Chapter 36:  Lovesong

Alex stood outside Olivia’s door and raised her hand to knock.  Shit, what are you doing here? she scolded herself.  How do you know Zoe’s not in there with her right now?  She turned around to leave when the door opened.


“How long were you planning to stand out here, Cabot?” Olivia asked, a shit-eating grin on her face.


Embarrassed, Alex stammered, “H-how did you know I was out here?”


“I’m a detective, remember?”  She moved aside and motioned for her to come in.


Alex walked inside and removed her coat while Olivia shut the door.  The radio was playing in the background.  “I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” she said softly.


From the slight sadness in her voice, Olivia guessed she was referring to Zoe.  “Nope, not at all.”


Alex’s nostrils got a whiff of the sweet incense that was burning.  It took her back to a very pleasant time.  Pointing to the burner on the sofa table, she asked, “You still have some sticks left from the antique shop?”


“Yeah.  I use them sparingly or whenever the mood arises,” Olivia said with a shrug.


“I can’t believe we went there nine months ago.”


“Strange to think of all the stuff that’s happened since then.”


“Crazy,” Alex responded, sitting down.


Olivia went over to her desk and started looking through the menus on it. “Wanna order out?  I’m starved.”


“Sure,” Alex replied.  “I was thinking about picking up dinner but I didn’t know…”


“It’s all right.  How’s Italian sound?”


Alex smiled.  “Perfect.  I’ve actually been craving some.”


Olivia gave her the menu and sat down beside her.  “Whatcha want?”


Alex’s mouth watered at all the choices.  “I think I’m gonna have a hard time choosing!”


After ordering for them, Olivia asked, “How was your day?”


Alex sighed.  “Nervewracking, as can be expected.  We cut a deal with Escobar.”


Olivia’s eyes widened.  “Why?”


“We can’t take a chance of him getting acquitted at trial.  Everyone on that jury knows what a monster he is, and no one wants him retaliating for being convicted.”


“So what did you offer him?”


“20 to life with the possibility of parole.”


Olivia shook her head.  “That’s hardly justice.  To think that Mike fought so hard to put criminals behind bars and now the guy who had him murdered is getting a slap on the wrist.”


“Well, 20 years is better than none at all,” Alex replied.  “If Escobar got off scott free, that would be an even greater injustice.”


“I guess you’re right, but I don’t like it.”


“And you think I do?  If it was up to me, he’d be enjoying a potassium chloride cocktail sometime in the near future!” Alex snapped.  Olivia just stared at her.  Flushing lightly, she apologized, “Liv, I’m sorry.  I’m just wound a little tight.  I feel like I’ve had to defend my decision all day.”


“I understand,” Olivia responded flatly.


Alex touched her knee.  “Listen, I don’t wanna ruin our night.”


Olivia forced a smile.  “I don’t either.”


There was silence for a few moments before Alex asked, “So, um, how was your day?”


“It was ok,” Olivia responded.  “Elliot and Fin went to Atlantic City for a case we caught Wednesday night while I stayed behind to work on a couple others.”


“I wouldn’t mind spending a weekend there,” Alex murmured.  “Take my mind off things.”


“Yeah, tell me about it.”  She noticed that Alex hadn’t commented on the main purpose of the day, so she decided to bring it up.  “How was the funeral?”


Alex expelled another sigh.  “It was a nice service.  I can’t think of a better way to honor such a great man.”


“I wish I could’ve been there.  You know, for you.”


Alex gave a small smile.  “Really?”


“Yes,” Olivia answered.  “Was it as hard as you expected?”


“In some ways,” Alex replied.  “It’s sad to think that we’re all so different in life—possessions, influence, achievements, accolades—but death is the great equalizer.  It just makes me appreciate life that much more.  We actually get a chance to be.” 


Olivia nodded.  “Yeah, that knowledge can really humble someone.”  With a lopsided grin, she added, “Let’s face it, being the same can get kinda boring.”


Alex laughed lightly, pleased that only Olivia had the uncanny ability to lift her spirits on such a distressing day.  “I agree.”


“I bet you were relieved when the funeral was over.”


“Yeah,” Alex said quietly.  “The gang went out for a drink, but I decided to pass.”


Olivia saw the goosebumps along her arms.  “Cold?”


Alex nodded.  “A little.”


Olivia stood up and went to her room.  She returned with a wool throw.  “This should take care of that little problem.”


Alex moved closer to her on the sofa and snuggled under it with her.  “Reminds me of old times.”


