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These Are Days
By mel



Alex couldn't contain her grin as she watched Bryan begin to sway to the music that was filling the club's dining room.  It had long since passed the time when even her mother and the rest of the 'adults' had gone home for the night, and now it was just the cousins, Abbie, and Serena.  It hadn't taken long for word to spread amongst the clan that Alex was about to enact Cabot Rules of Combat 14C and Jake decided to help the cause by challenging Bryan to a round of shots.

Three shots later, Alex was ready to get her revenge.

"So are you going to tell me what this evil plan of yours is?" Olivia asked as she watched Alex scroll through Adam's iPod.

"Well," Alex said as she tucked her hair behind her ears, "Rule 14C restricts the means of retaliation to a sort of… quid, pro, quo, if you will.  Meaning that you're not allowed to do anything worse than what they did to you."

Olivia frowned.  "He recorded us having sex.  You're not going to try and get him to mount Mandy here in the middle of the ballroom are you?  Because, I'm pretty sure she isn't going to go for that."

Alex chuckled and shook her head.  "The key is the recording.  Now, you know Bryan – what's the one thing we all tease him about that bugs him the most?"

"Alex, you guys are always giving each other a hard time.  How am I supposed to kno…" her voice trailed off as she watched Bryan take another large gulp of his wine.  "The gay thing."

"Yes, detective," Alex drawled, a proud smile on her face.  "The gay thing."

"I'm confused."

Alex let out a soft 'whoop' when she found the song she was looking for and queued it up to play after the next song before she set the iPod back down onto the system.  "Well, as I'm restricted to audio – no video, unfortunately, however that restriction doesn't preclude anyone else taking a video – the best I can do is catch him saying something embarrassing."

Olivia nodded.  That made sense.  "Okay.  But what are you going to do?"

"Just wait and see, gorgeous.  And then, when I'm done exacting my revenge, what do you say we go back to the house and get naked?" Alex asked playfully as she wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck and pulled the brunette in close.

A lopsided smile tweaked Olivia's lips as she wrapped her arms around Alex's waist and drew the attorney fully into her so that they were pressed together tightly, hip to hip, and breast to breast.  Alex had kicked off her heels not long after the dancing had begun.  "Are you going to let me have my way with you again?"

"Mmm," Alex hummed as she kissed the brunette softly.  "Perhaps after I've had my turn with you – you tired me out earlier and I never got to return the favor."

"I don't mind," Olivia murmured.  And she didn't.  She loved nothing more than having Alex literally at her fingertips, knowing that she was the reason the blonde was making such exquisite sounds, knowing that she was the person responsible for making her feel so good.

"And I love you for that," Alex purred.  "But I still would like to make love to my beautiful fiancée before the day is done."

"Fine," Olivia huffed, sounding as if she were extremely put-off by the whole idea.

Alex rolled her eyes and smiled.  "Glad you agree.  Now, it's time for me to get to work.  I'll see you in a few," she said as she kissed Olivia quickly and scampered off in the direction of Adam and Paul who were talking with Abbie and Serena.

"That can't be good," Olivia chuckled as she watched Abbie and Adam both break out into identical impish grins as Alex talked.

Olivia watched as the cousins played a game of telephone, everybody finding somebody else to share the plan with, until the entire room, sans Olivia, Mandy, and Bryan knew what was going on.

"It looks like the show's about to start," Mandy said as she sidled in next to Olivia.

Olivia nodded.  "Do you have any idea what she's planning?"

"Nope." Mandy grinned.  "She just asked if I'd mind if she made him look, and I quote, 'super gay'."

Olivia chuckled.  "So I'm guessing you gave your permission?"

"Yeah," Mandy said with a shrug.  "He's been lording that recording over her head for months now, he needs to get knocked down a peg."

"Didn't she get a recording of you two together?" Olivia asked, waving a finger between Mandy and her husband.

"She did.  I think we'd been married for a couple months when that happened."

"You don't seem to care," Olivia observed.

"I don't," Mandy chuckled.

"What was the retaliation for that one?"

Mandy chewed her lip thoughtfully.  "I think he recorded her singing in the shower or something.  Whatever it was, it was weak."

"You are all are nuts," Olivia muttered.

"Perhaps.  But you're marrying into the crazy."

Olivia smiled as she looked over at Alex who was now trying to pry the wine glass from Bryan's hand.  "She's worth it."

The song changed to a familiar beat and Olivia started laughing as she realized what Alex was planning.  Considering her limitations, it was actually rather brilliant.  She watched as Alex, Abbie, Adam, and Paul all surrounded Bryan and got him dancing to the opening lyrics and then Serena handed Bryan the mic and it was over.

"Hallelujah it's raining men!" Bryan screamed (sang) into the microphone as he waved his free hand in the air.

Mandy laughed and pulled out her phone to get a video recording her husband's performance, as he was now doing a drunken shuffle-step to the beat.

Once Alex and company were certain that Adam was going to continue without backup, they eased off of the dance floor to watch the train wreck.

"Well?" Alex murmured as she sidled in behind Olivia and wrapped her arms around the brunette's waist.  "Whatcha think?"

"Impressive, Counselor," Olivia murmured, turning her head to kiss the blonde's cheek affectionately.  "You recording this?"

"Serena's doing it for me," Alex said, waving a hand in the attorney's direction.  "I'm not going to hold it over his head like he was doing to me; I just want him to remember this in the morning.  Once he hears it, then I'll get him to delete his recording so that I'll delete mine."

"But not everyone else's," Olivia chuckled as she looked around at the cousins who were all hooting and hollering and egging Bryan on as he was now attempting to do… she actually wasn't sure what that was supposed to be, but whatever it was it needed to never be seen again.  "God, he really can't dance, can he?"

"Not a lick," Alex agreed as she watched Bryan try and shimmy.  "That was painful."


Alex laughed and looked over at Mandy who was laughing so hard she was crying and she was having trouble holding her phone steady.

"Your cousin sure brings the gay," Abbie drawled as she stopped behind Alex and wrapped her arms around both the ADA and Olivia.  "I mean, wow."

Alex laughed and leaned her head back onto Abbie's shoulder. "So, does the Grand Prankstess approve?"

"Given your limitations by 14C, yeah."

"Then my work here is done," Alex quipped as she returned her attention to Bryan who was now trying to dance with Adam and Paul, who had been dancing and singing along as well.  "Well, at least he picked the right couple to try and dance with."

"Yeah, but that's not dancing," Olivia murmured.

"Benson has a point," Abbie agreed.  "He's just kind of… humping Paul's leg.  Mandy, I think your boy needs to get some."

Mandy laughed and shook her head.  "My boy is going to pass out in the car the minute we leave the parking lot.  At this point, I'm debating talking the guys into helping me get him into the house or just leaving him passed out in the back seat."

Abbie grinned.  "God I love this family."

"Me too," Alex agreed softly as she looked out at her cousins who had dragged Bryan back out onto the dance floor and were doing some sort of a risqué bump-and-grind line dance.  She sighed as she brushed her lips over Olivia's ear, "You ready to get out of here, Liv?"

Olivia nodded.  "Ready when you are, sweetheart."

Alex hummed as she pressed her lips to Olivia's cheek.  "Let's go," she murmured as she reached down and pulled Abbie's hands off of them.  "Are you guys staying at the house, Carmichael?"

"Yeah, your mom set us up in the guest room next to yours," Abbie answered.  "So, try and keep it down tonight, eh?"

"Same goes to you," Alex agreed.  "We'll see you guys in the morning then, we're going to head out."

"Y'all have fun," Abbie drawled with a suggestive wink.

"I plan on it," Alex retorted, slipping her hand into Olivia's arm and nudging the detective toward the door.  She grabbed her shoes off of the table she'd left them on and slipped them onto her feet before she allowed Olivia to lead them out of the clubhouse and back to their car.

Alex smiled as Olivia opened the passenger door for her and rewarded the brunette's chivalry with a lingering kiss before she climbed in.  Once Olivia was behind the wheel, she reached over and took hold of the detective's hand, easily twining their fingers together over the gearshift as they pulled out of the nearly empty lot in front of the club.

"Did you have fun tonight?" Olivia asked softly.

"I did," Alex answered thoughtfully.  "It was nice to see some of my mom's old friends and let them meet you.  Did you have a good time?"

"I did."  Olivia nodded and lifted their joined hands to her lips so that she could press a lingering kiss to the back of the blonde's hand.  "It was a nice distraction from the last couple of days."

"It was that," Alex agreed.  "Have you thought any more on what my mom was saying about getting married in New York instead of Connecticut?"

Olivia shrugged and shot Alex her patented lopsided smirk.  "As long as I get to call you mine, I don't particularly care where we do it, sweetie.  I just want to marry you."

"I'd still like your opinion," Alex said.

"Well, if we did it closer to home it'd be easier for the guys to make it," Olivia mused.  "Are you still thinking something outdoors?"

Alex nodded.  "Yeah."

"So we could do something in Central Park, or else maybe out on Long Island somewhere."

"The Hamptons?" Alex suggested.

Olivia smiled.  "I could get used to the idea of marrying you on the beach."


Olivia laughed, knowing how much Alex loved going barefoot.  "I believe we could arrange that easily enough.  But don't you think we're getting ahead of ourselves?  I mean, the law hasn't been passed yet."

Alex shrugged as Olivia turned into the Cabot's driveway.  "Yeah, but… I dunno.  I like the idea of getting married where we live."

"Yeah," Olivia agreed as they crested the hill and began the meandering drive down to the house.  "I like that too."

Once the car was parked in front of the garage, Alex opened her door and climbed out of the car, shivering slightly as the chilly night air hit her heater-warmed skin.  The house was predictably silent as they entered, the kids were undoubtedly all fast asleep in the game room above the garage, and they made their way quietly up the stairs and down the hall to Alex's bedroom.

The blonde smiled as she squeezed Olivia's hand.  "Let me make love to you?" she asked.

Olivia felt her heart flutter into her throat as it always did whenever Alex asked her that question.  "Sweetie."

"Hmm, I'll take that as a yes," Alex murmured as she kicked her shoes off across the room and turned to wrap her arms around Olivia's waist.  "I love you."

"I love you," Olivia whispered as she tilted her head and met Alex's lips in a slow, sweet kiss.

They made their way toward the bedroom as they kissed, their hands sliding over buttons and zippers with a practiced ease of familiarity so that when they stopped beside the bed they were both wearing nothing but a lazy smile and their panties.

Alex licked her lips as she guided Olivia's underwear over her hips and once the brunette was bare before her she pushed gently against her hips, guiding her back onto the bed.  "Lie down on the pillows, baby," Alex husked as she pushed her own panties down over her hips.

Olivia groaned and did as instructed, her mouth going dry as she watched Alex crawl onto the bed and hover above her.  "How did I get so lucky?" she wondered aloud.

"I'm the lucky one," Alex murmured, running her right hand up Olivia's torso as she moved herself between the brunette's legs.  "You are so beautiful, Liv."

Olivia swallowed thickly, a whimper escaping her as Alex's breasts brushed over her own.  "Alex."

Alex smiled and leaned in to capture Olivia's lips in a deep, probing kiss as her right hand continued to draw faint lines over the brunette's torso, circling her breasts, running down toned abs, raking across already peaked nipples.  Once the kiss broke, she began laying a slow trail of kisses down the detective's throat, licking and nipping at the spots where she knew Olivia was particularly sensitive, before she brushed her lips over the plane of the brunette's chest.  She moaned softly as she ran her tongue around a pebbled nipple, her moan echoed by Olivia a moment later when she surrounded that bud with her lips and sucked against it.  She shifted her weight so that she could run her left hand down to cover Olivia's other breast as she began tweaking and rolling the brunette's right nipple in time with the nips and sucks she was delivering to her left.

