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


"Alex? Sweetie?"

Somewhere in my dreamy haze, I hear you call my name. Slowly, I cease back into consciousness.


"What?" I ask groggily.

"Just checking to see if you're awake."

"Well, I am now," I respond, sounding harsher and more cranky than I intended. I yawn, and lean up to kiss you. "What time is it?" I ask, after we part.

Instead of answering, you grin, "Aren't you hungry?"

You sure know how to find your way to my heart. "Yeah, now that you mention it. Have you decided what you want to do?"

"Let's go out, if you're not too tired," you say cautiously.

I can see the excitement in your eyes, and I know going out is a foregone conclusion. "Well, if somebody don't make me come a zillion times, and wear me out…"

"Yeah, but you enjoyed it."

So I did. "Your point?" I ask, while pulling myself into a sitting position. I lean my head against your shoulder. "Don't tell me you were doing it just for me."

"Of course not. I love doing you for me."

"God." I hit you on your arm. "You're so crass…"

"I thought you love me a little rough around the edges."

"I do." I kiss you on the nose, then move to retrieve our clothes from the floor. "You want to just explore?"

"Do you mind?" You ask, while pulling your shirt over your head.

"Nope." I smile, zipping up my jeans. "Although what happened to being happy staying in the room for the entire two weeks?"

"I'll be happy, if that's what you really want…" You say, fidgeting with your shoe laces.

I can tell though, that you'd rather that I don't. Still, your little girl voice is cute. "No, I was just playing," I say, pulling you up by your hands. "We can do whatever you want. I'm just happy to be here with you." And that's not a lie.

"Goodie!" you walk over to your luggage, and pull out a tourist guide.

"When did you…" Oh, nevermind. "Got our itinerary planned I see."

"Yeah," you grin sheepishly, pulling out your travel alarm clock.

Great, this is going to be one hell of a vacation.

622 Out

I take you by the hand and kiss you before I open the door to the room, book in one hand, and you in the other. The kiss deepens, your mouth opening. I pull back and smile, "Come on," I pull your hand.

"Are you sure you don't want to stay in bed?" You tease, letting your hand slide a trail down my body.

"Not fair," I moan into your kiss, and you give me a wicked grin.

"Of course it's fair," you say, "it's why we're here."

"It's not the only reason we're here."

"It's a great reason to be here."

"Yeah, but we have so much exploring to do." I look at you with a smirk. "We can't have sex on the beach unless we leave the hotel room."

I can physically see you swallow. You try to cover, but I know you too well. You laugh at my smile, against your will almost. "You're really excited about going out there, aren't you?" You say grinning at me, a wide happy smile. You look at me like I'm your little kid. You put your hand on my cheek, and almost pat my head. I can't help that I'm happy, I can't help that I feel free here, different from the person I have to be in New York. The people we have to be.

"Yeah, come on!" I say, pulling you into the hallway.

"Wait, you're not taking that book, are you?" You ask me, your eyebrow raised.

"Of course, how will we..."

"We'll look like tourists," you mutter.

"We are tourists," I point out.

"But we don't have to look like we're tourists." You say, snatching the book out of my hand.

"But how will we."

"Trust me," you say, throwing the book onto the bed, and pulling me out the door with you.

"But Alex?"

"Trust me." You say again, taking my hand.

We walk down the hallway hand in hand, happy. Content, smiling, and in love with you.


"Where are we going? Alex?"

"To the front desk," I reply, pulling you towards the concierge.

"Why?" You follow reluctantly.

"To ask for directions."

"To where?"

"God, what's with you and your twenty questions?"

"I just... it's probably not a good..." You try to pull your hand away, but I hold on tightly.

I know it's not a good idea, after this afternoon. It's a different attendant though, and I'm not going to let one ignorant person ruin our vacation. "Come on."

"Good evening," the man at the desk greets us with perfect English. He glances at our joined hands, but his smile remains. "How can I help you ladies?"

Maybe the woman from earlier was just a substitute. Anyway. Whatever. "Yeah, can you tell me how to get here?" I withdraw a slip of paper from my pocket and point to an address.

