DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Trial By Jury and all its characters are the
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Plotted by sassymouth. Edited by sassymouth and thenewhope. I did very little.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Waking Up Next to Someone Else
I opened my front door to find a blonde standing on my stoop. I wasn't sure what to say at 7 A.M. on a Wednesday, so I cleared my throat and said, "Kelly." There, I'd identified the stranger on my doorstep. Kelly Gaffney. I noticed a small suitcase sitting on the concrete step. The suitcase was leaning against her calf. I wasn't sure what to make of that. Some detective I'd make. I wondered what Hector would say if he were here.
"It's Kelly Gaffney," he'd say.
"And she has a suitcase."
What a help he was. I shooed him from my mind. "Kelly," I said again. Then, belatedly, I realized that something could be wrong. "Is something wrong?" She didn't look distraught, and Kelly was one to let me, and the whole world, know if she was upset.
"I'm fine. It's just, my apartment, there was a water main break and I..."
I tried to comprehend what she was saying, but couldn't quite make it out.
"...I remembered you having an extra room and I wondered if you'd mind..."
"You want to stay here?" I blurted the words out, and then immediately regretted them. The shock on Kelly's face showed me that I had spooked her, by being more animated than I would have intended, had I thought before I spoke.
"...Nevermind. I have a sister in Jersey, and I can just..."
She took a step forward, and then hesitated in the doorway, craning her neck to look around. I realized she'd never been here before. "Welcome," I said.
She looked at me, startled.
"If you're having some."
"I am." I smiled.
I led the way to the kitchen. "Just leave your stuff by the stairs."
"I can't believe you have stairs."
"Well, fifteen years ago, it only cost an arm and a leg to live here."
She chuckled behind me, and I closed my eyes at the sound and wondered, again, why I had never brought her here. We were settled around the kitchen island, sipping black tea, before I asked, again, why she was here, since I hadn't been paying attention.
"I woke up this morning, and turned on the sink... Nothing. And I have to be at Bellevue for an interview at 5 A.M., and I'm freaking out because I can't take a shower. And I wonder if I'm still asleep, you know, and dreaming all this? But I call the super anyway, and he tells me..." She stopped and looked at me.
I raised an eyebrow.
"I'm sorry, I must be rambling." A faint blush tinted her cheeks, and I admired the way the pink skin contrasted with her hair until I realized she was expecting reassurance.
"No, no you weren't." I tried to remember what we had been discussing. I was pretty sure I couldn't ask her a third time. I grasped at straws. "You need to take a shower?"
Kelly's smile grew wider. "No, I'm pretty sure Bellevue didn't mind the stench." She frowned. "Do you mind the stench?"
I hadn't noticed any stench on her when I'd let her into my domicile. "You seem fine," I said.
Her blush grew more crimson. "At least my clothes are clean," she said.
Indeed. I took another sip of my tea. The silence was growing awkward. "I'm due in court at 10," I said.
Kelly nodded. "I don't have any appointments until noon, so I thought I'd go into the office and catch up on paperwork."
She seemed to be waiting for something, and was staring at me. I stared back.
Kelly smiled. "Can I take a shower?"
I laughed. Before I could answer, her brow furrowed, and she looked at me with suspicion. "But you're in your bathrobe," she said, tilting her head to study me. "Your hair isn't wet. You haven't showered yet. You should go first."
I set my tea cup in its saucer and said, "Okay. But it's a little early for me. I'm not usually awake."
Her expression became one of horror. "Oh god, I woke you up, I'm sorry." She slid off her chair.
I wondered where she thought she was going to go. "The damage is already done." I reached across the island and grabbed her wrist. "I'll take my shower, you can unpack, and then we'll share a cab, okay?"
Her hand twisted in my grip, squeezing my fingers. "Okay."
I inhaled. Okay.
I tried to take a quick shower, knowing the hot water didn't have the best shelf life, but I was distracted knowing Kelly was in the next room. In the spare bedroom. In a bedroom. In my house. My mouth parted, and water trickled in, already cool. I swallowed. Best not to think about Kelly while I was naked.