Olivia's hips were beginning to rock under Alex as her body blindly searched for some sort of friction to help ease the throbbing between her legs, and she whimpered as she failed to find relief.  "Please baby," she husked as she pushed lightly against the top of Alex's head, trying to guide the blonde to where she needed her.

Alex smiled around the nipple she'd been teasing and hummed her understanding as she delivered a final hard suck to the bud before releasing it.  She looked up into her lover's dark eyes and winked as she swooped over to take the nipple she'd previously ignored into her mouth.  She knew what Olivia wanted, but that didn't mean she was going to give it to her right away.

Once the hand atop her head began pushing more forcefully against her, Alex finally relented and began trailing a line of kisses down Olivia's stomach, raking her nails down the brunette's sides as she went.  Her mouth began to water expectantly as the musky smell of Olivia's arousal grew stronger and stronger and once she was settled comfortably between the brunette's thighs, her hands wrapped lightly over the detective's hips, she purred her appreciation.  "You are so wet," she breathed, her words falling in a light stream over glistening folds.

She wrapped her hands around Olivia's thighs, pulling the brunette open wider before her as she dipped her head and ran her tongue up the length of her fiancée, tasting her fully before flicking her tongue lightly over the brunette's hooded clit.

Olivia moaned loudly as Alex's tongue laved through her, her hips rocking off the mattress toward the blonde's mouth, trying to force a firmer touch against her.  "Baby."

"Mmm," Alex hummed as she ran her tongue around the outside of Olivia's labia, taking extra time to make a couple half-circles around the base of the brunette's clit before she covered Olivia with her mouth and rolled her tongue through her.

"Jesus," Olivia grunted, her hands scrabbling across the bed in search of something to hold on to.

"Alex is fine," the blonde teased, her trademark smirk well in place as she looked up at Olivia.

Olivia groaned as she realized that Alex was still wearing her glassed.  God how she loved to watch Alex in her glasses.  "Fuck," she hissed as a fresh wave of arousal escaped her.

"Glasses?" Alex asked knowingly, arching a perfectly sculpted brow above her black frames.

"Mmm," Olivia mumbled, nodding as she watched Alex's tongue extend to lay a firm lick across her clit.  "Fuck."

Alex chuckled and began loving Olivia thoroughly with her mouth, making sure to cover every inch with licks and sucks, even a light nip or two where she knew the brunette would enjoy it, all while she looked up through the valley between Olivia's breasts into molten chocolate eyes.  She didn't need to look at what she was doing; she had long since memorized the terrain of this particular part of her fiancée's body. 

She knew that Olivia was close from the sounds the brunette was making and the way her hips were rocking frantically against her mouth so she delivered one last kiss to those most intimate lips before she replaced her mouth with her hand as she moved up Olivia's body, wanting nothing more than to watch her come undone. 

Stormy blue eyes stared lovingly into brown as lips crashed hungrily together in a deep, bruising kiss.  Alex pushed smoothly into Olivia as she thrust her tongue into the detective's mouth, matching the tempo of her fingers to her tongue so that with every plunge of her fingers, her tongue swept deep inside Olivia's mouth.

Olivia released her hold on the sheets to grab onto Alex's thin shoulders, her fingers digging into wiry muscle as her body raced closer and closer to release.  Alex's fingers were curling, twisting, scissoring inside her in the perfect rhythm that the blonde knew would set her flying until one last hard rock of Alex's hand against her clit, one last powerful curl of her fingers sent Olivia flying.

Alex groaned as Olivia trembled beneath her, the brunette's walls sucking her fingers deeper.  Once the first wave of Olivia's orgasm eased, she began stroking her through it, trying to extend her release for as long as possible.

"I love you," Alex whispered, nuzzling Olivia's cheek with her nose as she carefully pulled her fingers out of the brunette.

"Love you," Olivia murmured as she floated down from her high.  She opened her eyes to stare lovingly into Alex's and smiled at the warmth she saw looking back at her.  "You are amazing."

Alex smiled and ducked her head bashfully.  "You are."

"True," Olivia agreed as she playfully tickled the blonde's sides.  "But you really are amazing, Alex."

"Thank you," Alex whispered, dipping her chin and kissing Olivia tenderly.  One kiss led to another, which led to another still, and she groaned as she felt Olivia's hands glide lightly over her lower back to latch onto her ass.  "Liv?"

"My turn," Olivia husked as she pulled at the blonde's cheeks.

"You think so, do you?" Alex murmured as she kissed Olivia again.

"I do," Olivia retorted once Alex had pulled away.  "Now, get up here," she instructed lightly, again pulling against the blonde's backside.

"Liv…" Alex sighed as she understood what it was the brunette was asking for.

Olivia grinned and tugged again.  "Hands on the headboard, Ms. Cabot."

Alex bit her lip as her eyes rolled back in her head at the image Olivia's words created in her head.  She kissed the brunette one last time before she did as the brunette wanted, settling her knees on either side of the detective's head so that she was hovering directly above Olivia's mouth.

Olivia groaned at the sight of Alex's sex above her mouth and flicked her eyes up her fiancée's body as she ran her hands up the sides of the blonde's thighs.  "Headboard, sweetheart.  You're gonna need something to hold onto."

"Jesus," Alex whimpered as she felt Olivia's hands tighten around her hips, drawing her down to the brunette's eager mouth.  "Liv!" she cried out, her hands instinctively wrapping themselves around the top of the headboard as Olivia's tongue pushed inside her, sending a current of electricity coursing through her body.

Her hips began rocking against Olivia's mouth as much as they could with the brunette trying to hold her still.  She looked down her body at Olivia, who was looking back up at her even as the brunette's tongue was drawing ridiculously complicated patterns against her clit, and tried to smile as she reached down with her right hand to run her fingers through the detective's short hair.

Olivia purred as Alex's nails scraped across her scalp and she chuckled as the sound caused Alex's hips to jump against her mouth.  She whimpered softly as she watched the blonde's head fall back, jutting that perfect chest outward invitingly.  Unable to resist, she reached up with her left hand to pinch and roll Alex's right nipple between her thumb and forefinger as she began fucking the ADA slowly with her tongue.

Alex let out a keening moan at the intrusion, her hand that had been playing with Olivia's hair flying back up to the headboard.  "Liv!"

"Mmm," Olivia hummed against Alex's sex, releasing the nipple she'd been toying with to once again try and hold the blonde still.  Alex's hips set a steady rhythm against her mouth and she could tell from the fluttering around her tongue that the blonde was close, so terribly, terribly close.

Alex's chin dropped to her chest as she rode Olivia's mouth, her own mouth hanging open as she focused on the heat coiling in her hips, the way it was spreading through her body, making her legs tingle and her heart pound. 

"God Liv… so close… please baby… please… please Liv… Jesus so good… Liv… Liv… please…" Alex chanted breathlessly until deft fingers slipped over her hip to pinch her clit and send her flying with a screamed, "LIV!"

Olivia lapped eagerly at the wetness that flowed from Alex, making sure to gather every last drop onto her tongue only stopping once a shaking hand found its way back to her hair and an equally shaky voice said, "Please, no more."

Olivia groaned softly as she acquiesced to her lover's plea and gently guided the blonde down to her side, wrapping her arms around the thin attorney's waist and pulling her in close.  She smiled as Alex's mouth found hers, the blonde's tongue swooping boldly over her own as she tasted herself on Olivia's tongue.

Their kisses grew longer and sweeter until Alex pulled back with a sigh.  "I love you, Olivia."

"I love you, Alex," Olivia murmured as she pulled Alex's glasses off and set them onto the bedside table before drawing the blonde back down onto her, the younger woman's head automatically settling atop her chest as they snuggled.  She smiled at the way Alex pressed into her as she covered them both with the blanket and she knew that despite their nap that afternoon that Alex was completely spent. "Sweet dreams, baby."

"Mmm, sweet dreams," Alex replied sleepily as she closed her eyes and tried to snuggle even closer to her favorite pillow.



Olivia woke up the next morning to an otherwise empty bed and the sound of Alex's hairdryer roaring in the bathroom.  She groaned and cracked an eye open to look at the alarm clock on the bedside table, and groaned even louder when she saw the time.

It was barely after seven.

She huffed indignantly as she rolled onto her stomach and pulled Alex's pillow over her head.  It was the weekend, and she wasn't on call, there was no reason to wake up so early.  She closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep, the white noise of the hairdryer speeding her on her way until it was turned off and then, a few minutes later, an adorably, entirely too awake blonde pounced on her.  And not in the good way.

"Wake up, Liv," Alex crooned, as she pulled the pillow off of her fiancée's head and pressed a light, lingering kiss to the detective's cheek.

"Don' wanna," Olivia mumbled, screwing her eyes shut even tighter as she flailed blindly in search of the pillow Alex had stolen from her.  "Is too early.  Come back to bed."

Alex smiled and ran her tongue around the shell of Olivia's ear.  "While that sounds amazing, love, I need to get downstairs to get everything ready for Bryan's payback."

Olivia frowned.  "You made him sing and got it on tape.  What else is there?"

"The grand, morning-after reveal, of course," Alex replied, climbing off of the bed and swatting the brunette's ass.  "Come on, sexy.  We're burning daylight."

"Don't go starting trouble you have no intention of finishing, Counselor," Olivia warned.  "Is it even light out yet?"

Alex rolled her eyes.  "Yes.  And, fine.  Stay here if you want.  I'm going downstairs to get everything set up with Abbie."

"Why Carmichael?"

"Because she knows how to work the projector.  And then we need to go pick-up breakfast."

"Do I want to know?"

"Probably not," Alex chuckled.  "It's not bad though – I'm actually stealing a page from Abbie's book for that one.  Anyways, we should be done in an hour or so, so you don't want to sleep too much longer.  'Kay?"

"M'kay," Olivia murmured.  "Jus' five more minutes."

Alex shook head and kissed Olivia's cheek softly before she slipped her feet into her UGGs and left the room.  She knocked softly on Abbie's door and grinned when the Texan opened it almost immediately.

"Ready?" Abbie drawled.

Alex grinned and nodded.  "But of course.  How long do you think it'll take us to set it all up?"

"The projector – maybe fifteen minutes.  How far away is the shop?"

"Twenty.  I called them before I got in the shower and they promised it'll all be ready and waiting for us when we get there."

Abbie grinned.  "This is going to be awesome."

An hour later, the Cousins, with the exception of Bryan, who was still sleeping, gathered in the kitchen, nursing large cups of coffee and going over the plan.  Abbie was sitting on the island beside Alex, who was going over the detailed timeline of how things would progress. Olivia was sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, rolling her eyes at the thoroughness of Alex's scheme, and shooting glances at Serena, checking for signs of life.  Southerlyn had wandered downstairs not long after she had, but the blonde had forgone coffee and just laid her head down on the table – and she hasn't moved since. 

Carolyn and Maggie had popped their heads in during Alex's briefing just long enough to see what was going on before wishing the Cousins good luck and taking the kids to IHOP for breakfast – so that they'd be out of the house while their parents, aunts, and uncles had their fun.

And now it was show-time.

"Everybody know what we're going to do?" Alex asked.

Jake rolled his eyes. "Yes, Alex."

Abbie laughed and launched herself off of the counter.  "Then let's go!"

"I'm going to stay here with Serena," Olivia said as Alex stopped beside her.

