DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the third part of the story arc that started with Déjà vu, followed by The Cabot Cabin. To understand this one, I strongly recommend reading those two.
THANKS: To all of you for reading this ongoing series and supporting it the way you have, I really appreciate it. To the faithful followers on my Yahoo Group, vivalab – you guys rock!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Trial & Retribution
By VivalaB


Chapter 36: Suzy's Q's

Porter stared at the blonde woman as she raised her right hand and was sworn in, reflexively reaching up and touching his healing upper arm. He glanced at the jury and smiled, 'Fools,' he mused to himself as he returned his attention back to the witness box.

Abbie asked the waitress to clarify her job title and where she worked before prompting her to describe the events that unfolded at Sam's Diner on that particular evening.

Porter listened as Suzy described their arrival, his aggressive and impatient demeanour, rolling his eyes as she told the jury how he had appeared irritated every time she had approached their table. The older woman was right, he had been annoyed at the interruptions, but he let her make assumptions and draw false conclusions without a single objection. He caught the sideways glance that Abbie threw at him and smiled, enjoying the power he had over everyone in the room and how unaware they all were at how close he was to finally getting what he wanted. He lifted his silver pen and rolled it reverently between his fingers as Suzy's voice faded into the background.

"I can't believe you're hungry," Olivia said, shaking her head at the hotdog Alex was covering with a sticky blanket of mustard and ketchup.

Alex smiled at the vendor as she stepped away from the cart, "I have a high metabolism, I need regular nourishment," she replied, taking a large bite as she moved in beside the frowning brunette.

"You've been getting regular nourishment for three weeks," Olivia teased, waggling her eyebrows.

The woman beside her nearly choked at the comment and Olivia quickly lifted her hand and gently patted her back, "You okay?" she asked, handing Alex her soda.

Alex took a long sip through the straw before handing the cup back, "That was a low blow Liv," she chided lightly, taking another bite as they walked casually along the sidewalk.

Olivia threw her a lopsided grin and shrugged, "I do like low blows," she teased.

Alex groaned and shook her head, looping her free arm through Olivia's as they made their way along Maryland Avenue towards the Botanic Gardens. She had suggested the visit as she hadn't been for years and had fond memories of sitting in the Gardens with her father, finding a peaceful pleasure in the multitude of colors amid the tranquil setting.

Olivia looked at her watch and bit her lip anxiously, Alex caught the movement and tightened her hold, "She'll be fine," she said quietly.

The dark head nodded as they approached the entrance of the large gardens, "I know, I just can't shake the feeling that Porter is up to something...I can't explain it," she answered as Alex disposed of her napkin.

"Well, whatever Porter's up to, it won't last long, not with Abbie in there," she said, trying to alleviate her girlfriend's obvious apprehension.

Olivia nodded, "I know...you're right...c'mon, show me round this colorful vista," she replied, forcing all thoughts of Dean Porter out of her mind.

"And Agent Porter was armed?"

Suzy glanced over at the smug looking man and nodded, "Yes Ma'am, Detective Benson was behind a car on one side of the walkway leading to the entrance of the diner and he was on the other, they both had their guns pointed towards someone at the back of the parking lot," she confirmed, shifting her eyes anxiously to the watching faces of the jurors.

Abbie nodded her head, "Where were you in proximity to Detective Benson and Agent Porter?" she asked, resting her hand on the railing in front of the jury.

"I was crouched in the doorway, about fifteen yards away," she replied.

Abbie nodded her head again, "Why hadn't you left with the rest of the fleeing patrons and staff?"

Suzy shifted her head and looked directly at Porter, "I didn't want to leave," she answered coolly, her eyes drilling into Porter's.

"Why not?"

Suzy slowly moved her eyes from Porter to Abbie, "Honey, at my age, I can spot troublesome varmin at twenty paces...even in the dark," she replied evenly.

They walked slowly around the enormous conservatory, marveling at the vast array of colors and aromas permeating the air, contained within the different sections. Olivia smiled, "I know the brochure calls this the, 'Window to the world,'...but I can think of somewhere else with a magnificent view that gives this place a run for its money," she said, stopping at a large collection of bright red cactus plants and inhaling the heady scent.

"Where?" Alex replied absently as she read the description for the Disocactus ackermannii that had captured Olivia's attention.

Olivia nudged her and leaned in closer, kissing her cheek, "You need to ask?" she whispered.

Alex tilted her head and smiled knowingly, "Let me guess...is this a remote location with uninterrupted views of the mountains with a large lake and an incredible sunset?" she asked, reaching for Olivia's hand.

Olivia nodded, "It might be, although the place I'm thinking of is also home to a rare and beautiful creature...long and lean, graceful and elegant...especially in her natural habitat," she added in a hushed tone, smiling at the pink tinge that instantly covered Alex's cheeks.

Alex shook her head, "You, Olivia Benson, are the most romantic woman in the world," she said quietly, blowing out a steadying breath to calm her racing heart.

"You make me want to be," Olivia replied honestly, squeezing her hand lovingly before kissing her again.

Alex savored the brief connection and smiled, "Come on, I want to show you my favorite section," she said before tugging Olivia towards the exit.

Porter stood in front of his defense table with his arms casually folded as he addressed the occupant of the witness box, "In the parking lot, outside the diner, you had clear visibility on both myself and Detective Benson, is that correct?" he asked.


He nodded his head, "From your position beside ADA Cabot you saw everything that happened in the parking lot?"

"Not everything, I could only see what was happening in front of me, I could hear shouting and gunfire coming from all directions," Suzy replied honestly, glancing nervously at Abbie.

Porter admired the shine on his shoes for a few seconds, enjoying the build up to his long awaited moment of glory, "Did you ever see me point my weapon at Detective Benson?" he asked, lifting his head and looking directly at the waitress.

"Yes," she replied confidently.

Porter advanced slowly towards the witness box and unfolded his arms, "Was that before or after she drew her weapon on me?"

Suzy hesitated for a second before replying, "After"

He smiled, "The rifle you shot me with, where did you keep it at the diner?"

"Objection, relevance?...we've already established the witnesses reason for having the weapon on the premises," Abbie interrupted as she rose to her feet.

Porter turned his attention to Judge Ross, "I'm going somewhere with this your Honor, if you'll permit me to just ask my next question," he argued calmly, nodding his head.

"One question," Jamie warned coolly.

Porter smiled in acknowledgment as he moved in front of Suzy, "Please answer the question," he prompted.

Suzy glanced up at the imposing judge, "In the lockers, behind the kitchen," she replied.

"So, you had to leave the doorway to retrieve it?" he asked, trying to contain his rising excitement.

Suzy nodded, "Yes"

"So you didn't see everything that was going on in front of you?" he asked smugly.

Suzy shook her head emphatically, "I was only gone for a couple of minutes, when I came back, I saw enough to make me put a bullet in you," she replied adamantly.

"Why did you shoot me?" he asked, almost tasting the victory as the words left his lips.

Suzy looked at him and frowned, "Because you had your gun pointed at Olivia, I thought you were gonna shoot her," she said, shaking her head again and looking over at Abbie.

"Suzy, do you find Olivia attractive?"

Abbie leapt from her seat angrily, "Your Honor!"

"That's enough Mr Porter," Jamie advised.

Porter ignored her, focused intently on the woman in front of him, "Isn't it true that as soon as we arrived at the diner, you flirted openly with each other? Didn't you shoot me because you were jealous I was going to take her away from you?" he ranted.

