlier?"

You laugh. "Would I do that?"


"But that was worth the wait. You look… hot," you emphasize, your eyes ravenous.

I arch to present my flesh, to avoid looking at you. "You keep saying that."

"That's because it's true," you say, with a smile in your voice.

Gently, you trace the tip of your finger along my nose, my lips. I close my eyes, and touch your finger with my tongue. I can barely catch my breath when you pull away, and bend down for a kiss.

Involuntarily, my hands slide up your sides, and from around your back to your hair. You let me wrap my legs around you, let me pull you into me.

You kiss me gently, slowly, deeply. I can tell you're holding back, taking your time, pacing yourself. Part of me wants to scream. I don't want you to hold back, don't want to wait. I want to feel the full force of your hunger, want you to find me so irresistible that you must have me, now…

Then you pull back, just enough to whisper, "Love you, Allie."

And I have to smile. "Love you, too."

Then you fall into my mouth again, a gentle passion that belies your hunger as your hands roam over my skin, sliding across and pushing up the soft material of the lingerie, and smoothing it down again.

"Please?" I beg.

"I want you," you breathe your reply.

"Then take me," I ask again, arching up to you, clawing at the waistband of your pants.

You take my hands, and laugh. "You're giving me a wedgie."

"And you're being frustrating."

"Am I?" You smile, feigning innocence. "I just want you hot for me. Are you hot for me, Alex?"

"Oh, god," I moan. Am I ever.

You smile. Your kisses muffle my whimper as you press your denim clad thigh between my legs…

1632 Just Out of Reach

I slip my thigh between yours and you press into it, hard. Your eyes flutter, and I know how turned on you are. And I'm determined to tease you, determined to make this last for us. You slide your body against the bed to press yourself into me, but I slide away from you, just out of reach.

You close your eyes and moan your disapproval.

"Do you want me?" I whisper.

"Mmmm…" you whisper back, moaning as I slide into you again, giving you the pressure you want, but then pulling away again.

"That's not an answer," I tell you, taking your hands which are again desperately grabbing for me and holding them teasingly over your head. "That's not even a whole word."

You open your eyes and look into mine. "Yes, I want you." You tell me, as clearly as you can manage. I feel you pulling your hands from mine, but I straddle you and hold them still.

"How badly?" I ask you.

"Tease." You whimper.

"It's not teasing if I intend to do something about it." I smile.


"How badly?" I ask you again.

This time you don't answer, and shift your body again towards my thigh.

"No, you don't," I mutter, as I pull my thigh from between your legs and nestle my head into your neck. I kiss you, pulling at your skin, teasing you.

"Livvy," your voice slurs as you close your eyes again.

"Hmm?" I ask you, kissing you on top of your lace covered nipple, teasing it to a tight point.


"Please what?" I ask, taking the other into my mouth.

"Please fuck me."

"You kiss your mother with that mouth?" I tease you.

"Baby…" you whimper while I hold myself over you and tease you with kisses until you nearly scream…


"Liv…. baby… please…" I whimper.

You don't say a word, but continue to kiss me, to mercilessly tease me. You take my breasts in your hands, your mouth pulling gently at my nipple, flicking your tongue through the lace, then sucking harder until my moan fills the room.

Then you stop.

"Liv!" I protest, reaching out, trying to bring your head back, anything. I want you. Need you.

With a light chuckle, you capture my hands, and raise them over my head, your body sliding against mine, hovering over mine. Then I realize…

My next move takes you by surprise. With a deep breath, I push myself lower on the bed. At the same time, I reach up with my mouth, and I'm rewarded with a gasp of my name.

Arching up, I latch onto you hungrily, rubbing my tongue over your naked breasts, sucking at your nipples, one then the other, then back again. The beads of sweat building on your skin, your increasingly ragged breathing, they drive me into a deeper frenzy.

"Baby," I gasp, thrashing lightly against you, reminding you that you still hold my wrists captive. "Let me," I exhale around your nipple. "I want…"

Without warning, you pull away. With a deep breath, you regain control. "What do you want?" You ask huskily.

My temper flares. "I want…" I say, a fury of passion, angry at you, at myself, at the situation. Then my eyes focus on your smile. "I want," I sigh. What do I want? "You."

"And I want you."

"God." I close my eyes in frustration.

Then I feel your breath, your lips tickling my cheek. You let go of my hands, and brush my hair away from my face. "Look at me."

