DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: With the revelations about Elliot's home live in Season Six, this piece is now definitely AU. Everything up to Loss is fair game for possible spoilers, but Loss never happened in my little world.
WARNING: This story deals with the subject of rape and child abuse.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By kimly

Part Two

"Hey, Cabot. You look like hell."

The blonde head looked up and her eyes gazed over the top rim of her glasses, her chin propped on a fist. "Nice to know I look as good as I feel. To what do I owe pleasure of this visit, Detective?" She couldn't suppress the lazy grin from forming.

Olivia pushed off from the door frame, stepped into the office then turned to close the door before wandering to stand leaning against Alex's desk forcing her to roll her chair back. With a concerned look, she ran the back of her fingers across Alex's forehead before brushing through the hair at her temple. Alex closed her eyes and relaxed into the touch.

"You need to get Serena's guardianship of Alicia revoked. Her parents finally arrived. Elliot's with them now." Not feeling a fever, Olivia's initial worry lessened. She still wasn't thrilled with the worn-out look her better half was sporting.

Alex checked her watch. "Won't happen until tomorrow. Valdera won't schedule sessions past five without exigent circumstances. This doesn't qualify." Alex rolled closer to her desk and reached around Olivia for her phone. The Detective didn't move but took advantage of the close proximity of her girlfriend to kiss the crown of her head.

"Stop that," Alex half-heartedly scolded as she punched in a number. "With my luck Liz'll walk in." Again.

"Yes, dear," Olivia responded clearly not concerned with the reprimand. She kissed her again this time of the cheek.

"Serena, it's Alex." Alex leaned into the fingers Olivia was running through her hair. "I haven't yet but I will. Listen, I need you in court for the Wilton case tomorrow. The parents have appeared." Oh, God, that feels good. "That would be great. My morning is clear."

"A little harder?" Alex requested quietly to Olivia as she continued to listen to Serena.

"Yes she is and no we aren't and don't even joke about that!" Alex reached up and intertwined her fingers with Olivia's. "Thanks, talk to you in a few."

Olivia looked at Alex expectantly once she hung up the phone.

"The Wiltons will have to appear in court tomorrow morning then Valdera will lift the guardianship she assigned to Serena. It's just a formality but necessary." The ADA shifted in her chair trying to find a more comfortable position.

Olivia noticed the move. "Hey, what's the matter?"

Alex looked at the distress evident in the face across from hers. "My back is bothering me and I just feel 'off'. I can't explain it any better."

Not caring who could walk in on them, Olivia pulled Alex to her feet and folded her into her arms. "How much longer do you have to be here? This doesn't have to be a late night, does it?"

Alex accepted the embrace and spoke into Olivia's neck. "Not late. Just have to wait for Serena's call-back and prepare for a couple motion hearings."

"Very good." She gave the back a little scratch. "I really should get over to the hospital to check in with Elliot. Do you want me to come back for you or will you just meet me at home? Or do you need me to stay?"

Pushing out of the hug, Alex sat back in her chair and ran her fingers through her hair. "I'll be fine. Go to the hospital and then just go home. I shouldn't be later than six, six-thirty."

"Sounds like a plan." Before Alex could object or protest, Olivia leaned over the chair and kissed her, making a slow exploration of her lips and mouth in an effort to take her mind off her back and her mood.

Before the kiss ended the door opened.

"Alex. Have you seen this garbage… Well doesn't this just figure?" Donnelly rested her weight on one hip and smirked at the pair.

Olivia slowly pulled away apologizing to Alex with her eyes but not looking overly contrite. She turned to Liz, blocking the Bureau Chief's view of the ADA. "Afternoon, Liz. Please don't give her too hard a time, she's sick."

"That goes without saying, Detective, she's dating you," Liz quipped and bumped the Detective with her shoulder as the she walked past, enjoying the verbal sparring they often engaged in.

"You're a laugh riot, Donnelly." Olivia left the ADA's office and her girlfriend to deal with her boss. I am so toast tonight. Flowers… flowers and maybe chocolate, possibly jewelry.

Once the lawyers were alone, Alex tried to salvage something out of the meeting with her supervisor. "Liz, I am so sorry for this recent display of unprofessional behavior…"

The Bureau Chief settled herself in one of the chairs and held up a hand. "Alex, stop. As long as I don't have to make an example out of you, I won't. I'll rib you. Make jokes at your expense to you and to her. But, honestly, finding you and that Detective of yours in a lip lock is so sickeningly sweet I need an insulin shot."

Alex just listened in shock. "Ummm… I, ummm… thank you?"

Liz chuckled. "Forget it. But now tell me why this damn Donaldson case is destroying more trees than an twenty-six volume encyclopedia?"

Alex inserted the key into the lock, turned the deadbolt, then eased herself into the apartment. The homey scent of chicken soup greeted her. She took a second deep breath and picked out the smell of baking bread. Olivia must have stopped by Guido's.

Mere weeks after the Detective started spending her off time at the ADA's apartment she discovered the small Italian bakery just down the block. The older shopkeepers took to her that very first day. She had greeted them in their native tongue and since then always ordered the same way. The relationship she cultivated with the couple allowed her certain perks; if she called ahead, they would have a ready-to-bake loaf waiting for her. And Alex thoroughly enjoyed her girlfriend's perks.

Thankfully, Alex noticed the figure asleep on the couch before she yelled out that she was home. She placed her attaché under the hall table and shrugged out of her coat, hanging it on the tree by the door. Her heels clicked on the hardwood floor in the hall and then on the kitchen tile. She peeked into the pot simmering on the stove and hummed appreciatively.

A small pill bottle sitting on the counter caught her eye. Midol. Jesus, she knows me better than I know myself at times. She grabbed a glass from the drainer and filled it from the tap before tossing a couple pills back with a mouthful of water. The wonders of modern medicine.

Alex went into their bedroom and stripped out of her suit and slipped into a pair of loose lounge pants and one of Olivia's NYPD t-shirts. Her toes were particularly happy to be released from the confines of the pumps she habitually wore to work. A quick stop to scrub the make-up from her face and she was standing by the sofa watching Olivia sleep. Mine.

With an evil little smirk and a twinkle in her eye – previous aches and pains ignored – Alex straddled her prone lover across her hips and began to slowly unbutton the cream colored blouse Olivia had chosen much earlier that morning. Luck was with Alex that evening as her girlfriend frequently wore pullover sweaters. Alex's fingers revealed first Olivia's upper chest and then her silk covered breasts. Silk? Oh, love.

Despite her opened eyes, Alex was evidently very much still asleep as Olivia dressed that past morning to have missed her donning such a spectacular combination of silk and lace. Usually, Olivia considered undergarments utilitarian. Things that should be comfortable and functional; sexy not even a minor requirement. Her chosen vocation lead her to pick for performance.

