DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Katherine Quinn
She supposed that nervous wasn't truly the word for it. The feelings churning within her went far beyond nervous. A gnawing churning feeling was twisting her stomach and she could feel her foot twitching in time with what was an annoyingly too fast heart beat. To beat the tired cliché, she felt fifteen again. Chewing on the end of a pencil and staring off into space wasn't her usual Friday afternoon routine; usually finding herself desperately trying to finalize and figure out what was going to slide into her bag for her weekend of work she could find herself doing at home and what would have to wait until her return on Monday, but this weekend she had plans. Or she hoped she had, and she had resigned herself to dumping everything that was on the top of her desk into her bag and hauling the whole thing home early since concentration was not going to be her strong point.
It was silly, really, she thought; to be so nervous. She had been on dates before. She certainly had her share of bad ones, and even her share of good ones. She would survive the date, but the implications of the date? With this one certain person at least this woman, who had caught her attention, this whole thing was a risk.
At first, she had herself convinced that it was simple hero worship. She thought she had become immune to that sort of thing after she had clerked for some of the more famous judges in the country, but something about this detective, about her smile, her ball-busting take no prisoners, get the fuck out of my way so I can do my job attitude was exciting and admirable. She thought of the dark haired special victim's unit detective as a role model of sorts. Or she wanted to believe that's what it was. That's what was simple and easy and safe, and sometimes, that's what she preferred. It wasn't until the dreams started that she knew it wasn't just her imagination that her breath caught when she saw the beautiful woman enter a room. The dreams: so vivid, so real, and so unbelievably lifelike. Just thinking of them now made her face blush a deep crimson. Hero worship is one thing, but when every accidental bump of the detective's arm would send shivers down her spine, or she'd catch herself looking just a little too long at the way that shirt clung just right, or how the sun made the small red highlights in her hair shine, or how when she turned her head, her strong jaw line was accentuated every time she smiled. Hell, the other day, she'd caught herself leaning over the detective's desk in just such a way that she had a clear view of…Jesus, she was fifteen again. A fifteen year old horny…boy!
She ran her hand through her long blonde hair and pulled it onto the top of her head. She sighed as she looked at her desk, covered with paperwork. She looked at the clock, nearly five. She opened what suddenly looked like the smallest briefcase in existence and started packing it with the piles that she hadn't touched all afternoon, as well as, the things she had meant to do over the weekend. When her phone rang, it pierced the silent monologue she was pursuing in her head and she almost fell out of her chair. After a few rings, she knew that she had to answer it, so with her eyes closed hoping that it would be something simple, "Cabot," she breathed.
"Hi, umm, this is Detect…umm, I mean, Olivia...Benson."
"Oh, hi, hi," Alex said, breathing out, becoming both extremely calm and incredibly nervous at the same time. `Don't cancel', she begged with an unseen God.
"I'm not interrupting..."
"No, no, no, no, I was just actually heading out for the night."
"Wow, early night for the ADA."
"Yeah, you should see the suitcase of paperwork I'm taking home. I can't concentrate." She mumbled. She winced when she realized what she had said out loud. "Headache," she said.
"Oh." Olivia mouthed back. "I, well, to be honest, I was just calling to give you an out for tonight."
"No, no, I don't want an out. I'm actually really looking forward to it." She was pretty sure she could hear the detective's eyebrow arching and that damn smirk on her face.
The same one that had been on her face right before she had leaned in and planted that kiss…
Olivia had pulled her into one of the empty conference rooms. They had been arguing that day about some case that Alex had immediately forgotten the details of, because all she could remember was the feelings that swirled around her for that moment. Olivia was debating the case and Alex was staring into her eyes when Olivia started waving her fingers in front of her face. "Hey Counselor, you listening?"
"Oh, yeah, sorry, I guess I'm distracted today."
"You know, I've been noticing that about you recently."
"You seem distracted, like with me. Seems to happen a lot recently, everything okay?"
"Oh, yeah," she said, looking down at her shoes.
"Because, well, to be perfectly honest, I'm starting to think I smell or something."
"No, no, not at all," she said, looking up and far more desperate than she would like.
"Then it has to be something else. And, well, I think I have an idea of what it is."
Panic flooded Alex's features.
"Yep, that deer caught in headlights look. You spend most of your time with me looking at your shoes."