Alex just grinned and dropped a quick kiss to the detective's forehead before she lead the way out of the kitchen, the cousins forming a line reminiscent of primary school when you had to line up to go anywhere behind her, and started upstairs.  Random giggles shattered the silence that surrounded the group (they were going for a stealth attack, after all), and when they stopped outside Bryan's room Alex looked back at Mandy and asked, "He's wearing pants, right?"

Mandy laughed and nodded.  "He never changed out of his clothes from last night, so you're safe."

"Thank god," John chuckled.

"Can I be the first one to jump on him?" Adam asked.

"I want to do it," Bryn argued.

Alex groaned and slapped her hand to her forehead.  The idea was to have all the boys jump on Bryan, but Alex couldn't say no if Bryn wanted to get a shot in on her brother.  "You can do it too," she said.  "Adam, let Bryn go first.  Bryn, after you hit him, roll off because then the rest of the guys are coming in and you don't want to be caught at the bottom of that pile.  Okay.  Now.  Everybody ready?"

Eleven heads nodded eagerly.

Abbie let out an evil laugh as she opened the door and waved the group inside.  They all tip-toed into the room and surrounded the bed where Bryan was still sleeping. 

"Ready?" Alex whispered.

"Humidity's rising, barometer's getting low…" Paul sang softly, nodding at Bryn to get ready.

The Cousins all sang along with Paul, their voices growing incrementally louder and louder until they shouted, "IT'S RAINING MEN!" and Bryn pounced on her brother, startling him awake, and then rolled off to the side as the rest of the male cousins jumped on top of him, all of them singing, "IT'S RAINING MEN!  HALLEILUJAH, IT'S RAINING MEN!"

Bryan screamed like a little girl under the combined weight of all the Cabot men that were dog-piled on top of him until they all rolled off the bed, tears streaming down their faces because they were laughing so hard. 

Bryan looked around his crowded bedroom and frowned.  "What was that for?"

"Your performance last night was so inspiring, we just couldn't resist an encore," Alex chuckled. 

"And you couldn't have waited until I was awake?" Bryan grumbled.  "Goddamn, my head hurts.  And, why is it so bright?"

Abbie laughed.  "Bry-guy, you know it's pretty gay to be hung over from Chardonnay, right?"

"Shut-up, Carmichael," Bryan whined, pressing the heels of his hands into his eye sockets.

"Get up, Bryan.  Breakfast is ready," Alex said, waving at the cousins to leave.  As the group trouped past her, laughing and high-fiving each other as they went, she looked at her cousin and grinned.  "Your special morning isn't over with yet, you singing star you.  I'll give you ten minutes to get downstairs before I send Adam up here with a fire extinguisher."

Bryan's eyes widened at the threat.  He could still picture the bill that Carolyn had sent him when he'd decided to surprise Adam and Paul by spraying them with the foam over New Years and had, inadvertently, destroyed what turned out to be an extremely expensive custom-made sofa.

Alex grinned at the deer-in-the-headlights look on her cousin's face and waggled her fingers at him in a jaunty little wave as she sing-songed, "Ten minutes!", and then scampered out the door.

She grinned as she wandered into the living room to find Abbie perched at the top of a twelve-foot ladder, holding the projector from the game room.  They hadn't been able to get it set up at the right angle to hit the large, blank wall above the fireplace, and the Texan had volunteered to climb up and hold it steady for the second part of Bryan's surprise.  Olivia and Serena were holding the ladder steady, and she winked at her fiancée as she took her spot in front of the group.

"Everybody ready for phase two?"

The Cousins laughed and nodded as she spaced themselves out and got ready.  Sure enough, exactly six minutes and forty seven seconds later (Adam was keeping track, he still owed Bryan for the fire extinguisher thing), Bryan rounded the bottom of the stairs, looked into the living room, and froze.

"Hit it, Carmichael!" Alex yelled.

Abbie grinned and hit play on Jake's phone, sending the digital video saved on it to the projector and up onto the wall.  On the ground, the cousins all started copying Bryan's cringe-worthy dance moves from the night before as the audio, recorded on Alex's phone and hooked up to the stereo system via an auxiliary cable, blared through the speakers in the room.

"Come on, Bry!" Jake yelled as he shimmied (much better than Bryan did, by the way).  "Show us how it's done!"

Bryan blushed and shook his head, but wasn't given much of a choice when Adam and Paul grabbed him and dragged him into the room where they began grinding against him in a manner similar to how he had tried to dance with them the night before.  Of course, they looked like they actually knew what they were doing, but that was besides the point.

Once the song ended the cousins all started clapping and whooping, and they waited for Abbie to climb down off the ladder before they all but frog-marched Bryan into the kitchen for his final 'surprise' of the morning.

The group all laughed when Bryan froze in his tracks and groaned.  "Seriously, guys?"

"Seriously, big man," Alex chuckled as she waved a hand at the collection of Boston Cream donuts, which were iced in a rainbow of colors, each one with a hand-piped man falling from the sky on it.  They had cost the ADA a small fortune, but she just couldn't resist.  Plus, this way the donuts were no longer reserved solely for the torment of herself and Olivia; they became something like a family thing to celebrate something embarrassing.  "You like?"

"Are they Boston Creams?" Bryan asked.

Alex grinned and nodded, a small giggle spilling from her lips as she heard Olivia his, "Yes!" behind her. 

"Pretty good, Alex," he chuckled.

Alex grinned and backed away.  "I'm glad you think so," she said nodding at Adam and Paul, who had snuck up behind Bryan with pie tins full of whipped cream and sprinkles.  "Now, since I got a wonderful foil trophy for my vocal performance, are you ready for your prize?"

Bryan nodded hesitantly.  "Okay, sure."

"Wait.  First, I want to see you delete the recording of me from your phone," Alex instructed.  She rolled her eyes when he didn't move immediately and said, "I'll delete my recording of you as well."

Bryan nodded and pulled his phone from his pocket, pulled up the audio file, and deleted the track marked 'Alex's Big O'.  "There, happy?"

"Immensely," Alex said as she showed her cousin that his file was also deleted from her phone.

"Wonderful," Bryan drawled.  "So, we're even?"

"Yeah.  Here's your trophy," she said, waving at Abbie to hand Bryan the trophy the Texan had busied herself with making while they were driving to and from the specialty donut shop.

The Cousins roared with laughter as Bryan automatically reached for the trophy.  His eyes grew big as sauces as he realized what it was fashioned to look like, which only made the Cousins laugh harder.

"You handed me a giant foil penis!" he screeched.

"And I got a picture of you holding it," Jake chuckled, waving his phone in front of Bryan's face.

"You suck," Bryan pouted.

"I do," Alex grinned.

"She does," Olivia piped up, waggling her brows suggestively.

"We do too!" Adam and Paul said as they attacked, Adam smearing the plate of whipped cream over Bryan's head and then backing away so Paul could dump his plate full of man-shaped sprinkles on top of the cream, so that it looked like a rainbowed collection of men had rained down on his head.

"Eww!" Bryan yelled as he wiped at his eyes.

"Don't be a pussy, Bryan," Abbie said, smacking the man upside the head for good measure.  "It's pathetic.  Now, I call dibs on the orange donut!" she said, reaching for the donut in question, and spurring the rest of the people gathered in the kitchen to action – each of them fighting for their preferred color of donut as Bryan ducked away to shower.

It wasn't long after the group had finished eating and cleaning up after themselves, and made their way into the game room above the garage that Carolyn, Maggie, and James returned with all of the kiddos, who were now completely hyped up on chocolate-chip pancakes and whipped cream.

"How did it go?" Carolyn asked as she looped an arm around her youngest child's waist.

Alex grinned.  "Perfectly.  Thank you, for this weekend.  We had a lot of fun."

"It was my pleasure, sweetheart.  How is Olivia feeling?"

Alex looked over to the corner of the room where Olivia and Abbie were locked in a fierce battle of Duck Hunt and yelling at each other that the other one was cheating as they elbowed each other out of the way to try and get the better angle to shoot from.  "She's doing okay.  Thankfully it really was just a scratch."

"Well, I'm glad she's feeling better," Carolyn said, shaking her head as she watched the detective in question shoved Abbie to the ground in order to get the last bird on the screen and win the game.  "When are you guys heading back?"

"Probably soon," Alex said.  "I'd like to stay longer, but I have a deposition tomorrow morning at ten that I need to prepare for and I can't really do that in the car."

"I understand, sweetie," Carolyn murmured, smiling as she bussed a kiss to her daughter's cheek.  "I'm just glad you two were able to make it up for the dinner last night."

"Me too," Alex said, smiling as she turned and pulled her mother into a hug.  "Really… just, thank you, for everything.  For accepting Olivia, for dinner, for everything."

Carolyn smiled and squeezed Alex tight.  "Sweetie, it's kind of hard not to love Olivia – she's perfect for you.  As for everything else, it was nothing, really.  I'm happy to be able to do stuff like that for you girls," she said as she pulled away.  "Did you two talk about the possibility of getting married in New York?"

Alex nodded.  "Yeah.  If it passes, which I'm afraid to even think about because I don't want to jinx it, we'd probably want to get married on the beach somewhere."

Carolyn smiled knowingly.  "Barefoot, I assume.  If you'd like to do it in the Hamptons, I'm sure Maggie would let you guys use her house."

Alex smiled.  "I hoped that might be the case.  If the law passes, then I'll call her up and ask."

"I think that sounds like an excellent plan," Carolyn said, smiling as a grinning Olivia joined them.  "Nice shooting, detective."

Olivia smirked and ducked her head.  "Thanks.  Um, there aren't any airsoft guns here, are there?"

"Of course.  They're in the garage, why?" Carolyn said.

Olivia looked at Alex and said, "We probably need to get going A-SAP."

Alex rolled her eyes.  "Why?  What did you do now?"

"I didn't do anything," Olivia argued.  "Abbie said she was going to get some airsoft guns and then challenged me to a duel.  I think I wounded her ego by beating her at Duck Hunt."

"You are not dueling Abbie with airsoft guns," Alex said, rubbing her forehead.  Sometimes she really wondered how in the world Abbie Carmichael had managed to ever become a Federal Prosecutor.

"I know," Olivia said, looking around the room for any sign of Carmichael.  "But…"

Alex shook her head.  "No.  No buts.  There will be no more guns pointed at you, real or otherwise, for the rest of the month."

Olivia smirked.  "The rest of the month?  It's only the 13th, Counselor.  What are you going to do, handcuff me to my desk."

Carolyn chuckled and placed a well-meaning hand on Olivia's shoulder.  "Detective, I wouldn't give her any ideas," she said.  "Now, Alex said you guys need to get going so I just wanted to say goodbye.  I hope you had a fun time this weekend?"

Olivia smiled and pulled Carolyn into a warm embrace.  "I had a ball.  Thank you."

"Take care of my daughter," Carolyn whispered.

"As long as she'll let me," Olivia murmured, winking at Alex over her mother's shoulder.  "You ready to go, sweetie?" she asked once the Cabot matriarch let her go.

Alex nodded.  "Yeah.  Just let me say goodbye to everybody and then I'll go get our bags."

"I can…" Olivia started to argue but stopped when she saw the absolutely murderous look Alex was giving her.  "Follow you around and say goodbye too," she finished lamely.

Carolyn chuckled and made a whipping nose.  "Call me when you get home, so I know you made it safely," she said, smiling at her daughter as she left her alone with her fiancée.

"I love your mother," Olivia said as she watched Carolyn pick up the Duck Hunt gun and challenge one of the grandkids to a game.

"She's one of a kind," Alex agreed.  "Come on, let's get outta here."