Not that the Detective didn't like or didn't own ultra feminine examples as her current selection proved. Alex was more than appreciative when her lover dressed for her enjoyment. She also appreciated Olivia's preference for front closures.

As Alex brought her hands together to release the catch, Olivia gently enveloped the digits, bringing the knuckles to her lips.

"Been enjoying yourself?" Olivia asked, opening her eyes, a smile spreading across her face.

"Very much so." Was the lazy answer. Alex leaned over initiating a demanding kiss.

Even though Olivia continued to clutch Alex's hands against her bare chest, the blonde controlled their interaction. Olivia matched her intensity, chasing Alex's tongue into the blonde's mouth. Trading dominance, the women explored familiar territory losing themselves to their growing passion.

Olivia released Alex's hands and brought her own under the t-shirt Alex had pilfered, rubbing the Counselor's stomach then back with easy strokes.

"Stealing, Counselor? Have you learned nothing from your time in jail?" Olivia dipped her fingers below the waistband of the unrestrictive pants Alex wore.

Alex saw no reason to answer. Reclaiming Olivia's lips, losing herself to the wet heat of her mouth while rocking against the body below her to the feel of a firm massage of her glutes, Alex succeeded in derailing her partner's train of thought.

The kiss ended with a series of pecks, the pair just looking into each other's eyes. Alex ran her fingers through the hair at Olivia's temple. They rested, catching their breaths, knowing there was no rush.

"So, how pissed was Liz? I really wasn't trying to cause you problems, you just looked like… I just needed to kiss you."

"I know. I needed it too. And surprisingly, Liz was more amused than angry. Seems she finds us cute." Alex ran a finger under the lace of Olivia's bra.

"Cute?" Olivia sounded incredulous.

"I believe her actual comment was 'sickeningly sweet' to the point of insulin shock." Alex kneaded a breast despite the silk covering.

Olivia shook her head and tried but failed to get access down the front of Alex's pants. "These have got to go," she instructed motioning Alex off of her.

Alex stood, removed the t-shirt and then the pants. "You, too."

Olivia joined her, the stack of discarded clothing steadily growing. Olivia resettled herself on her back on the couch and enjoyed the view of a very naked ADA climbing back over her hips. Mine.

Both women moaned as Olivia finally was able to slide a couple fingers into Alex. The blonde folded herself over Olivia, trapping her arm between them as she buried her nose in Olivia's neck, kissing her behind the ear. A moment of shifting allowed Olivia the freedom she needed to settle into the rhythm Alex chose.

"Oh, God, Liv. So good. More."

Olivia added another finger and reveled in the quickening pace Alex demanded.

"Close. So close. Liv," Alex groaned out her lover's name.

Olivia cut off Alex's speech by kissing her, powerfully. Actually, Olivia attempted to completely overload her partner's senses. Her hand flexing between them, stimulating Alex's most sensitive flesh; her lips and tongue teasing, tasting, assaulting; her empty fingers tweaking an available nipple.

Alex forced an end to the kiss as her orgasm hit. "Oooo, Liv!"

Sweat-soaked bodies curled together as Alex's heart rate returned to somewhere approaching normal. Olivia concentrated on keeping her hands stroking Alex's back and not moving to relieve the deep ache she felt thrumming through her veins.

Alex took another moment to recover then rolled off the couch. Kneeling, she grabbed Olivia's hips and dragged her to a sitting position. "Your turn." She smiled up between parted thighs before dipping her tongue into her bellybutton.

Olivia tangled her fingers of one hand in Alex's hair while the other tried to find purchase on the couch. "Hhmmm, thank you."

"Don't thank me yet, Liv." Alex looked up from the inner thigh she was nibbling. She lifted one of Olivia's legs and draped it over her shoulder to allow her better access.

Alex started with an opened mouthed kiss to swollen folds. Over the next minutes she nipped, licked, sucked and nibbled Olivia into a state of acute arousal. Concentrating on her clit, Alex teased Olivia until she climaxed.

Dragging Alex back onto the couch, Olivia shifted to her side, totally sated, relishing the warm skin next to her.

Alex watched Olivia rest, a tad smug that she alone could render her strong, independent lover practically unconscious. Kissing along her jaw to her ear, Alex spoke. "Now you can thank me."

A squeeze and a low chuckle answered her comment. "Thank you, sweetheart." She ran her fingers over Alex's ass. "Think Donnelly'd think that was sweet?"

Alex pushed herself up and tapped Olivia on the nose. "I have no idea and I do not ever want to be in a position for her to comment."

"Damn. You know I have that recurring fantasy of doing you on your desk."

"So you've mentioned." Alex chuckled herself, snuggling down into Olivia's chest, tracing a random pattern on her skin. Eventually, her fingers stilled and she drifted into a light dose; by that time Olivia had already begun her own impromptu nap.

On the coffee table sat a cutting board with a half eaten loaf of Italian bread. Crumbs dotted the surface as well as the table itself. Flanking the mess were two empty soup bowls, spoons discarded to their sides.

The TV was tuned to some movie channel. An eighties action film plodding along to its inevitable conclusion: good-guy beats bad-guy, gets the girl. The duo on the couch ignored the car chase, the gun battle and the exploding building.

The blonde was stretched out across the cushions, the Times sports section in front of her nose and feet plopped in her girlfriend's lap. Said girlfriend had her feet propped on the end of the coffee table, her head resting against the sofa back, eyes closed. Her fingers massaging one foot; exerting more pressure to the arch before gently pulling on the toes.

Alex wiggled the digits in question to the slight tickling sensation Olivia was causing. "Liv?"

"Hmmm?" Came the inarticulate reply, although she at least tilted her head towards the voice.

"We have anything in particular planned for this weekend?"

You, me, naked on every flat surface… "Nope."

"Feel like a basketball game? There's going to be a double header at the Garden on Saturday," Alex explained as she removed one foot from Olivia's hands and gave her the other. "Mmmm, you have such talented hands."

"I aim to please," Olivia automatically responded, continuing her manipulations. "You talking college ball?"

"Yeah. Coke is doing a pre-season invitational to test the New York market according to the paper."

"I'm game. Who's playing?"

"Let's see… Ah, Texas, Georgia, UCONN and NC State." Alex yawned, removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes.

"Longhorns, Bulldogs, Huskies and the Wolf Pack. A regular zoo," Olivia commented. "Hey, go to bed. I'll clean up here and be right in." Olivia stood, dropping the feet back on the couch before gathering the remainder of their dinner. "Want me to grab you a couple more pills?"

