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Damn headphones. For the fifth time in an hour, the detective readjusted his right earpiece. Either work or don't, Elliot thought irritably. Although he could still make out what the four people at the table inside the restaurant were saying, this cutting-out shit was really annoying.
"Monday? Fuck that." Talking with your mouth full classy, Liv. "What's the holdup?"
Several seconds passed with no reply, and Elliot tensed. Why hadn't anyone answered his partner's question?
"Liv I thought that was you! Why didn't you tell me you were back?"
"Who the hell is that?" DEA Agent Allred's muttered question could be heard clearly throughout the van.
"Alex Cabot," Elliot replied. "Our ADA."
"What the fuck is she doing?" Allred growled.
"She thinks Olivia just got back from vacation," Elliot reminded him.
"I've got some time this weekend if you want to do some catching up," the oblivious Assistant District Attorney continued warmly. Alex seemed to be in a rather friendly mood, Elliot noticed. He wondered if she had been enjoying the wine menu.
For a long moment, he heard nothing. "What's going on?" Elliot spoke into his microphone.
Soon afterward, the silence was broken by Detective John Munch. "I take back everything I ever said about my first, second, and fourth ex-wives," Munch declared. "Women are indeed wondrous things."
"What's going on?" Elliot repeated.
"Benson apparently has a search warrant for the back of Cabot's throat. They just slapped a PG-13 on this dive."
The interior of the van was silent as Elliot and Fin exchanged glances. Olivia and Cabot were making out?
"Sorry, baby." His partner spoke again, finally. "I know how you feel about PDAs, but you are just . . . ." There was a slight pause. ". . . looking too good. Fellas, this is Alexa Carver. She works at Bloomies."
"I've missed you, too, Gorgeous." Alex obviously realized that she had stumbled into something. Another faint sound reached his ears, which Elliot realized was his partner and their beautiful blonde ADA kissing again. "Well, I'd better get back to my group."
"Your group?" It was Olivia's voice.
"Mandy's getting married next week," Alex replied. "Tonight's her last hurrah. So, give me a call when you get some down time, OK?"
Damn. The invitation in the blonde woman's voice would have had Elliot shifting in his seat any other time. At the moment, though, he just needed her to get the hell out of there.
"So . . . ." His partner tried to steer the conversation back on topic. "When's"
"That woman is magnificent."
Elliot turned to the federal agent beside him.
"That's Pejore," Allred confirmed.
"Mm." Olivia was noncommittal.
"Why does she think you've been away?"
"Who gives a fuck?" Allred groused. "Why doesn't he just get over it?"
"You ain't seen Cabot," Fin replied.
"Every once in a while I tell her I'm going out of town for a while," Olivia said casually. She spoke her next words more quietly, as if concerned about being overheard by the other woman. "Gotta keep a little distance. Lexa's hot, but occasionally she gets the U-Haul syndrome." After a moment of silence three males gaping cluelessly at her, Elliot suspected his partner spoke up again. "Old joke," she explained. "Let's just say that commitment is not on my To Do list right now."
"Well, she seems anxious to spend time with you," Pejore said.
"Another advantage of taking a week off." Liv was smiling now, Elliot could tell. "She can't get her pants down fast enough when I get back."
Soon afterward, Olivia managed to bring the discussion back to the impending exchange of cocaine for underage girls. Inside the van, two SVU detectives turned to each other. "Cameras?" Elliot said.
"Already on it," Fin replied.
"You're kidding." The glass of orange juice paused halfway to Alex's lips.
"Nope." Olivia shook her head. "Heard it straight from Allred's assistant."
"Not that it wasn't spectacular I've got a couple of exes I'd like to line up with you for lessons but why did they want film of us kissing?"
"Uh, Alex . . . ." Olivia's look was half disbelief, half embarrassment. "Guys . . . . Two women making out . . . . They've blabbed it to half the precinct already."
"Men." Alex rolled her eyes. "Must they be so predictable? I guess we should be thankful for non-functioning security cameras." She thought about it a moment. Predictable . . . .
