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


"How's your morning?" Mom asks me as I sit down with her in the garden.

"Fine." I smile, nursing my cup of coffee.

"How long are you going to keep this up?"

For a moment there, I'm not sure what she's referring to. "Oh, this?" I raise my cup. She nods. "I don't know. At least for as long as I'm here."

"You're still going to cut down, right?" She asks me in such a way that if I answer no, I'd feel like such a hypocrite.

"Yeah. I guess so."

"Was she nervous about this morning?"

"No." I smile, thinking about the whole time I distracted you, and making you think we were going to be late. Still can't believe you fell for it. The oldest trick in the book for magicians, business execs... lawyers, keeping your audience focused on something else rather than the potentially most adverse. And you accused me of having only sex on the brain. Ha.

Mom looks at me for a long moment. Then she pats me on the knee. "That's good."

I just stare into the brown liquid, grateful she decided not to pursue that subject.

"How about you?"

"You mean am I nervous?" I clarify, stalling, pretending to think. Eventually, I have to answer, "I guess so."

"It's only natural." She smiles. "So what are you going to do for the rest of the morning?"

"Try to make this last?" I grin, raising my cup again. "Other than that, I'm not sure. Haven't given it much thought."

"Good, you can help me replant my herb garden."

Mom! I want to protest. But I don't. "Guess I deserve it," I make a face and smile. At least it's not the compost pile. "Can I finish this first?"

"Don't make me wait too long." She shakes her head and gets up from the bench. "I'll get started on gathering the seeds and supplies."

"Okay, Mom. I'll be right there." I say, sitting back and closing my eyes. Letting my thoughts wander to you in the main house, in the library, to what you might be telling your therapist...

Memories of us in the shower filter through, the wet of your skin against mine, how you moaned in my mouth and moved to my touch. And the intense delightful way you woke me up this morning; the joy I felt in your arms...

Whoa, Cabot! Stop right there!

I toss the lukewarm liquid back, chasing the images away in the process. Be careful, or you'll be the pot that calls the kettle black.

182. First Day

It's my first day here, the first day of your mother's program for success. I feel like a guinea pig, being studied by some scientist as the therapist your mother picked out for me, one of her team of experts, sits across from me staring at me. This is nerve wracking; anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Your mother's experts report to your mother.

"So what would you like to talk about?" she asks me, as she stares at me from the couch.

I don't know what to say. I've only done this at work, after a hard case, and then it's expected that we'll talk about whatever it is that we've seen. It's never an open question; an invitation to talk about anything I want. "I'm not sure." I mumble, suddenly finding the carpet incredibly interesting.

"Well, why don't we start by you telling me about yourself?"

"I'm a detective." I say.

"Sex crimes, right?"


"You have to apply to be on that unit, don't you?"


"That must be stressful; you must see horrible things."

"Yeah, it has its moments." I murmur, again making the carpet my focus.

An uncomfortable dead silence hangs in the air.

"You know, I don't report to the Cabot's." she says.

I look up at her, just for a second, knowing that the truth will be in her eyes.

"I just want you to know that anything you tell me, it's between us."

"I know," I say, even though I'm not sure.

"So why are we here?" she asks me.

I look at her for a moment. "Because I crashed a car," is all I say.

"That was traumatic for you?" She asks.

God I hate this game.


God. How does mom do it? Actually how do they do it, these little old ladies. Squatting in the garden all day, under the sun, digging up dirt. And it's not just once every other decade.

Argh. I feel like I'm covered with mud or something. It's psychological, I'm sure.

Memories of Trevor's mud pies didn't help.

Speaking of the jackass, I'm so glad he's gone back to the city. Don't think I can handle any more of him, at least not right now.

I think I need a bath, maybe afterwards my pores can breathe.

I look at the clock. One more hour before the end of your first session. An hour and a half before lunch. Yeah, I've got time.

I wonder how you're faring. As I sit on the edge of the tub, waiting for the water to fill, I ponder. I hope you like this therapist. Chances are you won't. Can't say I blame you really. I'd hate to have someone poke and prod into my psyche, trying to figure out why I am the way I am, and what makes me tick.

Still remember those stupid sessions mom made me go to after dad died. I didn't know why I had to sit there and tell the woman how I felt. What was the point? It's not like I was ten and didn't understand the concept of death.

Yeah, I'm sure you're just loving every single minute of it.

Well, at least this shrink seems more personable...

I turn off the water, and peel off my clothes, hanging them up on the door. Then I slip into the fragrant hot water, releasing a deep sigh as I lean back. Closing my eyes, I let my body relax into the weighlessness.

