Chapter 19:  Awake

“How was trial?” Elliot asked after Olivia returned to the squadroom.


Olivia sat down at her desk.  “Well, the judge declared a mistrial because Decker fed Emma’s grandparents bullshit anti-gay studies so they would manipulate Emma into claiming Zoe molested her.”


“That poor family has been through one hell of a nightmare,” Elliot sympathized.


“I know.  And Decker destroyed them even more by using the grandparents to further his homophobic agenda.  They’re gonna testify against him.”


“Good.  How does Zoe feel about it all?”  


“Well, at the moment she wants nothing to do with them.  I can’t say that I blame her.”


“Yeah, but that’s gonna cause Emma to suffer in the long run,” Elliot replied.  “First she loses her mother and now her grandparents.”


“Well, if her grandparents hadn’t been so against Zoe’s relationship with Emma’s mother in the first place, none of this would’ve ever happened,” Olivia argued.


There was silence for a couple minutes before Elliot asked, “So…I know it’s been a couple weeks but did you ever get around to returning Alex’s call?”


Olivia rolled her eyes.  “Not this again.  Just because this case dealt with a lesbian relationship doesn’t make it open season on my relationship with Alex.”


“Yeah, but I know this case hit pretty close to home for you.  You and Zoe seemed to bond.”


“Yeah, I can relate to her,” Olivia said simply.  “We’ve both had to go through hell because of homophobia; the only difference is that my hell is private.”


“Yeah, and you’ve both lost the loves of your life—only Zoe’s is permanent.  At least you still have a chance to be with Alex again.”


Olivia gave him an annoyed look.  “Don’t start, El.  I don’t have time for this.”


“Seems like Alex has a little more time for things,” Elliot muttered.


Olivia glared at him.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”


Elliot shook his head.  “Nothing.”


“I can read you like a book, El.  You know something you’re not tellin’.”


“I thought you didn’t have time.”


“Elliot—” Olivia said in a threatening tone.


“All right, all right.  I saw Alex with some guy last night going into this fancy restaurant.”


Olivia frowned.  “Jim?”  I knew she’d go back to her old ways, she thought.


“No.  They got out of a Phantom.  Besides, I know what Jim Steele looks like.  That wasn’t him.”


Olivia tried to push down her bubbling anger.  “Elliot, why are you telling me this?  Do you want me to fight for her?  Well, I’m not gonna do it.  If anything, she should be fighting for me.”


“Well, she did try calling you multiple times.”


“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”


Elliot sighed and leaned forward on his desk.  “Listen…I didn’t mean to make you upset, but I thought you had a right to know.  How about we go get a bite to eat?  Then maybe we can catch a movie afterwards.  It’ll all be my treat.”


“Fine.  I just need to finish up some stuff here first,” Olivia said, picking a case file off the stack and opening it up.  “Hopefully we won’t run into Alex,” she muttered as an afterthought.


Elliot had known Olivia long enough to know that even though she tried to suppress her anger, it would only resurface at some later point.  For Alex’s sake, I hope not, he thought.




Several minutes after Elliot had dropped her off that evening, Olivia sat staring into space on her sofa.  If Alex wants to fuck around with more guys, I don’t give a shit, she coached herself.  Besides, I knew this would eventually happen. 


Nevertheless, her blood continued to boil.  She didn’t want to care what or whom Alex was doing, but she couldn’t help it.  She looked at the clock.  She couldn’t believe she’d been sitting there stewing in anger and disbelief for almost twenty minutes.  She had to clear her head, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen in her own apartment.  And unfortunately, it was too late to go rock climbing at her gym or pummel some poor punching bag.  But she absolutely had to do something.  She felt stifled and lost, bereft of joy as her demons beleaguered her. 


She wondered if Alex was doing this just to spite her.  The thought of that just made her angrier.  She had been avoiding Alex for almost two months now, so maybe it was time to deal with the very person who was the root of her grief.  But would talking to her face to face help her get closure so she could finally move on or would it just make things worse?  No, I will not go over there and make a scene, she thought determinedly.


Five minutes later, she was no nearer a resolution than she had been before.  Oh, fuck it, she finally decided, grabbing her jacket and keys.  She was ready for a confrontation.




Several minutes later, Olivia was rapping loudly on Alex’s door.  Alex opened it and her mouth dropped open as surprise registered across her face.  “Liv…I didn’t expect—”


“How many fuck buddies do you have lurking in the shadows tonight?” Olivia demanded, storming past her.


