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
401 WHERE ANGELS FEAR
Gathering all my strength, I turn to my brother, and push him towards the door. "Trevor, leave, now."
"Alex, we need to get you to the hospital " he tries to reason. It's interesting how he can sound so gentle one second, and so aggressive the next
What the hell's wrong with me? To be noticing things like that at a time like this.
I continue to put on a brave front, "Liv will take me, if necessary."
"Over my dead body," I hear him say.
You bark back at him. Somehow I can no longer focus on your arguments. I just want you to stop. "Both of you, please stop, just stop." You're giving me a damn headache. "Liv?" I call for you. Not sure why I choose you over my brother
Instantly, I feel your hands on me, your arms around me, and I feel safe.
And I'm so tired.
"How can you let her She chased you out of the safety of your " He starts again, his voice soft. Must be directed at me.
"Please, Trevor, it's not her fault." I try to again to reason. Oh, what's the use? "Please, just go home?"
"You're lucky I got there in time, Alex, who knows what the punk might have "
"He was just a kid, Trev."
"A kid who managed to beat you up, you should see yourself "
"One day, you're going to get hurt; she's going to hurt you so bad "
Maybe he's right. But right now, I don't want to hear it. I definitely don't feel it. "I appreciate your concern, Trevor. Just, just go."
"Don't say I didn't warn you, Alex," he says in a huff.
And I'm relieved when the door finally closes behind him. After all, he's my brother, he'll always have to love me Only wish I could be so certain about you.
"What happened Alex?" You ask.
"Robbery attempt." I try to smile, to make light of the situation. But my side really hurts. "I think I need to lie down."
"We need to get you to the hospital."
"No, Liv " Suddenly, I remember what you said. "Olivia, I'm fine, really. I just need, need to sleep it off. If you don't mind staying with me for the night, I'd really appreciate it. Then we can have our talk tomorrow."
Just let me rest my body before we break my heart
I watch as you limp into my arms, holding your breath carefully as I watch Trevor slam the door and leave. I let you lean into me, let you take some of my strength to make up for your sudden lack of it.
"He's sorry," You say, with an ironic smile.
"Yeah, sure he is." I mumble.
God I hate your brother, he's never done anything but hate me. Okay, so maybe he has reason to hate me, but what a pompous self righteous
"He doesn't mean " You let the sentiment die on your tongue. I know he loves you, I know he hates me. You don't have to explain, I already understand.
I help you limp to the couch, and I can hear the pain riddle through your breathing.
"Alex?" You sit down and I see you wincing. I look at you quickly. Your knees are bleeding and so are your hands, and I can tell by the way you're breathing that something happened to your ribs. Suddenly, I want to go out and find whoever did this to you and kill them. Kill them for hurting you, kill them for thinking they could touch you and get away with it.
"I'm really okay. I just need to "
"Alex, if our positions were reversed
"You would have kicked the kid's ass, busted him, and we'd be in the precinct booking him right now."
"That's not "
"Alex, what if you broke a rib and it punctures your lung and "
"If it gets worse, I promise, I'll tell you right away and we can go, but please "
I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Let me at least take care of the cuts." I say, slowly.
You nod quietly, and I run into the bathroom, grabbing handfuls of band-aids and hydrogen peroxide. I grab you some pajamas, determined to look at your ribs at least, even if you won't let me take you to the ER.
I sit in front of you on the couch, and gently dab at the open wounds on your legs. You shut your eyes and let me put carefully placed band-aids on your knees. Slowly, I sit you up, sliding your shirt over your head and trying not to wince at the tender skin that's already turning a deep black and blue.
"We should at least report "
"It's not worth it he didn't get anything and I didn't see his face."
"It's the principle." I complain, as you close you eyes drifting off to sleep and shutting me out
It's my own stupidity for going out there so late in the evening. I should have stayed in...
No, it's not even that. It's just bad luck. Plain and simple. Could have happened anywhere at anytime to anyone.
It's not her fault, Trevor, it's not her fault. I keep telling him, but he won't listen. It's not her fault, Trevor.
Why won't he listen?
Why can't he just accept you the way you are, why can't he accept that I love you?
It's not her fault, it really isn't... I keep repeating myself. Just accept it, please, Trev?
"Alex... Baby, Alex..." Somewhere in the midst of our argument, I hear your voice. "Alex?" It's getting louder, and I feel your hands on me, so gently, so timidly, shaking me...
"Huh?" I open my eyes.
"You were having a nightmare, Sweetie."
"So I was." I blink. It felt so real. "Was I making noises? I'm sorry I woke you up."
"You were just... groaning, and I, um, wasn't asleep."
"Why not? What time is it?" I raise to look; almost immediately my head hits the pillow again. Okay, maybe that wasn't such a good idea, to get up so quickly. "It's 3 o'clock in the morning, Liv..."
"How can you expect me to sleep, when you're hurt? I have to make sure you're okay. If you need to go to the hospital..."