"I do not," Alex said, looking at her shoes. As soon as she realized what she was doing she let her eyes slide up Olivia's body settling on the gentle curve of flesh revealed by the V-neck of her sweater.
"See, Counselor, that's just more proof. My eyes are up here," Olivia said, putting her fingers under Alex's chin and guiding her head up.
Alex, for her part, blushed a deep red, acutely aware that the detective's fingers had not left her face.
"Well, you know, as a Detective, I have to put all the pieces of this together. Over the last few months, you seem distracted around me. You say I don't smell, so that can't be it. You look like me talking about this is making you incredibly uncomfortable, so this can lead me to only one conclusion. You're selling drugs, aren't you?"
"What? Of course not, why in the world would I?"
Olivia was laughing.
Alexandra frowned with embarrassment. "I don't understand, Detective, but I don't appreciate being the butt of your jokes."
"No, no, wait," Olivia said, moving her fingers along the curve of Alex's chin, sliding the loose strands of beautiful blonde hair behind the ADA's ear. Gasping for breath, Olivia attempted to explain, "it's something, it's something from my, my mom."
Alex stepped back, out of the reach of Olivia's hands. She was hurt and the touch no longer felt special. "You sold drugs?"
"Of course not. My mom, when, I, when she found, when she thought I was…"
Alex hadn't seen it coming. Olivia straightened her spine, and suddenly looked very serious. She gazed at Alex with her deep brown eyes. Leaning forward slightly, she let her fingers reconnect with Alex's face. Slowly, she leaned forward, and even more slowly she let their lips touch. Alex saw what was happening, but her mind couldn't believe it. She saw Olivia's nearness as she leaned in— feeling her body's immediate response to Olivia's lips on her. Her mouth opened letting the kiss deepen. Her hands opened and paperwork scattered around her feet. Her hands went around Olivia's head and into her hair while Olivia's arms tightened around her waist.
"That was my second guess," Olivia said when their lips fell apart slightly.
Alex closed her eyes and leaned into Olivia again, their lips and tongues touching. The light kisses deepening into passionate ones with incredible speed. Alex felt Olivia's fingers sliding down her back, sliding under her jacket. She let hers ruffle through the detective's hair. It all felt so good to her, so right, she raised her head as Olivia's lips ran down her neck, tracing the line of her neck. "This feels so good," Alex mumbled.
"Mmm…" was all Olivia answered. Her attention was focused solely on the way Alex was arching her neck to her kisses. The slight moaning sound that was coming from the blonde was only serving to exponentially escalate her need to touch and feel every inch of the beautiful ADA that was squirming beneath her. And it was only then that she realized that there was something wrong. They were ringing, or more correctly, she was ringing. "Fuck," she spat, as she reached for her pockets, knowing vaguely that her cell phone was in one of them. As she pulled away, she could see the levels of awareness flashing across Alex's face as she quickly slid her fingers deftly around her waist, re-tucking her shirt and straightening her jacket. With her fingers run through her hair she looked calm and composed again. Only the fire in her eyes and the heaviness in her breathing betrayed her attempt at a calm exterior.
"Benson," Olivia spoke into the phone, trying to sound as natural as possible considering that she had been about to deflower the ADA in the conference room.
"Olivia, good to talk to you, so, I was curious about that bet?" she heard the familiar voice of her partner, Elliot Stabler. The two of them had been discussing ADA Alexandra Cabot for months. Olivia's notice of her had been immediate, and Stabler, knowing his partner had started teasing her immediately. When they both had notice the ADA's blank stares and stammering every time Olivia entered the room—or the fact that she seemed to gaze at Olivia whenever she thought no one was looking. And no matter what Olivia told him Elliot swore he caught Alex trying to look down Olivia's shirt the other day. It didn't look like another case of unrequited love; he had encouraged Olivia to act. "I was just wondering if I was the one imagining things?"
"Fuck off." Olivia said, as she hung up the phone.
She looked at Alexandra and smiled. "Telemarketer."
Alex smiled in a vague nod of approval. "Why did you ask me if I was selling drugs?"
