Slaying Saint George by Harper

Title: Slaying Saint George
Author:
Harper
Rating:
R
Fandom:
Law and Order: SVU, Soul Food, and Law and Order
Pairings:
Alex/Teri, Alex/Abbie
Archiving:
This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm. List archives are welcome to it, but anyone else please ask.
Disclaimers:
I don�t own the show or the characters. Dick Wolf and Showtime, respectively, have the rights to those. I�m just borrowing them. I get no money and mean no infringement.
Spoilers:
Soul Food up to Never Can Say Goodbye. After that, things take place in the made up world conjured by my mind. No real spoilers for L&O:SVU and one hopefully fairly well known one for L&O.
Public Health Disclaimer:
I don�t think that unprotected sex is a good idea, but I didn�t include the safer version here. For one thing, its fiction so I can make everything turn out well. For another, its just not as fun to write. That doesn�t mean, of course, that I think it was a smart thing for any of the people in this story to engage in, and I certainly don�t advocate it, hypocritical as it may be.
A/N:
Once again, in my mind Abbie never left the DA�s office. I�ve taken some liberties� well, okay, broad liberties, with the canon for all shows involved. Mainly you�ll find some timeline quibbles if you look hard enough, and some of my facts may be a bit off. All for story development, I assure you. If you don�t know who Teri is, or if you�re not familiar with the show "Soul Food", then I suggest that you look at the following page: http://www.paramount.com/television/soulfood/abouttheshow/characters.html.
I�ve placed Abbie and Alex in the same building, office wise. I should probably also mention that I undoubtedly drew heavily on Sharon Bowers� work for some of my background on Abbie. My apologies to Sharon, though I probably did it unintentionally. Her stuff is great, and what�s really canon and what I�ve picked up from her fics has melded together in my head, so I can�t say what came from Dick Wolf and what came from her. This is un-beta�d, so it undoubtedly contains numerous errors. For the sake of my ego, please overlook them. I�ll go ahead and warn you that this is pretentiously long, but like Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys, I just couldn�t stop. If you�d like to send feedback, I�d love to receive it. I�ll be at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 |

Part 4

The words on the page were starting to blur before snapping almost violently back into place. Pushing her glasses up on top of her head, Abbie rubbed tiredly at her eyes, fully aware that the gesture wouldn�t do anything to help but firmly committed to doing it nonetheless. It made her feel better, if anything could make her feel better after the day she�d had.

A tentative knock drew her attention, but Abbie didn�t even bother looking over to see who it was. Instead, she slid both hands over her eyes until the tips of her fingers were buried in her hair and groaned. "What is it?" she asked peevishly, not at all happy about having to deal with whatever it was that she was going to have to deal with.

"My, someone�s in a bad mood." The amused words drifted over to her, and with a sigh Abbie straightened, swinging her chair around so she was facing the door.

There, lounging in her doorframe, was Alex. She�d obviously just finished up for the day, or at least that�s what Abbie surmised since she had her coat draped over one arm and her briefcase sitting at her feet.

"Some people say it�s the only kind of mood I have, you know," she drawled, tugging her glasses back down into place. Reaching behind her, she slid the pencil that had been holding her hair back in a loose bun free, shaking her head slightly so that the dark tresses fell about her shoulders.

Alex obviously took the move as an indication to come in because that�s what she did, trying, as she did so, to ignore the inherently sensuality in Abbie�s movements. Throwing her jacket in the general direction of the low bench resting against one wall, she slid into the seat facing Abbie�s desk, crossing one leg over the other and leaning to the side so that she was perched against the arm of the chair. "Oh, I don�t know about that. From what I can tell, your personality manifests itself in an array of different ways. There�s sarcasm and anger and amusement�"

"And thanks, again, for the quick pick me up," Abbie said in a monotone, rolling her eyes at Alex. "Was a quick ego boost your only reason for this little visit, or did you have something else in mind?"

"I haven�t talked with you since Sunday," Alex said idly, striving for nonchalance.

At that, Abbie leaned back in her chair with a satisfied smile. "Ah, so you�ve missed me," she murmured, watching with amusement as Alex flushed.

"Abbie," Alex said, a warning tone in her voice.

A dark brow quirked in expectation. "Yes?"