He takes out a pad of paper, and draws a simple map for us. "Should be about a 15, 20 minute walk."


"Enjoy your evening!" He adds, after we thanked him.

"I thought you said you haven't..." You start, while we pause at the street corner.

I breathe in the sea fresh air, and smile at you. "I said I haven't been here, didn't mean I haven't researched the place." I wanted, still want, our first real vacation together to be perfect. "Besides, Serena's..."

"Serena's been here?"

"Yes, when Arthur made her take the time off."

"Hm. So are we going to visit the local gay hangouts?"

"Nope. Just a nice restaurant that turns into a dance club at midnight." I grin at the excited smile on your face. "You want to stay after dinner, and dance with me?"

624 The Beach

"Sure, I'll dance with you," I smile a light smile.

You watch me, watch my eyes as you lead me happily out of the hotel and into the warm pounding sun.

I take a deep breath and I can feel the heat fill my lungs with the sticky sweet pollen that comes from the flowers surrounding the hotel. I hold your hand, and you squeeze mine back. An island paradise, and just the two of us, together, dancing until dawn.

You pull me along, and veer off the sidewalk to stick your feet into the beach sand that lines one side of the street.

"Isn't it beautiful?" You smile at me, wriggling your toes in the sand.

"Yeah," I say dreamily, letting the careful sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, the pure aqua water sparkling from the setting sun.

"What are you thinking about?" You ask me.

I shrug my shoulders, "Nothing?"

"You've got to be thinking something."

"I'm thinking that this was a good idea, that I'm happy to be here with you."

You smile approvingly.

"What are you thinking? I ask.

"Why'd you assume that Serena'd only go to the gay clubs?"

"I dunno. It was a mandatory vacation, and if I had to come down here alone…"

"You'd be heading for the club?"

"Well, I think we've established that I wouldn't have come here alone."

You smile. "You're not in trouble, I was just curious."

"I know I'm not in trouble…why would I be in trouble?" I ask.

"Your face."


"You get this look on your face, when you think I'm going to be mad."

"I do not."

"Yes you do.

"I do not."

"Okay, Liv, you don't." You say, smiling and attempting to appease me.

"That's right." I say, smiling and smacking you on the butt, which sends us chasing each other, laughing through the sand on the beach like kids…


"What do you think this is?" You hold up a piece of something with your folk.

"I have no clue." I don't even try to look. It's so dark in here, I can barely see what's on my own plate. "What did you end up ordering?"

"I have no idea. I just pointed at the menu."

"Oh." What's with this sudden spontaneity? That's so unlike you.

You pick at your food some more, wrinkling your brow. "What are you eating?"

"Chicken and rice?" I answer slowly, a little confused. Didn't you hear me order?

"Can I try?"

I shake my head, and smile. "Do you want to switch?"

"You sure?"

"Yeah, sure." I lift my fork and wait for you to exchange our plates. How bad can your food be, right? Food's food.

With amusement, I watch you spear a piece of meat, and put it in your mouth. You chew, your expression thoughtful. Then you swallow. "Are you sure this is chicken?" You ask, with a funny look on your face.

"That's what I ordered. Didn't not taste like chicken to me. Why?"

"I don't know." You take a big gulp of water, and watch with rapt attention while I push a forkful of food into my mouth.

"What?" I ask you, after I finish swallowing.

"So what is it?"

"Chicken, I think." I pick up another piece and taste it more carefully. "I'm pretty sure."

"It is?"

"Do you want to switch back?"

You look at me suspiciously. "Why? Is it bad?"

"No, it's actually pretty good. You just didn't seem to like what I ordered."

"So many things can taste like chicken…" You say, with uncertainty.

"Well, I definitely ordered chicken, if that helps."

'I guess…"

"Listen, Sweetie." I put down my fork, and squeeze your hand. "We can ask them to wrap the food up, and we can take it back to the hotel, where we can see what we're eating," I suggest, trying to find the best solution. I do want you to enjoy yourself. I need to see you smile again. "Or we can just go to another restaurant. We passed by many on our way here."