"Nah, that orgasm you gave me knocked out most of the cramps and put me in a much better mood." Alex joked as she tore the Ticketmaster number out of the paper then dumped the remainder in their recycling box. "Just remind me to throw the bottle in my purse tomorrow."

Olivia caught up with Alex as she entered their bedroom. Grabbing her from behind, she pulled the blonde tightly against her. "I said, I aim to please."

"Hey!" Alex let out an undignified squawk at the unanticipated hug.

Olivia played with her earlobe with her tongue as her hands made soothing circles over Alex's abdomen. Alex covered Olivia's hands with her own and tried unsuccessfully to loosen their grip so she could turn within her arms. But Olivia held fast while Alex struggled against her.

"Don't fight me," Olivia whispered into a nearby ear.

Alex stilled, not truly wanting the embrace to end, only wanting better access to the body behind hers. Minutes of delicious nibbling to her neck and gentle stroking about her torso left Alex's nerve endings hyper sensitive and her libido ready for another round.

"Do you really want to get into a battle of wills with me while I'm pre-menstrual, Detective? Alex finally asked.

Olivia chuckled.

Alex usually liked Olivia's take charge attitude. When the brunette set her considerable focus on pleasing her, she was in for a wonderful ride.

"What are you planning on doing, Counselor? Charge me with unlawful restraint?" Olivia asked through a laugh, her grip still firm.

"If I was in the mood to fight you for your cuffs, Liv, you'd be eating those words," Alex stated yet relaxing deeper into Olivia's body. "I need to touch you, too, love. Please don't make me beg." Not tonight.

Hearing the low, resigned tone to Alex's voice, Olivia realized the type of encounter her partner needed was not the same as she was planning. Quickly changing her outlook on the rest of the night, she brought her hands to Alex's hips and turned her around.

"Better?" She asked, apologizing with her eyes.

Enjoying the feel of Olivia's rhythmic squeezing of her lower extremities, Alex ran her hands up Olivia's chest and into her hair, pulling willing lips to her own. "Thank you." She kissed Olivia again. "We'll play arresting officer and juvenile delinquent next week. Okay?"

"You'll wear the pleated skirt?"

"If you're good, I'll even wear the bobby socks and saddle shoes."

Olivia placed her forehead against Alex's and laughed. "We're nuts. You know that, right?"

Alex grabbed Olivia around the waist and fell backwards onto the bed. "In the best possible ways. Now, less talk, Liv. Put that talented mouth of your to better uses. Please…"

Lucky me.

Olivia stepped into the squad room laden with several dozen donuts and a box of coffee. "The donut fairy is here. Get 'em while they're hot." She placed her burden on her desk then crossed to her locker to dump her jacket.

"To what do we owe your good mood and generosity?" Munch asked fixing himself a coffee and poking through all three boxes looking for his favorite.

Mind blowing sex with my girlfriend, but I suppose you don't need to know that part. "Middle box," Olivia started, trying to keep John from rifling through every donut. "And you can thank Alex. She was having a craving." She grabbed her mug from by the office coffee pot and returned to her desk not realizing the proverbial can of worms she just opened.

"Cabot eats donuts?" Fin asked, clearly skeptical, but happy for the windfall.

"Once a month. Every month," Olivia replied. She had been bringing the crew coffee and donuts monthly for over two years. It was hard to believe her co-workers were detectives.

Elliot caught his partner's smile. "What are you grinning about, Liv?"

"You guys are about the most unobservant cops I know," she answered sipping from her mug.

The three guys just looked at her, bewildered.

"Cravings?" She asked, trying to nudge them along.

Fin broke the continued silence with a squeak when he added two plus two and got twelve. "She's pregnant?"

"What?!" Olivia was incredulous. She covered her eyes and groaned. "I'm working with idiots." She looked back up at them. "Monthly…" She made a continuing motion with one hand.

Several more long seconds went by before the light went on behind Elliot's eyes. "Oh."

"You have a wife and three teenage daughters, Stabler. How dense can you be?" Olivia thought she entered some bizarre edition of The Twilight Zone. "And you two. How long have you worked SVU?"

Fin looked chagrined while Munch continued to look at her with a blank expression.

"Her period, Munch. She joneses for fat and sugar when her hormones go all wacky." Olivia simply could not believe she was having this conversation. "She ever finds out I've had this conversation and I'll be sleeping on the couch for a week."

"And what conversation would that be, Detective?" Alex asked as she and Serena entered the bull pen. She dropped her briefcase on the side of Olivia's desk before appropriating a donut for herself.

"Good donut, Counselor?" Munch asked with a smirk just to be a pain in the ass.

Olivia banged her head against her desk. Why me?

"You're gonna hurt the desk, Liv." Alex quipped licking the last of the glaze from her fingers not caring about what John Munch could possibly be alluding to. She was experiencing an up period and saw no reason to go looking for a downer, figuring nature would take care of that quick enough.

The bantering was disrupted by the appearance of a slightly annoyed Captain. "Are we having a party, people?" He looked around at the group and noticed Serena for the first time. "And are blonde ADAs multiplying?"

"Good segue, Don," Alex chuckled. "I think you've all dealt with Serena Southerlyn from Homicide?" She looked around the groups for affirmation. "Don, I'm not sure if you've gotten the paperwork from our Bureau Chief since the decision was just made yesterday afternoon."

Cragen shook his head 'no'.

"SVU is being loaned the services of ADA Southerlyn for the foreseeable future. Your first call if I'm in court and you need the DA's office will now go to Serena and not the general pool," Alex began explaining.

"Ya mean we ain't gonna have to explain how we do things fifteen times when you're busy?" Fin wanted clarification.

"That's what we mean, Detective," Alex answered.


"I'll handle warrants and such. At least at the beginning," Serena added trying to gauge the squad's reaction to the news.

"I'm hoping over the next few weeks to have her here as an observer to get a feel for the unit."

"What if neither of you are available?" Munch asked. "What then?"

"Go back to the pool." Alex shrugged her shoulders. "You're no worse off than if you didn't have the option." She bent for her briefcase. "We've gotta run. We're due in kiddie court for the Wilsons."

Serena handed out her business cards to the group before exiting in Alex's wake.

"Okay, people, now that we've had our morning excitement, can we try solving a couple of open cases?" The sarcasm was thick in Cragen's voice. "You two." He pointed to Munch and Fin. "Where are you with the City College case?"

"Four vics. Three students and a professor. We obtained all the notes and letters and dropped them with forensics. The lab guys will try to determine if there are any similarities in ink or paper, any DNA available from the envelopes, that kind of thing," Munch explained.

"Suspects?" Cragen asked leaning against a desk and folding his arms over his chest.