There's something almost embryonic in this still water, in the calm of room, of a house in the middle of nowhere...

My thoughts return to you, it's natural course, it seems. Didn't take long at all for me to get used to.

I like thinking about you. Like having you near me.

I could almost feel you right now, in the tub with me. Your arms, your warmth surrounding me.

I sink deeper into the water...

Your soft moist kisses flowing across my skin.

Your fingers your hands gliding over my body, teasing me to arousal.

The slippery wet of me.

The gentle heat of the water.

My fantasy of you...

184. Shrunk

Uncomfortable silence fills the room, as I stare into the carpet some more. I let myself stare into the deeply swirling colors, the fine texture of the rug.

She's asked me about everything, about my mom's alcohol, about my job in sex crimes, about the unfortunate circumstances of my conception. All I have to offer back is monosyllabic grunts, "yeah," "no", "I guess."

"Why are you here?" she asks me, and for a second I pull out of the carpet.

"What do you mean?" Is she kidding? Doesn't she know why I'm here?

"You don't seem to want to do this."

"I, um, I've just never…"

"Look, Olivia," she says, "I've known the Cabot family for years. I know how Mrs Cabot is. She can be overwhelming."

I nod, slowly.

"And I know she seems to be very interested in converting you to sobriety. But if you don't want to be here, there's nothing I can do for you."

"I just, I'm not sure. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing."

"There is no supposed to here. You're here because you have a problem; do you agree you have a problem?"

I nod again.

The silence pervades the room again.

"You can only get from this what you put in. This doesn't work unless you're honest with me and honest with yourself. There is no magic pill here. This is hard work."

"I don't know what to say."

"You only have to say what you want to."

"You keep saying that, I'm not good at this."

"Good at what?"

"Feelings and stuff."

"You would rather be numb?"

"How'd you?"

"You're not the only one."

"It's different. I saw what this did to my mom, and I swore I would never do this, ever. And now…"

"Now you find yourself doing the same things?"


"When'd you first start drinking?"

"I was 15 the first time; the first time I really got drunk. I wanted to know why my mom did it. I wanted to know what was so fucking great about it."

"Did you find out what that was?"

"No…I hated it. I hated the way it made me feel, and I couldn't understand why she'd pick that…"

"Over you?"


"But you did it again?"

"Not til I was older. In college, but that was social."

"How often?" she asks, making a notation on the pad in front of her.

"Every weekend."

"How about after you left?"

"I cut down…but every once in awhile, I'd want to not be in my head."

"How'd you feel afterwards?"

"Bad. Guilty. There's lots of stuff that I don't remember."

"Do you think it's affected your job?"

"I'd like to say no, I really would. But there've been times…I got drunk one night and slept with a co-worker. I know my partner worries about me sometimes, and our captain's made comments about it, but it's not like they've sat me down and had a full intervention or something."

"And with all that you never thought about treatment?"

"Not really, I didn't really think this was a problem."

"So what changed?"



"Yeah. I love her. She makes me want to do this. I mean, I have to do this for me, but when I don't care enough about myself…it's easier to do it for her."


Watching the clock, I dig through the closet in a hurry, and pull on a fresh change of clothing.

Ten more minutes, and you'll be done with your session!

I really didn't mean to fall asleep in there. Guess I'm more tired that I thought. Must be the stress, or the lack of real sleep. If I were smart, I should set up a schedule so it won't be so bad going back to work. Oh, but I'm on vacation.

And I have a feeling, with you, my days of getting up at the crack of dawn on the weekends are over... I feel a blush creeping on, and I ignore it.

Checking my reflection in the mirror, I make sure the shirt I'm wearing covers all the little marks you left on my skin. We need to have a talk about that... Or I need to go shopping for scarves when we go back to the city.

Looking at my watch again, I push the dirt covered clothes into the hamper. I practically run into the hallway closet. Slipping on my running shoes, and pulling on my jacket as I close the front door. Then I take off sprinting towards the main house.

I want to be there waiting for you when you leave the library.

I want to see how you are, want to make sure you make it through all right.

You need to know you're not in this alone. That I'm with you all the way.

God. Why am I so nervous?

I don't remember feeling this anxious and worried my very first time arguing before a judge. But I guess I sort of knew what I was doing. Trial advocacy and moot court prepared me for all that stuff. Court procedures are easy; they're fixed. For the most part, you know what to expect.

I wish I could say that about you.

