Chapter 29:  Frozen

“Are you sure we can’t spend a few more minutes in here?” Zoe mumbled, resting her chin on Olivia’s shoulder and wrapping her arms around her from behind. 


Olivia looked over her shoulder and planted a kiss on her cheek.  “I’m afraid we won’t get out if we stay much longer.”


Zoe ran her hands over her slippery breasts and stomach.  “What’s so wrong with that?”


Olivia chuckled and leaned back into the spray of water to rinse the conditioner out of her hair.  “I have to go in today.”


“Just a few more minutes…” Zoe begged, pinching a nipple.  “Come on, we have plenty of time.”


Olivia jumped a little against her and smiled.  “I’ll need an incentive.”


Zoe slowly slipped a couple fingers inside her, causing her to release a loud moan.  “Will this do the trick?” she asked, placing gentle kisses on her neck.


“Oh, yes,” Olivia said as Zoe began a steady thrusting rhythm.


Twenty minutes later, they finally made their way out of the shower.  “If I’m late for work, I’m telling my captain it’s your fault,” Olivia said, grabbing a towel and drying off.


Zoe laughed.  “I’ll make sure to have my apology ready.”


A knock was heard at the door.  Olivia quickly wrapped the towel around her and said, “Shit, that must be Elliot.  But why he’s here a half hour early, I don’t know.”  She padded through the living room and unlocked the door.  When she saw it was Alex, her stomach practically dropped two floors.


Alex walked inside and smiled to see her in nothing but a towel.  “Good morning, Liv.  I just wanted to catch you early so I could return your book…and I thought maybe we could go jogging.”


Olivia took the book and looked down at it as if it was the most interesting thing she’d ever seen.  She shifted it from one hand to the other.  “Uh…sorry, I can’t.  I have to be in at 7 today.”  Zoe, please stay in the bathroom until she leaves, she silently begged.


Alex wondered what was up with her.  She could see the hesitation in her eyes.  “Oh…well, ok.  How about we schedule a day to go jogging later in the week?” she asked hopefully.


Before she could answer, Zoe came out of the bathroom.  Alex looked at her as if she’d just seen a ghost.  Her heart started to pound in her chest.  Please tell me this is just a bad dream, she thought. 


Zoe walked right up beside Olivia.  “Who knew that Elliot turned into such a beautiful woman overnight,” she teased, grinning at Alex.


Olivia forced a nervous laugh.  “Oh…this is my friend Alex.  She was our ADA before Novak.  Alex, this is Zoe.”


Where have I seen her before? Zoe wondered, racking her brain.  Then she realized.  “Oh yes, I remember seeing you in the papers.  It was so tragic what happened.”


Frozen in place, Alex continued to stare at her.  She stood there in Olivia’s navy robe—the same robe she herself had worn whenever she spent the night.  She felt like the wind had been knocked out of her.  A flood of emotions flashed through her mind—defeat, confusion, abandonment, hurt, sadness, anger, envy.  But the one that stood out the most was betrayal.  However, she refused to let a single thought reflect on the surface.  Plastering a smile on her face, she offered her hand to Zoe and said, “Pleased to meet you.”


“You, too,” Zoe replied, shaking her hand.  “Witness protection has to be rough.  I’m glad they got the guy who did that to you.”


“Well, it’s no picnic,” Alex said flatly.  The last person she wanted to discuss details of her attempted murder and time in witness protection with was a woman Olivia was obviously fucking.  She looked from Zoe to Olivia and made the connection between their damp hair and skin.  Fuck!  They showered together?!


Olivia gauged Alex’s reaction.  The icy veneer was firmly set in place but the fire in her eyes threatened to melt it.  Unlike her professional mask, this fire wasn’t fueled by confidence but by fury at the loss of it.  This difference would’ve been undetected by anyone else but she knew Alex well enough to catch it.  Olivia knew she was doing everything within her power to try to hold herself together and keep from crumbling.