"There's a small group of skin heads that have been hanging around the fringes of campus for the past six, eight months, according to campus security," Munch continued.

"Gay bashing is right up their alley." Olivia looked thoughtful.

"Operative word being bashin'." Fin jumped in. "This ain't their style. Kickin' heads, that's their style."

"My partner's right. The letters are fairly advanced even going so far as to quote different religious ideologies. Well, in between the name calling and threats of physical violence." Munch looked over his glasses.

"Check it out anyway," the Captain commanded. "Suggestions for when this doesn't pan out?" He looked to Huang who had joined the squad as the ADAs left.

"I'd like to see the letters before making an evaluation."

"We're not looking for testimony that'll stand up under cross, Doc. What's your gut say?" Cragen pressed.

"I have to agree with the Detectives. They will probably not find who you seek within a group of anti-social youths," Huang continued. "If this was a single individual, I'd say jilted lover. The multiple victims make that scenario unlikely."

Stabler stretched back in his chair. "Maybe the perp doesn't care about three of the vics. They're just there to confuse the issue."

"That gives you two several different avenues to investigate." Cragen dismissed them with his tone as well as bringing his concentration to bear on his other pair of detectives.

"We're on it, Cap'n," Fin replied as he and his partner grabbed their coats and coffee.

"Tell me we have good news concerning the Wilton case."

Olivia started. "DMV coughed up sixteen 'Peters' with blue four doors in the five boroughs. We cut the list in half by excluding Blacks, Asians and Hispanics since the witnesses clearly described a White male. Oh, and we also kicked Peter Quinn from the suspect list."

"Why?" Cragen wanted an elaboration.

"Mr. Quinn's license is up for renewal next month," Elliot jumped in.

"So?" Frustration creased the Captain's forehead.

"Mr. Quinn will be 91. His residence for the last four years has been a nursing home in the Bronx, Captain. His kids sold his '87 Chrysler the year after he was admitted but never followed up with the paperwork with DMV." Olivia collected several files from around her desk, jogged them straight and dropped them in her outbox.

Elliot put on his coat and handed Olivia her favorite leather jacket. "We have seven left to track down, hopefully only one of them won't have an alibi for the weekend."

Elliot and Olivia walked up to the immense reception desk. Their image was reflect in every surface: the polished hardwood of the desk, the mirror behind the receptionist's chair, the glass wall of windows blocking the entry way to the offices within.

"We're here to see Peter Kirklyn," Olivia informed the twenty-something answering phones.

Without looking up, she finished routing the call she was on. "Name and appointment time?"

"Benson and Stabler, Manhattan SVU." Olivia stood casually in front of the desk and flipped open her badge.

The receptionist's eyes bugged out a little as she dropped the handset back onto its cradle. "Oh. Oh, just one sec, let me see if he's available."

"If he's in the building, don't bother." Elliot signaled for her to replace the phone. "Just tell us where to find him."

"Third door on the right." She pointed then leaned over the desk to watch the detectives stride down the hallway, not able to decide who she enjoyed watching more; the male on the left… Nice ass. Or the impressive female to the right. Nice everything.

Olivia came to the door and without braking stride turned the knob and let herself and Elliot into the overly gilded office. So this is what ostentatious means. She glanced at her partner who just shrugged.

Mr. Peter Kirklyn paced in front of windows displaying the cityscape of lower Manhattan.

He was talking into a headset, hands stuffed into the pockets of his impeccably tailored slacks. His voice was calm and controlled and laced with frustration. "Explain to me again why this wonderful Just In Time Inventory System you swore would revolutionize this company has now puts us three weeks behind schedule."

He turned around and started at the sight of a couple just standing watching him. "Excuse me a moment," he stated while walking over to his phone and punching the mute key. "How did you get in here?" he asked angrily.

The Detectives didn't say a word just flashed their shields.

Kirklyn's attitude immediately sobered. "One moment, please," he directed to Elliot and Olivia before returning to his phone conversation. "Roger? Look, I don't care 'why' at this point. Just get the supplies here by the end of the week and Monday be prepared to have your excuses, explanations, whatever you want to call them, ready for me." He disconnected the call, pulled the headset from his ear and dropped it on the desk.

"Officers, sorry about that. What can I do for you." Kirklyn waved them into plush chairs and he sat behind his desk, and waited.

"Mr. Kirklyn, I'm Detective Benson, this is my partner Detective Stabler. We're from Manhattan SVU. We'd like to ask you a few questions concerning your whereabouts this past weekend." She pulled a note pad from the inside of her jacket as she took a seat, leaning back and crossing her legs.

The executive watched Elliot wander to the windows and take in the skyline - especially the gaping hole where the World Trade Center used to stand. Redirecting his attention back to Olivia he replied. "Oh, detectives? Okay, sorry… again. This past weekend? I wasn't even in the city."

Elliot turned. "So where were you?"

"Burlington, Vermont, with my girlfriend," he responded looking rather confused. "Would you mind telling me what this is all about? Have I done something wrong?"

Elliot answered without actually addressing Kirklyn's question. "Did you take your car on this outing?"

Still looking confused but quickly becoming angry, Peter continued. "No. We took Beth's. Now what is this about?"

"We're investigating the abduction and rape of a young girl this past Saturday," explained Olivia as she wrote Kirklyn's responses in her book.

"Abducted? Raped? Why in the name of God are you questioning me?" Peter's eyes quickly darted between the two detectives.

"You own a blue four door," Elliot stated simply.

Kirklyn was baffled. "Yeah? I have a Lexis. You're questioning every guy who owns a blue car?"

"And you're name's Peter," Olivia continued as if that explained everything to an outsider.

The suspect shook his head, bewildered.

"If you'll just give us your girlfriend's full name and work address, we'll confirm your alibi and you can go back to dealing with your supply chain." Elliot pushed himself from the window and crossed to stand just behind Olivia.

"Reynolds. Her name is Elizabeth Reynolds. She works for Kaine, Suffield and Hines, eleven floors down. She's a CPA," Kirklyn replied. "Should I be calling a lawyer?"

Olivia stood, sticking the pad back in her jacket. "Is Elizabeth's story gonna match yours?"

"Absolutely." Peter sounded indignant.

"Then you should have nothing to worry about," Elliot finished.

"Thank you for your time, Mr. Kirklyn." Olivia followed her partner out the door before closing it behind herself.

The detectives wandered back down the hall, passing the front desk and the gawking receptionist. They waited for the elevator doors to close before talking.

"You were having entirely too much fun back there, Elliot." Olivia leaned back against the rear wall, her hand stuffed in the pockets of her jacket, slowly making the edges flap.

"What?" he asked, enjoying the easy banter.