Alex frowned.  “I have a boyfriend and his name is Robert.”


Olivia jerked around to face her.  “How dare you?”


“I’m sorry, Olivia, I didn’t think I needed to get permission from you first,” Alex retorted, folding her arms.


Olivia stepped right into her face.  “You’ve got some nerve, Alex!  Some fucking nerve!”


“Olivia, my sex life is no longer any concern of yours.  We are not together and for that matter, it’s not like you give a damn what happens to me anyway.”


“Oh, so this is my fault now?  That’s right.  Everything that happens to Alex Cabot is Olivia Benson’s fault!”


“Liv, you didn’t want me, so why does it matter?”


“And you think I’m gonna be with you now after all this?  First you have fuck buddy Jim, now you’ve moved on up to rich boyfriend Robert!”


“Shut up, Olivia!  Don’t act like you suddenly would’ve had a change of heart and wanted to be with me if only I had been single!”


“Alex, I would’ve gotten back with you if you weren’t such a coward!”


“Get out of my apartment, Olivia,” Alex demanded coldly.


“Why?  Are you expecting company soon?” Olivia sneered.


“Because I no longer want you here!  You cannot dictate what goes on in my life!  You have no right!”


And you have no right to hurt people like you do, Alex!” Olivia screamed passionately.  The walls seemed to shake with the anger and despair both women felt.  


“Don’t you think I’m hurting?” Alex asked, her chest heaving to match Olivia’s.  “Should I continue to just suffer quietly?  Aren’t I entitled to happiness and the things I’ve envisioned for myself?”


“At whose expense?  Cry me a river, Alex!”


“I cannot believe you’re so insensitive, Liv!” Alex yelled, shaking violently all over with rage.


“And I cannot believe that the woman I once loved is so fucking selfish!”


Once loved?” Alex asked, her heart breaking all over again.  She desperately blinked back tears.  She didn’t want to give Olivia the satisfaction of seeing her cry.


Olivia shook her head.  “Don’t give me that pity party, Alex.”


“Oh, fuck you, Liv!  Fuck you!” Alex yelled, her features hardening even more.


“You know…I saw the real Alex Cabot those four days we spent together.  Now here you are putting up these bullshit façades again, acting like nothing fazes you!”


“You’re damn right nothing fazes me!”


“Keep telling yourself that, Alex.  I can see right through you.”


Alex looked away to keep Olivia’s eyes from searing her soul.  “For all you know, he could be the man of my dreams!”


“I know you aren’t straight, Alex.  He may be the perfect man for all your career aspirations, but he’s not the perfect man for you.  Just remember that sometimes when you look for your dreams, you lose yourself.”


The last line echoed in Alex’s head before she forced it out in defiance.  “Who are you to decide what’s right for me and what’s not?  This isn’t your life!”


Olivia folded her arms.  “I can see the tears pooling in your eyes now.  You’re trying with everything in you to hold them back.  Stop lying to me and stop lying to yourself!”


Alex’s tears began to pour down her cheeks like clockwork.  “Liv…why do you insist on doing this to me?” she demanded angrily.  “You can’t keep turning my world upside down like this!”


Olivia threw her hands up.  “Once again, it’s all about you.  What about my world?  My heart?  You claimed that you love me but—”


I do love you!” Alex screamed helplessly.  “Don’t you think it rips me apart inside to break the heart of the only person I’ve ever really loved?”


“You have a great way of showing it,” Olivia muttered.  “I thought you told me you’d never stop trying to make things right with me again.  Well, it certainly doesn’t look like you’re doing a good job since you’re still pretending to be someone you aren’t!”


“You gave up on me after promising you’d keep in touch!  I tried calling and emailing but you completely avoided me!”


“Alex, everything does not work on your timetable!  I needed time to clear my head.  But no, instead of thinking of that, you go off and start dating some guy!”


“Oh, you’re one to talk!  So, tell me.  How did speed dating work out for you?  You and Mr. Right looked pretty cozy!”


“What?” Olivia asked.  Alex was there? she wondered.  Just my luck.  “Like always, Alex, you jumped to baseless conclusions.  I was there working undercover and I had no clue that you would be at Nick’s that night!”


Alex looked down; she felt utterly foolish for jumping the gun like that.  “Oh,” she said almost inaudibly.


Olivia narrowed her eyes at her.  “And just who were you with?”


“It’s not important,” Alex said quickly.