"I'm fine, Liv. See?" I breathe deeply, to show you. Before I know, I'm coughing, and you're soothing my back. Ouch, that hurts. I try to shrink away from your touch. Thankfully, you get the hint, stop, and move away.
Finally, I can breath normally again. "I'm okay, really, just a tickle in my throat. It's a little dry." I say and look up. Even in the darkened room, I can see the pain in your eyes. "What?"
"Why did you move away?" You ask in your little girl voice. "I was just trying to help..."
"I'm sorry, it just hurt. The rubbing on the bruises." Wait, why am I apologizing for you hurting me? "Hey! What are you doing?" I squeeze my eyes shut when unexpectedly, the light comes on.
"Turn over, let me see," you insist, your hands on my shoulders.
"It's just bruises, really, I'm fine, Liv." I tell you, while testing out my muscles. The scrapes burn, other than that... I'll live. I move to get out of the couch.
"Whoa, Alex!" Immediately, your arms encircle my waist, stopping my progress. "Where are you going?"
"Fish. I forgot the fish."
I sit quietly next to you, listening to you, watching your face, desperate to detect even the slightest difference in the cadence of your breath. You start to moan and I reach out and shake you, your eyes open in the dark and I can see them flashing around the room. It's okay, I want to tell you, it's okay.
You sit up, trying to prove that you're okay, but your deep breath sends you off into a coughing fit, so I gently rub your back, letting my fingers roam over your delicate frame, hoping to support your back while you cough. You wince away from me, and I can't decide if it's from me hurting you or just from you not wanting me to touch you.
Even if you're hurt, we're not supposed to be speaking. I was walking out on you; you were walking out on me.
You try to bolt, telling me you forgot the fish.
You may have, but I didn't.
I smile at you, pulling you back to the couch. "I took care of it," I say to you.
"How did you?"
I point to your computer. "That's what the internet's for."
"Where is she?" you ask.
"Yeah." You say, and I swear I see you blushing.
"How do you know it's a she?" I ask you, staring across the room at the tank.
"She reminds me of
"You think I look like "
"No. I mean, there's one in your place too."
"Yeah, you said that "
"you say distantly. "I don't want to talk about that
"We have to talk about it sometime," I say slowly back.
"I know, but.."
"You're not ready it's okay, go back to sleep, we can talk about it in the morning."
"It is the morning," You say sleepily as you put your head back down on the pillow.
"I know " I say pulling me knees back to my chest and resuming my watch over you
"Mmm..." Slowly, I come into consciousness. Habitually, I stretch. Ow. The soreness reminds me of what happened last night.
Great, just great. I wonder if the scrapes are just on my hands and knees. Maybe people won't notice. The last thing I want, is to explain what happened to everybody and their mother...
I wonder what time it is, and where you are. Slowly, I open my eyes; they close quickly against the sun. The sun! Then the smell hits my nose. Pancake Surprise? What the...
"Liv?" I call for you while moving to climb out of the sofa. Ow, ow, ow, ow. Still, I'm determined to ignore the pain.
"Morning, Sleepyhead!" Cheerfully, you respond, sticking your head out of the kitchen. "Stay there, I'll be right out."
"What are you doing? Why didn't you wake me up?"
"Making breakfast, your favorite. And because you needed the sleep?"
"We're going to be so late for work." I say, finally managing to get up on my feet. I'm on my way to the bedroom, when you stop me, and drag me back to the couch. "What are you doing?"
"Trying to take care of you?" You say, nonchalantly, checking the band-aids on my knees.
I stop your hands. "In case you've forgotten, it's a weekday. I have court this morning, and Don's going to kill you."
"No, he's not. I called in. I also talked to Donnelly..."
"You did what?" I can't believe my ears.
"I talked to Donnelly, and told her what happened. She understands, and she says to tell you 'feel better'..."
Okay, I'm hearing every word you're saying. You can't possibly... "You talked to my boss."
"Yes? I didn't want her to wonder or get mad..."
"You talked to my boss." Suddenly, I'm consumed with anger. "Just who do you think you are? My mother?"
Taken aback by my tone, you jump. Still, you smile. "Your girlfriend?"
"My girlfriend. My girlfriend," I repeat myself. Out of fury? Frustration? What? All I know is, I want to wipe that gentle smile off your face. "You were going to walk out on me last night!"
"I'm sorry, I was angry, I was irrational..." You start.
I cut you off. "What changed, Olivia? Because I got hurt?"
"You were attacked."
"No, it was a failed robbery attempt!"
"Assaulted, battered, call it whatever you want," now you're yelling back. "Some guy beat you up, and I'm just trying to take care of you."
"By telling my boss? Your captain? Getting me the day off when I have a job to do, real victims to help?"
"You can't go to work looking like this, Alex!"