Alex sighed as she reached for her ringing telephone. It was late on a Thursday or early on a Friday, depending on how one wanted to look at it, and she was at the office burning the midnight oil for a trial that was set to begin the following Tuesday. Normally she would have been home already, curled up in bed with Olivia, but the detective was on a call in the Village so she figured she may as well get some work done while the brunette was out so that they might actually be able to spend some time together that weekend. Months had passed since their engagement dinner; the marriage bill had passed, allowing them to actually be married in the state of New York; and there were wedding preparations that still needed to be nailed down.

"Cabot," she answered, her name coming out sounding like a yawn.

"Hey sweetie," Olivia said, and the blonde could hear the smile in her fiancée's voice. "Are you at home?"

"Umm, no, still at the office working on trial prep. We're supposed to go up to Maggie's place in Southampton to look at possible locations for our vows on Saturday, so since you're working I figured it'd be best if I was too, so that we could sneak away for a bit this weekend. What's up?"

"Who's on call for warrants? Petrovsky?"

"Yes. Why? Did you guys get something?"

"Yeah. Witnesses say they saw a guy named Jesse Ramos leaving the scene where the woman was found."

"Alright," Alex said, scribbling a note to herself with the victim's name. "Do you have an address?"

"Yeah 12546 West Perry, Apartment 3C."

"I will wake Petrovsky and bring this out to you myself once I have it signed. I'm assuming you guys are bringing him in for questioning?"

"A unit is on the way to pick him up now. We'll let him sit until we're done having a look around."

"Sounds good. I'll call you when I have it."

"Thanks, Alex."

Alex smiled. "Love you."

"Mmm, ditto," Olivia replied. "See you soon, Counselor."

Alex rolled her eyes at the brunette's response and pulled up Petrovsky's private number. The judge answered on the third ring and five minutes later, she had verbal approval for the warrant. Thirty minutes after that, she had a faxed document allowing the detectives to search Jesse Ramos' apartment and vehicle in her satchel and she was walking out of the tower, smiling politely at the night security guard who pressed the elevator call button that would take her down to the underground parking garage as she approached.

Even in the pre-dawn hours of the morning, the city was abuzz with activity, and she sighed as she sat through yet another red light, her fingers drumming mindlessly on the steering wheel as she waited for the light to change. Once it did, she tiredly finished the drive to find Olivia and Elliot sitting in their cruiser outside the suspect's apartment. She parked a few spaces behind them, too tired to be impressed that she was actually able to secure a parking space, and climbed out of the car to walk up the sidewalk and knock on the passenger-side window.

She waved the warrant as a peace offering because she saw that Olivia had been startled and already had her hand on her gun, and smiled softly at her fiancée as she stepped back to allow the brunette to exit the vehicle. "Hi."

"Note to the incredibly beautiful blonde," Olivia murmured, closing the car door behind her and walking up to Alex. "It's not wise to sneak up on policemen."

"Duly noted," Alex replied, smirking as she held the warrant out for her detective. "Here you are, milady. Entire apartment, any storage units located in the building, and his vehicle are all covered."

Olivia took the proffered warrant and skimmed through it. "Any restrictions?"

"None. She was in a surprisingly good mood and didn't even make me jump through hoops for this one," Alex said, as she watched Stabler round the front of the detective's car. "Hello, Elliot."

"Counselor," Elliot replied, tipping his head in greeting. "We got it?"

"Was there any doubt?" Alex retorted, grinning.

Elliot shook his head. "I learned long ago to never doubt you, Ms. Cabot."

Olivia rolled her eyes at the pair and reached out to touch Alex's arm to get the blonde's attention. "You going to wait here or…?"

Alex smiled and shrugged. "I thought I would follow you guys up. There's no point in me going home or back to the office, because if he's as solid of a suspect as he seems to be, I'm going to need to be at the precinct when you interview him anyway."

Olivia nodded, the right side of her mouth quirking up in the lopsided grin Alex adored. "Well, then let's get going," she said, waving at the apartment building.

The inside of the building was cramped and dirty, the floors a grimy brown and ivory linoleum checkerboard pattern and the walls a dingy gray covered in handprints and who knew what else. The building was old enough that it was a walk-up, and the trio begrudgingly took to the stairs, each of them tired enough to actually grunt their annoyance at the lack of an elevator.

"Two more months until the wedding, right?" Elliot asked, trying to start a conversation as they rounded the second floor and started up another flight of stairs. "Kathy is super-excited, by the way."

Alex smiled. "I'm glad. And, yes. Work allowing, we're supposed to go out to Maggie's this weekend to look at locations for the vows."

"I thought you were doing it at her place in the Hamptons?" Elliot asked.

"We are," Olivia said.

"The property fronts about two hundred feet of private beach, and there is a large lawn as well. We just need to figure out where we want everything set up so that my mother can arrange it all with the company we're renting the tables and other stuff from," Alex said, shooting her fiancée a look as the finally hit the third floor. "You okay?" she whispered.

Olivia ran a hand through her hair and nodded. "Yeah, just tired."

"Is the victim going to make it?" Alex asked, as they stopped in front of a battered brown-painted door with a tarnished brass '3C' tacked to the middle of it.

"It's still touch and go. She's in surgery. He cut her up pretty good," Olivia said, smoothing her hair back down. "We got the key from the super while we were waiting for you," she said, as Elliot unlocked the door.

Alex nodded and followed the detectives inside the cramped, sparsely decorated apartment. The main living area consisted of a tiny kitchenette that was full of dirty pots, pans, and dishes, and a sitting area that had a threadbare loveseat and a large flatscreen television. The attorney shoved her hands into the pockets of her coat and followed Olivia around the apartment, looking for anything that might help tie their suspect to the victim.

"Um, yeah. There you go," Alex said, pointing at the overflowing hamper in the man's closet.

Olivia looked into the messy closet and nodded. "Good job, babe. El, we got something!" she called out to her partner, as she gingerly began sorting the clothes. Ramos had stuffed his bloodied jeans in the bottom of the hamper.

"And lookit what I found," Elliot drawled, as he entered the room, a plastic evidence bag holding a small, four-inch serrated hunting knife in his hand. "There's some blood in the grooves of the handle."

Alex smiled sadly. The evidence was good, but the reason they had it was because a woman was attacked. "Well done, detectives. Get the jeans and whatever other clothes have blood on them to the lab and we'll do a blood-type comparison while we wait for DNA."

Olivia and Elliot nodded obediently and forty-five minutes later, after combing through Jesse Ramos' apartment for any other evidence that might help them connect him to the crime, the trio walked into the sixteenth precinct, shoulder-to-shoulder.

"Where is he?" Elliot asked Cragen, as he dropped his lightweight coat over the back of his chair.

"Room One," the Captain answered. "Alex, thanks for coming in."

Alex smiled and shrugged, as she dropped her set her satchel onto Olivia's desk. "Not a problem, Don. I was at the office working anyways," she said, taking off her coat and folding it over her bag as she watched Olivia step away to answer her cell. She watched the brunette carefully, and sighed as she watched the detective's shoulders slump.

"She didn't make it," Olivia said, as she slipped her phone back into her pocket.

Alex bit her lip and nodded as Elliot swore softly and Cragen just sighed. "So, we add Murder 1 to the laundry list," the attorney said.

"Let's go get him," Elliot said, clenching and unclenching his fists a couple of times before he stalked across the bullpen to the interrogation room.

Alex watched as Olivia nodded and followed him, and gave Cragen a sad look before following after the detectives to watch the impending interrogation from the observation area. She crossed her arms over her chest as she watched Olivia take the seat opposite Ramos, noticing the way the brunette's shoulders tensed as she looked the man in the eye. Olivia Benson was a formidable woman to begin with, but the blonde had no doubt that right now those warm, expressive brown eyes she loved to get lost in were cold and hard, and promising nothing but pain and misery.

"Mr. Ramos. You are aware that you have the right to representation?" Olivia asked.

The man nodded. "I don't want a lawyer."

"The court will appoint an attorney to oversee your case at no charge to you, should you not be able to afford private counsel."

"I don't need a damned lawyer," Ramos repeated.

"Idiot," Alex muttered, as she watched the detectives share a look that said, 'let's do it'.

Alex and Cragen watched as Olivia and Elliot went back and forth with the suspect, firing questions at the man so quickly that he didn't have a chance to really think. He'd deny whatever one of them said and then the other would jump in, harsh questions and accusations full of vitriol hurled one after another until he was a stuttering mess and eventually admitted to the crime.

Alex watched proudly as Olivia placed him under arrest, and went out to use the detective's phone to make sure that he would be arraigned first thing that morning. A few choice words with the scheduling clerk later, and she had managed to get him into the number one spot on the docket. She sighed and glanced at her watch before running her hands through her hair. It was now after four a.m. and Ramos' arraignment would be at nine – which meant that she could maybe sneak in three hours of sleep, if she were to go home now.

Olivia yawned and ran her hands through her hair, mussing the short strands as she approached her desk. "Cap said that El and I don't have to be back until noon. You want to go home?"

Alex nodded. "Yeah. I could use a power nap before I have to get to the courthouse. I got Ramos squeezed into the first round of arraignment hearings."

"Let's go then," Olivia said, reaching out and holding up the blonde's jacket for her. She smiled as Alex slipped into the suit coat and picked up the attorney's bag. "I got it, "she said, before the blonde could argue.

Alex smiled and ducked her head. "Thanks." She tucked her hand into Olivia's arm and allowed the detective to lead them out of the precinct to her car.

The drive back to the apartment was quiet, and neither woman wasted any time stripping out of her clothes once they were in their bedroom. Alex set her alarm for three hour's time, and climbed into bed wearing nothing but black lace panties, Olivia quickly following in her boyshorts.

"Mmm, I love you," Alex murmured, as she wrapped herself around Olivia and laid her head on the brunette's shoulder.

Olivia smiled and pressed a soft kiss to the blonde's forehead. "I love you too, Alex," she whispered. "Is your alarm set?"

"Mmm," Alex hummed, already halfway to dreamland. "Yeah."

"Okay," Olivia murmured, exhausting pulling her eyes closed as she cradled her fiancée to her chest.

The rest of Friday thankfully passed in an unexciting blur. Ramos was arraigned first-thing, and Alex spent the rest of the day locked in her office preparing for her trial. Olivia and Elliot spent to day working on the stack of DD5s that were piled on their desks, and when five o'clock rolled around Cragen sent the two detectives home for the weekend, telling them that since Fin and Munch were on call that he didn't expect to see them until Monday.

"You want a ride home?" Elliot asked Olivia, spinning his keys around on his index finger.

Olivia smiled and shook her head. "Nah, but thanks. I think I'm just going to go pick up some food and then surprise Alex at her office. When I talked to her after Ramos' arraignment, she said that she was going to be working late again so I'm going to need to feed her and then kidnap her so she gets some sleep."

Elliot nodded his understanding and gave her a warm smile. "You're a good wife, you know that?"

Olivia rolled her eyes and crumbled up a piece of paper to throw at the man. "Shut up."

"What?" Elliot protested, laughing as he backed away from their desks. "It's not a bad thing. I think it's nice, the way you take care of her."

"Yeah, well. Somebody's gotta – and lord knows she's too stubborn to let anybody else do it," Olivia chuckled. "I'll walk out with you. I'm thinking I'll swing by Forlini's and pick up some food that's a little bit healthier than Chinese take-out."

"They have the best eggplant parmesan," Elliot said, the words sounding almost like a moan of pleasure.

"They do," Olivia agreed. "I was thinking maybe vegetable lasagna and a salad, though."