626 Score

"No," I find myself almost whining at you. I don't want to go home, I don't want to leave this place, I want to get what you promised. I want to dance with you.

"Are you sure?" You ask patiently.

"Yeah, I just don't want to eat dog." I say as you laugh.

"Well, I'm pretty sure it's not dog, if that makes you feel better."

"It does," I say, picking up the chicken and staring at it, gently pulling it off the fork with my teeth.

"You're so funny," You say as you dig into whatever it was that I was supposed to be eating.


"Because, you just are."

"Because I won't eat mystery meat?"

"Why'd you order it then?" You ask, always logical

"I couldn't see the menu." I mumble as I take another bite of your chicken.

"It's okay, it's good, try it."

I wrinkle my nose at you.

"Be adventurous." You say, sticking your fork out and dangling it in front of me.

I sigh and take the fork out of your hand, and take a bite.

You're right, it's not bad.

I hate it when you're right.

Especially about things like that.

"Do you like it?" You ask.

"Yeah, it's not bad," I concede.

"That's what I thought," You smile at me.

"I don't get why you're so happy about it."

"I'm happy you tried something new and you liked it."

"I try new things."


"Yeah," I say defensive.

"When was the last time you ate something new."

I smile at you. "Well, there was you."

Even in the dim light, I can see your blush. Score.

627 WAIT

"Boy, I'm stuffed," I lean back against my seat, and pat my stomach. Think I'm ready to crawl back to our hotel room and nap for the next ten hours. Ah, the joy of vacations.

"Me, too." You slouch in your chair. "I can't believe we ate so much."

For a person who was uncertain about her food, you sure did. I laugh lightly. "So what do you want to do next?"

"I thought we're going to dance."

Reaching for your hand, I check your watch. "We still have some time before they turn the place into a club. Why don't we..."

"But I wanna stay here!" You whine, cutting me off.

You're such a little kid sometimes. Truth be known though, I think it's kind of cute and charming. I know you're like this only when you're with me. At work, you're always the strong, protective grown up. With me, you feel like you can let go...

I guess I feel the same way with you too. Obviously, I don't feel like I need to know the answer before I ask you a question. I feel a blush coming on, as I remember what you said earlier...

"Okay, so what do you want to do, while we stay here?" I hurriedly jump back into the topic. "I'm sure at some point, they're going to want us to leave."

"We can order dessert!"

"I can't possibly eat another bite."

You chew on your lip. "Well…"

"Why don't we go take a walk, or something. We can come back after…"

"But I wanna stay here."

"Okay… Then what do you suggest?"

"It's not so crowded now, maybe we can move to one of the booths in the back."

I follow your finger, and look towards that direction. There are several empty tables. Guess we're in the post dinner pre-party lull. It's away from traffic, and if possible, even darker than where we are...

Hm... is it really a good idea? Considering?

Oh, stop it, Cabot. I rein in my imagination, and take a deep drink of my water. I look into your waiting eyes, and smile. "All right, let's."

628 Surprise

I let you walk in front of me, leading me into the dark corner of the restaurant I've been eyeing for the last hour. No one's even walked by the empty tables, and when you suggest we go, I've already got my plan.

You stop and smile at me shyly. "Are you sure?" You ask me.

"Yeah, come on," I say, as I slide into the booth. You slide into the seat opposite me.

"I'm not sure they can see us."

"Who says they need to see us? We're just waiting for this to turn into a jumping joint."

You smile at me, "A jumping joint?"

"Sorry," I say with a bigger smile. "Can't help being cheesy."

You slide your hands over the table and take mine. We sit quietly together, holding each others hands, fiddling with each other's fingers, each other's rings, talking about nothing and everything.

Neither of us sees it coming. The waitress quietly slides up the table and unloads two bottles of beer, a house brew she assures us.

"We didn't order this," you mumble as you stare at the bottle with a wide eyed expression. I can see it in your face, in your eyes, the disbelief, the anger, the fear.

I sigh.

Nothing is ever perfect.

