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

801 SWIM

"Come on, Alex, I'm bored!" You repeat, whining a little more.

You know? I wonder if you're so whiny with people you dated before. Or do I just bring out that side of you? Maybe I should ask Elliot... Or maybe I don't want to know. "You're an adult; you know how to swim."

"Yes, but I want you with me!"

"Why? I just got comfortable. I'll watch you from here."

"No!" Comes your vehement response.

What's up with that? I slide my sunglasses down and look at you. Huh. "Does it have anything with me laying on the beach half-naked all by myself?"

You blush, and look sheepishly down at our joined hands.

"Well, then you can stay here, with me; and we'll go swimming later."

"But I'm bored now."

God. I should just give in. Sooner or later, I will. I know me, and I know you. Although are you really bored? Or do you just want to get me away from people?

"But Liv…" I start to argue, then I see the pout growing on your face, and I sigh. "Oh, all right."

Immediately, you jump up. In my mind's eye, I see you wagging your tail like an excited puppy. In reality, you just reach down, and practically yank me to my feet, pulling me into your arms as I lose my balance.

"I love you," you whisper cheerfully, pressing against me, just briefly.

I can feel my body tightening in response, and instinctively, I want to reach for my clothes. Taking a deep breath, I straighten my spine and push my shoulders back instead.

Involuntarily, your eyes follow my moments, and you swallow.

While you try desperately not to glare at my chest, I smile. Funny how that brings back memories. Think that's when I realized I wasn't in an one-side lust affair, the night you and Elliot interrupted my dinner with Trevor. How you were looking at anywhere but directly at me.

To think, that was less than two years ago…

"Love you, too," I say, shaking off my reverie, but not the emotions in my eyes. Do you see? Can you feel?

The deep tenderness in your eyes, and your wide grin tell me 'yes'.

I wish we weren't standing in the middle of the beach, with people around us…

"Shall we?" I ask, giving you an impulsive kiss on the cheek.

And I soak in your brilliant warm smile.

And let you pull me towards the sea…

802 Wet

"Hey Alex," I call to you, splashing down into the water.

"Hmm?" You answer, sticking your toe in the water, your arms crossed self consciously across your chest.

"Come on!" I say, splashing down and letting the sea envelop me.

"It's cold." You say.

"Come on, it's the ocean! It's fun!"

You laugh. "What's gotten into you?" You ask.

"What do you mean?"

"You're acting like a kid."

"Is that bad?"

"No, actually, it's kind of cute."

"Good. So hurry up," I say splashing water up at you.

"Hey!" You object, running back up onto the shore.

"Come on! The water's great." I yell back at you.

I watch you take a deep breath and step into the water.

"Come here," I smile, as you swim towards me.

"No, you'll splash me," You say, treading water next to me.

With a quick stroke, I swim towards you, and stick my hand out, grabbing you and pulling you into my embrace. Slowly, I slide my hand up, grasping your breast and letting my thumb run over your quickly hardening nipple.

"That's what I thought you wanted."

"Can you blame me?" I ask, pulling you into my embrace.

My toes just touch the bottom, enough to hold us still and you in my arms. You wrap your legs around my waist, and giggle while I let my fingers run up your back.


You're wasting no time in sliding your fingers all over my skin. Is it just my imagination, but is there more certainty to your touch?

Were you really that insecure about us? Did you even realize you were?

"Hey." I cross my arms in front of my chest, holding your hands captive. "Before you do anything else, you have to promise me something."

"Yeah?" You answer with lidded-eyes.

Somehow I get the feeling I can ask you for the Brooklyn Bridge right now, and you'd say 'yes'. "No teasing, and leaving me hanging."

You laugh, a light, happy laugh. "I wasn't planning on it."

"Good," I breathe, letting go, and draping my arms around your neck.

"I want you," you mumble, bending your head towards me, and swallowing my moan. "And I love you, Alex. So much," you break away to whisper, before taking my breath away again.

God. We're crazy.

Crazy to be doing this.

Crazy to be loving like this…

Your hands, the waves, they seem to be touching me everywhere. Warm, and gentle, your caresses flutter down my back, tracing and following the thin strip of fabric that's supposedly shielding my modesty. Easily, you slide the material aside, and slip your fingertips inside me.

I pull away from you, gasping for air. Instinctively bucking against you.

You hold me still, and lift me up, my weight buoyed by the water.

Suddenly I feel the sultry air against my skin.

Then I hear the low noise of appreciation you always make right before...

"Liv!" I yelp in alarm. If people didn't know what we were doing before, they would now. "No!" I warn, anticipating the seal of your lips around my breast.

You chuckle again. "Relax, Sweetie."

I force my eyes opened, only to find you staring at my chest. "What?"

"You weren't kidding." You grin, still staring.

"About what?" I look down self-consciously. Then I saw them, the beginning of freckles. "Oh."

"We can start calling you red."

"Only if you want to die, Benson."

804 Divine

"It depends. How you gonna kill me?"

"With kisses," you smile.

"It might be worth it." I say, smiling at you.

I drop you back into the water and let my fingers slide back down your body. My fingers gently slide across your abdomen.


"What do you want?"

"I want…" I can see the blush rising in your cheeks, your breath catches in your chest. "I want you.."

"You want me to what?"

"I want you to touch me…" you moan as I slide my hand lower.

"Touch you?"

"I want you…I want you to make me…"

My finger slides against your center, and I see you bite your lip hard.

"What do you want?" I ask you again, my voice low enough so that only you could hear it.

"I want you to make me…"

"What?" I ask again, wanting to hear you say it, say what you need. What I know you need. My fingers slide away from your center back up your body.

"Come," you moan, I want you to make me come."

"That I can do," I grin, sliding my fingers back into you, around you.

You let your head fall onto my shoulder, while you try to act casual.

I can feel your body tensing, I can hear the ragged breathing, the moans that are catching in your chest.

I watch your face as your body tightens, and when you finally collapse in my arms.


"Just act casual, Alex."

"How am I supposed to do that?"

"Just ignore them."

"Right. It's all your fault."

"I didn't hear you complaining. In fact, you practically begged me to make you come."

"Shut up!"

"You could've said no."

"Yeah, right."

"Uh-huh. You could."

"Just shut up. Let's hurry." I march through all the smiling sunbathers. Some of them whistle while we pass, while others give you congratulatory salutes.

"Stop it!" I whisper loudly.

"Why?" You whisper back, with this huge smile on your face, while nodding at the people in acknowledgment. "They're just being nice."

"Shut up."

"That's just their friendly way of telling me how lucky I am."

"Olivia Benson," I warn. "If you don't stop it, I'll…"

"Oh, come on…"

"Don't 'come on' me. With our luck, somebody probably video-taped us."

"I'm sure we were far enough that they didn't. Yeah, I'm pretty sure."

"Right." Finally, we're back at the spot we left our clothes.

"Even if they did, Alex, all they got were two women kissing, probably not even that." You pick up my shirt and hand it to me. "No big deal."

I tear the garment from your grasp, and pull it quickly over my head. "I can't believe you're so nonchalant about this," I grouse.


"Just shove it," I scold, biting down on my lip. "And stop smiling like you ate a canary!"

"If you give me a chance, I'll…"

"Shut up!" I manage to stifle my smile. "It's really not that funny!"

806 Famous

I step out of the shower and shake the water from my hair, running my fingers through it to push it off my face.

I let my arms stretch over my head, and yawn. For a day we were supposed to be relaxing, I feel entirely worn out.

I slowly walk into our hotel room and smile at you stretched out on the bed, remote in hand.

"Whatcha watching?"

"The news." You say, gesturing to the TV.

"Do you know what they're saying?"

"Nope, care to translate."

I look at the screen for a second and concentrate on the words. "They're saying that news is boring."

"That's not what they're saying." You complain.

"I look at the screen again. They're talking about water bans."

"Oh." You say, staring at the TV.

"What fun is that for you?" I ask.

"I don't know, don't you think it's a romantic language?"

"Yeah, but you don't speak it."

"I get the gist." You say, turning away from me and back to the TV.

I plop down next to you on the bed and yawn.

"What are they saying now?" You ask.

I look back at the screen. "They're actually talking about problems with tourists." I say, my head thrown over the edge of the bed, so I'm staring at the TV upside down.

"Yeah? It must be hard for places like this to be so reliant on tourism when they really have no control over…"

You stop talking.

Your face gets pale and I look at the screen.

I guess we…

I guess you…

I guess we're famous.


Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck…

How can we be so stupid.

What are we going to do now?


"Jesus," you whisper from your side of the bed.

I look over at you. "What are we going to do?" I whisper back.


Wow? "That's all you've got to say? Wow?"

"Holy shit."

We watch until the end of the segment. Luckily, the footage was shot from a distance. Unless people saw us there today, they wouldn't know it was us.


Unless they're just saving the best for later.

"What are we gonna do, Alex?" You echo what I said earlier.

"Fuck do I know!" I snap.


"They didn't have our consent!"

"Do they really need consent, Alex? We were kinda in a public space."

"Kinda?" I let out a half sarcastic half nervous laugh. "I still think they'd need our consent to show our faces."

"So maybe they won't?"

"Well, and it's pretty late. Maybe nobody saw this?" I feel a little less nervous. "Who watches the news in a tourist resort, right?"

"I hope you're right. I just hope they don't try to look for us and arrest us for public indecency or something."

"Oh, god." And it wouldn't be difficult for them to find witnesses. Fuck. "Maybe we should leave."


"Go home. Back to the States. Go somewhere else. Leave."

"Don't you think you're over-reacting?"

"Do you want to get arrested?"

808 Slammer

"Alex, you're being ridiculous." I say, sitting up from the bed and staring into your panicking face.

"How can you say that?" You ask. "Oh my god, Liv, we're going to go to jail."

"We're not going to jail." I say calmly, realizing that I'm going to have to be the rational one in all of this. "Come on Alex, you prosecute, there are far bigger things to deal with in any precinct than stupid things like public indecency."

"But now we're…poster children."

"For what?" I ask.

"Bad behavior." You moan.

I can't help but chuckle. "Maybe we'll get into girls gone wild." I suggest.

"Don't you dare. This isn't funny."

"It's a little funny." I admit, trying to contain my growing grin.

"It is not. What if one day, I'm running for the senate or something, and all of a sudden this video pops up? All my constituents seeing me getting…"

"Are you going to run for the Senate?"

"That's not the point!" You yell back at me.

"It is the point. Even if they could, it's an expression of our love for each other. Not to mention that no one could prove that was us."

"Really Liv? How many lesbians besides us did you see fucking each other in the ocean today?"

"Well we weren't there the whole day," I say, trying not to smile.

"It's not funny."

"Okay, okay, it's not funny."

"Stop laughing Liv."

"Okay, okay, it's not funny." I say again, trying not to laugh.

"I hate you," you moan.

"You don't mean that," I say, trying to be more serious.

"You're right. But…Liv," you whine…crawling into my arms.


"But Liv," I whine, crawling into your arms for comfort. "I feel so, exposed... I'd say violated, but we were in a public space, we shouldn't have any expectations of privacy," I rationalize to myself.

"You're right about that," you say, still smirking.

I'm determined to not be affected by your callousness. "Sometimes it's hard knowing the law," I grouse. "I wish..."

"Sweetie, you're just being a drama queen."

"I'm not!"

"Actually, you're right. You're not."


"You're being a super drama queen!" You laugh.

"I'm not!" How dare you. I turn around, and hurl a pillow at you.

"Since you tell me I'm a drama queen, and I'm not taking this minor..."

"It's not a minor incident! What if it's an international broadcast? What if people in New York, what if my mom saw it!"

"Sweetie," you pull the pillow away and wrap me in your arms. "I'm sure..."

"And my aunt. Oh my god. What are we going to do?"


"Nothing? How could you just, how could you be so laissez-faire about this?"

"Look at it this way, if your aunt did see us, we won't have to worry about how to tell her about us. I'm assuming your mom's gonna expect us to invite her to our wedding."

Huh. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

"Come on, Alex, it's really not a big deal."

"I still think it is."

"Don't pout," you say, and kiss me gently on my lips.

I drop my head against your shoulder and sigh. "What a vacation this is turning out to be…"

"We still have over a week to enjoy it."

"Can we at least move to a different island or something?"

"What? And pretend we just landed?"

"Sure, yeah, we should do that! It's a great idea, Liv!"

"You know I wasn't serious, but I suppose we could. Aren't you glad I bought my visitor's guide?"

"You have to rub it in, don't you?"

810 Tell

"Sweetie, don't you think, just maybe, you're overreacting just a little?"

"No, Liv, I can't, I won't be able to face people."

"Alex, come on. It was a foggy far away picture of two people kissing in the water. We know what was going on, but they could never prove anything. Besides, you weren't the only naked person on the beach. We're just more scandalous because we're both women."

You look up at me slowly. "Do you really think?"

"It'll be fine Alex."

You sigh. "How do we get ourselves into these things?"

"Well, I think it has to do with your insatiable sex drive."

In spite of yourself, I see a smile. "It's not just me."

"True." You smile gently.

Your quiet, and slowly, I stroke my fingers through your blonde hair, framing it around your face while you stare up at the ceiling.

You take a deep breath, and let it out slowly.

"Whatcha thinking?" I ask you gently.

"Do you really think my mother will make me invite my aunt?"

"Probably." I say, lazily leaning back on my hands.

"I'm afraid to tell her, Liv."

"Why sweetie?"

"Because, I don't, I don't want to deal with her reaction.

"Do you think it's better to lie to her?"

"No, but.."

"But you still don't want to tell her," I finish for you.


"What do you think would happen?" I ask you gently.

"Nothing, she just wouldn't…be happy."

"Are you happy?"

"Yeah, but that's…"

"That's exactly the point." I finish for you. "You're the one I love, you're the one who needs to be happy, no matter what your aunt says. Besides, she'll love me."

"What makes you so sure?" You smirk.

"Because I love you."


"How can you be so sure about my aunt?" I ask you, both of us still staring up at the ceiling.

"She loves you, and I love you, and you love me."

"Great, we can just be one big happy lovey-dovey family."

You ignore the sarcasm in my tone. "Exactly, Sweetie, I'm sure we will be."

"You don't know my aunt. She's only spent the last fifteen years trying to set me up with people." Even the last time I saw her, although I don't think you need to know that.

You turned towards me. "Fifteen?"

I keep staring at the ceiling. "She would've been happy to see me drop out of college to marry someone like Trevor. She did."

"Yeah, well, I doubt your mom would've agreed to that."

"Probably not."

"Your mom will be on our side." You take my hand, and happily reason, "How do you know she hasn't already told your aunt? I'm sure she knows we're living together."

Suppose we should have this talk now. "Roommates."

"That's something you have in your twenties. Like, just fresh out of college."

"She thinks it makes perfect sense, we're both single women, and we work together."


"Yeah." Deeply, I sigh. "I wonder if we shouldn't just…"

"Just what?"

"Continue as we are, if it wouldn't be easier…" I trail off.

Long moments of silence suddenly interrupted by your shaky breath, "You mean, call off our party?"

I hear the tremor in your voice, and I dare not meet your eyes. "I don't know, Liv."

"Look at me, Alex. Look at me." When I don't, you reach over and tip my chin towards you. "I thought you wanted to get married."

"I did."

"Are you changing your mind because you don't want to deal with your aunt, or…"


"Or you just don't want to be my wife?" You ask, smiling gently, patiently.

I smile back, despite myself. "I want that more than anything in the world."

"Good." Your smile is wider now, and more contagious. "Then that's all that should matter."

"Yeah." I wrap my arm around your waist. "I don't know what I was thinking."

"Sex on your brain?"

"Shut up!" I thumb your nose, and smile, albeit a little sadly. "Still, too bad we can't just elope like heterosexual couples…"

812 Elope?

"We could elope." I say slowly, and take a deep breath.

"Yeah, right." You say, with a deep sigh.

"We could," I say again, still staring at the ceiling.

"What do you mean?" You ask.

"We could elope."


"We could get married here."

"How do you know if it's even legal here?"

"It is." I say, swallowing hard.

You look at me bewildered, and I shrug. "How in the world do you know that?" You ask, leaning up onto your elbow and smiling at me, your eyes gleaming.

"Tour book." I shrug.

"Does it tell you where to elope?"

"I dunno, I didn't look that far."

"Do you…"

"I don't…"

"Me either…"

"I know this is kind of silly, but, well, I really want your mom to be there."

You smile, and brush hair away from my eyes gently. "That's sweet."

"She's sort of, I don't know, she's sort of like my mom too. I mean, in a weird way."

"She really does love you, sweetheart. Sometimes I think she's more on your side than mine."

I laugh and kiss you gently. "New York it is."


"New York, it is then." I smile and tuck my chin against your shoulder.


"What, what?"

"What are you thinking now?"

"Who says I'm thinking?"

You chuckle and press a kiss to my head. "You're always thinking, Alex. I think you're thinking even when you're sleeping. I'm sure your mind's off in it own happy thinking land when we have sex… Ow! That hurts!"

I kiss the spot where I just bit, and grin at your rumble. "Isn't there some sort of residency requirement?"

"Residency requirement for what?"

"Getting married here."

"Oh, you have to be here for a week, I think."

"Then you're a legal resident?"

"Lax immigration law?" You shrug. "Why? I thought you didn't want to…"

I look up at you, and I can't read the expression on your face. Fear? Trepidation? Confusion? "It's okay." I sigh to myself. "It's not like it's legal back in the States."

"It's probably another way for them to get the tourists' money," you provide, sarcasm heavy in your tone.

Yep. I should just convince myself that I don't want it, before I can even think too much about it. "Yeah, like vanity license plates."

You wait for the silence after my sigh. "People get them though, you know."

"Yeah, whatever. I always think people put too much emphasis on a piece of paper; and it's not even a legal piece of paper in this case."

"It's legal here."