"Oh," Olivia, said, smiling again, "See, when I was in high school, I sort of figured out that I could, well, I could have really strong feelings for women. I had a friend, a girlfriend that I really fell for. I knew that my mother would never approve, or I thought she wouldn't, so I was always sneaking around. Out to meet the girl, on the phone in hushed tones, that kind of stuff. It was so innocent, really, but my mother was hysterical. She sat me down with a friend of hers who was a social worker. They had an intervention for my `drug problem.'"
"That's horrible. I don't know what to say," Alex said.
"Yeah, I didn't know what to say either," Benson chimed.
"What did you say?"
"I told my mom I'd stop doing drugs,"
"But, you weren't, were you?"
"No, but I was far more afraid of her finding out that I was into a girl than I was about her thinking I was into drugs. I grew up, though, came out to mom, and she has sort of gotten used to it. Can't say she loves the whole thing. She is still learning to accept it."
"So you're…" Alex said, her voice dropping off.
"Gay?" Olivia asked. "Not exactly. I mean, I haven't slept with everyone I've met, I don't, well, I don't get out much anymore at all. And honestly, it's been easier to just date guys."
"Yeah," Alex sighed, "I understand, I don't get out much either. I've just, well, given up. Thrown myself into my career, so to speak. But, umm, then what's this?"
"Well," Olivia said, "I think this is a mutual attraction. You'll have to tell me if I'm wrong."
"No, it is, but, um, I've never done this before."
"The girl thing?"
Alex cleared her throat, "Well, no, I've done the `girl thing', I've just never stood in an empty conference room and made out with a co-worker."
"Oh. That. I don't think you have to worry. Elliot kind of, well, he's kind of watching the door for me."
Alex smiled, "A set up?"
"We're partners. We don't spend a lot of time talking about our personal lives. But, I mean, he knows that I'm not always the straightest arrow, and well, I guess he's found it sort of obvious that I might be slightly interested in certain persons. He's okay, though. He won't talk. He knows what I can tell Cathy."
"Ahh. So, what do we do about this mutual attraction? I'd like to, maybe, do something, sometime, you know, if you're free?" Alex chided herself. Do something? Sometime? She felt like a child. But she was excited about being around this woman that made her pulse race. She wanted to be with Olivia. She wanted to spend time with her and her alone.
"Umm, sure. How's Friday night? After work? Late dinner maybe?"
"Sounds great." Alex said, "I know a great place. I'll make some plans, and we can go from there?"
"Okay, then," Olivia said, bending over to pick up the papers that Alex had dropped all over the floor.
When Olivia stood this time, Alex was ready for her. She leaned over and kissed her carefully. "See you Friday, Detective," she said, as she very deliberately let her body slide against Olivia's on the way out. As she suspected, Elliot Stabler, was guarding the door. Alex caught sight of his bemused smile and felt her face go crimson yet again. "Counselor, it's good to see you." he said. She murmured a hello and bee-lined for the door. She wasn't positive but she thought that the crunch she heard as the squad room doors swung shut was the sound of Olivia's heel coming down on his foot.
Alexandra Cabot stumbled through the front door to her brownstone apartment on the Upper East Side, dropping her heavy briefcase with a thud inside the front door. Its clunk on the hard wood floor made her wince. With her first step, she kicked off her right heel and her second step sent the left toppling on its side. Quickly, she pulled at the button holding her ADA's `uniform' skirt in place, and dropping it in line with the shoes yanking the jacket off as she walked with a certain determination towards the shower. She sighed looking back at the trail of clothes. Caught between wanting a relaxing shower and her compulsive need to be neat, she paused, sighed, and turned on her heel walking back to pick them up.
She needed to release the tension in her shoulders. She needed to get back her concentration. She threw the clothes onto the floor of her closet, willfully refusing to hang them up. Walking into the bathroom she absently flipped the nozzle on the shower and let her fingers run under the water for a few seconds ensuring it would warm. She slid out of the shirt and let it slip off her lean shoulders. Stretching her arms over her head she caught a glimpse of herself in her bedroom mirror.
She scrunched her nose at her own reflection. `Not bad, Cabot,' she thought to herself, appreciating her own appearance. Her legs were long, and relatively muscular. She made herself jog in the mornings three times a week—it helped her clear her mind as well as keep her in shape. She let her fingers run over her stomach that was pleasantly soft to her touch. Her fingers slid up, hitting her bra—the white cotton and pink flowers, incredibly practical. Incredibly her type. But she suddenly chided herself for her own practicality. She wanted to be different tonight. Sexy, not practical. She let the water run as she slipped into her bedroom and found her favorite lace black bra and matching bottoms. Better, she thought.