"Why? Afraid people might find out you chased me out of my apartment?" The question flies out of my mouth. As soon as it hits my ear, the anger fizzles. It's too late, the damage is done.
"So you blame me, too..." You whisper, the sorrow on your face cuts my heart.
"No, I'm sorry; I really didn't mean it. It wasn't your fault, it wasn't anyone's. Okay, maybe the society's... " I try unsuccessfully to put the smile back on your face.
"The way you said it, Alex..." You start to back away.
So, ignoring the pain, I hang onto your hands for dear life. "I just, I just let Trevor get to me. I'm really, really sorry."
Your silence speaks volumes.
Why do I keep doing this? Why am I picking fights with you? Suddenly, I feel drained; I feel so out of control. "I'm so sorry, Liv. I just, I don't know what's wrong with me," I confess, and lean my forehead against your shoulder...
"Look Alex," I say as you rest your head against my shoulder. "The reason I didn't, the reason I couldn't walk out last night, wasn't to make you feel trapped here. I didn't leave because I didn't want to give up on us."
"I didn't want to give up "
"Let me finish I knew you were right. I mean, maybe not in the way you went about it, but I understand why you would have doubts about "
"I'm sorry." You say too quickly, and I let you.
"You shouldn't be. That's something I have to accept, something that I'll have to learn to live with, that I've caused you to not trust me.
You look at me like you're surprised, surprised at what I said.
"What?" I ask you, looking at your blue eyes.
"Nothing. I just. I don't know, Liv. I don't know what's wrong with me. I want to believe you, I want to trust that you love me, but I'm worried that you'll one day wake up and change your mind." You say, desperately.
"Well, I don't think that's going to happen," I say, kissing you lightly on the forehead.
"You say that, but, I feel so out of control."
"Alex, I'm not a therapist I don't know how to fix that for you. I don't know how to make you feel safer and better, but, well, I know that going to therapy, it, it helped me."
"You think I need a shrink?"
"Don't think of it like that," I say. "Look, I was right there with you, thinking that the whole thing was stupid, a waste of time. And where was I? Drunk off my ass."
"So even though it's painful a lot of the time, and not a lot of fun, you'd agree it helped me, wouldn't you?"
"Yeah, but you had a real problem."
"So do you sweetie. You feel out of control and that's just how I felt. I just learned to self medicate, and I don't think you want to go down that road."
"So, think about it?" I ask you, waiting for your slow response
407 SHRINK ME
I look at you, and you look at me. The expression on your face is so hopeful, and the one on me, well, I can only imagine
You want me to go see a shrink? You want me to go see a shrink.
What's that saying now? There's no one as devout as the newly converted?
What can a shrink tell me that I don't already know?
That I feel out of control because I'm a control freak? That most people feel that way on any given day? That if I can't stand the DA's concern with appearance, I should get a new job? That I have unrealistic expectations on relationships because I'm permanently damaged by my father's early death? My mother's divorce? My grandfather's alcoholism?
Or better yet, maybe they'll tell me I'm the one with the real commitment issues. That I'm in love with a live one day at a time alcoholic because I don't have to pony up with the real guarantee. Just look at how quickly I ran away from Abbie when she came back and declared her undying love
Oh, but I can't help who I fall in love with right?
And I need to accept what I cannot change?
And my space issue. I'm sure I can list all the probable cause of that
But you look so hopeful, waiting for me to make up my mind. And really, how much can it hurt? I love the attention, right? There's nothing hugely iniquitous about having someone's undivided attention, listening to me rant, and telling me reassuring, supportive, rose-tinted prevarications.
No, not at all. Then why do I reject the idea so much?
What if the shrink tells me Trevor's right? That I shouldn't be involved with you? That I'm just being self-destructive? What then?
And let's back track a little. Did you realize you just sort of made a promise? One that's contrary to one day at a time? That you won't wake up one day and change your mind about us well, that sounds suspiciously like a guarantee Should I even bring it up, raise the question? I think not
Oh well, I guess we'll cross those bridges when we get to them.
"All right. I'll go see a shrink," I tell you. "Or at least go talk to George."
"Well, that's a start." You're so happy, I'm not sure I should feel happy with you, or be ill.
"Good. Glad we have that settled." I smile at you, and kiss you on the nose. "So "
"I'd like for us to be."
"Cool," I mimic you. "Now, let's get ready for work."
408 Calling Out
"We're not going to work." I tell you slowly. You shoot me fire in your eyes.
"You shouldn't have called Liz. You should have just woken me up."
I sigh. You're being so "We shouldn't go to work," I say again, trying to phrase it a different way, giving you a choice. Maybe giving you the control you want?
"Yes we are. I have too much to get done today to sit here and do nothing."
I watch you trying to pull yourself off the couch without losing your breath. Your back is bruised, and I hear you start to cough gently as you pull against the coffee table into a sitting position.