There was a moment of tense silence, and then Alex gave in, shoulders slumping slightly at the concession. "So you�re going to make me ask you, aren�t you?" she said tiredly, rolling her eyes.

Abbie�s grin grew even wider, if that were possible. "Ask me what?" she asked innocently.

"What you�re doing this weekend." Alex looked vaguely uncomfortable at the words, and flicked blue eyes down to Abbie�s desk, studying without seeing the various stacks of paper that had been organized into tiny little islands, anything to avoid the look of triumph she knew she was getting.

"Well," Abbie said slowly, beetling her brows as if in thought, "UT is playing on TV�"

Alex�s head snapped up, and she looked at Abbie with something akin to amazement. "What do you mean, UT is playing on TV?"

"The University of Texas. They�re playing. Football, you know. On TV," Abbie elaborated, trying to suppress a grin.

Alex frowned slightly, sure she was being teased but not at all happy about it. "So that�s what you�re doing this weekend? Watching football on TV?"

"You could come over and watch with me," Abbie said enticingly. "I�ll explain all the rules, and even let you wear my Texas Ex hat."

"Your hat," Alex echoed skeptically.

Abbie nodded. "Uh-huh. Speaking of, are you ever going to give my shirt back?"

Shooting the other woman a blank look of innocence, Alex said sweetly, "What shirt?"

Abbie snorted at the patently manufactured look. "Oh, I see how this is going to play out."

She left it at that, and Alex felt her curiosity grow exponentially as the seconds passed. Finally unable to stand it anymore, she blurted, "See how what is going to play out?"

"Well," Abbie said slowly, pushing up out of her chair, "it appears that we�ve reached an impasse. You have my favorite shirt, and are not at all inclined to return it, is that correct?"

Alex nodded mutely, watching in fascination as Abbie moved languidly around the desk until she was standing in front of Alex, one hip propped up on the wooden surface, arms crossed over her chest. "So that means that I�m going to have to devise a way to get it back. First on my list of objectives is gaining entry into the enemy camp." "Hardly an enemy," Alex scoffed.

Abbie merely ignored her, instead pushing away from her desk to stride over to the door. Seconds later it was closed, and a quick pull ensured that her blinds were as well. "Enemy," she repeated emphatically, kicking off her shoes. Moving stealthily in stockinged feet, she managed to position herself behind Alex, forcing the other woman to try and look at her over her shoulder. "As I�m sure you know, in war, anything goes. So, be expecting subterfuge."

At that, Abbie let her fingers trail down the leather of her chair to settle on Alex�s shoulders, where she began a slow, deep massage. In mere moments, Alex�s head had dropped forward, a low whimper sneaking past her lips. "Is this an early demonstration of your interrogation technique?" she murmured, sighing as muscle after muscle relaxed under Abbie�s skillful touch.

"Not hardly," Abbie laughed. "Rule number one� gain the enemy�s trust first."

"You have an inordinate amount of rules," Alex grumbled, unbuttoning her suit jacket and sliding the garment off of her shoulders, giving Abbie a good view of pale shoulders clad only in the silk shell she was wearing underneath, providing the brunette with better access.

Grinning widely, well aware that Alex couldn�t see her expression, Abbie immediately took advantage of the opportunity to touch the other woman�s nearly bare flesh. "This is no time for you to get picky, Councilor. I�m outlining my battle strategy for you. If you want to have any chance of winning, you�ll pay attention."

Alex raised a hand, motioning for Abbie to continue. "So sorry about the interruption. Please, go on. I�m enthralled, really," she droned, smirking.

"Where was I?" Abbie asked distractedly, sliding her hands down to Alex�s upper arms. When no protest was forthcoming, she continued her movements, fingers playing across the other woman�s lithe muscles. "Gaining access to your headquarters, right? Hmm. That one will take planning and time. Of course, the easiest way would be by invitation, but I haven�t gotten far enough inside your defenses to expect that quite yet, and I�m not about to go in with guns blazing. I guess, in the meantime, I�ll just have to find ways to chip away at the walls until they finally start to crumble."

"We are still talking about your shirt, aren�t we?" Alex muttered, so relaxed that she was almost completely limp.

Abbie pulled her hands away abruptly, and moved quickly back to her chair, managing, with some amount of difficulty, to quash her smirk before she was seated. "Of course I was," she replied with a honeyed smile. "Now, about this weekend�"

It took Alex a moment to recover from the effects of the massage, but she finally slowly managed to do so, shrugging her jacket back on and shaking her head to clear it. "Do you really want me to come watch football with you?" she asked hesitantly, shooting Abbie a skeptical look.