"You treated him like public enemy number one."

"He's a suspect in an abduction rape of an eight year old." Elliot stated the obvious.

"This interview was a technicality and you know it. The man was a bald as a cue ball."

Olivia pushed off the wall as the elevator came to a stop. "Let's see Ms. Beth and scratch another dead end off our list. How many do we have left?"

They exited the lift.

"Kirklyn was number four. Three left," Elliot answered as they went in search of their latest alibi.

Two more hours, three more airtight alibis, one Peter left to question. Yet a more pressing issue had Elliot and Olivia's immediate attention. Lunch. The donuts were a long forgotten memory and lunch had been nonexistent, until now.

"If I don't get fed soon, I won't be responsible for my actions," Elliot stated as they made their way back to the car.

"Okay," Olivia chuckled. "Sounds like a plan. I could put something in my stomach, too. How about…" Before Olivia could finish her suggestion, Elliot's cell went off.

"Hold that thought, Liv," he signaled before talking into his handset. "Stabler."

As Elliot took the call, Olivia scanned the area looking for food. Spotting a hotdog vendor a block up, the touched her partner's arm and motioned her intention.

Elliot gave her a nod and returned to his conversation.

By the time he joined her at the silver cart, Olivia had possession of two dogs; hers with onions, sauerkraut and catsup, his with spicy mustard.

She handed over his lunch. "So, was that work or home?" she asked then bit through the end of her dog, catching some of the excess toppings on a napkin.

Elliot made a face at the content of his partner's roll. "I don't know what's more amazing - that your stomach accepts that mess or that Alex will get anywhere near you once you've ingested that stuff." He took his own bite. "It was Kathy."

Olivia swallowed and wiped her mouth. "My stomach loves this stuff. Gives it a real work out. And between Altoids and my tooth brush, Alex has yet to complain about my breath." Or anything else…

"Is that a fact?" Elliot laughed. "Cocky thing, ain't ya?"

"Not me." Olivia joined in. "I'll leave that attribute to you." She gave him a meaningful look.

"Enough… enough… I can't keep up with your innuendoes." Dog finished, Elliot dumped his fist full of napkins into a nearby trashcan.

"Everything okay at home?" Olivia licked her fingers and pitched her trash.

The started back to the car.

"Yeah, actually really good. Dickie's teacher called. The kid got an 'A' on his latest history report." Elliot was all the proud dad.

"That's great! What was it on?"

Elliot looked crestfallen. "I have no idea," he said after some thought.

"Elliot, it's okay. You'll ask all about it at dinner tonight."

"Yeah…" he replied, deep in though. "Oh. Kathy also wanted me to invite you and Alex for dinner."

"Sure. Just let me know and I'll check with Alex."

"Tonight, Liv. We'd like you to join us tonight."

"Oh." Olivia tried to remember if they had plans. "I think we're good." She checked her watch. "She's in court now. I'll call after we see Mr. Young."

Elliot nodded as they both climbed into the vehicle for the cross town drive.

"Back so soon, Ms. Cabot?" Judge Valdera greeted the ADA as she took her seat on the bench.

"Yes, Your Honor. Mr. and Mrs. Wilton arrived in the city late yesterday afternoon. The People request the guardianship assigned to Serena Southerlyn be rescinded and the Wilton's full parental rights be restored in regard to the minor child Alicia Elizabeth Wilton." Alex recited without the aid of her notes.

Judge Valdera flipped though the case file. "The People are satisfied with the identities of these two individuals?"

"We are, Your Honor."

"Then, Ms. Southerlyn, the court thanks you for your role in this matter, but your services as guardian ad litem are no longer required." Turning to the parents, the Judge continued. "Mr. and Mrs. Wilton, I am restoring all of your parental rights with regard to your daughter. Please realize this court was trying to assure her continued wellbeing."

Jonathan Wilton stood and seemed about ready to speak before realizing it might not be allowed.

"You have a question, Mr. Wilton?" Judge Valdera asked bringing together her case files.

"More of a comment, Judge."

"Go ahead."

"We, my wife and I, would like to thank the court for taking such quick response to insure our daughter's health since we understand the police are typically given more time before such action is taken." He looked at his wife. "We realize some parents would give the court flack but we're not those parents. We're grateful the court took our little girl's best interests into account. Thank you, Judge." Jonathan finished and draped his arm around Maria's shoulders.

"You're most welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Wilton. These were extraordinary circumstances and the court is thankful you understood its position and that your daughter was everyone's first priority. This court finds your dedication to her refreshing. Court adjourned." Judge Valdera pounded the gavel and left the bench.

Alex and Serena gathered their briefcases.

"Wish all my court appearances would go that smoothly," Serena commented to Alex.

"Don't we all," Alex replied back before addressing the Wilton's. "The court will produce the documentation stating the outcome of this hearing. It should be ready in about a half hour or so."

"Just take the paperwork to the nurses' station and tell them to replace the previous order," Serena continued.

"Thank you both for all you've done for Alicia," Maria stated, reaching out to clasp first Serena's then Alex's hands.

"We're just sorry we needed to get involved," Alex replied as the group left the courtroom.

Olivia rapped on the door jam before she and Elliot stuck their heads into Cragen's office.

"Detectives?" Cragen looked up from the latest report he was filling out; in triplicate.

"All of our Peters have accounted for their whereabouts last Saturday," Elliot started, leaning over the back of one of the chairs.

"Almost all, Captain," Olivia corrected. "We couldn't locate Peter Young. He hasn't been seen around his apartment in days, plus he hasn't shown up for work yet this week."

"His car?"

"No idea. We've put out an APB and we're running a cursory check of area hospital just to rule out something ordinary." Olivia leaned against the table by the door.

"Do we have anything else should all this go bust?"

"Recanvassing where she was found? I don't know? Maybe head down to the zoo with Alicia's picture and the sketch of her abductor," Elliot suggested with a shrug.

"All right. Let's hope this sorts itself out before you two need to go on a field trip. Considering interstate cooperation is a pain in the ass, when it works at all."

The detectives nodded their head in agreement as they moved to go back to their desks to start the immense load of paperwork cases always generated.

"Detective Benson!"

Olivia had just reached the steps to One Hogan Place when she heard her name called. She turned towards the voice to find Serena advancing on her position at a quick pace.

"ADA Southerlyn, what can I do for you?" Olivia asked smirking at the formality of using their titles. She thought they were past that, outside of the precinct anyway.

"Not a thing. Just wanted to say 'hi'." The ADA signaled they should keep walking.

The pair continued up the steps and across the foyer to the elevators.

"So, is your visit personal or professional?" Serena asked as they waited for a car.