"Can't you just " oh for the love of God, my mind screams, can't you not be so god damn stubborn for one damn day? "Just go in." You look at me like I'm insane, that I would just give into you. But who am I to tell you what to do? Who am I to control your decisions, if you want to go to work, then You've decided to give me a break, you've decided to pretend that you think counseling might help you so I guess I should just give into you.
"I'm going to." You say. I watch you try to stand, and then fall back into the couch because you didn't quite have enough strength.
"Help me stand up?" You ask.
"You can do it, come on, you want to go in."
"Liv.." You say with warning in your voice.
I sit down next to you on the couch, leaning into you and kissing you gently. "Would it really be so bad to stay here with me today? And just be together?"
You look at me, your eyebrow raised. "Isn't that bribery?"
"You can prosecute me tomorrow." I say, winking at you.
"You're entirely incorrigible."
"If you're making me stay here, you at least have to go in and get some stuff from off my desk."
"Okay, it's a deal," I say with a smile.
"I'll make you a list, you can go after breakfast." You say, leaning back into the couch.
I kiss your forehead and happily run into the kitchen
I watch as you dash into the kitchen. Soon the warm aroma of pancakes fills the air again. The tea kettle whistles briefly. I swear I can hear you humming to yourself as you prepare our breakfast.
I sink further back into the couch in contentment, out of habit. Okay, these bruises are getting annoying... This whole staying at home thing is so going to get on my nerves...
Wait. How is that different from being sick and wanting to be babied? Little pain versus big pain? Yet another manifestation of my control issue?
Why am I such a workaholic? Besides court this morning, my schedule is actually pretty bare the rest of the day. Certainly don't have anything I can't make up tomorrow. This obsession with work, is it pure altruism on my part? Or is it a means of escape?
Why am I suddenly shrinking myself?
Maybe talking to George won't be such a bad idea. He knows me well enough, and he knows you. Maybe he'll even recommend someone whose method will suit my madness.
Besides, I'll have at least an hour every other week to myself, focused completely on me. And I won't have to justify how I spend my time to anyone, including you...
Wait. Did I just think that? Maybe my space issue is really an independence issue, and maybe I'm freaking out over living one day at a time because your behavior and your jealousies scream commitment, and somewhere deep in my subconscious, I'm afraid you're going to change your mind, and want to move in together or something?
Ow. This line of thinking is giving me a headache. I should just leave the shrinking to a professional...
So, I direct my attention to the black molly, swimming blissfully in her aquarium. How is she suddenly a she? I suppose she does remind me of you, in a strange and funny way. I wonder if I should name her. What though?
"Hey, breakfast's ready," I hear your voice from the kitchen. "Whatcha doing?" You're closer now.
I turn to smile at you. "Just looking at the fish. Thanks for setting the tank up."
"Think you got her enough stuff?" You grin at the castle and accessories sitting on the bottom.
"Didn't want her to get lonely." I shrug. You should see your tank. "Oh, that reminds me, instead of going to my office, I think we should go check on your fish. I left her one of those self-feeding tablets, but I want to make sure she's adjusting."
"Mine's a she, too?"
Now I'm embarrassed. "It's a fan tail gold fish..."
410 Promises, Promises
"Why aren't they together?" I ask you hesitantly. I stare into the fish tank watching the black fish circle its castle.
"I wanted you to have something to remember me by." You say slowly, diplomatically.
I want to call you on it, I want to make you tell me the truth. This isn't about you wanting me to have a token of your affection. This is about you wanting me to have to go home, to check on my fish. Is it about sharing? You want to be in my space too, or is it a general hint that you want me not to be here? "Do you want me to not stay here so much?" I ask you slowly, trying not to sound as hurt as I feel. "I mean, if you do, if you want your space, that's okay." I say, pontificating to your feelings.
"It's I I don't know."
"Okay." I say slowly, not believing that even for a second. "Do you think I'm going to leave you?" I ask you.
"No." You say quickly. Then slower, you continue. "Yes. Maybe? You can't promise, and I'm trying to accept that."
"Alex, my feelings for you, they're well, they're real. They're one of the first things, one of the only things I'm sure about."
"Yeah, but you want to live one day at a time."
"That doesn't mean that my love for you is conditional. Look, sweetie, I love you. That's not going to change over night."
"You were, you were going to leave last "
"I was angry. And we're going to fight with each other, but in the end, it's gotta be our love that brings us back together."
"Look Alex, I say one day at a time, I mean, I'm telling you that, because I can't promise you that I'll never do something stupid again. I can't sit here right now, no matter how much I want to, and tell you I'll never drink again, or never piss you off again, or that somehow, I won't fuck something else up."
"But no one can promise "
"That's the point. It doesn't mean that I don't love you. It means, well, Alex, it means I don't want to lie to you again. I'm afraid to tell you I will always do this, or never do that, because I want you to be able to trust me and, well, I haven't been so great at keeping your trust."