Jamie repeatedly banged her gavel loudly until he stopped talking, "Chambers, now!" she ordered, rising angrily from her chair.

Two guards flanked Porter as he stood in Jamie Ross' chambers. Abbie stood on his right and glared at him constantly until the judge took her seat and indicated for them both to sit down.

"If you can't stick to the facts of the case Mr Porter, I'll have a judicial committee assembled to determine your fate so fast your head will spin. You will ask pertinent questions, directly related to this case, you will not insinuate anything derogatory about the victims and witnesses in these proceedings, do you understand?" she asked sternly.

Porter looked at her blankly, "I'm entitled to cross examine any witness your Honor," he replied smugly.

"There's quite a distinction between pursuing a relevant line of questioning and being an obnoxiously, arrogant fantasist, Mr Porter," she warned coldly, looking directly at him as she desperately tried to maintain a neutral facade, when every pore in her body oozed loathing for the man.

Porter held her unblinking gaze for a long minute before nodding his head, "I apologize your Honor, but I'm fighting for my freedom here," he said, trying to reason with her. He had watched her throughout the trial and couldn't shake the feeling that there was more to Jamie Ross than met his dark eyes.

"I can appreciate that Mt Porter, but keep your questions within the parameters of this case, are we clear?"

Porter reluctantly nodded his head as the short haired woman eased out of her chair.

"Good," Jamie replied, indicating for them both to rise, "Let's get back to it then," she said.

"The Bartholdi Fountain was designed symmetrically in three identical sections. The triangular base with turtles and large shells rises to the pedestal, from which three sea nymphs arise…" Olivia trailed off as she looked up from the brochure to look at the sculpted nymphs with their arched backs and headdresses made of leaves that adorned the thirty foot high sculpture in Bartholdi Park. The three figures, with carefully crafted seashells and fish between their feet appeared to hold up the large basin above their heads. Olivia studied the obscured central column and marveled at the ingenious design of the monument.

Alex smiled at Olivia's obvious approval of her favorite sight in the park and pointed to the three youthful tritons above the basin, "That's seaweed in their hands," she added, following the water as it spilled from the crown at the top and cascaded over the playful figures.

Olivia nodded, "I like the water shooting from the mouths of the fish and the turtles," she said, glancing at Alex. She looked up at the twelve lights that circled the basin, "I bet it looks stunning at night," she commented as they began to walk slowly around the large water filled base of the fountain.

"I expect it does, I've never seen it…we always came during the day and sat on one of the benches," she paused, pointing to some nearby seats, "We would sit and talk about the mountains and the necessity for places like this in our cities," she said, slipping her hand into Olivia's.

Olivia nudged her, "Did you always have such serious chats wit you Dad?" she teased.

"Yes," Alex replied, unable to contain her laughter. She steered them towards a nearby bench and sat down, releasing Olivia's hand and draping it around the detective's shoulders.

Olivia smiled, surprised at the move and leaned in closer, "I never thought I'd be one for public display's of affection," she admitted quietly.

"Me neither," Alex agreed.

Olivia looked over at the fountain, smiling as an idea formed and carefully tucked it away for later. She loved the feeling of Alex's arm around her, never having thought she would be so relaxed in public holding hands or showing her affection openly, but she was and she couldn't imagine it any other way.

"Wha are you thinning about?" Alex asked, interrupting her thoughts.

Olivia sighed, "I'm thinking how lucky I feel to be sitting here with you, like this," she admitted.

Alex gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze, "I know, it's usually the other way round, isn't it," she replied.

Olivia tilted her head, "I meant being so open," she said, raising her eyebrows.

"Aaah, I stopped analyzing it after I kissed you near the precinct," she added casually.

Olivia lowered her eyebrows, "In front of the peanut gallery?" she asked, remembering their rapt audience.

Alex smiled and nodded, "But to be honest Liv, I don't think I could hide how I feel about you, no matter where we are," she whispered, leaning down and kissing her cheek tenderly.

Olivia swallowed, "I think there might be a few objections to that Counselor, especially if I were to show you what I'm feeling for you right now…right here," she whispered seductively, wetting her parted lips in anticipation.

Alex mirrored the action, "Then it's a good job we're next to the fountain..." she paused, leaning in closer and stopping a whisper away from the inviting lips, "…to cool you down…Hot Stuff," she teased, smiling wickedly as she stole a quick kiss.

Olivia shook her head and groaned, Wait til we get back to the hotel…we'll see how restrained you are then," she bantered back, laughing as Alex covered her instant blush with her free hand.

They settled against one another and enjoyed their peaceful surroundings, after a relaxing half hour, Olivia looked at her watch, "Suzy's been there for almost two hours, think everything's okay?" she asked anxiously.

Alex squeezed her shoulder, "I'm sure she's fine," she answered positively, hoping that were true.

"Suzy could you tell us again, why you shot an FBI Agent?" Abbie asked, pointing her finger at Porter.

Suzy nodded her head, "Somebody was shooting at them, at Olivia and him," she paused, motioning towards Porter with her head, "…Alex…um, Miss Cabot and I were crouched in the doorway…Olivia was firing her weapon, but he was staring at her and he had this look in his eyes…" she trailed off, glaring at Porter.

Abbie moved closer, trying to keep Suzy focused, "He wasn't firing? You never saw him fire a single shot?" she asked, shaking her head.

"No Ma'am, I saw him look at her and I knew…my gut told me to get my gun and I did, when I came back they were still pointing their guns towards the back of the parking lot…Olivia took out her cellphone and spoke with someone and then she turned her gun on him," she paused and pointed at Porter, "They were both aiming their guns at each other, but I could hear Olivia yelling at him to to lower his, she kept hollering it over and over, louder every time, but he just stared at her…I saw his hand move on the gun and I knew what he was going to do…so I shot him, winged him," Suzy replied, glancing between Abbie and the jury.

Abbie nodded, "Thank you, nothing further," she said as she returned to her chair.

Porter sat silently for a long minute, staring at the blonde waitress, he was aware of the critical gaze being cast upon him from the judge and rose slowly from his seat, he lifted a hand and rubbed his jaw, "After you shot me and I dropped my gun, did you see me with any other weapon? Another gun, a knife, anything?" he asked as he approached the stand.

Suzy shook her head, "No," she replied.

"Did you see Detective Benson do anything to me, after she had taken my gun?"

Suzy looked at him and smiled, "She slugged you," she answered proudly.

"Did I make any attempt to strike her back? Did my physical demeanor indicate that I was about to harm her in any way? Did I appear to provoke her?"

Suzy shrugged, "I don't know," she said, blinking nervously.

Porter nodded his head, "Surely a woman like yourself has seen a lot of couples argue in the diner, I bet some even got a little out of hand?" he asked.

"Yes, some," she replied.

Porter smiled, "So surely you could tell by looking at us, only a short distance away in the parking lot…if I, unarmed and wounded, was posing a physical threat to Detective Olivia Benson…was I?" he asked, deliberately lowering his tone.

"Objection…calls for speculation," Abbie interrupted.

Judge Ross looked grudgingly at Porter, "Overruled," she said as she shifted her gaze to the blonde haired woman, "Please answer the question," she prompted.

Suzy turned away from the judge and glared at Dean Porter, "No," she answered flatly.

"No? So, unarmed and wounded, not posing a physical threat to Detective Benson…or anyone else…she punched me, didn't she Suzy?" Porter asked, wetting his lower lip as he savored the sweet taste of his hard fought victory.