Zoe could feel an awkward tension in the room.  She didn’t know if it was because Alex was unfamiliar with Olivia’s sexuality and was somewhat shocked to see a woman at her place or if they had a history themselves.  She pointed in the direction of the bedroom and said, “Well, I’m gonna go get dressed.”  Smiling brightly at Alex, she added, “Best of luck.”


Alex flashed another robotic smile.  “Thanks.  Have a good day.”


When the door closed she returned her gaze to Olivia, who still looked like a deer caught in headlights.  “I…I should go.  I’m sure you two have important business to attend to,” she quipped, barely able to keep the bitterness and disgust out of her voice.  She turned on her heel and was out the door before Olivia could say anything.


Olivia stared at the door and thought, Fuck.  Shaking her head, she turned around and joined Zoe in the bedroom so she could get dressed.




As soon as Alex arrived at Central Park, she began to run.  She had no destination or particular route in mind, she just needed to go.  The more she thought about Zoe and Olivia, the harder and faster she pumped her legs in a futile attempt to escape the pain.  The world around her was nothing but a mere blur for several minutes.  She didn’t stop until her lungs were burning for oxygen.  Bending over and holding her stomach, she sucked in several sharp breaths.  Usually a jog made her feel energized but at that moment she just felt depleted.


She stood up straight and looked around her, hoping she could recharge.  All was clear except for early morning birdwatchers, readers, and fellow joggers.  They all looked so carefree and excited for what the day had in store.  But she wasn’t.  In fact, she dreaded it.  She couldn’t wait for it to be over so she could lie down in her bed, close her eyes, and shut out all the troubling thoughts.  She at least hoped she wouldn’t be tormented in her dreams.


Ignoring the pain in her side, she forced herself to start running again.  She probably would’ve kept going if she hadn’t looked at her watch and noticed that she would just have enough time to shower and change before going to the office.  Turning around and starting a steady jog back, she concentrated on clearing her head and focusing on work and work alone.  She didn’t know how easy it would be that day, but she was determined to push Olivia to the back of her mind one way or another.




Olivia walked into the bureau that evening.  The place was dead silent and would’ve been completely dark save for the light coming from Alex’s office.  Her shades were pulled up halfway and she could see that Alex was furiously writing.  Always working, she thought, although that brought about a certain sense of pride because one thing she’d always loved about Alex was that her hard work ethic so closely mirrored her own.  The door was open but Alex didn’t notice her.  She smiled at seeing the painting she’d given her on the wall behind her and the yoga mat hanging from her coat rack.


Before she could get too lost in sentimental thoughts, she remembered the reason she was there.  Taking a deep breath and straightening her shoulders, she walked up to Alex’s office and knocked on the doorframe. 


Alex looked up.  Her face hardened instantly when she saw Olivia.  “May I help you, Detective?” she asked curtly.


Olivia frowned.  “Way to be mature about this, Counselor.”  She closed the door.  Even though no one else was on the floor, she didn’t want to take a chance that someone would come back for something and hear every word they were saying.


Alex put down her pen.  “I don’t have time for this.  As you can see, I was in the middle of something.”


Olivia braced her hands against the desk and leaned over her.  “Well, then I’ll get right to the point.  If you want me to feel guilty about Zoe, I won’t.”


Alex stared defiantly into her eyes.  “I couldn’t care less about Zoe,” she lied.


Olivia gave a mean smirk.  “Really?  Then what was that little remark you made before you left?” 


“I was just stating facts,” Alex shot back.


“Well, how about I state some?  Jealousy, petulance, bitterness—”


Alex jumped to her feet.  “Don’t you dare mock me.  She’s nothing to be jealous of.”


Olivia laughed at Alex’s false sense of confidence.  “Au contraire.”


Alex folded her arms.  “So do all the women who come through your apartment get to shower with you and wear your robe as some badge of honor?”


Olivia looked like steam would shoot from her ears any second.  “Women?  You see one woman at my place and assume I have some drive-thru service?”


“Well, do you?” Alex taunted, her eyes flashing.