I guess I'm afraid you're going to walk out deciding that you're through with therapy. No, I know I'm afraid.

And I need your reassurance.

Finally, I'm in front of the closed library door, with almost two minutes to spare. I bend over, pushing down on my knees to quickly catch my breath. Then I walk down the hall and slide onto the bench.

Soon, the door opens, and you come out alone.

I smile at you.

You smile back. Seemingly happy to see me. That's a good sign, I hope.

"Hey." I stand up as you approach.

"Hey," you say.

Forcing down the apprehension I feel, I ask. "How did it go?"

186. Break

"How'd it go?" you ask me as I run out of therapy and smack into you.

I smile at you; a genuine smile. "It went pretty well." I say.

I guess it really did go pretty well. After I stopped staring at the carpet, and started talking, it got better quickly. I can see how people end up in therapy for thirty years, it's kind of intense to have someone listening just to you, telling you that you're not alone.

"I'm so happy, I didn't think.." you say, as you take me into your arms and give me a hug. I feel like I'm being rewarded, to be greeted with you, like an eager puppy.

"You didn't think what?"

"Don't worry about it," you say, gently kissing my neck.

"What's for lunch?" I ask as the therapist catches my shoulder.

"I'll pick you up at three?" She asks.

I nod and smile as she waltzes past us and out the door.

"Where you going?" you ask me.

"To a meeting thing." I mumble. Go figure I'd be going to AA. Somewhere I swore I'd never go, no matter what.

"Oh." You say, with a slight look of disappointment.

"We have a few hours," I say with a devious grin, as I watch your smile grow again.

"And you accuse me of always being horny."

"Uh huh," I say as I kiss you. "You took another shower."

"I had to help mom in the garden."

I giggle in spite of myself.

"It's not funny," you say, as you hit my shoulder.

"You deserve what you got."

"I was defending your honor," you say, dramatically.

"Is that what they call it these days?"

"Yep," you say, smiling, taking my hand in yours and leading me back to the guest house for our lunch break.


On our way out, we stopped by the kitchen and picked up our lunches, and told mom we'd be eating back at the house. I could tell she wasn't pleased that we wouldn't be joining her at the table, but one look at us, and she just dismissed us with a shake of her head.

I wonder what she saw…

Maybe I really shouldn't think too hard about that.

Smiling, giggling like a couple of school girls, we talk about nothings as we walk back to our little sanctuary.

You're definitely in a cheerful mood.

This is turning out much better than I ever dared hope for.

"Couch? Or table?" I ask you as I stop to get napkins.

You grin. "How'bout bed?"

"I thought you wanted lunch."

"I do." You say. "Then I want dessert."

"We're not eating in bed." I react automatically.

"Why not? Your mom's not here to mind our habits."

You're right. Why not? I giggle. "You know, Benson, you're a very bad influence."

"Give me a chance," you wag your eyebrows suggestively, "and I'll be even worse influence."

"Whatever." I tell you, and carry our food into the bedroom, with you following closely behind.

"So," I talk around a mouthful of roasted chicken I snagged from your plate. If I'm going to give up my manners, I might as well do it all the way. "Are you going to tell me?"

"Tell you what?"

I respond, using my little girl voice, "About your session?"

You chuckle lightly. "Aren't you going to find out from the therapist anyway?"

"Uh. No. Haven't you heard of privilege?"

"There you have it, Cabot."

"You're not going to tell me?" I whine. Why do I act like such a spoiled brat around you?

"Why do you wanna know?"

I stare at my sandwich and pout. "No reason."

"Uh-huh." You reach over. Tilting my chin up, you press a kiss to my lips.

"I suppose I want to know it went okay. That you're finding it helpful."

"Yes, Alex. It helped." A smile accompanies your reply.

Searching your eyes, I see that you're telling the truth. I guess that's all I really need to know. "Good. I'm glad." I lean forward, and give you a smacking kiss on your cheek.

Before I could pull away, you fingers are in my hair, your palm cupping the back of my head. Your tongue seeks entrance to my mouth as you take the sandwich from my hand, setting it aside.

I let myself open to your warmth, to your passionate embrace…

188. Eating In Bed

Again, I'm here with you. It's amazing that I fall so willingly into bed with you.

We're turning into sex crazed maniacs. We're going to kill ourselves. Your mother gave us a knowing glance as we turned down lunch with her. I could feel embarrassment lighting my cheeks then, but now I don't care. Now I'm here with your hands on me, and my hands on you.

You're entirely intoxicating; I want to be with you, full of you, near you, inside you every minute. I want to breathe you in and hold you in my heart. I want you to never leave my side so I never have to be without you.