"Uh-huh. I really want you to come watch football with me. After that, I�ll take you anywhere you want to go, how about that?"

"Anywhere?" Alex asked guardedly, mind already working.

"Anywhere," Abbie affirmed, nodding to punctuate her statement.

Alex didn�t say anything, merely stood, calmly collecting her jacket and suitcase. With one hand on the doorknob, she turned, eyes tracing up Abbie�s form. "Football it is, then. Oh, and Abbie.. no hat."

And with that, she was gone.

XXXXXXXXXX

Taking a deep breath, wondering again if this were a good idea, Alex raised her hand and knocked softly, forcing down the part of her that was screaming for her to bolt. She�d made the date and she was going to keep it, even if she wasn�t completely sure anymore that she could simply use the other woman as a stepping stone in her quest to get over Teri. Not that it was an honorable quest in the least, but since Alex had settled on a plan of action, she was going to stick with it. After all, now that they weren�t fighting any more, she could admit that Abbie was interesting and easy to talk to. And, most importantly, she could admit that she was attracted to the other woman, which went a long way in smoothing over any antagonism that might have been held over from their less than peaceful past.

The muffled sound of footsteps approaching snapped Alex out of her contemplation, and she looked up in time to see Abbie pull the door open wide. There was a huge smile on her face, curving enticingly at her lips and baring even white teeth, and Alex felt herself smiling reflexively in response. Taking a tentative step inside at Abbie�s beckoning nod, Alex put aside any doubts or insecurities, focusing instead of having a good time and not thinking about a certain Chicagoan.

"Hey there," Abbie rasped in her trademark scratchy voice, and Alex smiled shyly. She wasn�t completely sure why she felt shy. Obviously, she was well acquainted with Abbie, had faced off with her verbally on more than one occasion, and wasn�t at all intimidated by her. Well, not intimidated enough by her to be reduced to a blush every time she saw her. It had to be the new dynamic that dating had added to their relationship, putting them in that amorphous place between co-workers, friends, and something more, taking away the solid footing that she�d stood on before, where she�d been able to clearly demarcate the parameters of their association.

"Hey yourself," she finally said in reply, noting Abbie�s bemused look. Apparently she�d let herself be caught up in mental meanderings for too long. "What�s this?"

A grin of definite amusement on her face, Alex took in the veritable buffet of food that Abbie had somehow arranged on her coffee table. If she wasn�t mistaken, there was chili, corn chips, popcorn, ridged potato chips, some kind of dip, M&Ms and Hot Tamales. Nestled into an open cooler off to the side was what appeared to be a six pack of Sam Adam�s Double Bock and another of Cherry Coke.

Abbie looked at Alex as if she�d lost her mind, settling down easily onto her couch and patting the empty cushion beside her. "Snacks," she said, as if the answer should have been painfully clear.

"Just who else is coming over then?" Alex asked, eyeing the table with a trace of disbelief.

Again, Abbie shot Alex a look that let her know that her mental capacity was in serious doubt. "What do you mean, coming over? This is a date, right? Just you and me, no other people invited."

Settling down gingerly onto the couch beside Abbie, Alex again surveyed the spread of food in front of her. "So all of that," she said, gesturing expansively at the coffee table, "is for the two of us?"

"Well yeah. You�ve got to be prepared, Alex. What if, sometime during the third quarter, we decide we want some popcorn. We can�t just get up and go and fix it. You�ll miss something important that way. So, you have to make sure you have everything set up beforehand," Abbie explained patiently.

"So, let me get this straight," Alex said dryly, "you have all of this out just in case you might want it sometime during the game? Just, and let me be really clear on this, so you don�t have to get up and go put a packet of popcorn in the microwave during a commercial break during the game. Because you could do that, you know. They�re usually at least three minutes long, which I would imagine provides more than enough time for you to punch a few buttons."

Abbie looked at Alex askance, clearly unimpressed with her logic. "Maybe, but what if I don�t want popcorn. Or, what if the popcorn hasn�t finished popping by the time they get back from commercial break. Again, I stress, the opportunity to miss important plays arises. Its just best to be prepared, Alex."