Suzy nodded her head slowly, "Yes," she replied quietly, catching Abbie's eyes just before they dropped to the table.


Chapter 37: Countdown

Four despondent faces looked blankly at the plates as they were placed in front of them, their thoughts occupied by the events of the morning and the duplicitous Dean Porter. Abbie looked up and cast her eyes around the table, "He got lucky, that's all," she said, trying to lighten the downbeat mood, currently enveloping their table.

"I shoulda shot him in the head"

Everyone looked at Suzy, Olivia smiled and reached across the table, patting the back of her hand, "Suzy, you did great, he's just trying to make me look like Calamity Jane, shooting from the hip and asking questions later," she said, trying to make the older woman relax. She nudged Alex under the table.

"Liv's right, we knew from the outset, when he had no witnesses to call that he was going to play dirty…all he did was ask you what you saw, the same thing he'll ask me," Alex supplied, giving her a reassuring smile.

Abbie frowned, "No he won't…" she paused and shook her head slowly, "…cos I'll ask you…I'll beat him to it," she turned in her seat and looked at Suzy, "Your testimony was great, the jury looked at you like you were Betty White's younger sister," she drawled.

Suzy's mouth fell open as she clutched her heart with one hand, "More like her daughter, I'm not that much older than her," she scolded, pointing her finger at Olivia.

Abbie's shoulders shook with laughter, "I'm sorry, I just meant that you're adorable…you're a feisty battle axe, but you're adorable," she said, placing a hand on the older woman's shoulder and squeezing it gently.

Suzy smiled sweetly and searched Abbie's smiling face, "So which one of them is your ex?" she asked innocently.

The laughter died in Abbie's throat as her eyes widened perceptibly with shock, she turned her head and met smirking, knowing faces, "She's good," she said, nodding her head slowly.

Olivia lifted her fork and speared a piece of penne pasta, "We warned ya," she teased, feeling the tension suddenly evaporate. She glanced to her side and saw Alex load her fork with some salad, "That's why you need regular nourishment, too much raw food in your diet," she said, pointing her fork at the colorful salad.

Alex ignored the comment and chewed her mouthful slowly, when she was finished she turned and looked directly at Olivia, "I like it raw," she purred, deliberately licking her lips as she blindly reached for her glass of water.

Olivia's lips parted as her cheeks began to burn, she tore her eyes away from the hypnotic, cobalt gaze and met the wide eyed expressions watching them from across the table.

"Is it warm in here or am I having a hot flash, because of Hot Stuff over there," Suzy said, fanning herself with a paper napkin as she shook her head at Alex.

Olivia frowned, "I didn't do anything, I just made an innocent, observational comment," she whined, poking her pasta with her fork.

Abbie snorted, "Nothing about you is innocent Benson," she drawled, lifting her hamburger and taking a large bite.

Alex nodded her head, "You got that right Cowboy," she added, pressing her knee against Olivia's under the table.

Suzy listened to the playful banter and looked between the three women as realization suddenly dawned, "All of you?" she asked as her eyebrows shot up into her blonde hairline.

Porter sat in the small holding cell, patiently awaiting the lunch adjournment to be over so that he could return to the courtroom. He was pleased with the events of the morning and felt confident that this afternoon would be equally as successful, all he had to do was plant enough doubt in the jurors minds that Olivia was not the innocent victim that Carmichael was portraying her to be. He tapped the silver pen against his chin and thought about his options. The next witnesses due to appear were members of the TACT team unit that had attended the scene at Sam's Diner and then it would either be Olivia or Alex, he closed his eyes and smiled, wondering who Abbie would call first.

Abbie hugged Suzy warmly, "Thank you, it was great meeting you," she said quietly into the older woman's ear.

Suzy patted her back, "Look after them, they're good tipper's, especially the blonde," she replied, winking at Alex's outraged expression.

Abbie nodded her head as she withdrew her arms, "I will," she promised. She turned to the watching couple, "You better shine your brass buttons Benson, you're up tomorrow," she said, checking her watch.

Olivia and Alex shared a look, "I thought I was going up first?" Alex asked win confusion.

Abbie shook her head, "Change of plan, I'm done playing nice…there's enough to convict him already, I want those twelve men and women fighting over themselves to be the one to put the needle in that prick's arm," she said icily.

Alex nodded her head, "If you 're looking for a reaction from him, you're better putting me on the stand first," she replied.

Abbie shook her head, "I don't want a reaction, I want the facts and him dead," she stated firmly.

Olivia glanced at the wide eyed expression on Suzy's face, "And this is her on a good day," she deadpanned, rolling her eyes.

Abbie looked at Olivia, "Look, you're going to tell that jury exactly what happened between the DA's building and the diner…by the time you're done, I probably won't even need to call Alex to the stand…" she paused and smiled over at the ADA, "…I've got two TACT team agents this afternoon, both of them witnessed the shoot out in the parking lot…Porter has got absolutely nothing to convince a jury that he's been wrongfully implicated, absolutely nothing," she said with finality. She glanced at her watch again, "I gotta go, your ex likes to keep it tight," she said, giving them both a quick hug. She smiled at Suzy once more before heading off in the direction of the courthouse.

Suzy watched her leave, admiring her long strides and tall frame until Olivia accidently obscured her view.

"Let me guess…more sight seeing?" the detective quipped.

Suzy shrugged, "Just admiring the view, you do have good taste, I'll give you that," she said lightly, smiling over at Alex.

Olivia sighed wearily, "Why do I never learn?" she muttered, shaking her head in defeat.

Alex placed a comforting arm around her girlfriend's shoulders and pulled her closer, "It's okay sweetie, it's part of the burden of being such Hot Stuff," she teased, grinning at Suzy.

Suzy moved to Olivia's other side and slid her arm around her waist, "So…you and the judge?" she asked, meeting Alex's amused expression as the woman between them groaned loudly.

Alex entered the Presidential Suite and kicked off her shoes before lowering herself into the large sofa and sighing, "My feet are killing me," she groused as she settled on her back and propped her feet up on the arm rest.

Olivia deposited their gift bags on the table and looked down at her reclining girlfriend, "I can't remember the last time I've walked so much, at least Suzy had a great day," she said, throwing her leather jacket over the back of a nearby chair.

Alex tilted her head and smiled, "She had a great time didn't she?"

"Definitely," Olivia replied, nodding her head, "I think she bought gifts for everyone in Hamilton," she added, unbuttoning her shirt.

Alex smiled, "She's one of a kind…what were you two talking about behind the Lincoln Memorial?" she asked, admiring the toned frame that turned to meet her curious gaze.

Olivia shook her head, "Nothing important," she lied, avoiding Alex's inquisitive gaze.

"Really?" she asked, recognizing Olivia's dismissive behavior.

Olivia eased over to the the sofa and gently tweaked her toes, "Sometimes, you ask too many questions," she teased, leaning down and kissing the tops of both feet as her fingers stroked the delicate soles soothingly.

Alex closed her eyes, "I'm a prosecutor, it's my job to ask questions," she mumbled, enjoying the relaxing touch, administered by the skillful fingers.

Olivia kissed the soft skin again, "What were you and Abbie talking about at the courthouse?" she asked, pushing the denim material up Alex's leg and following the trail with her lips.

Alex gasped, "Nothing important," she breathed out, feeling her skin tingle wherever Olivia's touch landed.

