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These Are Days
"I thought you said that you got us a hotel room for these next two nights?" Olivia asked as she looked at the small, single-story white clapboard sided bungalow the owner of the Seaside Bed and Breakfast had directed them to. It was the day before their wedding and they had just arrived in the Hamptons to get ready for the rehearsal and dinner.
Alex smiled over her shoulder at the brunette as she slipped the key she'd been handed into the lock on the front door. "I may have mentioned that we were getting married and requested the most private suite they offered."
That certainly explains the roguish wink the innkeeper gave me, then, Olivia thought to herself with a smile. "Well played, Cabot."
"Thank you." Alex pushed the door open and her smile grew even wider as her eyes swept across the room.
The sitting-room area was small, but cozy. Large square windows framed by gauzy white drapes overlooked the ocean and the pale, misty gray walls were surprisingly warm and provided a nice background to the dark blue upholstered sofa and two rich brown leather wingback chairs that were situated around a driftwood-inspired coffee table. Nautical-themed prints dotted the walls, a go-to decorating idea for any ocean-side community, and the larger print above the fireplace was a stunning black and white photograph of the main house backlit by a raging lightning storm over the ocean. To the right of the fireplace was a door, which more than likely led to the bedroom as the bungalow's tiny galley kitchen though calling it a 'kitchen' was a stretch, as it had only a small bar fridge, microwave, and a sink was set on the back wall of the house furthest from the windows.
"This is incredible," Olivia murmured appreciatively as she stepped into the main room behind Alex and closed the door after them. "We should just spend our honeymoon here," she added.
"Yeah right," Alex chuckled as she made her way toward the bedroom. "Sorry, Liv, but I'm not spending our honeymoon ten minutes from my family. They'd leave us alone for the first few days and then they'd be knocking on our door asking us if we wanted to go clubbing or something."
Olivia smiled and followed Alex into the bedroom. It was equally small, the room was pretty much dominated by a large four-poster king-size bed, but it would more than work. "Yeah, but clubbing is fun," she said. "I like dancing with you."
"I like dancing with you," Alex replied as she dropped the small suitcase she'd brought for the weekend onto the floor beside the bed. They had packed the clothes they'd need for their honeymoon (or, not really need, need, but felt obligated to take) into a larger suitcase that was still sitting in the trunk of their car. "But we can dance without my cousins around."
"So there are clubs where we're going, then?" Olivia asked. Alex had insisted on planning the entire honeymoon so she was left completely in the dark as to where they were going. All she'd been told was to pack warm-weather clothes and to bring a couple of bathing suits.
Alex chuckled at Olivia's attempt to weasel out information about where they would be going and shook her head. "Possibly," she answered vaguely. Though, she wasn't being deceptively coy. She didn't know if the island had clubs or not. That hadn't been something she'd particularly cared too much about when she was making arrangements. "But -" she stepped toward Olivia and ran a finger down the middle of the brunette's chest "-it will have us and a bed."
"I see," Olivia murmured, nodding as she wrapped her arms around Alex's waist. "So you're anticipating spending a lot of time in bed, then."
"I am," Alex husked. She licked her lips slowly and added, "Would you like a demonstration of how I see the majority of our week together going?"
Olivia bit her lip to try and keep from smiling, but failed miserably. "That sounds... amazing, sweetie; but, aren't we supposed to be at Maggie's in like, an hour?"
"Exactly." Alex ran her hands down the front of Olivia's body, letting her palms rake slowly across the brunette's breasts, to dip her fingers under the hem of the fitted black tank top the detective was wearing. "We have time," she whispered, smiling as she started working Olivia's shirt slowly up, giving the brunette ample opportunity to stop her if she wasn't in the mood for a quickie.
But, instead of asking Alex to stop, Olivia just licked her lips and lifted her arms over her head to help the blonde remove her shirt. She loved watching the way Alex's eyes grew dark as the blonde looked at her and once her shirt was tossed aside, she leaned in and captured Alex's lips in a slow, deep kiss that left the both of them completely breathless. They shed the rest of their clothes between unhurried kisses, and Olivia smiled against Alex's lips as she slipped her hands under the sweet curve of the blonde's ass, picked her up, and then tossed her onto the bed.
Alex laughed loudly in surprise as she went airborne and she shook her head as she looked up at Olivia, who was standing beside the bed grinning. "Are you coming?"
"Not yet," Olivia quipped, winking as she crawled onto the bed. She held herself up on her hands and knees as she hovered above Alex, dipping her head first this way then that as she teased the blonde with the possibility of a kiss, and she groaned as she felt a long, talented finger slide through her folds. "That's cheating."
"Whatcha gonna do about it?" Alex teased as she dipped her hand back down to collect some of Olivia's arousal on her fingertip before she moved it up to rub light circles over the brunette's clit.
Olivia's eyes fluttered shut at Alex's soft touch and she bit her lip as she leaned in to rest her forehead against the blonde's. Work had been predictably crazy leading up to their time off, and even though they'd put in to take the two previous days off, they both had ended up working the majority of the time. "I think I'm gonna let you keep doing what you're doing," she murmured, as she rocked her hips down into Alex's hand. "God, baby "
"Mmm, lucky me," Alex purred, smiling as she lifted her chin just enough to press a sweet kiss to Olivia's lips. "Roll over, sweetie," she whispered, her hand between Olivia's legs never faltering as she pushed against the brunette's shoulder with her other.
They moved together, Olivia rolling onto her back as Alex followed, the blonde settling onto her side beside the brunette as she continued to gently touch her. Alex rested her head on her left hand as she stroked, rolled, and caressed Olivia with her right, and she smiled down at the brunette as she leaned in and captured her lips in a deep, languid kiss. She kept her touch between Olivia's legs soft, occasionally dipping her hand down to gather more of the brunette's arousal on her fingertips before returning to her previous position and rubbing slow, gentle circles against her.
A soft moan rumbled in the back of Olivia's throat as Alex pressed just that little bit harder against her and she licked her lips as she reached up to thread her fingers through luxurious golden locks. She scratched Alex's scalp lightly, wordlessly encouraging her as she let her left leg fall open wider, offering herself to the blonde.
The movement didn't escape Alex's attention, but she was content to stay where she was for the moment and she smiled against Olivia's lips as she purposefully continued to rub soft, broad circles against the brunette's clit. Around and around her fingers swirled, lightly, softly, touching with only the faintest amount of pressure. Easing Olivia higher, gently, continuously higher with each circuit, determined that when the brunette did fall, that it would be into relaxing, trembling waves. Her fingers were sliding easily now thanks to the copious amount of moisture pooled between Olivia's legs, and she licked her lips as she let her touch drop down into that warm pool for a moment, teasing the brunette with the possibility of more before she once again moved her touch higher. "I love touching you like this," she whispered, her smile growing wider at the way Olivia's grip on her hair tightened. "Softly. Working you up slowly."
"Oh fuck," Olivia murmured.
Alex chuckled. She knew exactly how much Olivia loved it when she talked to her during sex. "I love watching the way your body responds to my touch. The way your eyes grow dark, the beautiful flush that tints your cheeks, the way your nipples begin to slowly harden as I stroke you." Her eyes flashed down to the brunette's nipples and she groaned. Olivia's nipples were, in fact, quite erect and looked to her like they were simultaneously taunting her and begging her to suck them. "Jesus."
Olivia smiled and arched her chest forward, knowing exactly what had captured Alex's attention, even as she began rolling her hips more demandingly against the blonde's hand.
Unable to resist the twin sirens calling to her, Alex licked her lips and swept down Olivia's body to take a pert, mocha-colored nipple into her mouth and she moaned as she ran the tip of her tongue around its perimeter. This, this she would gladly do for the rest of her life and be perfectly content. She sucked hard against the nub, pulling her head back and stretching it to its absolute limit before letting it fall from her lips with a wet pop; and she smiled as she leaned back down to blow a steady stream of air across it, making it grow even harder.
"I love your tits," Alex murmured softly, more to herself than Olivia, and she glanced up through her lashes at Olivia as the brunette chuckled softly. She rolled her eyes as she laid a broad lick over the straining bud, delighting in the way it both yielded to and resisted her touch, and then asked, "What?"
Olivia shook her head. "Nothing." She groaned, arching into Alex's touch and added, "You feel so good."
The deep timbre of Olivia's voice did wonderful things to Alex's body and she whimpered softly as she leaned across the brunette's body to tongue the nipple she'd previously ignored. Olivia's hips rolled harder against her hand, begging for a firmer touch, and she finally relented, dipping down and thrusting two fingers as deep into her as she could as she sucked long and hard on the nipple between her lips.