But, Alex pushed on, not yet convinced. "I�m fairly certain that they have instant replay for important things, don�t they? If you hear, from your perch in the kitchen where you�re zealously watching after your popping popcorn, the announcer talking about some important play, surely you can come back in here long enough to see what it was."

Abbie shook her head, breathing a sigh of frustration. "Its not as exciting that way. You�ve got to see it the first time, when its happening. Otherwise, its completely ruined."

"If you say so," Alex replied blithely, grinning slightly. She actually thought Abbie�s neurosis about the whole thing was rather endearing, but there would be absolutely no fun in letting the other woman know that. So instead, she let the topic drop, choosing instead to take in Abbie�s shirt. This one was white instead of that awful orange, though it did have the same Longhorn head emblazoned in the middle in the color.

"I�d let you borrow one," Abbie grumbled, catching Alex�s look, "but I�d never see it again."

"You might see the other one again," Alex teased, "but you�re not getting it back. Strangely enough, its grown on me."

"It was one of my practice shirts, you know," Abbie said absently, reaching over to snag a beer from the cooler. "I�ve sweated profusely in it on numerous occasions."

Alex, in turn, snagged the bottle from Abbie, expertly twisting off the cap and flicking it so that it came to a rest on the table. "That�s okay. I washed it."

The flippant reply took Abbie by surprise, and before she could stop herself, she laughed, long and loud. "Well then, good for you. You hungry Alex?"

Running a jaundiced eye over the assortment spread out before her, Alex said coolly, "I think I�ll wait. I�m taking you out to dinner tonight, and I�d prefer to do so with an unscorched palate."

"I�m not entirely convinced that that doesn�t somehow reflect poorly on my cooking skills," Abbie said ruefully, reaching for the remote. The cameras had switched over to show the teams lining up for kick-off, and in anticipation she turned the volume up to an almost earsplitting level.

Alex grimaced, then pointed in the general vicinity of the television. "I assume things are about to get started then?"

"Uh, yeah. Kickoff. I still don�t understand how it is that you don�t know anything about football. Didn�t you go to games back in high school?" Abbie asked quizzically, attention divided evenly between Alex and the TV.

"Actually, no," Alex replied. At Abbie�s confused look, she continued. "Boarding school. All girls."

"Oh, I see," Abbie said, somewhat sadly. She couldn�t imagine high school without football on Friday nights. After a moment�s thought, though, she turned to Alex, slightly lecherous grin in place. "All girls? I�ll bet you had a blast. Did you have to wear one of those little uniforms? Do you still have it?"

"I�m going to pretend you didn�t just say that," Alex muttered. "Isn�t your team doing something you should be watching?"

Those were pretty much the last words Alex spoke for the next half hour. In between explaining the purposes of the various players running around, clarifying why, exactly, the officials called penalties, and screaming at the television as if her entreaties and curses would do any good, Abbie managed to keep up a fairly constant flow of chatter that needed no input from her. So instead, Alex chose to sit there, nodding in understanding on occasion when Abbie appeared to need confirmation that her football lessons were being absorbed. She�d finished off her first two Sam Adam�s and was working on a third as the first half drew to a close, and in her alcohol driven mellowed state, had no problem listening to Abbie extol the virtues of the University of Texas Longhorns for at least five minutes while a commentator reviewed first half stats in the background.

When her chance to speak finally made its appearance, Alex asked in a barely slurred voice, "Just who are they playing again?"

Abbie looked aghast for a moment, then managed to pull herself together long enough to say, "North Carolina. The Tar Heels. You know, the ones in blue. My team is in white."

"I knew that," Alex replied drolly waving one hand in the general direction of the television. "I just forgot who those other people were."

All too soon, the second half started up, and Alex once again found herself observing Abbie�s range of emotions and being subjected to her random stop and start football lessons. It was an amusing display, no doubt enhanced by the now four beers she�d managed to put away, but after nearly two hours of it, Alex decided she was bored. Football had become boring, listening to Abbie educate her on everything from place kicking to penalty yardage had become boring, and sitting there staring at the now half empty bowl of Hot Tamales had always been boring. So instead, she turned her attention to trying to divert Abbie from the game, a challenge which she found infinitely more interesting.