I yield to your whispered demand, to see you still smiling. "I love you," you say.

"I love you," I whisper back, something in the intensity of your gaze catches me off guard. What are you thinking? I wonder. Before I can ask, you ease your body over mine, and take my face in your hands. And you kiss me, softly, deeply, full of tenderness, your passion just barely under the surface.

Once again, I let go, and drown myself in your kisses…

1634 Why?

We make love to each other for hours. Touching, tasting, tempting and teasing each other into a blurry state of frenzied passion, we keep going, moving, touching, tasting, until we collapse.

You fall on top of me, still gasping for air, still shaking from your last orgasm.

"God," you gasp, as you crawl next to me, nuzzling into my arms.

"Yes baby?" I whisper, kissing your forehead.

You crawl into me, warm. You brush your hair back from your face. "That was…"

"Amazing?" I finish for you.

"Yeah." You moan.

"Yeah." I smile.

"You're so cocky," you smile, laughing.

"That's because I know I'm good."

"You are." You smile, and squeeze me tight.

"You're not so bad yourself." I supply.

"I try.' You giggle.

You snuggle into me, and silence fills the room, as we both let our breathing calm to a regular pace. My heart stops racing, and I'm filled with a happy warmth that radiates through my whole body.

I know you well enough to know that you're almost asleep. You stretch against me, and whimper quietly.

"Allie?" I ask.


"You sleeping?"

"No," is the sleepy response.

"Why do you love me?" I ask you quietly, and wait for your response…

1635 WHY

"Allie!" You poke me in the ribs.

"What? What?" I jerk. "I'm awake."

"You fell asleep," you accuse.

"I'm sorry, Baby." I yawn, and stretch my body against yours. "You were too good."


"Mmmm?" I reply, snuggling closer, letting your breasts pillow my head.

"I asked you a question."

"Oh, right. I do love you."

"But why?"


"Because why?"

"God, Liv." Now it's my turn to whine. "Don't you know? I thought we went through this…"

"Yes, but…"

"Don't tell me after everything we've done, you're suddenly feeling insecure."

"No, but… well, not really…"

Your answer makes me realize there's something behind your question. "What's wrong, Baby?" I ask, leaning up to look at your face.

"Nothing." You shrug. "Just tell me."

"Okay," I sigh, and lay my head down on your chest. "I love you because you're a wonderful person, and a beautiful woman."

"What else?"

"You're a great cop. You care about other people. You care about me. You take very good care of me."


"Because you're the love of my life?"

"But why?"

"Because you are? I'm not sure I can fully explain it." I squeeze you tight. "I just love you. When I'm with you, I feel happy, I feel content, I feel… like I'm whole, like I've found the love of my life," I repeat with a smile…

1636 Heard

"That's not a good answer," I complain. You're not being as serious about my question as I am. I don't know why I want an explanation—a good explanation for the reasons you love me, but suddenly I do.

"What do you want me to say?" You ask. "I love you because of who you are."

"But what about me?" I ask. "Why not Elliot? Or Fin? Or some other random woman or man?" I ask, trying to make it more specific, trying to make it easier for you answer.

"Well, because you're you." You say exasperated.

I sigh. "That's not an answer."

"I don't know, okay. You're my soul mate. You and I go together. We're like peanut butter and jelly. We just go together. We just do."

"Fine." I sigh, realizing that I don't even know what I want myself to say.

"What's wrong?" You ask.

"Nothing," I sigh again, this time, you prop yourself up on your elbow and really look at me.

"What's wrong?" You ask again.

"I don't know, I feel, I guess, I guess I wonder what you see when you look at me."

"What do you mean?"

"Well you know, I wonder why you're attracted to me. I mean, what about me you like."

"I like all of you, silly." You giggle, and kiss me gently.

"Yeah ,but that's not really an answer."

"Well what do you like about me?" You ask.

"All of you?" I shrug.

"See, it's not such an easy question."

"I guess not." I smile.

"I guess what's important is not why I love you, but that I do. I love you more every day and every minute, and I'm glad that I get to spend the rest of my life with you." You say.

"I think that's what I wanted to hear," I smile.


I burrow into your shoulder and squeeze my arms and legs around you, holding you tight.

"Alex!" You laugh, trying to push me off.

"I don't wanna!" I whine.

"But we have to."


"Because we've got jobs?"

"We can quit."

"Yes, and you've got court tomorrow."

"Why must you remind me?"