She stepped into the shower and slowly lathered a light apple scent in her hair. The soothing water ran over her shoulders, calming her rattled nerves. She felt silly being so nervous. She had decided what the date would consist of—she had arranged everything almost immediately after Olivia had agreed. It was a romantic fantasy, a quiet dinner, and a slow carriage ride uptown, by way of her apartment that was conveniently between the two. Yes, she was ready for Olivia Benson. She found it almost too easy to do, to arrange a dream date for her and another woman. A woman she worked with. God, what was she getting herself into?
She hadn't thought much about the complications of what she was about to do. It made her angry that because of societies fear and prejudice she had to be afraid for herself and the people she cared about. She had to fear for what could happen, for what people would say. Alex had always defined herself as an independent thinker, as someone who didn't find herself limited solely by the rules that were imposed on her by others, but she wasn't naïve enough to expect that there would be no ramifications of her showing up at the bar association Christmas party with a sultry female detective on her arm.
Her career would be on the line. Her life immediately became a choice about lying about who she loved or accepting the consequences of not. Sure, she wouldn't be fired for being the lesbian ADA, but she certainly would never be appointed to a federal judgeship, let alone ever be promoted or elected to a DA position. Not to mention that there were consequences for Olivia. Even if her partner seemed to be okay with her sexuality, Alex could think of at least a hundred or so cops off the top of her head that wouldn't be. Things happened to gay cops. Alex had seen the cases.
A large part of Alex was too smitten to care. With memories of the sexy detective kissing her and the promise of a full night of getting to know her better, Alex found herself smiling. There was a long road in front of them, that was for sure, but the road had only begun. She believed that it would be one step at a time. They would work it out. They had to get there one step at a time. Until then, she needed to prepare. She needed to get dressed. She needed to get up. She needed a drink.
Olivia felt juvenile as she pulled the well worn paper that Alex had scribbled her address on out of her pocket for the eighth time in the short cab ride across town. She ran her fingers over the ADA's near perfect script. The address was one the detective recognized, a series of beautiful brownstones, a rich area of town on the east side. She had known that Alex came from money. With the last name Cabot, she didn't really expect less, but it wasn't a world Olivia was used to. She was worried about using the wrong fork or something, but then she reminded herself about the face of the ADA smiling at her and her heart warmed and melted and somehow, she realized, that even if she ate her salad with her spoon, she didn't think Alex would notice and if she did, she might even find it charming.
As the cab she was in slowed in front of a large brownstone, she steeled her resolve, paid the cab driver, and found herself on the street. `Deep breath', she heard in her mind, and took the steps, one at a time. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, yes, there were seven total. That was interesting. Deep breath. You've been on dates before, she reminded herself. She walked slowly up the steps and rang the bell. She heard the click-clack of heels from inside. That was definitely Alex, Olivia smiled. She didn't understand how she could wear those stupid shoes.
Olivia woke with a familiar feeling. She opened her eyes slightly and the morning light confirmed what she already feared. She was hung over. What had happened last night? `Think, Benson,' she thought to herself. Alex. Fuck. She opened her eyes a slit. First off, figure out where you are, she instructed herself. Okay, do you know this room? The ceiling was familiar. I know that wall, she though. She was in her own bed. How did she get in her own bed? Okay, in bed was good. Now it was time for serious damage control. It was time to find out how many people are in this bed.
Very slowly she stretched out her arm, half hoping and half dreading that Alex was in the bed next to her. It was empty. Thank you, Jesus. But wait. Was the bed empty because she had come home alone, or was it empty because someone was passed out on her floor? Okay, she knew what she had to do. She had to sit up. The pep talk started in her mind. It's going to be painful, she knew, but she had to find out if she was really here alone. On the count of three, she made herself promise. Three, two, one…she didn't move. She made a better plan, "Hello? Alex?" she called, squinting at the sound of her own voice echoing through her own head.
She's not here. I know I was with her, but she's not here. Or she is, and she's sleeping. Or unconscious. Or dead.
"Oh God, what the hell did we do?"