"What good would that do, Liv?" I demand, suddenly overwhelmed by frustration. "Are we really going to retire here?"

"I'm just saying, Alex."

"We want my mom with us, so it's moot."

"I'm sure your mom can get a flight…"

"Yeah, and what about the people we know? They can't all drop everything and fly here. Criminals don't take vacations!"

814 Better and Worse

"Well, we're not really doing this for them." I say slowly.

"But isn't the point to stand up in front of our friends and…?" You ask, turning your head slightly. Out of the corner of my eye I can see you looking at my face, trying to ascertain my train of thought.

"In some way," I say, carefully choosing my words. "I think if we're only doing this, to stand in front of our friends, we're doing it for the wrong reason."

You don't say anything—and it leaves my words hanging heavy in the air. "I guess." You sigh.

"We're supposed to get married, or committed or whatever as a promise for us. So that we know that no matter what happens, we'll promise to love each other."

I can feel your arm snaking across my stomach and you hug me close to you. "I love you," you whisper into my ear.

I smile at you, and give you a quick kiss on your forehead.



"Can I ask you something…it's kind of hypothetical?"


"What would happen if, well, if I slipped?"

"Slipped?" You ask, your confusion is obvious.



"I mean, I don't plan to. But if we were married…and it happened?"

"I don't know."

"I'm not saying I'm going to Alex, but I think about it sometimes. I mean, think about what would happen if."

"I'm not going to give you permission." You state. I can hear the change in your voice, the anger that must be bubbling inside you.

"It's okay Alex, I mean, I don't intend to do it, it was just a question."


I feel the sudden rage bubbling inside, and I fight to calm myself. Why am I so angry about this? Because of your hypothetical question, or something more?

I close my eyes, and clutch onto you, while you squeeze me back.

"What do you think I would do now?" I ask you, ignoring the shakiness in my voice.

"Like I said, Alex," you provide gently, "I'm not planning on doing it."

"That's not what I asked."

You pause for a moment, taking in a deep breath, then slowly releasing it. "You'd leave me."

"Without question?"

"Without question."

"You think I would just pack my bags and leave…"

"Or more likely, kick me out, not that I wouldn't deserve it."

"And you're sure."

"Isn't that what you said? What you've been telling me?"

"Yeah," I say angrily. Why do I feel like you've already done it, and my heart's breaking already?

"Alex, I'm not, I don't want to, I'm just afraid I might…"

"Fine, Olivia. I know."

"Please, don't be mad? It was just a question."

And a valid one I suppose. "I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at myself."


"Because I'm not as sure as you are. All right?"


"Leaving you, damn it! I wish I could, I wish I were so sure. I wish…" I heave, pushing myself away from you, and curling into myself. "You don't know what it's like…"

You sit up, wrapping your arms around me. "Alex, sweetie."

"I wish I could believe in my own words, wish I knew I could just walk away from you and not look back. I don't know that I can. I need you so much…" Suddenly, I realize my mistake, and I look down at your hands, holding me. "I, I shouldn't have told you…"


"Because you might…"

"Alex, Sweetheart," you whisper next to my ear, "Your ultimatum isn't the only reason why I don't drink, why I don't want to drink."


816 Need

"I don't drink for lots of reasons. I let it get bad, Alex. I mean, you remember. It was out of control. I was going to lose everything, and right then, when I was living it, I couldn't see that. I couldn't tell. I mean, I knew that other people thought it was bad, but I sort of believed that was because they wanted to make my life miserable, not because it actually was a problem."

"You're telling me," You say, trying to make the feeling in the room lighter. I smile, at you, but let myself continue.

"I had to realize that it was a problem. It controlled my life more than I did. And so I don't drink so that I can have my job, and so that I can be productive, and I don't do it because, well, because I love you, and I've seen what it does to you. I've seen the pain in your eyes, and I've known what it's like to see you storm out of my life and believing that you'll never be back, and I know what that did to my heart. I can lie here with you now, and tell you that I'll never do it again. I know all the reasons it was destructive. I remember what it was like to lose you over it, and all those things, they keep me from doing it."

"But you can't ever promise me, promise me that you'll never think about it. That one day, it won't be tempting enough to do again."

"No, I can't, but that's not because of some huge desire to do this Alex. It's because I don't want to lie to you. I don't want to tell you never, and then break your heart."

"But you can say you'll love me forever."

"It's different."


"It's just different Alex. Addiction is different than loving you."

"That's false logic," You complain.

"I can't explain it, okay? It's just different."

"You just don't…I'm afraid of what would happen. What would happen if you decided that I wasn't worth it anymore. That'd you rather go back to being who you were before me."

"You don't see it, do you?" I ask.

"See what?"

"That I need you just as much as you need me."

817 SEE

"I need you, Alex, I really do," you say again when I don't respond right away.

Do you really? I wonder, instead, I finally reply, "I know. We talked about that earlier."

"But you don't believe me."

"I'd like to, Liv, I really do."


"I can't imagine how you could possibly… You picked booze over me."

"That was before," you start to defend yourself, then you sigh. "I'm so sorry, I was stupid."

I see the pain in your eyes, I can feel it in your voice. I guess I should get over this, right? And not let it control me. After all, it was before…

"I just," I stare up at you, then at the ceiling. "You're an independent person, Liv."

"So are you, Alex."

"Not like you." I pause, waiting for supportive arguments from you to tell me otherwise. Silence lull between us instead. So I continue, "Intellectually, I am. And I am with my job."

"I'd say you're more than that, with the job, Slave-driver" you tease, with an impish smile on your face.

"Yeah, well, you could make it easier on me," I tease back, tapping you on the nose. "Anyway, like you said, you've always taken care of yourself."

"So have you."

"Who are we trying to kid? As much I hate to admit it, people always took care of me. You take care of me."

"We take care of each other, Sweetie."

"I suppose."

"I would've been miserable without you, with the bad fish."

"You didn't feel all that great with me around," I remind you, waiting for you to convince me.

"Yeah, but I would've felt worse. Probably puke all over myself, too."


"I can't explain it, Alex," you say, and kiss me gently, "I wish I could. I wish there's a way I can convince you, that I need you. Possibly even more than you need me."

"It's okay, Liv, you don't have to… I know you don't; you can't possibly…"

"Why is it so hard for you to believe me?"

"I don't know… Maybe I have trust issues?" I speculate, not particularly willing to admit this, "Maybe I'm scared?"

818 Insecure

"Scared of what?" I demand.

"Scared that, scared that, I'll get used to you being part of my life, and then one day, you'll wake up and realize, or decide, that I'm not as great as you think I am."

"Huh. I can't believe it." I say, looking into your eyes.


"You're as insecure as I am."

"I am not insecure…" You start to protest, but then you stop. "So maybe I am."

"It's okay to be insecure, but you don't have to worry though."

"I don't think I can help it." You mumble.

"I wish I could show you what was in my heart."

"I know what's in your heart Liv, it's not about that. I'm insecure. I'm afraid of you seeing the things I see in myself sometimes. The way I need you. I'm afraid it'll scare you away."

"I'm still here. I don't get it. I don't understand how you can't just see… can't understand that I'm the lucky one." I try to explain.

You smile a wistful smile, and let your finger trail it's way down my profile. "And I don't get how you can't see that I feel the same way."

"I guess we both have issues." I say, staring at the ceiling.

"Yep." You say, sliding your arm back over my stomach, holding me close. "I guess we do."

"I love you though." I whisper.

"I love you too." You say, as I lean in and kiss you lightly on your forehead.

"Isn't that's what matters?" I ask you gently.

"I guess." You mumble.

Why doesn't that make me feel secure?


"You guess?" Your voice comes out as a squeak.

I shrug.

"What else is there?" You demand. "Isn't our love for each other the most important thing?"

"It is, I suppose."

"You suppose?"

Sometimes I think I know how you get the perps to confess. I bang my head against your chest. "Yes, it is."


"But," I sigh. "I'm still, you know."

You whisper over my head. "Scared?"


"Besides the need thing?"


"About what?"

"So many things." I sigh again, snuggling closer to you. "Irrational things. At least I hope they are."


"That you suddenly decide you can't take the pressure, and want to go back to being straight?"

"Alex, sweetie, that's not…"

I don't let you finish. "Like my aunt's going to freak out when we tell her. I'm afraid she's going to make life difficult for us; I can even begin to imagine what she might do..."

"To break us up?"


"But we're not going to let her," you say, but I can hear the question in your statement.

I lean up, and kiss you. "No we're not," I tell you with a smile. "That much I am certain."

"You're sure?"

"Yes, I am." I kiss you again, and ruffle your hair. Finally, you smile your crooked smile. "God, we are a pair, pear."


Wish there were something we could do, to help us get over ourselves, help make us feel more secure in our love. Silence hangs over us again.



"Were you serious about getting married here?"

820 Surprise

"Here?" I ask you. "I thought you wanted to wait til we went back to New York?"

"It's stupid forget it." You say quickly. Too quickly, and I think it's the first time I realize how much you want this. How much you must have wanted this. I can feel my heart pounding, and I realize that I'm excited. I want this to work, I want to be with you. I want to do what I can to prove that to you.

"You mean you'd want to, really? Here?" I ask again.

"I asked you." You say, avoiding the question

"But your mom's not here."

"No. But it's about us, isn't it?"

"Yeah, but, I thought you wanted to make a commitment to each other in front of our family and friends and stuff."

"No, I want to make one to you, Liv. I want to make a commitment to you."


"Don't worry about it," you say quickly. "It really is stupid."

"No, it's not, it's not stupid at all," I say very slowly.

"Do you want to?"

"We're going about this all wrong."

"Liv, don't worry about it, really, it's stupid."

"No, it's not," I insist pulling myself off the bed.

"Where are you going?" You ask me, reaching for me.

"Stand up." I say, pulling you to your feet.

"What are you doing?" You ask, staring at me.

Slowly and carefully, I get down onto my knee. I can see tears in your eyes, "Liv you don't have to."

"Shhh.." I whisper, taking your hand into mine. "I love you, Alex. I love you more than I ever thought possible, and I want…I want to…Will you marry me?"

821 KNOW

I react in confusion as you pull me out of bed. Then I watch while you get down onto your knee.

You're not. You are. I thought. "You don't have to, not just because."

"Shhh… I want to," you tell me, taking my hand.

"But…" I can only stare at you.

"Will you marry me?"

Through the blur of my tears, I see your shy smile, and the look I thought was trepidation earlier. Are you nervous?

I know I am. I can feel my blood pounding in my ear. I feel my breath catching in my throat. I didn't know how much I wanted this, until this moment. Until now.

"It's a piece of paper," I whisper.

"It's a commitment," you reply, and tug on my fingers. "Will you?"

"Yes." I get down onto the floor with you, so we're looking directly into each other's eyes. "Yes, Liv. I'll marry you," I tell you, and watch the smile grow on your face.

I guess you really want this, too.

"I love you, Alex." You pull me into your arms while I lean into you.

"I love you, too," I mumble next to your lips, "So very much."

And we kiss, soft and gentle and deep. So full of promise. Full of love…

"You know your mom's gonna kill us." You grin, wiping tears from my face and yours, after we break for air.

"Yep. But we can still have a party."


"Are you really sure you want to?"

"Alex Cabot!" You yelp, full of exasperation.

I giggle. "Just checking," I smile, and throw my arms around your neck. "We're gonna get married…" I say again, rolling the words in my mouth, tasting them. We were going to get married before, somehow though, this is different…

I feel like in addition to knowing what's in your heart, I can actually trust it, and feel secure in your love. Our love.

"I love you, Olivia Benson." I grin, snuggling into your warm embrace.

822 Today

"So we're going to do it?" I ask.

"Yeah, we're going to do it." You say, your smile growing.


"I know," you say with a smile, "But this is something I really want to do."

"Me too." I say, feeling my smile growing.

"I can't believe that…"

"I know," I say, not letting you finish the sentence. "So, let's go."

"Wait, you want to do it now?" You ask.

"Of course." I say, pulling myself off the floor and pulling you up with me.


"No time like the present."

"But, Liv, it's has to be two a.m."

"I'm sure there's somewhere open."


"No buts, let's go, we're going to get married," I say, pulling your hand.

You smile at me, and stop. "It's sweet that you want to do this now, but don't you think we could wait til tomorrow morning at least? And a more civilized hour."


"We need to get rings too." You say, gently letting your hand slide down the side of my cheek.

"Yeah." I say, trying to hide my disappointment.

"I'm…Liv, I'm really happy."

"I am too, sweetie." I say, watching you settle yourself back down on the bed.

I sit down next to you and take your hand into mine, watching our fingers lace together. I feel your head resting on my shoulder.

"I love you," I whisper.

"I love you too," you whisper back, squeezing my hand.

823 CAVE

"I love you," I tell you, and rest my head on your shoulder. We're going to be married. Wow.


"Alex?" You whisper.

I can hear the whine in your voice. "We already have rings."

"But I want matching rings."

"We can use what we have for the ceremony, and exchange matching rings for the party," you provide quickly. Are you going to have an answer for every one of my questions?

"Now that I think about it, I thought you said we have to be here for a week first."

"It's retroactive. You can be here after the ceremony."


"If we can find a place that's open, I'm sure they'll have one."

I look up to find you watching me intently, as if waiting for my next question. I'm sure you'd have a fast answer for it, too. "You really want to do this right now?"

"You don't want to."

You're trying hard not to pout, trying not to look disappointed, I can tell. "It's not that, well, I just don't see why you want to right this moment."

"I don't know."

"Why? You might change your mind?" I ask, half in jest.

"No," you whine. "I'm not gonna."

"Then are you afraid I'm going to change my mind when the sun comes up?"

"No!" Quickly, you reply. A little too quickly.

I take your cheeks in my hand, and kiss you gently on the lips. "I'm not going to change my mind in the morning. I really, really want this."

"Then we should, now."

What do I really care about civility? What difference would five hours make. Meanwhile, it would make you happy. I look into your deep eyes, and smile. "All right."

You blink, apparently not expecting me to cave, and so simply. "All right?"

"Yes. If you can come up with a place that's open at this hour, I'll marry you."

824 Ready

"Okay, let's go," I say, pulling you with me off the bed and towards the door.

"Wait a minute, you have to find a place…" You say, protesting again.

"I already know where there is one."

"You what?"

"I already know, come on."

"Wait a minute, Liv, how do you?"

"I looked it up already, okay? Before we got here."

"So you had thought about this before?" You ask.

I look into the floor, and then shyly at you. "Yeah?" I ask you.

"Why didn't you say anything?"

"Because I didn't think you'd…"

"But Liv, I've been thinking about this for…well, for a while now."

"Then why didn't you say anything?" I ask.

"Because I didn't think you'd want to." You laugh. "So we've both been thinking about it and neither one of us would say anything?"

"Looks that way." I smile.

"Why do we insist on doing this to each other?" You ask.

"Doing what?"

"Torturing each other by not talking about what we're actually thinking."

I shrug. "I don't know."

"It doesn't matter." You say resolutely. "Tonight we're getting married Liv."

I smile as you pull on shoes, the huge smile brightening your eyes. "Let's go," you say, letting me finally pull you out the door…


"Hurry," you say, practically dragging me down the hall.

"What's gotten into you?" I ask as you tap your foot impatiently, while waiting for the elevator to reach our floor. "Liv, I don't think pushing the elevator button again will make it come faster."

"You do it all the time." Now you're twitching with something in your pocket.

"Yeah, well," I smile at you. Then we hear the 'ding' and the door slides open.

"Finally," you grumble, pushing me into the elevator.

"Calm down."

"I am calm."

"You're twitchy."

"Am not," you insist, staring at the panel of buttons.

"It's not going to go faster, you know."

Without another word, you press me into the corner, and kiss me full on the mouth. "What's that for?" I ask after you pull away.

"We're getting married," you reply simply.


"I'm just happy, Alex."

Somehow I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face, not that I'm really trying. "I am, too."

"Have you decided what you're going to do?"

"About what?"

"Are we going to change our names?"


"Are we going to change…"

"I heard you the first time, Liv." I wrinkle my nose at you. "Change our names?"

"Yeah, what if it's required for this country."

"I doubt people would make laws like that," I try to reason. "How can they be so advanced in allowing gay marriage, but require that people change their names."

"I'm just wondering, Alex."

"I don't think we should change our names."

"But what if…"

"We'll cross that bridge when we have to, okay?"

826 Luck

"Sure, you'll marry me but you won't change your name," I say, half kidding, but with a smirk.

"Liv, we have professional lives. I'd have to get new business cards. You have no idea how hard it was for me to get them in the first place."

"Yeah, I do. When I first transferred into SVU I had to use the cards from the guy I replaced. People gave me the strangest looks."

You start to laugh. "You're lying."

"No, I'm not," I say, trying to keep a straight face. "It was pretty sad."

"Sure, Liv," you laugh, clinging to my neck and giving me a light kiss. "So where's this place?"

"It's downtown. We'll take a cab." I announce, feeling far more confident about the location than I should be.

"Are you..?"

"Yes, I'm sure, Alex. Geez, don't you trust me?"

"Of course, but in case you haven't noticed, we haven't had the best of luck on this island."

"What are you talking about?"

"Are you kidding?"

"No, seriously, it's been fine! We've been having a great time."

"Wait, which time are you talking about, the time you were lying on the floor puking your guts out, or the time we were on the news as the public exhibitionists."

"Now to be fair, that's not why we were on the news. You were on as the exhibitionist; I was just an innocent bystander."

The evil glare you give me tells me to stop while I'm ahead.

"I love you," I smile gently.

"You're so lucky I'm in a romantic mood." You smile.

The doors open onto the lobby, and I pull you by the hand out into a cab. I give the driver quick directions and settle in with you in the backseat.

827 TAXI

After you rattle off the address to the driver, we settle into the backseat of the cab. "I can't wait," you whisper in my ear.

I give you a smile, and your hand a squeeze.