At first, with only the hints of a plan in mind, she merely scooted over a few inches on the couch, sliding her thigh across the cushion until it was pressed alongside Abbie�s, the warmth of the other woman�s skin burning past the layer of her jeans. Even though she appeared to be listening intently to yet another monologue, really all her mind registered was the slight faltering of Abbie�s voice, the momentary hesitation before the other woman once again picked up the flow of conversation, and Alex smothered a grin, her feminine libido stretching like a kitty after a nap, all full of contentment and ease.

Soon, though, that simple contact wasn�t enough, and so Alex let her hand fall casually so that it rested just above Abbie�s knee. Her eyes glued to the television, she started to scratch the fabric beneath her nails gently, just a slow scrape back and forth until she could feel the muscle beneath her fingertips grow rock hard with tension. Satisfied that her plan to distract was well on its way to succeeding, Alex stepped up her efforts, sliding her hand down to the inside of Abbie�s thigh, rubbing a short path down and up, down and up, her skin tickling lightly against the denim of the brunette's jeans. That action was rewarded with a marked increase in Abbie�s respiration level, and Alex had to suppress a maniacal grin of triumph. Oh, her wiles were still as effective as they�d always been, of that she had no doubt.

"You know," Alex said breathily, shifting her position so that she was turned to the side, her face only inches away from Abbie�s profile, "I think I like football."

Abbie gulped audibly, gamely keeping her eyes facing forward even though she was extremely tempted to turn her head to the side and capture Alex�s lips with her own. The light scratching, and then the even more bold stroke of the other woman�s hand, had nearly driven her insane, but Alex had started this move and Abbie wanted to see how she was going to finish it. To interrupt would be insane, especially considering the fact that this was the first unsolicited caress she�d received from the blonde, and so she resolved to maintain her composure. "I�m glad you like it," she rasped, her tone completely belying any measure of calm she was striving to project.

"Oh, I do," Alex whispered, moving forward to press a light kiss on Abbie�s strong jawline. She felt the skin beneath her lips move as the brunette�s jaw clenched, and easing away the other woman�s long hair with her chin, Alex continued her exploration, moving down the sleek line of Abbie�s neck.

Resolve completely forgotten, Abbie pivoted in her seat with a growl, hands quickly capturing Alex�s head to bring her face up until they were even. Not even bothering to pause, she leaned forward, capturing the other woman�s mouth with her own, tongue immediately flicking out in a bid to gain entrance.

Startled by the quick move, Alex stiffened for a moment before melting completely, her lips parting to allow Abbie�s tongue inside. It was most definitely an escalation in comparison to the relatively chaste contact they�d indulged in up until that point, but at the moment Alex didn�t feel like stopping and analyzing just what would be proper for the current level of their relationship. Instead, she chose to go with things, and soon felt herself tilting backward, flailing out with one arm to find balance only to land with a light oomph flat on the couch, Abbie�s long form almost immediately blanketing her own. Aroused and slightly inebriated, she decided that the position was just fine by her, and raised her hands so that her fingers were tangled in long, silky dark locks. Abbie�s hair was fine and soft, and felt incredibly good wrapped around her fingers. Tightening her grip, holding the other woman firmly in place, Alex moaned into the brunette�s mouth, her tongue darting forward to chase across the rough velvet of Abbie�s.

Not that Abbie had any intention of moving. No, she was completely fine with her current location, with the feel of Alex�s breasts pressed tightly against her own and the other woman�s tongue exploring her mouth. One long thigh had managed to make its way between the blonde�s legs, and instinctively Abbie pressed up, bringing the denim covered limb up hard against the other woman�s warmth.

At the move, Alex let out a moan of surprise and arousal. Tearing her mouth away from Abbie�s she took a moment to process the sensation, to enjoy the shallow little thrusts that her companion was apparently making without conscious thought.

As Abbie�s mouth traveled down her throat, licking and nipping the flesh there, Alex became dimly aware of the sound of applause, and focused bleary eyes on the television.

"I think your team just did something good," she said distractedly, hips arching up against Abbie�s.

The brunette pulled back for a moment, amusement shining clearly in her dark eyes. "Priorities, Alex. You�ve got to have priorities."

And then, not sparing another breath for words, Abbie brought their mouths together once more, the kiss quickly gaining in ferocity until both were panting heavily.