“Yes, it is.  I don’t owe you an explanation but you sure as hell owe me one!”


Alex gritted her teeth.  “Jim, but not that that’s any of your business!”


“So let me get this straight.  You’re there having a drink with Mr. Fuck Buddy while spying on me at the same time?  So you’re all about ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ huh?”


“Liv…nothing I do is to hurt you.”


“Well, it ends up hurting me whether it’s intentional or not!  I’m so sick of you and your duplicitous nature, Alex!”


“If you’re so sick of me, then why did you come over here with the sole purpose of yelling your lungs out?”


Olivia clenched her jaw.  “Don’t mock me, Alex.”


“You can’t just barge into my apartment late at night like the KGB!  How am I supposed to feel?”


“Why should I give a damn about how you feel when you don’t care about anyone else’s feelings?”


“Olivia Benson, you won’t be satisfied until I get on top of the Empire State Building and scream about what a terrible person I am to all of NYC!”


“And you won’t be satisfied until you’re done shitting on everyone around you!  You are pathetic!” Olivia shouted.  She shook her head in disgust.  “I don’t even know how you sleep at night,” she continued, turning on her heel to leave.


Alex grabbed her wrist and swung her back around.  “Shut up, Liv!  God, I can’t stand…”  Her eyes locked with Olivia’s and she swallowed hard as she lost all resolve.  “…to love you so much,” she finished.  And with that, she threw herself at Olivia and pressed her lips against hers in a suffocating, crushing kiss.


The force of it all almost caused Olivia to lose her balance.  Her mind was telling her no, but her heart was telling her yes.  All their anger dissipated, washed away by frothy waves of passionate love.  She hungrily returned the kiss, which was flavored with the salt of Alex’s tears.  Their lips dissolved together, awakening their deepest emotions in their spirits and sending them floating on the wings of bliss.


Alex pushed them backwards and pinned Olivia’s body against the wall.  Tilting her head, she tangled a hand loosely in Olivia’s hair as she tenderly captured her open lips over and over for several minutes. 


Olivia enjoyed the feeling of Alex’s soft full mouth against hers, but she wanted more and she knew Alex did, too.  Alex gently pulled her swollen top lip with her teeth and then traced the underside with her tongue.  Olivia opened her mouth wider to allow Alex’s desperate tongue entry.  She picked her up and kissed her long and deeply.  The kiss made them dizzy and if it hadn’t been for the wall bracing them, they would’ve collapsed onto the floor. 


As Olivia’s strong arms held her, Alex wrapped her legs tightly around her waist and playfully chased her tongue.  When their tongues met in a passionate dance again, they could feel surges of electricity shoot through their bodies and trap them in a whirlwind of sensation as they breathed their love and longing into the other.


When Olivia pulled back to momentarily catch her breath, Alex moved up to nip her earlobe before placing sweet kisses all along her jawline and down her neck. 


“God, Alex…I love you,” Olivia said as Alex’s hot, wet tongue pressed against her neck.


“I love you, too, sweetie,” Alex mumbled, sucking gently.


Olivia raised Alex’s shirt up over her breasts and unlatched her bra.  Alex lifted her arms above her head so Olivia could remove both of the garments.  Olivia threw them on the floor and ran her hands over her creamy breasts, pulling the taut nipples between her fingers.  Moaning, Alex responded by pushing a hand down into her underwear.  She shivered when she was met with Olivia’s slick, wet heat. 


“It’s been so long since you’ve touched me there,” Olivia murmured.


Alex suddenly removed her hand and shook her head.  “No, Liv…I don’t want to make love to you like this,” she whispered breathlessly, holding Olivia’s face in her hands.  She wanted to take her time and make every part of her feel loved, and she didn’t want to do it against some cold wall.


Olivia nodded.  “Ok.”  She tightened her arms around Alex’s waist and began to carry her upstairs.


Alex placed more kisses over her face and neck as they made their way up.  “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.  I need you so much, Liv.”


Olivia ran her hands up and down the smooth skin of Alex’s back and tried to force her brain to concentrate enough to make it up the steps without tripping.  “Mmhmm,” she murmured.


When they finally made it to Alex’s bedroom, Olivia placed her down on the bed and consumed her mouth again.  She managed to wiggle out of her jacket and throw it on the floor.  Alex flipped them over and started making her way down Olivia’s torso.  She unzipped her jeans and slid them and her panties down her body. 