You laugh again, and nudge me softly. "Let's get up."

I shift to lie on top of you. "Why is it always so hard?"

"Sweetie," you coax, kissing me on the top of my head.

"I don't wanna go back."

"But we have to."

"You keep saying that."

"But it's true."

"I'm going to miss you tomorrow."

You bend to tilt my head up, and catch my lips in a light kiss. "I'm gonna miss you, too."

"You're going to call me?"

"Every chance I get. At least until El throws my phone into the river."

I glare at the clock wishing it'd shrink back in fear. No such luck. "I hate this," I grumble, reluctant to get up and out of bed.

"I know."

I narrow my eyes at your amused grin, and I frown.


"Why do you look so happy?" You grouse. "You want this to end?"

"Of course not," I defend.

"You're certainly in a hurry to get out of here."

"We have to go home, baby."

"You don't have to seem so happy about it."

"I'm not…" I start to defend myself. "I don't know, Alex. We had a great weekend, I'm here with you, yeah, it's over, but think of the memories." I say with more than a smirk on my face.

"That look," You laugh.

"What?" I ask, feigning innocence.

"You just look like you've been having sex all weekend."

"And that's not true?"

"It is." You laugh, "But you don't have to look like that."

"I'll try to do better." I smile. "I can't help that I'm full of memories."

You frown at me. "We could stay and make more memories." You offer.

"I don't think it works like that sweetie. Besides, we can come back if you really like this."

"It was really nice," You smile.

"I'm glad you liked it, sweetie," I mumble.

"I really did." You say, walking across the room and sliding into my arms, giving me a squeeze.

"We should do it more often."

"We should." I smile. "Do you think… think it worked this time?" You ask, quietly, sliding you hand over my stomach.

"Well, I guess we'll see, won't we," I smile back at you.

1639 WAIT

"It's been a week," I remind you.

"I know, Sweetie," you say, smiling at me from across the dinner table.

"Don't you think we should... take the test?"

"Let's not."

I nearly spray you with my water. "What?" I cough.

"Are you okay?" You reach over, all concerned.

"Yes, yes," I wheeze. "I'm fine. The test?"

"I think we should skip it," you say, then go back to your food.

"Wait." I reach over to stop your hand. "What do you mean by 'skip it'?"

"Exactly what I said. Let's forget the test."

"But yesterday, you said we would today."

"Well, I changed my mind."

"You can't just change your mind. Not like that!"

"Why not?"

"What if you're… what if it worked?"

"Then we'll find out when I'm late."

"Okay." I push my glasses up my nose. "Let me get this straight: you don't want to take the test."

"That's right, sweetie," you answer with a patient smile.

I shake my head. "But the last two times, you couldn't, didn't want to wait."

"I know. I decided to take your advice, and not worry about it this time."

"My advice?"

"Yes? Remember? At the hotel? You said…"

"Yes, I remember what I said." I rest my cheek in my hand. "Just didn't expect you to listen… Are you sure?" I ask this time with a smile.

1640 Wait and See

I wish I could explain what changed. Being in that hotel room with you, the way we did the insemination. It was far more natural. We weren't so scared, so nervous. And you know, it felt good for once to be relaxed. You still made me lay around with my legs over my head, but you kissed me, and straddled my hips while we waited, instead of you sitting next to me with a watch, waiting for the seconds to pass until I could move.

I'm not sure at all, about wanting to wait. I want to know if there's a baby growing inside me. Maybe I'm afraid to be disappointed again, but something inside me tells me to wait. I want to be more natural. More like it would be if…

I smile at you, trying to be as positive and reassuring as I possibly can. "I think we should wait."

"I just, I mean, if that's what you want." You stutter. "I just can't believe you changed your mind…" You trail off into nothingness.

"It is what I want." I say, biting down on the potato wedge that was stuck to my fork.

"What made you change your mind?" You ask, picking you fork back off from when you unceremoniously dropped it a second ago and begin pushing the food around your plate.

"I don't know." I shrug.

"Oh." You say, looking down. I try to stare at you and judge whether you're upset or just thinking. When I decide that I can't really tell, I decide to explain more.

"I just think we're being a little too clinical about the whole thing."

"Well, we kind of have to be, baby." You say. "I can't, well, I can't get you pregnant directly."

"Yeah, we do, but what did people do before ovulation kits and super early detection tests. I just think they're adding more stress to something that's supposed to be natural and beautiful."