Olivia practically arched off the bed, her body zinging with electricity as Alex's mouth and fingers drove her incrementally closer to the euphoric edge of ecstasy. After having been teased for so long with soft touches, this onslaught was almost too much for her to handle and she groaned as she once again threaded her fingers through Alex's hair. She gave the silky strands a sharp tug and grunted, "Kiss me."
Alex smiled and pulled back to lay a handful of soft kitten licks to the nipple she'd been roughly suckling, soothing the pinked bud with a gentler touch before she moved higher, her hand still pumping steadily between Olivia's legs, to capture the brunette's lips in a deep, probing kiss. She hummed in response to the way Olivia's mouth opened immediately to her and she wasted no time thrusting her tongue inside to dance, stroke, and tangle with her love's.
She kept her strokes long, deep, and slow, curling her fingers on random thrusts so that Olivia couldn't anticipate what was coming next and didn't come too quickly. She licked the brunette's lips as she pulled back to smile down at her and she couldn't contain the soft sigh that escaped her when Olivia's gaze met her own, brown eyes nearly black with desire as the brunette's hips rocked beseechingly against her hand. "You are so beautiful," she murmured, smiling as she stalled her thrusting hand and instead just rocked the heel of her palm against Olivia's clit. Her eyes danced over her fiancée's face as she tried to commit everything about the way Olivia looked right now to memory. "So beautiful "
"Alex," Olivia groaned.
"And all mine," Alex purred, smiling.
"Yours. All yours, sweetie," Olivia agreed, nodding. "Please, baby," she whimpered, rubbing herself shamelessly against the blonde's hand, urging her to move.
"Mine," Alex murmured, her smile growing wolfish as she began thrusting with renewed purpose into the brunette. She curled her fingers hard and held them there so that she rubbed over hidden ridges on each plunge and retreat, sending shockwaves of pleasure coursing through her lover's body. She took a deep breath as she leaned forward to rest her forehead against Olivia's, their gazes locking. Neither blinked as Alex worked Olivia closer and closer to orgasm and when the brunette's release did hit her, a soft, wholly awed smile lit Alex's face as she watched euphoria flash in Olivia's eyes.
She stroked Olivia lovingly through the length of her climax and when the brunette's body finally stilled, she slowly pulled out and wiped her fingers off on the sheet before wrapping her hand around Olivia's hip and holding her close as their mouths came together again and again, lingering in the gentle connection.
Needing to feel Alex tremble with ecstasy beneath her, Olivia rolled her hips and flipped their position so that she was now hovering above the blonde. She slid her hand slowly down the attorney's toned abdomen and smiled as she dipped her fingers into the ocean of warm desire that was waiting for her between Alex's legs.
Knowing that it wouldn't take much to send Alex flying, she touched her softly, slowly, each circuit of her fingertip around the blonde's clit taking three heartbeats to complete. She dropped her lips to the sweet column of Alex's throat and tongued the blonde's pulse point, lightly flicking the tip of her tongue over the sensitive spot before she covered it with her mouth and sucked against it lightly, mindful to not leave a mark.
When she was certain that Alex was right on the edge, Olivia dipped her hand lower and gently eased two fingers into hot, clinging velvet, stroking slowly as she trailed a line of kisses down the line of Alex's jaw. "I love you," she murmured, smiling as she nuzzled the blonde's cheek.
"Oh, Liv," Alex whimpered, looping her arms around the brunette's neck and holding her close as buzzing white heat began to spread through her body. "Love you too," she moaned, her eyes fluttering shut as her release swept through her.
After Alex came down from her high, they laid together in silence, hands lightly stroking as they shared soft, indulgent kisses, more than content to remain in their private little bubble for as long as humanly possible.
"You're late," Carolyn admonished as Alex and Olivia stepped out onto Maggie's back porch, the happy smile on her face negating the chastising tone of her voice.
"Sorry," Alex said, looking entirely unapologetic. She glanced down at the lawn and smiled as she saw that everybody was already there. Jake and John had organized a soccer game with the kids, and they were laughing hysterically as Emily dribbled circles around her brother.
"What? Twenty minutes late and not a hickey to show for it?" Maggie drawled, smirking as she walked out onto the porch. "Olivia I'm so disappointed in you."
Olivia blushed and rolled her eyes. "Lovely to see you again as well, Maggie."
"Oh, shut up," Maggie chortled as she pulled Olivia into a quick hug. "You ready for tomorrow?"
"Oh yeah," Olivia replied, smiling as she looked over at Alex, who was shaking her head at something Carolyn had said. "More than ready."
"And what about you?" Maggie asked, rounding on her niece as she pulled her into a hug. "You ready?"
"Mmm, been ready for years, Mags," Alex confirmed, winking at Olivia. "What if we did it for real tonight and just partied tomorrow."
"I think your mother would kill us all," Maggie replied in a hushed whisper.
"You'll get the girl soon enough, dear," Carolyn chuckled. "Less than twenty-four hours to go, now."
"Too fucking long," Alex muttered.
"I never asked," Maggie said, drawing everybody's attention to her, "what are you girls going to do about names? Are you just keeping your own?"
Alex looked at Olivia and smiled. This had actually been the topic of several discussions between the couple and pretty much every one had ended up with them naked and in bed. "We're going the hyphenated route. Benson-Cabot."
"I was just going to take Alex's name," Olivia said, shrugging. "But she "
"Wanted to do this," Alex summarized. "And I won."
"You cheated," Olivia argued playfully. "Persuasion by orgasm."
"Well, damn," Adam drawled, laughing as he skipped up the handful of steps to the porch to greet his sister. "I guess I missed that day of law school."
"Only because you had a PhD in it by the time you finished your undergrad," Alex retorted, smiling.
"You're just jealous," Adam drawled, lifting his hand to his mouth and blowing on his fingernails before he buffed them out on his shirt.
Carolyn laughed and shook her head at the antics of her two youngest. "Well, since everybody's here now, let's go. Liz is already down at the beach with Abbie, Serena, and your squad-mates, Olivia."
"Oh, that can't be good," Olivia muttered.
"Shush, she's been on her best behavior," Carolyn said.
"And I've already pumped a bottle of wine into her," Maggie added. "She's feeling very friendly at the moment, don't you worry."
Olivia looked at Alex and frowned. "You know, somehow, that doesn't make me feel better."
Alex chuckled and shrugged. "Well, let's go save Elliot and the guys then before she and Abbie combine to scare the ever loving shit out of them."
They heard the group on the beach before they saw them, and Alex couldn't hold back a laugh as she looked over at Olivia and grinned. "Whatever they're doing, they're having fun."
Olivia chuckled and nodded sagely. "Yes, but the question is, what are they doing to make Carmichael laugh like that?"
It didn't take them long to find out, and they had to stop and watch for a moment to take it all in. For some reason, Liz was on Abbie's back, Fin was on Munch's, and they were racing down the beach to where Serena and Elliot were standing at what could only be the finish line.
"Do I want to know why they're doing that?" Olivia muttered.
Alex laughed and shook her head. "No. I really, really think you don't."
"We win!" Abbie yelled, throwing her hands up in the air triumphantly. This, of course, meant that she dumped Donnelly onto her ass.
"Carmichael!" Liz screamed, scooping up a handful of sand and throwing it at the federal prosecutor.
Abbie looked down at Liz and smirked as she held a hand out to help the older woman up off the ground. "You need to toughen up, you old broad."
Liz laughed and pushed Abbie down onto the ground. "You too, Tex."
Olivia groaned. "Oh my god. It's like that first weekend at your apartment all over again."
"What are you talking about?" Alex laughed. "It's like every time those two are together." She cleared her throat and then yelled at their friends, "Can we not leave you alone for five goddamn minutes?!"
"She started it!" Liz and Abbie retorted at the same time as they pointed accusingly at the other.
"Fin?" Alex asked.
Fin looked at Abbie and Liz, both of whom were staring menacingly at him, and shrugged. "Yeah. What they said."
"Smart man, Odafin," Liz chuckled.
"Why did I agree to let you officiate my wedding?" Alex asked her godmother with a smile.
"Because you love me," Liz retorted, grinning as she pulled Alex into a quick hug. "Now, behave."
"You're warning me to behave," Alex drawled disbelievingly as she stepped back so that she was leaning against Olivia. "With Carmichael standing right behind you. You're warning me "
Liz grinned. "She's already been warned."
"So the piggyback race was what, exactly?"