The waitress points over to a corner of the bar, "They did," she says, pointing to two guys in the corner who wave. I put my head down. I don't want to see, don't want to know.

"You've gotta be kidding," you mumble, as you tell the waitress to take them away.

"They're already paid for," she tries to explain, but I can see the fire in your eyes.

"I understand that," you say quickly, "take them away anyway."

"Just leave it," I say, catching her eye, pushing the bottle away. "It's not a big deal Alex," I mumble.

"It is a big deal. We're not…"

"Just let it go," I mumble, as you stare into my eyes….

629 FURY

"This is not happening." I glare at the waitress as she walks away, leaving the bottles on our table.

"Just let it go, Sweetie," you mumble again.

I turn to glare at you, "Let it go?"

"Yes, it's really not a big deal."

"It's not a big deal?" People are propositioning us, and it's not a big deal?

"I'm not going to drink it."

"This is not about the alcohol."

"Then what is it…"

"Bon soir…" A man's voice interrupts.

"Great, just great."

"Oh, Americians…" He says, as if that translates to 'easy'.

"Yes," I get up from my chair, and grab the beers. "Here, thanks but no thanks."

"C'mon, pretty lady." He turns, offering the bottles to you. "Maybe you'd like..."

Suddenly, all rational thoughts leave my mind. "Leave us alone," I seeth, standing nose to nose with the man.

"Sweetheart." You get up, and put your arms around me. "It's okay. I'll take care of it," you say, then rattle off something to him in french.

"Excusez-moi!" He huffs, and stalks off with his booze.

"See? It's no big deal." You smile, sliding back into the booth and pulling me with you.

Reluctantly, I sit. Still dismayed, I seethe, "Didn't he see us holding hands? I can't believe he has the gall to proposition you."

"C'mon Sweetie, let's not let this ruin our night."

"What did you say to him anyway."

"It doesn't matter."

"Yes, it does!" I insist, grabbing you by your collar. "Tell me."

You loosen my hands, and take them in yours. "It doesn't matter," you repeat. "It's not a big deal."

"They hit on us; a man hit on you. It's a big deal." I feel the sting of tears threatening to spill. "At least to me, it is…"

630 Laughter

"Alex, it's okay." I chide you, seeing the tears in your eyes. I can't believe you're making this such a big deal, You must get hit on all the time, you're beautiful. You act like it's the first time…

"I don't understand why you're so calm about this," you say, sitting back down at the booth, wiping the small tears from your eyes.

"Eh. I deal with scumbags every day."

"So do I, but, it's different."


"Because we're together, here, alone." You sigh at me like I should easily understand this.

"So, we know we love each other."

"Yeah, but…it's…just wrong."

"Yeah, but it's not like they're here now, and I wasn't going to drink the booze." I say to press your buttons, knowing that's exactly what you thought, what you believed would happen.

"I know you weren't." You say quickly, defensively. "What'd you say?" you ask slowly.

"Alex, don't worry about it." I sigh.

"Come on, that's not fair."

"Fine." I say and look around, "I told him that…"

You look at me expectantly. "What?"

"It doesn't translate literally, really."

"Give me the gist."

"I told him if he ever spoke to you again, I would eat his testicles for breakfast."

You smile, "That's a little strong Liv."

"Well it's not an exact translation," I mumble.

I watch as you start to smile, and laughter breaks out…

631 CARE

"That's really what you said?" I ask, laughing.

You fidget in your seat, looking awfully uncomfortable. "Doesn't exactly translate, but yeah."

"That's funny," I say, wiping tears from my eyes.

"I'm sure he doesn't think so."

"Who cares. He deserves it."

"So, where were we?" You smile, pulling me into your body, until I'm snuggled against you.

I expel a soft breath, and stare into my glass. "It really wasn't about the booze, you know."

"Let's just forget about it," you whisper into my hair, your fingers tickling my ribs. "It's not a big deal."

Logic tells me to agree with you. Everything I know tells me you're right. "But it is."

"Why, Alex?"

"Because…" Suddenly, I'm embarrassed. It's really stupid. Like you said, we know we love each other. We're sitting here, our world still revolving around each other… "Never mind."


