DISCLAIMER: As much as I would like to say these beautiful women are mine, I can make no claims. They belong to a master by the name of Dick Wolf, who I would like to believe can see the chemistry they possess.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: No real spoilers. The case came out of my own head (as far as I know). Hayden and Christianson are mine (I think) and all the Psych analysis came from 4yrs of college.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The One True Thing
By Foolish Heart


Olivia walked silently down the all too familiar corridor; her head bent low in intense examination of the tiles she had been looking at for the last few years since her transfer to Special Victims. It was usually a very short walk to Assistant District Attorney Alex Cabot's office, but today wasn't an ordinary day, and something in the recesses of Olivia's mind told her to make this trip take as long as physically possible.

In all too short a time, she found herself face to face with the thick wooden door and the brass plaque indicating the office's inhabitant. Olivia took a deep breath and slowly turned the doorknob.

"Dammit, I know we made some mistakes on this one….yes, I am going to speak with the detectives…no, I haven't yet…Christ, it just happened this morning, what would have me do? Go all hell fire and brimstone on them as soon as the jury came back?"

Alex was fighting hard to keep control over her anger. And it was a battle she didn't think she was going to win. She hated loosing…but she hated loosing because of a mistake on the part of her detectives more than anything. And the District Attorney wasn't about to let her forget that this was on the shoulders of her detectives. She sighed deeply as he continued to berate her, only half listening to what he was saying, the other half of her brain trying to figure out how the hell they had gotten themselves into this situation in the first place.

As the District Attorney took a short break from his professional ass reaming, the door to Alex's office opened slowly and a familiar dark head poked itself in. Alex immediately recognized the adorable mix of sheepishness and anger carried in the stance as she glanced over her shoulder.

If it's possible, I think she's even more attractive when she thinks she's done something wrong or let someone down. "Just a minute sir…one of the detectives are here right now," Alex said into the phone. "I'll speak with her now and get back to you when I have more concrete answers…yes, I know that you want a resolution yesterday…I promise I'll call. Good bye."

As she laid the phone back into its cradle she slowly turned to face Olivia, careful not to let her previous thought show in her clear blue eyes. She still couldn't be sure if Olivia had any desire to explore the chance of a more intimate relationship, and she couldn't bear the thought of letting her guard down for her heart to get trampled on.

"Hello detective," she said coolly. "I was wondering who they would send in with the wolves."

"Counselor," Olivia replied. "I wasn't really sent, I volunteered. I guess I figured it would be better to get chewed apart first hand rather than being the victim of the trickle down effect."

Alex almost cracked a smile at that comment. She was always amazed by how quickly Olivia would take on confrontation or adversity. But her mood was just a little too sour for even the brief smile that normally would have come.

"So," Alex began, leaning forward against her mahogany desk. "Can you possibly tell me why our star witness told a brand new story and why a man who raped 4 women is out enjoying a drink at the seediest club in town?"

"Reasonable doubt?" Olivia replied with a small smile as she moved to sit on the edge of one of the deep red leather chairs.

"Oh don't give me that shit Liv, your team assured me that Hayden's testimony could put Christianson away for life. YOU told me that you had spoken to him personally and that he had witnessed Christianson raping at least three of the victims. We rehearsed him until we were blue in the face. Now what the hell happened?" Alex said angrily.

"I don't know Alex," Olivia said quietly, stung by the anger in the attorney's voice. "He told us he had seen the rapes. He provided us with information that only someone who witnessed the crime could have known. He knew what color panties these girls were wearing for Christ's sake. Why he changed his story, I can't for the life of me figure out."

"Well we need to figure it out detective. Because I have a very large bureaucratic bear ready to take a rather large chunk out of my ass. And I really don't feel like going through that today," Alex replied with a rueful smile.

"Stabler and Munch are already going back over the information we have. Trying to find out what could have made Hayden turn. Fin is out talking to the less desirable lot to find out if something went down," Olivia answered, thankful that she could honestly say the detectives were trying to make it right.

"Has anyone attempted to ask Hayden what happened?" Alex asked simply.

"We tried to call him to set up a meeting, but we can't find him. His home phone's been disconnected. We've alerted all the train stations and airports, but we really have nothing that we can bring him in on. Unless we have reason to believe he was lying on the stand…and can prove it, there's no law saying a witness can't leave town."

"Thank you detective, I am quite familiar with the law," Alex said icily. She didn't mean to take the anger out on Olivia, but she just happened to be the unlucky one who knocked on her door, and this also made her the unlucky one who had to bear the brunt of Alex's temper.

"I wasn't insinuating…Oh forget it. Alex, I'm sorry you seem to think we fucked this up, but I'm going back to the squad room and try to figure out how to fix whatever happened. If you have any other questions, please feel free to speak to someone else, because I don't like being someone's verbal punching bag," Olivia said as she stood and in one fluid motion stepped away from the chair and pulled open the heavy door, the blood rushing to her face in anger and embarrassment. She looked over her shoulder and into the blue eyes of the attorney for a brief second then stormed out and into the deserted hallway.

Goddamn her…I know she's mad, and I know she's getting it from above, but this is not our fault. We had the facts. We did the research. I can't say why the jury came back with not guilty. Maybe she should go and berate them a bit. Maybe they'd give her an answer she liked. That's the last time I ever volunteer to take the first hit.

Alex sat staring at the now closed door; Olivia's parting words bouncing back and forth between her head and her heart. She was angry at herself for taking her anger out on Liv, but she was also angry at Hayden for changing his story, and she was angry at her boss for thinking that all this should be carried on her shoulders.

Olivia threw the doors to the squad room open with such force that one bounced back off the wall with a loud crack. She flinched at the sound and wished that she taken a few minutes to just calm down after her less than stellar time with Alex.

"Damn Liv, what's got you all worked up?" Stabler asked over a steaming cup of coffee. "I take it things with the 'Ice Queen' didn't go so well?"

"You take it right. I think I came back with frostbite," Olivia replied as she walked over to the coffee pot and poured herself a steaming mug. "She basically said that this was all our fault and shit rolls downhill, so it's going to stink in here very, very soon."

"Great…I always love these days," Elliot said with a small smile. "Munch and I might have something that will cheer you up."

"Hayden in one of the interrogation rooms? With the windows covered so I can kill him?"

Elliot looked at his partner in surprise. He was used to her getting upset about rape cases, but it wasn't like her to verbalize her aggressive thoughts. "Um, no…and for some reason I'm thinking that's a good thing…you probably wouldn't look very good in prison orange. We do however have a bank record associated with Hayden where he withdrew a rather large amount of money last evening, just before the bank shut down."

Olivia thought about this for a few minutes. Part of her still wishing Stabler had said they had Hayden locked away so she could have some alone time with the man. "How late is late?"

"Late. As in 4:55pm," Elliot read off a paper in his hand. "My thoughts would be that he did it right before closing so it wouldn't post until after the jury came back today. He didn't want us to know about it."

"So he withdrew it, but where did it come from? I find it hard to believe a man living in a two room apartment has a great deal of money stored somewhere," Olivia thought out loud as she walked towards her desk, Elliot trailing behind. "Do we know when it was put into his account?"

"That's where the funny part comes in. It was never in his account. It was in an account under the name 'Mystic Enterprises.' Supposedly a little shop in Chinatown that sells crystals and stuff, at least that's what the bank manager said. Apparently Hayden came in and set the account up a few months ago under the company's name and had a long conversation with her. She thought he was a real stand-up guy. She swears up and down no alarm bells went off," Stabler said as he perched himself on the corner of Liv's desk.