What you just told me, that the one day at a time was just about making mistakes and fighting, and not about your love for me. Isn't that what I wanted to hear all along? The look in your eyes, and on your face, I can tell you meant every word you said... I should be happy, really happy. But all I want to do, is bolt out the door, the window, any available exit.
Why? Am I really that screwed up? That afraid of commitment?
"Can I be perfectly honest with you?" I ask, lacing your fingers with mine.
"What I'm about to tell you, it's illogical, certainly not linear or systemic..."
"That's okay." You try to reassure me, despite your own apprehension. "I'm not a jury you have to convince."
Somehow that doesn't help me feel better. "It has never made any difference to me whether or not people know who I'm involved with... In fact, I agreed with Arthur, that people should keep their public and private lives separate," I start with the first thing that comes to mind. "But lately..."
"You find yourself having issues..."
"Yes." I reply quickly. That's not something I could change, so I guess I should learn to accept it. "Do you realize the dishwasher has seen more action the last few weeks than the whole time I've lived here? And the stove? It's actually functioning the way it's supposed to."
"Do you not want me to cook..."
I guess my smile isn't working as well as I had hoped. Sighing, I try again. "It's not that. No one, has ever cared whether I'm late getting home from work... No one had dared to take it upon themselves to call my boss, and make me stay home..."
"I didn't..." You start, then you see the look I'm giving you. "Okay, I did, but it's for your own good."
"Yes. And you make sure I'm fed. That I'm covered up at night..."
"My blankets used to end up on the floor on a nightly basis."
Your smile lights up the room. "Just trying to take care of you..."
I suck in a deeper breath, testing the limits in more ways than one, and continue, "Remember when we talked about getting back together? How we had gone from first date to living together?"
"Well, we're kind of living together again."
"Oh. So I am spending too much time here." Like before, you try hard to hide your hurt.
"I just think, I'm afraid we're moving a little fast again..."
"But I just want to be with you."
"And I want to be with you, too, Liv. Just, maybe not here all the time?"
412 Fed Up
I smile at you, or try to. I'm determined to not be hurt. Determined not to let your insecurity be mine.
This is your issue. Your problem. Your conditions.
But if I love you, and I do love you, this is going to be when I have to prove it. I'm going to have to eat my hurt, eat my feelings that it's just not fair and smile at you, and tell you that I'm willing to do what I have to do to show you how much you mean to me.
"It's okay," I say, gently patting your leg, careful to not touch you too hard. I look into your eyes, at the semi-surprise in your eyes. "I'll go."
"You don't have to go " You say, reaching for my hand, stopping me from getting off the couch.
I know I shouldn't. I know that now's probably not the time. I can't stop myself, I just can't and quickly I find myself pushing your hand away.
I stand up slowly, pushing my hands into my pockets.
"Can I ask you something?" I say slowly.
You look at me, up into my eyes. "Yeah."
"What do you want from me?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"What are you
"I feel like no matter what I do, what I say, I'm wrong."
"I don't mean "
"Alex, look, you wanted me to get sober, and I did it. You wanted me to woo you, to prove to you that I could be stable, and I did it. You wanted me to be there for you and love you, and I'm trying."
"I just "
"I know, you feel out of control, but look, there comes a time when enough is enough. You've got to stop jerking me around here."
"Save it." I say. "I'll give you your space, all right? Just think about it."
Wait. How did What just I shake my head, and raise my hand. Suddenly, I can't find my voice.
You look at me expectantly, impatient.
"Wait." I finally managed. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what just happened?"
"What do you mean what just happened? You wanted your space, I'm giving you your space."
"I didn't mean for you to leave!"
"Well, you want your space!"
Are we somehow trapped in an endless loop? "All I said was, I didn't want us to spend so much time here. Like, some days we go to your place, and some days we come here. We, both of us, in the same apartment, just not always here. I mean, you're paying rent and all " I know it's not a good excuse, but right now, it's as good as any.
"Why Alex, what difference does it make, where we are, if we're spending all our time together?"
"Well, good question, what difference does it make? Why are you so bent out of shape about me wanting to spend time, with you, at your place?"
"Because I don't know what you want from me. I'm doing everything you ask of me."
Somehow the sound of that bugs me, it always had, no matter who it came from. "Look," I rub my temples, and stare at your hands in your pockets. "You make them sound like conditions I impose on you
"Well, aren't they?"
"I wanted, want, you to be sober for you." I reiterate the point. "It was never for me; if Stabler were an alcoholic, I would want sobriety for him, too."
"Yeah, and you told me you didn't ask Serena about her drinking because your relationship with her's different. She's supposed to be your best friend, Alex, why aren't you pushing your mother on her like you did me? Don't you want sobriety for her, too?"
"But she's not in the same place you were. If I thought for a moment she was endangering herself, I would do the same thing " I try to explain to you, to me. But I also realize I'm not addressing the real issue. "I wish I could tell you why I don't feel secure, why I'm so afraid " Now that I've admitted my true feelings, self-pity takes over. "I thought that's why you wanted me to go to therapy, to find out "
You just sigh in response.