"Getting her to burn off some of her energy," Liz replied with a smirk. "I happen to remember that tactic worked quite well on you and your brother when you were young, so I figured I'd give it a try here."
Elliot laughed. "It works with my kids too."
Olivia smiled at her partner. "Hey, El. Where's Kathy?"
"At home with the kids," he said, shrugging. "The twins have swim team tonight and with the driving and everything else, it was just easier for her to stay there and do it. We have a sitter lined up for tomorrow though, so I'll drive home tonight and we'll both come up tomorrow afternoon."
"Are we ready to begin?" Carolyn called out as she, Maggie, Matt, and the rest of the Cabot cousins and significant others who were there assembled ambled down onto the beach.
"Now that you're here, we are," Liz replied, looking back at Alex and Olivia. "Have you two figured out how you want to come in?"
Alex nodded and pulled Olivia's arms around her waist so that the detective was holding her. This had actually been the most difficult decision for the wedding that they had to make, because neither of them had a father to walk them down the aisle. "Olivia first, and then me."
"Adam and Captain Cragen," Alex replied.
Liz smiled warmly at Alex and nodded. She knew how much it must hurt the blonde to not have her father there to walk her down the aisle, and she had actually half-expected her to forego the whole escort business and just do it herself. But she was glad to see that the ADA was going to let her brother fill that role for her. "Excellent. Bridal parties?"
"Elliot, Fin, and Much for me," Olivia said.
"And Carmichael, though god knows why," Alex said, smirking at her friend, "Andy, Jill, and Bryn for me."
"I see," Liz murmured, doing the math in her head. "So which of the men is going to walk down with two women?"
"I am," Much declared proudly, holding his hand in the air.
"I still say you cheated," Fin muttered.
"Do I want to know?" Liz asked Olivia.
Olivia grinned and shrugged. "They played a game of HORSE to decide who got to do it."
Liz turned to look at Fin. "How the hell can you cheat in HORSE?"
"There's no what he can make the shots he did," Fin grumbled. "Fucking cheated."
"Methinks somebody's a little pissed that they got beat," Abbie chuckled, grinning as she reached out and gave Munch a high five. "Well done, man."
"Thank you, ma'am," Much drawled.
Alex rolled her eyes. "We were thinking it would go you, Liv and Don, Elliot and Abbie, Munch, Andy, and Jill, and then Fin and Bryn."
"Works for me," Liz announced. She pointed at the weathered driftwood log and asked, "Ceremony by there?"
Alex nodded. "Yeah."
"Excellent. So, let's get everybody who's going to be part of the ceremony up on the bluff," Liz said as she spun on her heel and started up the small sandy hill that they would all walk down to make their entrance.
Donnelly lined them all up and looked back down at the beach, her lips pursed thoughtfully as she tried to calculate the logistics of everybody making their entrance. "I'll go first. Liv, Don, count to twenty and then follow. And so on, and so forth. Alex, you and Adam will wait until everybody is in position and then you'll come down. Adam, stand at the edge so that you'll know when it's time, but we want to keep Alex out of sight until the last moment. Sound good?"
"Sure," Adam agreed.
"Yup," Olivia replied. She had willingly opted to take on the groom's role for the ceremony so that she would be able to watch Alex walk down the aisle to her.
Liz clapped her hands authoritatively. "Then let's do this, people!"
Carolyn smiled at her daughter as she, Maggie, Matt, and the rest of the Cabots not in the wedding party made their way down to the beach to stand in the general area of where the seats would be the next day so that there was an 'aisle' for them all to walk down. The wedding party, led by Liz, made their way down to the beach. Liz was positively judicial in her approach and Olivia and Cragen were appropriately serious, but things went to the ridiculous immediately after when Elliot and Abbie started doing the Gangnam dance once they hit the Cabots and continued all the way up until they were in position. Andy, Much, and Jill did a crazy little three-way freestyle dance that was entirely inappropriate though Munch looked to be enjoying it immensely and Fin and Bryn brought up the rear doing a ridiculous looking tango.
Adam and Alex watched from the bluff, laughing hysterically, and Adam grinned at his sister once Liz motioned them to come down. "You ready?"
Alex nodded. "Yeah."
They made their way down the bluff toward the family and Alex couldn't contain her grin as she saw Olivia standing at the end of the 'aisle' smiling at her.
"Should we make an entrance like everybody else?" Adam asked, squeezing Alex's hand that was tucked into the crook of his arm.
Alex chuckled and nodded. "What should we do?"
"Wing it?" Adam asked.
So they did. Digging deep into their bags of tricks, they stopped at where they anticipated the end of the guest chairs would be and did a sexified Macarena before they made their way down the remainder of the aisle, arm-in-arm and doing the hop-skip that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke did in Mary Poppins.
Olivia laughed as Alex grabbed onto her arm and she couldn't resist leaning in to press a quick kiss to the smiling blonde's lips. "That was quite an entrance."
"Did you like it?"
"Mmhmm." Olivia nodded.
"Please don't do that tomorrow," Carolyn spoke up, leveling an unmistakably serious look onto the entire wedding party.
"The Macarena or the Mary Poppins skip?" Adam piped up. "Because we totally nailed both."
Everybody but Carolyn all laughed and she just rolled her eyes and shook her head as she muttered under her breath, "I give up."
"I was personally very impressed with Elliot's Gangnam Style dance," Fin whispered loudly to Munch, who nodded his agreement.
"Look, can we please focus?" Liz called out, grinning.
"I did it better than Stabler," Abbie said, leaning around Alex to glare at Fin and Munch.
"Yes, yes, we're all surprised that Texas here can do a dance that mimics riding a horse," Liz drawled. "Whatever, Carmichael. Just stand there and try to not look as goofy as you usually do."
"Hey!" Abbie yelled.
"Oh my god," Alex muttered, laughing as she buried her face in the crook of Olivia's neck. "Can we just elope?"
"Too late for that, Cabot," Abbie drawled, winking at Liz. "Now, can you to stop playing kissy-face so we can get down to business here, please? Really, you two are so undignified," she added, chuckling.
Jill reached out and smacked Abbie upside the head, and then ducked behind Andy before the Texan could retaliate.
"Oh. My. God!" Alex yelled. "Just stop! Let's get through this and then you guys can go back to being children for the rest of the night. Deal?"
"Deal!" The entire assembled group yelled laughingly.
"We are so fucked," Alex muttered.
"Mmm, that was earlier," Olivia whispered in her ear playfully. She kissed her quickly and added, "Though I wouldn't mind an encore."
"Head in the game, Benson," Liz snapped, taking a page out of Jill's book and smacking the detective upside the head.
"Yes, ma'am," Olivia groaned, standing up straight and turning to look at Donnelly.
Liz looked at Alex and nodded approvingly. "You've trained her up well. Good job, Cabot."
Alex rolled her eyes. "Thanks, Liz. Now "
"Right," Liz said, nodding. "So, we'll do the entrance just like we just did sans dancing?" She arched a questioning brow at the wedding party before continuing. "And then the guests will take their seats and I'll start "
The rest of the rehearsal went smoothly, with Alex's bridesmaids behaving themselves long enough to let Liz work through the details, and then Alex and Olivia were sharing a quick kiss before they walked back up the aisle with their wedding party following them in reverse order.
"So, who's ready for some food?" Adam asked loudly as the family and guests gathered on the lawn.
"I am," Jill yelled.
Carolyn laughed. "We have a reservation at The Player's Club. I trust you all know the way?"
"Oh yeah," Jake replied, grinning.
"Good." Carolyn smiled at her nephew. "Then let's go."
"You know," Fin told Olivia as he looked around the restaurant, "this is really not what I was expecting."
Olivia grinned and nodded understandingly as she looked around the outdoor eating area that Carolyn had reserved for the rehearsal dinner. The interior of the Player's Club was predictably Hamptons, with a polo theme in full effect throughout the high-ceiling space in the form of equipment and large-print pictures, but the outdoor area was a much more laid back beer garden. And that was where they were having their rehearsal dinner.
The Cabots were spread out around the stone patio, sitting in small groups at the tables that littered the space beneath the vine-covered pergola. There was no set menu for the dinner, everybody just ordered whatever they wanted, so there was a mix of everything from hotdogs for the kids to seared tuna salad, steak, and lobster rolls for the adults. Music filtered down onto them from speakers mounted on the top of the pergola posts and the area was lit by flickering lanterns that hung overhead. Adam, Jake, and John had turned one of the flatscreens on the patio to the Yankee's game, while Paul had somehow managed to steal the other to so he could watch his beloved Gunners take on Tottenham.