"Wait, you said supposedly a business. I'm guessing that means the business is a PO Box in Hayden's name. Am I right?"

"Yeah…you're right. And there have never been any taxes filed for this business either. How the hell did we miss this Liv?"

"I don't know El. The only answer I can offer is that we weren't investigating Hayden. We were investigating Christianson. So I guess this was something we overlooked," Olivia answered with a small shake of her head. "I guess we can't really do much more looking into that right now though. Did any of the airports or train stations call saying he was just hanging around?"

"No such luck," Stabler said with a brief laugh. "The banks are closed right now, but Munch and I will follow up first thing tomorrow morning. Fin is still out looking around. Why don't we call it a night? This is all still going to be here tomorrow."

"Yeah…you're probably right El. But I'm not quite ready to head home. You should go though…and say hello to Kathy for me," Olivia answered as she began spreading files across her desk. She was still too angry over her interlude with Alex to go home to an empty apartment.

"You sure Liv? We could go get a drink or something. I think it's wing night at O'Malley's."

"No. I'm good. Go home Stabler. You've got a family to take care of. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay. Suit yourself. Don't stick around too long. You deserve a break too," Stabler said with a friendly smile as he gathered his coat and keys. "I'll see you tomorrow Liv. Have a good night."

"You too El. See ya."

She watched as his shadow receded down the quickly darkening hall. Olivia scanned her surroundings and noted that other than the hum of the old heating system, the entire squad room was quiet. She liked it this way. It afforded her time to spend with the cases she was working or her thoughts, whichever held her attention the longest. She checked her watch and set her limit at 8pm, deciding wings didn't sound so bad, although she really didn't plan on hanging around the bar to eat them.

She took a few more minutes to savor the silence then buried herself in the notes they had collected on the Christianson case and most importantly, any information they had on their star witness. The next thing she knew it was getting close to 8pm and she wasn't alone in the squad room anymore. As she pulled her tired eyes away from what seemed like the five hundredth page she had read that night, she came face to face with Alexandra Cabot in all her ready for trial glory.

"Alex," she said quickly, her heart pounding so fast she was sure the attorney could hear it. "What are you doing here this late?"

"I saw the light on and figured I'd come see who else in this building was crazy enough to put in these long hours," Alex said with a small smile.

"Yeah…well time flies when you're having fun," Olivia replied with a tight smile. Her emotions flitted between excitement that Alex was standing here of her own accord, and anger over their previous encounter.

A moment of silence passed between them as each woman tried to figure out what was the right thing to say. Both afraid that anything said might be taken wrongly. Alex was the first to take the leap.

"I'm sorry Olivia. I shouldn't have treated you the way I did this afternoon. We all got the short end of the stick in this case and it was not entirely your fault."

"It's okay Alex. I know that it was pressure from above," Olivia answered quietly, excitement pushing the anger out of her mind and apparently the reason right along with it. "Perhaps we could attempt to discuss this like civilized adults over dinner?"

Alex tried hard to conceal her surprise, followed quickly by an intense joy she hadn't felt in years. "I think that might be possible detective. Did you have anything in mind?"

Olivia found herself smiling broadly although her heart was still pounding in her chest. "Do you have anything planned for this evening?"

"Well, I had a pressing engagement with my couch and a bag of microwave popcorn, but I think I can cancel," Alex answered with a laugh.

"Okay then. Well, do you like wings?" Olivia asked her as she stood and began shoving papers into folders and folders into drawers. "I know this nice little place in the Village that has the best wings."

"Sure. Wings are fine. But uh…" Alex paused as she looked down at the $500 suit she was wearing and imagined it with buffalo sauce on the collar. "Do you think we could stop by my place first so I can change?"

"I think that can be arranged counselor. Annie's is open all night, so I don't think we need to rush."

"Okay. Well then let's go. Because my empty tummy is telling me that we do," Alex said lightly as she led Olivia out the double doors. They fell into step easily and Alex found herself feeling something all together unfamiliar. Assistant District Attorney Alex Cabot found herself feeling happy.


The cab ride back to Alex's apartment passed in relative silence. The two making general conversation about New York drivers and favorite restaurants. When the cab drew to a halt in front of the old brownstone, Olivia had to stop herself from jumping out to open the door for Alex. She watched as Alex handed the man a few bills and then turned towards the steps.

"I'll only be a few minutes," Alex said as she rummaged for her keys. "Thanks for giving me the chance to change."

"No problem. Like I said no hurry. Do you have any early court dates tomorrow?" Olivia asked as she followed Alex into the elevators. "Or do you think you can stay out past curfew this evening?"

"Hmm, well, I think that I can stay out a little while. I have to tell you though Liv, I normally turn into a pumpkin sometime close to midnight," Alex said smiling over her shoulder as she keyed them into her apartment and threw open the door. "Go on into the living room. Make yourself at home. I'll be out in a few minutes."

Olivia watched as Alex crossed into the hallway to their left and back into her bedroom, closing the door until there was only a crack of light shining through into the hall. Olivia took in her surroundings, marveling at the rich tones that flowed from one room to the other. As she walked towards the living room she saw a brief reflection in the mirror at the end of the hall opposite Alex's bedroom. Despite her best intentions, she found herself looking at the gorgeously sculpted back of the A.D.A, from her well defined shoulders down to the swell of her hips, her long blonde hair a vibrant splash of color on the pale skin. Olivia's breath caught somewhere between her throat and her lungs and she felt a heat rising from deep inside her body. She watched in silence as Alex pulled on a pair of faded Levi's that fit her beautifully and a dark blue sweater that showed enough skin through the V in the front to leave anyone with a pulse wishing to see more.

Olivia was lost in the images she was watching through the mirror. It was like a car wreck. She knew she shouldn't be watching, but she couldn't turn her eyes away. Her breathing was shallow and her mind was beginning to add its own pictures when Alex tapped her on the shoulder.

"What exactly do you find so interesting in that old thing?" she asked playfully, pointing at the mirror.

Olivia nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of Alex's voice. "What? I…uh…well…I was just looking at the frame," she tried lamely, feeling the blood rushing to her face and hoping that Alex would just let it go.

"Right….the frame," Alex said with a smile that left Olivia wondering if the A.D.A didn't know just how good of a view that mirror provided of her bedroom. "So, are you ready to go?"

"Yeah…I'm ready if you are," Olivia answered. Thankful that Alex had let the issue drop.

"Great, cause I'm starved…how far into the Village is this place anyway?"

"Not far. It's about fifteen minutes from here," Olivia answered as she waited in the hall while Alex locked the door to her apartment. "It's not that well known, but I think that's a good thing. There's less of a crowd and the folks that do go there are pretty much regulars."

"So are we talking Cheers?" Alex asked with a laugh. "Cause I'm not sure how much I would like a place where everybody knew my name."

"No…it's not quite that small," Olivia answered laughing. She liked this side of Alex. The side that wasn't afraid to let the world see that she could have fun. The side that could laugh and smile and not worry about an image that she had to create to be successful. This was definitely a side of Alex that she would like to see more of.

They made it to the pub about twenty minutes later, both more relaxed than they had been earlier in the day, and both more than ready for good food, good music, and flowing drinks.

"Do you have Guinness?" Alex asked their waitress, not missing the look of surprise on Olivia's face.

"Yes ma'am, on tap. Can I get you one?"

"Please. Liv, what do you want?"

"Um…Corona? With a lime?" Olivia answered with a smile.

"Okay. I'll have them right out. Do you know what you'd like to eat?"