"It's just. When you said it wasn't a big deal, I didn't think you cared…"

"About the drinks? No I really didn't. I mean, I care whether you thought I was going to drink it or not, but not that they were from a couple of assholes."

"Yeah, well…" I chew on the straw. This is sounding more and more stupid, even to my own ears; but I can't help myself. "Like I said, it wasn't about the drinks."

"About you?"

I nod, and take another sip of water.

"Of course I care about you. What kind of silly question is that?"

I just shrug.

"Do you want me to be jealous?"

"No," I answer quickly. "Maybe? I don't know."

"I thought you'd prefer that I trust you."

"I do!"

"Then why…" You pause, then shift in your seat, pulling away slightly "Were you jealous? Did you not trust me?"

"Of course, I trust you, Liv."

"But you were jealous."

I put down my glass, and pick up your hand resting about my waist. "Yeah."

"Why? Have I given you reason or reasons to be jealous?" Now you sound hurt.

"No. Knee jerk reaction, I guess. I just…" I lean back, and kiss you lightly on the cheek. "I'm sorry."

632 The Booth

"You have nothing to be sorry for. It's kind of sweet," I admit, feeling your body loosen and relax against my body. You let your head rest against my shoulder, my arm wraps around your waist, letting you rest against me.

"What's sweet?" you ask quickly.

"That you're jealous." I sigh.

"I'm not jealous, exactly. I just don't like the idea of some guy ogling you."

"If it helps, I'm sure he was ogling you too."

"That doesn't help." You sigh.

I let myself laugh, "It's sweet that you care enough to worry about it."

"It's not sweet, it's insecure." You mumble.

"Well it's that too, but it's still nice."

"Why's it nice?"

"Shows you care." I shrug. "So you really think I'd choose some guy in a bar over you?"

"No." You sigh. "You're mine," you say lacing your fingers with mine.

"Yes I am. I'm yours. And those guys can belong to each other."

"Can we just drop it."

"Sure," I say, pulling you closer to me. "You know, it's pretty dark back here." I smile.

"Yeah, it is." You agree. I can't see your face, but somehow, I know you're smiling too.

I slide my hand slowly up down your body. I can feel your back arching slightly, and I smile wider. My hand quietly slides under your shirt, against your bare skin.

"Liv, this…"

"Shhh…" I whisper into your ear.

"We shouldn't…"

"No one can see us," I smile as I lean further back into the booth, pulling you with me.,,


"Liv…" I swallow, feeling my nipples harden in anticipation of your touch. "We really shouldn't…" I try one last time to reason with you, with my body.

"Your body thinks we should," you say, sliding your hand out from under my shirt. Ever so slowly, you press your palm down my front.

I can tell from the subtle movements that you're unbuttoning my blouse, down to the very last button.

"Liv," I gasp, my body reacting impossibly, almost aching. It's got to be the air conditioning, I tell myself, as a cool draft drifts down my camisole.

"Shh…" You hush again.

I jump, slightly, when I feel your hand sliding gently up my skin. Slowly, agonizingly slowly. Inch by inch.

I lean further into you, arching against you.

Finally, the tips of your fingers graze the points of my breasts, your thumb on one, your middle finger on another, pushing my flesh together. Kneading. Caressing. My opened shirt prevents others from seeing what exactly is going on. Thank god…

Not that I could care less this moment. "Liv…" I moan, grabbing your hand resting on my thigh, and pushing it inward.

"Patience," you whisper, your voice thick with passion.

Knowing how much you want me makes my breathing hitch. "Please?" I ask shakily.

You chuckle, and press a finger down the fly of my jeans. "Are you wet, Alex?"

"Mhmm…" I arch into your touch.


God. Are you going to drive me crazy and keep me hanging?

I shudder when you move your thumb from one nipple to the next. Without warning, you begin rolling my aroused flesh between your fingers, flicking at the tip the way you do with your tongue. God, I want you. I want to feel you, your hands, your mouth. I want it so bad… I want you, so badly.

"Liv," I say again, stifling a moan.

"Do you want me to stop?"