It was relaxed. Simple. In short, it was everything she loved about Alex's family. They might have more money than they knew what to do with, but it really didn't seem to affect them much at all. Sure, they could put on airs and hobnob with the best of them, but at their heart, this was who they were. A family who loved each other and enjoyed just being together.
"You should have seen them all at Liv and Alex's bachelorette weekend," Elliot said as he set a fresh pint in front of Fin.
"Please," Olivia scoffed. "You missed the really exciting stuff. Hell, when you were there, we spent like ten hours in the hospital-"
"I think you're exaggerating a bit there, babe," Alex interrupted with a smile as she sat down on Olivia's lap. "It was closer to three."
"Whatever," Olivia retorted, grinning as she wrapped her arms around the blonde's waist. "Anyways, my point is, you weren't there for the crazy."
"We played ultimate Frisbee, sunbathed, had a clambake, and then sat around a bonfire drinking," Alex said. "How is that crazy?"
"Bryan in the bikini?" Olivia offered.
Munch choked on the drink of ale he was in the middle of swallowing. "Excuse me?"
Alex laughed and shrugged. "Okay, so maybe the game of Truth or Dare got a little crazy. But, really, that wasn't bad for us and you know it."
"Yeah," Olivia murmured, smiling as she remembered her first weekend with the Cousins; how Alex had won a trophy and the dance-off that had happened when they had all gone out to Paul's club. "I guess you're right."
"I always am," Alex said, pecking the brunette quickly on the lips. "Remember that."
"She has a point," Elliot said, waving a french fry at his partner. "Remembering that will definitely make your life a hell of a lot easier."
Munch nodded sagely. "He's right."
Fin chuckled and cast an incredulous look at his partner. "You've been divorced how many times, old man?"
"Hey, I was still married to 'em," Munch shot back, stealing the fry Elliot was still pointing at him and shoving it into his mouth.
"So is this where the cool kids are sitting?" Abbie drawled as she dragged a chair over to their table.
"Not anymore," Alex retorted as she reached across the table to steal one of Elliot's fries. "Thanks, Stabler."
Elliot chuckled and slid the bucket of fries into the middle of the table. "Go for it, Counselor."
"Don't mind if I do." Abbie grabbed a handful of fries and sat back in her chair as she looked at Alex and Olivia. "So, you guys ready for tomorrow?"
"Oh yeah," Alex said, smiling as Olivia nodded nodded her agreement and pressed a soft kiss to the back of her neck.
"And the plan is what?" Elliot asked.
"I'm going with Alex and Carolyn to do hair, nails, makeup, and all that stuff and Serena's going to go with Benson and Maggie," Abbie answered for the couple.
"They're not letting you and Maggie spend the day together?" Elliot asked, chuckling.
Abbie threw her hands up in the air exasperatedly. "I know, right? But no, they-" she waggled a finger at Alex and Olivia, "-separated us."
"And for good reason," Olivia retorted. "I don't think I can handle you and Maggie tag-teaming me for an entire day."
"Whatever," Abbie drawled, "just means I get to harass Cabot all day instead."
"Yea, lucky me," Alex murmured, shaking her head as she picked up her beer and took a long swallow of the rich amber liquid.
"Ceremony is at six, right?" Fin asked.
Olivia nodded. "Yeah. But the photographer wants everybody here around four to do some pre-wedding shots."
"You guys are going to see each other before the wedding?" Elliot asked, looking surprised.
Alex shook her head. "No. We'll do the ones with just us after the ceremony. Before will be us alone, with family, wedding parties, etc."
The men all nodded their understanding.
"Kathy and I were planning on getting up to the house around three-thirty, if that's okay?" Elliot asked Alex.
"That would be fine, Elliot," Maggie assured him as she sauntered over to the group's table. "If I'm not around, there will be somebody will be around to let you in. Just make yourselves at home and we'll find you when it's time to do pictures and everything."
"Thanks again for letting us take over your house, Mags," Alex said, smiling up at her aunt.
"My pleasure, darling," Maggie assured her.
"I still can't believe you two are going to spend the night before your wedding together," Carolyn grumbled playfully as she dropped a quick kiss to first Olivia's then Alex's forehead.
"Give it a rest, Mom," Alex groaned.
"I'm just playing with you, dear," Carolyn chuckled. "Just you both need to make sure you eat a big breakfast tomorrow."
"She's right," Andy said as she joined the group. "I was so hungry by the end of our wedding that I made the limo driver go through the drive-thru at a Burger King so I could get a Whopper. That was the best fucking burger I've ever had, by the way."
Olivia laughed. "Did you get a crown?"
"She did, in fact," Mark said as he came up behind Andy and wrapped his arms around her waist. "The kids are fading, babe. We're going to need to get going soon."
Andy nodded and cocked her head to the side as she looked at her baby sister. "Alright. Well I'll meet you and Mom at the salon tomorrow morning, okay?"
Alex smiled. "I'll see you there."
"And I'll see you," Andy said, tapping Olivia on the shoulder, "at the wedding. You're not planning on standing my sister up, are you?"
"Andrea!" Carolyn laughed.
Olivia smiled and shook her head. "I've wanted nothing more than to marry her for a very long time. I'll be there. I promise."
"Good," Andy said, smiling. "Just checking. Have a good rest of the night you guys. We need to go get the rugrats into bed."
"Actually, I should probably get going too," Elliot said as he glanced at his watch. He still had a two-hour drive back to Queens.
"Yeah, us too," Fin and Munch echoed.
"Well, I'm stayin' right here," Abbie announced.
"Lucky us," Alex drawled, rolling her eyes as she climbed off of Olivia's lap so she could hug her sister and the guys goodbye.
With the majority of the family leaving, it wasn't long before the rest of them also called it a night as well, and they all made their way out to the valet together.
"Ser and I will pick y'all up at ten tomorrow," Abbie called out over the roof of Serena's little C350 coupe.
"We got it, Carmichael," Alex said, waving.
"Just make sure you're dressed by then," Abbie retorted with a laugh.
"Please, like I would ever let you near Olivia without clothes on," Alex shot back.
"Like I would ever want her near me if I didn't have clothes on," Olivia added.
Abbie gave the detective a hurt look. "Really, Liv? I thought we were better friends than that."
"Get in the car, Tex," Serena yelled from the passenger's seat where she was already busy fiddling with the radio.
"You're lucky she's making me leave," Abbie said.
Jill, who was already in her car that was behind Abbie and Serena's, laid on the horn and yelled out her window, "Move that skinny ass of yours, Carmichael. I wanna go get laid!"
"Me too," Serena said.
Abbie grinned. "And with that, I bid you all goodnight."
Alex laughed and waved at Abbie and Serena, and then Jill and Lindsay as they drove by, and she leaned back into Olivia as they waited for their car to be brought around. "This time tomorrow, we'll be married," she said, sounding excited and awed.
Olivia smiled and pressed a slow kiss to Alex's cheek as she held her close. "I can't wait."
It was twenty minutes until the ceremony was set to begin and Alex was pacing madly back and forth across the study where she and Abbie were hiding out until it was time to make their entrance. Andy had run out a few minutes ago to make sure that Ethan was all right after he got poked in the eye by a lightsaber during the kids' Star Wars battle. Even dressed in their Sunday best, Cabot kids will continue to be Cabot kids.
"Breathe, Alex," Abbie drawled from her seat in an old, well-worn, brown leather wingback chair.
"I am breathing," Alex grumbled, not even looking up at her friend as she continued to pace. The floor was cool and comfortable beneath her bare feet, and she tried to discreetly take a deep breath to calm herself so that Abbie didn't feel vindicated in bossing her around.
Abbie smiled. "Hey," she said, her voice serious and gentle, all traces of her usual teasing gone as she looked at Alex.
The change in tone got Alex's attention and she stopped pacing long enough to look at her old friend. "What?"
"I'm proud of you."
"For what?" Alex asked, a small smile tweaking her lips.
Abbie shrugged. "Everything. You really did it, Alex. You got the girl."
Alex grinned. "I did, didn't I?"
"You did." Abbie nodded. "And you're going to marry her in just a few minutes now."
"I don't want to wait," Alex grumbled.
Abbie nodded understandingly and pushed herself up out of the chair. Like Alex and the rest of the wedding party, she too was barefoot, and she wiggled her toes on the rug as she smoothed her hands over the front of her pale blue bridesmaid's dress. She smiled as she ran her eyes over Alex's form. "But just think how sweet it'll be when you finally see her at the end of the aisle. She looks smokin' by the way. Almost as good as you."