Alex woke with a very unfamiliar feeling. She was so cold and the floor was so hard. Where was she? Oh, right, the bathroom. She was in the bathroom, on the floor, where she had been all night. Well, not all night. Only since she had horribly mortified herself the night before. Only since her stomach had started doing flips.
God was punishing her. He was. The founding fathers had it right with the 18th amendment. Prohibition was good. She should have taken a lesson. Even the Christians knew the answer on this one. Alcohol was a mortal sin. What had she been thinking?
Oh, wait. That's right. She hadn't been thinking.
Looking back on the whole thing, it probably hadn't been a good idea to play "adventure dinner". She had made her plans, for the first time her life, to be utterly spontaneous. She made a mental note to not be spontaneous ever again. She remembered how light she felt as she had opened the door and seen the sultry detective there. She remembered giggling, opening the door, picking up Olivia's hand as they had wandered around, looking for a restaurant to try. She'd been drinking wine, to calm her nerves.
`She had made a joke about my shoes. The heels. She said she couldn't wear shoes like that. She said she'd fall.'
Alex remembered falling.
No, wait, that was later.
They went to that bar first. That goddamn bar.
"Have you ever been here before?" Olivia pensively asked Alex as they walked into what had to be the seediest bar in the entire neighborhood.
"Nope," Alex replied easily.
Olivia stared at her, her mood, her attitude, the way she was laughing, the alcohol on her breath. She supposed she should be flattered; maybe she had the power to make even the most put together woman she had ever met nervous. She supposed that the nerves spoke well for her affect on the beautiful blonde.
"What are you having?" the bartender snarled at them.
"Are you really sure you want to do this?" Olivia asked slowly, but Alex grabbed her hand.
"It's spontaneous, it's fun. It's been a long time since I've done anything like this, so let's just do it."
"Okay," Olivia easily relented, "I'll have a scotch on the rocks, and make it a double."
Olivia knew she had to sit up. Shutting her eyes and steadying herself she let her feet hit the floor. She kept her eyes closed as she let her body adjust to the new altitude. Slowly, she opened her eyes and looked around and she swore that she'd never drink again. `Until next time,' she sighed, suddenly feeling the déjà vu of having been in exactly this same situation too many times before. She looked around the bedroom slowly. There were no unconscious blonde women strewn about the landscape. Fortunately for her, at least.
"Alex," she tried again.
`Ah, fuck it,' she thought. `If she's dead, I killed her. I'll get to jail eventually, but if I'm going to jail I'd like to go without this headache.'
The sun was pounding through the window and onto her bed, beating her bed with an intolerable amount of light and splitting through her closed eyelids making her already sensitive head throb. She stood up spinning and pulled the shade down. The offensive light immediately dissipated making life a little more tolerable.
Stumbling across her bedroom into the small bathroom she fumbled through her medicine cabinet looking for something to stop the pain in her head. She saw herself in the full length mirror on the back of her door. `I'm still wearing clothes,' she thought, saying a silent thank you to god. Chances were that wherever the ADA was, she might be wearing clothes too.
She recognized the pants. They were her pants. Wearing them was a good sign. Maybe she hadn't taken them off…but the shirt. That wasn't her shirt. Where was her shirt? And where did she get this shirt? And why was their a fuzzy looking pink cartoon on the front of this shirt? Had she held up an eight year old?
"Jesus Christ, I'm going to hell." She muttered as she popped open the bottle she had found. She heard her own laugh. She remembered the laugh from the night before.
It has been cruel, crueler than she meant it to be. "You're so afraid, Alex. You're afraid of who you are and what you are. You want your reputation at all costs and you don't care about what makes you happy or what's right for you. You're so afraid of what everyone else thinks of you. You don't even know what you really want."
"You want me to do what I want?"
"You can't." Olivia said, challenging her with her eyes.
Alex looked at her darkly, with anger flashing in her eyes. "Yes, I can." She said, as she leaned forward and kissed her, hard.
"Maybe we should get out of here," Olivia sighed back into her mouth.
"Let's go," Alex whimpered pulling Olivia's hand as they bolted from the bar's dirty bathroom.
Alex moaned. This was the fourth circle of hell. She pulled herself off the floor gingerly, begging whatever divine being was in the sky to take pity on her. She swore, promised, begged that in exchange for her not dying here on the cold linoleum she would swear off booze forever. She'd do anything, as a matter, of fact to take back the proceeding twenty four hours.
