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property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
You Missed a Spot
By C Maroukian
Alex sauntered into the kitchen looking and smelling like a million bucks. On the rare occasions they were able to spend more than mere minutes of time with one another in the mornings before work, Abbie was always impressed with how completely put together the woman looked. When she donned her dark rimmed glasses, like this morning, Abbie didn't know if Alex was the utter epitome of professionalism or the ultimate personification of the bawdy tease. The Jill Sandler tailored suit hugged her frame perfectly. Her silk blouse collar spilled over the jacket lapel and fanned outward, creating a deep V, which revealed just enough skin to be sexy but still appropriate for even a conservative workplace. Alex knew the secret of how to dress for maximum effect.
Alex sat down at the table before the plate Abbie had set for her and picked up the day's Times, turning to the business section. Though on the weekends they both could throw back brunch like linebackers, neither were big breakfast eaters during the week. Standing at the counter poised in anticipation, Abbie caught two sides of a bagel in one hand as they popped from the toaster.
The hot bread stinging her fingers, she husked a lengthy, "A-a-o-u-ch!" as she rushed to the table tossing it onto Alex's plate with a bit too much vigor. One of the bagel halves bounced off the stoneware and onto the floor.
"Whoops, sorry. I always do that," she half-grinned in self-deprecation.
"Why don't you use a fork, or tongs, or even a napkin? You'll burn your fingers!"
Abbie raised her brows and leaned toward Alex imitating a caveman's speech.
"Abbie with burn finger, no good for Alex?"
She was cracking herself up as she leaned over to retrieve the bagel from the floor. She handed the half to Alex who immediately blew on the bread feigning the removal of floor-born germs and returned it to her plate.
"No foul, ten second rule."
"Alex, I think I am rubbing off on you."
In a fleeting moment, Alex internally conceded that before Abbie, it would have been highly unlikely for her to even consider consuming anything following contact with the floor. To her companion, she permitted only the most skittish of a response.
"Yikes! Scary! But possible."
Abbie sat next to her at the square dinette and observed her lover with a mix of pride and curiosity. Alex was engrossed in a search for a stock quote, and when she looked up was startled to meet the brunette's appreciative stare.
"What?" Alex returned her attention immediately to the NYSE listings.
Abbie smiled. "You look nice."
Alex looked up from her paper to meet Abbie's gaze and felt a dart of surprise that was quickly replaced by a surge of warmth. The impromptu compliment reminded her that when Abbie wasn't in alpha-bitch modus, she was a woman of unbounded courtesy and charm.
"Thank you Abbie." She gave the other woman a once-over inspection. "You do too."
Alex's eyes continued their approving scan of Abbie's angular facial features realizing that the wide smile was ever so slowly transforming into a flat line. Suddenly, the other woman's eyes opened wide and she clasped her hand over her mouth.
"What?" Alex now set the newspaper aside, beyond curious at the minute-change in Abbie's complexion.
Abbie was silent for a moment, her expression stuck somewhere between a Carmichael shit-eating grin and Edward Munch's "Scream". Alex sensed that her gaze was focused on her collar. Dropping her chin to examine the object of Abbie's consternation, she lifted the corner of the silk fabric to better examine and determine the origins of the horrific look on her companion's face.
"Damn! Did I get something on myself already? This just came back from the dry cleaner. Why don't I just buy a dry cleaner? It would be more affordable."
Abbie opened her mouth to speak, closed it again, and then finally proceeded to her query in a slow diffident horse whisper.
"Alex, do you remember last night in bed when I was joking around?"
"You're always joking around in bed," Alex answered but was wholly preoccupied with finding the spot on her blouse. "I don't think you have ever been serious in bed. Frankly, I should probably give that fact further consideration at some point "
Abbie interrupted, "Right. Well, remember when I was joking around about being a vampire?"
Alex abandoned the inspection of her clothing. "Yes...?" She dragged out her reply as Abbie's words and point of focus were coming together in her mind.
"You didn't!" Alex's eyes widened in wild fear as she sprung from her chair and raced to the mirror hanging on the wall above Abbie's hallway table.
Abbie, still seated at the kitchen table, rolled her eyes toward the ceiling, scratched the back of her neck and replied mostly to herself, "Yep, I did."
Alex examined her neck in the mirror. The mark, almost an inch and a half in diameter, was the perfect outline of a top and bottom matching set of teeth with a darker red pucker spot smack dab in the middle of the two dotted arches. She wondered how she possibly could have missed the sanguine mar earlier as she hastily applied her make up.
Alex's full volume bounded from the hallway to the kitchen, followed in just seconds by the woman herself.
"Jesus, Abbie, not only did you leave a sucker bite, you left the bite itself! What am I going to do? I don't have time to go home and change into something that will hide this."
"How about a scarf?" Abbie's hand clasped against her mouth again as her emotions wavered between humor and chagrin, knowing this was bound to happen eventually, as Alex had once predicted. She struggled to maintain her composure as she felt the chuckles begin to bubble up from her belly.
Alex stared at her in disbelief and stated flatly in a monotone, "You own a scarf."
"Nope, don't wear them." Abbie's giggles continued.
Alex already knew that and rolled her eyes.
"Not funny, Abbie."
"Well, I have a few wool scarves, but that is not what we are talking about, is it?" Her whiskey smooth voice was attempting to fight what was dangerously close to becoming a full bout of roaring laughter. She could not help herself, though she was entirely aware that real practicalities made this a less than funny situation.
Alex was now in full-throttle whining mode. "Abbie, I am going straight to a meeting with Nora! What the fuck am I going to say to her if she notices it?!"