I hold myself over you, kissing you, letting my body just tease against the top of yours. I kiss you and I can feel myself respond to you; to the idea of you and me together again. You lean up into my kiss; your arms wrap around me and pull me down into you.

I've had more sex over this weekend than I have in the last ten years. And yet, I can't wait to do it again.

You do realize that it's a miracle we're still able to walk.

Before I know what's happening, I feel your arms around my waist and you push me onto my side. You roll me onto my back and only then do I feel it. Your sandwich is now firmly squished under me.

I guess you were right. It's not a good idea to eat in bed.

You kiss me hard, but I can't stop the laughter bubbling from deep inside my chest. Before I know it, I can hardly breathe, and I can feel tears in my eyes.

"What?" you ask me.

I want to answer you, I want to, but I can't. The laughter is choking in my throat.

"What's so funny?" you ask, more annoyed.

Slowly, I roll over. I pull the sandwich out from under me and hand it to you.

"I told you we shouldn't eat in bed," you say, starting to laugh.

"Only each other," I say, as I kiss you.

189. CEDE

You raise up on your elbow, and wag your brows at me. "So."

"What?" I ask softly, testing my voice, still feeling the flush of orgasm on my skin.

"Think you've had enough to last you for the next coupla hours?"

"ME?!" I mock strangle you. "What about you? You started it!"

Thoughtfully, you poke me on my elbows with your fingers.

"What are you doing?"

"Do they hurt?" You ask. I see a grin tugging at your lips.

"No, why?"

"Just what I thought." You declare smuggly. "Your arms aren't broken, or twisted."

Takes me a few seconds to catch it. When I do, I pick up the pillow next to me, and swing it at your head and shoulder.

"Hey," you block my strikes easily, rip the pillow from my hands and throw it onto the floor.

I try to reach for it, but your weight on me stops me.

"No abusing the injured." You say and swipe your tongue across my chest, eliciting a moan from me. You grin wickedly, running the tip of your finger on my suddenly rock hard nipple. "See? You're quite willing. At least your body is."

"Shut. Up." I say, struggling internally and failing to push you away. Obviously, I no longer have any will of my own.

No. Not that I mind, I decide, as I pull you to me, and melt under your touch...

How are you able to do this while no one else can? To shatter my control?

To make me want to be a part of another person, to be a part of you, so badly?

"How'bout now?" You smirk again, as I slowly fall back to earth.

Gently, so carefully, you slide away from me. A gasp escapes my lips involuntarily; and instantly I miss your touch.

All right. This is getting a little ridiculous. What are we? Horny monkeys?

"Let's go take a shower, so you can get ready for your meeting," I tell you, and half push you away. Thank goodness you roll off of me the rest of the way. I ignore your Cheshire Cat grin, pick up our clothes, and walk ahead into the bathroom.

190. Safe

The warm heat of the shower beats over my back as you stand in my arms. I feel the wonderful softness of your body against mine, the way you feel when you're wrapped up in my arms. Steamy heat rises off our bodies, as we stand still smiling at each other. I wish I could explain to you how much I love you. I wish I could explain how much you mean. I wish I could explain how you make me want to be a better person.

Our shower this time is much different from our shower this morning, which was an urgent lusty encounter. This morning, it was about the heady feel of being naked in each other's arms.

This is slow and loving.

Is it possible that we finally have worn each other out?

I'm not sure that's possible; even against my will my body responds to you naked in my presence. I hope that feeling never stops. I smile as I look down at your body. You have beautiful creamy white skin which is punctuated now with little marks where I've kissed you too hard.

I smile as I trace over them with my fingers. Why is it that I like those marks a little too much? I feel like they mark you as mine; show the world that you've let me touch you.

Gently, I take the washcloth and cover it with soap, gently rubbing it over your back in slow loving circles. I slide down, soaping your arms and legs, feeling the way your body, covered with soap slides against mine.

You take it from my hand and do the same for me, covering me in the sweet smelling soap, sliding shampoo through my short hair, and turning me gently in the warm heat of the water letting the soap run down off my body.

I feel so relaxed.

I'm so safe here with you.

You smile at me, a loving smile as we both reluctantly step out of the warm heat of the shower. You take a towel and run it gently over my back, kissing me gently between my shoulder blades.

Reluctantly, we pull on our clothes, knowing that our day isn't quite over.

We go to the couch and snuggle into each others arms, together, safe from the world and engrossed in each other.