Olivia thought for a few moments, contemplating exactly how much antacid she wanted to choke down later that night and decided that it was worth it to test Alex's temperature level.

"Yeah, actually, we'll have thirty suicide wings. With celery and bleu cheese," she finally responded, not missing the single beat of worry that passed across Alex's face.

"Sure thing. Anything else for you two ladies right now?" the waitress asked with a smile.

"I think that'll do it," Alex answered politely.

"Okay then. It shouldn't be too long. We're not that busy tonight. I'll have your drinks right out."

"I never pegged you as a beer chick," Olivia said jokingly to Alex as the waitress walked away.

"Oh yeah? Just how did you peg me detective?" Alex responded lightly, with more than a little double meaning in the question.

"I was thinking wine or some fruity girl drink," Olivia answered without missing a beat and choosing to ignore the underlying question.

"I've been known to do quite a bit of damage to a bottle of good merlot," Alex responded as the waitress set their beers down. "But when I go out I prefer beer. I tend to maintain better judgment skills with beer."

"Is there some reason you should be concerned about your judgment this evening counselor?" Olivia asked with a teasing smile. "Do you have other plans after dinner?"

"None that don't involve you detective," Alex responded so quietly that Olivia had to strain to hear. The look of surprise on Alex's face clearly said that she hadn't meant to say that out loud. "I uh meant that I didn't have anything else going on tonight. If I wasn't here now, I'd be home…alone."

Olivia saw the fear dancing behind Alex's blue eyes. She also saw the hope and excitement that what had been said hadn't been totally out of line. She found herself smiling as she realized that she wasn't the only one who had been wondering if this would go anywhere.

"Ah…I see," Olivia answered as she worked her Corona. "Well then, I'm glad that I asked you out. I'd hate to think of you home all alone."

Dinner proceeded easily, with each woman holding her own with both the wings and the beer. Olivia found herself feeling a bit buzzed and more than a bit turned on. She wondered briefly if Alex was feeling the same thing. Their conversation had flown so freely, with the counselor teasing Olivia about little things that she said or did and Olivia keeping pace. She found many instances when Alex said something that could have been interpreted in very different ways, and found herself wanting to just ask the A.D.A exactly what tree she was barking up.

"So, what now?" Olivia asked as she finished off her fifth beer and leaned back into the corner of the booth they were sitting in.

"Well," Alex started with a yawn as she looked at her watch. "It's close to 2am. I'm thinking not much else is open right now."

"And I'm thinking you're ready to turn in anyway," Olivia teased.

Alex blushed slightly and tried to hide her face behind her hands, shaking her head just a bit, "I'm so sorry. I wish I hadn't been up so early this morning."

Olivia did it before she had time to think about it. It was the most natural thing for her to do, or at least that's what her heart said as she watched herself reaching for one of the hands that were covering the beautiful blonde's face, pulling it down to the table and leaving hers above it, rubbing the back of Alex's hand with her thumb.

"It's okay hon. I'm sure this isn't a one time only gig," she said softly. Searching deep into the blue pools, looking for some reassurance that she wasn't alone in the desire for a repeat performance.

Alex's heart skipped a beat as soon as Olivia touched her. It was a gesture that could have been completely innocent, but Alex knew that the heat radiating from her hand and into her core was anything but innocent. She stared helplessly at Olivia's hand on hers and felt herself begin to smile.

"I'm hoping it's not either Liv," Alex answered quietly, pulling her blue eyes off the table to meet intense brown ones, made darker by the candlelight and slight haze of smoke. "I'd love to do this again…soon."

"Really?" Olivia heard herself asking in disbelief. "How soon?"

"How's Friday evening? 8pm at my apartment? I'll cook," Alex responded, pleased at the excitement in Liv's voice. God, she's just so damn adorable. I wonder if she knows how cute she is.

"Friday night sounds good," Olivia said with a smile as she threw some bills on the table for a tip and waited for Alex to slide out of the booth. "I'll bring some merlot."

"Please do detective," Alex threw over her shoulder as she lead the way to the front door. And bring a toothbrush, because I'm hoping we'll be waking up together on Saturday.

As they rode back to Alex's apartment in silence, Olivia found herself unconsciously reaching for Alex's hand, taking it and intertwining their fingers. Alex smiled to herself at the warm touch, wishing that the ride would take longer than fifteen minutes and chiding herself for having such schoolgirl thoughts. When they pulled up to the curb at Alex's building, Olivia asked the cabbie to wait at the curb for a few minutes so she could grab something she had left in Alex's apartment. Alex looked at her in confusion wondering what in the world the detective could have forgotten in the twenty minutes they had been in her home.

Nevertheless she keyed the door and they rode the elevator in a comfortable silence, each replaying the events of the evening, each wishing it didn't have to end. When they reached her apartment door, she turned to Olivia and found herself only inches away from the detective.

"Well, here we are, now please, tell me what in the world you could have forgotten, because I know you don't carry a purse," she said lightly.

"This," Olivia answered on a breath as she moved towards Alex, wrapped her hand lightly around the back of Alex's neck and gently kissed her lips. It was a tentative kiss at first, filled with surprise on the parts of both women and excitement that neither of them could deny.

After a few moments of exploring each other's mouths, languishing in the feel of each other's bodies, Olivia broke the kiss, gently rubbing her thumb along Alex's jaw line and staring contently into her deep blue eyes.

"Good night Alex," Olivia said quietly as she slowly pulled away. "I'll see you in the morning."

Alex stood motionless as she watched Olivia's lithe frame retreating down the hall. Her breathing was just returning to normal when her brain kicked back into gear and she heard the elevator doors closing. "Good night detective, " she whispered into the now empty hall as she slowly unlocked her door and entered her deserted apartment, happier than she had felt in a long time, but also acutely aware that she was to be sleeping alone.


"So what'd you get into last night Liv? You look like you didn't sleep at all," Stabler asked with a smile the next morning over hours old coffee.

"Nothing much. Went out and had a few drinks with a friend," Olivia answered vaguely, not wanting to share the total truth of the previous nights events.

"A friend huh? Someone I know?" Elliott continued, hoping that if he pushed his partner enough she would spill the beans.

"Uh…not really. You may have crossed paths a few times," Olivia said quickly, hoping Elliott would just drop the twenty questions routine, but knowing she would have no such luck.

"How many…" Elliott started to ask, but was interrupted by Fin entering the station with a Cheshire grin.

"It appears that things have taken an interesting turn," he announced as he headed for the coffee. "It seems that Christianson flew the coup shortly after he was found not guilty. His landlady said he came home, threw her the months rent, packed his shit and hit the road. Said he left a lot of his stuff behind."

"Have we found Hayden yet?" Captain Cragen asked from behind the group. "Do we know if he took off too?"

"As a matter of fact Cap'n, we did find that Hayden had purchased two plane tickets to Cabo San Lucus for Friday evening a day or two before the trial," Fin answered with a smile. "Now why that slime ball needed two tickets is beyond me. I can't imagine any woman wanting to be on an island with him."

"Maybe it's not a woman…" Olivia murmured a little too loudly.

"What do you mean detective?" Cragen asked quickly.

All eyes were on Olivia, wondering where in the hell she was going with this train of thought. "I mean maybe Hayden bought two tickets because Christianson is going with him. Maybe they had this whole goddamn thing planned and we somehow missed it," she finished quickly.

"So what? Christianson paid Hayden to lie on the stand so that they could run away together? This guy raped women Liv. I highly doubt he's on the other team," Elliott answered incredulously.