The pulsing between my legs began as the twinge I always felt when I noticed Kelly, really noticed her, and became an insistent pounding because Kelly was here to stay. At least for a few days. I'd get to know the personal side of her. I wondered if I would like the personal side of her. As my hand slid down my abdomen, across my thigh, I decided it didn't matter. She was beautiful, and intelligent, and she smelled good, and when she left, the pillows would smell like her, and oh god, was I wet.
I cupped myself, sliding my middle finger between swollen lips, and touching the center of my throbbing, willing myself to calm down. Just a few more strokes, and I'd find release, and I wouldn't have to deal with my inappropriate attraction to my second chair or think about the inappropriate way I was handling it, masturbating in the shower with her a few feet away. I gasped, blinking in the wet spray. I rubbed myself faster. After years of practicing, I knew just where to touch... I wonder if Kelly would find the right places inside me or if I would have to show her... I came, shuddering, pressing my fingers against myself until they ached.
With the water cold, I washed again and stepped out of the shower. Toweling myself down and then unplugging the hair dryer to use in the bedroom and give Kelly her privacy, I wrapped myself in a bathrobe and went in search of my houseguest. I found her in the spare bedroom, pulling a tee shirt over her bare torso.
She heard me approaching and smiled. "I wanted to get out of that suit. Skank or not, it is stained with the odor of Bellevue, and I can wear casual clothes for my meeting today."
I nodded. "There are towels under the sink. Help yourself."
"I'll be...getting dressed."
She nodded and walked past me toward the bathroom. I could have sworn that when I mentioned my plans, she ran her eyes down my body. The throbbing began anew. Today was going to be a long day.
I'd given her my spare set of keys that morning and knew she'd be at my brownstone well before me. I'd had an appointment with Branch that kept me downtown until 8 P.M. I'd never given my spare keys to a lover before, and now a friendly co-worker had them. What was it they said about lesbians and U-Hauls? I chuckled to myself, but then sobered when I realized Kelly might see the evidence of my lifestyle in my home. But then, there were pictures of men in my bedroom alongside the women that lined the bureau... Perhaps she'd think they were sisters, or friends. As if I was the type of person to have a lot of bosom buddies. Kelly didn't have to look through my apartment to know I was a workaholic who had cheap, brief affairs with other workaholics, that drove in the loneliness rather than staving it off.
God knows what Kelly thought of that, or of me. I suddenly wasn't looking forward to going home to a person instead of my lonely apartment. Maybe I should call first.
"Oh honey," Kelly purred through the line, "You should have told me you were going to be late. Dinner's cold."
"What?" I pulled back the receiver and stared at it. Kelly's laughter echoed through the speaker. I put it back to my ear.
"I was kidding, Tracey. I got Chinese delivered and put the leftovers in the fridge, in case you didn't eat with Branch."
"Thanks, I did. Is there kung pao chicken?"
"I know what you like," she said.
"Thanks," I said again. I closed the phone, trying to ignore the warmth I felt in my chest, at Kelly remembering what I liked to order, as if I didn't get it on a weekly basis with her, and for bringing it home to me.
I couldn't get home fast enough.
"So, you're like, living with her?" Hector perched on the edge of Kelly's desk, looking far too interested. I rolled my eyes.
Kelly smiled at him. "Are you wondering what we do?" She teased.
"Oh, no, I know what you do at night. Paperwork and trial prep, like lawyer vampires in the night." He tucked his hands behind his head and stretched. "I'm just afraid you two will morph into this super prosecutor, and the streets of New York will no longer be safe."
Okay, even I laughed at that. Until Chris stuck his head into the office. "I think it's hot."
Kelly threw a wad of paper at him.
"Get the fuck out of my office," I said.
He grinned and disappeared from view. Hector hopped off the desk and followed him. Kelly winked at me.
I winked back.
We were again at the kitchen island, sipping red wine. The remnants of a pizza lay between us. "Well, this is surprisingly pleasant," I said, earning a smile from Kelly. She nodded and raised her glass. I clinked it with my own.
"What does a girl do on a Thursday night in the Big Apple?" She winked at me.
"I have the New York Penal Code in my living room."
"I knew you'd say that." She wrinkled her nose at me.