Sitting here with you, snuggled in the warm circle of your arms, I feel so... surrounded... protected... loved...

I also feel a little... overwhelmed. Maybe even besieged. It's a little scary. Actually, very scary, if I allow myself to think too hard about it. It's utterly frightening. To react rather than to act, to control. To have your body, your emotions behave against your volition. To let someone else hold your heart in their hands.

But sitting here, in your warmth, I also feel peace... and sweet contentment. Somehow, they make all the bad, all the apprehension, worthwhile.

I know I'm supposed to live one day at a time. I know I'm not supposed to hope too much, or plan too much. But I can almost see our future. Almost taste it, touch it. I can see myself growing old with you.

That, in itself, is a terrifying thought. Terrifying, yet comforting, and heartening...

I twist my head back, to look at you, to be greeted by your smile. The kind and gentle caring smile you have for the victims and their families who crossed your path. Except there's this sweetness, the way your smile shoots up from the corners of your lips to your eyes. The way your eyes filled with a depth of love. And I know this smile is different. This is for me.

For me.

It's a strange kind of rush really, to know that you need me. You, a strong wonderful cop who protects people from the worst criminals, need me. You never said it, not in so many words, but I can see it in your eyes. I can sense it, the way you touch me. It's a selfish thought, but I hope it'll never change. I hope you'll always need me, want me...

Love me.

Slowly, you touch your lips to mine. Equally slowly, you pull away.

I close my eyes again, and sigh.

"Whatcha thinking?" you ask softly, brushing your fingers against my cheek.

"Just how much I love you." I smile into your eyes, and lift my wrist to show you the time. 3 o'clock will be here soon; too soon. "And how much I'm going to miss you."

"You will?"

"Yeah." Unnecessarily, I add, "A lot."

"I'll miss you, too." You grin, pleased with my confession. "I'll be back before dinner."

"You sure?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"I don't know... You might decide you don't want to come back."

"Right. Like I have a choice."

"You do, Liv."

"No, I don't." You say, sealing my lips with yours, stealing my breath away.

192. AA

I never thought that I'd be this nervous. The whole car ride, I stare out the window, silent, watching the horizon pass by me. Each passing second, I feel myself getting closer and closer to something I'm more and more afraid of. I can feel my stomach doing flips, and I quickly run my fingers through my hair. I pull the loose strands back, pushing it out of my eyes.

I take a deep breath, in and out. I concentrate on making my muscles relax. Slowly, I slide my nervous fidgeting hands deep into my pockets.

I never thought I'd even care about this; that I would meet this like I met so many things in my life, with a numb apathy. I want to believe this doesn't matter.

I don't want to care.

I want to believe that I don't care.

But I have to care.

It's all your fault. I have to care for you, if not for me. I see the smile in your eyes when you see me; the way you look so happy. I know that I can make one stupid choice, a moment of weakness, and you'll leave me. And then I'll be back to being alone.

I'm not sure numb can feel as good as I feel right now.

I slide into the back of a crowded room, staring at the floor, trying not to be noticed. This looks like a social club. If I didn't know better, I would say exactly what this was. The room has the comfortable buzzing of a group of people happily chatting. A huge pot of coffee sits in a corner, surrounded by lots more people who seem contented to know each other.

I slink into a seat in the back. I stare at the wall. I stare at the others without getting caught.

One thing I've learned from being a cop is to spend time watching how others act before you jump in and act for yourself. From my back seat, I can see everyone in the room. Someone stands up and calls the group into order, and soon, these happy people are surrounding me, listening intently as one at a time a parade of people stand up and admit that they're alcoholics. I listen as they talk about how alcohol ruined their lives, and how god helped them make it better.

I wish that it were like this for me. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to stand up in front of strangers and explain to them why I do the things I do. I'm not sure I even know for myself. I'm not sure I want to know.

I go deep into myself, tuning out the insistent stories, and instead, I think solely about the number of minutes till I'm back in your arms.

193. ALONE

You've been gone for mere minutes, and I'm already feeling the emptiness, already missing you.

This is bad. When did I suddenly become so needy?

I can barely stand sitting in this bed. It suddenly seems so big. I guess a before dinner nap is out of the question.

For once, I wish mom were here, making me do this or that, even replanting her rose bushes or fixing the green house glass. Not that I know how to do any of that stuff, but I could learn. And I could be thinking about something else besides you.

Scrabble. I'll even take Scrabble. Too bad mom's at her book club. Sigh. If I could stand being the center of attention of a bunch of cackling busy bodies, I'd go. Just so I don't have to be alone.