"That sounds good too. You know… maybe I'll pick that up for dinner too. I bet Kath would love it if I brought something home so that she didn't have to cook."

"You just want to get the eggplant parm made into a hero to eat on the drive home, don't you?" Olivia asked, already knowing the answer.

"Maybe," Elliot drawled, grinning at the brunette. "But I'll eat the lasagna too. Come on, I'll drive, you can call in the orders, and then I'll drop you by Alex's office before heading home."

Alex looked up from the opening statement she was editing as the door to her office swung open. She smiled tiredly at her fiancée, her eyes focusing on the large brown bag cradled in the detective's arms. "Mmm, smells delicious," she sighed, pushing back from her desk and walking around to sit next to Olivia on the sofa. "Italian?" she asked, taking a deep breath and inhaling the savory scent of tomato sauce and herbs.

"Forlini's," Olivia confirmed, setting a plastic-lidded aluminum container in front of the attorney. "Vegetable lasagna."

Alex licked her lips and eagerly opened the container Olivia had set in front of her. "My favorite," she said, her stomach growling hungrily as she looked over her food.

"I know," Olivia chuckled, handing the blonde a plastic knife and fork. "Here. Silverware, as much as it is. So, you know, you don't have to use your fingers," she said, as she watched Alex dig a piece of zucchini out of the lasagna and pop it into her mouth.

The attorney let out a long, low, entirely indecent moan as she chewed and smirked when she saw the brunette flush. "Sorry."

Olivia cleared her throat. "No. No. I mean, I'm glad you like it," the brunette said. "Although, I can't remember the last time you moaned like that for me so, you know, I'm more than a little jealous of your food right now. But that's okay."

Alex smiled and rolled her eyes as she reached out and pulled her fiancée in for a deep, passionate kiss. She let out an even louder moan than before when the brunette sucked on her tongue and smiled when the need for air forced her to pull away. "Mmm, better?"

"Much," Olivia agreed, handing the blonde a smaller container that held a dinner Caesar. "Salad."

"You are too good to me," Alex murmured, as she tore the top off the salad and speared a couple leaves of lettuce. "I mean, seriously, Liv. This is too much. Thank you."

"You're welcome," Olivia said, smiling warmly at the attorney. "And, for the record, it isn't possible to be too good to you."

"Mmm," Alex hummed, smiling and pointing her fork at the brunette as she chewed. "Very sweet, Benson. But I'm so tired that I doubt even your smooth lines are going to be getting you any."

Olivia laughed and shook her head. A part of her had been looking forward to making love to Alex, but she could more than understand that the blonde was tired. "That's okay. I would, however, like to take my future wife home at a somewhat human hour and just cuddle."

Alex nodded and cut off another bite of lasagna. "I think that can be arranged," she said, spearing the bite she'd cut with her fork. "I will probably need you to drive out to Maggie's tomorrow, though, so I can review some case law that might be relevant to the trial."

"I figured as much," Olivia said, as she picked up her own set of plastic cutlery. "You ready?"

Alex covered her mouth with the back of her hand so she could talk around the food in her mouth without appearing rude. "I am. I just really want to make sure I get the 'W' on this one."

Olivia chuckled and speared a bite of lasagna. "Babe, when don't you want to win?"

"Never," Alex agreed, smiling. "But, still. I just want to finish my opening statement tonight before I go home."

Olivia nodded. "Okay. Then I'll just hang out on the couch and read that book I left here the other day while you finish up."

"You don't have to do that," Alex argued, as she took another bite of her dinner.

"I do," Olivia retorted. "Because, like I said before, I plan on taking my fiancée home and spending some quality time cuddling in bed before we have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive out to Southampton. And I know that if I leave you here alone, you'll pass out at your desk and I'll have to come carry you out of here."

"If you say so," Alex drawled, rolling her eyes as she took another bite of her salad.

After their dinner was finished, Olivia took care of the trash as Alex settled back down at her desk. She worked for a couple more hours on her opening statement, muttering the lines under her breath as she worked, testing the weight and cadence of each sentence until it was a perfectly honed argument that would hold any jury's attention. She grinned as she tossed her glasses down onto the legal pad she'd been using and leaned back in her chair to stretch as she let out a loud sigh of relief.

"Done," she announced.

Olivia looked up from the novel she was reading and smiled. "Good," she said, flipping her wrist over to look at her watch. "And before eight o'clock. I'm impressed."

"Well, you know," Alex said, smirking as she pushed herself to her feet. "I try. Now, rumor had it that my sexy fiancée wanted to go home and snuggle?"

Olivia nodded. "Always, Counselor," she said, moving her bookmark to hold her page and setting the book down on the small table in front of the couch. "Can I leave this here?"

Alex shrugged and began shoving miscellaneous notes and files into her satchel to take home. "If you want," she said, as she flipped the flap on her satchel closed.

Olivia stood and stretched, arching her back and pulling her arms up over her head. "Yeah. That way I have something to do when I'm sitting here next week waiting for you," she said.

"You could wait at home," Alex said, in a soft, warm voice.

"Yeah, but then I'd never see you," Olivia said as she dropped her arms to her side and flashed the attorney her patented lopsided grin as she quickly crossed the small office and grabbed the attorney's bag, slinging it over her shoulder like she had the night before.

"You know, I find this schoolgirl carrying my book-bag thing very endearing," Alex said, walking around her desk to press a soft, lingering kiss to Olivia's lips.

"Good," Olivia murmured, smiling as she leaned in and captured the blonde's lips in another kiss. "Now, let's go. We can make-out at home."

Alex let out a low, throaty laugh and shook her head as she motioned for Olivia to go first. She used her keys that were in the pocket of her coat to lock up after them, and linked her arm through the brunette's as they strolled down the hall to the elevator. Five minutes later, they were in the underground parking garage and climbing into the blonde's BMW.

The ride home was quiet, much like the trip they'd made earlier that morning, but this time it was a comfortable silence instead of an exhausted one. They could talk and carry on a conversation, but they didn't need to. They were at the point where a conversation could be had with just a look, a sigh, or a smile; and instead of filling the air with words, Olivia allowed Alex to take the time as an opportunity to decompress. She knew the attorney would need some time to switch off the lawyer side of her brain and relax into being just Alex.

By the time they reached their apartment building, the detective could tell that the attorney had finally switched off her brain and she smiled as she pulled into the blonde's assigned parking space. She clucked disapprovingly when Alex tried to retrieve her satchel from the backseat and smirked triumphantly when the blonde pulled her arm back and left the bag for her.

"Thank you," Olivia murmured, as she climbed out of the car and slipped the strap over her shoulder. She smiled at the blonde over the roof of the little sports car as she slammed the door shut and let out a quiet laugh when Alex rolled her eyes and shook her head at her.

"Yeah, whatever," the blonde murmured, the soft smile on her lips negating the quasi-affronted air she was projecting.

"Oh, shove it, Cabot," Olivia chuckled, rounding the back of the car and looping her arm around the blonde's waist. "I love you."

Alex sighed and leaned into the brunette's body as they walked. "Love you too, Liv."

Olivia licked her lips and smiled as she turned her head and pressed a quick kiss to the blonde's cheek. "Lucky me," she murmured, reaching out and punching the elevator call button.

"Yeah," Alex agreed, laughing as the doors opened and she walked out of Olivia's embrace. "You coming?" she asked, as she punched the button for their floor.

"Not yet," Olivia drawled. "I thought you were too tired."

Alex rolled her eyes dramatically as the elevator doors closed in front of them. "You've been spending too much time with Carmichael. And, I thought you were too tired to get it up?"

"I only said that because you looked too tired to put out," Olivia retorted, giving the blonde her most charming smile.

"I can't believe you said that," Alex chortled, shaking her head at her fiancée. "I mean, seriously? Where's the romance, huh?"

"It's just hidden under layers and layers of horny," Olivia drawled, waggling her brows suggestively.

"So if I said I was ready to go right now, what would you say?" Alex challenged as she watched the numbers on the display above the doors climb higher and higher. They had three more floors to go until they got to their floor.

Olivia sighed and turned to wrap her arms around Alex's waist. "I'd say," she murmured, nuzzling the blonde's cheek affectionately, "that I would never, ever pass up an opportunity to make love to you."

Alex looped her arms around Olivia's neck and hummed her approval. "There's that romance I was looking for," she whispered, smiling as she leaned in and kissed the brunette softly.

"Told you it was there. It was just hiding under the horny," Olivia said, brushing her lips against the blonde's.

The elevator dinged as it arrived at their floor and they smiled at each other as they broke apart. Olivia held her arm over the open door for Alex to exit the car first, and chuckled softly at the way the blonde purposefully brushed against her as she passed. "Tease."

Alex flashed the brunette a grin over her shoulder and winked. "It's only teasing if I don't deliver, Detective."

Olivia just shook her head and followed Alex down the hall to their door. Habit had her casting a wary eye around them as the attorney unlocked the door and she sighed once it opened and they were able to go inside. She set the satchel she was carrying on the console table beside the door before starting down the hall after the blonde, who she watched disappear into their large walk-in closet.

"Can I help you?" Alex asked teasingly, as she heard Olivia walk into the closet behind her.

"I don't know, can you?" Olivia asked, as she pulled the sweater she'd been wearing off over her head and tossed it into the dry cleaning hamper.

"I dunno," Alex retorted, slipping out of her skirt and tossing it on top of Olivia's sweater. She unbuttoned her blouse and threw it into the hamper as well, absently noting that one of them was going to have to drop the bag off at the cleaners on Monday.

Olivia hummed noncommittally and shucked her jeans as she watched Alex finish undressing, removing her own bra in sync with the attorney until they were both clad in nothing but their underwear. "I think there might be something you can do," Olivia murmured, moving in behind the blonde and wrapping her arms around her waist.

Alex sighed happily and relaxed into her lover's body, relishing the feeling of Olivia's naked breasts pressing into her back as the brunette's hands began smoothing up and down her stomach. The verbal banter they'd been sharing had been fun, but now she just wanted to reconnect with her fiancée. "Take me to bed," she whispered.

"Gladly," Olivia whispered, dipping her head to press a lingering kiss to the sensitive hollow beneath the blonde's ear. A low moan rumbled deep in her throat as Alex's head tilted to the side and the blonde's hands covered her own and moved them higher until she was palming her breasts, squeezing and kneading the firm mounds in time with the kisses she was delivering to her throat. "Come on," she murmured, squeezing her hands again and walking them backwards out of the closet.

Alex allowed herself to be led into the bedroom and smiled at her lover as they reached the bed. Blue eyes held brown captive as she climbed onto the bed, scooting back on the mattress until her head was resting on the pillows. "Mmm, baby," she murmured, licking her lips as she watched Olivia crawl onto the bed beside her.

Olivia smiled and laid on her side next to Alex, reaching down with her right hand to pull the sheet and blanket up over them. "It's a little chilly," she said, answering the unspoken question in the blonde's eyes.

"Then let me warm you up," Alex purred, taking off her glasses and tossing them onto the bedside table with her left hand as her right wrapped itself around the brunette's neck and pulled her down into a slow, deep, passionate kiss.

Olivia moaned softly into the kiss and rolled so that she was half on top of the blonde as their mouths opened and their tongues stroked lazily together. Hands began to roam over familiar curves, and the brunette smiled when Alex arched into her touch when her thumb brushed over the blonde's already erect nipple. "You like that?" she husked, repeating the movement and dragging her thumb over the nub.

"When don't I?" Alex whispered, dragging her left hand down over the brunette's shoulder so she was able to return the favor.