"Well, what do you suggest? I'm game."
"How about a movie?"
I leaned back. "A movie? I haven't seen one in ages. Are they still in black and white and do we need a piano player for the soundtrack?" She laughed, and I felt a surge of pride at knowing I'd been able to draw the sound from her. "I think I can order them on the television. I wasn't paying attention to what the man said about the service, I mainly got it for the Internet."
Kelly cut off my rambling by tilting her chin forward, the same way she got my attention in meetings. "What?" I asked.
"Let's go out to a movie."
Oh. "There's a couple of theaters on Broadway we can walk to." I slid off my chair.
She did the thing with her head again.
"We should buy our tickets on the Internet before we go. Avoid the lines," she suggested.
My, how times had changed.
At the movie, with her arm pressed against mine on the armrest, with my whole body tingling from that single point of contact, I remembered a conversation Kelly and I had when she first started working with me a year ago. She'd taken me out for coffee and had told me she was gay. I had been annoyed by her need to come out, I hadn't reciprocated, and when Kelly began to annoy me for other, more important reasons, I forgot about it.
She never reinforced it by sly comments at work. Hector and Chris and the interns and clerks never implied they knew. As far as I knew, she never dated. But as far as I knew didn't seem to count for much, when the beautiful woman resting her cheek on my shoulder in order to whisper a comment about the movie was gay and I hadn't remembered, and I wasn't sure if it meant a damn thing.
I replied to her comment with something equally pithy, and she chuckled. I flushed and closed my eyes. The sound made me tremble. This couldn't go on. "Kelly," I said.
I felt her shift and knew she was looking at my profile. I opened my eyes and forced myself to look at her. "Are you single?"
She blinked. I saw her face twist in confusion. "Is this a date, Tracey?"
"What? No, no, are you kidding me?" The thought hadn't even occurred to me.
She licked her lips before she spoke again. God, the woman was going to kill me. "I saw the pictures," she said, and hesitated.
"They're what you think."
She nodded. I watched as she considered the information. In the darkness, I saw her leaning toward me. My mouth was dry, and I wanted to swallow, but I felt paralyzed, not wanting to break the moment. The movie's flickering light let me see her, and she looked as unsure as I felt. Were we going to kiss in a darkened movie theater? I wasn't prepared. This wasn't what I had imagined... It didn't seem appropriate... then her mouth brushed mine, soft and gentle, and I closed my eyes, blocked out the setting, and just thought of her.
She drew back, started to whisper my name, and I moved forward, finding her mouth again, pressing against her awkwardly. She parted her lips to capture my lower lip between them and tugged slightly, so that I opened my mouth and released a gasp. She silenced me by slipping her tongue into my mouth, and I wondered just where she had learned to kiss like this.
Then her hand came up to cup my cheek, and I stopped wondering and let her explore at will. I kissed her back, tugging at her lips, stroking her tongue with mine, and nipping at her until she whimpered and drew back, leaving a soft, wet imprint of her lips on the corner of my mouth. I became aware of the audience around us, of the low throat-clearing behind our seats, and the loudness of the movie itself.
"Tracey," Kelly called to me. I opened my eyes to see her staring at me. I smiled. She said, "I wasn't... I didn't plan on that. I'm sorry." Kelly turned to face the movie. Her skin glowed with dampness.
I leaned in until my lips were against her hair. "Kelly?"
"Yeah?" She blinked, not looking away from the screen.
"I'd like to do that again."
She turned and smiled, leaning toward me again.
I offered her my hand. She took it, and we did the hunchbacked walk out of our seats and into the aisle. In the lobby, she squeezed my fingers and said, "What if there's some plot twist and the boys ask us about it at work?"
"Like the guy's really dead and that's why only the kid interacts with him? Come on, Kelly. That only happens once in a lifetime."
We'd settled back into the kitchen, where our cold pizza still sat, and kissed, but it was 11 o'clock and when she yawned against my mouth, we gave into our more basic needs. I had tossed and turned in my own bed for a full ten minutes before appearing in her doorway with a solution to my insomnia. "We're thinking inappropriate thoughts already. We might as well not torture ourselves any further. We're both responsible adults, right? We can handle this."