This is not working. It clearly isn't working. And I can't even take deep breaths; this sucks. "All right," I swallow, "Let's try this again. I love you. And I know you love me, and I appreciate all the things you've done for me, and how you take care of me "
"But that's not enough for you."
"That's not the point."
"Then what's the point, Alex? Enlighten me please."
The sarcasm, the impatience in your voice finally gets to me; my temper rages, "How am I supposed to feel secure when, when you broke up with me after everything we've been through, just because I caught you in a lie. How am I supposed to trust you, when you spent weeks wooing me, and then you were going to walk out, again, because of a misunderstanding. And now, look at you, you're all but ready to pick up your bag and leave, after you just told me your love isn't conditional."
"Oh, so it's once again my fault!"
Somehow your fury overwhelms mine. "What I told you last night I'm afraid, I'm afraid I'll start to count on you cooking for me, taking care of me, watching out for me, and then one day, when I turn around, you won't be there "
"But Alex "
"Please, let me finish." I ask, and you acquiesce. "Last time, last time when we broke up, it was just me taking care of you, you know? And still, it wasn't a good feeling then I don't even want to imagine what it'd be like now Or when I start thinking of us as a unit and not just girlfriends. Am I making sense at all?"
414 Just Enough
"So you want to trust me, but not too much?" I ask you, still not quite understanding.
"Yes." You sigh.
"But that's "
"Impossible." You say resolutely.
At least you're the one who said it. "Yeah." We stand looking at each other, a quick silence fills the gap between us. I take a deep breath and pull my hand out of my pocket. "I'm not leaving you." I say, pitching my thumb at the door.
"I was leaving your apartment. Not you. Because I thought you wanted me out."
"I don't really want to go."
"Okay," you say, almost smiling.
"So do we make a schedule?" I ask you.
"I don't think we have to go quite "
"I want to make sure that I'm doing this right."
"Liv, sweetie," you say, leaning back against the back of the couch. "We can play it by ear. But I want us, this, to be half and half. We should share, share our lives, and share our space."
"I didn't mean to make you feel to make you feel crushed here. I just, I thought you would want to be in your space, and, honestly? Mine has some bad memories for me for us."
"I never really thought about that "
"I just, it's okay though, now, if you want to be there with me. I love you, and I'd be happy to be with you anywhere "
I smile as, finally, you're sitting down again, next to me. "So "
"What should we do, on our day playing hooky?" I rest my head on your shoulder, and skip the tip of my fingers along your thigh. "Besides checking on your fish later."
"Why? What do you want to do?"
"Make up sex?"
"You're kidding me, right?"
"No, Liv, I'm serious. We fought. Twice in less than 24 hours "
"But, Alex, you're hurt "
Must you remind me? "So? I'm not dead."
"Rather than teasing me, you should be flattered." I defend myself. "Besides, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black, Pot?"
"Yeah, well, if you're with someone as beautiful as you, wouldn't you want them all the time?"
"Well, that's my excuse, what's yours, Kettle?"
"Well, if you're with someone as beaut desirable as you, and as hot " I trace my fingers, then my lips against your mouth. "You have no objection to those adjectives, do you?"
"Guess not " You lean in, for a lingering kiss.
Instinctively, I pull you towards me, I pull you down with me. My whole body winces.
You push yourself upright in a hurry. "You okay?"
"Ow." I shift my back, relaxing the muscles. "Better. Now where were we?"
"Alex, Sweetie, we really shouldn't "
"Oh yes, we should," I insist, then slide my hands under your shirt.
"Ouch!" This time you flinch. "Your band-aids, they scrape."
"Oh, sorry." All right I can use my mouth. "Oww! Damn it!" I hug my knee, which had bumped into yours. Then out of no where, I feel the deep urge to laugh.
"What's so funny?" You ask, but you're laughing, too.
"You don't think it's funny?" I can't stop. "How I was, we were, it's ridiculous, absurdly ridiculous, and funny."
"We? Are you saying I'm " You wiggle your fingers at my ribs.
Somehow the wicked gleam in your eyes, and memories of you tickling me make me laugh harder. "Stop it!"
"What? I didn't even touch you!"
"Stop it!" I wheeze, grabbing a piece of pancake from my plate, and threatening you with it.
I try to be serious, staring you down, cocking my eye at you to see if you're really serious, but you're laughing too hard to take seriously. Which of course, only makes me laugh, which makes you laugh harder. "Ohh a pancake." I say, feigning fear, laughing as you poke it towards me.
I watch your eyes glisten as you laugh, harder than I think you want to. Your giggles are punctuated with "ow's" as you continue to thrust your pancake into my face. "It's dangerous." You say, pushing it towards me.
"It's sticky," I say, as you push it against the back of my hand.