The brunette slid her hands further up both legs and smiled, "Really?" she asked, repeating Alex's response to her own evasive answer. She removed her hands and stepped away, smiling down at the frowning blonde as she walked towards the bedroom.

"Where are you going?" Alex pouted from the sofa.

Olivia stopped at the bedroom door and turned, "To shine my brass buttons, wanna help?" she asked, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.

"You know when you asked me to help, I thought you had something else in mind," Alex said, watching as Olivia carefully rubbed the brass buttons on her uniform.

Olivia grinned, "Alexandra Cabot, you're beautiful mind spends far too much time in the gutter," she commented as she turned and smiled at the seated figure on the bed.

Alex sighed wearily, "It's your fault, you've corrupted me," she replied.

Olivia studied her uniform, deciding it was immaculate and placed the coat brush back in the small bag before doing the same with the shoe shine and cloth. She closed the mirrored closet door and moved over to the bed, one hand hidden behind her back.

Alex watched her slowly approach, trying to see the item behind her back. She bobbed her head from side to side in an effort to see the reflection in the closet. Her eyes widened as she saw a glimpse of black against Olivia's bare skin.

Olivia stopped in front of her and smiled as she placed the hat carefully, on top of the blonde head, "Very nice," she said appreciatively, pulling long blonde strands away from Alex's face.

Alex looked at her reflection and felt her pulse begin to race, she shifted her eyes back to the watching brown orbs and smiled, "Maybe I should have been a cop, I like this hat," she replied, reaching for the waistband of Olivia's jeans and tugging her closer.

"You definitely suit the hat, Counselor," she agreed, placing her hands on Alex's shoulders as she leaned down and kissed her for a long, unhurried moment. As they parted, she gasped as Alex's hands unzipped her jeans and eagerly slipped inside, pushing the denim down urgently, "In a hurry?" she asked, removing Alex's top and reaching for the hooks of her bra.

Alex leaned forward and kissed the exposed stomach, trailing her tongue teasingly around her belly button, enjoying the tremors that ran through Olivia's body, "Regular nourishment, remember?" she panted as she held Olivia in place and licked a wet path lower.


Chapter 38: Out Again

Olivia studied her reflection closely, scrutinizing every detail of her appearance, searching for flaws. She smoothed her hand over the front of her tunic and straightened the black tie carefully as she looked at the top of her head. She turned and met the transfixed gaze of the woman at the bedroom door, "What do you think?" she asked, holding her arms out to the side.

Alex raked her eyes over the uniform clad figure before her and nodded her head appreciatively, "I think…" she started as she pushed off the doorframe, "…that you are the sexiest cop on the beat," she said, stopping in front of her and beaming proudly. She fingered the ribbons and badge covering Olivia's left breast and bit her lower lip, "You look incredible, so authoritative…powerful…" she trailed off as her hands smoothed over the form fitting outfit.

Olivia shook her head and halted the questing hands, "This is why I refused to try it on when we got here, you're a badge bunny, Cabot," she teased, placing her hands lightly on Alex's hips.

"And you're a gavel bunny, Benson," she retorted, leaning forward and kissing her hungrily as her hands shifted to the trim hips and pulled her closer. The kiss was passionate and bruising as their tongues fought playfully for dominance.

Olivia eased out of the loving embrace and blew out a steadying breath, "Court's in less than an hour…we'll finish this later," she promised, leaning forward and capturing the beating pulse at the base of Alex's throat. She smiled as Alex moaned and pressed their bodies together once more, her hands clutching Olivia's ass.

"Oh Liv," she panted.

Olivia released the skin between her lips and placed a gentle line of kisses up the slender neck until she reached the waiting mouth, "Later," she husked before placing a promising kiss on the inviting lips. As they parted, she smoothed out her tunic and fixed her tie before looking over at the bedside table and smiling.

"I'll get it," Alex offered, moving over to the bed and retrieving the final piece of the uniform. She stood in front of Olivia and placed the hat carefully on her head, "There," she said, taking a step back and admiring the full ensemble. She tilted her head, "Shouldn't you have your hair tied back?"

Olivia reached a hand up and adjusted the hat slightly, "I won't have it on for long, it's for show purposes only," she said before blowing out a deep breath, "Let's do this," she added, nodding her head. She looked at Alex's outfit and smiled at the familiar power suit, "You don't have to come, you could wait here or see Suzy to the airport," she reminded Alex, having already discussed her options over breakfast.

Alex shook her head as she smoothed out the lines of her dark gray suit, "We talked about this, I want to be there, even if it means sitting in a hallway for the whole day," she said adamantly.

Olivia smiled, "Well, just so you know, if and when it's your turn…I'll be having a spa day," she replied seriously as Alex approached her.

"No you won't, you'll be on the other side of the courtroom door, same as me," she said knowingly, placing a tender kiss on smiling lips.

Jamie Ross sat in her chambers, staring blankly at the surface of her desk. Her mind was mulling over the next witness due to appear and how long it had been since she had last seen Olivia Benson. She lifted her eyes to the family picture and smiled, wondering what her life would have been like if she had stayed with the brooding detective.

The ringing of the phone interrupted her thoughts, "Hello?" she answered.

"Five minutes Judge," Pam advised her.

Jamie rubbed her temple, already feeling the beginnings of a headache, "Thanks Pam," she said before replacing the receiver. She closed her eyes and thought of Dean Porter, she prided herself in her objectivity, her professionalism, but this man irked her. Something about him made her uneasy, she thought of the security within the courtroom and the three guards that were always present and armed. She reached into her pocket and retrieved the panic button that all Federal judges carried, she blew out a steadying breath, she'd never pressed it before and hoped she never had to.

Porter's eyes beamed with delight as Olivia strode confidently through the courtroom. He studied her closely, waiting for her to meet his gaze, but she remained focused on her goal and ignored him. As she took her seat in the witness box and placed her hat on the ledge to her right, he caught the look that passed between the judge and the detective. His mouth opened in surprise as he studied the two women, 'They know each other,' he thought to himself as he watched Olivia raise her right and swear to tell the truth. He glanced up at the judge, busying herself with documents and doing anything to avoid looking at the latest witness, 'Interesting,' he mused before looking at his silver pen and considering his options.

Alex sat on the bench outside the courtroom, reading a newspaper and sipping from a cup of coffee. She struggled to focus on the words on the page and sighed as she realized the futility of her task. She folded the 'Washington Post' and sat it on the bench beside her, she reached into her pocket for her cellphone and frowned as her fingers touched something folded. She withdrew her fingers and looked at the folded piece of white paper, opening it and smiling as she recognized the headed paper of the hotel. Her eyes skimmed over the neatly written note, bringing an instant smile to her face as she shook her head at Olivia's thoughtfulness.

'Alex ,

If you're reading this, it means you probably lasted about three pages into the newspaper you took with you or only a few sips form the coffee you undoubtedly bought. Either way, you're already bored and anxious about what's going on in the courtroom. Please don't worry, I'll be out soon. Why don't you call Martha and fill her in or Liz and see how things are going back in New York? Elliot's going to call thirty minutes after I've gone into court (just enough time to finish your coffee). Don't even try to work out how I knew, just accept that I love you and know how your beautiful mind works.

Your firefly'

Alex read the note again and swallowed the lump in her throat, she sipped her coffee slowly and glanced repeatedly at her watch. She pulled out her cellphone and waited for it to ring, snorting softly as Elliot's name flashed on the screen at exactly 9:30, "Hi Elliot," she answered cheerfully, smiling into the phone.