It wasn�t until Alex felt the hesitant touch of long fingers inching up the bare skin of her stomach to brush against the undersides of her breasts, having somehow made their way under her shirt, that her mind registered just what, exactly, she was allowing to happen.

"Abbie, wait," she said breathlessly, pushing weakly at the other woman�s shoulders. She didn�t have the strength to do much more, but fortunately for her, the brunette froze immediately, her hands quickly sliding out from under the fabric of Alex�s shirt.

Hovering just inches above Alex, propped up on her elbows, Abbie searched the other woman�s face intently. "Are you okay?" she asked, her already sandpaper rough voice made even more so with passion, a hint of distress edging into passion darkened eyes.

Awkwardly managing to dislodge the other woman and scramble into a sitting position, Alex laughed wryly. "Oh, I�m more than okay. I just� things were moving a little too quickly for me, Abbie."

Running a hand through her disheveled hair, Abbie sat up as well, taking several long breaths, hoping to bring her panting to an end. "I�m sorry. I didn�t mean to push you," she said roughly, scooting down the couch a few inches, shoulders hunched. The position served not only to close her body off to Alex, but also to make her as small as she could possibly get, and Alex felt something inside her melt at the obviously self-protective gesture.

Reaching out to stop her flight, Alex lightly resting a hand on Abbie�s thigh. "No, you didn�t push me. I�m just not ready to, I don�t know�"

"I understand," Abbie broke in quickly, skittishly. "And, I should have known that."

"It wasn�t you, Abbie. It was me. I guess I shouldn�t start something I can�t finish, should I?" Alex said ruefully, head dropping down to her chest.

A low chuckle was her reply. "Honey, you can start something any time you want," Abbie drawled, finally unwinding a bit, the release of tension punctuated by a flop back against the couch. Then, in a more serious voice, she added, "And you can stop anytime you want, too. All you have to do is let me know."

For a moment, Alex was silent, digesting this new information. Then, with a wide grin, she gestured to the TV where the game was still ongoing though the score was apparently different. "Sorry to upset your afternoon football watching plans, but I�m fairly sure you missed a touchdown."

"Darlin�, I didn�t miss a thing," Abbie drawled happily, a smile of contentment spreading across her face.

XXXXXXXXXX

Alex slowed to a stop and crouched over so that her hands were braced on her knees, breath leaving her lungs in harsh pants, sweat coating every inch of her body and face burning under an onslaught of blood screaming for oxygen. A low chuckle floated over her, and with what she was fairly certain was pure hatred, she looked up from under lowered lashed to see Abbie in front of her, slowly jogging in place.

"Tired?" the other woman asked innocently, and Alex barely pushed down the urge to strangle her.

"This," she huffed, straightening with as much dignity as she could manage and telling herself that her calves weren�t burning as if someone had set her muscles on fire and that her ribs didn�t already ache, "is the last time I�m going jogging with you."

Abbie laughed, momentarily stopping her in place jog to look at Alex not at all sympathetically. "I warned you," she said, her tone rich with amusement.

Shooting the brunette a pained look, certain that nothing, not even the cute, tight little running outfit that Abbie was wearing could salvage the day or her pride, Alex let out a long breath. "Don�t gloat," she said, her voice a little less sharp than she�d intended for it to be. Apparently exhaustion did wonders for sapping away vitriol.

"Alex," Abbie said wryly, shaking her head, "I�m not gloating, merely restating a fact. I ran track for the University of Texas. I ran cross-country. I told you that weeks ago. I told you again when you decided you wanted to go jogging with me, at my own pace. I stress the last part, because its obviously where you went and lost your mind. Why you were convinced you could keep up with me is beyond all rational comprehension."

"You could have taken it easy on me," Alex whined, then immediately wanted to slap herself across the forehead. She did not whine. Ever. Certainly not in front of Abbie.

Abbie rolled her eyes. "Well, I guess I could have, but where would be the fun in that?"

Shooting the other woman a miffed look, Alex brought her hand to the small of her back, massaging the muscles there that had already started to tighten up. Actually, it seemed that every muscle in her body had started to tighten, and she knew she�d be sore the next day. Which, when she thought about it, was a fairly good indicator that she should have recognized and stuck with her boundaries just this once. "You�re going to have to buy me something to make up for this," she muttered, earning an amused snort.