The cab driver clears his throat. "You two getting married?"

"Um…" I start, not sure if we should tell the truth.

"Yes, we are," you answer cheerfully.

"Liv!" I warn in a hushed voice.

"What, Sweetie? We are!"

"Do you have to announce to everybody?"

"Do you want me to? I can."

I know you're just saying it to get a reaction from me. I can see it in your eyes.

"You two make a cute couple," the driver chimes in.

"Thanks," you reply, while I can feel my blood rushing to my face.

"No need to be embarrassed, little lady."

"Yeah, Sweetie, don't be embarrassed," you echo.

"I'm not," I insist, giving you an evil stare, daring you to make further comments. You have the good sense to look sheepish, and sit back.

He sees the exchange and laughs. "Young people." He shakes his head. "This time of the morning, half my fares are drunk and going to the chapel, and the other half are just plain drunk, I rather have more like you. At least I won't have to worry about you throwing up in my car."

Before I can come up with a response, he continues, "I've been a taxi driver for forty years, I've seen everything. Tourists. You think you can come to a foreign country and just do things. We're open minded people, and we try not to judge, but did you see the news last night?"

You hear my sharp intake of breath, and you squeeze my hand. "No, we didn't."

"Just as well," he offers. "They show a picture of two ladies in the ocean, doing who knows what."

"Really?" You pretend to be shocked.

"They looked like they were just kissing, but…" He shakes his head, and says again, "Tourists."

"Well, we're not like them," I say, and pinch you for your snicker.

"Oh, I know, you two look like nice girls," he smiles, and pull up to the curb. "Here you are."

While you pay for the fare, I jump out of the cab, quickly, lest he suddenly recognizes us.

"I hope you have a long and happy marriage!" He yells out the window before he drives off.

828 Ready

"Are you sure you want to do this?" You ask me. "It's really sudden. I mean, we can wait till the morning. Or till later. Or something. I mean, we just don't have to do this right now, if you don't want to." You say, your voice fast and rambling.

"Do you not want to?" I ask you, feeling disappointment filling my soul.

"No, no, I do," you say quickly. "I just want to make sure you're sure. You know this is forever."

"Really Alex?" I ask you, pretending the thought has never crossed my mind.

"Shut up," you scold me. "I'm being serious."

"So am I. I want to marry you." I say, quietly, taking your fingers in my hand.

"I just want to be sure." You say again.

"Hey," I say, pushing your chin gently so your eyes meet mine. "I love you."

"I love you too." You say. "So this is it." You say, taking my hand.

"Yeah." I say. Neither of us moves towards the glowing lights that mark the entrance to the chapel.

"Are we going to go in?" You ask.

"Yeah." I say, absently.




"I'm ready," I say interrupting you.

"Me too." You say, with a smile.

And we stand in the same place.

I hear you take a deep breath, and hear the air pass over your lips. "Come on." You say, pulling me forward. "Let's do this."


"Let's do this," I tell you, pulling you towards the glowing light of the chapel. "It's now or never."

You move a step, then you stop.

We stand in the middle of the sidewalk, paused in motion. I'm ready to move forward, while you hold back, as if rooted to the pavement.

I feel my heart plunging into the pit of my stomach. I stare at you, questioning silently, not trusting my voice. If you don't say something soon, I'm not going to be able to see you at all. Already, you're getting blurry.

"Alex?" You start, almost meekly.

I close my eyes, and inhale. Don't jump to conclusions. Don't cry, I tell myself.

I feel you tug at my fingers, then I feel your nearness.

"Look at me?"

When I finally open my eyes, I see you standing a mere step away from me.

"I have a confession to make."

I press my lips together, as a signal for you to continue.

"It is really going to be forever."

"I know, Liv." I hear my voice in a hoarse whisper.

"No I mean really forever."

"Okay. I thought we want to be together, forever."

"They don't grant divorce decrees," you blurt.


"They don't acknowledge divorces here."

"Really?" I furrow my brows, my legal logic taking over. "What do you mean?"

"According to the guide book, once you're married, that's it. No matter what you do, or where you go, in the eyes of the law here, you're always going to be married."

"Really, that's… peculiar."

"You know, kinda like the catholic church? Except there isn't even annulment? Unless you're found incompetent later?"


"I was debating. I really didn't want to tell you, but then I thought I should. You have the right to know, and make an informed decision. It wouldn't be fair to you if I didn't let you know," you ramble, then you take a deep breath. "So, do you still wanna? Knowing that it's really forever?"

"Do you?" I feel like I can breathe again; and now you're getting blurry for a different reason.

You smile, and press your lips to my cheek, kissing away the small tears. "Yeah."

"Then let's."

830 Nervous

My heart pounds hard in my chest as you sign us into the chapel. I feel like I'm on fire, my skin is alive and beating it's own beat. It's like my body is playing the tempo of the island, fast and loose. Everything is too much, too bright, too loud, too many. The light feels blinding compared to the half lit streets we just walked off of, and my hands are starting to sweat. I readjust your hand in mine, and you look at me for the first time. "Are you okay?" You whisper.

"Uh huh." Is all I manage. It's hot in here. It's very hot.

I wonder if you realize how hot it is. I swallow, but the lump in my throat won't go away, so I swallow again.

It's all in my head. I know it's all in my head. It really is. I want this. I want you. I scold myself for being so god damn nervous.

"Breathe Liv, you look like you're going to pass out."

"I'm okay." I whisper back.

Everyone's looking at us. Is everyone looking at us?

Why are they… calm down, I force myself to breathe. I look over at you.

You appear calm. Happy. Radiant.

I take another deep breath, while you slide me into the back seat of the chapel while we wait our turn. My knee starts shaking, and quietly, you put your hand on my leg to stop it. I know it annoys you, but it's a habit I picked up long before I knew you.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" You ask again.

"Yeah, of course, why, you change your mind?"

"No, but you look like you've seen a ghost. And you're shaking the whole bench."

"I'm just…I'm nervous, but I'm happy. Nervous and happy." I say, my leg starting to shake again.

Again, you silently put your hand on my knee, stopping me. "That's cute," you say, kissing me on the cheek.

"Glad you think so."

"I'm nervous too," you whisper.


"Of course…this is, it's, it's a big step."

"I know." I say, like I need you to remind me. "Why do you look so calm?"

"I'm not." You say, with a smile. You put your hand on my knee, stopping it from shaking it against the floor.

"I can't help it," I whine.

"If you keep it up, I'm going to need a Dramamine."

I laugh, which makes you smile. "Sorry," I say sheepishly.

"Cabot Benson?" Someone calls from in front of us.

"Ready?" You ask, gently.

"Ready," I say, taking your hand.

831 SET

I'm so nervous. You keep asking me why I look so calm. Well, I'm not. I only look it. Years of putting on the poker face, standing in front of judge and jury and bluffing my way through cases help.

Why can't you see that? How come it doesn't occur to you?

Why are you shaking? It's driving me insane.

I love you. I love you a lot.

And I wanted this. Want this. To get married. Always wanted it since I was a little girl.

Okay, maybe not exactly. I wanted a big wedding with flowers and a pretty white dress, and a super hunky prince charming.

Instead we're in a chapel in a foreign country. A chapel with blinking neon signs, and filled with drunken people.

I wonder if this is how a chapel in Vegas looks like.

Well, except a cheesy chapel in Vegas wouldn't have people of all genders and persuasion, waiting to get married.

And in my silly little girl dreams, I didn't have you.

And I love you.

I do love you.

And I want to spend the rest of my life with you.


Til death do us part.

Even though your shaking is running me nuts. "Liv, please," I place my hand on your knee and squeeze. "I'm going to need a Dramamine, if you don't."

"Sorry," you say sheepishly, and I smile.

Suddenly, I hear someone calling our names. "Cabot Benson."

That's us.

"Ready?" I ask you.

"Ready," you respond, pulling me to my feet.

"Cabot Benson," they call again.

"Yes!" You yell back, and smile at me. "We set?"

'Cabot Benson'? Suddenly, the syllables register in my brain. "Oh god, I really hope they don't make us change our names," I whisper.

832 Names

"Wait a minute," I say, smiling acknowledgment to the person who is impatiently calling our names, turning to you. 'What did you just say?" I ask gently.

"Nothing." You say slowly.

"No, you said something." I demand, knowing what I heard.

"It's not important Liv."

"Yeah it is, Alex, what'd you say?"

"I said, I thought, I said I I don't want to change my name." You blurt out, quickly putting the sentence out in front of me.


"I'm sorry." You say quickly, and reach for my hand. "I just, it would be so…difficult. Professionally. To explain the whole thing."

"It's okay, Alex."


"It's fine. I understand if you don't want to…"

"Thanks," You say, squeezing my hand.


Your face looses it's happy smile. "Yeah?"

"Would it bother you if, if I wanted to change mine?"

"You want to be a Cabot?"

"Well, no, I want to add yours…or not, if you don't want me to."

"No, I mean, I just never thought you'd…"

"I didn't either. But I think it's…I want to."

You stare at me blankly for a second, but then a slow smile starts to spread across your face, while you pull me towards the front of the room and the altar that holds our fate.

833 MINE

I know you heard me. From the look on your face, I can tell you did. Why are you insisting that I repeat it? "I, uh, I just don't want to change my name."

You look at me, your expression inscrutable.

Suddenly, the place is silent, too silent. I'm sure it's not reality, I'm sure it's just the oppressive imaginary bubble that surrounds us.

"Oh," you finally say.

I feel obligated to make up some excuse. It seems so easy to blame it on the job. Can you really blame me for not wanting to change my name? I'm out there, my name in the newspapers every other day. That's not going to help you from being the poster girl. That's a reasonable reason, right?

Well, if that doesn't work, if you change your mind, I could just tell you the real reason. You'll just have to understand that my name is the only tangible connection I have with my father, besides his money, and that I'm not going to give it up for anyone. Not even for you.

"It's okay, Alex."

What? I'm so busy trying to come up with reasons to placate you that I'm not sure I heard what you said. At least I don't think I heard correctly.

"It's okay, Sweetie," you repeat, squeezing my hand.

WHEW! Good. "Thanks." I smile lightly. There's still a look on your face that makes me hesitate. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," you reply.

I can sense the same hesitation emanating from you, and I can feel my face fall. "But?"

"But do you mind if I changed my name?"

"What?" Waitaminute. That's, that's so unexpected.

"What if I want to change my name?"

"You want to be a Cabot?" I blurt, from sheer shock. I thought you would expect me to change my name to yours, and not the other way around…

I can't say I know why I actually feel disappointed when you tell me you just want to add my name. So are you going to be Benson Cabot? Or Cabot Benson? Is it going to be hyphenated? Are you actually going to officially use it? I can feel my smile growing as the questions flit through my head.

Does it make me the groom? Huh.

Certainly makes you mine! My smile grows even wider at the thought, as I pull you towards the altar.

"Cabot Benson?" The man asks impatiently as we approach.

Suddenly the syllables sound so right together. We smile at each other; then together, we nod.

"Ready to go?"

"Yes," I reply, then add quickly, before you can change your mind, "Except she'd like to change her name."

"Sure. I just need your ID's." He doesn't even look at us, when he hands you a form and a pen, and takes our passports.

Hurray for funky foreign laws! Hurray for expressed ownership! Soon everyone will know you're mine!

Mine, mine, mine, mine!


834 Changes

The guy shoves a form in front of me, and doesn't glance at the ID's we hand him. For all the attention he paid, I could have handed him the ID of Abraham Lincoln and he wouldn't even notice.

He puts X's on some lines and tells me to sign, which I eagerly begin to do until you stop me. "You have to read what you sign," you whisper, scolding me and taking the papers from his hand.

"Lawyer," I say, pointing at you while the guy expresses his disapproval.

"It's standard," he assures you.

"Yeah, let me decide that one, okay?" you say, still reading the paperwork.

The guy starts blowing air, "Listen lady, I don't have all night. We're busy here, we doing this or not?"

"Can you just give her a minute?" I say, knowing you will not compromise when it comes to reading this.

Fortunately, you read fast, and at that moment, you look at me and smile. "Go ahead and sign it, sweetie."

"Want to give me the high points?"

"You're legally changing your name. Well, legally here anyway. If you want to do it back home we can file the papers there."

"Would you do that?"

"Of course," you smile.

"Thank you," the guy exclaims loudly. "There, there, and there," the guy says pointing to the papers.

I try to keep my hand from shaking as I sign my name.

"Okay, you ready?" the guy asks, snatching the papers back and putting them into his pocket.

I take a deep breath and smile at you. "We're ready."

"Great." He says, pulling out a Bible and he starts into his speech.

I reach out and take your hand, and I notice for the first time you're shaking, just a little.

Our fingers lace together, and our eyes meet.

"I love you," I mouth to you, and you smile.


We sit at the back of the pews, holding each other's hands, alternately staring at each other and at the piece of paper sitting in your lap.

"Wow," I finally manage a sound.


"We're…" I start.

"Married," you finish the sentence.



We're married. That's got to be the shortest but most meaningful ten minutes of my life. I'm not sure I even heard what the man said. I can't even remember what I said to you. Whatever I said though, made your smile huge and your eyes water. I don't think I'll ever forget that.

I'll never forget what you said to me either. It was so eloquent, so deep. It's almost like you knew exactly what to say, like you rehearsed it many times before. Did you?

God, I love you. So much.

We stare at each other some more. Do I have the same besotted and shell-shocked look you do? The same goofy smile on my face. "So."


"What do we do now?"

"I dunno…"

"Maybe we should leave? Go back to the hotel?"

"And start our honeymoon?" You give me a knowing smile.

Somehow, for some reason, I want to prolong this moment - so chaste, yet so full of love. "Or."


"We could go to take a walk in the moonlight. It's beautiful out."

You think for a moment, then you smile. "Maybe we can watch the sunrise. Like we did when we exchanged rings. Remember?"

"How could I forget?" I lean in, and kiss you softly, letting my tongue taste yours, just for a few short seconds. "I love you."

"I love you, too."

Then I let go of one of your hands, and pick up the precious piece of paper. I stand up, pulling you with me. "Well, shall we? Mrs. Cabot?"

836 Moonlight

I watch you carefully, pressing the paper with our signatures into your pocket. "Do you mind if I?" You ask, before you slip it the final inch into your pocket and out of the light.

"No, it's okay," I say smiling, watching the relief cross on your face.

"I kind of like holding it." You say, "I mean, it's stupid, but somehow, this piece of paper. I just, I like knowing it exists."

"I do too," I say, leaning into you and kissing you gently on the cheek.

We push our way out of the neon chapel and into the cool air. The street is dark, the moonlight our only guide as we walk slowly, down the street and towards the sound of the beating ocean. Our fingers twine together, and the air, which is just cold enough to be noticeable, seems alive with anticipation.

It's nearly four am, but I feel entirely awake, alive.

I could never sleep again, as long as we stayed exactly the way we are right now, and I could live happily for the rest of my life.

In what seems like seconds, you have me curled up in your arms on the moonlight beach. You're rubbing my arms.

"Are you cold sweetie?" You ask me gently.

"Not really," I sigh, content to get the warmth from where our bodies are touching.

"It's so beautiful."

"Yeah." I sigh.

"We're….we did it Liv."

"Yeah," I sigh again, happily.

"We're married."

I lean up and kiss you gently. Slowly, the kiss gets deeper, needier.

I pull back from you, "Can we go back?"

"Back where?"

I look up at you like your insane. "To the hotel." I state more than ask.

"But we were going to watch the sunrise." You protest.

"But I want…"

You smile. "And you call me the one who's obsessed with sex."

"Who said anything about sex?" I ask, smiling.

"You just…"

"I'm just sleepy." I say, pretending to yawn.

"Sure you are," you say, slowly pressing your hand against my breast, slowly letting it slide down my body. I feel myself swallowing hard, as you stop your fingers just above the waistband of my pants. "What do you want to bet, that if I stick my hand in there, that I'll find you've been thinking about sex?"

"Uhhh…" I say, swallowing harder. "You'd never do that."

"Want to bet?" You ask…

837 BET

"Well?" I let my other hand slide across your chest, the pads of my fingers tracing slow circles.

You answer with a loud swallow.

Then I squeeze my fingers together, gently against your hard flesh. "What do you want to bet?"

"Alex," you sigh, your eyes closing, your hands grasping onto my arms.

I laugh, and inch a little lower towards your waistband. "Sorry, Sweetie, It doesn't work that way."

You sigh again, your need laced with exasperation.

"Can't use me as stake to bet against me."


"Please what?"

You're silent, your breath growing increasingly ragged while I vary the pressure of my touch.

"Maybe you're right."

Your eyes fly open. "Huh?"

"Maybe we should go back to the hotel."

"Alex?" You whine softly.

"We don't want to be caught for public indecency again. Maybe this time we won't get so lucky."

"But… sunrise? You want to see? I thought?" You breathe, while my fingers never stop their teasing.

"I do. But you want to go back. I thought you're sleepy."

"I'm not," you gasp, while pushing at my arm, pushing my hand down your pants.

"Are you telling me you lied?"

"Yes!" You arch up against me, while I slip away from your heat. "I lied."

"Bad girl."

"Baby, please?"

"Tell me."


"Tell me."

"I love you."

"I know," I smile. "I love you, too, Liv. Now, tell me what you want."

838 First

I hear the desperation in my own voice. "I want, I want," But something deep inside me stops. I want you to fuck me senseless. I want you to make me come screaming your name here on the beach. I want you to touch me, and love me, and make love to me, but I don't want it at the same time.

I wonder if this is how you feel, when I tease you mercilessly. Someday, when I'm not out of my mind with desire, I'll try to remember to ask you.

Your fingers are teasing me, taunting me, your warm breath on my neck, the warm wetness between my legs that begs for your touch, and then it strikes me.

This is our first time.

First time as a married couple, and suddenly a romp on the beach doesn't sound as sexy.