"Personal," Olivia started, evidently happy to have the day over with and wanting to maximize her time with Alex. "I'm hoping to convince a certain ADA to cut out early."

Serena was amazed to see the change in the usually stoic detective when thinking about Alex Cabot. Although Serena had known Alex since early in their mutual employment with the DA's office and had enjoyed a friendly rapport outside of the office, it had only been within the last several months that she saw both Alex and Olivia socially. She was just beginning to recognize the subtle mood shifts of Olivia Benson.

"Hmm, big plans for the evening? A nice quite dinner somewhere?" Serena inquired as they entered the elevator.

"Not hardly," Olivia chuckled, tapping the appropriate button. "We're heading to Queens for dinner with the Stablers. I highly doubt quiet will be the order of the night."

"I take it Detective Stabler has kids?"

"Four, three still at home including a pair of twins." She watched the floors numbers light up, marking their progress. "It's nice to talk with kids who haven't been brutalized," Olivia mumbled more to herself than Serena.

"Yeah, I bet. Hey, look. Let's get together for lunch, dinner, drinks… whatever works out, okay?" Serena suggested as they approached Alex's door. "And I'm looking forward to working with your squad."

Olivia stopped just shy of the door. "Sounds like a plan. Talk to Alex and set up a time and we're happy to have you aboard."

"Have a great night," Serena yelled over her shoulder as she continued to the office she shared with Jack.

Turning herself to fill the doorway, Olivia leaned against the jam, her arms folded over her chest. "Hey."

"You know I could hear you two all the way down the hall?" Alex asked without looking up from the journal she was skimming. "It's barely five, what're doing here?"

"Committing a felony." Her tone was serious and direct, just a slight curling of her lips. "Seems I'm planning on kidnapping an ADA."

That got Alex's attention. "Is that a fact?" She looked up and removed her glasses, dangling them between her fingers.

"Yup. Know any who'd come along without me having to resort to cuffs and brute force?" The smirk had returned full force.

"It really depends, Detective." Alex took a long slow look at the woman in her doorway. She loved the way Olivia dressed for work: low rise jeans with a simple classic belt, a form fitting light-weight v-neck sweater and a leather jacket. Love that jacket…

"I'm not sure if this crime is open to negotiation, Counselor."

"Well, I know a certain ADA would be willing to indulge you; avoiding the violence but has no desire to forgo the cuffs."

"Is that a fact?" Olivia asked mimicking Alex's earlier statement.

"It is," Alex answered seriously. "Although said ADA does not want to be escorted out restrained, she has no objection to restraints at a later date."

Olivia entered the office and took a seat in one of the visitor's chairs. "Noted," she grinned. "So you ready to blow this pop stand? We also need to stop for dessert on the way."

Alex looked over the content of her desk straightening up some open files and miscellaneous notes. "I can finish this stuff up tomorrow." She dropped a stack of neat files into a desk drawer and locked it. "Can we get something chocolate?"

Olivia rose from the chair and flashed a wide grin. Typical…

"Don't even say it, Olivia. We both know I'm a walking stereotype when I get my period."

"Didn't say a word." She held her hands up in surrender. Jesus, I must be getting predictable.

Alex grabbed her coat and her briefcase and pushed her detective out the door before locking it behind her. "Chocolate, Liv. Large quantities of chocolate will make this all better."

The elevator was empty when they boarded. They stood side by side facing front. Olivia stood with her hands in her front jeans pockets, playing with some loose change. Alex snaked one hand underneath her girlfriend's jacket and gave her back a light scratch. Olivia smiled at the gesture.

Her eyes bugged out as Alex pulled her close stepping in front of her and removed her hand from her own front pocket. Alex wormed her fingers into the tight space. She released Olivia and proceeded to do the same thing on the other side.

"Okay, what'd you do with them?" Alex asked, clearly frustrated at not finding whatever it was she was searching for.

"Them?" Olivia responded, having no idea Alex was even looking for something and not just fondling her in the elevator. Guess the groping wasn't a come-on. Damn.

"Keys… car keys. I'd like to drive."

"Oh. Sure. No problem." Olivia fished the ring out of her jacket pocket and handed them over. "Does this mean I get to take a nap?"

"After we stop at the bakery. Chances are I'll have to double park."

The pair exited the building and walked the block to where Olivia had left the car. Although they didn't hold hands, they walked close together, occasionally bumping hips or shoulders in an unconscious need to be near each other.

"So, Dickie, your dad tells me you're doing really well in school. Even got an 'A' on your last paper," Olivia commented while placing a spoonful of rice in her plate then adding another scoop to Lizzie's.

"A minus actually," Dickie responded, making a face at the carrots Kathy was placing on his plate. "Mom, I hate carrots."

"Then eat four, but you're eating some vegetables or you'll miss out on the dessert Alex and Olivia brought." Kathy moved around behind her youngest daughter and put some of the orange vegetable on her plate too.

Dickie looked none too pleased but stuffed one in his mouth before chasing it with half his glass of milk. "Fine."

Alex tried hard to hide a smirk but Elliot's expression let her know she had been seen. "And you thought convicting scum was difficult. Much more challenging is getting a twelve year old male to eat vegetables."

"So I see. Half our suspects don't make faces that awful." Alex chuckled, poking a little light fun at the youngster. "So, Dickie, what was your report about?"

"Stalin," he answered before stabbing a piece of pork chop and bathing it in ketchup. Alex blanched, sure she only became enamored with the condiment when she went away to college.

As she attempted to draw out more from the boy –hostile witnesses gave up more information easier– Elliot was listening to Kathleen's latest sports exploits and Olivia and Kathy were talking about setting up a Kid Print at Lizzie and Dickie's school for the younger classes.

As the meal was drawing to a close, Olivia's cell rang. She gave an annoyed look to her partner then excused herself and wandered into the living room to take the call.

Elliot stood to follow Olivia but turned back to the table. "Kathleen, if you would pack up any leftovers and put them in the fridge; Dickie, please scrape the plates so Lizzie can put them in the dishwasher." He went to find his partner. "Thank you," he yelled over his shoulder.

Alex and Kathy both stood and Kathy spoke. "And don't forget to wipe down the counters, the stovetop and the table." A general grumbling followed but the three kids went about their tasks allowing the adults to continue visiting.

Alex took a seat on one end of the couch and Kathy plopped herself in a chair. "It's so nice now that the kids can actually pitch in," Kathy commented propping her feet on the coffee table.

"I was surprised there wasn't more of an argument," Alex commented as the detectives joined them; Elliot stood behind his wife as Olivia sat next to her girlfriend.

"Dickie took issue with having to do 'women's' work… once," Kathy explained, with chuckle looking up over her shoulder to her husband. "Elliot set him straight."