"Make up for this? How is your bad decision my fault?" Abbie asked, bemused. Alex really did look adorable, with her normally immaculate blond hair gone dark with sweat, wild strands plastered wetly to her red face. Her chest was still heaving, drawing attention to the fact that the tee shirt she was wearing was clinging to her soaked skin, and Abbie eyed the exposed curves appreciatively.

Sighing dramatically, Alex made her way over to a nearby park bench. "I think you need to take another look at your book of dating secrets," she said, a slight twinkle in her eyes. "I�m fairly certain that it would say that in a situation such as this, you are obliged to make up with me. I�ll admit that this isn�t completely your fault, but you still bear the burden of reconciliation."

"Reconciliation?" Abbie asked skeptically. "We haven�t even had a fight. What is there to reconcile?"

"Think of it as preemptive reconciliation, as opposed to the full-on reconciliation you�d have to undertake were you not to humor me now," Alex said dryly, smirking.

With a sigh of her own, Abbie plopped down onto the bench beside Alex, looking at her out of the corner of her eye. "So, is this another way of telling me that you�re a high-maintenance girl?"

Alex seemed to ponder this, tilting her head to the side and staring off thoughtfully into the distance. Of course, the effect was ruined by the harsh breaths still rasping past her lips, but she still struck the pose nonetheless. "I�ve always wanted to be high-maintenance," she said wistfully, "but I�m usually far too practical to pull it off."

"Why would you want to be high-maintenance," Abbie asked sarcastically, looking at her companion askance.

"Because high-maintenance girls always get what they want," Abbie explained simply. "People just seem to fall over themselves to do their bidding."

Abbie considered this for a moment, then asked, her voice low, "And just what is it that you want, Alex?"

There was something innately sexual about the question and about the way it was asked, and Alex had no doubt that she would have blushed had her face not already been bright red. "I want you to buy me something," she said suavely, pushing down the sudden increase in heart rate that she was experiencing, an increase that had nothing to do with her recently completed jog.

"Affection can�t be bought," Abbie noted philosophically, idly wiping away a speck of dirt that had somehow made its way onto her forearm.

"No," Alex agreed imperiously, "but Gatorade can. So run along and get me one. I�m partial to Orange."

Abbie laughed shortly, rolling her eyes. "You can run along with me, Princess," she tossed back.

Shooting Abbie a look that let her know that Alex clearly found that idea absurd, the blonde muttered, "I�m not running anywhere else today. And don�t call me Princess."

"Poor baby," Abbie mocked, not at all chagrined when Alex shot her a look intended to strike her dead on the spot. "How about we limp back then? I�ll get you something to drink. I promise. And, I think Princess is a perfectly fine high-maintenance name."

Rolling her eyes, Alex murmured, "Why I put up with this abuse is beyond me."

There was a moment of silence, one completely out of place in the teasing atmosphere that had, until that point, existed between them, and Alex turned to face the suddenly stoic Abbie, curiosity shining in her eyes. "What?" she prodded, elbowing her newly serious companion.

"Its� I don�t know," Abbie breathed, feeling a bit foolish. It was just that the words, teasing as they were, had struck a chord inside her, bringing to the fore questions that she�d been trying to avoid. "Why do you put up with me? Well, not put up with me really, but why are you with me? You� Sometimes I think you really do like me, and sometimes I think you�re just passing time and I�m just convenient. I don�t� never mind. Just forget I mentioned anything, alright."

Turning her head to the side, eyes focused on a random, far away spot, Abbie presented Alex with her profile. The blonde watched, as if transfixed, as the other woman�s jaw clenched and unclenched, as the tendons in her neck flexed. To say that she hadn�t been expecting Abbie�s outburst would be an understatement of the highest order, and she wasn�t quite sure how to respond. All she did know was that she did, indeed, need to respond, despite Abbie�s protestations.

"Abbie, I�" she paused, some part of her mind telling her to be completely honest, even if she herself wasn�t completely comfortable with her motivations. "To tell you the truth, at first I just thought of this, of you, as a way to get over Teri. I mean, I didn�t really expect it to work out, didn�t think that I�d like you. It was just going to be a way for me to move on, to forget about how badly I hurt�"

Abbie drew in a sharp breath, jaw clenching and staying clenched, and Alex winced, wondering what had prompted her to be so brutally honest. It certainly wasn�t the nicest thing she could have done.

