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The hand at her elbow was cautionary. Slow down, it said. Look both ways.
Kelly smiled and waited for the pressure that meant that Tracey had ascertained that none of the slowly crawling cars were going to suddenly bolt. It amused the young ADA to think that her boss viewed the lines of traffic as though they were restless horses at Belmont.
As they crossed the street, the hand at her elbow slid down until their arms were entwined. Gooseflesh trailed in the wake of Tracey's unconscious touch, leaving Kelly feeling a little light headed. Out of the corner of her eye she gazed at the woman next to her while a myriad of questions danced like dervishes in her mind.
An unconcerned smile alighted upon Tracey's lips. Tipping her head back, she looked up at the sky. "Looks like spring is finally upon us," she commented, her throaty voice making Kelly shiver.
Kelly nodded. "Yeah, it's so nice to see the sun." In tandem, their feet touched the sidewalk. They were now so close that even the thinnest of amicus briefs could not have passed between them.
A light wind sprung up and rushed down the street, rifling Tracey's raven hair and rattling the edges of the flyers stapled to every available surface. Pushing their way through the ebb and flow of human traffic, the two attorneys seemed surrounded by a bubble of connection that nothing dared to break.
They passed a jazz musician busking for tips, three different vendors selling a variety of cheap items and a heavily made up clown who did backflips and blew bubbles, much to the amusement of two small children who stood waiting for their parents to finish haggling with the street vendors.
Kelly laughed and nudged her companion. She was rewarded by the rich, secretive smile that echoed the youth in Tracey's eyes. They passed a coffee shop and a deli, rounded a corner and stopped outside of a small café.
Tracey untangled her arm and pulled the door open for her associate. "In you go, Kel."
With a flirty sashay of her hips, Kelly strolled inside. Tracey watched appreciatively, enjoying the way the ends of the blonde ADA's hair scuffed against her shoulders.
I love spring. The scenery always improves so dramatically. Tracey allowed her gaze to linger on the younger woman's shoulders, back and skirt clad hips. The sheer material of the lilac blouse that Kelly wore did everything to enhance the natural grace of her shape and the rough tweed of the skirt sent invitations to Tracey's fingers. She wanted to touch the nubbly surface and discover if the flesh beneath was as pliable and soft as she imagined.
Choosing a table, Kelly demurely sat and waited for her boss. Lunch away from the office was a rare treat. The unexpected generosity stemmed from their win against Toynbee Chemicals, a company that had dumped toxic waste into a local neighborhood, causing the deaths of three children.
"Everything's good here so don't be picky, just order what you like." The EADA didn't bother with the menu it was as familiar to her as the shape and curve of Kelly Gaffney's smiles. Just as those expressions of fleeting joy were a precious rarity, so too were Tracey's visits to the tiny café. Some things were meant to be savored.
In the spirit of the moment, Kelly decided to open the menu, close her eyes and point. When she allowed herself to look, she smiled in satisfaction. Grilled salmon sounded wonderful.
The waiter, a casually dressed young man with bright pink hair and about fourteen holes in his ears jovially took their orders and then brought them a carafe of wine to split.
"Are we working after this?" Kelly said before she allowed herself the pleasure of the Semillon.
Tracey smirked. "Not after that summation. You rocked the court room, Kel. You deserve the afternoon off."
"What about you, Tracey? You're the one who destroyed Peterson on the stand," Kelly said. Her cheeks were pink from her boss' compliment though. She poured herself half a glass of the wine and took a sip. Any more and she might not be responsible for the things that leapt, unedited, from her tongue. It wouldn't do for me to blurt that I think Tracey looks ravishing in red, or that I'd rather be stuck at work with her than vacationing alone in France.
Observing her colleague's reticence regarding the wine, she commented, "Cheap date?" It came out with an emphasis that made Tracey immediately wish that she could take it back. That was real smooth, you blundering idiot. What a way to win friends and influence people you've got there, Tracey Kibre. Shit, I should not be allowed out in public.
The ADA's color darkened. With a nervous smile, she bit her lip and said, "I'm not much of a drinker." Her fingers traced around the edges of her glass nervously and she lowered her gaze to the checkered tablecloth.
Looking away, Tracey denied herself the pleasure of the younger woman's eyes as punishment. "I'm sorry, Kelly. Chalk it up to six weeks of fifteen hour days."
The waiter chose to present them with a basket of freshly steamed bread and melted, herbed butter.
Kelly nodded. "Its okay. I was right there with you." She smiled and ran a hand through her hair. "Yeah, I'm a cheap date sometimes. Especially when I've spent half the night on a damned summation."