You smile at me, "I suppose."

"And I mean, what difference does it make? If I'm pregnant, I'll be pregnant in two weeks."

"That's true too."

"I'm already taking all the vitamins," I add, though that's just something that I can easily seal the deal. "So let's just wait and see."


"Is anything wrong, counselor?"

"No." I try not to glare at my boss. "Why?"

"You seem a little out of sorts."

"Really?" I feign innocence and shrug.

"Today's was a tough one."

"Yeah, it was."

"But you won though. That was good. We needed that."

"Yeah." I nod. Yep, another notch for Branch's reelection. Whoopee.

"Are you sure you're all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine, Liz," I say, sounding a little more cross than I intended.

"How are things at home?"

"Things are great!" I say with a smile. Yep, everything's peachy. Everything except that you're insisting on waiting, and not taking the pregnancy test. What was I thinking making that suggestion? This has got to be the longest two weeks of my life. Okay, maybe not the longest, longest, but… Arrrrgh!


I gather my focus. "Yes, Liz?"

"I just asked if you and your detective had any plans for the weekend."

"Oh, I'm sorry." I shake my head. "I'm not sure what's gotten… um… I'm not sure…"

"That's all right." She sighs. "Why don't you just call it the day?"

"But I thought you want to discuss the Bartolli case?"

"It's all right. It can wait until Monday."

As Donnelly walks me towards the door, I look at her, to try to see if she's angry with me for being so spacey. If she is, it's not showing on her face.

"I hope you fix whatever's bothering you," she says.

I just smile and head down the corridor…

1642 Absent

"Hey," you say, as I slide the door open to your office and slip into the seat that I always occupy when I'm waiting for you to get ready to go. You look up at me, for a second, and smile, but then put your head back into your work.

"Whatcha doing?" I ask, leaning over your desk.

"Last file." You say, looking at me with a smile.

Something about your smile sets me on guard. "What?" I ask you.

"Nothing." You say, looking back down, and shaking your head.

"Alex?" I ask, and you look back up.

"Hmmm?" You ask.

"You okay?" I ask you.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just, I want to finish this." You say looking back down into your paperwork. "It's almost done and then I won't have to take this home." You explain, as you flip another page and sign your name.

"Okay." I sigh.

"How was work?" You ask me absently.


"Anything exciting happen?" You ask, still not paying any attention to me.

"I started."

"Started what?"

"My period, Alex. I started."

You look at me as the words seep into your consciousness.

"Are you…"

"Yeah, I'm sure." I sigh. "It didn't work. I'm not pregnant."


You started? I slowly let your words soak in. "Oh."

"I'm sorry, Alex," you say, sinking deeper into your seat.

"Are you…"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"But you're…"

"Early. Yes, I know."


I was so hoping you'd be pregnant. The way we did it this time, it felt… good, felt right… Still it didn't work. Guess third time wasn't the charm…

When I don't respond, you repeat yourself, "I'm really sorry, Sweetie."

Taking a deep breath, I try to wipe the disappointment off my face, and smile. "There's no need for you to apologize."

"I don't know what's wrong with me."

"There's nothing wrong with you, Sweetie." I sigh, and stand up, and walk around to you. "We'll just have to keep trying."

You sigh, bending over to rest your elbows on your knees and hold your head in your hands.

"Maybe it'll work next time."

Whipping your head up, you nearly yell. "And just how many more next time, Alex?"

Your sudden temper takes me aback. "I, I don't know. As many as it takes? The guy's an active donor."

"There are limits, Alex. Quotas. Number of children he can father."

"I know, Liv."

"What if he reaches the quota in the meantime?"

Sighing, I push your shoulders back, to make a space for me in your lap. For a second, you look at me like you're going to throw me off, but then you shifted to make room, and wrap your arms around my waist. I kiss you gently on your nose. "So we'll find another donor, when and if that happens. But I'm sure we won't get to that point."

"Yeah, right. At this rate we're going?"

"We've only done it thrice, Baby. And maybe the timing was not exactly right this last time, since you're early."

"Just a few days," you remind me.

"Okay. My parents tried for almost a year before I finally came along… And they didn't have all the gadgets back then to make it easier." Hoping to lighten your mood, I add with a smile and an exaggerated shudder. "Can you imagine? My parents going at it like, like… weasels?"

1644 And Again...

"I think it's screwing like rabbits," I say, with a half hearted smile.