"I don't know." Kelly rolled onto her back and smiled. "Can we?" She blushed and bit into her lower lip.
"Sure we can."
She turned her head, her blonde hair spilling over my pillow, and smiled back. "All right. If you want to be a responsible adult about it." Her eyes roved over my body. "In that nightgown. God, Tracey."
I blushed. My nipples hardened at her words, and I crossed my arms over my chest to hide my arousal. A foolish gesture, probably, but I felt better as I sat down on the bed, not looking at Kelly. "What would the guys think?"
"What are they already thinking?" I heard Kelly chuckle. The bed shifted. I could feel Kelly's proximity and my body responded. My heart pounded in my chest. I wanted to bolt, to run into my room and slam the door and throw myself into my work, but I forced myself to be stronger. Strong enough to lie back next to a woman who liked me... surely that wasn't too much to ask of my soul.
I found myself flat on my back, staring at the ceiling. I could hear Kelly's shallow breathing beside me. "Tracey?" I heard her swallow. "Can I...?" I felt a shadow cross my face as she leaned over me.
Her lips descended, meeting mine in a crushing kiss. I buried my fingers in her hair and held her against my mouth. I was getting used to kissing her. I knew how to flick my tongue against hers, just brushing the tip, to get her to push her tongue into my mouth in frustration. I knew that if I closed my lips around her tongue, she would moan, deliciously. I felt her body settle on top of mine, felt her breasts pushing against me, and forgot to kiss.
I anchored myself to the bed with one arm and wrapped the other around her back, hugging her to me. My hand rubbed her back and she gasped, her panting echoing mine. Her tee shirt moved with my hand, the fabric bunching between her shoulder blades, and she pushed herself up, looking down at me. "This shouldn't...move so fast," she said.
"Okay." I nodded. She rolled off me and settled at my side. "I'm finally getting used to your mattress."
I twisted, stretching out beside her, and wrapped my arm around her stomach. "I'm the bitchier one. I spoon?"
She laughed, reaching down to intertwine our fingers. "If you're saying you're the butch, I don't think so."
I laughed against her shoulder.
She leaned back, relaxing against me. "Goodnight, Tracey."
I woke up to the flickering glow of the television on mute. The bed beside me was empty, and I heard the shower running. She wanted the hot water, I surmised. Or, worse, she was an early riser. I rolled onto my back, stretching and frowning at the cracks of my joints. I blinked until my vision cleared, and I could see the TV.
The water shut off. "Kelly," I said, calling her to the spare room. She came down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, wrapped in my bathrobe, her hair still dripping. "What?"
I gestured at the TV. "Is this CNN or the local station?"
She squinted. "CNN."
"Then why is our courthouse on it?"
Kelly settled onto the bed and leaned forward, reading the caption below the scene of our workplace. "A defendant being brought to the courthouse holding cell attacked his guards and escaped. One policeman injured critically. Oh god."
The cellphone on the bedside table began ringing. I could hear mine ringing in tandem from my bedroom down the hall. Kelly looked over her shoulder at me. "This is going to be a long day."
I sighed and crawled out of bed on the other side. My cold shower was waiting for me.
I walked into the office I shared with Kelly at 9 P.M. that night. She was at her desk, hunched over paperwork. I could see the bags under her eyes and the tension in her shoulders, and I wanted to ease her pain by touching her, but I settled for clearing my throat.
She looked up and smiled wearily at me. The expression made me ache. "How goes the workload?"
"Oh, let's see. Search warrants, arrest warrants, motions to quash evidence, motions to produce evidence. Three cases handed off because the D.A. needs to focus on his missing defendant, and I haven't even touched your inbox."
I nodded. "Try going into court to convince the people that business would continue as usual, and that our justice system isn't collapsing at our feet, only to have the whole building locked down for six hours due to a bomb scare."
She closed her eyes wearily. "Oh, Tracey."
"But it's over now." I tried to keep my voice cheerful. "We get to go home, and hope that CNN's headline tomorrow says 'Bastard Caught.'"
Her eyes stayed closed. "They called. My apartment's ready. Hot water and all."