She came back up again and helped Olivia pull off her shirt and bra.  For the longest time she admired the perfectly sculpted form of her body, which made her absolutely weak with agonizing desire.  She could feel it possessing her and freeing her all at once.  There was a time when she thought she’d never get the chance to make love to her resplendent soul mate ever again, and the prospect of fate being so kind to her again was positively elating.


Olivia’s whole body flushed red under her intent gaze.  “Alex…”


“Don’t you dare get shy now,” Alex told her, taking one of her hands into her own.  “You’re so beautiful,” she continued, reaching up to touch Olivia’s cheek.


Olivia turned her head ever so slightly to kiss the fingers that embraced her.  “As are you.”


Alex smiled at her and traced her index finger down the valley of Olivia’s breasts.  Then she looked down at the triangular thatch of curls at the apex of her legs and delicately ran her fingers through it as if for the very first time.  The soaked curls glistened with her arousal and made the beautiful forbidden fruit underneath that much more enticing.  The delicious, sweet musky scent wafted to her nose, beckoning her closer.  But no, it was too soon.  She had to be patient and save the very best for last.


“There’s still something very wrong with this equation,” Olivia said, barely able to contain a smile.


“What?” Alex asked, looking up distractedly.


“You’re still partially dressed,” Olivia whispered.


Getting off the bed, Alex smiled and eagerly slid her pants and underwear down her body.  Olivia’s breath caught in her chest as Alex’s finely trimmed sex came into full view. 


Alex straddled Olivia’s thigh and asked, “Now that that problem’s solved, where were we?”


Olivia pulled Alex closer to her so that her breasts dangled right over her face.  She took a nipple into her mouth and delighted as it grew against her tongue.  She ran a hand over her other breast before taking the nipple and rolling it back and forth between her fingers.


Alex felt her wetness pooling against Olivia’s thigh as she teased her breasts relentlessly.  She let out a gasp each time Olivia sucked or bit her nipples.  The sensations shot straight down to her throbbing sex.


Olivia let go of her nipple with a soft plop and enveloped her mouth.  She sucked on her tongue gently as Alex gripped her breasts with her hands and massaged her nipples in circular motions with her thumbs.  As Olivia’s nipples tightened, she pulled them while gently rocking back and forth against her thigh.  Olivia let out a deep moan and moved a hand down to caress her warm center.


As soon as Olivia’s hand touched her, Alex jerked excitedly.  A gesture so simple from Olivia had the power to saturate her body with the verve of unbridled rapture.  She had missed the feeling of her soft slender fingers on her most intimate region and the sensation was almost too much to bear.  As much as she craved more of her touch, she knew she had to contain her own body’s need for release because she wanted to focus on pleasing Olivia.  She allowed Olivia’s fingers a few more tender caresses before regretfully moving back.


Olivia groaned at the loss of contact with Alex’s sex.  Alex put a finger to Olivia’s lips and promised, “Soon, sweetie.  Soon.”  She proceeded to move down her body again, leaving soft kisses in her wake. 


Olivia relaxed against the pillows as Alex’s lips and tongue brushed her inner thighs.  Alex ran her hands up and down her smooth legs before letting the very tips of her fingers trail across her stomach.  “Alex, please…”


Smiling up at her, Alex teasingly ran her tongue around her mound to lick up some of her arousal.  Olivia shivered underneath her as Alex’s warm breath blew on her center.  She desperately wanted to feel Alex’s touch again where she needed it most and the teasing was about to drive her absolutely insane.


Alex slid up her body again to lavish her affections on her full, ripe breasts.  Everything seemed to disappear around her and only Olivia remained.  She flicked her tongue against the painfully erect nipples before taking one into her mouth and sucking long and hard.  She quickly moved on to the other while Olivia ran her hands over her shoulders. 


“Oh, Alex,” Olivia moaned, closing her eyes contently.


“Mmm,” Alex replied, her mouth full.  She slowly slid a hand down and rubbed her fingers against Olivia’s luscious inner folds as she continued to suck her breast.  She couldn’t help but think how her sex felt like pure silk beneath her fingers.  She could hardly wait to replace her fingers with her tongue.


“Oh fuck,” Olivia gasped lightly, arching her back to try to force her sex harder against Alex’s fingers.  “I need you inside me.”


Alex obligingly pushed two fingers into her beloved’s dripping sex and began thrusting slowly and deeply. 