"Don't be so sure of yourself detective," Dr. George Huang entered the station at the most perfect moment, as was his annoying tendency. "Olivia might be on to something. Christianson may have raped those women in an attempt to 'cure' himself of the 'disease' he thought he suffered from."

"So you're saying he thought if he could get his rocks off with women he wouldn't have the desire to go after the 'back door'?" Fin asked with a small smile that clearly said he thought the doctor was way off base.

"In a not so colorful way, yes detective. That's exactly what I'm saying. Christianson has probably spent his entire life thinking he was sick and looking for a way to 'get better.' Since he didn't really have the desire to date a woman, he may have wanted to overpower one, to show both his physical and sexual prowess," Huang stated clearly.

"So," Fin started laughing. "You're saying that he's been on the receiving end so many times that he wanted to be the giver for once? Then why would he want to run away with Hayden?"

"I think he believes he needs Hayden. That Hayden somehow has some pull over him. He might think that Hayden can cure him," Huang continued.

"But how can Hayden cure him if Hayden is involved with him," Olivia thought out loud. "That doesn't make any sense. You don't go to a baker to cure your addiction to cake."

"Christianson isn't thinking about it from that perspective. All he sees is a chance to start over and I don't think he cares who gives it to him," Huang finished quietly.

"Well, I guess we need to get another search warrant for Christianson's place," Cragen said in summation. "Hopefully we can find out where these two love-birds have made their temporary nest. Which one of you lucky souls wants to approach Cabot and convince her to give us another chance?"

"I will!" Olivia answered a little too quickly. "I mean, I can. Elliott can start running checks on all their credit cards and Fin and Munch, when he gets here, can canvas the areas around both their houses, maybe to find something there. I'll get the warrant, and we can all meet at Christianson's place…If that's okay with everybody," she finished in a rush.

Cragen looked at her a little strangely but decided to let it pass. "That'll work. Everybody get cracking. We need to have these two in our possession by Friday morning at the latest. That gives us 72 hours to track them down. Keep me posted."

"Why are you in such a hurry to enter the lair of the 'Ice Queen'?" Elliott asked after everyone else had gone their separate ways. "Didn't you get enough the last time?"

Olivia looked at her partner, wondering how much she could safely reveal. Wondering how much she wanted to reveal. She settled on a safe, non-committing answer. "She was upset last time El. We had just lost. I think she'll be in a better mood today, when I tell her we may have a new lead that could fix what she thinks we did wrong."

"Okay. If you say so Liv. I hope for your sake you're right," Elliott answered as he walked away. "But you might want to bundle up!"

Olivia walked quickly down the hall towards Alex's office. She was excited to see the A.D.A, but more than a little nervous that things had somehow shifted in the eight hours they had been apart. She reached the solid wood door in record time and raised her hand to knock, taking a deep breath to steady her nerves. Christ Benson, you're acting like a frightened teenager. Just knock on the damn door. She thought to herself as she knocked. Gently the first time, then a bit harder.

"Come in," Alex called without looking up from her legal pad.

"Hello counselor," Olivia purred as she closed the heavy door. "You look awful busy for ten in the morning."

Alex couldn't fight the smile that came across her lips as soon as the detective spoke. She also couldn't contain the flush that was creeping over her entire body.

"Good morning detective," she said quietly as she sat up and removed her glasses. "How are you?"

"I'm good. And yourself?" Olivia asked as she moved behind Alex's desk and rested her slight hips against it, inches from Alex's right hand.

Alex fought the urge to rest her hand on Olivia's thigh, frightened that someone might come into her office without knocking, and frightened that it might be a little more contact that Olivia wanted.

"I'm goo…" Alex started, but her words were cut off as Olivia leaned closer and pressed their lips together. A gentle kiss, with a promise of more to come. They stayed like that for a few seconds, just enjoying the sensations of each other's mouths, until common sense and fear of being caught overtook Alex and she pulled gently away.

Her eyes were unfocused when she raised them to meet Olivia's and she was smiling slightly. "Can I change my answer?" she asked breathlessly.

"What'd you mean?" Olivia asked coyly. "You're not good anymore?"

"No detective. I believe I just sailed right past good and onto great," Alex answered as her vision finally cleared. "I was hoping to see you today."

"Really?" Olivia couldn't keep the wonder out of her voice. It had been a long time since someone actually wanted to see her, at least for reasons other than because they needed her to do something.

"Yes really," Alex answered as she shifted in her chair and rested her hand on Olivia's leg so that she could look her square in the eye. "I had a wonderful time last night, Liv. And I honestly can't wait until we have the chance to do it again."

"Alex, can I be honest?" Olivia asked quietly as she laid her hand over the attorney's.

"Of course. What's on your mind?"

"I had a great time last night too," Olivia started. Pausing and stumbling over what she wanted to say versus what her brain was telling her not to share. Ah fuck it… "I didn't want last night to end Alex. I would have been perfectly content to wake up in your bed this morning."

Alex did a wonderful job of hiding the pleasant shock and excitement that was running through her brain and into regions further south of her lean body. But she couldn't hide the evil grin that was spreading across her face. "I don't know that I would have been content with that detective," she sad sadly as she began to stand.

Olivia's game face was a little less practiced that Alex's and she was unable to hide the hurt and embarrassment that passed through her muddy eyes. Shit. How could I have been so stupid? Why the hell did I have to say anything? I should have known… She thought as she pulled her hand away from Alex's warm touch, quickly erecting the walls that she had so carelessly let fall.

"I'm sorry Alex. I guess I must have…" she began before she was silenced by two long, slender fingers resting on her lips.

"Relax detective," Alex murmured very close to Olivia's ear. "What I meant by that comment was that had you spent the night with me, you would not have been waking up in my bed, because we would have made love until dawn." She emphasized the confession she had just made by placing a gentle kiss just below Olivia's earlobe.

Olivia's heart skipped a beat at the decidedly sexual nature of that single kiss, and she fought the desire to turn into the attorney's embrace and shower her with many, many more kisses of the same.

"Ah…well that's good to know," Olivia answered quietly. "I have to admit counselor. You had me quite frightened for a minute there."

"Olivia," Alex said, all playfulness gone. "You never need to be afraid when it comes to us. I am quite confident in telling you that we are both on the same page with this. I want nothing more than to explore the chance of something more with you."

"That's good Alex," Olivia said with a genuine smile. "Because I think this is a one way road we've started down, with no where close to turn around."

Olivia cleared her throat and tried to focus back on the real reason she had come to see the sexy attorney. She knew that no matter what kind of personal pull she had with Alex, it was going to take a lot of professional convincing to get her to try to get them yet another warrant for Christianson's place.

"Alex, despite the fact that I would love to spend the rest of this visit engaged in witty repartee, I did come down here for business," Olivia said with a smile as she left the close proximity of Alex's warm body and put the heavy desk between them.

"What's on your mind detective?" Alex asked, sensing the shift into the farther reaches of business, with more than a little sadness. "Does this have anything to do with the debacle we had yesterday?"

"Um…yeah, as a matter of fact it does. We think we've found the reason Hayden went all storyteller on us," Olivia answered as she leaned back into the deep chair. "We think he and Christianson were involved."

"Well detective, I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but I think it was rather obvious they were involved," Alex countered with a laugh.

"No Alex, I mean involved. As in Queer as Folk involved. We think they were lovers," Olivia clarified carefully. "But we need a warrant to get back into Christianson's place to prove it."