"Counselor, I have orders to keep you occupied and pass you round everyone in the squad room for at least an hour," he advised her lightly.

Alex shook her head, "That won't be necessary, I know you're probably busy," she said, hoping that wasn't the case.

Elliot sighed into the phone, "Trust me, talking to you will be the highlight of my day, Cap's chasing us for DD5's and anything else that requires a signature," he groaned.

Alex settled back against the bench and crossed her legs casually, "So when did your partner ask for your help in keeping me occupied?" she asked, closing her eyes and picturing Olivia hatching her plan to keep her busy.

"She texted me last night, told me she was taking the stand first…she'll be fine Alex, he'll just sits there…watching…prick"

Alex nodded her head absently, "That he is," she said, turning her head and looking at the closed doors.

"So, how did Suzy get on?" Elliot asked, shifting in his chair as Alex began to recount the older woman's testimony from the day before.

"And Agent Porter, insisted you and Miss Cabot get into his SUV?" Abbie asked, enjoying the fast pace of the question and answer session with the accomplished detective.

Olivia nodded her head, "We were being shot at from the front of the ambulance and two figures were advancing from the rear, I was unable to determine if they were members of the TACT team or operatives working for Connors," she answered smoothly.

"Agent Porter's explanation for being in the vicinity, you didn't believe him? He's a a veteran FBI agent, distinguished career and a lot of experience in difficult situations, yet, you didn't trust him?"

Olivia kept her eyes locked on Abbie, "I wanted to, he was my handler a few years ago when I went undercover with an Eco-Activist group and he had helped me a few times with my half brother," she paused and looked over at the jury, "My job as a Special Victims Unit detective involves assessing situations quickly and effectively, when Agent Porter started driving us away from the city and headed for the mountains, it aroused my suspicions. There were at least a dozen safe houses within a twenty mile radius of the District Attorney's building, if he was trying to protect myself and Miss Cabot, that would have been the most logical choice as opposed to staying on the open road and being a visible target," she said, returning her gaze to the dark haired prosecutor.

Abbie nodded and moved closer to the witness box, "Did Agent Porter make the decision to stop at Sam's Diner?" she asked, folding her arms loosely in front of her.

"No," Olivia replied.

Abbie tilted her head, "Then why did he stop at the diner?"

Olivia nodded her head, "I said I needed to freshen up, I had a bullet wound in my side and the dressing needed changed, neither myself or Miss Cabot had eaten all day and it was almost 6pm," she answered.

"What happened once you were in the diner? Did you try to make contact with your Captain?" Abbie asked.

Olivia nodded, "Yes, the payphone was out of order, but in the bathroom I acquired a cellphone from a young woman and called my partner, Elliot Stabler," she paused and saw the discrete nod of Abbie's head prompting her to continue, "During the call I was informed that there were satellite images showing Agent Porter meeting with Sean Connors, earlier that day. I was advised the TACT team were en route and to return to the table and stall Agent Porter until their arrival," she finished, reaching for the glass of water on her left and taking a few refreshing sips.

Porter watched her from his chair, studying the movement of her hand and the way she carried herself even in the witness box and smiled appreciatively. He barely paid any attention to Abbie's questions as he focused on the brunette's mouth as she spoke. He shifted his gaze to the guard against the door behind the witness box before discretely tilting his head to look at the other, standing by the door that led to the holding cells. He turned his attention to the silver pen on the table in front of him and considered changing his plans. He listened absently as Olivia described the shoot out in the parking lot and the reason for punching him in the face, he blinked slowly as she revealed the trap she had set for him by switching the sim cards in his cellphone and removing the bullets from her weapon. He smiled as he thought of her plan and how well she had deceived him, he looked up as she was explaining the stand off between them when he had fired her empty gun straight into her chest.

"Thank you Detective Benson…one more question," Abbie paused as she leaned against the railing in front of the jury, "What is your relationship with ADA Alexandra Cabot?" she asked.

Porter leapt from his seat, "Objection!"

Jamie looked down at him, "On what grounds Mr Porter?" she asked coolly, aware of the guards with their hands on their holstered weapons.

Porter advanced slowly towards the judge, "Relevance," he replied through gritted teeth.

Jamie shook her head, "I'm sorry Mr Porter, but these are the questions you've asked every witness who's taken the stand…sustained, you may answer the question Detective Benson," she said, turning her head and nodding at Olivia.

Porter stood where he was, unable to contain his rising rage as he clenched his fists in an effort to regain control. He saw the guard behind the witness box unholster his weapon and dipped his head in defeat before returning to his chair. He glared at Olivia, waiting for her answer.

"Detective?" Abbie prompted as she moved away from the jury and stood in front of Olivia, effectively blocking her view of Porter.

Olivia blinked a few times, "ADA Alexandra Cabot and I have a professional relationship, we've worked together for almost ten years and since the events that unfolded during the attempt on her life, we've begun a personal relationship," she said evenly, pleased her voice sounded so calm.

Abbie nodded her head, "Are your superiors aware of this new facet to your relationship?" she asked, stepping aside to allow Olivia to look at Porter as she answered the question.

"Yes, yes they are," she replied, looking directly into his angry face.

Alex automatically looked up as the doors opened, "Martha, I need to go, love you," she said hurriedly, ending the call and placing the cellphone in her pocket. She stood nervously waiting for Olivia to appear and smiled with relief when the familiar figure swiftly emerged.

Olivia grinned at her as she approached and engulfed her in a loving embrace, kissing her cheek tenderly, "How you holding up?" she asked, loosening her hold.

Alex nodded, "Better now," she replied, resisting the urge to kiss her in the quiet hallway. She glanced over her shoulder and smiled at Abbie, "I got your note," she whispered.

Olivia lifted a hand and brushed aside a few loose strands, "And how is everyone?"

Alex nodded, "Good, you didn't have to do that, but I love that you did," she said quietly, ignoring the eye roll Abbie threw in their direction.

"We've only got a forty five minute recess, if we're gonna eat, we need to do it now…you can do the mushy stuff later," she whined, tapping the face on her watch impatiently.

Olivia stepped away and reached for Alex's hand, "C'mon, I'll fill you in while the Cowboy refuels," she said smiling.

"He started to lose it?" Alex asked, looking over at Abbie.

Abbie nodded as she took a bite from her sandwich. She chewed carefully and swallowed, licking the sauce from her lips, "Yeah, I thought he was gonna go for Ross, did you see the way he strode towards her with his fists clenching…the man is seriously unhinged," she drawled.

Olivia nodded, "He checked out the guard behind me and the one on his left, leading to the holding cells," she added, lifting a fry and dipping it in ketchup.

"You're sure?" Abbie asked, holding the sandwich in mid air

Olivia nodded, "Positive," she replied, confident about what she had witnessed.

Abbie placed her food on the plate and reached for her cellphone, dialing a number from memory, she held it to her ear and waited a few seconds until it was answered, "Pam, it's Abbie Carmichael, I need to speak to Judge Ross…no, I know she's in recess…Pam…this is urgent…thanks," she glanced across the table and covered the phone with her hand, "Secretary," she whispered before hearing the call connect, "Your Honor, this is Abbie Carmichael…we need to talk…no, now your Honor, it's important…it's about Porter," she said, closing her eyes briefly as she listened to the judge's response before nodding into the receiver, "Five minutes, we'll be there," she confirmed. She placed the phone on the table and packed up her lunch, "C'mon, we need to go," she instructed, rising from the table.