Slowly I reach up and still your hand. "I don't want this." I say, pulling myself away from your teasing.

You look at me shocked. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I just. I know this sounds…well, stupid, but our first time, together, you know, after being married. I want it to be special. I want it to be special and not a quick fuck on the beach."

Your frown turns into a smile. "That's so….romantic."

"Shut up," I say quickly, feeling myself blushing.

"But it is Liv," You say, squeezing me tight in your arms.

"Shut up," I say again.

"Let's go back then."

"But Alex, you want to be here."

"I do, but I want to make love to you. Like you deserve."

I swallow again, while you slowly pull yourself off the beach, taking my hands into yours and pulling me up too.

"I love you, Olivia Benson Cabot," you smile, as you reach in and kiss me, lightly, gently.

Somewhere in the distance, I can see the sun starting to rise over the pounding ocean.

"Look Alex," I point. "The sun."

"We made it after all," you smile, as you take my hand and lead me away from the beach.


"Let's go this way," you say, pulling me towards the water.

"This way? But the road," I motion behind me. "I thought we're…"

"We are." You look back at me, smiling. "We can walk along the beach for now."


"We have our whole life ahead of us," you explain, trying to find the appropriate words. "Meanwhile, there's only one sunrise, first day, of us as a married couple."

"That's so romantic."

"It's not," you argue, your blood warming your cheeks.

"Yes, it's." I lean in and kiss you softly. "You just don't want to admit that you're a romantic at heart."

"Am not!"

"A badass cop with a giant romantic bone. How awful."

"Alexandra Cabot, if you don't shut up…" You feign menace.

I can see the laughter in your eyes. "Woooo… I'm so scared."

You take a step towards me, and pull me into your arms, clasping me tightly around my waist "You should be."

My breath catches at our sudden proximity. "Why?"

"I might decide to drown you with mush."

Laughing, I reach up and ruffle your hair, to see the sun rising in your eyes. "You're so silly."

"But you love me anyway." It's a statement, not a question.

"You know I do."

"And I love you, Alex."


"And ever and ever, until the sun stops rising, and the sea…"

"Okay," I push my hand over your mouth. "I get the point."

"I thought you wanted romance?"

"I do. In small doses."

You chuckle, and hold me close. "I see."

I wrap my arms around your shoulders, and snuggle into your embrace. "Liv?"


"Are things going to change between us now? Besides the piece of paper? Since now you're sort of a Cabot?"

"What do you mean, Sweetie?"

"Well, I didn't take your name, but you took mine. Does that make you, or make me, you know."

840 Boy

"You know?" I ask, questioning you, not exactly sure what you're getting at.

"The boy. Am I the boy?" You ask. "You took my name, and now, you're the sappy romantic."


"You know, that whole lesbian relationships have a butch and a femme? One person plays out the more traditionally female role while the other presents a more masculine image? Does it mean that I'm the boy now?"

"Since when did you buy into stereotypes like that?" I ask, raising my eyebrow at you.

"Wait, what?" You ask, your face turning into confusion. "I thought that… I mean, I never really thought of it as a stereotype, I thought it was just sort of, something that happened."

"Why does one of us have to be the boy? Why can't we just be Alex and Olivia, two people who love each other?"

"I don't know. Because I never thought you'd want to take my name."

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Well because, it's, your name is who you are."

"Yeah, I guess. It never meant that much to me. I mean, it does, but I'd rather be a Cabot. I'm getting something, you'd be losing something."

"I don't think of it like that," you say quickly.

"If I was a guy would you have changed your name?" I ask slowly.

You think for a second and then speak slowly. "You know, I don't think I would have wanted to. I like my name, I like my heritage."

"And there's the whole business card problem."

"Yeah, that too," you say with a smile.

"Do you really think of me as a boy?" I ask, slowly.

"No, I mean, you're a beautiful woman. But you open doors for me, and you like to be on top…" you say, blushing as you stare out into the ocean. "I don't think of you as a guy."



I like this, just the two of us, with the gentle lapping of the ocean, cool breeze, beautiful sunrise, pristine sand under our feet… just the two of us.

Walking into our future. I remove my hand from your arm, to tuck my hair behind my ear. Very casually, before looping my arm around your elbow again, I brush across my pocket, to touch the crisp sheet of paper, to feel it close to me.

We're married.

Now I can admit to myself how much I wanted this. With you.

"So, are you going to call my mom, mom?"


"Isn't that what people do? When they get married? It'd be silly for you to call her Mrs. Cabot, now."

"Do you want me to?"

"If you want to." I'll gladly share my mom with you.

"I guess, if your mom doesn't object."

"She likes you."


I look over to see you wrinkling your nose. "What's wrong?"

"Trevor. He's my brother-in-law now."

"He's really not such a bad guy. I'm sure he'll be happy for us."

"Yeah, we see about that." You roll your eyes skyward; still, the look of amusing never left your face. "We might find Olivia fish floating upside down when we get home."

"Imagine his reaction when I bring home a new Cabot!" I pull on your hand, and laugh like a little kid triumphant on the playground. "Once again, I score one over him!"

You grin crookedly, blushing. "What am I? A trophy?"

"No, you're my wife." I lean over and kiss you, sliding the tip of my tongue teasingly along your lips. "My blushing bride I'm going to ravish when we get back to the hotel."

"Who says you get to do the ravishing." You turn a deeper shade of red. "Just because I took your name?"

"Yep. That puts me in charge." I say, pulling you away from the water, and towards the road.

This time, you follow without argument. "I hate to tell you, Sweetie, you're always in charge. That's what control freaks do."

"Keep that up, and you won't get your turn."

"That's not fair. I get to ravish my bride, too."

"All's fair in love and sex." I tell you, and raise my arm to flag down a cab.

"I thought you like being on the bottom." You whisper, wagging your brows, before reaching for the door. "You gonna give it up?"

"Just hush." I warn, ignoring the blood rushing to my cheeks, and slide into the seat…

842 Reflection

You slide into the cab, and pull me in with you. I listen, lazily as you give the address of the hotel, and I smile as the cab driver pulls away from the curb and starts speeding off into the semi-darkness of mid morning. Your hand reaches out slowly, hesitantly, and takes mine.

I smile while I spend my time staring out the window. Your fingers are twisting with mine, and I'm reminded that we're together like this, now and forever.

So much has happened, in just a few short days.

I'm married now. My life has changed in the most dramatic way possible. I'm no longer out for myself. If something happens to me, I don't have to worry that no one will be there. Or that I'll simply end up dying alone, because now, you're going to be there, with me, forever. You've promised to love me no matter what happens.

The speeding car passes by the tiny shops on the island that are just now starting to come to life. The sun brings life, and even if it is only a few, people are starting to walk down the street.

And so much has happened with us, leading right up to this moment. I'm sober now, something that I never really thought would happen. Alcohol which spent it's time as a huge part of my life, has slowly begun to fade into my past. It's still a struggle, but not as much as it once was. It comes and goes, but now, now I have something better to choose. Your love is the support I need, what can keep me strong.

I look over at you, and watch you staring out the window.

Your beautiful blonde hair is shining, and I wonder what's going through your head. I hope its good thoughts.

I squeeze your hand, gently, and you turn your head.

I'm met with a smile. A happy smile. A genuine smile.

"I love you," you whisper, and I smile my own smile.

Slowly I realize that this smile, this moment, is one that I will spend the rest of my life with.

I resolve that I will, no matter what.

I want to wake up with your smile every morning, and go to bed with you every night for the rest of my life.

"I love you too," I whisper back.


The place is still quiet when we get back. Guess everyone at the hotel is still asleep. The manager stifles a quiet yawn, and greets us with a huge smile. "Congratulations," he says.


"Your wedding."

"How'd you?"

"We gave this address for our residence, Liv, remember?" I reason.

"Yes, they called, and we have to confirm it," he reveals.

So that's why there was someone sitting at a desk to the side of the alter, constantly on the telephone.

"There's a little gift basket waiting for you in your room."

"Thank you, that's very nice of you."

"Enjoy," he says and hands us our key.

I feel my heart pounding with excitement as we wait for the elevator. If I allow myself, I might even admit the tinge of nervousness I feel. But why? We've made love more times than I can remember. I was so ready to get inside your pants when we were at the beach. But now…

Just because it's our wedding night, well, morning? That seems so stupid.

"What do you think they gave us?" I ask you, making small talk and trying to calm the swarm of butterflies in my stomach.

"I dunno. Probably fruits. Maybe a bottle of champaign? That's generic."

My eyes widen at the mention of booze. That's right, it would be a generic gift. "Champaign?"

"We can give it back." You shrug at the unease in my voice.

"Isn't that kind of rude?" Although it might be the best option we have. "Maybe they gave us something else." Yeah, let's hope that's the case.

"Maybe. Or I'll just watch you drink it." You grin teasingly. It's interesting how different your reaction is this time, compared to my last time with alcohol. Because it's you, instead of Serena, with me? Because you're giving me permission? Or is it because we're married?

"Yeah, so you can take advantage of me?"

"Can't take advantage of the willing."

"Who said I'm willing?"

"It's our honeymoon."

"You have a point," I giggle, your good mood catching. "Maybe we can take it back home, and give it to my brother."

"Ouch. That's mean."

The elevator slides open, and I pull you into the corridor, winking back at you. "But you love the idea."

You laugh and walk on ahead, holding my hand. "Why, yes I do."

I start running, "Last one to the door gets to carry the other person over the thresh-hold!"

844 Lift

I see the panic in your face when I suggest that there could be alcohol back in our room. It doesn't even occur to me why, until I remember, or am forced to remember. You're afraid of what it would do to me. I'm determined not to be angry, determined not to be hurt that you don't trust me still when it comes to alcohol. I guess I deserve it. Heck, I know I deserve it.

You giggle, though, and when the elevator doors open, you take off down the hallway, shouting that the last one to the door carries the other over the thresh hold. I laugh to myself as I chase after you.

Like you could lift me if you tried, I decide to lose on purpose.

I reach the door second, and you stand in front of it with a huge grin lighting your eyes.

You wrap your arms around my neck, and kiss me gently. "Are you ready?" you ask.

"Mmhmm, to ravish you? Always."

You slide the key out of your pocket, and open the door, taking a step into the room.

"Hey what are you doing?"

"I wasn't serious sweetie."

"Hey, I'm a good loser. I lost fair and square." I say, grabbing you around the waist and pulling you off balance.

"Liv, you'll drop me."

"I will not drop you. Jesus." I say, as I pull you off your feet.

You giggle, as I take a hesitant step towards the door.

"Watch my head" you yelp, laughing.

"I know what I'm doing, Alex." I try not to laugh.

"You do this all the time?" You ask.

"No, but, oh come on," I say, stepping through the door and into the room.

"Hey, okay, you did it now, you can put me down." You smile at me with a nervous look on your face.

"Why, you think I'll drop you?"

"Yes, yes I do."

Without ceremony, I drop you on the bed, and lean over you, kissing you gently. You wrap your arms around my neck and kiss me deeply, pulling me on top of you.


I can barely contain my excitement as we reach the door. I know you lost our little sprinting match on purpose, you didn't even try. When you don't move I wonder what you're doing, or calculating in your head. Your stare is making me nervous, that is, until you pull me off balance.

"What are you doing?" I demand softly, not trusting my voice not to tremble. "I wasn't serious..."

"Think I'll drop you?" You ask, and without waiting for an answer, scoop me up.

"Liv!" I giggle, hanging onto your shoulders. "Watch my head!"

"Jesus, Alex," you sigh, trying not to laugh. "Come on, stop squirming" you say, taking a big step into our room.

"Okay, you can put me down now." I giggle again, the glint in your eyes is making me really, really nervous. I can barely breathe. This is ridiculous.

Unceremoniously, you drop me onto the bed. Then, leaning over, you kiss me gently.

Reaching up, I touch your face, and brush your hair out of your eyes. Suddenly, it isn't enough to just taste your smile. I want more. Much more.

Cupping your cheeks in my palms, I keep you from pulling away. A husky sound of approval escapes your throat when I push my tongue into your mouth, and kiss you deeply.

This seems so familiar. Have we done this before? I wonder briefly. Then I feel your weight on me, the rough of your denim against the insides of my legs, your hands sliding over my breasts…

Without breaking away from our kiss, I tug on your shirt, pulling it out of your pants, while you tease my nipples to aching points. Then I feel your hand drift down my hip, and involuntarily I arch towards you, drawing you in.

A chuckle emerges from your chest, while your fingers slip into my pocket.

What? Oh. The paper. I ease away from you, and smile into your eyes, and watch you place the certificate carefully on the night-stand.

Without a word, you swoop down, and capture my lips, breaking away only to peel off my shirt, and letting me push yours over your head.

"Liv?" I take the opportunity to remind you, "I thought it's my…" Turn first? To make love to you, like you deserve?

You kiss me again, your tongue swirling in my mouth, your teeth grazing my lips, robbing me of words. And I let myself drown in your warmth, your fiery passion, your demanding, owning touches…

"Love you, Alex," you murmur hoarsely against my throat.

And I feel rapture, intense, almost painful joy, as your mouth and hands roam my body. "Love you, Liv," I moan, and wait for you to claim me…

Body, heart and soul…

846 Before

I can feel you giving into me. Letting yourself go in my kisses, in my caresses.

You moan, I moan.

We meld together, our bodies in a perfect concert. Your leg raises, wraps around my thigh, pressing me into you further, I can feel the pulsing growing between my legs as your leg pushes hard into the denim of my jeans.

It's different.

It's the same but it's just enough different. Your touch, your kiss. It's the same touch, the same kiss as it was yesterday, but now it's mine. And I'm yours. And that piece of paper that sits on the bed changes this. It changes everything.

You push me over, onto my back, and continue our kisses.

This is slow, careful. Loving. Right now, this kissing is enough.

The way your soft lips press to mine.

The way your hands roam up and down my body.

Our naked torsos rub against each other. Our breasts rub together…our bodies. I feel your hands tugging at the buttons on my pants, and I raise my hips enough to let you pull them down.

Your fingers slide into me, on me.

I moan and reach up kissing you.

You slide down my body…

A trail of kisses…

A loving glance, and a warm smile.

You hover over me, before pushing yourself inside…

Before making me moan…

Before making me scream…

Before making love to me…

847 WAIT

I peel my eyes from the ceiling and look over at you.

You smile at me weakly, your eyelids still heavy from our passion.



"I didn't think it could get any better."

"Me neither."

One little piece of paper, one smaller than my law school diploma… But the difference it makes in everything. Who knew?

I roll over onto my side. "Hey, Liv?"

"Yeah, sweetie?" You snuggle up behind me, warming me with your body.

"Wanna see what's in the basket?"

"Maybe later?" You yawn.


"Mmhmm…" You breathe softly against my neck.

How funny is that? You're sleepy and I'm wide awake. Alive. Is this how you felt when I would fall asleep right after sex?

"Hey, Liv?" I turn over in your arms.


"I love you."

You blink open your eyes. "I love you, too, Alex," you mumble, and kiss me gently on my lips.

I kiss you back with fervor, until your libido overrides your need for sleep. "I'm hungry."

"So am I."

"I mean for food."

You drop your head against my chest, your hands sliding down my side. "Your stomach can't wait?"

I shift under your weight, your caress, and pull you closer to me, feeding myself to your mouth. "Maybe for a quickie. Then can we go eat?"

848 Tease

You moan as I kiss you, deeply. My fingers slide up and down your body, as I guage your reaction. Two days without sleep has been harder on me than on you, and you're awake, alive.

"I'm hungry," you whine.

"Me too," I say, pressing into you, against you.

"That's not what I meant," you say, scolding me, but the smile on your face doesn't tell me to stop.

"You're so funny."

"Want to look in the basket?" You ask me

"Not really," I mumble.

"But I'm…" You start, as I kiss you deeply, the words dying on your lips. Quickly your hands are on me, roaming down my body.

"You know, you're perpetually horny."

"I am not." You protest, pushing me back.

"Yeah you are."

"I'm in my sexual prime," you smile, while you lean in for a kiss.

"Me too." I mumble.

"Good thing we're together then."

"Yeah, otherwise you wouldn't be getting laid on a regular basis."

"Tell me about it." You mumble, kissing me.

"I love you." I whisper.

"I love you too, sweetheart." You moan back.

Our kisses deepen, our bodies press together, and we become one…


"Liv?" I can no longer keep the whine from my voice. "Please? Stop?"

You mumble, not even looking up. "You sure?"

"No, I mean, yes." God, if I could control my own damn body.

"Which?" You ask, sliding in deeper.

"God." I drop my head back into the pillow and close my legs involuntarily against your head. "Please?"

"You want more?"

"NO! God. Yes!"

"Make up your mind, will you?" You tease.

I lay panting, with my eyes still closed. "What are you trying to do to me? Kill me with pleasure?"

"We're on our honeymoon."

I raise my head to meet your eyes. "So?"

"People have incredible marathon sex on their honeymoon." you smile your crooked smile.

I gather all my strength and push you away before you could lower your mouth again. "People also eat on their honeymoon."

"You just ate."

"An apple. That's not food."

"But you ate."

"So did you."

"Exactly." You smile, and kiss up my body.

"But… Oh hell." I'm not even sure where the argument was heading. "You just want to wear me out so you can go to sleep."

"What gave you that idea?" You ask, and smooth your hands across my hips and torso.

"Liv." I arch towards you. "Damn it. What's wrong with me?"

"You're reacting."

"That's beside the point."

"I love you."

"You win, let's go to sleep." I wrap my arms around your neck, and hold you close. "After this..."

850 Animal

With a loud moan you fall back into the pillow, your body becoming a heap. Your breath is ragged, still catching in your chest, as you let your fingers which are laced tightly in my hair slowly relax. Your eyes close, while your body starts to recover, beads of sweat glistening on your brow. Carefully, I slip my fingers out of you, and with a gentle kiss, I slide slowly back up your body, kissing your abdomen in a slow sensual trail of kisses up your body.