"Damn right," Elliot stated, closing the discussion feeling there was really nothing left to say, the issue having been taken care of. "Who needs a drink?"

"Why don't you put on some coffee, El?" Kathy requested and their guests nodded in agreement. Turning to Olivia she continued. "I'm assuming you haven't caught a new case since neither of you are rushing out of here."

"Maybe a break in our current case, but nothing that can't hold until tomorrow morning," Olivia explained.

"This the Wilton case?" Alex inquired. "I thought you were at a dead end?"

"We may still be. Uniforms found Peter Young's car stripped under the West Side Highway. SCU is towing it to their yard. Elliot and I will meet up with the techs in the morning. Hopefully they'll have something for us," Olivia explained.

"You might get lucky," Kathy hopped.

"Telling trade secrets, Liv?" Elliot reappeared from the kitchen with a tray of mugs, the creamer and sugar bowl.

"Like that's even an issue with this group. This one," She jabbed a thumb in Alex's direction. "May get the call before us if a certain SCU tech is on duty." Olivia ignored her girlfriend's outraged look and the smack to her shoulder. "And lord knows Kathy will get it out of you before she allows you to get to sleep later. I'm just saving us all some time."

"Justification is a shaky defense, Detective. You know that." Leaning in to whisper into her ear, Alex continued. "And the only non-professional relationship between myself and Mr. Davis was in his mind." Alex kissed Olivia's cheek.

Olivia was saved from having to defend her irrational jealousy as Kathleen joined them, sat on the floor at her feet, opened a folder and rifled through its contents.

Olivia used Alex's closest leg and the couch cushion to lift herself off the couch and onto the floor next to Kathleen, welcoming the distraction. "What's ya got there, kiddo?"

Kathy and Alex moved onto more interesting conversation, since the object of their fun decided she didn't want to play. Elliot wandered back to the kitchen to check on the coffee situation and to avoid the verbal tirade his partner would unleash due to his chuckling at her expense.

"Trying to figure out what to do about my school project," Kathleen responded.

Olivia stretched her arm out on the couch behind the teen. "What do you have to do?"

"We have to give an oral report to our class."

Olivia waited, figuring Kathleen would elaborate. "Well, if public speaking is worrying you, you might want to ask our resident ADA for pointers. It's kinda her 'thing'." Olivia offered after a few silent moments.

"Nah, I don't mind speaking in front of people."

Again, Olivia waited for an expanded explanation that didn't come. "So… what's got you thinking so hard then?"

"Well, I think I know what I want to speak about but I'm not sure how to go about getting the information," Kathleen answered while continuing to absently thumb through her folder.

"Ah, like a research paper. Looks like a trip or two to the library's in store for you." Olivia accepted the mug Alex dropped over her shoulder. "Thanks, Alex." She took a sip. "Just how I like it."

Alex clamped her lips shut before the quip that popped into her head made an unadvised foray to young ears. Yeah, Lover, I know how you like it… Jesus, Elliot would kill me and Olivia would crawl under the couch. She settled for playing with the hair at the nape of Olivia's neck.

"Yeah, I know. That'll give me the historical perspective, the accepted historical perspective anyway." The teen played with a corner of her folder. "I think, I need to find people who actually live it, though."

"Kathleen, you're making my brain hurt with all this round about talking." Olivia had seen the hand-written scrawl on one of the pages: Gays in the New Century; Homosexuality: Then and Now; The Gay and Lesbian Perspective; Being Gay in the New Millennium. All but the last were crossed out and there were several question marks beside the last entry as well. Olivia didn't make detective on her good looks alone. She reached over and picked out the page with the hand-written titles. "Is there something you want to ask me?"

Kathleen seemed relieved. "Yeah." Yet nothing else was forthcoming.

Olivia chuckled to herself. "You know, questions work better when you actually ask them."

Kathleen blushed. "Yeah, I know, but I'm not even sure what I should be asking."

"Are you embarrassed about the subject matter? 'Cause that might make it difficult to present this topic to your friends," Olivia explained simply.

"No!" the teen responded a bit too forcefully.

Olivia just gave her a pointed look.

"Okay, a little." She went back to fiddling with her folder, her eyes glued to the table top. "I mean…" She took a deep breath. "It's just…"

"Hey…" Olivia rubbed Kathleen's shoulder, sympathetic to the teen's desire to be adult but not sure how yet to accomplish the feat. "Have you done any research? Discovered the burning issues of the last few decades?"

"Not really." Kathleen finally looked Olivia in the eye. "I just wanted a topic that means something, that's important, that's…"

"Okay, I get it. Look, do some research; maybe we can meet up Sunday afternoon and you can ask all the questions you want." Olivia gave her best encouraging smile.

Kathleen hugged the woman sitting next to her. "Thanks, Olivia. You're the best!" The teen collected her papers before dashing for the stairs.

All conversation between the other three adults came to a halt. They all looked toward Olivia who lifted herself back onto the couch and grabbed her coffee mug from the table.

"What has my daughter roped you into now, Liv?" Kathy asked.

"Has she told you about her latest assignment?" Olivia asked, twining her fingers with her girlfriend's.

"First I'm hearing of it, but that's not unusual. Right Kath?" Elliot shrugged.

"You must be talking about the presentation her history teacher assigned," Kathy ventured. "Has she finally decided on a topic? It was some big secret the last time I asked her about it."

"Well, she definitely has an idea. If it's okay with you and Elliot, she'll probably be asking to meet up with me and the little woman come Sunday." Olivia patted the hand she was holding and at the same time, flinched, fully expecting the smack she received to the back of the head.

Elliot and Kathy both cringed at the shot Olivia took, surprised at the physicality of Alex's reaction. "She abuse you like that all the time, Liv? I could…"

"Don't even finish that sentence, Elliot. You finish that sentence and we're both gonna be on an extended vacation from our respective bedrooms," Olivia pleaded.

"If you children would quit the innuendos, I might be able to discover what's going on with my second daughter," Kathy chastised. "Olivia, what is this about."

"Seems the good Kathleen has decided to tackle a 'worth while' and 'important' topic." Olivia paused.

"Spit it out Liv, we don't have all night for dramatics," Alex ordered in her kickin' ass and takin' names voice.

"She never actually stated the topic but the title Homosexuals in the New Millennium, or some such thing, was written across her assignment sheet." Olivia felt Alex squeeze the hand she still held and waited for the explosion she expected from her partner.

Elliot looked pole-axed; Kathleen had been able to shock him into silence regularly for the last few years.

Kathy, on the other hand, just chuckled. "Never let it be said that that child takes the easy way out. You two okay with talking with her about this?"