Olivia whimpered when the blonde's fingers pinched her nipple and hesitated for only a moment before she took Alex's hand in her own and lifted it up onto the pillow. She wrapped her left hand around the blonde's wrist, holding it in place, and smirked as she dragged her nails down the underside of the attorney's upstretched arm. "I want you," she murmured, dipping her chin and kissing the blonde softly.

"Liv," Alex mewled, as the brunette's fingers swirled around her breast.

Olivia smiled and shook her head. "Later," she breathed, abandoning her touch on Alex's breast to trail random circles down her abdomen until she was able to run her fingers back and forth across the top of the blonde's panties. "I need this," she whispered. "I need you."

Alex understood what Olivia was saying immediately and sighed as she nodded; acquiescing to the brunette's needs and giving herself over to her touch. There were times, after certain cases, where the detective needed to lose herself in their lovemaking. Not to hide from what had happened, though the attorney doubted the brunette was thinking of anything beyond the moment, but to reassure herself that she was still there. That Alex was still there. She didn't need to be touched, but rather needed to be the one doing the touching – and it was always a hit or miss proposition as to whether she would even allow Alex to touch her.

She rolled her left leg out to the side as Olivia's fingers continued to skate back and forth between her hipbones and lifted her chin to kiss the brunette, opening her mouth and inviting her fiancée's tongue out to play. She moaned softly when Olivia's tongue circled her own, the moan turning into a groan when the brunette's fingers slipped down over her mound and began stroking her through the material of her panties.

"Alex," Olivia murmured, as she felt the heat emanating from her fiancée's center.

Alex hummed softly as Olivia's continued to stroke up and down her center, her hips rocking against the brunette's hand as the brunette's fingers pressed soft circles against her clit after each lap. "Touch me," Alex husked plaintively, when Olivia's hand stopped moving and just covered her possessively.

Olivia's eyes rolled back in her head and she licked her lips. "I love you," she whispered, sliding her palm up over Alex's mound before pushing it down under the waistband of the blonde's panties. "Jesus," she muttered, as her fingers sank into a veritable ocean of desire.

"Mmm, baby," Alex murmured, rolling her hips into Olivia's hand beseechingly.

"God you feel good," Olivia breathed, two fingers slipping wetly over the blonde's clit.

Alex bit her lip and arched up into Olivia, a low, rich moan tumbling from her lips when the brunette ducked down and sucked her nipple into her mouth, sucking and nipping at the nub in time with the fingers rubbing against her below. "So good," she gasped, as Olivia's fingers press up hard into her clit and the brunette bit down on her nipple. "Fuck."

Olivia smiled and pulled back, stretching the nipple she'd been toying with to its limit before letting it scrape through her teeth. She puckered her lips and blew a steady stream of air over the pebbled nub, watching it tighten in front of her before she laid a broad, flat lick over it, drawing a hiss of pleasure from her lover's lips; and growled softly as she moved up to reclaim the blonde's lips in a deep, probing kiss, thrusting her tongue inside Alex's mouth and stroking her tongue with her own.

Alex tore her mouth away, gasping for air and grunting in surprise when Olivia pushed two fingers inside her, her hips automatically bucking up into the brunette's hand, trying to draw her deeper. "Oh, baby," she grunted.

Olivia smiled and kissed the tip of the blonde's nose affectionately. "I love you," she murmured, as she curled her fingers inside their warm velvet sheath to rub against hidden ridges as she pulled out. "So much," she whispered, thrusting into the blonde again before pulling out slowly. She set a steady rhythm of slow, purposeful thrusts into to Alex and before long she felt the blonde's walls fluttering around her fingers.

"Let me hold you," Alex pleaded, as she writhed under her lover.

Olivia groaned and released her hold on Alex's wrist. "Mmm, baby," she whimpered, when the blonde's fingers began stroking up and down her arm, from shoulder to wrist, where it disappeared into her panties, and then back up again.

Alex smiled softly as she felt goose bumps erupt on Olivia's skin the wake of her touch and rolled her hips up harder into the brunette's hand, drawing a quiet mewl from her lips. That was the sign that she'd been looking for; the sign that Olivia needed to be touched as much as she needed to touch. "Please, sweetheart," she murmured, wrapping her hand around the detective's bicep and squeezing tight.

"Please, what?" Olivia teased, grunting in surprise when the blonde's leg worked its way between her own and pressed up into her center. "Alex."

"Make me come," Alex husked, flexing her thigh against the brunette. She groaned softly at the moisture she could feel soaking through the brunette's underwear and pushed up harder into her center. "Come with me," she urged.

"Oh god," Olivia sighed, biting her lip as her hips rocked forward against Alex's thigh.

"Mmm, that's it," Alex whispered, dragging the nails of her right hand down the brunette's spine.

"Fuck, Alex," Olivia groaned, grinding herself against her fiancée's leg.

"Come with me, baby," Alex whispered, fighting back her own orgasm as she waited for the brunette to catch up. She lifted her head off the pillow and used her cheek to force Olivia's face to the side so she could kiss her way over to the brunette's ear, knowing how much Olivia got off on hearing her voice. She moaned wantonly, her breath falling in heated waves over the brunette's ear, as she continued to run her nails up and down her lover's spine.

"Oh god," Olivia moaned, the rhythm of her thrusting fingers and hips thrown off as a wave of arousal rocketed through her.

"That's it. You feel so good, Liv," Alex murmured. "God, the things you do to me," she moaned, rolling her hips up into the brunette's hand. "And I can feel how wet you are, baby. You're positively soaked," she purred throatily, punctuating the statement by flicking her tongue over the shell of Olivia's ear. The brunette's thrusts faltered again and she groaned. "You're close, aren't you?"

"Fuck, yes," Olivia grunted.

"Me too," Alex breathed, dragging her nails had enough to mark down the brunette's back.

"Shit. Come for me now, Alex," Olivia groaned, curling her fingers inside the blonde hard and grinding herself onto the blonde's thigh. She bit her lip as Alex's fingers dug into her back, and sighed with relief when the blonde moaned loudly as her body began convulsing around her fingers. The sound and feeling of Alex climaxing under her pulled the brunette over the edge and she fell with a whimper, burying her face in the blonde's shoulder as she shook and trembled.

"Mmm, Liv," Alex breathed, wrapping her arms around Olivia's neck and holding her close as the brunette sank on top of her. "That was wonderful."

Olivia smiled and grunted. "Mmm."

Alex chuckled softly, the laugh dissolving into a jaw-popping yawn as her body crashed. "Love you."

"Love you too, sweetheart," Olivia murmured, finally pulling out of the blonde and wiping her fingers off on the side of her panties. She sat up and frowned when Alex started squirming under her and she arched a brow questioningly.

Alex smiled and lifted her head to kiss Olivia softly. "I need to get out of these panties," she whispered.

"Oh, well, let me help you with that," Olivia drawled, reaching down and pulling her fiancée's ruined panties down over her hips, guiding them down her legs until she was able to toss them aside. "Better?"

"Much," Alex sighed. "You?"

"Yeah, I need to get rid of mine too," Olivia said, smiling as she rolled away from Alex and quickly shucked her boyshorts and kicked them out the side of the bed. "I love you," she said, as she pulled the blonde onto her.

Alex smiled and pressed a soft kiss to Olivia's shoulder before laying her head on it. "Love you too, Liv. Sweet dreams."

"Mmm," Olivia hummed, brushing her lips over the blonde's brow. "Sweet dreams, my love."



The drive from Manhattan to Maggie's place in Southampton the next morning took a little over two hours and Olivia spent the time singing along with the radio as Alex read through copies of case law ruling that she thought might help her in her upcoming trial. From time to time Olivia would glance over at the blonde and smile as she drank in the younger woman's beauty, her eyes lingering over long, toned legs left on display for her enjoyment by the blonde's shorts, and the way Alex chewed her lip thoughtfully as she worked. The blonde's hair was up in a messy bun and every so often Olivia would reach over to run a tender finger down the delicate column of her throat, smiling as she watched the attorney's pulse jump in her neck and laughing when Alex would exasperatedly chastise her for distracting her.

"About ten more minutes, sweetheart," Olivia said, glancing at the in-dash navigation system as she drove through downtown Southampton.

Alex hummed and nodded to let Olivia know that she heard her as she uncapped a highlighter with her teeth and marked a paragraph in a ruling delivered the year before that she might be able to use. She smiled as she finished and recapped the marker, slipping it into the file to act as a bookmark before she flipped it closed. "Thank you for driving," she murmured.

Olivia turned and flashed a lopsided grin at the blonde. "No problem. How's the prep going? Am I going to get to see you at all this weekend after this?"

Alex nodded and stretched in her seat, lifting her arms up over her head as she arched her back forward, a low grown rumbling in her throat as her back cracked in the most delightful way. "Maybe another couple hours," she said, sighing as she relaxed back in her seat. "I have all day Monday to put the finishing touches on this, I just…"

"Hey," Olivia interrupted her gently. "I wasn't judging. I just wanted to know. You do what you need to do, baby. I'm happy just sitting with you while you work if you need to."

A small, shy smile tweaked Alex's lips as she reached out to stroke her hand up the brunette's forearm, her fingertips dancing lightly over the corded muscle. "I love you."

"That's kind of why we're doing this," Olivia murmured, grinning as she captured Alex's hand in her own and lifted it to her mouth so she could press a soft kiss to the back of the blonde's knuckles.

"Oh, well, that's good. I was kinda wondering about that," Alex chuckled.

Olivia rolled her eyes and shot the blonde a playfully offended look as she followed the GPS's instructions and turned right onto the small road that would take them to Maggie's place. "You're lucky I love you."

Alex nodded and smiled as she turned to look out the windshield at the familiar landmarks lining the road. When she spoke next, her voice was soft and warm, quiet and ringing with emotion. "Believe me, Liv. I know."

Olivia licked her lips and smiled as the blonde's gentle confession sent a familiar horde of butterflies flitting around her stomach. A part of her wondered if Alex's words would ever stop affecting her like that, while the rest of her hoped it never happened. She wanted to respond, to let Alex know that she felt the same way, but she couldn't, because her heart had floated into her throat and she found it nearly impossible to breathe, let alone speak. So, she just squeezed the attorney's hand as she pressed another soft, lingering kiss to the back of her knuckles and hoped that Alex knew what she wasn't saying by the gesture.

"You will have reached your destination in five-hundred feet," the GPS lady announced, her nasally voice shattering the emotional silence that had surrounded them.

Olivia sighed and cast a look around the street, looking for house numbers that were pretty much non-existent because there wasn't one house that could be seen from the road. "Where?"

"On the right," Alex said, pointing at a light gray cobblestone mailbox that lined the road.

"Is there a gate?" Olivia asked, as she pulled into the designated driveway. "Never mind," she chuckled as she saw the large gate looming in front of them.

Alex smiled and pulled her hand away from Olivia's so that the brunette could get them onto the property. "The code is 1-0-1-2."

Olivia made a small noise of understanding as she rolled down her window and the car pulled to a stop beside the keypad that was set about ten feet away from the gate. "That's your alarm code too," she said as she punched in the code.

Alex nodded. "All the Cabots use it. It's the months of my dad, Matt, and Maggie's birthdays. Everybody uses the same one so that if anyone in the family ever needed to access a property they would know the code."

"That's actually a really smart idea," Olivia murmured, as she pulled her arm back in through the window and waited for the rolling gate in front of them to move out of their way. "So… who all is going to be here today?"