I kiss you slowly, deeply, and you kiss me back hungrily.

"God Liv." You moan into my neck. "We're like animals."

"I love you," I whisper.

"I love you too, but if we keep this up."

"Just think of all the exercise you're getting," I say with a smile.

"Yeah, I won't have to jog when we get back to New York." You sigh.

"Is that a bad thing?"

"No. Not at all." You mumble, and I smile as I see your eyes flickering closed.

"You sleepy?" I ask quietly, brushing hair out of your face. Your eyes flicker open.

"Yeah…" you sigh.

"I finally wore you out, huh?"

"Wasn't that your goal?"

"Something like that…" I mumble, letting my own eyes close gently.

"We haven't slept in, days."

"That's a slight exaggeration sweetie."

"Shhh…" you whisper, putting your fingers to my lips… "Sleep now."

"I love you," I whisper as you turn in my arms.

You snuggle against me, and within minutes, I hear your breathing slow down. I feel you relax in my arms,

and within seconds, I fall into a peaceful sleep behind you.


Gently, slowly, I feel your fingers sliding against me, and instinctively, I turn around in your arms. "God, Liv, you're an animal," I whisper against your neck, my eyes still closed.

"I love you, Alex," you murmur, your breath warming my skin.

Involuntarily, I shudder. "Liv…"

"Come on, sweetie," you slip your fingers between my legs.

"God." I can't believe how easily I respond to you, your touch creating a ribbon of moist heat, spinning and wrapping around my heart.

"I love you, Alex," you whisper into my ear.

"Love you, too, Liv."

"What was that?" The shrill sound of my aunt's voice suddenly shatters our sensual haze.

"Auntie!" I push you away, and scramble to cover my nakedness.

"Look at you, Alexandra, rutting like animals, in broad day light." She screeches at the top of her lungs. "Have you no shame?"

You just sit there dumbfounded for a moment. Then you yell, "Hey! Don't talk to her like that!"

"Liv," I hush, though I'm grateful that you're standing up for me.

"I'll talk to my niece however way I want. It's all your fault that she's…"

"Aunt Olga!"

"Don't interrupt me, young lady."

"That's it, Aunt Ogre, I've had it up to here!" I take your hand in mine. "Liv and I are in love."

"Nonsense. You're roommates."

"We're married!"

"You're what?"

"Married. M-A-R-R-I-E-D. Married."

"I can't wait until your mother hears this…" She says.

"Fine. Let's go get her, right now," I demand, struggling to get out of bed.

"Sweetie," you hold onto me. "Maybe we shouldn't…"

"But Liv!"

"Sweetie. Alex, come on."

"But Liv…" I protest, trying to break from your embrace.

"Come on, Alex, wake up. Sweetie, wake up."

Wake up? I shake my head, and blink. "Huh?"

852 Ashamed

My eyes open, and we're still wrapped together the same we were when my eyes closed. My arm is numb, and it's tingling, where your head is resting on it. Carefully I try to move you, when I hear your moan.

Gently, I slide my arm free and watch your face. Your eyes close tighter, your breath catches.

God, I'm good even in your dreams.

I lay on my back, listening to your gentle whimper next to me, and then, it's not a whimper anymore.

You start to thrash.

Pushing against me when I take you in my arms.

"Sweetie, wake up," I mumble, wanting to pull you from your dream.

"No!" You scream as you sit up awake.

"What's wrong sweetie?" I ask, gently sitting up and wrapping my arms around you.

"Don't…" You say, until your eyes start to focus.

"What's wrong?" I parrot back, waiting for you to realize where you are.

"I had…a bad dream." You sigh, leaning back into bed.

"Want to talk about it?"

"Not really."

"Okay," I say leaning back holding you.

"I…my aunt was here. She walked in on us."

"She can join the club."

"What club?"

"The club of people who've walked in on us."

"That's not funny." You say, quickly. "She was upset."

"I'm sorry sweetie…but, does it really matter what your aunt thinks?"

"No. I mean…Liv…I know it's not supposed to matter, but it does. It bothers me…a lot. A lot more than it should…"


I lean back, letting you hold me in your arms, seeking solace and comfort in your presence. At least I'm trying to. I sigh, and take your hand. "What am I going to do?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm not sure what to do."

"About what?"

I sigh again. "Telling my aunt."

"Maybe you should let your mom tell her."

"Assuming my mom's still speaking to me when we get back."

"Why wouldn't she?" You touch my ring, than lace your fingers with mine. "She loves you."

"In theory, my aunt loves me, too."

"In theory."

"What do you mean by that?"

"If she really loves you, she'll be happy for you."

"I guess." I pull your arms tighter around me. "My mom's going to have a cow."


"Why? We eloped."

"I thought you wanted to, are you having…" you trail off into silence.

"Of course not," I turn around to kiss you gently. "I'm not having second thoughts."

"You're sure?"

"Sure, I'm sure." I smile, and kiss you again. "Besides, it's kind of moot."

"It's not legal anywhere else, you know."

"I know." I disentangle our hands, and turn around so we can look at each other, eye to eye. "I love you, and I want nothing more than to spend my life with you, as your wife."


"Yes, Liv, very sure."

"Then screw your aunt."

"Yuck. But yeah, I guess I'll just have to get over myself."

"Can I help?" You ask, tracing my features with the gentle tips of your fingers.

"Maybe, let me think about it," I smile, and kiss you softly on your lips…

854 Confession

You kiss me, lightly, and then deeply.

"I thought you were hungry," I gasp between your kisses.

"I am."

"So why are we?" I ask as you envelop me into another kiss.

"Because, you're irresistible." You giggle.

"I knew that," I mumble back, enjoying your hands exploring me.

"You're so modest, too. That's one of the things I most love about you," you tease, as you take my lips again in another light kiss.

"There's no reason to be, now you have to love me. I can let myself go. Start eating more donuts."

"No, donuts aren't healthy." You say kissing me, "And you have to last a long time."

"Oh really?"

"Yep," you pronounce.

"I'm looking forward to it."


"Of course," I say, pulling back from your kiss. "But we have to get up."

You sigh. "Fine."

"That was easy."

"Yeah…but you have to make a concession."

"What's that?" I ask, gently.

"You have to shower with me."

"Hmmm….I have to think about it," I say, smiling at you.

"I love it, well, this is silly, but I love it when you wash my hair for me…it's sensual, but it's so, loving, caring. It's things like that…they make me realize how much you love me."

I smile. "I didn't know that…you know, you should tell me those things. You'd never have to wash your hair again."

"Well, it's, it makes me feel weak to like you doing things like that for me." You say, quietly.

"But it's not that you can't do it yourself, Alex. Those are things I like to do for you, because they make you feel loved. And I love you, love you so much."

855 LOVE

I let you pull me out of bed. Wrapping my arms around your neck, I press my body along yours. "You're so full of mush."

"So I am."

"Mmm…" I sigh to your hands sweeping across my back. "You're actually admitting it?"

"Why not? Now that you have to love me."

"I don't have to love you." I tease back, squeezing you tight. "But I'll keep you, and call you George."

You pull me closer to you still, forcing out any airspace between us. "Do you mind?"

"What? Calling you George?"

"No, my mush."

"No, I love it when you're sappy romantic."


"I love you, so much."

"I love you, too, Alex."

I close my eyes, and let myself enjoy the warmth of your skin, the gentleness of your touch, for a moment longer. "I guess we should go," I sigh.

"You're the one who wants to eat."

"I know," I say, with my eyes still closed, not moving an inch. "Maybe we can survive on bread and water."

"Yeah, but you'll get bored."

"I suppose."

"So let's get in the shower," you suggest, your hands smoothing down my thighs, and back up around my waist. "Before I decide to molest you again."

"You'll molest me in the shower anyway."

"Are you complaining?"

"No." I press my lips to your collar bone. "I love you."

"And I love you, Alex. Forever."

"And ever."

"And ever."

856 Hungry

We stand together in the warm pounding water, wrapped in each others arms.

"This feels amazing." You moan, while I run soapy fingers through your hair.

"I'm glad you like it," I smile, sliding my soapy hands down your back.

"Liv, behave." You scold, and I laugh.

"I always behave sweetie. You're the rebel."

"Yeah, right." You smile, turning in the warm water.

"Wait, I'm not done," I say, turning you back around.

"Mmm…" you mumble as you lean me back gently into the streaming water.

I carefully and gently rinse soap from your hair, letting my fingers run circles on your scalp while you smile and close your eyes.

Gently I lean in and kiss your chin, letting the water spray gently into my face.

"Love you," I whisper.

You open your eyes and smile. "Your turn," you say, picking up the bottle of shampoo and unceremoniously pouring it on my head.

"I can wash myself." I say, "but thanks for putting the whole bottle on my head."

"No problem," you smile, "Besides, your hair's more fun to play with."

"Thanks." I say.

"See," you say, pulling at my hair, "you can have devil horns."

I push my hair back down as you break into laughter. "I'm glad that amuses you."

"It does," you assure me.

As suddenly as you were silly, you're serious. "Come here," you smile, and put your fingers in my hair, massaging slow circles on my scalp. I can suddenly understand why you like this so much.

Much like I did you, you lean me into the stream of hot water and let the soap suds rinse down the drain, but with my eyes closed, I'm surprised when I feel my nipple pull into your mouth.

"God." I whisper.

"Hungry, remember?" you mumble.


"Alex…" you moan, pushing your breast into my mouth.


You wind your fingers gently in my hair, while your flesh puckers and hardens in my mouth. I suck, hard.

"Alex!" You yelp, pushing in harder. "God."

"Mmm…" I chuckle, my mouth leaving you only briefly. "Not exactly."

"Alex." This time you say my name with amused exasperation.

I love how my name sounds coming from your mouth, and I tell you.

"Alex?" This time it's a soft whimper.

Meanwhile, I let go of your nipple and dot kisses up your chest, your throat, snaking my tongue around your earlobe in a way that drives you crazy. Just enough to make you hot, just enough to sustain the tension.

"Alex, please…" You whine.

"Please what?" I murmur, kissing your cheeks.

Your lips part, "Please, Sweetie?"

"Say my name."

"Alex." Now, it's filled with love, and longing.

I'm not sure I've ever noticed all the nuances when other people say my name. Definitely not like this. Not the way you're saying it. Not the way I'm reacting. "Yes?"

"Please, Alex?"

"What?" When you don't reply, I encourage, sliding my tongue along the shell of your ear, my voice a whispered breath against you. "Tell me what you want."

"Love me."

"I do, you know I do."

"Touch me?" You arch, pulling me close.

"Like this?" I stroke my thumb lightly against your nipple, once, twice. Then I slide my hand back down your torso, my arm encircling your waist.

"Alex. Baby…"

You know? I used to hate it when people called me that; but the way the syllables slide from your lips, I don't mind. I think I actually love it. Makes me feel so cared for. "Tell me," I insist, brushing your mouth with my mouth, touching your lips with my tongue.

"Please… just… fuck me, damn it. Alex, fuck me. Fuck me," you gasp, your breath ragged, your breasts heaving, your hand grabbing mine, and pushing down.

I lick your lips, then a trail down the center of your body. Gently, I push you back, so you're leaning against the tiles. Slowly, I ease your legs apart with my touch.

Then ravenously, I dive into you…

858 Awake

I moan and scream and fall into the wall.


"Alex," I moan.

You smile at me, your fingers moving over me. " Hmmm?"

"Don't stop," is all I manage before I fall back into the wall.

"I don't intend to." You moan back.

Your name forms on my lips, and dies there.

"Say it," you urge.

"Alex." I moan and you increase your tempo.

"Alex," I moan louder, and you slip into gentle circles that you know my body can't resist.

You're teasing me, tempting me.

I can't resist.

I don't want to resist.

"Come on baby," you whisper in my ear.

My eyes close.

My breath comes faster.


I need you.

I love you.

My body tenses around your fingers.

The smile on your face curls and tempts me.

The cold tile on my back, your warm fingers inside me.

I love you.


I run my fingers through your hair, brushing your bangs away from your face. "Do you think maybe we should go out?"

You lift your head from my chest. "Why?"

"Because, I thought you wanted to sight-see?" I lean down and press a kiss to your forehead. "Wasn't that why you brought the guidebook?"

"Nope." You snuggle back down, wrapping your arms around me. "It served its purpose."


"We're married."


"We're on our honeymoon."


"We don't need the guidebook."

"You're not planning on us spending all our time in this room until we leave, are you?"

"We're on our honeymoon," you repeat.

"But Liv, we've spent the last three days in bed."

"That's not true, we went down to the restaurant."


"We also went outside…"

"Onto the balcony."

"I didn't hear you complain ten minutes ago, when you were screaming my name, and begging me to take you."

"Shut up." I blush, and push your questing mouth away. "Stop it."

"Why? We're on our honeymoon."

"That's your answer?" I laugh up at the ceiling. "For everything?"


"Fine." Why fight it? I pull you back, and kiss you deeply. "Then get busy…"

860 In

"We should stop," you breathe.

"Why?" I moan at you.

"Because I'm not sure I can move."

I laugh. "Sure you can, I've seen you move lots of times. You were just squirming three seconds ago."

"I meant walk," you say, hitting my shoulder. "And eventually I'd think you'd get tired of pleasuring me."

"Are you tired of pleasuring me?"

"No, but I'm just…"

"I could pleasure you forever." I say, with a cheesy grin.

"Such a romantic." You say, rolling your eyes at me.

"I try," I laugh.

"Well we're married now, isn't that supposed to stop?"

"Not til after the honeymoon."

"You know, you have an answer for everything."

"I have to keep on my toes with you around," I say, kissing your neck.

"I'll take that as a compliment," you mumble with a fake pout.

I kiss you gently. "No pouting in bed."

"But Liv, we're on a beautiful tropical island."

"Alex, what happened when we went downstairs for dinner?"

You blush.

"And what happened when we tried going out shopping yesterday?"

You turn a brighter shade of red.

"And what happened…"

"I get it," you say quickly. "We just end up back here."

"So why bother going out there. We're already here. Let's just stay."


We stare at each other. You're leaning against the desk, your hands squeezing and releasing the wooden edge. Meanwhile, I stand by the window, and pretend to enjoy the sea breeze coming through the screen. Once in a while, I let myself be distracted by the random shrill call of island birds, or the happy probably drunken laughter of tourists.

Inevitably, our eyes meet again, and we stare at each other.

"Here, if you'd just sign this," the man hands you a slip of paper. "I'll…"

Before he can finish, you rip the bill from his hand, make a quick squiggle and shove it back. "There."

"Thanks. When you're done, you can just…"

"Leave the cart outside, yes, we know the drill," you mumble impatiently. "We've only gone through the same routine for the last five days."

"Liv…" I start, then you throw me a look that makes me stop.

Soon, the man moves towards the door. We both watch as he smiles back at us once more, before closing the barrier behind him.

Now we stare at the bathroom. You're tapping your fingers impatiently.

"Please," I plead.

"Sorry." You stop the drumming, only to be replaced by the tapping of your feet.

"I'm going to go out there." I reach to slide open the screen. "Come get me when…"

"I'll join you."

"No, stay where you are," I demand.

You look at me as if I had tossed your puppy over the balcony, and sigh. "All right."

Just as I'm about to step out, the housekeeping person comes out of the bathroom, and moves to her cart. "All done."

"Thanks," we say in unison, and watch the door slide closed.

Then we look at each other again. Before we knew it, my robe is hitting the floor, and I'm adding your tee shirt and pants to the pile.

"God, I miss you," I say, then push my mouth against yours.

"I miss you, too," you gasp, in between kisses, "Love you, Alex."

"Love you, too."

"It seems like forever."

"We're insane, you know." I smile as we tumble into bed. "It's been 30 minutes max."

"Too long," you moan, pressing your legs between mine, and grasping my hips.

"Definitely," I agree, reaching up, and palming your breasts, drawing a deeper moan from you…

862 Mom

"What are we going to tell people when we get back?" You ask gently, kissing the side of my neck, your fingers sliding down my body.

"About what?" I ask, paying more attention to your hands than your words.

"About this. Us living and subsisting in this room. When mom asks me what we saw, what am I going to tell her?"

"The ceiling of the hotel room?" I say, waiting for your playful swat.

"Yeah, I'll tell mom that." You say, your voice heavy with sarcasm.

"You could tell her that we got caught on the beach. And that we found a magical cove where we could…"

"Yeah, mom'll just love that." You interrupt.

"I think she'll be happy for us."

"She's going to be…upset, that we eloped." You say, gently.

"I think she'll be happy for us," I say again.

"I don't think she's not going to be unhappy, I just think she'll be upset that we didn't wait for her to be there."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, maybe it's that time she sat me down and said 'You're my only daughter and if you don't let me come to your wedding, I'll die.'"

"She did not say that." I protest.

"Okay, maybe she didn't say that exactly, but pretty damn close."

"We could not tell her, and do it again."

"That's silly." You say, kissing me.

"I'm proud to be your wife."

"And I'm proud to be yours, but mom."

"I know. I know." I say. "I still think she'll be happy for us."

"I hope you're right." You mumble, before you kiss me again.


"What do you think we should do?"

"About what?"

"Our wedding?" I stretch against you, luxuriating in the soft warmth of your skin.


"I mean the one we're going to have when we get home? The party."

"I thought you wanted to have it at your mom's house."

"I do. And you want to wear normal clothes."

"Yep." You trace lazy circles and hearts on my stomach. Now you're writing. What are you writing?

I'm too tired to try to figure out your invisible scribbles. "So we're just going to throw a party?"

"What else do you want to do? We're already married."

"No vows?"

"We could have vows if you want. Do you?"


"That would be a 'yes'."

I smile down at you. Guess you know me well. "Yeah."

"What else do you want?"

"Do you think we should have some sort of party?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, bride's maids, groom's men, that sort of thing, although I guess we'll just have bride's maids."