"And there's the flirtatious Abbie we all know and love," Alex murmured, rolling her eyes.
"Eh," Abbie said, smirking. "It's hard to turn off for too long. But," she added, stepping into the blonde and pulling her into a light embrace, "I meant it. You look beautiful. Your future wife looks amazing. And I feel beyond blessed to be able to stand with you today."
Alex took a deep, shuddering breath and smiled. "I love you too, Abbie."
"Don't you forget it," Abbie murmured, reaching down and squeezing the blonde's ass.
"Abigail!" Alex yelled, laughing as she clung to her friend.
"You love it," Abbie retorted.
"I do," Alex agreed.
A knock on the door drew their attention and Carolyn smiled as she walked into the room to find the two women still wrapped in an affectionate embrace. "Do I need to go back out there and break poor Olivia's heart?"
"No, Mom," Alex said, smirking as she stepped away from Abbie. "She's definitely the only one I want. What's up?"
"We're getting ready to line up and I wanted to just stop in and tell you that I love you. And that I'm proud of you. And that you look absolutely beautiful." She smiled at her youngest child. "And to tell you that if anybody does that cowboy dance on the entrance that heads will roll."
Alex laughed as Abbie pouted dramatically beside her. "Deal."
"I thought Stabler and I killed that entrance," Abbie grumbled.
Carolyn grinned and walked into the room to pull her daughter into a quick hug as she handed her her bouquet. "I'll see you out there, baby. I love you."
"Love you too, Mom," Alex whispered.
"Mom, Abbie, they're ready for you out there," Adam said as he stepped into the den wearing a pair of tailored black slacks with a white button-down left open at the collar and rolled at the sleeves.
"I guess that's my cue," Carolyn said, smiling as she backed toward the door. "Take care of your sister," she told her son.
"Yes ma'am," Adam answered with a grin and a sloppy salute. Once it was just him and Alex left in the room, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his black slacks and gave his sister an appraising look. "Last chance, Alex. You want me to go get the car?"
Alex smiled and shook her head. "No."
"Good," he replied. There was another knock on the door and Jill poked her head inside. "Liz, Olivia, and the guys are all out on the lawn and starting to head down to the beach. Everybody's here so Liv talked Donnelly into starting a little early."
"And that's just one reason why I love that girl," Alex murmured. "So we can come out?"
"That would be why I was telling you they were outside," Jill retorted. "I'll see you down there, Alex. Don't trip."
Alex scowled. "And I wasn't at all concerned about that before, but now I know that's all I'll be thinking about."
"I'll hold you up," Adam assured her. He held his arm out to his sister and smiled. "Let's go get you married."
"Yes. Let's," Alex agreed as she took his arm.
"You have your stuff?" he asked as they made their way slowly down the hall toward the kitchen.
"Something old, new, borrowed, blue?"
Alex nodded. "My dress is new. Mom leant me her earrings that Dad gave her on their wedding day. My glasses are old. And the blue I'm not going to tell you about, but trust me it's there."
Adam smirked. "Garter?"
"No," Alex replied. "And that's all you're getting on the matter."
He laughed. "You know, I don't think I want to know," he said as he peeked out the window to make sure that the coast was clear. He grinned as he watched Olivia and Elliot disappear over the crest of the bluff to the beach. "Alright, she's down there. Let's roll, beautiful."
By the lack of raucous laughter, Alex knew that everybody behaved and walked down the aisle properly, and she smiled as they caught up to Bryn and Fin who were waiting until it was their time to go.
"Looking good, Counselor," Fin said, winking at the blonde.
"Thank you," Alex replied, smiling as she looked at him in his beige slacks and baby blue button down that matched the bridesmaid's dresses. "You cleaned up well yourself, detective."
"It's our turn," Bryn announced. "We'll see you down there, Alex."
Alex nodded and watched Fin and Bryn head down to the beach and she swallowed thickly as her pulse began racing in her veins. "Can we go yet?"
Adam smiled and shook his head. "Not yet, Alex. We need to wait until everybody is in position."
"Is the violinist down there? I can't hear the music."
"He's down there," he assured her.
"I wanna go."
Adam laughed. "Not yet."
"Well, why don't they hurry up?"
"Because they're trying to torture you," he retorted, rolling his eyes. He glanced back down at the beach and smiled as he saw Fin and Bryn take their places at the end of their lines. Liz waved a hand at him and he nodded. "Right. Here we go."
Alex took a deep breath and nodded. "Okay."
Her eyes remained on her feet as she and Adam made their way down the small bluff, and she smiled as she finally heard the violinist playing. As soon as she was on the beach, she looked up, her eyes skipping over the guests who were all standing and smiling at her as she looked for Olivia. She started to feel light headed as she tried to peer around the crowd to find her fiancée, and she startled slightly when she felt Adam's lips against her ear.
She smiled embarrassedly and took a deep breath, and was relieved to find that she felt instantly better. And then she saw Olivia standing at the end of the aisle waiting for her and her breath was stolen from her lungs. Olivia was stunning in a pair of ivory-colored tuxedo pants, an untucked white button-down with the top three buttons left open to expose the tanned plane of her chest, and a fitted waistcoat that matched her trousers. "Oh my god."
"Good?" Adam murmured, smiling at the handful of cameras that were pointed at him and his sister.
Up at the altar, Olivia was thinking the same thing as she watched Alex walk toward her. The blonde's hair was up in a loose bun, leaving her exquisite neck exposed, and her dress Olivia didn't think she'd ever seen anything as beautiful. The top half was a pale ivory satin halter style that showed off the attorney's shoulders while also leaving a healthy expanse of skin between the blonde's breasts on display. That fabric ended at her waist, where it was gathered to almost look like the bottom of the vest she, herself, was wearing, and the skirt fell to mid-calf and was made of what looked like layers of chiffon. Of course, the best part of all, was that Alex had worn the black glasses she'd asked the blonde to wear. She always did love Alex in those glasses, and she smiled as she drank in the sight of her soon-to-be wife as a whole.
"She's beautiful," she whispered.
"And she's yours," Elliot murmured in her ear with a smile.
Time slowed as Alex took those last few steps to where Olivia was waiting for her and she smiled as she allowed Adam to take her hand from his arm and place it into Olivia's. Just the feeling of the brunette's hand on her own made her heartbeat slow and she took a deep breath as she stared unblinkingly into her love's eyes. She didn't notice when her brother kissed her cheek or stepped back to sit beside her mother, nor did she notice that Liz had started talking.
Her entire focus was on Olivia.
Nothing else in the world mattered.
I love you, she mouthed, smiling as Olivia grinned and mouthed the words back.
They were really getting married.
She tuned back into what was happening as Liz started reading the one piece of scripture they had both wanted included in the ceremony. Though neither were particularly religious, the quote from Corinthians was one they each thought was relevant.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
"Alex and Olivia have opted to write their own vows," Liz said, smiling at the women in front of her. She hadn't been oblivious to the fact that neither were paying attention to the ceremony but she couldn't fault them for it in the least. She, of all people, knew exactly how hard the two women had fought to be where they were today. "So Olivia, if you would "
Olivia smiled and chewed her lip nervously as she nodded. "Alex from the first time you strutted into the 1-6 in a pair of killer heels and a power suit, I knew I was in love. You were smart, passionate, and so incredibly beautiful that I really never stood a chance. Loving you was inevitable." She took a deep breath. "We fought for years over warrants and evidence and, well, anything we could think of, it sometimes seemed -" She smiled as Liz chuckled softly beside them. "And every time made me feel alive. Being the focus of your raw passion made my pulse race, and I actually took more than a few verbal smack-downs from you on behalf of the guys so that I could experience it again."
Alex's brows shot up in surprise and she leaned to the side to look at Elliot, Fin, and Much, all of whom were suddenly way too focused on their feet. The guests laughing drew her attention back to Olivia and she smiled. "Sorry," she whispered.
Olivia laughed and reached up to cradle Alex's face in her right hand, needing to feel that sense of intimacy as she finished her vows. "We eventually became friends, spending time together outside of work, and I began to see the real you. The beautiful, funny person who hid behind a façade of intelligent superiority and passionate determination, and I fell harder than I thought was even possible. I was convinced that this was an impossibility, that we were never meant to be, and I cherished the opportunity to simply be your friend.