Abbie interjected almost inaudibly for her own entertainment, "Oh, I don't see how she could miss it."
Alex's tirade, now fully accompanied by role play, continued, "I can see it now 'Good Morning Nora- Oh this? Oh well, Abbie was just playing vampire again. You know how she loves that little game. Yes, of course I am talking about the one and same Abbie you know. Why no! I wouldn't call it a naughty game. It is a purely innocent gambit where Abbie gets this notion she wants to be a vampire and '"
Abbie interrupted vehemently before Alex could get to the more embarrassing portions of the feint they had engaged in the night before.
"Well! Isn't that a coincidence? I have a one o'clock with Nora today. I can ask her what she thinks of my handiwork!"
Abbie's attempts at holding in her laughter were now becoming painful. Chortled blurts were slipping out from her pursed lips.
"Or should I say 'dental work?" She took a huge bite from her bagel to stuff something into her mouth before she unavoidably launched into full-fledged fit of guffaw.
"Abbie, I mean it. This is not funny!" Alex sat down again at the table and took an overly dramatic bite of dry bagel. Despite her partiality to cream cheese, in her dismay, she had forgotten the spread.
Abbie grabbed the other half of Alex's bagel and began to smother it with cream cheese in a pathetic act of contrition.
"Oh please! So you've got a hickey? You are not the only person walking around with a hickey. It could be confused for a bad zit." She handed the bagel to Alex and grinned wickedly as she licked some excess cream cheese from her fingers proceeding to lick the knife clean as well.
"It is a clearly delineated set of teeth marks, Abbie. No question how I got this one."
"Let me see." Abbie leaned in for a better view of the mark.
Alex raised her chin and stretched her slim column to display the red dotted double arch in her flesh. Despite Alex's lack of any real anger, Abbie felt a pang of guilt. Even the most obtuse knucklehead who saw the imprints would know immediately that someone had been gnawing on Alex's neck.
"My! What straight teeth I have! You can thank my parents for that perfect bite-mark. They had me in braces at twelve. Just think what your neck might look like if I didn't go through the sheer hell of those braces, stuff stuck in them all the time- they were a pain in the ass! But no-o, you don't see it that way! You should be thankful! Your bite-mark could be crooked!"
Both women were now tearing in laughter at Abbie's signature brand of absurd humor, much as they had in bed the night before. Abbie rose from her chair and settled herself on Alex's lap, her legs swinging off of the other woman's thigh. She draped her long wiry arms around the blonde's neck and began kissing her forehead and temples while she whined a singsong apology.
"I'm sorry, I really am. I won't play vampire anymore, I promise. Will you forgive me?" Abbie dropped her head to place soft kisses and licks on the mark while she continued to giggle.
Struggling through her laughter, Alex hissed, "Stop it! You'll irritate it and it'll go from red to purple."
Abbie scrunched her brows and cringed, "Ugh! You know what? I didn't think of that. Do you think it'll eventually be black and blue too? Do you think it's bruised as well?"
She gently feathered the mark, pressing with her fingertip. "Does it hurt? It certainly didn't seem to hurt you last night, at least not in a bad way. As a matter of fact, I seem to recall that you "
"Stop touching it! You'll make it worse! No it doesn't hurt. I didn't even know it was there until you pointed it out!"
"Well you didn't want me to ignore it, did you? At least now you can be prepared for everyone suspiciously staring at your neck!"
Both women resumed their laughter, wiping tears from their eyes as Abbie continued to plant kisses on Alex, who had by now completely given up her fraudulent fit of anger. The blonde suddenly subdued her framed blue glare and searched deep into Abbie's crinkled tear-shined dark eyes.
"I don't want to go to work. Let's stay here all day."
As they held one another's gaze, Abbie's countenance softened and her heart melted at the tempting prospect. She had never spent an uninterrupted day with Alex. There was always a meeting, event or phone call that she or Alex needed to attend to, each in their respective tasking jobs. She couldn't even fathom the notion that Alex would ever put aside an entire day of work to just coexist with her sans any specific plan of action for the day's activities. She could think of nothing she would love to do more than blow off McCoy and Nora and everything else on her schedule and sit here on Alex's lap drowning in the ever-changing blue, getting drunk on the sweet smell emanating from her soft blonde hair. But, such was the reality of their lives: she had to be at work within the hour, and so did Alex.
Noting that the ephemeral moment of intimacy, rare for them outside of the bedroom, was coming to an end, Abbie drew herself out of her musings and donned an expression of mock disgust to further entertain Alex before they departed.
"Well, shit, I wouldn't want to go to work with a monstrosity like that on my neck either!"
Alex laughed in response rolling her eyes before they came to rest again on the childlike expression before her.
"I guess I'll stop somewhere and buy a scarf. Nothing's open till nine but the street vendors will be set up."
Abbie pressed her brow into Alex's neck.
"You know that I am sorry about it."
"Oh, don't be sorry, Baby. I kinda like that I'll be walking around secretly marred. If the people I work with knew exactly whose incisors had sunk into my neck, they'd go mad with envy The Scarlet Imprint!"
The corny line made Abbie chuckle, but she was registering that Alex had called her "Baby" and it was rare for the other woman to use a term of endearment for her outside of the context of their lovemaking. She let herself wallow in the teasingly spoken words for a few moments.
In turn, Alex had wrapped her arms around the other woman's slim waist, holding her possessively and grateful for the warm reward of hands covering hers as they stretched around Abbie's middle. Though Alex was completely uncertain of what the future had in store for the pair, she knew she was happy in the moment. She couldn't think of a better way to start the day than with Abbie's one-of-a-kind preposterous humor that always resulted in the gut-busting laughter she could still feel in her belly.
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