"No!" I almost scream.

"Good." You chuckle. "I don't want to either."

I sigh, in relief, and spread my legs further, hoping you would take the hint. Or take pity on me. Either way. "Please?"

"Like this?" You ask, pushing hard against the crotch of my pants. Then you lighten your touch, and begin moving in slow spirals. "Or like this?"

I close my eyes; a small whimper escapes my parted lips.

"I take it that's a 'yes'?"

I nod, hoping, praying you won't stop…

634 Caught

I smile smugly as you lean into me. Arch into me, the feeling of your body sliding against mine makes my body respond too. I can feel the arousal, the pounding that gets worse as you press your back harder against me.

I'm careful, quiet about my movements, making sure you're covered enough to not rouse suspicion, though you have an aching expression on your face, one that's hard to mistake. I'm slow, deliberate, knowing what to do to make you keep making that sound.

I gently let my hand rest on your thigh while I let my fingers slide against your body. Slowly and carefully I adjust, pinching you, making you ache for me.

Your moan, quiet, deep, cuts the chatter in the bar for me. In my ear, it echoes your feelings, your wants and needs.

"Do you want me to touch you?" I whisper into your ear, and I hear you moaning.

Your legs spread wider and you take my hand and press it into you.

"I don't understand?" I ask, smiling wickedly.

"Uh huh." You mumble, turning your head and kissing my neck. I catch your kiss, our lips connecting for only a second before I pull away.

"What?" I ask you again.

"Touch me," your voice quivers.

"I'm not sure…"

"Do it," you demand.

"But, Alex, this is so…public."

"Do it," you say, as you push my hand hard against you.

I smile and let you press my hand into you, let you gently start rocking your hips, creating a rhythm.

I pull at the button of your pants, and for a second, I look up.

And then I see the guys. The beer guys.

Watching us. Watching you. And more than enjoying themselves.

This time, it's gone to far. I pull my hand away and you groan. "Get up Alex."

"What?" You ask, your eyes opening quickly.

"Get up. I have to kill someone."


"Get up, Alex," I hear you growl, feel your hands move from my heat.

My eyes fly open, more from shock. Desperately, I try to hang onto the pleasant pink haze. "What?"

"Get up, I need to go kill somebody," you hiss in my ear, while nudging my body, pushing me away.


"Those assholes."

I look towards where the men from earlier are sitting, and I realize they've been watching us, watching... me.

Oh, god.


How could we be so stupid... Of all people, us -- SVU ADA and detective.

"Let me up," you growl again.

What should we do? At this point, they know we've caught on, and they're grinning at us. I have no doubt you could go pound the daylight out of them, both of them, but it'd be wrong. On many levels.

In a way, we invited the attention. We could just continue. Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? The same applies to a tropical locale?

What's wrong with you, Cabot!

If we give them a show, or if I let you go at them, either way, terrible things could happen. Terrible things could happen now, even if we sit still from this moment on, and act like a couple of contrite nuns. Oh, god. Suddenly, all sorts of bad scenarios, old crime scene photos, they pass through my mind's eye like a horrific kaleidoscope.


Your voice and your struggle against my weight halt my overactive imagination and bring me back to the issue at hand. Thank you. "Shhh..." I say, turning towards you.


"Just let it go, Liv."

"What?" You repeat, dark fire flashing in your eyes.

I wind my hand through your hair, and cup the back of your head to still your movements. Then I lean in, kissing you gently. "It's all right."

"No, it's not!" You bark, trying to move out of my grasp.

I hold on only tighter. "Shh... They're not worth it."

"But they watched you... Watched us..."

"All they saw was my face. Like the steward did, remember?"

"But this is different! They tried to..."

"How?" I interrupt, while pulling myself into a proper sitting position by your shoulder. Still, you won't be able to get out of the booth without going through me. Touching you gently, I remind, "You were teasing me about the steward trying to strike up a conversation, that he thought I was cute…"

636 Anger

"It's not the same." I seethe into your ear, still halfheartedly pushing against you. I know you're not going to let me get up. You're not going to let me walk over there and murder them. Not that I really would murder them. Just hurt them. Badly.