A small shopping bag sailed the few feet from Olivia's hand to the seat of her chair. ADA Cabot plopped a plastic bag of her own onto the detective's desk. Both women seemed pleased with themselves.
"Whatcha been up to?" Elliot asked, curious.
Reaching into the bag, Olivia drew out a flimsy two-piece bikini with brown and orange swirls, holding it out to show her partner. "Swimsuits."
"At Chico's," Alex added. "Best selection in Manhattan, worst fitting rooms."
Olivia nodded her agreement. "Tell me about it. Only three fitting rooms for the whole place," she complained, holding up the corresponding number of fingers. "We had to share one."
"Was that a fitting room? I thought it was a phone booth." Alex fished around in her bag. "I'd have to marry you in nine states after half an hour in that thing."
"And I'd have to arrest you in nine states if you actually wore that little black number in public," Olivia replied with a smile.
"I thought you liked that one," Alex said saucily.
Olivia smirked. "What little there was to like."
"Unlike your polka dot experiment," Alex said. "That was nothing more than a couple of pasties on a string."
"You're just ticked because you got your hand stuck in it," Olivia replied. "Never bet me, Alex. I was the one wearing the thing; I knew how tight it was. I almost wish I'd bought it now. It would have loosened a bit if you oiled me up."
"Do you actually use sunscreen, Detective Tan?"
"Sure, although not the 500 factor that you use." Olivia glanced at her watch. "Hey, I've got another 15 minutes wanna grab a Coke?" At Alex's nod, the pair headed out the door, still chatting.
Three men watched them walk out.
"Trying on bikinis?"
"For half an hour?"
They closed their eyes for a moment.
Olivia nodded "Hi" to her co-workers as they returned from lunch. "No, Alex," she said. "That'd be . . . . Yeah. With my mouth."
The men turned a curious glance to her.
"I'd use one hand for that, probably, unless you wanted" Olivia nodded. "Uh huh."
She listened briefly.
"For that one, you'd be on your back. I'd be" She nodded. "Right. Your legs on my shoulders."
Olivia didn't have to look up to know that her fellow detectives were hanging on her words. She grinned. "I guess we could," she said. "How big's your desk?" This time she laughed. "Yeah, I know it's how you use it. . . . Oh, man," she uttered. "That's if you were " She waved a hand around as she tried to come up with the words. "I probably need to show you that one. Why don't I just come over there and finish this? It's better than on the phone anyway. Do I need my list? OK be right there."
"What's up?" Elliot asked offhandedly.
Olivia shrugged. "Alex thinks Kirk Borchard violated probation by sending e-mails with hidden sexual references. She wants to be sure she's got the vernacular straight when she argues it tomorrow." She laid her notepad on the desk before striding to the lockers to retrieve her purse.
Picking up the pad, Fin scanned the top sheet, then turned to the next. "You're gonna go say all these phrases to Cabot?"
"Say. Show. Whatever it takes," Olivia replied.
Munch peered over his partner's shoulder. "Actually, it's only a phrase if it's two or more words," he said distractedly. "Is that--"
"Damn," Fin interrupted. He pointed to a series of scribbled letters.
"I'll be back after I show Alex about a dozen positions," Olivia joked. Then she was gone.
Fin and Elliot gathered round, and the three men studied the list. "Damn!" Fin said again.
In the attorney's office, the two women smiled.
"That was fun," Olivia said from her comfy spot on the couch. "They're sitting there right now thinking about me doing you on this desk."
"Interesting image," Alex murmured.
"Very . . . ."
The cell phone was answered after three rings. "Yeah?"
"OK, Liv," Elliot said, "you're putting us on, right?"
"I knew it," he declared. "You guys heard about the restaurant, huh?"
"So now we're even."
"Well, all right then," Elliot said. "Just checking. See you back at the squad room." With a chuckle, he hung up.
"Yes. Oh, God, yes . . . ."
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