"Wait a minute Liv. Let me get this straight," Alex started and Olivia could see the wheels turning inside her head. "You want me to get a warrant so that you can go and search Christianson's house to prove the two were involved? What exactly would you like me to tell the judge is the reason behind this warrant? 'Well judge, we need to get into the house to prove the defendant was gay so that we can enforce archaic sodomy laws. Can you please sign on the dotted line?'"

Olivia visibly bristled at the tone in the attorney's voice. "No Alex. We need to get into the house to prove that Hayden was involved with him and took part in the rapes so that we can bring Hayden in and prove he lied on the stand, effectively throwing out your not guilty verdict."

"Liv, you have to give me more of a reason than your gay-dar went off to get a warrant," Alex said simply.

As Olivia was beginning to respond, hoping that if she told the attorney what Huang had said, then Alex would believe her, her phone rang.

"Benson," she barked as she yanked it from her belt and flipped it open in one smooth motion. "Oh, hi El…yeah, I'm in with her now…No, I haven't got it yet…I was just getting to the story…what!?...You're shittin' me!...Really?...Okay…yeah, I'll tell her…bye."

"Okay Alex, how's this for a reason?" Olivia began with a huge grin. "Hayden and Christianson were in business together. Or rather they had a fake business together. We found a link from Hayden to a 'Mystic Enterprises,' a supposed shop in Chinatown. The real address was a PO Box that Hayden had out. Well, a huge amount of money was transferred out of an account under the business' name and the listed next of kin on the account is Christianson. I don't know about you Alex, but I don't list strangers as my next of kin on my money."

"No, I don't suppose you do," Alex answered thoughtfully. "Why didn't we find this in the initial investigation?"

"It didn't show up because he was a next of kin, it wasn't his account. We weren't really looking into Hayden, and when we pulled Christianson's financials, it didn't show," Olivia answered truthfully. "Now Christianson is gone and Hayden bought two tickets to Cabo San Lucas, and our only hope of finding them before that plane takes off is in that house."

Alex stared long and hard at the detective. Trying to decide if she should put her proverbial neck out on the very slim proverbial line, and trying to decide if it was her heart or her mind telling her she needed to trust the detectives, or at least this detective, once again.

"Okay Olivia, you'll have your warrant," she finally answered. "I'll have NYPD meet you guys at the house with it. Please don't let this one blow up in our faces too."

"Thanks Alex. I promise you we'll make this right," Olivia said with a smile as she stood and started towards the door. She stopped with her hand on the brass handle and turned slightly so that she could meet the attorney's eyes. She stood for a few seconds just looking into the deepening pools, enjoying the fact that Alex was squirming under her gaze. Alex was just beginning to wonder what the detective found so interesting, when Olivia pulled open the door, threw a genuine good bye over her shoulder and was gone.

Just like the wind Alex thought as she shook off the shiver Olivia's intent gaze had sent down her back. I have a feeling this is going to be more than complicated. She gathered her things and headed towards the door to face Judge Petrovsky in the hopes of getting a warrant that might redeem her and her detectives once and for all.


Olivia and Elliott stood on the stoop of Matthias Christianson's house, watching their breath form little puffs of steam in front of their very cold faces.

"Did Cabot say when NYPD would be here with the warrant?" Elliott asked with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "Because it's pretty damn cold out here and I'd much rather be in there."

"No El, all she said was that it would be here. And I'm sure if she said it will, then it will," Olivia answered quietly.

Stabler just rolled his eyes and continued blowing into his rapidly reddening hands. Just as he poked his head around the side of the stoop for what seemed like the hundredth time, a NYPD car pulled in front of the house and two forty something officers stepped out.

"I think you guys are waiting for this," the first officer said with a smile. "How long have you been out in this weather anyway?"

"Longer than we should have been," Stabler said angrily as he grabbed the warrant and knocked on the door. "Mrs. Porter?" he called turning. "Detectives Benson and Stabler. We have a warrant to search Christianson's place. Can you open the door please?"

He stepped back as the confused old woman pushed the door open. "Matt's been gone for a few days detective. I told you that. What do you need in his place for?"

"We just need another look at it ma'am," Stabler replied gently. "This warrant allows us to enter and take anything that we may need."

"Well okay then. But try not to be too noisy. My soaps are on," Mrs. Porter replied over her shoulder as she walked back towards the living room.

Olivia led the way into the first room of the three room apartment, taking in the papers and clothes strewn from one end of the hallway to the other. "Damn, our boy really was in a hurry, wasn't he?"

"Looks like…I'll take this one and the bathroom, you take the bedroom?" Stabler asked as he headed towards the bathroom, taking in his surroundings like a caged animal.

Olivia walked past the strewn living room and partial kitchen and into the darkened bedroom. She pulled the blinds and was taken back by the piles of papers and magazines across the bed. She gently shifted threw the mess of paper, looking for anything that would link the two men together.

As she pushed an old newspaper to the ground, a decidedly adult magazine came into view. Christ…if there was any doubt that Christianson liked men, this would certainly blow it out of the water she thought as she grimaced at the tag line in bold red letters "Meet Jorge, and his 13 inches of rigidness." She pushed the magazine to the floor, and almost missed the slip of paper that fell from the pages.

She picked up the paper and held it in the beam of light streaming in from the window: "Call me if you get lonely," it read. With a seven digit phone number and signed with the letter "H". Well I'll be damned Olivia thought, smiling to herself as she slipped the piece of paper into an evidence bag. I guess Huang was right.

Olivia continued going through the stack of papers, coming across nothing more interesting than a few other magazines that she couldn't believe someone could purchase. As she pulled on the loosely hinged door of the closet, she found another pleasant surprise: a box of photos with Christianson and past boyfriends. I guess he wasn't trying too hard for a cure she thought as she bagged the photos and headed out to see if her partner had turned up anything of interest.

"Look what I found," she called as she came into the wrecked living room. "I think we can safely assume…"

"That Christianson and Hayden are at the Midnight Hotel downtown?" Stabler finished with a smile.

"Well, no. But I was going to say that Christianson definitely favored the stronger sex," Olivia said confused. "How do you know they're downtown?"

"Because Christianson was a detailed note taker," Stabler said holding up an evidence bag with a slip of yellow paper in with an address and room number.

"I guess he thought we would be done with him. Off licking our wounds or something like that," Olivia answered as she approached her partner. "You feel like riding downtown?"

"Sure. I got nowhere else to be until later tonight," Stabler said with a smile as they headed towards the door.

"Hot date?"

"Oh yeah. A fourteen year old and her science project. Building a chocolate volcano. Doesn't get much hotter than that," Stabler said with a laugh as he closed the driver's side door and started the car.

They rode in easy silence towards a rather questionable part of downtown, hoping their luck would continue.

"Matthias Christianson?" Elliott yelled as he knocked on the door to room 112. "This is the police. Open up Christianson…we know you're in there. You have until I count to five, and then we're coming in without an invitation."

Elliott got to five and the door flew open to a perfectly clean bed and a neatly packed suitcase behind the door.

"What the hell?" Elliott wondered out loud as Olivia walked carefully into the seemingly deserted hotel room.

"Oh shit," Olivia said from the bathroom just loud enough to catch her partner's attention. "He's here all right."

Elliott rounded the corner of the bathroom door and was confronted by the very naked and very dead body of Matthias Christianson hanging from the bolted shower rod. "I guess this trail is a little cold," he said with a wry smile as he radioed for the medical examiner to meet them.

"He was dead before he was hung," the M.E. said grimly. "Someone strangled him and then hung him to make it look like suicide. He was strangled during sex."