"How's it not the same?" You ask, logically, calmly.

I hate these guys. Hate your logic, and hate your calmness. But I'm not rational and I know it. Know from enough years of working as a cop, that moments like this aren't the ones to make decisions, even if ripping their testicles off would feel amazing.

"The flight attendant was different. He didn't, it's not the same."

"It's exactly the same." You supply.

"His motives weren't the same."

"How do you know what their motives are?" You ask, looking up and confirming that the men are still staring at us, still watching with rapt attention to our every movement.

"I just don't like them leering at us like that."

"Then we shouldn't be having sex in public."

"We aren't having sex. We weren't." I stumble on my words.

"We were about to."

"But it…" I'm so angry, it's so unfair.

"We should be flattered?" You ask, more than state.

"How can you say that?"

"Liv, we're acting like horny teenagers, we deserve to get busted."

I sigh, and let my hands rest on the table in front of us, letting my head fall into them.

"Wish they'd bring those beers back.." I mutter before I can stop myself.


"Nothing," I say slowly.

"You said."

"Alex, just drop it. It was stupid."

"Fine." You mutter as you stare off into the dark hall…

637 SULK

Great. Just great.

We haven't even been here for twenty-four hours, and we have this. What's 'this' anyway? A fight? Not really. But neither one of us is happy, nor are we talking to each other. All because of those stupid jackasses over there, still leering at us.

I feel like I ought to make a funny face at them, just to see how they'd react. Yeah, sure, Cabot. Just be as childish as you can be.

What's with their staring anyway? Obviously, we're not jumping each other's bones anymore. We don't even look like we're having fun. What's so fascinating?

I'm sure when they get back to France, or Quebec, or wherever the hell they're from, we'd be the center of their scandalous story for years to come.


I tear my eyes away from the other corner, and stare into my glass.

Why am I blaming it on them anyway? It's our own damn fault. If we weren't acting like a couple of teenagers, we wouldn't be where we are now.

We'd be talking, whispering sweet little nothings to each other while we dwell on how in love we're with each other. We'd be waiting for the club to open, and we'd be having fun, laughing, looking forward to dancing the night away. With each other. In each other's arms.

We wouldn't be sitting in a darkened corner, with an iceberg wedged between us. We wouldn't be acting like we're mad at each other, or at the very least, mad at the world.

I can't believe you said what you said about the beers.

Did you mean you wish they would bring the booze back so you could drink them? Or so you could pour it on them and hit them over the head with the empty bottles? I wish I could be sure, so I could react to it. So I could deal with it.

So I could really be mad at you about something.

Instead, I'm sitting here, sulking.

What a great way to start our vacation.


Now what?

My head snaps up to see the same guy from earlier with fresh beers in his hand. Looks like you got your wish after all…

638 Again

I want to scream and yell. I want to kick over the table, kick over the benches and throw things against the wall.

Instead, I sit here, staring at my hands.

No. I want to kill them. Kill both of them.

Their eyes are still on us, still watching us, and now, now I've talked, said something stupid, stuck my foot in my mouth. Why am I always doing it?

Because I hope secretly that you'll give in?

I shouldn't want that anymore, it's been almost a year, but its still there. It's still in my head, and that makes me angry, angry at myself and even more angry at the people who interjected the thoughts back into my head.

Those assholes.

Now you're staring into your glass while I fiddle with the still empty bracelet still hanging from my wrist. I'm even more angry now, now that I have to remember why I can't drink, because I can't control it. Because I can't stay in control, and why something so inane to so many people, is fraught with so much danger for me, makes it worse. It makes it so much worse.

It's not until I hear French, again that I really feel myself flying over the edge.

The male voice. The one I told that I'd eat his testicles.

I know he doesn't have the sheer gall to wander back over here. To try to approach us again.

"We're not interested," you say, without me even looking up. If I just stare at the table, don't look up. I'm afraid if I look up, I'm afraid that I'll deck the guy. I hear the bottles clattering onto the table. Can this actually get worse?