Olivia and Alex looked at each other before collecting their food and following Abbie out of the deli.


Chapter 39: Motive

Jamie Ross looked up from her desk as her door was lightly knocked and three figures entered. She nodded in greeting and leaned forward in her chair, "Abbie, what's this about?" she asked pointedly.

The three women stood in front of the large desk and looked down at the judge, Abbie turned to Olivia, "Go ahead," she prompted.

Olivia nodded her head, "When I was giving my testimony, I saw Porter check out the guard behind me and the one on his left, he was definitely sizing them up…I think he's going to try something Jamie," she said, noticing the widening of Jamie's eyes at the informality.

Jamie stared at Olivia, "You're absolutely positive he was checking them out?" she asked, moving her hand to her pocket.

"Yeah," she replied, her eyes following the movement of the judge's hand, "What's that?" she asked as Jamie placed the small black object on the table.

Jamie pointed to it, "That Detective Benson, is the reason nothing will happen in my courtroom," she said stiffly, "It's a panic button, if I press this, every guard in the building will appear with one minute," she added confidently.

"Porter doesn't need a minute, Your Honor," Olivia replied sharply. She lifted the device and examined it closely, "You'd get a better response by dialing 911," she said flippantly.

Alex stood between Abbie and Olivia, listening to the underlying tension between her lover and the judge, she dipped her head as she remembered Porter's confession at the diner, "Porter won't try anything until I'm on the stand," she announced.

Olivia's head shifted until she was looking directly at Alex, "That might not happen, right?" she asked, turning her attention to Abbie hopefully.

Abbie shook her head, "I don't know Liv, he's slick and your answers have been solid so far, but Alex's testimony would put the needle in his arm," she said, ignoring the expression on the judge's face.

Alex looked at Jamie and smiled, "Sorry, Your Honor, Alex Cabot," she said, holding out her hand.

Jamie returned the smile, "I know who you are Miss Cabot, I wasn't always a Federal Judge," she replied coolly as she shook the slender hand.

Olivia suddenly felt uneasy as she realized she had slept with everyone in the room and felt her cheeks begin to burn, "Can you assign extra guards to your courtroom?" she asked, trying to remain focused on the reason for their impromptu meeting.

Jamie's stern façade slipped away as she shifted her gaze to Olivia, "I can't add any inside, that would arouse his suspicions, but I'll have additional guards posted outside all three doors," she replied as she reached for the receiver.

Abbie nodded her head, "Thank you, your Honor," she said, turning and ushering everyone out of the judge's chambers.


Olivia looked at Jamie and smiled, "Yeah?"

"Stay," the judge requested as she covered the receiver with her hand.

Olivia nodded and closed the door behind the two questioning gazes before moving over to the desk and lowering herself into one of the chairs. She listened as Jamie requested the additional security and cast her eyes casually around her office. Her eyes settled on the photo frame on the desk, she looked over at Jamie and indicated with her finger before lifting the frame and studying the picture closely. She smiled as she saw how grown up Kate had become and how much she resembled her mother.

"She's grown up s fast," Jamie commented as she replaced the receiver.

Olivia nodded, "She's a beautiful young woman Jamie," she replied, placing the frame carefully on the desk. She looked at the short haired woman and smiled, "How are you?" she asked sincerely.

Jamie smiled, "Same old same old, only in a different court," she answered. She studied Olivia's appearance, "The uniform was a good touch, the jury have lapped up every word you've said…you're quite the dashing detective who saved the beautiful damsel in distress," she mocked lightly.

Olivia shrugged, "Yes, she is beautiful," she added, referring to Alex.

Jamie smiled, "You really do have a thing for tall women don't you?" she asked, shaking her head.

"And you still have a weakness for dark and brooding," she quipped, indicating the photo on the desk.

Jamie nodded, "That I do…he's great and Kate adores him, she still sees Neil, but he doesn't visit often, " she said, grateful her ex husband had remained in the background after their bitter custody battle, almost ten years ago.

Olivia looked awkwardly at her watch, "Recess is almost over, should I even be in here, alone with you?" she asked, shaking her head.

"C'mon Liv, I'm a judge, I can bend the rules when I want to talk to an old friend," she repined smiling.

Olivia nodded, "It's good to see you too, do me one favor?" she requested, rising from her chair.

Jamie watched her smooth out her uniform, "What's that?" she asked curiously.

"Keep your panic button close," she answered as she gently closed the door behind her.

Abbie checked her watch again and looked up as Olivia appeared in the hallway, "Finally…what did she want?" she asked impatiently.

Olivia shook her head dismissively, "Nothing, just wanted to say hello…" she paused, looking around for a certain blonde, "…where's Alex?" she asked.

"Coffee, she'll be back in a few," Abbie replied, motioning for Olivia to sit beside her on the bench, "D'you really think Porter's dumb enough to try something?" she asked as an armed guard position himself outside the courtroom door.

Olivia shook her head, catching sight of a familiar figure moving gracefully along the hallway, "I hope not…for his sake," she replied, easing to her feet and smiling at the approaching blonde. She pointed at the coffee cup in Alex's hand, "Just the one?" she pouted.

Alex smiled as she placed the cup on the arm of the bench, "You have work to do, now that you're done catching up with your ex," she replied, waggling her eyebrows playfully at the groaning detective.

Abbie stood up and joined them, "Was it just me or was she a bit frosty in there?" she asked, looking over at Alex.

Alex shrugged her shoulders, "Can you blame her, she's overseeing a trial with her ex as the star witness," she replied, smiling at Olivia.

"Yeah Benson, didn't that freak you out…just a little?" she asked, motioning with her finger and thumb playfully.

Olivia ignored her and looked at Alex, "Remind me again why I put up with her?" she said pointing her thumb at the dark haired attorney.

Alex leaned forward and kissed her, ignoring the exasperated sigh that Abbie exhaled. She eased back and smiled, wiping Olivia's lips tenderly with the pad of her thumb, "She's the woman who's going to ensure Dean Porter never interferes with our lives again," she replied quietly, cupping Olivia's cheek softly.

"No pressure on me then," Abbie drawled sarcastically.

Olivia rolled her eyes, "Are we due back yet?" she asked, covering Alex's hand with her own and kissing the palm gently.

Abbie glanced at her watch, "Yeah, c'mon Hot Stuff, let's see what Porter has to say," she said, smiling confidently over at Alex.

Jamie Ross cast her eyes around the room, noticing the ready stance adopted by all three guards covering the doors. She moved her hand to her pocket and fingered the small device carefully. Olivia's observations had alarmed her, she trusted the experienced detective's observational skills and for once, hoped she was wrong. She banged the gavel on the slate and watched as Abbie rose form her chair and called Olivia back to the witness stand.

Dean Porter studied Olivia's movements as she walked towards the box, smiling over at her as she sat down and glanced in his direction. He had spent the last forty five minutes trying to establish why Carmichael had asked Olivia about her relationship with Cabot. He had surmised it had been a ploy to steal his moment of exposure and embarrassment at Olivia's expense and had laughed as he thought of them celebrating their small, insignificant victory.

He listened as the dark haired woman asked more futile questions and half heartedly heard Olivia's detailed and damning responses.

He toyed with the silver pen for what seemed like an hour and shook his head as he heard his name being called, "Yes?" he said absently.