"You gonna melt?" You ask, sticking your tongue out at me.
Quickly, I snag the pancake from between your fingers and pop it into my mouth. "Now whatcha gonna do?"
"I guess I'm screwed." You sigh, and break into giggles again.
"Or you'd like to be." I say, with a devious grin, willing myself not to laugh at your sheer happiness.
"I'm in my sexual peak. I can't help it." You whine.
"Yeah, yeah. Your sexual peak."
"You don't want to make love to me?" You ask with a slight frown. Your voice is filled with your best attempt to make me want to jump you. I hate to admit how much I want to.
"It's not that I don't want to, it's that you're broken."
That makes you giggle all over again. "I'm not broken."
"Yes you are, look at you."
Slowly I pull your shirt up, sliding it carefully over the big bruises on your side. I try not to frown at you, your creamy white skin blotted with ugly patches of red blue and black.
"They're just bruises." You say slowly, your eyes intense, meet mine seeded with deep desire.
I kiss you gently, next to your bruises and slowly kiss a line up your body. I hear your moan, your giggles dying nearly immediately
One minute we're laughing, giggling like a couple of teenagers, having a modified food fight. Then, then the next minute, you're raising my shirt above my head, sliding it off my arms. The merriment is gone from your eyes, replaced by a deep tenderness as your gaze drifts over my bruises.
"They're just bruises." I try to tell you, to reassure you that I'm really not broken, not irreparably injured.
Without saying a word, you get off the couch and onto your knees. Slowly, you ease my legs apart, and insinuate yourself gently into the space. Very much like the way you moved into my heart, I suppose And slower still, you lower your lips, and kiss around the ugly bruises. Are you trying to make them feel better?
Involuntarily, I moan.
And I can feel my whole body trembling as you kiss a trail upwards. The soft touch of your lips as you skim across my skin. The warm sweetness of your breath as your tongue slides into my mouth
Your hands are gentle, your caress almost a whisper when you brush your palms up my arms, across my shoulders and down my chest. You part your fingers to frame my nipples between them, holding, sensually kneading my breasts.
Another shiver, I moan into your mouth
And a whimper escapes my throat when you pull away. I hear a slight chuckle from you, and I open my eyes. It's not so funny, I want to tell you. But the sentence dies in another moan when your lips your tongue tug at the sensitive spot on my neck. I realize you're marking me again, is it even a conscious effort on your part? I smile.
You rain passionate kisses down my chest.
"Oh god," I whisper when you finally take my breast into your mouth. God. I arch against you. I reach for your hand; I need you to touch me.
When you lace your fingers with mine, I complain, "Please, Liv, I need "
You shake your head, rubbing your face against my chest, pulling my nipple with the gentle motion. I think I hear a scream
"Liv?" I whimper in loss when you pull away. You answer with kisses across and down my ribs, my stomach. When I realize where you're heading, I sigh, and ease further towards the edge of the couch.
Then I hear another low chuckle from you.
Teasingly, you respond, "Alex "
God, sometimes you're so frustrating. "What are you, doing?"
"You'll see." You smile against the insides of my thigh.
I feel your lips, your kisses inch down my legs. I feel your tongue, your lips closing over my toes.
No one has ever touched me quite like this before. So tender, so thorough. It feels good, so good Still, I want your lavish attention elsewhere, where I so desperately need you... "Please? Touch me?"
418 Loving You
"Touch me?" You murmur, as I slowly kiss my way up your calves, gently kissing around the edges of the band-aids that cover your knees.
I let my kisses cover you. Your body responds to my touch, in gentle, subtle ways. Your eyes are warm, glazed with love. I wonder if you can see it reflected back in mine when our eyes lock and I smile at you.
"I am touching you," I whisper gently, kissing you again, lightly on the inside of your thighs. You slide down the couch, trying to get yourself closer to my mouth, trying to press your body into me.
"You know what I " You start, but before you can finish, I gently let my tongue slide over you, and your moan fills my ears. The heady scent of your arousal fills my senses, and at first I'm desperate to taste you, to slide over you in a frenzy. I make myself stop, make myself go slowly, wanting to make this moment last.
I watch you gently, slowly, as I let my tongue rub against you, sliding into a comfortable rhythm. I watch you trying to arch your back, but the pain from your ribs stops you, forcing you to keep your body relaxed, forcing you to let me control the ebb and flow of your arousal.
I take it very seriously, your willingness to, in even this subtle way give into me. To trust me, to trust my fingers inside you, to trust my tongue pressing against you. You bite your lip and close your eyes in concentration.
Your body is an instrument that I've learned through practice to play. Together, we create our own symphony, the slight movements of your body, and the noises from your throat. I know where I am in our delicate dance and how to move you to your next crescendo.
I watch you throw your neck back. I feel your fingers lacing through my hair, and I smile against your warm wetness.
I'm the one who makes you feel this way.