"But let me and my friend…"

"You can't take no for an answer?" I snarl.

"We are just interested in…lesbians." He says. His friend smirks.

My knuckles clench.

"You need to go," you say to him. Pressing him back with your words.

I see his hand reach out, as he grabs your wrist…


I see him reach towards me, and I try to pull my hand back. "Let go!" I scream. Almost immediately, you grab his wrist, and he lets mine go, yelping in pain.

"Ladies," he's companion speaks up. "We'll pay you, we just want to watch."

"What?" I can't quite believe my ears. Do they have a death wish? I feel you bristle, and I'm afraid you're going to snap the man's wrist in two. Not that he didn't deserve it, but we're tourists, we don't know the laws of this country.

"Liv…" I say to you slowly. "Just let him go."

"Yes, please, pretty lady," the man whimpers, holding his arm.

Meanwhile, his friend opens his big mouth again, "Yes, let's be friendly. We'll pay, handsomely."

"Shut up!" I bark, as the guy blanches another shade.

Turning towards you, I can see you warring with yourself, your lips pressed together. I know you're this close to pushing the table over and jumping our intruder.

"Look," I put a hand over your shoulder, to give you support, or to help keep you in check. "I sincerely advise you to leave us alone. She's a cop, and I'm a sex crime prosecutor," I tell the men threateningly.

"Oh, that's wonderful. That's even better." The shorter man says merrily.

I feel your muscles flexing and your captive yelps again.

"Please, let me go," he pleads. "We don't mean harm, we just want to be friends."

You mutter something to him in French.

His eyes widen and his eyebrows shoot up. "Oh, non, non, non… You misunderstand."

"What?" I ask.

"We just want to watch. To observe."

You hiss, saying something else. Frantically, I scramble to decipher any familiar sounding words or sounds. How I wish I had taken French instead of Spanish.

"Non, non, non," he shakes his head rapidly. "We're psychologists. We want to study you."

"What?" Come again? "Study us?"

"Yes, tourists." His friend chimes in. "What do you Americains say? Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? We're interested in what makes people give up their inhibitions. When they're in foreign places."

"What do we look like, guinea pigs?" I blurt, incredulous. Don't tell me this is all just a failure of communication.

"Bull shit," you mutter, and I hear his wrist pop.

"Yes, I mean, no, it's true, no lies, he's telling the truth."

"Is there a problem?" A third male voice chimes in.

640 Misunderstood

I have his wrist, the pain on his face obvious. I watch my fingers flex as he mumbles. "We want to watch."

I can feel the anger rising in my chest, and I want to kill this guy. I watch horror cross your face, and my grip tightens. "No, no, you don't understand." He writhes. The second guy tries to explain, but I don't listen to what he says.

I lock eyes with the first guy, staring deep into them, I deliver my warning. "I'll kill you, if you touch her, if you ever touch her, again." I whisper to him in french.

"No, no, no." He says, his English getting better by the second. "I don't want to touch her."

"You don't understand," His friend says.

"I understand that if you don't fuck off, I'll break his arm." I continue, in French. Your eyes are wide, staring at us, staring at me. My arm crossed in front of you, his wrist held within inches of your face.

"Liv, let him go," you plead, and that makes me tighten my grip.

"Do you understand?" I whisper.

"Yes, yes, yes," the guy says, as he tries desperately to break my grip.

"Is there a problem here?" I hear, from across the room.

"Yeah, there is." I say, as the guy starts mumbling the opposite.

"I can help," the third guy says. "I'm the owner here."

"These…guys," you start, "won't stop bothering us."

"We're professors," the first guy says. "Sociological experiment," says the second.

The professed owner looks at the guys. "Haven't I told you two to get out before?"

"Yes," says the first, "But you don't understand, we need this for research."

"I've told you to do your research somewhere else." He turns back to us, "We're sorry ladies," he says, giving us a slight bow. Then he offers us drinks on the house.

You look at me, and I look at you.

Our eyes meet and then yours flip to the beers already left on the table.

Someone kill me, I silently wish as I slide back down into the seat next to you.

Part 641

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