"Come home anyway."
She leaned back and looked at me. "Tracey..."
I wasn't going to repeat the invitation again. I wouldn't beg.
She grinned. "I'd like to. But..."
"You need to get your stuff. You can bring it to work tomorrow." That wasn't begging. That was negotiating.
We barely made it through the door before we were kissing. She pushed my coat off my shoulders. I untucked her shirt from her skirt. When I touched her bare skin, I felt weak, and started to worry about how my knees would handle screwing on the kitchen floor. Sexy, Tracey. She was kissing my throat, and I swallowed, and gasped. "Maybe we should go upstairs."
"Okay." She sucked at my jaw, moving closer to my ear.
I closed my eyes. "Quickly."
She chuckled, and stepped back. My hands slid down her sides and she grasped one, squeezing my fingers, and proceeded to lead me to my own bedroom. I pulled off my shirt and kicked off my heels, unsure I'd be able to survive her undressing me. She tsked at how I left a trail of clothes in my wake. "I never imagined you to be so messy."
"You share my office," I said, dropping my bra.
"I thought it was just...work." She stood in front of my bed, facing me. I watched as she reached behind herself and unfastened her skirt. The fabric fell from her legs. Her legs were bare, free of hose, and she was before me in thin panties, which were transparent from her wetness.
"You're beautiful," I said, stepping toward her.
She smiled, allowing me to push her back onto the bed. "You should look in a mirror."
"No thanks. I already know the definition of sag." I kissed her, crouching on top of her. She arched up against me, pulling my head down against hers. One of her hands left my head and reached between us to cup my breast. I felt my nipple tighten and was gratified that everything still worked. She squeezed, and I lost my breath, pulling back from the kiss and burying my face in her neck. Not just worked, I corrected myself. I was primed.
Kelly twisted underneath me, pushing her thigh between my legs. I moaned against her ear, and then took her earlobe between my teeth. When I tugged, she gasped, and squeezed me harder. I sucked on the lobe, listening to her mewling, and slid my hand down between her legs, cupping her wetness, massaging the fabric that separated me from her heat.
"Tracey." When I pushed my fingers against her she said, more insistently, "Tracey."
"Hm?" I teased her, purring against her ear.
Her chin pointed at the ceiling. She strained between my lips on her ear and my fingers stroking her. "Take me."
I rarely faced such a request, and I trembled now to hear it. My fingers slipped under her panties, and when I found her heat again, she bucked against me. "Inside?"
I slid a finger inside her, and then drew out and added a second, testing her tightness. The heel of my hand rubbed slow, hard circles against her clit and outer lips. She was moaning, and I couldn't help myself. I said, "I never imagined you'd be so vocal."
Her body was quivering against me, and her thrusts to meet my hand, to create friction against my fingers, were insistent. She said, her eyes closed, "Funny. I imagined you to be just this forceful... just this perfect." I lost my words at that and could only hold her, stroking her in tandem with her movements. She came, letting out a hoarse cry and holding her hips still against my hand. When she relaxed, I felt my hand cramp and gently withdrew it, running my fingers up her abdomen, between her breasts, to cup her face.
She turned her head and smiled at me. "That was just the beginning," she said.
"Let's find out."
I woke to darkness and the sound of the shower running. Kelly hadn't turned the TV on this time. Maybe she'd checked and Bastard Caught wasn't a headline, so she didn't want to disappoint me. I groggily sat up and reached for my robe. As I approached the bathroom, I heard singing. Well, not quite singing and Kelly couldn't quite carry a tune. I knocked on the door, and called, "Will the Real Slim Shady not use all of the hot water?"
I heard a yelp, and then silence, and then, "I've been in here a full three minutes. It's getting tepid. You'll have to join me." Kelly yelled through the door.
Fair enough. I dropped the robe and stepped into the bathroom. "What was that godawful noise?"
"The music of the youth. I'm a Big Sister every other Saturday," she said, wrapping her arms around my neck after I had gingerly stepped into the tub.
She squinted at me.
"Of course, really. Fascinating. How much don't I know about you?"
She stroked the back of my neck. "Maybe I could tell you after the shower."
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