"I think the phrase is, screwing like rabbits, honey." I say.

"Thanks, that doesn't make it better." You wrinkle your nose. "My mom just doesn't have sex."

"We've already had that conversation Alex."

"And we're not having it again." You smile at me.

"At the rate we're going, your mother will have another kid before we do." I sigh.

"That's not true." You say, reaching out to put your hand on my shoulder.

"It's a joke, Alex. Relax."


"It's okay. We'll try again." I say with a forced smile. "It'll happen when it happens."

"I know." You sigh.

"I wish it would happen now, too. I'm sorry that I can't give that to you."

"Baby, I'm glad for what I have with you. You don't have to be sorry. It's, it's not exactly a perfect science. And if this never works out…that'll be okay."

"You could try." I say, looking up at you.

"You could still get pregnant, baby. We have to give this time."

"Okay." I say, forcing a smile.

"So we'll do it again?"

"Of course."

"I'm so glad," you say, leaning in and kissing me on the lips.


After you straightened your legs, I run my fingers through your hair, and ask, "Are you okay?"

You shift to lay on your side, to face me. "Yeah?"

"Are you sure?"


"You sure there's nothing wrong?"


"'No' there's nothing wrong, or 'no' you're not sure?"

"No, there's nothing wrong, Alex. Why do you keep asking?"

I lean back into the bed and stare up at the ceiling. "Because…"


"Did I, did I make you come?"

"Of course, Sweetie, you couldn't tell?"

I shrug.

"What? You think I was faking it?" You demand. When I don't reply, you pull at my shoulders until I turn to face you again. "Alex? Sweetie?"

"I don't know," I sigh.

"What's wrong?"

"It just, it seemed different."

"What does?"

"Our lovemaking? I'm not sure I can explain it, or put a finger on it."

You take my hand in yours. "It's always different when we have to, you know, when I'm supposed to be ovulating."

"Yeah, but this time… it just wasn't the same. It felt different."

You shrug. "I'm not sure what to say."

"I'm not sure either," I concede.

"Well, I'm gonna go clean up," you announce and press a kiss to my forehead. You're out of bed before I can say anything. After you closed the bathroom door, I turn onto my back again, and sigh…

1646 Quiet

I close the door to the bathroom, relieved to be out of your sight at last.

Every second, you stare at me, and ask me if I'm okay.

You've asked me if I'm okay at least fifty times today, and a hundred yesterday. You treat me like I'm suddenly fragile and not the same person you always have known.

I'm stronger than that, I'm stronger than constantly needing to be reassured by you that you still love me.

I know you still love me

And baby… I hate lying to you.

I can't get turned on like this, not when every attempt becomes a failure. Another thing to chalk up to bad luck and mysterious breeding.

You want to know why our lovemaking is different? Can you really not figure it out for yourself?

It seems so apparent to me.

I'll tell you why.

Because, it's become a chore.

It's not something spontaneous we do because of our love, but something we schedule. It's on the calendar, my ovulation dates with tiny stars around them for the best dates for us to make love for optimum fertilization.

Instead of wanting you, instead of feeling the primal urge building inside of me, we force ourselves into bed on a schedule.

It's hard to be ready on a schedule…

With a deep sigh, I look in the mirror and brush the stray strands of hair out of my face. I take a warm washcloth and run it over my face and look at myself in the mirror.

My reflection is sad…

Determined not to let you see, I smile, and wander back out into the bedroom and onto the bed next to you.

You give me a forced smile… neither of us talking…

1647 MAYBE

I hear the bathroom door opening, and I turn my head, to watch you walk back into the room with the cheesiest fakest grin plastered on your face.

Do you know how ridiculous you look?

Well, I'm sure I look as ridiculous right now, as I force myself to return your smile.

Neither of us wants to talk, that much is obvious.

Somehow something that was supposed to reaffirm our togetherness, to grow us as a family unit, is actually pulling us apart. Although neither of us would admit it out loud, I'm sure.

I miss the days when we weren't trying to make a baby, when our lovemaking was spontaneous. Somehow even when you aren't ovulating, when we make love now, I still think about it. I wonder if it's hanging over your head, too…

"What should we do?" I ask.

"What do you mean?"

Suppose I did ask an open-ended question. Probably just so I can change my mind about what I really want to ask. "What should we do now," I clarify. "It's kind of early for bed."

"I don't know. You wanna watch tv or something? That usually puts you to sleep."