"During sex? Christ, this just gets better and better," Olivia said to Stabler as they waited for Munch and Fin. "You think Hayden is strong enough to do this El?"

"Under normal circumstances, maybe not. But he saw Christianson as a threat to his freedom. And when someone is threatened, they tend to be able to do things they normally couldn't," Stabler said quietly. "Do you think Hayden is still going to leave?"

"It was the butler, in the library, with the candlestick. Am I right?" Munch called out with a laugh as he and Fin walked towards the other detectives.

"No, it looks like it was the boyfriend, in the bedroom, with his bare hands," Olivia replied dryly. "You guys have any luck locating Hayden?"

"Nothing yet," Fin replied easily. "But he's still set to fly out on Friday evening. Or at least his reservation is still there. For all we know, he could have already left."

"No, I don't think so," Olivia said quietly. "I think he's going to stick to the schedule. He feels like he is in control of this whole damn show. He led the act in the court room, he got the money, and he killed the supporting actor. He likes to be in charge."

"You've been spending too much time with Huang," Elliott said with a laugh. "But, if you think you know this guy so well, then where is he right now?"

"Somewhere we're not," Olivia said sadly. "But I know he's still in New York. And I think we'll be able to find him."

"Thinking and doing are two different things Liv," Fin said gently. "And Miss Cabot is more for the doing. Especially when she feels she's put herself out there. We fuck this up and she's never going to trust us when it comes to a case again."

"I know," Olivia said, barely above a whisper. "You guys go with the M.E. see if there's anything that will link this to Hayden without a doubt. El, you head back to the station and bring Cragen up to date. I'll go talk to Alex. Let her know what we found and that we're still looking.

"Okay Liv," the three men said in unison.

"Have fun with Cabot," Munch said with a laugh. "Make sure you bundle up. It's going to be a chilly visit."

Olivia arrived at Alex's office at a little past 6pm, surprised to find that it was completely deserted. Home before nine? Damn. I wonder what got her out of here on time for once Olivia thought as she dialed Alex's cell phone number from memory. She frowned when the recorded voice of the A.D.A answered with what seemed to be the standard I'm not here right now message. All the times she had been screwed over before came rushing back to Olivia as she snapped her phone closed and fought the images of Alex out with someone else that slipped across her vision.

Before she really knew what she was doing, she was in a cab and giving directions to the huge brownstone that she and Alex had shared a kiss in less than twenty four hours previously. Thoughts of how she would react when she found someone else in Alex's apartment went a thousand miles an hour through her rapidly overheating brain. This can't be happening. She told me that I could trust her. What the hell was I thinking to have believed it? I should have known…

Before the cab had even come to a complete stop Olivia was out the door and thrusting a handful of bills into the cabbies outstretched fingers. Then she was up the stairs and pressing the buzzer to Alex's apartment. When no one answered after the fourth buzz, Olivia started pressing other buzzers until a little voice answered: "Who's there?"

Olivia shuddered at the reality of what she was doing, but her imagination wouldn't let her walk away now. "This is the police honey. I need to get in to talk to someone who may be in trouble."

"You need to come to my apartment?" the voice asked, obviously frightened.

"No, I need to get to another apartment. But that person isn't answering. Can you buzz me in?" she said in her calmest voice.

"Okay," the child said quietly. "But don't tell my mommy and daddy that I did." And the door beeped and Olivia was in and on the elevator without saying thank you.

She watched as the numbers climbed, and nearly jumped out of her skin when the bell dinged, indicating that she was on Alex's floor. She was out of the elevator and in front of Alex's door in less time than it took for the elevator doors to close again. She listened carefully to the closed door in the deserted hallway. She could hear some type of soft music playing, but she didn't hear any voices. She's probably in bed with them. Her blood was boiling and her hand was shaking slightly as she knocked on the apartment door.

She waited a few seconds, and then heard the stereo being turned down and footsteps coming towards her. A moment later she heard the lock throwing open and was greeted by a slightly damp A.D.A in a light blue silk bathrobe with a very surprised look on her face.

"Olivia? What in the world are you doing here?" she asked with a genuine smile.

"I…uh…well," Olivia stuttered as she took in the sight before her. Her eyes trailed up the long slender legs, to the brief bit of hip that showed through the slightly parted robe. Past the knotted sash and over the swell of Alex's breasts, the slightly pink skin in the dip of the robe, the way her chest rose as she stood, waiting for an answer. The open and inviting smile that graced her beautiful face. "I don't know what I'm doing here."

Alex laughed at the honesty and wonder in Olivia's voice. "Well detective, perhaps you would like to come in. It might jog your memory."

"No. I've obviously interrupted you. I'm sorry," Olivia started to protest quickly, frightened that if she entered Alex's apartment she wouldn't be able to control her desire to touch the attorney. "I'll just be going now…um, I'll see you tomorrow," she finished, turning away from the sight before her.

"Detective," Alex said, reaching for Olivia's leather clad arm and causing her robe to fall open just a bit further. "Wait."

Olivia slowly turned back towards the beautiful attorney, the heat from Alex's hand radiating up her arm and settling somewhere inside her chest. "I really should be going," she quietly choked out.

"Yes," Alex answered as she pulled the detective gently inside her apartment and slid the door closed. "You probably should. But do you want to go?"

"I think you know the answer to that," Olivia said haltingly, her breathing already starting to quicken with anticipation. "What do you want me to do?"

Alex smiled at the detective's obvious arousal, acutely aware of the throbbing that was starting between her own legs. "I want you to stay," she whispered as she stepped closer to Olivia's slightly trembling body, gently pushing the detective back against the door. "But if you really want to leave…"

Olivia stopped the attorney mid sentence, pressing her mouth tightly against Alex's, pulling the barely dressed attorney against her, her breath catching at the warmth she felt coming off Alex's body.

A slight moan escaped from the back of Alex's throat as she eased her hands up Olivia's chest and under the shoulders of her black leather coat, pushing it back off the detective's toned body. Refusing to release Olivia's lips until neither could breathe.

"I'll take that to mean you don't really want to leave," she said playfully as she fought to catch her breath and Liv's hands roamed across her back, up her arms, and deep into her blonde tresses, pulling her into another bruising kiss.

Her mind raced to keep track of the sensation's Olivia was making her feel. The trail of heat that was left wherever Liv touched her, the way her heart began to race as Olivia kissed her neck and up the line of her jaw to her ear. The way her knees almost buckled the first time Olivia's hand just brushed her nipple.

"Christ Liv. I don't think I can do this standing up," she whispered as Olivia laid a trail of kisses down her neck and onto her chest, gently pushing the cool silk of the robe out of the way so she could pull Alex's nipple into her warm mouth. She felt Alex arch into the sensations, felt the attorney's hands grip her hair, felt her breath catch the first time she nipped the erect bud. She felt her own pulse quicken and focus between her legs, and she knew that she wasn't going to be able to stand much longer either.

She gently pulled back from her administrations and tried to catch her breath, looking deep into Alex's now sapphire eyes. "Are you sure this is something you want?" she asked gently as she ran her hand lightly across Alex's tight stomach.

"I've never been more sure of anything detective," Alex said as she stilled and then took Olivia's hand. "I want you to make love to me, and I want to make love to you. We'll figure the rest out later," she finished as she pulled Olivia towards her bedroom.

Olivia backed the attorney against her four-poster bed and tentatively reached for the sash that was holding the light robe over Alex's body. As she pulled the sash and released the knot, the robe fell open and Olivia forgot how to breathe. The attorney was more beautiful than she had even imagined. It was as if she had been carved from some artist's mind. From the few freckles that lay across her shoulders, to the slightly pink nipples and small thatch of red-blonde hair. Olivia pulled her eyes away from the attorney's body long enough to meet her shy eyes.