At that moment, The Cure’s “Love Song” came on the radio.  Olivia gave a small chuckle at the coincidence and replied, “Speaking of which…”


Alex grinned.  “Nice, huh?”


Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am home again

Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am whole again


Alex laid her head on her shoulder as Olivia wrapped her arm around her back.  They both smiled as the familiar lyrics floated through the air, lifting the burdens from their hearts.  “I love this song,” Alex murmured.


“I do, too,” Olivia echoed.


Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am young again

Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am fun again


However far away I will always love you

However long I stay I will always love you

Whatever words I say I will always love you

I will always love you


“I feel like this was written for us,” Alex said.  Olivia just nodded.


Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am free again

Whenever I'm alone with you

You make me feel like I am clean again


However far away I will always love you

However long I stay I will always love you

Whatever words I say I will always love you

I will always love you


“I guess some things never change,” Olivia remarked.


Alex lifted her head and tenderly ran her finger down her cheek.  “No, they don’t.”  She laid her head back on her shoulder and wrapped her arms around her waist.  “You know Einstein once said, ‘Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.’”


Olivia began to stroke her hair.  “Not gonna argue with that in this case.”


“It’s moments like these that make me feel like everything will be ok.”


“For you or us?” Olivia wondered out loud.


“Both,” Alex responded, her voice breaking slightly.  “I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I just feel like everything will work itself out.”


In spite of everything they’d been through that would suggest otherwise, happy tears pricked the back of Olivia’s eyes.  They both knew that what she’d said felt too good to be true, but at the same time they hoped it wasn’t.


A few minutes later, their food arrived.  Olivia buzzed the delivery woman in and she came up to her floor.  “Here’s your food, ma’am,” she told her, looking her up and down appreciatively.  “I hope you enjoy it.”


Olivia smiled and paid her.  “Thank you.  I’m sure I will.”


The woman reached into her pocket to give her back her change but Olivia shook her head and held up a hand.  “Keep the change.”


“Do you always tip so generously?” she asked.


“Well, you got here 15 minutes before you were scheduled.  So I do when it’s great service.”


“Thank you,” she said, smiling brightly.  She bit her lip and slyly added, “Certainly don’t hesitate to let me know when I can be of service again.”


Olivia chuckled.  “Okay.”


“Have a good night,” she said, winking at her as she left.


Alex felt a rush of jealousy at the flirtation that had occurred.  Olivia closed the door and brought the food over to the coffee table.  She gave Alex a curious look and asked, “What’s up?”


“Nothing.  Just noticing how popular you are with the ladies,” Alex responded, trying to sound like she was joking.


Olivia cocked an eyebrow and thought, Do I detect some jealousy?  She took the chicken cacciatore and baked ziti out of the bag. 


Alex picked up the container of ziti, folded back the aluminum edges, and took off the plastic top.  “Oh, wow, I can’t wait to eat this.”


Olivia gave her a fork and a napkin.  “Bon appétit.”  She stood up and added, “I think I have a good bottle of wine just sitting around and collecting dust.  Want some?”


Alex smiled.  “Please.”


After uncorking the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Olivia returned a couple minutes later with two wine glasses.  She poured some of the dark liquid into each of them and handed one to Alex.


Alex clinked the rim of her glass against Olivia’s.  “Cheers.”


“Cheers,” Olivia replied, taking a sip of her wine.  “Ah, this is just what I need to relax.”


“You’ve always loved Cabernet,” Alex responded, putting her glass down on the coffee table.  The wine felt warm and soothing as it went down her throat.  She picked up her fork and dug into her ziti.


“Mmm…this is delicious,” Olivia said, taking a bite of her own food.  “Wanna try?”


“Sure,” Alex said.  Olivia scooped some of the chicken and spaghetti onto her fork and fed it to her.  Alex nodded and wiped her mouth with her napkin.  “Now that is good.”


“You’re tellin’ me,” Olivia agreed, taking another bite.


Alex picked up some pasta and meat sauce and held it out to her.  “Try some of mine.”


Olivia gladly took the fork into her mouth.  “Delicious.”


When they were finished, Alex leaned back and held her stomach.  “Oh, I’m so full.”


“Me, too,” Olivia muttered, finishing the last of her wine.


Alex curled her legs underneath her and placed a hand on Olivia’s knee.  “You know…in the past couple times we’ve seen each other, we’ve broken almost every established rule between us.” 


Olivia laughed softly.  “And if you count New Year’s, every single one.”


Alex started tracing a pattern on her knee.  “I say that rules are made to be broken.”


“Well, I’m surprised that an officer of the court would say this,” she teased.


Alex smiled slyly.  “We aren’t in court now, Detective.”