“Fuck you!  At least I don’t sleep with men for the sake of some pre-emptive strike should anyone question my sexuality!  How much longer are you gonna use men as your human dildos?”


Turning red at the crass language, Alex rushed around her desk and stood to face Olivia.  “You’ve slept with more men than I have!”


Olivia narrowed her eyes.  “You can rant and rave all you want, but that’s not going to stop me from seeing Zoe.”


Alex opened her mouth to give a biting reply but all her resolve suddenly vanished.  “Olivia, we have one fight and you start dating someone else?” she asked, desperately trying to hold back her tears.


“We aren’t dating—yet,” Olivia retorted coldly.  “And who are you to tell me whom I can and cannot date?  You’ve got some nerve especially since you’re dating someone yourself!”


A new wave of fury washed over her at the “yet” that ended the sentence.  “It’s different,” Alex spouted through gritted teeth.


Olivia folded her arms.  “Oh really?  How so?” she challenged.


“If you were gonna get with someone else, I’d rather it be a guy…” Alex replied helplessly.


“Well, you don’t get to make that choice,” Olivia snapped.  “Just because you’re not happy living your fake life doesn’t mean I have to suffer, too.”


“How do you know I’m not happy with Robert?”


“If you were happy with him, you wouldn’t keep coming to me!”


“Coming to you?  We are not fucking each other!”


“We don’t have to be.  We are still as emotionally involved as before.  We fuck without fucking, date without dating, kiss without kissing—”


“Maybe I’ll just stop coming around!” Alex interrupted.  “Is that what you want?”


“I want you to give me the same consideration I give you!  I agreed to be friends with you even though you were seeing Robert, yet the moment I start seeing someone the bet is off?  Hypocrite much?”


“Robert and no other man have the power to replace you in my heart!  I’ve told you that before.  Don’t you get it?”


“So that’s what this is all about, huh?  You’re afraid Zoe is a replacement?  That I’ve fallen for her?”


“Well, have you?” Alex asked, afraid to hear the answer.


Olivia didn’t speak for several seconds.  “No, Alex.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself.”


“It also doesn’t mean that you won’t fall.”


This time Olivia said nothing.  Alex was hoping she would deny it.  She swallowed hard.  Quietly, she asked, “She was the one you were meeting for dinner last week, wasn’t she?”


“Yes,” Olivia answered.


“You couldn’t tell me?” Alex asked dolefully.


Olivia hated to hear the pain in her voice.  It struck her deep in her gut but she needed to remain firm.  “Why should I have told you if you were just going to react this way?”


Alex pushed her glasses to the top of her head and sighed deeply.  “When you were with men, I knew they couldn’t fulfill you like I could.  But another woman has the same power I have.”


Instead of calming her fears and telling her Zoe would never be her, she replied, “Alex, it’s your choice to remain closeted.  If you weren’t, we’d be together.”


Alex glared at her, her sadness quickly giving way to anger again.  “Yes, Liv, you’ve said it a thousand times!”


“And you’ve used your career as an excuse a thousand times, too!” Olivia said heatedly.  “The truth is you’re just a coward!  You’d still be closeted even if you didn’t work for the DA’s office!”


“It’s not just an excuse!  If I wasn’t in love with you and people weren’t so homophobic, I’d only sleep with other women!  You, on the other hand, are sleeping with other women just to hurt me ’cause you know I’d never risk it and you know it would hurt me more than knowing you were sleeping with a guy!  And then you come and interrupt me at the office just so you can rub it in my face?  Grow up!”


Olivia glared at her.  “Alex, you think I’m doing this to get back at you?  Not everything is about you.  Get over your fucking self.”


“Get out!  Get out of my damn office!” Alex screamed, her lower lip trembling.  She silently berated herself for losing control.  She should be working yet she was fuming over something that didn’t even directly concern her.


Olivia stormed out and slammed the door shut.  The sound reverberated throughout the bureau.  When she could no longer hear the click of her boot heels, Alex sat back down behind her desk and burst into tears, feeling as empty inside as the 7th floor was at that point.