"Maggie, I'm sure. My mom was going to try and make it down, but Emily and Ethan had some big soccer tournament this weekend and she promised them that she'd go to that and, well, we're not going to be here very long so she decided to stay back in Boston for this one," Alex explained. "Besides, it's not like we really need her here for this," she added as they pulled in front of a two-story cottage with weathered shingle siding and bright white trim.

It was, as far as Olivia was concerned, a picture-perfect beach house. "Wow."

"Just wait until you see the back," Alex said, as she reached for her door.

Olivia unhooked her seat belt and hastily followed suit, and she smiled as she met up with Alex at the front of the car. She reached for the blonde's hand and twined their fingers together as she leaned in and kissed her softly, humming happily as she lingered in the connection. "I love you," she whispered, her words no louder than a breath, as she finally pulled away.

"Mmm, love you," Alex purred, smiling as she wrapped her right arm around Olivia's shoulders and slid her fingers through the short hairs at the nape of the brunette's neck. She massaged her gently, a soft chuckle escaping her as she watched her detective's eyes flutter shut. "You like this, don't you?"

"Like you even need to ask," Olivia muttered, a low growl rumbling in her throat as she reached out, grabbed hold of the blonde's hips, and pulled her closer. "You know what that does to me," she husked, a slow rolling tremor of desire making its way down her spine as she felt Alex melt into her.

Alex licked her lips and leaned in to rest her forehead against Olivia's, the fingers of her right hand still gently massaging the back of the brunette's neck as she lifted her left hand to gently cradle the detective's jaw in her palm. "I do," she murmured, smiling as she smoothed the pad of her thumb over her fiancée's cheek. "I love the way your eyes get dark… the way your lips part automatically, like you're just waiting for me to swoop in and kiss you." She smiled as she dipped her head and kissed the brunette quickly. "Kind of like that, but not really," she said.

Olivia tightened her hold on Alex's hips and chuckled softly as she lifted her chin to kiss the attorney more forcefully. "Tease."

The ADA was poised to respond, but was interrupted by the sound of fake gagging and a loudly muttered, "Really? On the goddamn driveway?! Keep it in your pants, you two. Geez!"

Blue eyes widened with surprise and Olivia couldn't help but laugh at the small, entirely feminine, excited sound that spilled from Alex's lips as the blonde turned to look at the person who had so rudely interrupted them. "Go on," she chortled, as she released her hold on the ADA's hips and gave her a gentle shove toward the house.

Alex beamed and gave Olivia a quick, chaste kiss before she turned and practically ran to the smirking blonde who was standing at the foot of the wide stairs that led to the front porch. Out of everybody who might have been at the house that weekend, the last person she ever expected to see was her cousin from San Francisco. "Jill!"

The lanky attorney grinned and pushed off of the railing that she'd been leaning against to greet Alex with a big hug. "Hey, Alex."

While the two blondes hugged and Alex showed Jill her ring, which earned Olivia a look that quite clearly said, 'Damn!', and a thumbs up as she passed, the detective wandered up the stairs and over to one of the rocking chairs that was now being occupied by Jill's girlfriend Lindsay. "Wasn't expecting to see you guys here," she said conversationally, as she dropped into the empty chair beside Boxer.

Lindsay grinned and nodded. "Yeah. I guess when Jill talked to her mom earlier in the week that Maggie said something about you two coming out to do some wedding prep stuff. I know Jill felt bad about missing the engagement dinner thing at Carolyn's, so we caught the red-eye out last night and got in early this morning."

"That's a hell of a long weekend," Olivia muttered. She looked down at Alex and Jill, who were now standing side by side and shooting her and Lindsay identical amused grins, and smiled as she gave the blondes a little finger wave to let them know that she saw them and didn't particularly care. "When do you guys fly back?"

"Monday morning," Lindsay said through a yawn. "J doesn't have court next week and we're in nice little lull at the moment down at the precinct-" both detectives automatically knocked on the wooden arms of their rocking chairs "-so we decided to make a little bit of an extended weekend of it."

Olivia nodded understandingly as Alex and Jill sauntered up the three steps to the porch, looking more like runway models than attorneys, and she smiled as Alex stopped in front of her, holding out a hand to help her up. "Something I can help you with?"

Alex rolled her eyes and waggled her fingers, indicating that she was waiting for Olivia to get up. "Let's go get the location thing figured out so that we can hang out for a bit," she said, as she pushed her sunglasses up onto her head.

"Fine," Olivia groaned in mock annoyance as she pushed herself up from her chair, which earned her a rather solid smack to the arm from Alex. "Watch it, you," she muttered, grinning as she leaned in and kissed Alex softly. "Where to?"

Alex reached down and slipped her hand into Olivia's, twining their fingers together and giving a little tug. "This way," she said, as she turned and headed for the front door.

The inside of the house was more gorgeous than the outside. The light maple hardwood floors were the color of sand, which blended perfectly into the bright white trim and the pale blue-gray colored walls. The ceilings were high, giving an airy feeling that immediately drew you in, and the furniture was simple, with clean lines and plain fabrics with pops of color on the pillows and throws that were artfully set atop couches and chairs. The kitchen was as light and bright as the rest of the house, with white cabinets and a pale gray countertop, and the mosaic tile backsplash that ran along the counters was a beautiful mix of blues and grays that made Olivia think of the sky and the variegated colors of the clouds as a storm approached.

"Not bad, huh?" Alex asked, smiling, as she led Olivia out a pair of wide-open french doors to a porch that was at least ten feet deep and spanned the entire back of the house.

Olivia looked out over the expansive lawn, her eyes lingering for a moment on the surprisingly large in-ground pool that was cut into the grass on the left side of the yard and was flanked by a pool house that looked like it could also be a decent sized two-bedroom apartment, and nodded. "Yeah. Not bad at all."

Alex smiled knowingly and kicked off her shoes. "The beach is this way," she said, as she tipped her head toward the horizon. She glanced over her shoulder at Jill and Lindsay who had followed them into the house and asked, "You guys coming?"

Jill pursed her lips and shook her head as she walked over to an oversized wicker chair with blue and white striped cushions and flopped down into it. "Nah. This is about you two. We'll hang out here," she said, as she picked up the crossword puzzle she'd been working on when Lindsay had come downstairs from their bedroom to tell her that she saw Alex and Olivia drive up. "Mom ran down to the store to get some stuff for lunch, she should be back in a little bit."

Alex nodded, pleased that it would be just her and Olivia deciding this part. So much of the wedding details were what Carolyn and the wedding planner decided because she and Olivia were just too busy with work to pay a lot of attention to what was going on. Sure, they told her mom what color flowers they wanted and things like that, but they left the details for Carolyn to figure out. But this, picking out the exact spot where they would say 'I do', was something that neither of them wanted to leave to somebody else to decide. "Come on, Benson."

"Somebody's anxious," Olivia chuckled as she, too, removed her shoes.

"Oh, you have no idea," Alex murmured. She gave Olivia's hand another tug and smiled as she started down the steps to the backyard.

Olivia did a quick half-jog, double-step to catch up to the blonde and she smiled as she leaned in to whisper against the attorney's ear, "If it's anything like what I'm feeling, I do, sweetheart. I can't wait to marry you."

They had taken maybe fifteen steps across the lawn when Jill's voice ran out, "And no sex on the beach!"

"Whatever, Skittles!" Alex shot back over her shoulder, grinning at Olivia as she bumped the detective with her hip.

Olivia just rolled her eyes and shook her head at the two cousins' antics which had completely ruined the mood. "So, are we still thinking doing the reception dinner thing up here?" she asked as they padded barefoot across the grass.

"I was," Alex said. "There's enough room for tables and a dance floor up here, and it's closer to the house for bathrooms and stuff. What do you think?"

"I think we still need to pick out a first-dance song," Olivia murmured, as she squeezed the blonde's hand gently.

"We do," Alex agreed. "Any thoughts on that?"

Olivia chuckled as Munch's suggestion popped into her mind. "John says we should do it to that 'I'm sexy and I know it' song."

Alex let out a bark of laughter and shook her head. "He would. But, no. Serious suggestions, please."

"I don't know." Olivia shrugged and allowed Alex to lead her down a sloped sandy path that cut between long, waving grasses and led to the beach. A slow, easy smile tweaked her lips as they walked across the sand to the sound of the Atlantic whooshing and crashing surrounding them. "This will be perfect," she said in a low, rich voice.

"Mmm," Alex hummed, nodding her agreement.

"I can just picture you here in a white dress," Olivia murmured, as she pulled Alex to a stop beside a piece of gray-white driftwood and wrapped her arms around the blonde's waist. "Your hair glowing in the sun, your glasses…"

Alex laughed and wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck. "Is that a subtle hint that you would like me to wear my glasses for our wedding?"

Olivia grinned and nodded hopefully. "The black ones, please."

"Fine," Alex huffed playfully. "Any other requests?"

"Just that you show up," Olivia answered honestly. "And, it'd be nice if you said 'I do' too…"

"I think that can be arranged," Alex chortled as she pushed her sunglasses up onto her head. She did the same for Olivia's, and then she leaned in and rested her forehead against the brunette's. Her gaze softened as she stared into the brown eyes she loved so dearly and she smiled and she felt Olivia's hold around her waist tighten. "God, I love you," she whispered, her voice awed.

Olivia's heart stumbled in her chest as she murmured, "I love you too, Alex." She lifted her chin ever so slightly and claimed the blonde's lips with her own in a languorous kiss that was soft and sweet, and she smiled at the quiet whimper that escaped Alex as she flicked her tongue over the blonde's lips when she pulled away. "I can't wait to make you my wife."

 "I can't wait either," Alex sighed. "So… should we do it here?"

"Yeah," Olivia hummed, brushing a gentle kiss over Alex's cheek as she looked around them. This part of the beach was far enough from the house that you couldn't see it, giving the spot an air of privacy that she could very much appreciate. "Here is perfect."

They stayed there, wrapped around each other as the early summer sun shone down on them, warming their skin as the breeze off the ocean cooled it. It was peaceful and calm, and, as Alex pressed a light kiss to Olivia's neck, the blonde knew what song they should dance their first dance to and she smiled shyly as she began to sing, "Deep within your heart, you know it's plain to see… Like Adam was to Eve, you were made for me… They say the poisoned vine, breeds a finer wine, our love is easy…"

Olivia smiled and nodded. "Yeah," she whispered, turning her head to kiss Alex's forehead gently. "I think that's the one."

"Yeah," Alex murmured, tightening her hold on Olivia's neck as she burrowed in closer, more than content to stay right there for the rest of the day.

Eventually their sense of decorum and obligation returned and they shared one last lingering, wistful kiss right there on the beach before they made their way back up to the house. The grass helped brush the sand that had collected on their feet as they walked, and they smiled at the smirk Jill greeted them with when they finally set foot on the back porch again.

"Have fun?" Jill teased.

Lindsay rolled her eyes at her girlfriend's behavior and instead asked, "Did you figure out where you want to do it?"

Alex nodded and smiled as she saw her aunt walk out of the house. "Hello, Maggs."

"Alex, dear," Maggie cooed happily as she set the drinks she was carrying down onto a small table and swept in to greet her niece with a hug. "How are you?"

"Good," Alex murmured as she hugged Maggie tightly. "Really good. Thanks again for letting us use your house for this."

"Shush," Maggie chuckled. "Like I would let my favorite niece get married anywhere else. Did you pick a spot on the beach?" she asked as she released the ADA and took a step back to look at her and Olivia. "Hello, Olivia."

"Maggie," Olivia drawled, tipping her head in greeting.

"Down by that big driftwood log," Alex said.