The women looked at each other, agreeing on a course of action without ever saying a word. "Between the two of us, I think we can handle one fifteen year old," Olivia boasted.

That comment got a fully belly laugh from Elliot. "Oh, Liv, you know not what you say."

Alex immediately categorized possible 'issue-y' areas the intended conversation could fall into. "Are there any particular themes you want us to circumvent?"

Elliot seemed as if he was going to speak, but a gentile hand on his knee and a small shake of his wife's head silenced him. After a deep breath he responded with a simple "No."

"You know it's the right thing to do, El." Kathy addressed him directly. "If she's got questions about any of it, are there two finer role models for her to look to?"

That hit Elliot where he lived. "Definitely not." She's still a virgin. She's still a virgin. Dear, God, let her still be a virgin…

"Besides, there's a good chances Kathleen will get all the sex questions out with them." Being a nurse did not make that particular discussion any easier, especially with what her husband saw every day.

The stunned looks on the women's faces assured the Stablers that the same generous offer would not be forthcoming for the twins no matter the school assignment.

Olivia and Alex arrived home at the relatively early hour of 10:10pm. An enjoyable dinner and visit with Elliot, Kathy and their rabble settling pleasantly into their memories.

Olivia stood over the dinning room table sorting through a stack of mail; credit card offers and other miscellaneous junk in one pile, stuff with Alex's name in a second pile, her own in a third. Ripping the end off an envelope, Olivia placed the empty wrapping on the junk pile and skimmed the letter wondering how she got on a republican fundraising mailing list. Only after a frontal lobotomy.

She smiled as Alex came up behind her wrapping her in a hug. "I think I got this by mistake." She passed the fundraising letter over her shoulder.

Alex loosen one arm to take the paper and give it a quick glance. "Right…" She snorted as she crumbled the offending request and tossed it over the kitchen island in the general direction of the trash. Securing her hold on the woman in her arms, Alex nibbled gently behind an ear. "I'll have you know, I have never contributed to the Republican Party." She switched ears.

"Good to know." Olivia snuggled into the embrace, linking their fingers together.

Alex lifted her lips from her lover's neck. "Anything we need to deal with right this minute?" She asked, alluding to the mail.

Olivia turned in the embrace and searched Alex's eyes. "Nope." She finally answered. She leaned in and captured waiting lips in a slow exploration. "Let's go to bed."

Alex kissed her once more before slipping out of Olivia's arms. "Okay. Head in, I'll be in after I dump today's metric ton of junk mail." She turned Olivia towards the bedroom and gave her a slap on the ass to send her on her way. She gathered up the trash. To think a tree died so Visa could offer me yet another credit card.

Olivia barely registered the smack as Alex often seemed to be fixated on that particular part of her anatomy. Not that she minded Alex grabbing her during simple hugs or even the height of passion. Her ass had been stroked, licked, pinched, bit and swatted – although the latter never during sex. For all their rabid bantering, when it came right down to it, neither felt the need to go to extremes.

Granted, occasionally they had used a blindfold and there was a favorite silk scarf Olivia would use to restrain Alex's wrists once they discovered the blonde needed a little help keeping her hands to herself when requested. That scarf had also bound Olivia on more rare instances since Alex only needed to ask and Olivia would rap her fingers around the spindles of their headboard, not releasing her grip until Alex released her.

So, aside from their perchance of getting caught in sudo-public places by Liz Donnelly on much too regular an interval for Alex's liking, the most 'outrageous' practice they indulged in centered on the contents of a box in Alex's bed stand drawer. The box's intended purpose was to hold photographs; at least that's what the wrapper said when she had purchased it during law school. Yet, it had never been used as designed. At first it sat on Alex's bureau and housed the odds and ends of her life: receipts and ticket stubs, hastily scribbled notes from friends, loose change, her car keys.

During her second semester, its purpose changed. More than a little curious and feeling daring, Alex ordered her first 'personal massager' through a mail order catalog. She emptied the box – trashing the notes and receipts no longer needed, sticking a push pin in the wall to hang her keys and dumping the change into an ashtray she pilfered from a local bar on a bet. The box was now the home of Alex's new sex toy, in its dark blue velveteen bag.

Although the actual contents changed, the box never lost its new function. Now, it held the vibrator Alex owned since starting in the DA's office. Nestled next to it was the one that lived in Olivia's underwear drawer before they moved in together. Finally, there was the leather harness and a trio of silicone dildos they picked out together and ordered on-line.

Once their relationship was established and secure, they had spent a lazy Saturday afternoon after a morning of slow, sensual lovemaking, discussing the fact that some might consider their sex life boring or too vanilla and questioned whether they should expand their sexual horizons. Both were secretly pleased that they were of the same mindset, agreeing their jobs probably played more of a role in their attitudes than possibly healthy, but still finding no need to change. Their concession to spice was the harness and accessories. Both had blushed during that initial conversation but since then were much happier for it.

Alex stuffed the wad of mail into a brown grocery sack. By the end of the week the bag would be filled and ready for their recycling drop. Wandering through the apartment, she clicked off a lamp by the couch and double-checked that the door was locked and the deadbolt thrown before heading down the hall to the bathroom to wash-up and change.

When she entered their bedroom, Olivia was already asleep on her stomach, arms hugging the pillow under her head and one leg drawn up. Alex made sure the alarm was set, as was her nightly duty, before climbing in behind the brunette and snuggling close. She slung one leg over Olivia's and wrapped her arm around her stomach.

After fifteen sleepless minutes, Alex realized she was too wired to simply drift off like her lover did. Not wanting to disturb her detective's rest, she carefully slid out of bed, tucking the comforter tightly around Olivia's back.

Alex grabbed her briefcase on the way to the couch and removed a case file and her glasses. Leaning against the arm, she read the motion once before retrieving a pad and pen to outline The People's response.

She hadn't been working fifteen minutes when the shuffle of feet made her look up from her notes. She watched with amusement as Olivia staggered out of their bedroom with her eyes barely open absently scratching her stomach, her tank top rising to show a wide swath of skin. Jesus, she's adorable like that…

Olivia skirted a chair and just as adeptly missed ramming her shin on the coffee table. She grabbed the pillow from the unoccupied end of the couch and propped it against Alex's leg. Without saying a word, she crawled onto the sofa and went back to sleep.

Alex just sat and watched the woman beside her for a few minutes. Running her fingers through the hair at Olivia's temple, she was hypnotized by the rhythmic rise and fall of the detective's breathing. Thinking about nothing and everything, Alex allowed her mind to drift for a few moments before turning back to the case notes in front of her.

She worked for the next forty minutes, her fingers never stopped their gentle rifling of her lover's hair.

Part 3

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