Jamie looked down at him, "Are we boring you Mr Porter?" she asked coldly.

He shook his head as he rubbed his temples, "Sorry your honor, I'm not feeling very well," he lied, smiling weakly up at the imposing figure.

Olivia's senses instantly heightened as she studied the FBI agent closely, every cell in her body telling her he was lying.

Jamie tilted her head, "Would you like a short recess?" she asked, hoping he would decline the offer as she casually glanced at the guard on his left.

Porter shook his head, "No, your Honor, that won't be necessary," he replied, rising from his chair and taking a long sip of water. He nodded his head at her as he approached the witness box. He stopped a short distance away from Olivia and wet his lower lip, "Detective Benson, who shot you?"

"David Brennan," Olivia replied instantly.

Porter nodded, "Who was David Brennan working for?" he asked smugly.

"You," she replied coolly, holding his gaze.

Porter smiled, "Well, that's what the prosecutor is trying to prove isn't she…did David Brennan ever mention my name?"


Porter nodded, "And did Sean Connors ever mention my name in connection with the attempt on your girlfriend's life?"

"Objection…badgering the witness," Abbie said, shaking her head at the judge.

Jamie nodded, "Sustained…Mr Porter, please ensure your questions are asked in an appropriate manner," she warned, glancing at Olivia.

Porter tilted his head, "Apologies your Honor," he turned his head back towards Olivia, "Did Sean Connors ever mention my name in connection with the attempt on ADA Cabot's life?" he rephrased.

"Yes," Olivia replied.

Porter frowned, "When?" he asked, confused by her response. He had been positive Sean Connors had never mentioned his name to the detective.

Olivia stared at him, "In the parking lot of the diner, ADA Cabot and I were questioning him in your SUV," she paused to allow that information to sink in before continuing, "I asked him about his brother, Liam and he informed us that the only reason he knew his brother had escaped and was waiting for him…" she paused, leaning a little closer to the wooden railing, "…was because of you," she finished, watching his eyes darken dangerously.

Porter glared at her, "Hearsay Detective Benson, that won't hold up," he replied, looking into her dark brown orbs. He stared at her for a long moment, searching the depths for something, anything to remind him of the Olivia he knew.

"Mr Porter?" Judge Ross prompted.

Porter blinked slowly, "Sorry your Honor…Detective, you aided your fugitive brother, who was wanted by the FBI, correct?"

Olivia nodded her head, "My half brother, yes…he was proved innocent of all charges," she replied, wondering where he was going with this line of questioning.

"So, you're prepared to break the law for the people you care about?" he added.

Abbie slammed her hand on the table as she stood, "Objection…relevance?" she asked, feeling her tolerance for Dean Porter's questions diminish rapidly.

The short haired judge nodded, "Sustained"

Porter blew out a frustrated breath, "Let me put it this way Detective Benson, if someone held a gun to ADA Alexandra Cabot's head, what would you do to protect her?" he asked curtly.

"Whatever I had to," Olivia answered instantly.

Porter smiled, "At Sam's Diner, when you were armed and we were sitting in a private booth, you could have arrested me, but you didn't, why not?" he asked, turning and moving towards the jury.

Olivia shook her head, "I only had suspicions at that point, nothing concrete, I was stalling for time until the TACT team and my partner arrived, up until that point I was unable to determine if Sean Connors posed a viable threat to ADA Cabot's life or if it was all you…after the shoot out in the parking lot, when you…" she paused and pointed an accusing finger over at Porter, "…informed me that Liam Connors was waiting in a cabin thirty miles away, I knew you were lying and that's when I switched sim cards…you were pretending to be Liam Connors and using his own brother to carry out your killing," she finished, looking at the transfixed faces of the jury.

Porter stood with his hand resting against the wooden railing and glanced sideways at the jury, all his years with the Bureau and the Behavioral Science department told him that they believed every word Olivia had just said. He briefly considered asking more questions, but decided he was tired of Olivia Benson ruining his plans. He walked slowly towards the witness box and smiled, "Thank you Detective," he said quietly before moving back to his defense table.

Porter listened as Abbie asked Olivia a few more probing questions, her answers portraying the FBI agent to be a a cold, calculating, manipulative killer. He picked up his silver pen and rolled it between his fingers, focusing instead on the reason he was really here and smiled as an image of Alex Cabot flashed before his eyes.


Chapter 40: The Last Hurrah

She listened to the distant, muffled sounds of the hallway from behind closed eyelids, enjoying the stillness of the moment as her mind wandered over the past few hours and the events unfolding in the courtroom behind her.

Alex knew that giving testimony was as natural as reading a grocery list for Olivia, the dark haired detective knew exactly how to respond to questions in such an engaging manner that the jury had no problem painting an accurate picture of the events she was depicting. She turned her thoughts to Dean Porter and sighed wearily, 'What re you up to?' she pondered, mulling over everything he had confessed at the diner and the behavior Olivia had described to her in the deli. Alex didn't trust him and wondered how someone who had been trained to protect and serve could so easily fall by the way side, blinded by feelings that weren't reciprocated.

An image of Olivia flashed in front of her closed eyes as she thought of hidden feelings and smiled, she found it hard to believe they had only been romantically involved for a few weeks. After all the years of dancing around their feelings for one another, it felt completely natural to finally express themselves so freely and openly.


Her eyes fluttered opened at the sound of her name, smiling instantly as her cerulean eyes locked on familiar brown, "Are you finished?" she asked the crouching figure as she blinked away her tiredness.

Olivia smiled up at her, "Were you sleeping?" she teased, reaching over and brushing away a few stray strands of silken hair.

Alex stifled a yawn and nodded, "I must have nodded off, sorry," she replied as she removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes.

Olivia remained hunched on her knees, studying her closely, "What are you sorry about?" she asked quietly.

"For falling asleep while you were in there," she said, indicating the courtroom with her hand.

Olivia smiled, "I'm just glad you waited out here, that's all," she whispered gently as familiar footsteps approached.

"Ugh, must you two be so mushy all the time, what happened to you Benson?" Abbie drawled disdainfully.

Olivia gazed into brilliant blue eyes, "Alex Cabot happened to me," she answered, smiling as Alex cupped her face with both hands.

"Charmer," Alex said, beaming with love for the woman crouched before her.

Abbie rolled her eyes, "Ugh, I'm gonna barf…," she trailed off, covering her mouth with her hand.

Olivia ignored her and leaned forward, pulling Alex's head down to meet her own and placed a delicate kiss on smiling lips. She eased back slowly and stood up, holding out her hand to the beautiful blonde, "Shall we?" she asked, unable to hide her smile.

Alex slipped her hand into Olivia's and looked over at Abbie, "Am I on the stand tomorrow?"

Abbie looked between them and smiled, "Yeah, you won't be as long as Liv though," she said confidently, glancing down at her watch, "You wanna come over for dinner?" she asked.

Alex answered for them, "Would you mind if we skipped it tonight? There's something I

want to see," she answered vaguely, ignoring the curious glance from the woman beside her.

"Sure, c'mon…I'll drop you off at the palace," Abbie offered.

Alex entered the Presidential Suite first and headed silently into the living room. Olivia closed the door and removed her jacket, folding it carefully over the back of a dining chair before placing her hat on the table. She studied Alex's back as she stood quietly in front of the large windows, staring out at the evening skyline.

"What is it you want to see?" she asked quietly as she moved in behind her and slipped her arms around the slim waist.