Her eyes blinked against the bathroom light as she pulled herself in front of the sink
Her ankle twisted under her and pain shot through it. `God damn it,' she muttered to herself.
Things were coming back to her in pieces.
Things she really didn't want to remember.
Her ankle, falling into Olivia, falling onto the couch, falling into lust.
The door of her apartment slammed loudly as the sultry detective kissed her deeply, sensuously. Olivia took her breath away, and right now, she was sure she didn't need any air to breathe. Alex leaned forward felt herself lose her balance. Giggling, she let herself fall onto Olivia, the seriousness left her instantly. Olivia supported the blonde while kissing her passionately. Their hands were on each other, their tongues were fighting and pressing each other.
They found their way to the couch, Alex crawling onto Olivia's stretched out form, desperate to feel the contact in her whole body.
Olivia took a deep breath, "We shouldn't do this Alex."
Alex kissed her deeply in response, "Why's that?"
"So are you."
"Good point," Olivia said, deepening the kiss.
Olivia let herself fall back onto her bed. Flashes were hitting her, memories she wasn't quite sure were real or imagined. Kissing Alex, so gentle, so sweet, so desperate, so needy, so wonderful.
She closed her eyes and tried to remember, tried to remember the soft lips she was sure she would never touch again. She tried to remember the feelings that ran through her body while the beautiful blonde lay strewn across her. She tried to remember things that she was sure would exist only in her memory, things that would be fuel for her imagination, for her non-existent sex life.
She tried to remember, tried to figure out what had gone wrong. How did she get back to her hell hole? What the hell had…
Alex moaned into her lips, against her body, every moan causing Olivia's arousal to grow exponentially. How long had it been since she had been kissed like this? Was there anything better than this feeling right now?
She watched as the beautiful blonde pulled herself up and looked deeply into Olivia's eyes. Alex smiled, gently, carefully, letting her mouth open, catching her breath..
This is it, Olivia thought to herself. She's going to make her move, tell me she loves me. She's going to do something, she's going to tell me…
"I'm going to puke," Alex sputtered, as she started to gag, before Olivia could move, she was covered.
Olivia moved quickly, pulling herself out from under Alex, who was turning a bright pink and was starting to apologize.
"It's okay," Olivia spat out quickly, pulling herself further away, careful to avoid the attorney's eyes, "Do you have something I can change into?"
"Upstairs," Alex moaned as she lurched again, stumbling to the bathroom and locking the door behind her.
Olivia slowly wandered up the stairs, finding the ADA's closet. She thumbed through Alex's professional wardrobe. Seeing a t-shirt sitting on the top shelf she pulled it down and pulled it over her head without even looking at it. She was desperate, desperate to get out, desperate to get away.
She had wanted this so badly, and it was so messed up. It was wrong, it was not at all what she wanted. Not special, not meaningful, not loving. It was a drunken tryst, something she had promised herself she would never find herself involved in again. Without saying a word, she ran out of Alex's apartment and into the night.
"I can't believe this," Alex said as she moaned pulling herself off the floor. She heard the door bell ringing insistently. "Who the hell…" She muttered as she stumbled across the distance of the living room. Swinging the door open, she was shocked to find Olivia Benson standing in front of her.
"I think this is yours," Olivia says, with a light smile.
"What are you doing here?" Alex asked, more than surprised to see Olivia Benson anywhere near her.
"I had to bring this…"
"Thanks," Alex moaned, grabbing the shirt out of her hand and attempting to shut the door, but Olivia wouldn't let her, sticking her foot into the door frame.
"Wait," she said quickly, "Don't you think we should talk?"
"You don't want to talk to me, Liv. Last night was a disaster and I'd rather not relive the experience."
"I know, I was there." Olivia smiled at her deeply.
"So, you're what, glutton for punishment?"
"Well, yeah," Olivia said.
"So you want to…do that again?"
"Well, no, not really. What I'd really like to do is take you out again, you know, without the booze."
"Why do you want to go through that again?"
"Because you're worth it?"
Alex leaned in and kissed Olivia gently on the lips.
"What's that for?" Olivia asked.
"For giving me a second chance," Alex said with a sweet smile.
"There's only one catch." Olivia said softly, watching Alex's eyes widen.
"No, the catch is that you burn that shirt."
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