“More, I need more,” Olivia demanded.  She’d almost forgotten how good it felt to have Alex inside her—probing, pushing, and pulling like her life depended on it. 


Alex quickly added a third finger to the mix.  She left her breast and they once again got lost in the heat of each other’s mouths.  She pressed her heart against Olivia’s so she could feel it beating wildly into her own as her tongue mimicked the rhythms in her mouth that her fingers were making inside her very core. 


It was times like this that they were not individuals, but they were just one—one heart, one mind, one soul.  It was a feeling they never felt with anyone else but each other. 


Olivia threw her head back and Alex let her tongue trail down her neck, between her breasts, and down her stomach until she reached her destination.  “Please, Alex…please…” was all she could get out.


Alex licked her lips hungrily before parting her folds with her tongue.  She gently lifted Olivia’s hips and slowly licked up and down the length of her swollen sex. 


Olivia reveled in the feeling of her hot wet mouth on her.  “In-inside,” she ordered.  She had waited so long for this moment, and she was ready to come.  She had tried so hard to fight her feelings, and it felt so cathartic and natural to just be true to herself and give her heart what it craved just like she’d encouraged Alex to do for so long.  The light in her previously benumbed soul shone brightly once again, ignited by the love she allowed herself to feel.


Alex removed her fingers and pushed her tongue inside as far as it would go.  Her tongue writhed intricately and elegantly against her walls like a snake being summoned by a charmer.  She gently stroked her thighs and her stomach, which were each covered with a thin layer of sweat.


Intently watching her work her magic, Olivia reached down and massaged Alex’s scalp as she expertly dashed her tongue in and out of her, alternating between lovingly caressing her folds and her inner walls.  She whimpered in ecstasy and tightened her legs around her ribcage as Alex ran her tongue over her engorged clit.  She took the hard button into her mouth and sucked to her heart’s content while it pulsed against her tongue. 


For several more minutes, Alex continued to give her enough stimulation to bring her close to the edge but not yet send her over it.  With each scream of passion from Olivia, she thrust harder.  She could feel Olivia’s walls clench and release against her tongue and knew that she was close.  Her thighs started trembling and she could no longer hold back her climax, which like a shockwave set off Alex’s own tremors.  Alex moaned as Olivia’s delicious juices bathed her taste buds and flowed down her waiting throat.  She pumped her tongue inside a few more times and pinched her clit to evoke another round of convulsions. 


Olivia struggled to catch her breath as the blinding light obliterated all coherent thoughts and her ability to see, hear, or feel anything that wasn’t Alex.  She felt as if she was dying from the incessant pleasure that held her captive. 


Alex held onto Olivia for dear life as the waves of their orgasms continued to uproot their very essence.  During the moments when the last vestiges started to dissipate, she gently licked the rest of the juices from her center as if the nectar flowing from Olivia’s core provided her the sustenance she needed for survival.  She slid up to the head of the bed and motioned for Olivia to turn over on her side.  She cuddled up behind her and cradled her in her arms.  Placing a soft kiss on her ear, she said, “I love you so much.”


Olivia closed her eyes as Alex ran a hand gently up and down her arm.  Their bodies slowly returned to normal together.  “Keep doing that.”


“Is it soothing?” Alex asked, placing a kiss on her shoulder.


“Very much so,” Olivia replied.


Alex threw a leg over Olivia’s side and squeezed her tighter.  “Sometimes I never wanna let you go.”


“Somehow I don’t think Cragen would approve of you joined at my hip naked while I go around collaring perps.”


Alex chuckled behind her and pulled the covers up over them.  Olivia took comfort in her soft breath on her neck.  Alex brushed some of Olivia’s matted hair back behind her ear and said simply, “Oh, Liv.”


“Have I lost my mind?” Olivia asked abruptly.


“Insanity never felt so good, huh?” Alex asked with a wide grin, linking her fingers with Olivia’s. 




Olivia awoke to the wash of sunlight that poured across her face.  She squinted her eyes and put a hand over her face to shield herself.  Alex aroused beside her and tightened an arm around her waist.  “Good morning, sleepyhead,” Alex drawled huskily.


Olivia smiled down at her and placed a quick kiss on her lips.  “Good morning to you, too.”


Alex put a hand on the back of her head and brought her mouth back to her lips.  “Not so fast, Detective.”


They were still busy with their kiss when the phone started ringing.  Alex flipped Olivia over and acted like she didn’t hear it.


“Aren’t you gonna get it?” Olivia mumbled.