"I don't know anyone..."

"We could see if Elliot would wear a dress."

"Alex, you're a riot."

"I know." I grin while you roll your eyes.

Then suddenly, you looked horrified. "Oh god."


"Elliot. He'll never let me live this down."

"Why? You don't think he'll just be happy for us?"

864 Tease

"Oh, he'll be happy for us. That's not the problem." I sigh, pulling your naked body tighter into mine.

"What do you mean?" You ask, drawing gentle hearts on my stomach. I can feel my skin coming alive under your touch, which is soft and lazy.

"Once he finds out we sort of, eloped, kind of, he's just…it's a guy thing, I think." I say, not sure how to explain to you that for the next six months I will hear every joke he can come up with to imply that we've done nothing for the last two weeks but screw each other senseless.

"He's jealous." You say quietly.

"Something like that."

"But you two never…" You say, letting your voice trail off. It takes me a second, but I realize what you're getting at. You think he and I. You think we…

"Ew, God no, of course not. It's not that kind of jealous really."

"What kind of jealousy thing is it?" You ask.

"It's a you have a great sex life and I don't have one thing."

"You guys talk about that?"

"No, but, I mean, he knows what I was getting some on a regular basis."


"I was not grumpy." I deny.

"Well you weren't running around smiling like that either." You say, with a self satisfied smile.

"Except when I saw you." I supply.

"Aww, such a mushball."

"You know you love it," I say gently.

"I do." You say, glowing.

865 MUSH

"So, tell me more."


"Mush." I press my head towards you for you to kiss. "Tell me more mush."

"Corn meal," you say cheerfully.


"Corn meal."

"What about corn meal?" I look up and demand, "And what the hell is it?"

You wag your brows at me. "Mush is made out of corn meal."

"Olivia Benson!" I swat you on the arm.

"You forgot Cabot."

"Oh yeah." I grin. I can feel myself glowing. "So tell me, Olivia Benson Cabot."

"Gee Alex, I'm kinda mush out."

I swat you again.

"Help me here, Alex," you feign lost. "Tell me what you want to know?"

"Hm…" I snuggle deeper against you. "Why do you think I'm beautiful?"

"Well, your hair, it's so soft, and so pretty. I love the different shades of gold, it's like someone took a paint brush and painted each strand."

"Someone did."


"Millie at the salon."

"What? That came out of the bottle?"

"Yes, it came out of the bottle." I sigh my exasperation. "Not drastically, she just put in highlights here and there."


"Really." I know the difference is very subtle. "You mean you've never noticed the roots?"

"Of course I have!" You say, too quickly. Then you realize you just put your foot in your mouth. "Actually, I haven't. It's all so natural looking."

"You just haven't been paying enough attention."

You bat your lashes. "I, um, I'm sorry?"

I turn onto my back, cross my arms and stare up the ceiling. "Not good enough."

"What do you want me to say or do?"

"If I were you, Liv, I'd start sucking up."

You think for a moment, then start to move out of bed.

"Where are you going?"

"Just down here," you crawl back up from the edge and press a kiss to my toe. "So I can do this."


866 Elephants

"Suck up, get it?" I say, with a smile on my face.

You laugh, in spite of your best effort to look annoyed. "Get up here," you say, reaching down and pulling me up your body, letting me stop to place a gentle kiss on your stomach.

"You're so literal." You complain, as you snuggle back into me, pressing my arms into a position that holds you tight to me.

"Oh look who's talking," I say, blowing air teasingly on your earlobe.

"Stop that, and I am not literal." You say, with a giggle.

"Stop what?" I say, blowing on you again. "And yes you are."

"That tickles, knock it off," you say, swatting at my head.

"Didn't your mom ever teach you it's not nice to hit?" I ask, catching your hand.

"Nope, mom must have missed that lesson." You say, laughing, turning in my arms and planting a gentle kiss on my lips.

"She must have liked to see Trevor get beaten down."

"Hey, I have never hit…"

"Remember that night when he walked in on us in your mom's laundry room?"

"I don't really want to remember." You say, a blush creeping into your cheeks.

"As I recall you chased him down and trampled your mom's…"

"Yes, Liv, I remember."

"Didn't you get him with a shovel?"

"It was a rake, but…"

"And then remember when…"

"Jesus, Liv, what are you an elephant? Do you ever forget anything?"

"Not when it comes to you, my sweet," I say, with a smile.

"Awww," you say, blushing gently. "Good save," You say kissing me again.


"What are you doing?"

"Eating?" You say, shoving a piece of chocolate into your mouth. Chocolate that came from the gift basket from the hotel.

"I know that, but I thought you hated pralines?"

"Well, it's kinda fun."


'To taste the different flavors. You wanna try a piece?"

"No, that's okay, I don't wanna ruin my appetite for dinner." I lay my head in your lap and look up at you. "What are we having for dinner anyway?" I mumble before you lean down and plant a sugary kiss on my lips.


"Liv!" I move to swat you on the thigh, then I remember your tease and stop.

"It's okay, you can hit me."

"I know I can." I stick my tongue out at you. "I don't think I need your permission."

You smile your amusement, and pop another piece of sweet.

"So what's for dinner?" I repeat my question.


"Olivia Benson Cabot."

"That's so scary when you do that," you say and smirk. Now you're being sarcastic.

"I'm not talking to you anymore." I cross my arms and turn away from you.

You turn me over, and offer a whiny plea, "Oh come on."


"Here," you take my hand push it towards your head. "You can hit."

I laugh, and press my palm to your mouth for a kiss. "You're so silly."

"I love you."

"I love you, too. But you're still silly."

"I'm just besotted," you declare, kissing my fingers then the back of my hand. "I love you so much."

"How much?" I ask, feeling a tingle in my spine.

"Better than chocolate," you whisper, then lean down for a deep kiss.

"That's so sweet," I breathe, melting in your embrace…

868 Whine

"I don't want to," I whine.

"Liv, we have to." You say, pulling at my arm.

"No," I whine louder.

"We have to. Come on, get up." You prod.

"No," I say, reaching out for you, trying to pull you back into bed.

"You know this isn't a pretty side of you." You say, with a smirk.

"But I don't want to," I say with a pout.

"Life is full of hard choices. Now get up,"

"But Alex, don't you want me to be happy?"

"Always dear, but you're still going to lose."

"But A…"

"Don't even say it again. You're going. Get up."


"Eh, no buts. Up. Now."

"Alex, that's not…"

"Come on," you say impatiently, pulling at me.


"Put those on," you say, throwing me underwear from across the room.


"And these," you say throwing clothes at me.


"Look, Liv, I can't eat anymore fruit. I need food. Real food. And you have to feed me. We've spend the last five days in bed. This is our last night on this island, and we're going out, so get up, get dressed and let's go."

"Yes Maam." I say with a smile. I love it when you tell me what to do.


"God," I close my mouth around a forkful of food. Solid. Hot. Cooked food. This is better than sex. Well almost.

"Here, try this," you smile, and extend your spoon.

"Mmm…" I swirl the soup around before swallowing. "That's really good."

"Would you like more?"

"Maybe later." I say, tearing off a chunk of bread and dipping it into the sauce.

You look at me with amusement glinting in your eyes.

I pull the bread from my plate. "What?" I ask, then take a larger than polite bite. "Mmm…" Everything's just so good. To hell with manners.

You chuckle, and continue to watch me.

"What? What so funny?" Suddenly I feel self-conscious. "Do I have food stuck on my face or something?"


"Then what's so funny?"

"Nothing. Can't I just look at you and smile?"

"Not while I'm eating."

"Why not? I love the way you're enjoying yourself. You look like a very content cat, with your eyes almost closed, and a satisfied grin on your face."


"Just makes me happy to see you happy, and know that maybe in some small ways I contributed to your happiness."

"Oh, Liv," I put down my food, and touch your hand with mine. "You contribute to my happiness in a very big way."

"You sure?"

"Sure, I'm sure." I smile. "I don't think I've ever been happier in my life."

"You're not just saying that?"

"I marry you, didn't I? And I promised to spend my life with you. I wouldn't do that if you didn't make me happy."


"Good," I say, smiling into your eyes, and waiting for you to say something else. When you don't, I reach for my fork again.

"Don't…" You cover my hand, and reach into your pocket. "Here. Happy, um, last night on the island?"

I look at you, then at the small box. "Liv?'

"Just open it."

I do as I'm told; and I'm speechless…

870 Before

"Umm… What is this?" You ask, hesitantly, looking at the box I shoved on the table.

"It's for you," I say, suddenly feeling shy.

"What? Where? When did you have…?"

"This is…well, this is a big day." I say, slowly.

"What, Thursday?"

"Yeah, Alex, it's Thursday," I say, rolling my eyes at you. "Just don't expect a gift every Thursday, or I'm going to be broke."


"You don't remember?"

"Remember?" You say. I can see you desperately searching your memory banks for whatever this day could be, what it is for us.

"This is the first day, well, the first anniversary, of…"

"This is not our first anniversary," you say adamantly. "I know it's not…"

"No, it's, it's not."


"You probably don't remember."

"Hit me," you say, with a gentle smile.

"When, well, you asked me, a year ago, you asked me to come over, just watch a movie and have a nice dinner. Well, I snuck out on Elliot that day, snuck out and over to your office. I knew, I just knew that you'd tell me that you changed your mind. That you'd sort of have decided that…well, that, it wasn't what you wanted. And I came over, and you…"

"We touched."

"For the first time."

"And that was a year ago."

"It was…it was when I knew, or thought I knew, that I loved you. That you were all I wanted. Even before I knew, knew that we'd get married here, I knew that today, well, today would be special for us. For me."

"Liv," you nearly sob, as tears start to fight for the corners of your eyes. "I love you", you whisper quietly…


"I love you," I whisper, reaching for your hand, for your smile. God, I love you, so much.

"Don't cry," you brush the tears from the corners of my eyes. "I love you, Alex."

I lean in to kiss your palm, tasting the saltiness on your fingers. "Just happy," I choke. "You make me so happy." I feel like my heart would burst.

"I'm glad." You smile gently, and I smile back at you. "So."

"Mmm?" I keep gazing into your eyes, the seemingly fathomless depths of your love.

"Do you like it?"

"I love it!" I nearly exclaim. "Are you going to help me put it on?"

"Sure." You reach for the box, and I watch you carefully circle my wrist with the bracelet, and carefully close the clasp.

When you're done, I run my fingers through the tiny charms. "What's all these?"


"Promises?" I repeat, looking more carefully at the designs.

"This one, the first," you point to the palm tree closest to the clasp. "Is where I promised to love you, and try to keep you happy, for the rest of my life."

"That's so…" I whisper, fighting tears again. "Sweet."

You smile shyly, and point to the second charm, "And this one…"

"A palette?"

"I had to improvise. When we get to Paris, next year, I'm sure we can replace it with an Eiffel Tower or something."

"Maybe. And the grapes?"


I wrinkle my nose at a cheesy deck of cards with an Ace of Hearts on top. "And this is for Vegas?"

"I was thinking Monaco."

"So we're going to explore the world together?"

"Or you can show me the world, since I'm sure you've been to many of these places. Would you? A little trip for every year of our life."

"For our anniversary?" I smile, totally charmed. "I'd like that."


"You know though, we'll probably just spend our vacation in bed…"

872 Empty

"You know, we could save a lot of money if we just put up a picture of Paris on the wall in our room at home and stayed in bed."

You giggle. "That totally ruins the charm of seeing the world."

"We can hang a map on the wall and mark all the places we've, well, you know. We could hang it on your office wall even. Places Alex has…"

"Enough," you say, blushing.

"We'd have to mark most of this island." I continue.

"Thank you Liv, that's plenty of that."

"I know," I say, taking your hand.

"Now we both have one," you say, comparing your bracelet to the one hanging around my wrist.

"Yeah, but mine's empty," I say, with a wistful half smile. The bracelet itself, the one you presented me on my sixth month anniversary of sobriety, still hangs from my wrist. A reminder of your love for me. A reminder of why I choose to stay sober.

"But it won't be some day." You say, leaning closer to me, resting your head on my shoulder.

"Yeah." I say, letting the silence rush over us.

"What's wrong?" you say, quickly cutting the silence.

"Nothing." I say, quietly.

"Your smile just disappeared."

"I don't like being reminded that it was less than a year ago…"

"But you're so close…"

"It never seems close enough." I sigh, turning the empty charms over on my wrist.

"It is close, though, sweetie. I mean, only a few weeks."

"Sometimes. Sometimes I think, you know, I don't want to talk about this now…" I say, forcing a smile.

But yours has already faded. "Sometimes you think what?"

"Alex, I don't want this to end with you mad at me. This is our last night here. Let's just be happy."


"No, I'm not going to be mad at you, I promise," I leave my hand on yours, pulling away enough just so we can look at each other's face. "Tell me what you're thinking."

"Sometimes, I just, I wish," you sigh. "Never mind."

"Come on, Sweetie, tell me. We're married, more than before we should share with each other our thoughts, our worries… our wishes."

"I just, I just wish I could drink, you know? Just one. Not to get drunk, and not every day… But maybe on special occasions…" you hurry on, your voice trailing into a whisper. You're looking at me nervously, like a little kid with her hand caught in the cookie jar, waiting for me to blow up.

Yeah, I'm mad, right now, at you, and I'm tempted to show you. But it's not because of your wanting a drink, but because you still don't trust me. One issue at time, right?

So okay, I saw the look on your face when we pulled the bottle of champagne from the gift basket. You almost look wistful, and apologetic. Not so much because we're taking it back to NY for whomever, but because we can't even celebrate our wedding like most people would.

"Liv." I kiss you gently on the cheek. "I wish you could, too, and I understand."

"You do?"

"Why do you look so surprised?"

"I, I thought, I assume you'd just think I'm giving in, or trying to find ways to give in."

"There's a difference between being sober and being drunk."

"There is? I mean there is, but…"

"When I went to the Al-Anon meetings, I asked them, about people, recovering alcoholics, who can have one drink."

"Yeah, that's all I'd want, like maybe to celebrate our Diamond anniversary or something."

"Well, they told me, for most people, it's just better if they don't touch alcohol at all, after their recovery."

You sigh, the lights in your eyes dimming quickly. "Oh."

"But there are rare, special people who could do it, who could stop at one."

"But you don't think I have the will power."

"It's not that. I think , if it means that much to you, I shouldn't rule it out right away. That maybe I shouldn't stop you from finding out about yourself, and what you can or cannot do."

"So you're letting me have a drink?"

"I'm saying, you should think about it. Whether you think you can do it, whether it's important enough for you to risk falling off the wagon, and possibly going back to rehab."

"But you, we, we can't even cele…"

"Liv," I hug you tightly around your waist. "I don't care about celebrating with champagne. I don't care about celebrating any sort of milestones at all, as long as we're together. That's all that matters."

874 One

"It'd only be one." I mumble.

"I'm not going to stop you, sweetie. You already know what you want, what's in your heart…" I watch you nervously finger the charms around your wrist, turning it gently, studying each of the tiny charms.

Why are we even talking about this?


"I don't really." I start, because I know it's what you want to hear. It's what I want to hear too, which is even more dangerous. I am not sure about so much sometimes. "I don't know why I'm even thinking about it." I stammer, "I just, I guess, I feel guilty that I even have to think about it."

"It's okay Liv. I love you. I know you're not perfect. I'm not perfect either."

"You went to AA?" I say, changing the subject quickly.

"Well, with you."

"Oh." I say, only vaguely remembering.

"It was. I was. It was hard to see you struggling. Hard to go there with you. I guess I only vaguely understood what you were going through, and I really thought that I could want it enough for both of us."

"I thought you could too," I say, staring into our fingers, gently trying to not catch your eyes.

"And then after, when you went back. Went without me, I found a group, well, a little group that was for family and friends, and we talked about it. And how, well, how most people who did it, well, that sometimes it was okay, and sometimes it wasn't."

"I think I could control it." I say, hoping my voice doesn't betray how entirely unsure I feel.

"Well if you want to, it's up to you."

"I'm not going to," I say, gently. "I'm not ready."

You smile and lean over kissing me, "I love you," you whisper in my ear.


"I love you, too, Alex," you say, and twist our fingers together, your free hand playing with the empty links on your bracelet.

I smile and lay my head back down on your shoulder. Well, that was relatively painless. As much as I hate to admit it, I really wish you wouldn't try. Not even one. It's not that I don't have faith in you, at least I don't think it's the case…

But there's always the 'what if'.

What if you failed? You would beat yourself up, just like you beat yourself up over so many things. Sometimes things you have no control over.

I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Guess I'll just have to stand to the side and watch you, and catch you when you fall…

If you let me.

Will you let me?



"Are we okay?"

"Yeah, why wouldn't we be?"

"You're so quiet."

"Well, so are you."

"I'm really sorry for bringing that up, and ruining the night."

"You didn't ruin anything." I smile, and kiss you on your cheek.

"Before we get off the subject though? Can I ask a question?"

I hide my apprehension. "Sure."

"Will you be there? With me? If I do try?"

"Of course!" My smile gets wider. "If you want."

"Yeah, I think so." You sigh, looking at your bracelet again.

"Have you made up your mind?"

"No," you answer quickly. "I just, I dunno…"

I turn your face so we meet each other's eyes. "It's okay, Sweetie," I say, and kiss you gently on your lips.

876 Faith

"Let's just go." I say quickly, not willing to sit here and stare at you anymore. I feel uncomfortable, even though I know that I shouldn't.

"But…" You start, "I thought you…"

"No, I don't, I don't want to. Let's just go." I say , quickly, pulling you from the table carelessly grabbing for the bag you brought.

"We can't just leave, Liv. We have to pay." You say, staring at me like I've lost my last remaining shreds of sanity.

Oh. Yeah. I guess you really are the voice of reason. I don't know why, but my heart is pounding in my chest. I'm hot, warm, too warm. I want to get out of here, out of here and into the air where I'm less close to you and less close to what's dancing in my mind.