I can barely stand to be alone with my own thoughts.

Is this why I've always had my hands in everything? Is this why I chose a job where I'm on call 24/7, where on any given day, there are enough opened files piled up on my desk to keep half a dozen people busy?

It never used to be like this, I remember enjoying my holidays. Wait, when was the last time I took a vacation?

Hm. Two years ago, if you considered going away for a CLE seminar vacation.

How come Abbie never complained?

Oh, right, she had an even crazier schedule. How did we ever manage?

I don't think being weekend lovers would work with you…

Oh, my god, if I'm not careful, I could happily slide down the slippery slope of codependency!

All right. I have a few hours before dinner, I'm alone. I should enjoy myself, do something I don't often do… Hm.

I could go dig through that box and see what Trevor really put in it. Hm. That's okay. Don't need to think about that right now.

Oh, I know!

Grabbing the remote, I plop down on the floor in front of the TV, and flip channels until I come upon the right one. I look around guiltily. Then, just to make sure this is between me and the four walls of the room, I get up, long enough to close all the curtains.

Now I'm ready for Court TV!

194. Remote

When the meeting ends, I'm more than ready to leave. I sneak out the back and stare out into the sunset.

I wonder what you're doing.

Before I know it, I'm pulling in front of your mom's house. Even with a limp, I'm in the door in a second.

I smile as you turn off the TV in a quick second, too fast. You're watching something secret. I love secrets.

"What were you watching?" I ask you, smiling.

"Nothing," you say, looking guilty.

"Oh come on, Alex."

"Nothing," You say again.

"I'm going to find out, so why don't you just tell me."

You smile and put the remote behind your back. "I'm not telling."

I limp over to the couch and smile. "Remote." I say grinning at you.

"No," you smile at me, holding it firmer behind your back.

"I'm stronger, Alex."

"I'm going to win," you say, sticking your tongue out at me.

I grab for the remote, and you press your back into the couch. Quickly, I lean into you tickling your sides. I'm relishing your laughter and the feeling of you squirming under me.

You are remarkably strong. Amazingly strong for being such a big girl.

Time for plan B. "Ow," I yell, grabbing my side.

"Oh God, are you okay?" you ask, suddenly alarmed.

I grab the remote out of your hand. "Sucker."

"You cheated," you yell, pouting at me.

"Yep," I smile, as I flick on the TV.


"Oh my god!" You squeal with laughter as the television flips on. "Court TV?"

I hug myself and pout. "Yeah? What about it?"

"Twelve-minute justice?" You mock. "I can't believe you're watching this crap!"

"Justice is justice!" I argue.

"Yeah, but it's Bar Soap."

"It's nothing like soap operas."

"Right, Cabot." You say, then an idea hits you. "Maybe you're addicted to your work!"

Hugging myself tighter, I maintain. "No, I'm not!"

"What is it? The adrenaline?" The cogs in your brain turn. "You drive like a maniac. You're addicted to caffeine…"

"Yeah, well," I don't wait for you to finish. "I'm working on that!"

"You're addicted to sex…"


"Really?" you smirk, and lean towards me.

I can feel the warmth of your smile, of you, of your breath tickling my skin. "What are you doing?" I say, wanting to back away from you.

"This." You respond, your lips near my lips.

I can only close my eyes and shudder a breath before your mouth covers mine, before your tongue pushes for entrance. Your palm cups my breast, your thumb brushes lightly over my nipple. Instantly, it tightens; and a moan escapes my throat.

Too soon, you pull away. "See?" You grin smugly. "I rest my case."

"Oh, just shut up." I pull you down with me, and sigh to your weight on me, the delicious feeling of your thighs against me as I wrap my legs around yours.

"Maybe it's just you." I murmur hoarsely, smiling, pushing your hair out of your eyes, when we part just enough to breathe. Your lips glisten with passion. Hunger storms your features. And I tease, "Are you complaining?"

For an answer, you bend forward again, resuming our kiss. You slide your ravenous hands under my shirt, seducing low moans and whimpers from me.

I rock against you, opening, aching for your touch. The need within me growing, raging, expanding, enveloping all my senses…

196. Back To Earth

You lean into me as your body spasms around my fingers; your body sliding in rhythm with mine. I press into you, in time with your movements, letting you ride your wave of pleasure as long as your body allows.

I kiss your neck gently as your gasping subsides. Your eyes close, and your smile grows.

"I can't believe we just did that."

"What?" I ask you.

"I can't believe I just let you take me on the couch."