"You're absolutely gorgeous Alex," she whispered, barely getting the words out from around the knot in her throat. She gently reached out and tucked the fallen hair behind Alex's ear, resting her hand against her cheek. "Beautiful…"

And then they were in each other's arms, covering every inch of exposed flesh with kisses, hands roaming, getting used to the feel of each other's bodies, memorizing spots that elicited sounds of pleasure, both wanting nothing more than to loose themselves.

Olivia's breath caught as she felt the attorney pull at the bottom of her t-shirt, urging it up and over her head, to toss it on the floor behind them. She closed her eyes at the sensation of Alex's hands on her breasts, massaging them, tugging her nipples until they were erect peaks, causing her to ache below the waist. Alex released Olivia's belt and the button on her jeans, easing the zipper down, lying them open to give herself access to the few parts of Olivia's body she hadn't touched yet.

Olivia gasped as soon as Alex's hand found its way under her briefs and tangled itself into the dark hair. Her eyes slammed closed and she focused on nothing more than the sensations Alex's hand was causing and remaining upright.

Alex was amazed at the warmth and wetness between Olivia's legs, and just feeling that was almost enough to make her come as they were standing there. She felt Olivia's grip tighten on her hips as she worked her hand up and down the slick folds, insinuating one finger deep inside the detective. Olivia fell against her, their breasts pushing against each other, Olivia's breath short and hot on her neck. As she felt her legs growing weaker from her own arousal, she slightly turned the detective, not loosing the contact with her sex and eased her back onto the bed. As they lay down and Alex stretched herself out along Olivia's left side, she slid another finger inside the detective and felt Olivia's muscles start to contract.

"Oh God Alex," Olivia breathed. "I'm so ready. Please…" she pleaded.

Alex eased herself out of the detective and up the slick folds to focus on her clit. Gently massaging it, and then flicking it lighter and faster as she felt Liv's hips start to jerk.

As Olivia's hips rose off the bed, Alex slid her fingers deep inside the detective. Stroking the soft spot that she knew would send Liv over the edge. She watched in wonder as Olivia gripped the comforter and every muscle in her stomach clenched with the impending orgasm.

"Alex…I'm coming…Oh God…Alex," the name was torn from the detective's throat as she fell over the edge of orgasm and into the comforting arms of the attorney.

It took the detective longer than she remembered it ever taking before to recover from the bone shattering orgasm that Alex's touches had caused. As her breathing returned to normal and her muscles finally stopped twitching, she was able to focus on the beautiful blonde that cradled her in strong arms.

A thousand witty remarks fought their way to the front of Liv's brain, but all she could manage was a single "wow."

Alex smiled at the not so veiled compliment as she pulled the detective closer against her body, relishing in the solidness of the other woman. "I guess that lived up to your expectations?" she asked with a small smile.

"Lived up to and left in the dust," Olivia responded as she shifted her weight on the bed so that she could rise up and face the attorney. "You're amazing Alex…"

"I bet you say that to all the girls," Alex said with a slight blush.

"And I would bet you're wrong. You're the first girl I've ever said that too. And that might be because you're the first girl that I've lov…" Olivia was stopped mid sentence by a gentle kiss and murmured "shhh." She allowed her mouth to be captured by the attorney's, and as their tongues entwined again, felt her pulse beginning to race with arousal all over again.

Her breath caught as she felt Alex's hands reaching to push her jeans and briefs past her hips and into a heap at the bottom of the bed. She rolled onto her back and pulled the attorney across her body, placing one well toned thigh tight between Alex's legs, feeling the counselor's wetness glide over the smooth skin and taught muscles.

The attorney relinquished her hold on Olivia's lips and placed gentle kisses along the ridge of her ear, her hot breath sending chills down the detective's back to settle somewhere deep inside her pelvis.

"I've had dreams about this," Alex whispered into Olivia's ear as she pressed harder against Liv's thigh. "Dreams that left me aching for you."

Olivia's body responded more to the need in Alex's voice than what she was saying, and in one swift movement, flipped the attorney onto her back and placed her own body tight against Alex's, her hand trailing down the perfectly toned stomach to bury her fingers deep inside the strawberry curls and slick warmth. Her own breathing was halting as she watched the attorney, lying so open and vulnerable, respond to every caress that Olivia gave. The first time she entered Alex, she could feel the muscles contracting tightly around her fingers, pulling them further in, in an almost desperate need for more contact.

"Oh God Liv….I don't know how much longer I can hold on," Alex gasped as she dug strong fingers into the detective's smooth back. "I'm so close…"

Olivia kissed a hot trail up Alex's body, across her breasts, lingering a brief moment on each nipple, her lips finally coming to rest against Alex's ear. "It's okay baby. I've got you…just let it go," she whispered as she thrust harder into Alex's body, feeling the muscles spasm and Alex's body tighten then go slack in her arms. She sensed more than saw the small smile on Alex's face as the attorney's breathing began to return to normal.

"You okay?" she gently asked the weakened form wrapped tightly in her arms.

"Better than okay," Alex sighed in response as she snuggled closer against the detective. "Can you stay awhile?"

"I think I can spare a few hours," Olivia answered with a soft smile and brief hug as she pulled the heavy comforter up over their tangled bodies.

The two women lay in silence for what seemed like forever, each getting used to the close proximity of the other's body; neither thinking about the complications they were sure to face. Olivia felt herself becoming more and more relaxed as she lay in the darkened room, feeling Alex's breathing slow and become more and more regular as the attorney drifted off into sleep. As she felt her own eyelids getting heavy, her last thoughts were of the panic she had felt when she thought the attorney was with someone else. I've thrown myself right in the deep end on this one was the last thought that crossed her mind as she drifted off into the most restful sleep she'd had in weeks.

The soft sound of the shower stirred Olivia from a dream that she didn't want to leave. She groaned as she slowly opened her eyes, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings, wondering when the last time was that she had slept so peacefully. As she rolled over towards the sound, she caught a glimpse of the clothes strewn about the room and could smell the warm air and soft scent of shower gel coming from the bathroom. A wide smile crept over her face as she replayed the events leading up to her more than restful nap. Reluctantly she threw the blankets back and gathered her clothes, throwing her t-shirt and jeans back on and heading to the kitchen to make some hot tea and wait for the attorney to finish her shower.

A few minutes later Olivia heard the sound of rushing water stop and the shower door sliding open. She smiled to herself as she imagined the tall attorney wrapped in a heavy towel with water dripping from her flawless skin. Christ Liv…get a grip on yourself. You're like one big ball of raging hormones.

She waited a few more minutes until she heard a drawer opening and closing before she poured the two steaming cups of tea and headed towards the living room and overstuffed couch.

"Hey there," Alex said quietly as she rested her arms around Liv's neck, kissing the top of her head. "How long have you been awake?"

"I don't know. Not long. The smell of the shower woke me up," Olivia replied as she turned her head to capture Alex's lips. "Did you sleep good?"

"Umm, yeah. Better than I have in ages. What time is it anyway?"

"Around nine. Are you hungry?"

"I could certainly eat. I know a good Chinese place that delivers. You want me to order something?"

"Sure. Chicken and Broccoli? And some of those little fried noodle things?" Olivia added with a childish smile.

"I think that can be arranged," Alex answered laughing. "I'll order that. If you want to take a shower, I think I have some sweatpants that'll fit you, although they may be a bit too long."