Just one.

And you'd watch me, and smile, and pretend that it didn't break your heart.

It's too tempting. And damnit all, it's been such a good day. And I shouldn't want this, and I shouldn't need any of this. I should want…I should need…I.

I don't want it to end like this. To end with your permission.

I think I brought it up, wanted to talk about it, because I wanted to know you still disapproved. Wanted to see the anger rise in your eyes at the mere suggestion so I knew, I knew that it was still off limits, forbidden. But that's not what I got. And that's childish and immature of me, wanting to test your boundaries. Test what you're going to let me do and say now that the rules have changed for us.

And now I have it. I got your acceptance. Your warm loving look while you tell me that only I can decide if I can handle just one. If celebrating with booze is something that could be wise for me. And you would be there for me, with me. Watch and pleasantly sit back, maybe even join me in my self destruction.

I'm not angry at you, not by a long shot. I wonder why you were so complacently happy. To prove you trust me? Why should you trust me when I don't trust myself?

I guess that's what love is, in some respects. That faith. The faith you have in me that I don't have in me. The faith I have in you that you can't always find in yourself.

"I'm going to, I'm going to wait outside," I say, pushing away from the table, leaving you sitting alone. "I'm …I need air."

"Are you okay?" you call after me.

"Just, need air." I say again, running for the door.

877 AIR

I watch you run out the door like ghosts are chasing after you.

Maybe they are. Your ghosts.

What's scaring you away? That you might want a drink? That I didn't jump down your throat like you expected?

Should I have? Maybe. I don't know. Sure, why should I have faith in you if you don't have faith in yourself? On the other hand, maybe my faith in you would inspire you to have it in yourself.

God knows you're so willing to have faith in me.

Besides, it would make me feel better. To know that you can or cannot control yourself. Ignorance might be bliss for some, I think, for me, I prefer certainty…

The waiter finally brings the bill. After paying, I join you on the other side of the door. "The moon's beautiful," I say, pointing to the sky.

You follow my hand and look up. "Yeah. It's round."

"Are you ready to go back to the hotel? Or do you want to take a walk down the beach?" I ask, looping my hand through the crook of your elbow.

Is it my imagination? Or did you actually flinch?

"Is everything okay, Liv?"

"I, yeah, I think so."

"Talk to me?"

You just shrug your shoulders, and move towards the shore.

"Whenever you need or want to, or when you're ready…" I try to offer.

You interrupt, "I'm fine, Alex."

Somehow that hurts. I move away from you and hug myself.

"Cold, sweetie?" You ask, looking over at me.

"A little." At least figuratively I am.

"Here." You wrap your arm around my shoulders, to shield me with your warmth. "Better?"

"I guess."

"You okay?"

I nod lightly, and let silence fill the air.

878 Motion

"I didn't…" I start to say, knowing that I have to explain and then let it die into the silence.

I pull you close to me on the sandy beach, watching as the waves roll into the shore. "I'm sorry Alex."

"There's nothing to be sorry for," You say quickly. Too quickly. "Let's just drop it, okay?" You almost beg, with a hint of desperation in your voice. "I don't want to ruin tonight."

"Me either," I say, acquiescing. And then I realize, realize quickly that giving in, not explaining. It's not good for us.

"I didn't expect you to say you'd approve." I say quickly.

"I don't approve. As a matter of fact, I detest the idea." You say back. "But I trust you. There's a difference."

"Yeah, a semantics difference."

"No, Liv, it's not just words. It's true. I'm afraid you'd like it. I'm afraid you'd like it too much. I'm afraid that you'd forget all about me, and I'd find you with some guy in the back room of a bar. But at the same time I'm afraid of it, I want to believe that you'd never do it."

"You think I'd cheat on you?"

"No. I mean, well, Liv. You don't know what the hell you're doing when you're drunk. So yeah, it's not beyond the realm of possibility."

"I wouldn't." I say, letting the words drift into the air.

"That's not the point. I don't want to find you drunk anywhere. Even if it's sitting in the corner by yourself playing solitaire. It's bad for you. For your body and your mind, and I want you healthy and happy and safe."

"I just… I'm sorry, Alex. I don't know what's wrong with me sometimes. And it bothers me that I still think about it. That I feel like I'm missing out on something that I can't even describe. And in some ways, I know I'm not, but…"

"You always wonder."


"I'm sorry Liv. I'm sorry that it can't be easier for you."

"It's not your fault," I say, shrugging my shoulders.

"I didn't say it's my… I'm just saying, I'm sorry that you hurt."

"Thanks." I say, gently, squeezing my arms around your shoulders in a gentle hug.


Silence fills the air while I wait for you to speak again. You don't. So I don't either.

Instead, I kick the sand with my feet, not petulantly, more for something to do.

Suddenly, my toes hit something. "Ow!"

"You okay, Sweetie?" Quickly, you wrap your other arm around my waist, to steady my steps.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

"Let's see," you insist.

"I'm okay, really. Just kicked…"

You're on your knees before I even finish the sentence.

"It was probably just a rock or something." I speak up to the sky while you check on my toes.



"You kicked this," you raise your hand, holding a huge conch shell.

I take it from you, and try to examine it under the moonlight. "Wow. Cool."

"Not so cool. You're bleeding."

"I am? I don't even feel it."

"We should go back to the hotel; and put your shoes on."

"It's just a little cut, I'm sure." I smile, waving the shell at you. "Meanwhile, this is so beautiful."

You sigh loudly. "Alex, come on. Shoes before your wound gets infected. It'll scar."

"Oh all right, mom." I sigh, and drop my shoes onto the sand. "What are you doing?"


"I don't…" Oh, hell, why fight it? I rest my hand on your shoulder for balance while you brush sand off my feet, slip on the shoes and tie my laces. "Thank you." I kiss you when we're standing face to face again.

"You're welcome," you say, almost a little crossly.

"What's wrong?"

"You're broken," you say, with a forced smile.

"I'm not!"

"Okay, you're not."

I slip the shell into your bag so we can take it home with us. "Are you mad about something?"

880 Okay

"I'm not mad." I say quickly. "I was just trying to help."


"With your toe?"


"It could get…"

"I know, infected." You say, cutting me off. "I'm not a glass doll, Liv. I'm fine."

"I know, I just."

"I don't need you to take care of me." You say, and then your face changes. "I mean…"

"Don't, it's okay, it's fine." I say, feeling that you're annoyed with me, and trying to salvage what's left of our last night here.

"I'm sorry, Liv," you say, kissing me gently. "Sit here for a second."

"In the sand?"

"Yeah." You say, pulling my arm as you sit in my lap facing me, your legs wrapped around my torso. When you're comfortable, you look deep into my eyes. "I love you. I love you, and I love all the things you've done for me. You've changed my life. And even when there are bad times with us, and there will be bad times, I'm still going to love you."

I can't help but smile. "I love you too," I say, "And I'm sorry, sorry that I've been so…strange tonight. I think it must be the moon." I say, staring up at the glowing orb that fills the night sky.

You lean in and kiss me, a soft gentle kiss. "You're beautiful," you whisper, and I can feel the heat of a blush staring to warm my face.

"So are you," I whisper back, into your kiss.

"Are we okay?"

"Mmhmmm," I mumble again.

"Good, let's go," you say, gently pulling me back up off the sand and leading me away…


With my head against your shoulder, I cling to you. I'm not sure why I feel so sad. Usually all I feel is euphoria after we made love the way we just did.

"Hey," you whisper softly, then press a kiss to my hair.


"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Liv."


"Yes," I reply curtly.

"You sure?"

I start to nod; then I sigh and shake my head instead.

"I'm sorry, about earlier…" you begin.

"It's not about that, Liv." I sigh again, pushing my face into your chest.

"Then what's it about?"

"I don't know, I'm not sure… It's illogical, but I think I miss you."

Tilting up my chin, you press a kiss to my nose. "But sweetie, I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."

"I know." I'm not sure I understand it myself. "I think I'm starting to miss being with you, just you."

"You don't want our vacation to end," you state.


"Because we'll have to deal with other people. It won't be just the two of us anymore."

"Yeah. How'd you?"

"I think I miss you, too, Alex," you explain, squeezing me tighter to yourself, as if you don't intend to ever let go.

"God, we're hopeless."

"I know."

"I love you." I whisper, sliding up along your body so that we're mouth to mouth.

"Love you, too," you whisper back, before closing the small distance between us…

Before your hands drift from my back to my buttocks…

While I cover your breasts with my hands…

882 Secret

"Can I tell you a secret?" I ask you, pulling back from you.

"Of course," you say, gently, between deep kisses.

"I used to cry every Christmas." I sigh with a half smile.

You pull your head back and run your fingers down the sides of my face. "Aww, sweetie, why?"

"Because no matter how bad it was, and no matter what happened. I didn't want it to end."


"Silly." I finish for you.

"No, it's sweet. It shows how sensitive you are."

"I don't think I want to go back to New York. Do you think anyone would miss us if we just stayed here?"

"Eventually." You say, with a smile. "Elliot would start calling. And mom would come down."

"We still haven't told them." I say, gently.

"We were going to call, but someone got side tracked?"

"What are you trying to say?"

"We got married and then didn't come up for air until now." You say with a smile.

"And that's a problem?" I ask, kissing you gently.

"Not at all."

"Are we…?" I ask, wanting to know what's going on in your mind.

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

"We have to tell them."

"I know."

"It'd be so much easier to keep it to ourselves." I say with a sigh…

883 TELL

"Say, Liv, maybe we can have a party first, then take another honeymoon here."

"Why? I mean, not that I object…" You say quickly, wagging your eyebrows.

"So we can tell them we decide to get married? So as far as they're concerned, we didn't elope?"

You don't even stop to think. "Not gonna work."

"Why not?"

"First, what are we gonna to do if people, if your mom, asks to see the certificate?"

"Hm. You have a point. What's the second?"

"First isn't good enough for ya?"

"You have to have a second to have a first."

"Picky." You kiss me on the nose again. "Second, we've used up our vacation except for like two days or something."

"Oh. That's right. Grrrr."

You laugh. "So you're gonna do it?"

"Why me? You should."

"Why not you? I took your name, and you're the lawyer, the diplomat in the family."

"Uh-huh. And you're the, um, hm…"

"Tag!" You tap me on the nose. "You're it!"

"No fair!" I swat you on the shoulder. "You have to tell them. It's your job!"

"Why don't we tell them together?" You offer with an indulgent smile.

"Do we have to?" I whine, curling up next to you.

"Alex, sweetheart, you know we do," you cajole.

"I'm not a little kid."

"Then don't act like one."

"Look who's talking?"

"So we're gonna tell people?"



884 Boarding

This time, waiting for the plane is not nearly as exciting. Both of us stare straight ahead, calm, lying back in our chairs. Everything today is going in slow speed. Getting out of bed, checking out of the hotel, all of it was done this morning with a mix of sadness and slowness. Both of us not wanting any of this to end.

You're sitting next to me, staring out the window. Both of us, quiet this morning, neither of us wanting to be going back home.

"Say goodbye to the ocean," you mumble under your breath.

"Alex we live in New York. Manhattan's an island."

"It's not the same." You say, with a sigh.

"You're right." I sigh back. You take my hand gently, and squeeze.

"We could stay." You say gently.

"We have to go home." I say. It's hard to be the mature one.

I stare at the gate.

You're quiet.

"I don't think they'd miss us." You say quietly. "We could just…"

"As you just pointed out, we don't have any more vacation. We have jobs." I say, with a smile.

"We could get jobs here." You say, with a half smile.

"Well, I could, you're currently wanted for public indecency."

You swat my arm. "Very funny."

"I love you Alex."

"I love you too," you say quietly, squeezing my hand again.

I cringe as I hear them calling the numbers of our plane over the loudspeaker.

"Well, it's now or never," you say, standing slowly.


The plane is taking off without delay. For the first time, I actually wished for a delay. Rain. Storm. Mechanical failure. Whatever. I wouldn't even care if they compensated us in any way. It'll be a valid excuse for us to stay here, at least for an extra night. It's not like we have to go back to work tomorrow. We'll still have part of today and the entire Sunday to ourselves…

How different this flight is, compared to our trip to the island. You were twitching and I was anxious with excitement. Now, we're both quiet, leaning back against our seats - me with my eyes closed my head on your shoulder, you resting your head against mine, your fingers gently rubbing my hand.

Softly, I sigh, and snuggle in closer.

"I love you," you whisper into my ear.

I give your hand a gentle squeeze in reply.

Soon, your breathing deepens. Guess I should try to sleep, too, since we pretty much wore ourselves out trying to make our stay on the island as long as possible.

Somehow though, I'm not sleepy.

Very carefully, I shift away from you, to stare out the window, to lose focus on the hazy edges of white clouds in clear blue sky. Funny how this time you don't seem to care whether you sit by the window or not.

I think I missed that childlike excitement you had.

I think I miss you.

Before I can lean back, I feel your arms moving around my waist. "Hey. Good nap?"

"You went away," you whine softly.

I smile, and ruffle your hair. "I'm right here."

"You weren't being a very good pillow."

"I'm sorry," I say, feeling a flush of gentle warmth as you pull me back against you, and a whimpered sigh of contentment escapes from your chest. "Better?"


"Good." I pull your arms tighter around me.

Soon, you're asleep again.

I curl my body around Mr. Bear, and close my eyes…

And let your warmth and your gentle breathing lull me to sleep…

886 Landing...

My eyes flicker open and I can feel you warm, pressed into me. My neck is throbbing from being shoved awkwardly on top of your head.

I move to stretch and that causes you to move. "Shhh…" I whisper in your ear. "Go back to sleep sweetie."

"Mmm.." you moan as you settle back against me.

I stare out of the window, watching the clouds that are floating below us. I'm trying to not feel sad, trying not to be depressed.

There's no reason for us to feel like this….to be so upset to be going back.

We should be happy to be going home.

Happy to be back to our lives.

I don't want to think about the fact that when we get off this plane, it won't be the same. We won't be free anymore, instead we'll look over our shoulders again to worry about who's watching us holding hands on the sidewalk.

Maybe I don't want to go back to that.

Maybe I should stop caring what other people think.

I look at you, and our fingers which are laced together.

So much has changed.

Our lives will definitely be different, but very much the same.

The biggest difference will be our promise to each other. The promise that will keep us together.

The overhead announcements remind us that we're close. We'll be landing in less than thirty minutes.

Gently, I shake you awake.

"We're almost there, sweetie," I say gently in your ear, and you moan. "Come on sleepy," I urge, pushing on your arm.

You smile and squeeze my hand harder…back to reality…

887 HOME

"You know, we can just keep going," I suggest while you pull the car into the garage.

"What? And hide out at your mom's?"

"Sure, why not? We can stay in the guest house at night, and sneak away during the day. It'll be a while before she finds us."

"Alex," you sigh, and grin your exasperation. "You're being ridiculous."

"I know."

"It's a tempting idea though."

"Yeah." I suck in a deep breath, and lay my hand on the door handle. "Ready?"

"No, but let's go," you say, and step out of the car.

I wait for you to unload the trunk, then grab my bag. Together, step by step, we make our way up the stairs.

"I hope Trevor blew up the place."


"So we have an excuse to stay home and put everything together?"

"You're funny."

"Yeah, whatever." I throw you a look, and turn the key. I look around. Everything looks absolutely normal. The two fish are swimming around blissfully, until they notice us. Then they float towards the top of the corner and wait for food. It feels familiar, it's our home, my home for years before you moved in. But why does it feel so different?

"I'm gonna put these in the bedroom," you say, but not moving.

I turn from the fish tank, and take your hand. "Come on."

"So what do you want to do?" You yell from the closet, while putting our bags away.

"I don't know. Unpack?"

"Let's do that later," you sit down on the bed next to me.

"It feels different."

"What does?"

"The apartment."

"Yeah. I think I know what you mean."

"I've never felt like this before, Liv." I pull you into bed, and lay my head on your shoulder. "All the other times I traveled, afterwards, I always looked forward to coming home..."

888 Back

"Yeah, it's kind of weird to be here." I say, staring back up at our familiar ceiling.

"Yeah." You say with a breathy sigh.

"Back in our own bed." I say, reaching over and kissing you gently.

You kiss me back, gently and pull your head back, tracing the line of my face with your finger.

"We should probably call Trevor." You say interrupting our quiet kiss. " You know, tell him we made it back and that he doesn't have to watch our fish anymore." You say slowly.

"Do we have to?" I ask .

You smile and turn onto your side. "As much as I don't want to, yes, I think we do."

You reach over me and pull the phone off the nightstand.

"Are you sure you want to do that?" I ask, holding the phone receiver out to you.

"No." You say decidedly, "But we have to."

"We could get our rings tomorrow," I say, as you start to dial.

"Oh, I'd like that," you say, as you flop onto your back with the phone in your hand.

I crinkle my nose at you and slide my fingers up your body, taking your breast into my hand, and teasing it gently.

"Stop that," you mouth to me, and I smile at you.


You give me a warning look and pay attention to the phone. "Come on Trevor," you say impatiently.

"If he's not there, we can't be officially back. We're still on vacation!"

"Doesn't work like that," You say, smiling. "Hey Trevor? Trevor. What's wrong? Mom? Wait, what? Oh my god, we'll be right there."


"What's wrong?" You ask as I jump up and off the bed.

"Come on! Let's go!" I pull you to your feet.

"Something happened to mom?"

"Yeah, she had a heart attack while we were fucking our brains out."

"Is she okay?"

"She's back at Trevor's."

"Really? Not the hospital?"

"He probably hired some nurse." FUCK.

"Why didn't anyone call us? They knew where we were staying?"

"Can you stop asking all the questions?" I snap, furious at you. "I don't know."

"Come on, Alex, be calm."

I brush your hands away. "How am I supposed to be calm? My mom had a heart attack!" I feel like I'm going to have one myself, right now.