I smile at you. "What's wrong with that? You let me take you in your bed. And then again in the shower, and you almost let me take you on your mom's washing machine."

"Shut up," you say, "I don't do things like that."

"Sure you do," I say, with a half grin, "You just did."

"Yeah but I never used to."

"Well, I guess I helped you loosen up a little."

"You're a bad influence."

"Oh sure, blame the cripple."

"This is getting insane." You mutter.

"What?" I ask you again.

"Do you have any idea how many times we've…been intimate today?"

"Quite a few. But I'm not complaining."

"I'm not complaining either."

"So what's the problem?" I ask you, gently kissing your collarbone.

"There isn't a problem. I'm just worried."

"'Bout what?" I ask you.

"How I'm ever going to get any work done with you in my life."

197. TEASE

I can't believe how easy it was to fall into bed with you. Bed, couch, shower, laundry room, almost in the public bathroom… "What's wrong with us?" I fret, with my face buried in my palms.

"There's nothing wrong with us." You say with an uncaring shrug, your lips dusting kisses on my skin.

Sucking in a ragged, stabling breath, I push you away. "How am I supposed to get any work done?"

"Hmm…" Your grin turns from amusement to suggestive to down right feral.

"What?" I complain, ignoring the sudden rush, and focusing on pacing my air intake.

"Oh, just thinking about the possibilities…"

Don't go there. I'm not going there. No.

When I remain silent, you continue, "Your desk, your couch, your walls… your desk, your chair, your closet… did I mention your desk?"

"Shut up!" I yell, and punch you.

"Ow." You grab your shoulder. "Now you're abusing the physically challenged."

"Yeah, well," I shake out my hand. "It hurt me more than it did you, I'm sure."

"So you like the idea of being taken on your desk, huh?"



I thought if I denied loud enough, you'd overlook the flush on my cheeks. Obviously, it didn't work. So I do the only thing I can – change the subject. "I'm going to turn into a prune."


"I need another shower. This makes four."

"Why do you need another shower?"

"We're not going to dinner with my mom smelling like the way we do."

"You mean sex?"


"You can't even say it, can you? At least not outside of court." You shake your head, smirking. "God, you're obsessive compulsive AND uptight."

"AM NOT!" I grab the nearest cushion and bop you on the head. At least I try.

Laughing, you take the pillow from me. "No torturing the wounded."

So I resort to name calling. "Jerk. I hate you."

"You don't mean that." You say, looking suddenly dejected.

"You ARE a jerk, Jerk."

"Sorry I teased you a little hard," you say, smiling crookedly, sniffing my neck. "But it was just a quickie. It's not like we had marathon sex."

"I don't smell like sex?"

"Nah." Grinning, you pull me to you, wrapping an arm around me. We sit in companionable silence for a while, then you ask, "Do I smell like you?"

"You can't possibly. Just shut up" I poke you lightly in your stomach. "So how was your meeting? Whatever it was about."

198. Doubt

"How was your meeting?" You ask me. I can see the hope in your beautiful blue eyes. I don't know what to tell you. I can feel the horrible pain in my chest knowing that I could easily disappoint you.

The endless possibilities of how to answer that question run through my head. Why do you want to talk about it anyway? I feel like that goes on in another world, another lifetime.

"It was okay," I mumble as I look into the rug. Why do they suddenly become so interesting when I want to avoid the question at hand?

"Just okay?" You ask, sliding against me.

"Yeah, it was fine."

"Do you think it's going to help?"

I sigh to myself. I wish you weren't so damn insistent. "I guess," I murmur.

"You don't sound so sure."

"It was okay," I mumble again.

"You don't sound so sure."

"It's just…it's hard for me."

You smile at me, a gentle warm and loving smile. You sit up, pressing me against you. "I know sweetie," you say.

"I just…I'm not sure about it."

"What do you mean?" You ask me.

"I'm just not sure. I don't know if I'll ever be able to be like that."

"Like what?"

"I'm not sure I can be that open about it. I mean, I'm not like them. I can't just talk about my life like that."

You pull my head to your shoulder. "I love you," you tell me. "I love you for trying."

I sigh. I hope that's enough.


I don't know if you realized we've never discussed what meeting you were going to. You spoke as if I already knew. I guess I suspected. Where else could you have gone besides AA or something like it.

I pull you towards me, and run my fingers through your hair, trying to convey how much I care about you. And how much your efforts mean to me. I tell you exactly.

You sigh in response.