"And then I asked you to help us out on a case and everything changed. Mutual affections where confessed in a cramped hospital bed, and the life I had often dreamed of yet never dared to hope for became real." She smoothed her thumb over Alex's cheek as she remembered the gut-wrenching fear she'd felt as she'd watched Walker drag Alex away from her and she took a deep breath as she forced herself to move past it. She smiled as Alex turned and pressed a soft kiss to the palm of her hand and she knew that the blonde was thinking of that night as well. "I love you, Alexandra Rose Cabot, with every fiber of my being. I promise to love, honor, and cherish you forever. I promise to be your best friend, to have fun and enjoy life with you. I promise to support you to reach all your dreams. I promise to share your joys and comfort you in your sorrows. I promise to be your faithful lover, and to work hard to fulfill our needs."
Liz smiled as she watched Alex wipe the tears from her face and she cleared her throat softly to get her goddaughter's attention. She nodded indicatively when watery blue eyes landed on her and she took a deep breath as she watched Alex turn her attention back to Olivia.
"I really want to kiss you right now," Alex whispered, smiling as she reached out to cradle Olivia's jaw in much the same manner as the brunette was still holding her. She cleared her throat and then continued, in a much louder voice, "I don't know if I can follow that, but I'll give it a shot. Olivia. My Olivia. Remind me to buy the guys lunch for sending you to my office in their stead, because those arguments we had over everything, anything, and nothing were the highlight of my day." She smiled as everybody laughed.
She licked her lips and continued, "I love you, Olivia and I have from the first moment I walked into the 1-6 and saw you leaned back in your chair, feet up on your desk, an exquisite specimen of powerful feminine beauty. I found reasons to come down to the precinct to visit you and I would ask you to come to me so I could tell you something I could have easily told you over the phone. I may have started one or two arguments with you just to keep you in my office that little bit longer because I wasn't quite ready to let you go."
She grinned as Olivia laughed and then her expression turned wistful. "I love you. You are the woman I always dreamed I'd find and the one I was positive didn't exist because nobody was that perfect. But you are. You are perfect for me and I am thankful that circumstances were what they were so that we could ease past that line of friendship we'd established to find something more. Something perfect." She licked her lips and took a deep breath as she prepared to deliver her closing. "You are the most generous and selfless person I know. You are my best friend and accomplice, and I look forward to sharing the rest of my life with you. I promise to try to keep a light heart and a sense of humor, especially when we're arguing over warrants. I will be honest, respect you and support you in your dreams and goals. But most of all, I promise to trust and love you with all my heart, and cherish you with all my soul forever."
By this point, they were both crying and a good portion of the assembled guests were as well, but neither noticed anything but the woman standing in front of them.
Liz cleared her throat and smiled as she looked to Abbie and Elliot, both of whom were tearing up a little, and said, "Rings?"
Alex and Olivia smiled at each other as they turned to their friends and took the rings that were offered to them. They were simple platinum bands, but on the inside of the band they had their names engraved with the words, In perpetuum et unum diem.*
They turned back to each other, and Liz smiled fondly. "Olivia, please repeat after me, With this ring, I thee wed."
Olivia beamed and slid the band she was holding over Alex's knuckle so that it was beside her engagement ring. "With this ring, I thee wed," she declared loudly, as if she was daring anyone to challenge her claim on the blonde.
Liz chuckled. "And Alex, if you would. With this ring, I thee wed."
Alex licked her lips and slid the ring onto Olivia's finger. She smoothed her fingertip over it once it was in place and then looked up into smoldering mahogany eyes and whispered, "With this ring, I thee wed."
"By the power vested in me by the state of New York, I know pronounce you wife and wife. Kiss your girl, Benson."
Olivia laughed and swooped Alex into her arms, wasting no time covering the laughing blonde's lips with her own. This kiss, this moment, was the one she had been waiting for from the moment Alex proposed.
Alexandra Cabot was hers. Forever.
"I present to you, Mrs. and Mrs. Olivia and Alexandra Benson-Cabot!" Liz said loudly, clapping her hands as the blushing brides broke away from each other to face the crowd of assembled guests who were all on their feed and applauding.
They made their way back up the aisle, smiling at each other and the many cameras pointed their way, and once they were back up on the lawn Olivia swept Alex into her arms and spun her around giddily as she claimed her lips in a joyous, passionate kiss.
They were married.
Once the guests had all made their way up from the beach, the photographer ushered the couple and their wedding party back down to the beach for pictures. Once the group shots were done, Abbie, Elliot and company all went up to the party and it was just Alex and Olivia, barefoot in the sand holding each other close as the sun began to set. Neither paid attention to the photographer as she bustled about, taking pictures.
"We did it," Alex murmured as she wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck and leaned in to capture her lips in a slow, sweet kiss.
"We did," Olivia hummed, smiling as she chased after Alex's lips. She wasn't done kissing her yet.
Eventually they pulled themselves from their little bubble and acquiesced to the photographer's instructions to look this way, to touch here, to hold there, to kiss, and then they were walking slowly back up to the lawn where the party was in full swing.
The singer of the band introduced them as they approached, and they waved and smiled as everybody gathered applauded their entrance. They walked hand-in-hand out onto the dance floor and Alex kissed Olivia softly as the brunette pulled her into her arms as the band started to play their first-dance song.
"Deep within your heart, you know it's plain to see Like Adam was to Eve, you were made for me," the woman sang in a throaty alto as Olivia leaned her forehead against Alex's and started to sway lightly to the music. "They say the poisoned vine, breeds a finer wine Our love is easy."
Alex smiled and lifted her chin to claim Olivia's lips in a slow, sweet, chaste kiss as they danced and she sighed as she pulled back and stared adoringly into her wife's eyes. "I love you."
Olivia beamed. "I love you too, sweetheart."
Contrary to Andy's warning, they did manage to sit down for dinner and they were finishing up their main course when Abbie walked over to where the band was set up beside the pool and took the microphone off the stand as she cleared her throat to get everyone's attention. Apparently, it was time for the toasts to begin.
"My name is Abbie Carmichael, and I've known Alex for what feels like forever," Abbie said, smiling warmly at the blonde. "And I can tell you that, right now, she is shaking in her boots as to what I could possibly say."
Alex laughed and nodded. "I am!"
"Thought so," the Texan drawled, with a roguish wink. "But, I have been threatened by Mamma Cabot to behave, so behave I shall." The crowd laughed and she tipped her head at Carolyn who was giving her a stern 'damn right you'll behave' look. She waited for the crowd to quiet and then she said, "I could say so much to you Alex, but in the end it all boils down to this I love you like a sister and I am so happy that you have found your happily ever after. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, and may the happiest day of your past together be the darkest day of your future. To Alex and Olivia!" she called, holding her glass aloft.
The crowd echoed the sentiment and as they were all drinking Abbie added, "And remember Never cook bacon naked!"
Everybody choked on their drinks laughing, and Abbie cackled merrily as she took a giant swig of her champagne and handed the microphone back to the band.
Alex rolled her eyes as the Texan stopped by their table to give them each a hug and she couldn't help but laugh as Abbie planed a wet, sloppy kiss on her cheek and said, "Love ya, you sexy bitch, you!" before she skipped off to sit back down by Serena.
"That was actually a much better toast than I was expecting from her," Olivia said as she obliged the people clinking their silverware on their glasses and leaned in to kiss Alex.
Alex hummed and reached up to grab onto the back of Olivia's neck to hold the brunette close as she deepened their kiss, tilting her head to the side and stroking her tongue lazily around Olivia's.
"Oh, for god's sake, keep it in your pants, you two!" Maggie hollered laughingly.
"I'm gonna kill her," Alex grumbled against Olivia's lips.
Olivia laughed and pecked the blonde's pouting lips playfully. "No you're not." She noticed Elliot walking up to the band out of the corner of her eye, and she smiled as she pressed one last chaste, lingering kiss to Alex's lips before she turned her attention to her partner who was looking especially uncomfortable being the center of attention.
"Hello," Elliot said into the mic, and then winced as his voice echoed a little too loudly across the lawn. He adjusted his hold so that the microphone was further form his mouth and tried again. "Liv, Alex, congratulations." He looked up at the crowd and grinned. "I am Olivia's partner and I have to say, these two weren't kidding in their vows when they talked about fighting with each other; but even then, Olivia would never let me say one bad word about Alex. She could say a whole host of 'em, but not me."
Olivia blushed as Alex laughed throatily beside her. "My hero," Alex cooed, pressing a wet kiss to the brunette's cheek.
Elliot grinned at the couple and continued with his speech. "From day one, she protected Alex like she was hers, and I am immensely relieved that they have finally found their way together. I wish you two nothing short of an eternity of happiness, and I know you will find it because you are each other's soulmate. Love each other. Cherish the little things. And always remember how blessed you are to have each other. To Olivia and Alex!" he finished, raising his glass in the air.