Alex turned in the embrace and smoothed her hands down Olivia's shirt front and smiled, "We've only been here a few days and spent time with Elliot, Casey, Abbie and Suzy…today you spent all day in a courtroom…tomorrow I have to do the same…I just wanted…" she trailed off as her eyes raked over Olivia's taut frame, "…a night alone, with you," she finished huskily, licking her lower lip slowly.

Olivia swallowed at the look in Alex's blue eyes, "It's the uniform, isn't it?" she teased, removing Alex's jacket and letting it fall to the floor.

Alex shook her head.

Olivia slowly unbuttoned the pristine white blouse, "What is it then?" she asked softly, parting the silky material and gazing at the smooth skin on display.

"You," Alex breathed out as she felt her stomach flutter at the delicate touch of fingers floating across her abdomen.

Olivia grinned as her fingers spread out and gently stroked the flesh beneath their tips, "Don't move," Olivia ordered in a hushed tone as she turned and walked away.

Alex watched her move to the dining table and retrieve her hat, carefully placing it on her head and tucking her dark hair behind her ears. Her breathing hitched as Olivia drew nearer and felt her pulse race at the lustful thoughts racing through her mind, "Oh Liv," she gasped, biting her bottom lip as Olivia stopped in front of her.

"It's the hat, isn't it?" Olivia whispered, enjoying the reaction from her lover. She removed her tie and threw it on the floor before reaching up and loosening the button at her collar.

Alex's eyes followed her hands closely as her mouth watered with anticipation, "It's everything about you, the way you carry yourself, the authority you convey, the fit of your uniform…" she paused, sliding her legs together and breathing out raggedly.

Olivia swallowed at the wanton display of need and curled a hand around Alex's neck possessively before pulling her closer and fusing their open mouths together. Olivia moved her other hand to the skirt clad ass and brought their bodies closer as Alex clung to her with both hands. She sucked Alex's tongue deeply into her mouth and swallowed the guttural groan that escaped the blonde's throat. She pushed her hips forward, desperate for more contact as Alex raked her nails up and down her shirt covered back. She felt her stomach muscles tighten as her arousal soared and tore her mouth away, panting heavily into the parted lips above her own.

"Admit it…you're a badge bunny," Olivia panted, nipping at the slender throat teasingly.

Alex groaned at the sharp sensation, "Never," she gasped as her hands reached for the belt on Olivia's dress pants, unbuckling it urgently before popping the button and lowering the zipper.

Olivia moaned as a slender hand reached straight past her underwear and into her sopping wetness, "Alex," she panted as nimble fingers brushed past her bundle of nerves.

Alex smiled as she balanced the sexual power scale and closed her eyes as Olivia suckled her neck harder, "Not until you admit to being…a gavel bunny," she choked out.

Olivia lifted her head and kissed her chin, "Never," she husked before capturing the tempting lips savagely once more.

Alex dipped her fingers lower and rubbed them teasingly along Olivia's wet heat, feeling the detective push on to her hand, encouraging deeper contact.

Olivia moved her hands to the back of Alex's skirt and blindly unfastened the clasp, sliding the material hurriedly to the floor. She grasped the silk covered rear and squeezed the perfect globes together, eliciting a heady moan of desire from the woman in her arms. Their mouths parted as they sucked in some air, panting raggedly together.

Alex stared at Olivia, "Unbutton your shirt," she ordered.

Olivia smiled as she shook her head, "You forgot something, Counselor," she teased, gasping as the fingers at her core touched her throbbing clit directly in response.

"Officer," Alex added huskily, feeling her skin tingle as the cool air of the room danced across her exposed skin.

Olivia grinned triumphantly as her hands moved and began slowly unbuttoning the black shirt, she was about to remove it when a hand stopped her.

"Keep it on," Alex breathed out, dipping her fingers into warm wetness.

Olivia shuddered at the sensation, unable to keep her eyes open as knowing fingers stroked her languidly. She opened her eyes and moved her hands to Alex's bra covered breasts and pushed the silk upwards before leaning forward and capturing an erect bud between her lips. She normally took pleasure in teasing Alex by kissing and licking all around the stiff peaks, but not today, today was all about need and desire. She suckled the hardened nipple greedily into her mouth and flicked her tongue rapidly across the tip before catching it between her teeth and tugging it mercilessly, savoring the instantaneous reaction from the woman in her arms.

Alex panted roughly at the tortuous pleasure being administered to her breast and gasped as fingers roughly tweaked its equally erect twin, "Fuck," she rasped out as she moved her free hand to Olivia's head, accidently knocking the hat off as she held her firmly in place.

Olivia loved it when the usually articulate lawyer resorted to profanity and suckled the bud harder as the fingers at her core danced around her entrance, "Please," she mumbled into the breast.

The muffled plea was music to Alex's ears as Olivia ground herself desperately onto her hand, "Please what?" she panted, sliding her fingers slowly into Olivia's opening.

Olivia released the nipple with a loud 'pop' and groaned as the fingers slid deeper into her canal, "Counselor," she breathed out raggedly.

Alex licked her lips as she looked at their writhing bodies and felt a surge of wetness soak into her underwear as the image of Olivia's shirt hanging open, her dress pants undone and her fingers thrusting deep into her pulsing core, burned itself into her brain.

Olivia's stance faltered as she struggled to increase contact on the pumping fingers and moved her hand to Alex's underwear, cupping the wet heat. They locked gazes as Olivia ran her fingers teasingly along Alex's clenching sex, "I admit it…" she breathed out, pushing the material aside, "I'm your gavel bunny…" she confessed as she pushed two fingers deeply into Alex's core.

Olivia's eyes opened and she blinked a few times, clearing her vision as she lifted her head from the cushion and looked around the room. She looked over to the window and smiled at the clothing strewn across the floor and felt her sex squeeze reflexively at the pleasurable memories of the past few hours. She tilted her head, listening for movement and heard a door closing, "Alex?" she asked.

Alex entered the living room and smiled at the naked figure lying on the sofa, "You're awake," she said, kissing the smiling face.

Olivia shook her head, "Was this just a ploy to get my shirt?" she teased, admiring the loosely buttoned black shirt covering Alex's slender frame.

Alex grinned, "And the hat," she said, waggling her eyebrows as she settled on top of the reclining figure.

"Admit it Cabot, you're a badge bunny," Olivia scolded playfully.

Alex slid their legs together and placed her hands on either side of the dark head, "I'm your badge bunny," she breathed out before capturing the waiting lips.

Olivia wrapped her arms tightly around her, "I love you so much," she whispered as their mouths parted.

"I love you too, Liv," Alex answered softly, placing gentle kisses along the strong jaw.

Olivia gazed into the glittering eyes above her, the low light of the living room casting an ethereal glow over their bodies and sighed contentedly, "I'm so happy," she confessed, reaching up and capturing the parted lips again.

Alex poured her feelings into the kiss, trying to convey the depth of emotion that Olivia invoked in her, but her mind betrayed her and thought of the trial.

Olivia ended the kiss and frowned as she lifted a hand and stroked Alex's cheek tenderly, "What?" she asked quietly.

"Tomorrow's going to be okay, isn't it?"

Olivia sighed, "Yes," she replied, holding her gaze.

Alex smiled and kissed her chin, "Promise?" she asked, unable to hide the uncertainty from her tone.

"Cross my heart and hope to die," she replied, instantly regretting her choice of words.

Part 41

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