You forcibly keep me in your arms, and stroke my back. "She must be okay for the doctors to release her."

I beat at you, trying to get free. "Or she's on her last breath, and she just prefers to die at home!"

"Sweetie, I'm sure Trevor would've said something. He didn't, did he?"

"No. But I didn't really give him a chance…" I let you brush tears from my eyes. "You think so?"

"I'm sure. Come on," you kiss me gently. "Calm down, then we'll go."

I pull you towards the door. "I'm calm, let's go."

You follow, then over take me to the car and get into the driver seat. "Sorry, baby, I can't let you drive."


The fifteen minutes drive to Trevor's place seems like an eternity. I try not to think; I try to be calm. My mom would not want to see me blubbering like a fool, even if she's, if she were really dy… I squeeze my eyes shut and inhale.

"I'm sure she's okay," you say, pulling into an empty spot and put my NYPD plate out on the dashboard. I don't stop you this time.

Finally, we're at the door. Before I slide my key into the lock, Miriam opens the door.

"Ms. Cabot," she says, teary eyed, while enveloping me in a hug.

My heart sinks. It sinks even lower when she repeats the gesture with you.

"Come. Mrs. Cabot is waiting," she says, and leads us away from the foyer and towards the second floor.

Then I hear from behind us, "SURPRISE!"


"What the fuck?" You yell.

My sentiments exactly. I turn around and search the room. Everyone I know, and lots of people I don't are staring at us expectantly. All happy and smiling.

"Where's my mother?" You demand of the maid, and she points sheepishly at the crowd.

"Surprise," your mother says, stepping back out from behind the throng.

"Mom!" you yell, and run into her arms. I follow a step behind you.

"Are you surprised?" She asks us, smiling brightly.

I want to tell her that if a cat and a horse came in here doing the tango I couldn't be more surprised.

"Yeah," I mumble, looking around and trying to figure out what's happening.

"Mom, are you okay?" You ask, looking at her gently, appraising her health.

"Yes darling, I'm fine." She says, hugging you. You look at her appraising whether or not that's true.

"How dare you," you say, catching sight of Trevor, you turn ready to attack him, and he hides behind your mom. Typical, I say, rolling my eyes as he sneaks further behind her.

"She told me to," he says, his arms in the air.

"What…?" You ask.

"This is great," I interrupt, "but does someone want to tell me what the hell is going on here?"

"We didn't think we could get you out of your house tonight unless we surprised you." Your mother begins to explain.

"Okay, well, we're here…so what are we celebrating again?" I ask.

"It's your anniversary darling," your mother says, staring at me like I've lost my mind.

"What anniversary?" You ask.

Good. I'm glad I'm not the only one.


"Don't you have something you want to tell us, my dears?" My mother asks, instead of answering our question.

"What?" I repeat, dumbfounded, and still livid that they had scared me like that. Sure we wouldn't have gotten out of our apartment for most things, but what they did, that was just plain dirty. I repeat, "What are you talking about? And what anniversary?"

I look worriedly at you, afraid that I've forgotten some important milestone. Thank goodness you look as shocked and clueless as I do.

"Your one week anniversary!" Elliot pipes up. "You sly dogs!"

"What? One week?" I look at you again. We got married ten days ago. One week? Oh wait. I guess we weren't legally married until we met our residency requirement.

I turn back to my mother and brother. "How did you find out?"

"I called your hotel," Trevor explains, still looking sheepish, and hiding behind mom.

He's such a coward. I demand, "Why? Why were you calling?"

"Because I couldn't remember where you said the fish food was?"

"You couldn't just go get another bottle?"

"It was late," he whines. "I didn't… Anyway, the concierge told me."

"He did? Wait, so you all know?" Of course you do, what am I saying?

"Guess we worried for nothing," you mumble, smiling shyly.

"What were you worried about, my dear?" My mom takes your hand, and pull you next to her. Without waiting for your answer, she continues, "My son tells me you took my husband's last name?"

I watch you turn red.

"Um." You squeak, "I hope it's okay? With you?"

"Of course, dear, I wouldn't have it any other way! They say when your son marries you lose a son, although I doubt it's the case with my boy." Mom looks at Trevor, then back at you. "And when your daughter marries, you gain a son… Well, I'm very happy to have another daughter."

I manage to keep my jaw from hitting the ground. "So you're not mad?"

"No, why would I be?"

"We eloped?" Wait, I probably shouldn't have said it out loud.

"I'm not too happy that you didn't even have the courtesy to tell me, and give me time to fly down, Alexandra," she looks at me sternly, then smiles, "but at least you've made honest women out of each other."

"Hear! Hear!" Our so-called friends cheer.

Meanwhile, you and I turn into a pair of beets…

892 More

Your mom looks so happy. I look from you, to her, to the people standing behind us, and I smile. You take a step away from your mother's arms and look around the room. You take a deep breath and address everyone slowly. "Liv and I, well, we just wanted, we want to thank you, all, for coming," you say hesitantly, reaching out for my hand, which I slowly give you. "We're happy to be here, together, and with all our friends. We're sorry you guys weren't there, but, we're glad you can be here now."

I smile. You're always the diplomat. You give my hand a quick squeeze, and you smile at me. A smile that rips through my body and straight to my heart, reaffirming that I have made the right choice in getting you to agree to spend the rest of your life with me.

Your mother, with a flourish, announces that everyone should plan on having the time of their lives as music starts and people start to pack in around us, giving us congratulations. People swarm around you, and I find myself pushed away, watching you work the room.

Elliot strides up to me, putting his arm around my shoulders. "I can't believe you finally did it," he says, squeezing me in close to him.

"Now you'll have to find someone else to live vicariously through," I hear Kathy's voice behind him, and I smile at her.

"Don't worry, he's been calling me married ever since…" I try to explain to her.

"Since they stopped calling each other pookie bear on the phone," Elliot chimes in and Kathy laughs, causing me to blush some more.

Somehow, I think I'll be doing a lot of that tonight.

"It's nice to see you so happy," he says, as he steps back.

In a few minutes, I'm back at your side, being introduced to your mothers friends.

"I can't believe your mother did this," I whisper in your ear.

"It's so nice," You say glowing.

"I guess we don't have to worry about telling everyone."

"I don't know," you say quietly, "my aunt's not here."

"Eh, we can take her," I say, giving you a quick kiss on the cheek.

"If you say so," you say, forcing your smile back into place.

"I love you," I whisper.

"I love you more," you say back.

Not likely. Not likely at all.


You hold my hand, and you keep smiling -- at me, our friends, my… our family, my mom's friends – a genuine, glowing smile.

I don't know if you know how beautiful you are.

Then I hear people around us, telling me what a lovely couple we make. Some of them even pull me aside and point out how you're watching me move around the room, and the besotted devotion in your eyes.

I'm not sure I've blushed so much in my whole life.

"I love you," I whisper in your ear. I love you so much, much more than I can ever express in words.

"I love you, too."

"I love you more."

"Not possible," you say, kissing me softly on my cheek.

I wish I could live in the moment. I really shouldn't let it bother me like that. I squeeze your hand, and force a smile at you.

"What's wrong, Sweetie?"

"I wonder if mom told Aunt Olga, and she decided not to show."

You sigh, "Alex, Sweetie…"

"I'm sorry, I just, I'm not sure why I feel this way, we have the acceptance of all our friends, and most of our family."

"And we have each other."


"So let's celebrate?" You ask gently, kissing me again. "It is our one week wedding anniversary. We're supposed to be having the time of our lives; let's not disappoint your mom."

I kiss you back, and smile. "You know, I think I need a calendar to keep track all our special days."

"We'll pick one up when we get our rings tomorrow."

"Okay." I lean in, and touch your lips with mine. "I love you."

"And I love you."

Then I hear the sounds of someone tapping their glass, and I look up. It's Elliot, with a wide smile on his face. Great, I wonder what he's going to say.

Even worse, the ringing of silverware hitting stemware doesn't stop. In fact, Trevor joins in.

Self-consciously, I tug my hair behind my ear, and look down at the floor to hide my blush. In a small whisper, I ask, "Can I kill your partner? And my brother?"

894 KISS

"You can always kill Trevor," I say with a half smile.

"I can't believe this." You say, shaking your head.

"What are they doing?" I whisper furiously into your ear.

"They want us to kiss." You whisper back

"Now? While they're all watching us?"

You give me a look that exemplifies the stupidity of the question. "Yeah, now," you say, quietly.

I hear Elliot's voice staring a chant. Oh, man, he's going to die. I shoot him an evil glare, and then turn my head back to you.

I look at you and you look at me, both of us staring at everyone like a deer in headlights. You lean in and peck my on the lips, and I hear Trevor starting to boo.

This is like a nightmare.

Well, one of us has to do something.

I take you and kiss you hard on the lips. This time people are clapping.

"That wasn't so bad," I whisper to you.

"Not at all," you say, reaching out and grabbing for my hand, giving it a quick squeeze before pulling away.

Someone taps me on my shoulder and I turn around to see your mother, smiling at me.

"I'm glad you're finally part of the family," she says, gently.

"Thanks, Mrs. Cabot." I say, stumbling over my words.

"Please, dear, you can call me mom now. If you would like," she says.

"I would. I mean, thank you."

"We're glad to have you." She says, taking me into her arms and giving me a big hug.

Acceptance feels wonderful. I don't think I've ever been this happy.


While my mother monopolizes you, I approach Trevor. "Don't even start."

"Hey, I didn't even open my mouth. How'd you know what I was going to say."

"I know you. I know you too well."

"Come on, Alex."

"Stop it. And if any piece of your silverware touches your glass again, I'm going to kill you."

"You should've seen your faces." He laughs. "You looked like a couple of deer…"

"Very funny."

"Yes, it was."

I throw him an evil look, and he shuts up. "So, did you invite Aunt Olga?"

"Do you really want to know? Right now?"

"I'd rather know one way or the other, Trevor."

"I'm sorry, Alex…"

He doesn't need to finish his sentence, I can tell from the _expression on his face. "I knew it. I knew she wouldn't accept."

"To put it mildly."

I remain silent, waiting for him to continue.

"Alex, I don't think…"

"I'm not asking you to think Trevor. Tell me."

"Look, mom was the one who called her. I wasn't there. But you should've seen the look on her face."

"What do you mean?"

"Remember how mad she was at us, when you talked me into letting you give me a lion cut like the groomer gave Fluffy? And you made me bleed all over the carpet?"


"That was nothing. Her face was so red after she got off the phone with Olga, I thought she was going to have a heart attack."


"I'm sure she's going to come around. After all, we're the only family she has."

"I'm not so sure she will."

"I came around, didn't I?"

I let him pull me into a big hug. "I suppose. So you're not mad?"

"For what?"

"I one-upped you, and brought home a spouse."

"No." He squeezes me on the shoulder. "On the contrary, you can take the pressure completely off of me."


"Give mom her grandchildren," he says with a cheesy grin.

"You're out of your mind!"

896 HOME

We slip into the car together and you lean over the console giving me a gentle kiss. "I love you," you whisper.

"Love you too," I say, backing the car out and into the street.

"I can't believe mom…"

"She did a great job. I mean, that was short notice for her to invite everyone we've ever known since we were children. " I finish for you.

"That's mom," you say with a smile.

"Yeah, it is." I agree with you, watching you squirm in your chair getting comfortable.

"It was nice," You say, leaning back into your seat and closing your eyes.

"Yeah, it was," I say, slowly driving back to our home.

"Mom invited my Aunt." You say, distantly.


"She chose not to come."

"I'm sorry hon. I know it meant a lot to you that she…"

"It's okay, Liv. I think I'm being selfish about it."

"What do you mean?"

"I want everyone to be happy for me, because I'm happy for me. I'm not sure that's realistic. Or fair."

"It's okay to want people to be happy for us."

"She'll come around." You sigh

"What makes you say that?" I ask quietly.

"Trevor did."

"Yeah, but he didn't have a problem with the gay thing as much as he did the me thing."

"He said something funny."


"Yeah, he said we could give mom her grandchildren."

"I hate to tell you this sweetie, but I don't think I can get you pregnant. But I don't mind trying," I say, smiling at you.

You laugh lightly. "Who says I'm the one having the kids?"

"I just…"

"I think you would be beautiful pregnant." You say, gently.

"Whoa, Alex, when did, we never…we haven't ever talked about this and now I'm pregnant?"


"You better not be!" I laugh, and swat you on the arm. Still, I feel the stab of jealousy, irrational though it may be.

You must have read it on my face, too. "Of course not, Sweetheart," you say, reaching over and squeezing my hand. "I love you."

"I love you, too." I smile back. "I really do think you'd be beautiful…"

"Alex? Can we talk about this?"

"Aren't we talking right now?"

You take a deep breath, pull the car off the street, and put it in park. "Sweetie…"


"Let's start with my job, how am I supposed to work while I'm pregnant?"

"Desk duty? I'm sure Don will…"

You sigh, closing your eyes, and gripping the steering wheel. "That's beside the point."

"Then what's the point?"

"I'm an alcoholic."


"Okay, I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I'm a product of rape."


"Are those the kind of genes that a person should pass onto the next generation?"

"But you're also intelligent, street smart. You have a big heart. You're beautiful inside and out. Those are the kind of qualities we want our children to have."

"Children? Now we're having more than one? Alex, I really don't think…"

"And we can actually kind of make a baby of our own."

"What?" You stare at me, hard. Then realization dawns. "Have you and Trevor already decided?"

"No, we haven't decided for you. I haven't even talked to him about it."

"But you've decided."

"No, Liv, I'm just thinking how wonderful it'd be if our love survives us."

"We can endow an Alexandra and Olivia Benson Cabot scholarship."

"That's not the same."

"What if Trevor's not willing." At the look on my face, you shake your head. "Right, poor guy won't have a say."

"Just think about it, Liv?"

"What if he wants to be involved, like a father?"

"He will be the male role model, at least in the family; but he'll have to be content being the uncle. Look at it this way, you'll have rights as the biological mother, and he'll never try to strip me of mine."


"Will you at least think about it?"

898 Future

I can't believe you want me to have a baby. You want us to have a baby. And to top it all off, you want Trevor?

So Trevor and I would?

God no.

"You don't want me to? With your brother?"

"God no." You say, and stare at me. "We would do it artificially," You say like that is supposed to make it all right. "He would, you know, and then we would freeze it and implant it later."

"You've put a lot of thought into this." I say, slowly realizing that this isn't just a whim for you. You're serious. You're dead serious.

"You haven't." You say, with a certain amount of sadness in your voice.

"Alex, you have to understand. I mean, I don't think. I don't really want to have kids of my own. I just started being able to take care of myself, I'm not sure I can take care of someone else."

"But you're so good with them."

"I'm good with puppies too, but I don't have one of those. And besides, the kids we see at work, well, when I'm done talking to them, I get to send them home where they become someone else's problem."


"Listen, I mean, kids are a huge responsibility. What if something happened to me? What if I got shot?"

"You could get shot anyway. I live with that every day. That doesn't mean we can't live our life."

"But Alex, if we had a kid, we'd have a whole new level of responsibility. We both work 50 hour weeks, and that's when we have a good schedule. How are we going to have a kid?"

"We can take time off. We have…"

"Look Alex, there's…it's just…it's too much."

"Jesus, Liv," you say, with anger flashing in your voice. "We're not talking about going home and doing it right now. It's just something to think about for the future."


"You're not?"

"No, I'm not! I told you I haven't even talked to Trevor about it." I don't try to hide the frustration in my voice. "We just got married. I'd like to have more time with you first, just the two us."

"Oh. Still… I don't know…"

"Fine. We won't have any children," I say, even though I don't mean it, but it's not like we could compromise and have half of a child. "Let's get moving."

"Now you're mad."

"I'm not mad."

"Upset then. Do we have to go through this?"

"Go through what?"

"Semantics, Alex!" Now you sound frustrated. "And circular questions."


"Fine." You turn towards the steering wheel, then you turn back towards me, and sigh. "Can we start over?"

"With what?"

"Tonight. This. We just celebrated our wedding; we shouldn't be fighting."

"We're not fighting. We have a difference in opinion."

"Please, Alex."

"You know what? Maybe you're right, I was wrong. We can't even, we shouldn't consider having kids. I shouldn't have been so selfish, or so greedy."


"It's irresponsible of me to want to bring another human being into this over populated world. People who wants kids really should just adopt."

That's what I thought to begin with, that I've always thought since, since forever. Why am I suddenly changing my mind just because of what Trevor said? Because if you do get shot one day, I'd still have a little piece of you I could hold onto? That's just pure selfishness, plain and simple.

"I'm sorry for bringing it up," I tell you, and try to smile like I mean it, like I didn't want to just hug myself and cry. "And I'm sorry for making us fight and ruining the night…"


"Let's just go home, okay?"


I tighten my grip on the steering wheel. "I hate it…" I start but think better of it.

"You hate what?"

"I hate it when you act like this." I finish.


"You're mad at me for something I didn't do."

"I'm not mad." You say.

"Yes you are. You're sitting there pouting."

"Just drop it Liv."

"No," I say, feeling right, which I've learned is dangerous. "It's not fair. That's a major decision and you've made all these decisions for me. For us. And I haven't thought about it, and when my first reaction isn't that I want to have your brother's baby, you get angry."

"I'm not angry."

"Fine. Miffed. I'm just, I'm not ready okay?"


"Fine." I huff back.

You stare out the window and I stare straight ahead. We pull into the garage and before I can even stop the car, you get out and slam the door.

Following you, I slam the door myself and chase you up the stairs. When we get into the apartment, you stomp off into the bedroom and slam that door closed too.

I sit down onto the couch and stare into our fish tank. Our two happy fish, swimming around each other in circles.

Why can't we be like that?

I slam my fist on the coffee table, childish, but it somehow makes me feel better.

It's going to be a long night.

Part 901

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