“Slick, Cabot.”


Alex’s smile widened.  “Why, yes I am.”


Olivia’s eyes almost popped out of her head.  “Alex!  So dirty.”


Alex wagged her finger at her.  “Wait a minute now.  I was just agreeing with you.  You’re the one who assumed I was talking about something else.  So it’s you who is dirty.”


“Are you saying you aren’t?” Olivia asked.


“Is that a trick question?”


“You don’t answer a question with another question, Counselor.”


“Would you like to perform a search?” Alex murmured.


Olivia grinned.  “I bet you’d like me to.”


Alex’s eyes sparkled.  “I’d like a lot of things.”


Olivia shifted her position and placed her head in Alex’s lap.  “Sometimes I wish I had a time machine.”


“Why, sweetie?” Alex asked, stroking her hair.


“So I could travel back to a time we were happy…and dating.”


Alex let out a troubled sigh.  “Sometimes I wish the same.  Then there are other times that,” her voice broke, “it’s easier to forget.  You can’t miss something if you pretend it’s not there in the first place.  That’s why I thought it was good to distance ourselves from one another.  You make me miss being me, and being me is just sometimes too hard to do.”  She shook her head.  “God, I hate myself for saying all that.”


Olivia turned over on her back so she could look up at her.  “Do you wish we’d never gotten involved?”


“No,” Alex answered without hesitation, smiling down at her.  She began stroking her forehead with the back of her hand.  “If it wasn’t for you, I never would’ve experienced true love.  You made me feel things no one else ever has.  Hell, you still do,” she admitted.  “That’s why you will always be very special to me.”


Olivia closed her eyes and smiled.  Her top was up slightly, exposing a bit of smooth skin.  Alex began stroking her stomach as she continued to stroke her forehead.  “Am I being pampered now?” Olivia teased.


“I just miss touching you.”  Olivia’s eyes opened and Alex laughed and explained, “I guess that did come out wrong, huh?  I mean I miss feeling how soft your skin is beneath my fingers.”


“Same difference,” Olivia chuckled.


Alex started playing with her hair.  “Your hair is so silky.”


“Why, thank you,” Olivia replied.  Alex began to massage her scalp.  “Ooh, that feels really good.”


“Have to put these hands to good use,” Alex joked.


A few minutes later Olivia said, “Well, as much as I’d like to continue this, my bladder is making a bit of a protest.”


Alex smiled.  “Go ahead.”


While Olivia was in the bathroom, she got up and walked over to admire her cherry bookcase.  When did she get this? she wondered.  She noticed a framed photo on top of it.  As she picked it up, a big smile crept across her face.  “Aw, Rockefeller Center.  What a great night.”


“I agree,” Olivia responded, walking up beside her.


“I wish I could go back to that night,” Alex murmured.


Olivia looked from the photo to her.  “Why?”


“Everything was perfect.  I’d like to have a video of that night to watch over and over and over again…”


Olivia softly touched her shoulder.  “I wouldn’t mind having a copy.”


Alex felt a tingle go through her at the touch.  After taking one more look at the photo, she put it back in its place.


“You wanna stay the night?” Olivia asked.


Alex nodded.  “I’d like that.”


“I showered before you came, so the bathroom’s all yours,” Olivia said, walking over to the coffee table and picking up the empty containers and wine glasses.


Alex grinned.  “What shall I sleep in?  I’m afraid I didn’t bring an overnight bag.”


Knowing where she was going, Olivia said, “You can sleep in one of my shirts.”


Alex’s grin widened.  “No panties?”


“That’s up to you,” Olivia said, laughing at Alex’s open jaw as she went to the kitchen.


Several minutes later, Alex came out of the bathroom in nothing but a towel.  Olivia put the book she was reading facedown on the nightstand.  How does she manage to look so stunning all the time? she wondered.


Alex noticed her gaze.  “If you want, I could give you a closer look.”


Olivia smiled.  “Think I’ll take a rain check.”


Alex pulled one of her NYPD shirts out of a drawer and went back into the bathroom to blow-dry her hair.  When she came out, she said, “You have no idea how good that shower felt.”


“Nothin’ like a nice hot shower after a long day.”


“You said it,” Alex agreed.  As she got in bed beside her, the thought of Zoe being there crossed her mind.  She frowned and quickly forced the troubling thought out.  Nothing will ruin my night, she vowed.  Besides, she currently had much bigger problems than Zoe to worry about.


Olivia noticed her vacant look.  “Somethin’ up?”