“It’s not important,” Alex mumbled back, putting a hand on her face and deepening the kiss.


The answering machine came on to reveal Robert’s voice:  “Hey, Alex.  I was hoping to catch you before you left for work this morning, but I guess I missed you.  I just wanted to say that I look forward to Thanksgiving at your brother’s tomorrow and I was hoping we could have a little private dinner of our own tonight.  I know this great little restaurant with a very romantic, candlelit setting.  Well, get back to me when you can.  I’ll be thinking of you.  Bye.”


Both their hearts sank at the message.  Olivia immediately untangled herself from Alex’s arms, threw back the covers, and climbed out of bed.


“Liv…Liv, wait!”


“Nothing to wait for,” Olivia muttered.  “We shouldn’t have done this.”


“So you’re saying this was a mistake?” Alex asked, dreading the affirmative response she knew would come.


“Yes.  A big one,” Olivia said.


“Liv, how can you call such a beautiful expression of our love a mistake?” Alex asked painfully.


Olivia sighed.  “Our love isn’t the mistake, but what we did last night…that was.”


“But why, Liv?”


“Because you belong to someone else now.”


“Liv, it’s not like you coerced me!  I kissed you first!  I knew exactly what I was doing.”


“It was still wrong, Alex,” Olivia said, picking up her jeans.  “Dammit Alex, where did you throw my panties?”


Alex ignored her.  “You knew before we made love that I had a boyfriend, Liv!”


“I let heart rule over head.”  She got down on the floor and looked under the bed.  “Alex, where is my underwear?” she repeated.


Alex climbed out of the bed, knelt beside her on the floor, and turned her head to face her.  “Look into my eyes and tell me it was a mistake,” she ordered.


Olivia swallowed hard.  “I…I can’t.”


“That’s what I thought, Liv.  I know in your heart—in mine—that this is something we both needed.”


Olivia looked away.  “Regardless, it can’t happen again.”


“Liv, I only put my heart and soul into sex when it’s with you!” Alex protested.  “It’s not the same with anyone else!”


Olivia finally found her underwear wedged between the nightstand and the corner of the wall and stood up again.  “I know, but I shouldn’t aid you in cheating on your boyfriend.  I need to get outta here.”


“Liv, can we please talk about this rationally?” Alex begged. 


“There’s nothing more to say,” Olivia said, pulling up her jeans.


“Well, let me make you breakfast,” Alex insisted desperately.


“No.  I’ll eat at the station.”


“Liv, you can’t keep running from me!”


Olivia snapped her body around and glared at her.  “Funny, that’s what you did to me for a whole month when you decided it was too hard to be friends.”


“Liv, why do you insist on continually bringing up my past mistakes?  How many times do I have to say I’m sorry?”


“Until you mean it,” Olivia said, slipping her shirt over her head.


“What makes you think I don’t?” Alex yelled angrily.


“You’re still in the closet.”


“I was still in the closet last night and it didn’t seem to make a difference!”  She ran over to the door and spread her arms out across it.


Olivia laughed and picked up her jacket.  “Alex, I’m an NYPD detective, if I want to get by you, I won’t have any problem.”


“I’ll follow you out!” Alex said, flushing red.


“You’re gonna follow me out the door, down the hall, in the elevator, through the lobby and out onto the street naked?  Perhaps I should’ve brought my handcuffs to arrest you for indecent exposure.”


Alex turned a deep shade of crimson.  “This isn’t a joking matter!”


“Alex, I’m serious.  Just move.”


“Not until you promise me that you won’t run and just act like last night didn’t happen!  And that you won’t ignore my calls!”


Olivia groaned.  “Fine, Alex.”


Alex moved in and touched her face.  “You know Robert isn’t a threat to my love for you, right?  No one is.”


“He’s a threat to my peace of mind.  And as long as you’re dating him, he always will be.”  She stepped around Alex and swung open the door.


Alex followed her down the stairs and into the foyer.  “When can we get together to talk—I mean really talk about everything?”


Olivia sighed.  “I don’t know.  I’ll have to get back to you later.”


Alex turned Olivia to face her again.  “Do you really mean that?”


Olivia rolled her eyes.  “Yes, Alex.  Now I need to go before I’m late.  And you need to get dressed.”


Alex grabbed a coat from her closet and wrapped it around herself as Olivia opened the door.  “Take care.”


Olivia turned to her and gave her a half-smile.  “I’ll try.”