Alex and Olivia smiled at him as they took a sip of their champagne, and Alex smiled as she watched Olivia get up to pull Elliot into a hug. She saw her whisper something in his ear that made him blush, and she grinned as she stood to hug him as well. "Thanks for everything, Elliot."
"My pleasure, Alex," he replied, bussing a quick kiss across her cheek. "Take care of her."
"Always," Alex agreed with a nod.
"Good," he replied. He looked up at Olivia who was smiling at them and he winked at the brunette as he let her wife go. "Congratulations again, guys," he said as he walked back to his table where Kathy was waiting for him.
Alex went willingly into Olivia's arms as the brunette pulled her in close, and she smiled as she leaned in and kissed her softly. "What did you tell him?"
"That I couldn't have been more proud to have him stand by my side today," Olivia murmured. "He and the guys are my family, and it just means a lot to me that they're all here."
"Oh, sweetie," Alex hummed, nuzzling Olivia's cheek. "I know for a fact that there's nowhere else they would rather be. They love you."
Olivia nodded and swallowed thickly. She had always felt so alone in the world, and now it was like she had more family than she knew what to do with. "Yeah."
"Alex and Olivia," Jill's voice echoed through the speakers, "get your asses up here."
"Oh no," Alex muttered as she pulled away from Olivia to look up at the dance floor where the Cousins were all gathered.
"Oh yeah," Jake yelled into the microphone. "It's on, girlfriend! Get up here NOW!"
"I'm afraid," Olivia confessed as she allowed Alex to pull her toward the dance floor.
"As you should be," Alex said, laughing as she looked back at her wife.
"Do I want to know what's going on?" Olivia asked as they stepped onto the dance floor.
"Cabot Rules number 42," Adam shared as he looped an arm over the brunette's shoulders.
"And that is ."
"We're dancing," John said, winking at the couple as he gave the band the thumbs up to press play on the small radio he'd brought out with the appropriate music selection already loaded into the CD tray.
The distinctive opening notes of Gangnam Style filtered through the speakers and Alex laughed as the Cousins surrounded them and started doing the dance.
"Come on, Alex!" Jill said, laughing as she pointed at Bryan who was trying his best to dance but falling well short of the coordination that the rest of the Cousins possessed.
Alex grinned and held a hand out to Olivia. "Shall we?"
"If we must," Olivia replied, smiling as she pulled Alex into a quick kiss before she backed away and started dancing.
Alex laughed and joined in, and she couldn't help but think that she and Olivia would spend the night dancing together.
It was, after all, how they really started.
Alex sighed with relief as she walked through the front door of the immaculately restored Brownstone she and Olivia had bought not long after they found out their latest in vitro attempt had been successful. It had been a long week at the office and she was very much looking forward to some quiet time at home with her family. She cocked her head to the side to listen for the sounds of her wife and children as she ducked into her home office that opened onto the foyer to set her satchel down onto her desk where it would remain forgotten until Sunday evening when she would review the upcoming case load for her prosecutors; and she frowned when she didn't hear a thing.
As anyone with small children can attest, quiet is not a good thing. Quiet means trouble.
It had been nearly seven years since she and Olivia had said "I do" and though much had changed Olivia had replaced Don Cragen as the Caption for the sixteenth precinct's SVU division and she, herself, was now a bureau chief within the District Attorney's office so much had stayed the same. She still smiled when she woke up in the morning to find that one of Olivia's hands had, once again, wrapped itself around her breast while they slept. She still got an undeniable thrill from arguing with the passionate brunette. She still got butterflies in her stomach whenever Olivia would hold her close and whisper "I love you" in her ear.
Of course, the biggest changes to their lives were not their jobs, but their motivation for doing their jobs well. It had taken six tries before they got a positive pregnancy test, and they had cried together as they stared at the ridiculously unsanitary stick that had two distinct lines in the window that confirmed they were pregnant.
Six months later, Alex was put on bed rest, which did not go over well at all with the perpetually active attorney. Seven weeks after that, the triplets were born. Each weighed in at three pounds and change a healthy weight for their gestational age and the fact that there were three of them in utero and they spent the first four weeks of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit at the very same hospital Olivia and Alex had been taken to when Walker had attacked them at that club in the Village.
They were, thankfully, past the stage of never-ending sleepless nights as the triplets had just celebrated their third birthday and they were now fully immersed in the land of awe and wonder. The kids thought everything was amazing. They loved to build and explore, and they each had a unique take on the world that never failed to surprise their mothers.
Alex sighed as she started up the stairs to the main living floor and she smiled as she heard Olivia talking with the kids.
"Mommy, when Momma coming home?"
"Well, I'd imagine it should be soon," Olivia answered, and Alex didn't doubt for a moment that her wife had heard her come in. "She did promise to bring home pizza for dinner, after all."
"Oh shit," Alex muttered as she smacked her hand to her forehead. She'd forgotten about the pizza.
Olivia laughed and said in an even louder voice, "But it's okay if she forgot because we had lots of fun making lasagna earlier, didn't we guys?"
"Yeah!" the triplets yelled.
Alex laughed as she peeked through the railing at her wife and children. Olivia was sitting on the floor with her back against the couch, with Ross on her lap and Bobby and Ryan on either side of her. All three of the boys were in their pajamas, and they looked to be freshly bathed. That alone told her that they had quite a bit of fun 'helping' Olivia make dinner. "Hey guys!"
"Momma!" the boys hollered as they jumped to their feet and went running toward Alex. Each boy was pure Cabot, with blonde hair and sharp blue eyes, and though Alex had dreamt of having a child with Olivia's coloring they had even used a donor who had dark hair and eyes like the brunette but, as Olivia had said, Cabot genes are more dominant than dominant genes any day she couldn't deny the rush of pride she felt as she looked at her three mini-me's.
"Did you miss me?" Alex asked as she hurried up the stairs and through the baby gate that blocked the top so that she could greet the boys properly.
"We aways miss you, Momma!" Bobby said as he jumped at her.
She caught him mid-leap and swept him up into a fierce hug. "Oh, I missed you, buddy."
"Missed you too," Bobby said, smiling as he kissed her cheek. "We maked dinner."
"Did you now?" Alex asked as she set Bobby down and picked up Ryan, who was standing on her feet and trying to climb up her legs. "Hey pal."
"Momma," Ryan purred, smiling as he buried his face in the crook of her neck. From the moment he'd been born, he had always been more attached to her than Olivia and she sighed as she wrapped her arms around him and gave him a firm squeeze. "I wuv you."
"I love you too, sweetie," Alex whispered, pressing soft kiss to his chubby cheek.
"My turn! My turn!" Ross yelled as he danced around Alex.
Alex went to put Ryan down so she could greet her other son, but he tightened his hold on her neck so she just sighed and squatted down to pick Ross up as well. "Did you have a good day, bug?" she asked him as she pushed herself back up. She huffed as she straightened her legs and shook her head. They were getting too big for her to pick more than one of them up at the same time.
"Bestest day eber!" Ross said, throwing his arms around his mom and his brother. He was the most laid-back of the boys, and never seemed to mind sharing his mothers' attention with his brothers.
"Bestest day ever, huh?" Alex asked, arching a brow at Olivia who was standing in front of her with a soft smile on her face. She grinned and kissed the brunette quickly. "What did you four get up to today?"
"Nothing. Right boys?" Olivia said, winking conspiratorially at her sons. She'd taken the day off because their nanny couldn't take the boys due to a doctor's appointment, and they'd spent the day wandering through the zoo and eating all of the delicious junk food that they could find.
"Wight, Mommy," the boys answered in perfect synchronicity.
Alex laughed. "Your mother coached you well."
"Thanks, babe," Olivia replied with a smile. She looked at the kids and added, "Why don't you three go get in your chairs and we'll have dinner."
"Yea!" Ross yelled, deafening Alex in the process. He wiggled out of her arms and dropped to the floor, and took off at a gallop toward the dining room table. "Yummy, yummy food!"
"We maked dinner for you," Ryan said proudly as he tightened his hold on his mother. He was looking for a ride to the table.
Alex smiled and kissed his forehead. "That's what Bobby said. What did you guys make?"
"My favorite. Thanks pal."
"It was Mommy's idea."
"Well, I'll make sure to thank her too," Alex assured him.
"Promise?" Olivia asked, grinning at the blonde as she waggled her brows suggestively.
"If you're a good girl," Alex replied as she set Ryan into his chair at the table.