To everyone else, you're the ADA. To them, you're the brainy blonde bombshell that uses her mind to outwit the 'bad guys' and her body to tease them mercilessly. No matter how hard they try, none of the boys had gotten through to you. No one, no one gets to see you like this.
No one get to see the way your delicate skin glows in the light while my hands slide over your stomach, locking together holding you still. No one hears the way you moan my name, the million subtle ways you respond to my gentle touch, which prods you gently towards climax.
These are mine, they are a few of the tiny million things you give me. "I love you," I whisper into you as I feel you crashing over the edge
As you slide against me, I'm aware of my fingers in your hair, of my own ragged breathing, my body pulsing and shivering to your touch. Beyond that, all I can focus on, is the heat of your mouth on me, the push of your fingers inside me. I need to feel you closer, I need to have you closer; the pain in my body stops me
All I can do, is close my eyes, and surrender to your caress, to the gentle strokes of your tongue, soft and teasing at first, coaxing my pleasure.
As my body tightens, your rhythm changes, so subtly, so intensely. I can feel my heart pounding as you thrust in and out, and deeper in, as you trace circles, closer, tighter
"God, Liv, Liv," your name slips from my lips like a mantra, like a dream, as you guide me towards the edge.
I close my thighs against your shoulders, the strength of your arms keeping me down, keeping me open, somehow fuels my arousal. I can feel the pressure building, unbearably, overwhelming. Firmly, deeply, you hold me close, as my body finally throbs around you, to the beating of my heart.
I swear I can feel you smile, as you so slowly, so tenderly pull the last waves of pleasure from my body. I think I can hear your whispers of love through my own labored breathing. Instinctively, I reach for you, pull your head up, and push your hair out of your eyes. I see the depth of your love reflecting back at me, drowning me, owning me
You smile a slow smile, and lean in, enveloping me in a careful, tender embrace. "I love you, Cabot," you murmur.
"And I love you, Benson." I smile, brushing my fingers along your features. Then I take your shiny face in my hands, and kiss you, suddenly desperate to taste myself on your breath. Why? A small voice inquires, only to be stifled by another, keener need. "Your turn," I breathe into our kiss.
"But Alex I'm fine," you try to argue.
"I want you," I tell you simply.
"My mouth isn't," I provide, with a seductive smile, one I'm certain you can't refuse.
"I don't know " You say. Oh, but I can see the deep arousal in your eyes.
"Help me?" I ask, more a ploy to get you to stand than anything else. Still, I borrow strength from your gentle, careful hands. Slowly, I stretch out along the sofa. Then, hooking my fingers to your waistband, I pull you to me, unbuttoning your pants in the process.
"I want you," I repeat. "Closer," I add, looking up at you, and sliding your underwear down your legs
You pull me into you, against you on the sofa. I hear the sharp intake of your breath as you pull me down onto you, pain writes itself on your face. Your bruises, where your body needs to mend. I don't want to hurt you, even if you insist I won't, I know better.
"Sweetie, this isn't a good idea " I mumble, kissing your neck gently. I know you love me. I know you want to make me happy, but I don't want you to be in pain. Not for my pleasure, not for me. I've caused you enough pain already.
"You're right " you whisper back, kissing me on the lips. For a moment I feel disappointed that you're so willing to give up on this. Sure, logically I realize that it's a bad idea, but somewhere in my mind I was starting to look forward to it. I feel your hand sliding down my spine, over the skin on my back, gently focusing small circles on my shoulders. You continue to kiss me, small gentle kisses mix with fiery ones that fill me with desire. We lay together, in each others arms, exchanging kisses for what seems like hours.
"I want you so badly," rings in my ear as you kiss me passionately.
"I love you," is my muffled response.
"You deserve this so I guess," you say with a devious smile, "I guess you're going to have to help."
"I'm going to what?" I ask, my eyes opening quickly.
"Let me watch you?" you ask.
I stare into your eyes feeling like a deer caught in headlights as the reality of what you're asking me truly sinks in. I need to clarify, need to ask you to say exactly what you mean, but suddenly I'm too shy.
I feel your eyes on me, your fingers run over my stomach as you slide gently onto your side, forcing me onto my back.
"You want me to "
Instead of answering, you take my hand into yours, and slowly run my own fingers over my breasts. Your hand guides me lower, sliding my fingers gently over my own body, and between my legs.
Your fingers force mine into a rhythm, one that my body keeps, your fingers abandon mine, and you watch me as you rain kisses down over my face.
My fingers are familiar; after all, I've been in control of my body since I was a kid, able to make my own pleasure when I couldn't find it in someone else. I've never done this before, with someone else watching. I can feel the love reflecting from your eyes, see the arousal framed there as I move my fingers in quick circles.
Your kisses fall on my body; my fingers quickly picking up its pacing as I push myself closer. I hear you, whispering in my ear, saying you love me, placing your gentle kisses on my face
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