Tracey chuckled ruefully. "It was worth it. You really nailed them when you brought up the fact that those kids might have had a better chance of survival in Baghdad." The admiration in her voice was not faked. "It took some balls to say that."
Shrugging, Kelly said, "I learned from the best." She took another sip of her wine, closing her eyes briefly as the flavor of it coated her mouth.
That is positively illegal. Tracey knew that her thoughts were leading her into possible disaster, but there was nothing she could do to stop herself. Drawing her chair around next to Kelly's, the older attorney tore off a piece of the hot bread, dipped it into the butter and touched her companion's arm. "Try this. It's like nibbling on heaven."
The scent of warm butter drifted up to Kelly's nose. Looking down, she noticed that Tracey's fingers were mere inches away. It must be the wine she thought as she leaned forward and nipped the tidbit from the other woman's grasp.
As Kelly's lips closed over her fingertips, Tracey swore she felt every drop of blood in her veins turn to steam. The temperature went from comfortable to sweltering and every instinct urged her to get up and run before she did something like
"More?" she said, tearing off another bit. She swiped it into the butter and this time, she held it right up against Kelly's lips.
Their eyes met and a silent conversation, one that EADA Tracey Kibre and ADA Kelly Gaffney had been engaging in for several months suddenly went from the flirtatious, half mocking and half playful banter to a discussion that required speech.
"Kelly, I "
"Here we are ladies grilled salmon and the vegetarian lasagna. Can I get you anything else?" The waiter's solicitousness was like a bucket of ice water.
Kelly plucked the bread from Tracey's fingers, ate it and accepted her plate. "No, thank you," she said and smiled at the young man.
Tracey smiled as well, but said nothing. When he was gone, she began to play with her food, cutting it into tiny bits and smearing it around in the sauce.
Taking a risk, Kelly reached out, set her hand on the attorney's thigh and said, "Tracey, eat. We have the rest of the day to talk." When Tracey did not immediately leap away, she gave the EADA's leg a gentle squeeze.
Tracey shook her head, causing her raven curls to bounce lightly. A wry smile curved her lips and she said, "I feel like I'm sixteen." Musical laughter made Tracey's heart float.
"I'm glad I'm not the only one, Counselor."
Raising one elegant eyebrow, Tracey said, "So shall we act like we feel and blow this pop stand?"
Tempted, Kelly said, "Where do you want to go?"
Anywhere no, too trite "We could have a picnic it's a lovely day and I happen to know of a private garden that offers amenities such as a comfortable swing for two "
In less than twenty minutes, they were walking through Tracey's front door. Without pausing to give the twenty-seven cent tour, the older attorney led Kelly through the house and out onto the back patio. There she indicated the aforementioned swing.
"Have a seat I'm going to get us some more wine."
Kelly set the bag with their lunch down on a nearby table. "Tracey wait."
"Hmm?" She turned to face the blonde ADA.
"There's something I have to I need oh hell." She stepped into Tracey's personal space, cupped her hands around the brunette's face and pressed one of the softest, gentlest kisses that Tracey Kibre had ever received onto her lips.
On the heels of that kiss came another and another until Tracey's thoughts were as scattered as the clouds above New York.
When she could think again, she realized that they had moved to the swing and that Kelly had laid her head against her chest. Running her fingers through golden spun silk, Tracey sighed happily.
"I should let you do the summations more often, if this is what I get for a reward."
Kelly laughed. "It was the wine," she said, deadpan.
"I'll remember that." Tracey tugged her partner into sitting. "Kel " A finger on her lips silenced her. It was replaced by Kelly's mouth and several more minutes were lost to warm kisses that answered some of the questions floating in her head.
Pulling away, Kelly said, "Please don't tell me that this is nothing but a little fun or that because we work together, we can't let our feelings out worse, that there's something ethically wrong with the way we feel, because so help me I'll walk way. I will stand up and I will march right into Branch's office and resign right now before I give up this moment."
"Brash, ballsy and beautiful just what I love about you, Kelly Gaffney," Tracey said fondly as she ran her fingers through Kelly's hair. "As Arthur would say, don't you worry your pretty little head, missy. I'm not planning on this being forgotten."
"What do you plan?" Kelly asked breathlessly as Tracey's caresses grew lighter, yet more provocative.
"I plan," Tracey's voice dropped to a soft murmur, "to kiss you senseless. I plan to take you out dancing, to dinner, to the movies and then, when we're both ready, when everything and the stars align, I plan to make love to you until neither of us can see anything else but the smiles on our faces."
Nodding along with Tracey's words, Kelly leaned in, brushed a kiss against her cheek and said, "I accept your deal, Counselor."
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