Olivia laughed and nodded. "I can be good."
Alex laughed and walked around the end of the table to kiss her wife properly. "You can be many things, love. And I adore all of them. Now, do you need help getting dinner out?"
The offer was tempting, but just as Olivia was about to say yes the boys started drumming their silverware on the tabletop. "Why don't you chill with the monsters and I'll get it."
Alex glanced back at the boys, who all folded their hands in their laps silverware included and smiled innocently at her. "Oh my god."
"It's like looking at three Adams," Olivia agreed, kissing the blonde's temple quickly before she disappeared into the kitchen to get the kids' food.
"Lord help us both," Alex muttered, barely suppressing the shudder that threatened to roll through her at the very idea of having three of her brother running around. "So, guys, did you have fun with Mommy today?"
Three towheads nodded vigorously.
"We goed to the zoo," Ryan told her.
Alex arched a brow at her son as she sat down in her chair beside him. "Which animal was your favorite?"
"The powar bear!" Ryan and Bobby yelled.
Alex smiled and turned to Ross. "How about you, bug?"
He grinned and held up his little hand. "The wepord. His paws are bidder dan mine!"
"No way!" Alex replied, laughing. She smiled at Olivia as the brunette came out of the kitchen with little plates of lasagna and garlic bread balanced in her hands. "Ooh, look guys. Mommy's got dinner for you!"
"Yea, Mommy!" the boys cheered.
Alex just smiled and watched as Olivia set a plate in front of each boy blue for Bobby, red for Ryan, and green for Ross. "It looks delicious, sweetie."
Olivia grinned. "Thanks. I'll just go get their sippys and then I'll bring out our food."
It was a simple meal completely devoid of fanfare, but it was everything they both could have dreamt of. After dinner, they all cleaned up. The boys were given damp paper towels to scrub their placemats, which kept them occupied for a handful of minutes as they tried to get every spot of sauce off their animal-themed placemat that their Uncle Adam had gotten them and once everything was as clean as it was going to get at the moment, they settled into the family room to watch an episode of Go Diego Go before the boys' bedtime.
Alex smiled as she came back downstairs from doling out her share of the goodnight kisses and changing into a pair of black yoga pants and an old Yale hoodie to find Olivia sitting on the couch pouring some wine into a couple of glasses on the coffee table. "You read my mind," she said softly as she rounded the end of the couch to sit beside her wife.
"How did the meeting with Branch go?" Olivia asked as he handed the blonde a glass full of cabernet.
"It went," Alex said, shrugging as she gratefully lifted the glass of wine to her lips. "Oooh, that's good," she murmured approvingly.
"What did he have to say?"
"He's got a bug up his butt about our win percentage because it's an election year. Nothing new."
"I thought your guys were over eighty percent."
"We are," Alex said, smiling proudly. Her division had the highest conviction rate in the city.
"So what's the problem?"
"Liz is running against him and he knows he's gonna lose," Alex replied as she took another slow sip of her wine. She sighed happily as she leaned into the brunette and rested her head on her shoulder. "The whole time I was there, I was wishing that I was with you and the boys."
"Aww, sweetie," Olivia murmured as she wrapped her arm around Alex's shoulders and turned her head to press a slow kiss to the blonde's temple. "We would have loved to have had you go with us too, but they knew you had to work."
"Stupid work," Alex grumbled as she turned to capture Olivia's lips in a sweet kiss. She smiled into it as she felt the brunette's fingers thread through her hair and hold her close, and she purred contentedly as the need for air forced them apart. "I love you."
"Love you too," Olivia murmured as she leaned in and captured Alex's lips in another languid kiss.
The sound of little feet running around upstairs pulled them apart and Alex laughed as Olivia held her fist out at her. She mimicked the action and said, "On three."
"One two three," Olivia said, and she lifted her arms triumphantly when her paper beat Alex's rock. "Your turn."
"Stupid game," Alex grumbled playfully as she took another long drink of her wine before she set her glass onto the table and heaved herself up off the couch. "All right, here comes the tickle monster to get any little boys who aren't in bed!" she yelled as she started up the stairs.
Loud giggles rained down the stairwell as the triplets went bombing back into their room to hide from the tickle monster.
"Not me, Momma!" Bobby screamed as she poked her head into their room. For now they were still in what had been their nursery, but once they were too big for their toddler beds they would be moving up to their own rooms on the fourth floor. "No tickle!"
"Not me!" Ross and Ryan echoed.
Alex grinned and walked into the boys' room to level her sons with a serious look. "It's bedtime, guys. We have a busy day tomorrow, remember?"
"Auntie Abbie's getting maywied," Bobby said, nodding.
"That's right. And she and Auntie Serena are going to need their ring bearers to be in tip-top shape for the ceremony so you guys need to go to bed. You got it?"
"Yes ma'am," Ryan answered. "I sowwy."
"Us too. Wight Woss?" Bobby piped up.
"Yeah. We sowwy Momma."
"No reason to be sorry, guys," Alex assured them with a gentle smile. "We need to leave super-early tomorrow to go out to Auntie Maggie's house for the wedding, so no more playing around."
"Yes ma'am," they all murmured.
Alex sighed and walked from bed to bed, dropping another kiss to each of their foreheads before she made her way back to the door. "I don't want to hear any more running around up here. Got it?"
"We gots it," Ryan assured her.
"Good boys. I love you."
"Wuv you too, Momma," they chorused as she stepped out of the door and closed it after herself. She stood at the top of the stairs listening for the sound of little bodies getting out of bed, but their room was surprisingly quiet.
She shook her head as she started back down the stairs and she chuckled as she walked into the family room to find Olivia yawning on the couch. "I thought you wanted a little somethin' somethin' tonight."
"I always want that," Olivia assured her with a grin. "I'm just tired after chasing after the boys all day. They're like little Energizer bunnies, they never stop!"
Alex nodded understandingly. The boys were little bundles of boundless energy. "What'd you do while they napped?"
"I made some calls and did some paperwork that I'd brought home with me instead."
"Stupid work," Alex grumbled for her.
"Exactly," Olivia agreed. "So, are they down for the count?"
"I think so," Alex said with a nod. "They looked pretty exhausted when we put them down the first time, I'm honestly surprised they got up at all."
"I think they wanted a little more momma time," Olivia said sagely.
"Probably," Alex agreed as she leaned forward to pick up her wine glass. "So I propose we give them another twenty to make sure they're really down for the night, and then maybe we can go to bed?"
Olivia grinned and chinked her glass against Alex's. "I love how you think, Counselor. You have yourself a deal."
Twenty minutes later, the boys had yet to make another peep and Olivia followed Alex up the stairs to their room. She paused for a moment to lock the baby-gate over the stairs as Alex listened at the boys' door to make sure they were asleep, and she smiled as she took the blonde's hand and led her down the hall to their bedroom.
So much had changed since they'd said "I do", but the way her heart seemed to swoop up into her throat at the very idea of making love to Alex was just as strong as ever.
Olivia pulled Alex into her arms beside the bed and smiled as she leaned in to capture her lips in a kiss that was slow and sweet and hungry all at the same time. They undressed each other as they kissed, fingers sliding over newly exposed skin, scratching, grabbing, stroking, massaging as the fire building between them grew.
The sheets were cool against their skin as they tumbled into bed but neither paid much attention to the chill of the smooth cotton beneath them as they lost themselves in the feeling of the other. A twist of her hips had Olivia hovering above Alex and she smiled adoringly down at the blonde as she slid her hands over the attorney's arms until she was able to twine their fingers together. Arms stretched upward as mouths came together with a fiery passion, tongues slipping hotly around each other as they shifted by inches until they found that blissful state of being where they were exactly as close as they needed to be.
Strong thighs pressed against soft skin and rocking hips painted broad stripes of sticky desire over corded, flexing muscle as they began to move in a dance that they had found years before. One that was distinctly, uniquely, theirs. Breaths fell in heated waves between parted, smiling lips as they moved together, thrust and counterthrust, chests heaving, hips rocking, rolling, seeking, giving the friction and the pressure they needed as they ambled slowly down the path of ecstasy. Muscles coiled in anticipation as heat spread languidly through their bodies and yet their slow and steady pace never faltered.
There was no rush.
They had forever.
Alex was the first to fall, sighing contentedly against Olivia's lips as gentle waves rippled through her, and she smiled as she felt the brunette shudder against her a heartbeat later.
"I love you," Olivia murmured as she pressed a lingering kiss to Alex's lips.
"I love you too, Liv," Alex whispered.
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