I shrug. Not too long ago, our lovemaking would put me to sleep. But I don't say that. Instead, I just sigh, and snuggle closer to you.

"Then what would you like to do, Sweetie?"

"I don't know."


"No thanks. I'm sure we'll be playing this weekend."

"Oh, right. Dinner with mom."

"You don't always have to go, you know."

"That's okay. I love hanging out with your mom."

"Hanging out?" I shake my head. "I'm not sure my mom does that… Think she's going to ask…"

You cut me off before I broach the subject. "I'm sure she will."

"Do you think, Liv." I stop, wondering if there's another way. Is there? What are our alternatives? Real alternatives? I continue, "Do you think we should stop? After this time?"

I'd much rather have 'us' back than this, whatever 'this' is…

1648 Stop

"We can't stop," I say, defending this. Defending what we've dedicated the last eight months to. Eight times I've failed you. Eight times, even after our schedule love making and science experiment like sex, we've failed to conceive a baby.

We haven't even come close.

"You're not happy." You say quietly.

"No, you're not happy." I say, far more cruelly than I intend. I can hear the bitterness in my voice, a bitterness I've spend a lot of time trying to push out of my mind.

"What's that supposed to mean?" You ask.

"Exactly what it sounds like. You're not happy. I'm sorry I can't just get pregnant on the first try."

"Liv, I'm not saying…"

"I'm tired of you blaming me."

"I'm not…"

"You keep saying, hinting that we should stop. If you don't want this, you better decide."

"I do want this." You say, looking hurt.

"Then we have to keep trying."

"But Liv, I, I love you, and I miss you."

"So what do you want to do Alex?" I ask you.

"Maybe we should take a break, just for awhile."

"What if the next time is the one?"

"What if it's not?" You counter.

"Don't you want it to be?" I ask.

"Yeah, but, Liv, baby, I want you more."

1649 WANT

"What do you mean? You have me, I'm right here," you fire back.

I try not to react to the sting. "I mean I miss you, us, the way we were, before we started trying to have a baby."

"But you wanted a baby. And I'm trying to give you one."

"I know, Liv, and I appreciate that."

"Then why…"

I don't let you continue. If you do, I can't guarantee that I won't blow up at you, and right now, a fight is the last thing we need. So I kiss you.

I kiss you with all the longing and want and need that I can muster at this moment's notice.

I kiss you until I feel a semblance of the fire we used to have.

Until you moan a real moan, and roll us over.

I keep on kissing you until your hands now roam hungrily across my body.

Then, as much as I detest the idea, I push my hands against your shoulders, and stop you.

"What?" You yelp your frustration at me.

I kiss you gently this time, pulling you back in. "This. This is what I missed."

You press your lips together. For a moment, you look as if you're going to come back with a denial of sort. Then you sigh, and sag your head against my neck.

"I miss us, Liv."

"Me, too," you mumble.

"I'm really not blaming you…"

"I know…"

"And I really want a baby with you," I say. Before you can interrupt, I continue. "But if I had to choose between a baby and us…"

"But I don't want you to have to choose."

"I don't want to either. So let's just take a break, or do it differently or something. Let's screw the calendar and go back to the way we used to make love… the way we use to live our life?"

1650 Help

"How do we just do it differently?" I ask. "There's not much to what we're doing."

"We can just be more spontaneous." You shrug at me. "We can not spend so much time worrying about it."

"We've tried to be more spontaneous. And then we decided to be less spontaneous and more regular. And then we came up with a schedule of when we're supposed to make love and the times we aren't."

"We were just experimenting, trying to see what worked."

"Nothing works."

"Then we can keep trying," you say, sitting next to me and putting your head on my shoulder.

"Alex, you know as well as I do how much this costs."

"Baby, I'm not worried about that part."

"Well I am." I sigh. "Alex, I just…" I let myself flop backwards onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling. As I try to find the words, they die on my tongue.

"What?" You ask me.

"I want it to work."

"Maybe it will this time."

I try not to laugh at you. "Maybe it will. Maybe, but Alex. I want it to work now."

"I know," you sigh, as you turn on your side, propping your head up with your hand and looking into my eyes.

"I just don't understand."

"We could go back to the doctor," you suggest.

"Why you think we're doing it wrong?"

"Well, no, but maybe there's something else they can do to help us."

"Like what?" I ask skeptically.

"I don't know, but we can find out, can't we?"

Part 1651

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