"Oh hush," Olivia said as she stood and headed towards the bathroom. "I'll be out in five."

"I'll be waiting detective."

When Olivia emerged from the shower, smelling like her newly acquired lover's shampoo and wrapped in a rather short towel, Alex was reclining on the bed, with a pile of sweats beside her.

"Hmm, if it's possible, I think you're even sexier all wet," Alex said with a devilish smile as she stood to wrap her arms around the smaller woman. "Dinner will be here in a little bit. I have some wine in the fridge. Would you like a glass?"

"Is it merlot?" Olivia asked as she leaned back in Alex's arms, looking into her bright blue eyes. "Because if it's merlot, I think this could prove to become a very interesting evening."

"As a matter of fact detective, it is merlot. Why don't you get dressed and I'll pour us each a glass. Do you like jazz music?"

"Actually, I'm more of a blues girl," Olivia answered sheepishly. "You wouldn't happen to have anything along those lines would you?"

"I think I have just the thing," Alex responded as she gently kissed the detective before turning and heading back towards the kitchen.

Olivia took one look at how long the sweat pants were that were laying on the bed and opted for her own jeans and the attorney's worn in t-shirt. As she came back into the kitchen, Alex was just paying the delivery guy and a classic Etta James CD was playing softly from the living room.

Olivia noticed the bowls and forks sitting on the counter top and gathered them up to take them into the living room where two wine glasses and a few candles were already resting. She couldn't keep from smiling as she felt the attorney come into the room with the large bag of steaming food.

"I love this music," she said as she began emptying the bag and looking for her fried noodles. "What'd you get that smells so good?"

"Shrimp with lobster sauce," Alex replied as she opened her own container and filled her bowl with a heavy spoonful of rice and the rich white sauce. "You wanna try?"

"Sure," Olivia answered as she reached for a fork, only to be stopped by Alex's slender hand.

"No. Here," she began as she reached for the chopsticks.

"Alex, I can't eat with those things. I can't afford to have your rug and couch cleaned," Olivia protested with a laugh. "I prefer to eat my food rather than wear it…"

"It's okay detective. I have become quite skilled with these things. I am the takeout queen. Here," Alex answered as she masterfully scooped up a pile of rice and a shrimp covered in the white sauce and fed it to the detective. "See, it's not that hard."

"That's okay Alex. I think I'll take your word for it. I'll stick with good, old-fashioned silverware."

"Suit yourself detective. But if you want to learn, I'm happy to teach you."

"I have no doubt that there are many, many things you could teach me Alex," Olivia answered with a small smile.

The two ate in relative silence, each just enjoying the other's company, the warm food and the cool wine. Both replaying the scenes from earlier in the evening and the night before, both wondering just what was happening between them and where it could go.

Alex was the first to break the silence. "Liv, why did you come over this evening? Not that I'm complaining, but when I opened the door, you looked like you expected to see something else entirely."

"I uh…well, we…" Olivia stammered as her face took on the unmistakable deer in the headlights look that Alex rarely saw from the otherwise stoic detective. What the hell do I say to that? Well Alex, I had it in my head that you were fucking someone else and I just had to come over here and catch you in the act. Can you pass the fortune cookies please? Yeah, that'll go over well. "I just wanted to see you?" she tried instead.

Alex looked at her in the way that she so often looked at defendants at trial. With a look that clearly said I don't buy it. In fact, I think you're lying through your teeth. And I'm about to prove it. "That's sweet Liv, but I don't think that's the real reason. You looked genuinely scared when you came over here. What's going on?"

Olivia knew that she wasn't going to be able to fool the attorney, but she was also terrified of what a full confession would do to their still brand new relationship. Ah hell. I don't have a choice… "I thought you were with someone else," she said quietly. "Because I called and you didn't answer," she added in a rush.

Alex barely contained her surprise at Olivia's confession. And as the surprise turned to anger, she was even less successful.

"Why in the world would you think that I was with someone else?" she asked in a tone that told Olivia that she had just delivered a huge blow to whatever was starting between the women.

"I don't know Alex. Past experience?" Olivia answered sadly, not able to hide her embarrassment and fear. "I wasn't really thinking I guess. I was just reacting."

"Because I didn't answer my phone?"

"Well, yeah. And because you weren't in your office either."

"So I can't come home at six when the rest of the world closes down without you assuming that I came home with someone else?" Alex asked angrily.

"Well, no. Like I said. I just wasn't thinking. I…" Olivia started then stopped. Unsure if she should, or even could continue. "I was afraid that I was just a distraction for you. That last night was a mistake."

"And what about this morning?"

"Reacting to a situation?" Olivia asked quietly, unable to meet the beautiful attorney's eyes. Fighting the ghosts of a past that Alex knew nothing about. Fighting a past that set her up to expect failure whenever she found something she wanted to hang onto.

"Olivia, look at me," Alex implored, reaching out to stroke the detective's cheek, all anger having gone from her voice. "Look at me, please?"

Olivia brought her sad brown eyes up to meet Alex's face, sure that she would see the look that said if you're going to be possessive and overbearing, this isn't going to go anywhere. And shocked to find instead a soft look of acceptance and understanding.

"Liv, do you trust me?" Alex asked quietly, searching deep inside Olivia's eyes, looking for any hint of the confident Olivia she was so accustomed to dealing with.

"Yes," Olivia answered, almost too quickly. "Yes, Alex. Of course I trust you. It's really got nothing to do with you. It's got everything to do with things that have happened to me in the past."

"But Olivia, why on earth would you even think that I would do something like that to you? And who in the world did you think I would have done it with?" Alex added with a soft laugh. "You know that I spend the majority of my time at work, and you also know that there is no one in that place that I would give the time of day to. Well, no one except you."

"My rational mind knows that Alex. And I'm so sorry that I came flying over here. But I wasn't thinking. I was reacting. I was reacting to the fear of loosing you."

"I'm not sorry you came over Liv. I'm just sorry for what made you come over. I wish that I could say something to make you understand that the past is the past. I'm not one to take what's happening between us lightly," Alex said as she slid onto the floor and knelt in front of the still embarrassed detective. "I'm not going to hurt you Liv. I would do anything in my power not to hurt you. But you have to be able to trust me and let that trust hold back any fears that have stemmed from what has happened before now."

"I'm sorry Alex," Olivia said quietly, not sure that that was enough of an explanation and still unwilling to meet the attorney's eyes.

"It's okay love. We'll just attribute it to new relationship jitters," Alex responded, trying to lighten the mood in the room. "C'mere. I think I know just the thing to make it better."

Olivia allowed herself to be pulled into the still kneeling attorney's embrace, getting used to the solidness of their bodies pressed together. Still wondering what she had done to deserve such an understanding and decidedly beautiful woman in her life. A small smile crept over her face as she felt Alex place a gentle kiss on her neck, followed by another and then another. She gently pulled back to look the attorney square in the eyes, feeling her heart beating for what seemed like the first time in the last ten minutes.

"How about we clean this up and watch a movie? I think there's a Molly Ringwald marathon on tonight," Olivia said quietly as she searched the attorney's eyes. God, I want to tell you that I love you so much it scares me…

"That sounds good Liv. You find the station while I clean up," Alex replied as she stood and gathered the dishes. What would you say if I told you I love you?

Olivia turned the television on and began flipping through the stations as she heard Alex moving things around in the kitchen. "Alex," she started and then stopped.


I could get so used to being here with you. How in the hell can this feel so right? "I found it, hurry up, you're missing Pretty in Pink."

Part 5

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