Alex shook her head quickly.  “No.  I was just…”  She flashed a smile.  “It doesn’t matter.  What are your plans for the weekend?”


“Uh…haven’t made any,” Olivia answered.


“Wanna do something?” Alex asked hopefully.


“As long as it involves all our clothes,” Olivia replied.


Alex laughed.  “How does a movie sound?”


“Good.  I’ll call you when I get off from work.  Hopefully it won’t be too late.”


Alex placed a hand on her side.  “I don’t mind catching a late one.”


Olivia scooted closer to her.  “We can share a big container of popcorn.”


“I want extra butter,” Alex replied, starting to drum her fingers.


Olivia looked down at her movements.  “Well, aren’t you the fidgety one tonight?”


“Just excited, I guess.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had such a good time.”


“Ah, the simple pleasures, huh?”


“Sometimes I think life’s better that way,” Alex responded.


“I do, too,” Olivia agreed, putting her hand on Alex’s waist.  She let her hand travel a bit and added, “So I guess someone did decide to go commando.”


“You told me I could,” Alex replied, a glint of mischief in her eye.  As Olivia’s hand continued to rest on her hip, she felt her body get warmer.  She cursed the cotton of the shirt which provided a barrier between her bare skin and Olivia’s fingers.  She chuckled at the reactions she could always set off inside her, regardless of whether the touch was innocent or sensual in nature.  However, this was one of those times that the lines were blurred.


“What’s so funny?” Olivia wondered.


“I’d just like to let you know that I’m about to jump out of my skin right now.”


Olivia raised an eyebrow.  “Why is that?”


Alex ran a finger down her lips.  “You have no clue how hard it is to not be able to kiss you.”


Blushing at the contact, Olivia slowly licked her lips.  “How hard is it now?”


Alex leaned in and replied, “You sure you wanna find out?”


Olivia looked at her softly and said, “I love it when your hair falls over your shoulders.”  She lightly brushed a hand through her long layers.


“Sure, Benson.  Avoid the question.”


Olivia laughed.  “That way I stay outta trouble.”


“Are you saying I’m trouble?” Alex breathed.


“With a capital T,” Olivia answered.


“I’ll take that as a compliment,” she replied.  A sly smile danced on her lips.


“What are you up to?” Olivia said suspiciously.


“I think there should be a calendar of New York’s Finest—but just the female cops.”


Olivia laughed.  “Oh really?”


“Yes.  And I’d be the first to buy one.  You’d have to autograph it.”


Olivia laughed harder.  “Ok, if we ever make one, I’ll let ya know.  So tell me.  Just what would you like to see me wearing?”


Alex grinned and hoped that her arousal wouldn’t spread down her thighs.  “Well…I imagine you sitting with your back against a wall in nothing but your dress blues.  Actually, it wouldn’t be full uniform, just your shirt.  It would be wide open and your breasts and stomach would be wet…and you’d have your badge barely covering your crotch.”


Olivia couldn’t help but be turned on at her idea.  She decided to play along.  “What month would I be?”


“How about my birthday month?  May.”


“Well, if you’re good this year, I might act out this fantasy of yours on your special day.”


Alex felt her nipples tightening even more to match Olivia’s.  “You mean that?”


Olivia nodded.  “Emphasis on the ‘if you’re good’ part,” she responded with a waggle of her eyebrows.  She didn’t want things to go too far, so she turned away from her and added, “Night.”


“Hey!” Alex protested, shaking her shoulder.  “You can’t just leave it at that!”


“I decided to stop before both of us need cold showers.  And considering how it’s absolutely freezing outside, I don’t think that’d be such a good idea for our health.”


“I’m sure our bodies pressed against each other would generate enough heat,” Alex replied, moving in close and wrapping her arm around her.


“Alex!” Olivia exclaimed.


“I can’t help it when I’m around you,” she said, her breath warm against her neck.


Olivia felt a tremor go through her body.  “Your nipples are about to poke holes in my back.”


Alex laughed.  “Is that all my fault, though?”


“Yes,” Olivia said quickly, trying to suppress a laugh.


“Well, I don’t mind taking the blame for that,” Alex replied.  She kissed her softly on the cheek.  “Don’t worry, I’ll be good.”


“For how long?” Olivia teased.


“We can negotiate in the morning,” Alex said, yawning.


“I guess the art of seduction is a tiring process, huh?”


Alex playfully pushed her shoulder.  “Always the joker.”


Olivia closed her eyes.  “It’s certainly one of my more endearing qualities, don’t you think?”


Alex closed her eyes, too and rested her chin on her shoulder.  “Definitely.”