Maggie nodded approvingly. "My favorite spot," she said. "I love how the grass kind of swoops around with the curve of the shore down there, it's just so private and intimate and…" her voice trailed off as she smiled warmly at Alex and Olivia. " Good choice, girls. So, are you still thinking of doing the reception up on the grass?"

"If that's okay," Olivia spoke up.

"Oh hush, you," Maggie chortled. "Of course it's okay. I was thinking it'd be nice to do the dance floor in the middle of the lawn, maybe scatter the tables around it. We can set some posts at the ridgeline where the yard slopes to the beach and maybe string some lights back and forth from them to the house to light the whole yard… what do you think?"

"I think that sounds amazing," Alex said.

"I think you're using all your good ideas on your niece instead of saving them for your own daughter," Jill muttered.

"Oh, shut up," Maggie laughed, turning to glare playfully at her daughter. "If you ever decide to settle down, we'll talk. I have all sorts of ideas for you."

Jill just rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Yeah, right. You've always liked Alex better than me."

Maggie turned to wink at her niece as she retorted, "Yeah. Pretty much."

"Mom!" Jill squeaked indignantly.

"Such a drama queen," Maggie muttered loudly as she turned back to Alex and Olivia. "Do you guys have an idea of what the head count's going to be?"

Alex's eyes flicked skyward as she did a quick tally. "Somewhere around eighty, I think?" she said, glancing at Olivia for confirmation, which she got in the form of a smile and a small nod. "Really, it's just the family and then some people from work. The guys from Olivia's squad, Liz and a few other people from the DA's office."


Alex shook her head. "No. If I invited everybody from the District Attorney's office who I should invite, this thing would be out of control. I don't want our wedding to be some grand political statement. Arthur knows that we're getting married and when, because I needed to get the time off, but that's it. It'll be Liz and a handful of other prosecutors who I'm friendly with."

Jill frowned, knowing very well how the politics aspect of being a District Attorney worked. "Is that smart?"

Alex shrugged. "Maybe not. But I don't care. This is about us celebrating our love in front of our family and a select handful of friends."

Olivia smiled and turned to press a soft kiss to the blonde's cheek. She, too, had been originally worried about Alex potentially torpedoing her career by not inviting Arthur Branch and some of the other higher-ups, but she couldn't deny that she loved the fact that the blonde wanted their wedding to be for them and them alone. Work was always there, lurking in the background and demanding each of their attention because they were both completely devoted to their jobs; but it was nice to be reminded every now and again that she ranked first on the attorney's list of priorities. Much like Alex was at the top of hers. "I love you."

"Mmm," Alex hummed, as she turned to capture Olivia's lips in a tender kiss. "Love you."

"Oh, get a fucking room," Maggie teased, chuckling under her breath as she eased past the couple to grab a glass of lemonade from the tray she carried out earlier.

"Not mine," Jill added. "Go defile Jake's room or something."

Alex just laughed and wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck as she purposefully deepened the kiss to the sound of Jill gagging and Lindsay laughing loudly and saying, "You asked for that one, J."

They spent the rest of the day just lounging on the porch and catching up, and it wasn't until the first tendrils of night were beginning to creep up from the horizon that Alex regretfully looked at her watch and sighed. "We should get going," she told Olivia.

Olivia nodded. She could tell by the impending twilight that it was already after eight and she knew that they still had a two-hour drive back to the city ahead of them. "Thanks for having us out, Maggie."

"Tell James we say hello," Alex said as she stood. "Where is he this week?"

"Oh, I don't know," Maggie laughed. "I think he's at some international investing conference in London or Lisbon or something… I wasn't paying too much attention. He will be here for your wedding though, Alex."

"Good," Alex said, smiling. She rarely got to see her Uncle James because he was a CEO at an investment firm and worked more than she did – which was saying something – but whenever she did get a chance to see him it was always a good time. There weren't many people who could keep up with Maggie and her lovable eccentricities, but he was certainly one of them.

"We'll see you next month up at Adam's place," Jill said as she pushed herself out of her chair to hug her cousin goodbye. "We're flying out on Friday and will be leaving on Monday morning, so we'll be there for the whole weekend."

Olivia groaned. "What did Carmichael tell you?"

Jill chuckled malevolently. "Can't tell ya that, Benson. Just be prepared for one bitch of a hangover and a proper induction into the Clan Cabot."

"That's not really reassuring," Olivia muttered.

Alex and Jill laughed as they both remembered some of the things that had gone down at the other cousins' stag nights. And this was going to be a weekend-long event. With Abbie Carmichael manning the helm "Believe me," Jill chortled, "it's not meant to be."

"Come on, babe," Alex murmured as she tried not to laugh at the stricken expression on Olivia's face. "Let's get going."

Later that night, as they cuddled in bed, Alex smiled as she rolled on top of Olivia, straddling the brunette's waist. She took a shuddering breath at the exquisite feeling of Olivia's skin against her own and she was helpless to stop the way her hips ground down onto the brunette's stomach. "I love you," she murmured as she leaned down to kiss her softly. The day had been everything she'd hoped it would be and more, and with each detail of their impending nuptials that was ironed out, she found herself more and more anxious for their wedding day to arrive so she could just marry Olivia and call her her own, forever.

Olivia hummed and ran her hands up the back of Alex's thighs to grab hold of the blonde's ass and give it a playful squeeze. She smiled into the kiss as the attorney rocked back into her hands and she squeezed the perfect globes again, enjoying the feeling of the way the muscles moved under her touch. "Can I help you with something?" she asked, as she flicked her tongue over the blonde's lips.

Alex nodded, her hair falling in messy waves around her face before she reached up to tuck it behind her ears. "I want to make love to you."

"I will never say no to that," Olivia whispered. She dragged her nails up Alex's back so that she could wrap her hands around the blonde's shoulders and pull the attorney down onto her. "But I want you, too." She punctuated her statement by thrusting her hips up into the blonde's center, spreading what arousal had already gathered between her lover's legs across her skin, and drawing a low moan from her throat. "You're already wet," she breathed.

"Mmm," Alex hummed, smiling as she ground herself down onto Olivia's stomach. "Just thinking about you makes me wet," she husked.

"You keep talking like that and I'm going to have to politely request that I get to have you first."

Alex laughed and shook her head. "While that is a-" her breath hitched in her throat as Olivia's hips rolled up into her again "-tempting proposition, detective, I'm afraid I'm going to have to deny your motion."

"I think you're rather enjoying my motion," Olivia purred, sucking lightly against Alex's pulse point as she thrust up into her once more.

"I am," Alex groaned, as a frisson of desire rolled through her at the way the brunette's hips pressed against her. "But last night…" Olivia thrust into her again and nipped at her throat. "Shit. Last night you…" Olivia did it again, this time painting a broad lick up over her jaw. Alex licked her lips and tried to focus, but Olivia was doing a damn good job distracting her. "Fuck. It's my turn…" Olivia thrust again, harder than before. "God!"

Olivia smiled at the blonde's incoherency and slipped her right hand over Alex's hip so she could brush her thumb over the attorney's clit. "We both got off last night, Alex," she murmured. "I want to watch you ride me," she husked, emphasizing her point by pressing her thumb against the straining bundle of nerves she'd been teasing.

Alex's eyes fluttered shut as she felt herself clench needfully at her fiancée's suggestion. It was both a blessing and a curse that the brunette knew exactly what to say and what to do to turn her on like this. "Liv," she mewled plaintively.

"Let me have you," Olivia pleaded gently, as she flipped her hand over so she could slide it between their bodies. She moaned softly as she watched Alex lift up ever so slightly to accommodate her and her nipples tightened at the breathy sigh that tumbled from the blonde's lips as she stroked slowly through her center. She pressed lightly against the attorney's opening as she slid the flat of her left hand up the blonde's stomach to palm her right breast, squeezing the mound gently as she whispered, "Let me feel you."

Alex whimpered and shook her head as she pushed herself up higher, giving Olivia enough room to slip inside her. "You cheat," she muttered, even as she slid herself down onto the brunette's fingers.

"Completely worth it," Olivia murmured, smiling as she felt Alex's walls tighten around her fingers. She rolled her hips up into the back of her wrist and pushed herself that much deeper and drawing a soft sigh from the blonde's lips. "You feel so good, baby."

Alex licked her lips as she began rocking slowly against Olivia's hand, sliding up and down the fingers buried inside her that alternated between curling and scissoring on every stroke. She moaned as she felt Olivia's hips began to work beneath her, driving the brunette deeper on every thrust.

"Mmm, just like that, Alex," Olivia encouraged breathily as she rolled the blonde's nipple between her fingers.

A low groan rumbled in Alex's throat at the stinging burn at her breast that quickly became pleasure, and she brushed a sloppy, openmouthed kiss across Olivia's lips as she pushed herself down harder onto the brunette's hand. "The things you do to me," she muttered, as she pushed herself up so that she was supporting her weight on her knees.

"Fuck, Alex." Olivia moaned at the sight of Alex sitting up tall atop her, the blonde's hips rolling forward and back as she began to move in earnest.

"Mmm," Alex hummed, biting her lip as she ran her hands through her hair and plunged herself down on Olivia's fingers. Her eyes fluttered shut at the feeling of Olivia's fingers touching her so intimately and she immediately pushed herself back up so that she could feel her everywhere. "Liv…"

Olivia swallowed thickly, her eyes flicking back and forth between the unabashed expression of pleasure on Alex's face, to the hypnotic bounce of her breasts as they moved with her, to the way her abdominals rippled with each rolling thrust of her hips. Alex was always an enchanting creature, but when she just let go like this… "Goddamn, you're beautiful."

Alex smiled. "You make me feel beautiful," she whispered, her eyes flashing open to gaze adoringly at Olivia. She reached down to trail a finger up the valley between the brunette's breasts until she could press her hand flat over her heart. "You make me feel loved… You make me feel safe…You make me feel like I can fly…"

"Jesus," Olivia groaned, as the blonde punctuated each of her thrusts with one of those breathy statements. "Alex…" Her voice trailed off as she felt the first telltale spasm the blonde's impending orgasm rip through her. Loving Alex was always an experience, but it was times like these, where she felt so incredibly close to the blonde, that Olivia found herself completely blown away by the fact that Alex chose to be with her.

Alex whimpered and her eyes fluttered closed as her thrusts became more frantic as her body sought its release. When it rolled through her, she didn't even bother to try and contain the low moan that spilled from her lips as she fell forward to crash her mouth against Olivia's, kissing the brunette greedily as she trembled with her orgasm.

"Beautiful," Olivia whispered, smiling as she reached up to cradle the blonde's face in her hand. "Stunning. Perfect. Mine."

"Yours," Alex murmured, kissing Olivia tenderly as her climax finally eased. "All yours. Forever yours, sweetheart."

Olivia hummed and gently pulled out of the blonde. "I love you."

Alex smiled and nuzzled Olivia's cheek. "I love you," she sighed. "I still want to make love to you, you know."

"I know," Olivia chuckled, as she wrapped her arms around the blonde's waist and held her close.

Alex smiled and squirmed in the brunette's embrace as she feigned trying to break free. "Lemme go…"

"Pathetic," Olivia muttered. "You're going to have to try harder than that, sweetheart."

A slow, impish grin tweaked the blonde's lips as she leaned in to whisper against Olivia's ear, "I want to fuck you with my tongue." She giggled at the spluttering sound that escaped the brunette at her words and beamed when she felt the arms around her waist relax. "Mmm, thank you," she purred as she nipped at Olivia's earlobe before she began trailing a line of hot, wet, open-mouthed kisses down the brunette's body.

Part 20

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