Guess it's not enough. I sigh. Don't know if I'm making a big mistake or not, but maybe I should share with you some of the things that came to me this afternoon, when I was half watching court TV.

"Hey." I press a kiss to your forehead.

You look up at me warily. "Yeah?"

I release a slow breath, fighting the apprehension I feel. "I was thinking about you earlier…"


"I've been trying to figure out why you drink. Trying to understand. We both know I'm not a trained shrink. Sounds kind of funny, huh? Trained Shrink." I laugh lightly, a feeble attempt to divert my nervousness.

You give me a half smile, remaining silent.

Again I sigh. "Can I share my thoughts with you? And you can correct me if I'm wrong?"

You look away for a long moment. Now it's your turn to sigh. "I guess."

Pushing you up, but keeping my hand on you so that we never lose connection, I shift until we're sitting face to face. I cup your cheeks in my palms and kiss you softly on your lips. When I pull back, I smile, and tell you sincerely, "I can also keep my theories and thoughts to myself. We don't have to do this at all."

You try to avert my gaze. I can feel the weight of your head pressing towards the carpet.

Refusing to let go, I kiss you again, then pull back slightly. "I mean it. We don't have to talk if you don't want to."

"It's okay. Let's go ahead." You say, preparing for the firing squad.

"I've asking myself why I love you the way I love you…"

Now you look like a deer in the headlights.

So I reassure you. "Not because I have doubts about your love-worthiness, I don't. Not at all. You're VERY lovable."

Your smile lights up your face like a bright summer sun.

"So, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways," I share your smile. "I think you're a great cop. You have a strong sense of justice. If your worst enemy got raped, you'd be all over her case, trying to help her… Right?"

"Yeah. Of course!" For a second, you almost look insulted, then you softened, your smile returning.

Stroking your cheeks with my thumbs, I continue, "You face criminals with loaded guns, shooting at you, trying to hurt you. You chase people into crumbling buildings, to rescue the victims… You have incredible strength. Inner strength as well as muscle strength."

"You make me sound like Wonder Woman or Superman." Shyly, you protest.

"Ask anyone who knows you, they'll agree with me."

You don't believe me, I can tell.

"Which brings me to my observations, and my questions…"

Suddenly, you're waiting for the anvil to drop on your head.

"Other people see your strengths. Why can't you?" I touch my finger to your lips, letting you know I'm not through talking. "You have all these strengths to help others. In fact, you put so much into helping others, that when it comes to helping you, there's nothing left. You would save your enemies from the bad guys, yet somehow, you don't care about yourself enough to help you… Do you ever take the time to think about yourself? Your own problems? Your own needs? Do you just compartmentalize?"

You're silent. But the look on your face tells me I'm on the right path.

"Maybe at some point, your brain's so full off different boxes that you can't keep track. Maybe you find it so overwhelming, so out of control, you don't know how to handle it?" I ask you, smiling, resting my forehead against yours and not letting go. "Of course I'm not saying that's the only reason you drink. But that's one of the reasons I came up with this afternoon. What do you think? Be honest with me."

200. Understanding


I guess I sort of do.

I mean, I think I have to for my sanity. All cops do, we see too much. We know too much. We know what humans are capable of, and how can you walk around with that in your head all the time?

I need for my life and my work to be separate.

I need for the way I handle my world to stay separate. The pieces all nicely arranged. Everything kept in its special place.

I have to be careful what I expose to others. Even what I show you of myself is carefully guarded. I'm afraid if you could see what's in all those boxes that you could never love me the way I love you. If you saw some of the ugliness in my head, you would be as disgusted as I am.

I wish I could make you understand that I'm not sure why I do what I do. I'm not sure that there is an easy reason. I don't have one of the glib statements that are supposed to sum up the complexity of my behavior into one moment of my life. I can't even point at my mom and blame her. Not really, at least. Not if I don't want to lie to myself.

I wish there was an easy reason. I can tell by your hopeful expression that you want to understand, that you really desperately want to help me. I wish I could tell you, I wish I could pinpoint exactly what it was that makes me think the way I do.

Sometimes the pieces get messy too. Sometimes they hit too close to home. Sometimes, I need to forget what I saw.

Alcohol is easy.

Alcohol lets me forget.

I guess that's why I pick it.

It's easy to do. It's easy to get lost in the haze that surrounds my head when I'm drunk out of my mind. It's easy to not have to think about the choices. It's easy to just do what my body wants, and to not care about what the consequences are.

Of course, I always wake up the next morning full of consequences.

I wish I could help you understand.

I'm just not sure I can.

Part 201

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