"So I�ve been wasting my time?" Abbie finally rasped, and Alex noted with some shock that she�d trailed off mid-explanation.

"No, not at all. Of course, you�ll probably want to walk away as soon as I�m done talking, but let me finish," Alex protested, turning so that she was facing Abbie though the other woman continued to stare off into the distance. "I certainly didn�t go into this with the best of intentions. I�ll admit that. I was selfish and my actions were shallow, and it was wrong of me. But, you see, it turned out that I did like you, and after a little while, I wasn�t with you to forget about Teri, I was with you because it made me happy. Because you made me happy. Now, I don�t think about Teri at all. The only person I think about is you. I like you Abbie, I do, and I�d like to continue seeing you, to get to know you better. But, if you don�t want to continue seeing me, I�ll understand."

For a long moment, Abbie was silent. Alex had just begun to think that she wasn�t ever going to get a reply when the brunette slowly swung her head around, deep brown eyes tracing up Alex�s form, from her black lycra-covered knees to still pink face. After staring assessingly into blue eyes, Abbie let out a long sigh.

"I can�t say it�s the most romantic thing I�ve ever heard," she said wryly, one brow cocked, "but I do appreciate your honesty. And, I would like to continue seeing you, just so long as I�m not standing in for who you really want to be with."

"Oh, you�re not," Alex said warmly, noting with some surprise that she really meant it.

Slapping her knees, physically bringing the conversation to a close, Alex nodded. "Good then. Now that we�ve got all that settled, I think I owe you a Gatorade."

Shaking her head no, Alex grinned. "Nope. I�m afraid not. The burden of preemptive reconciliation has effectively been shifted to me, so you can nix that idea. Favorite flavor?"

After pondering that one for a while, Abbie smiled. "Lemon ice," she said decisively, pushing up off of the bench.

"I�ll make sure I remember that," Alex replied with a soft smile. "Oh Abbie� do you play golf?"

Shooting the blonde a look of confusion, Abbie said slowly, "Uh, no. Why?"

"Wonderful," Alex beamed. "We�ll go play a round next weekend. My ego needs the boost."

Abbie merely laughed.

XXXXXXXXXX

Halloween.

Personally Alex hated the holiday. Every year it seemed that she had to stay later and later at the office, dealing with an increasing number of people who either apparently went insane for a day or simply took advantage of the opportunity to hide behind a latex mask and not look out of the ordinary. Either way, it was almost midnight, and with a tired sigh, she took one last look at the squad room. Detectives were milling about, most of them looking as exhausted as she was, and Alex felt a momentary stab of guilt. She was going home, after having decreed that any and all new offenders brought in would just have to wait until she made it in, whenever that was. With Halloween falling on a Friday, she was seriously considering disappearing completely the next day to recover.

But first, she was going to Abbie�s. She�d promised, even if she had had to call three times and push her estimated time of arrival back, and she was vaguely aware that the other woman had cooked or something of the sort, so she wasn�t going to disappoint. After close to two months of dating, things were going fairly smoothly, but Alex was still a bit jumpy about doing anything wrong in light of her confession the week before.

Traffic was light, which was good because Alex was sure that she didn�t have the patience to deal with any snarls after nearly 18 straight hours in the office. She was able to park near Abbie�s apartment, and quickly made her way up, wanting nothing more than to shed her suit jacket and shoes.

The door was answered after only one knock, and Alex smiled at the sight of Abbie�s dark head peeking out at her.

"Sorry I�m so late," she murmured apologetically, sweeping into the apartment. She could smell something heavenly, and with a sigh of pure bliss shrugged out of her jacket, tossing it in the vague direction of Abbie�s couch. Toeing out of her shoes, she made her way into the kitchen, eyes immediately drawn to the pot simmering on the stove.

She didn�t start when long arms wrapped around her from behind, though she probably would have had she not been so tired. "Its probably not good anymore," Abbie said ruefully, resting her chin on Alex�s shoulder.

"I don�t care," the blonde sighed. "I�m so hungry right now that I�d eat roasted goat if you offered it to me."

Abbie chuckled. "Good thing I threw some in then," she teased, earning her a soft jab from Alex�s elbow.

"Really, what�ve you whipped up?" Alex asked curiously, inching her way forward.

Abbie�s grip held her in place, warm breath ghosting past her ear as the other woman spoke. "Uh-uh, Alex. You go sit and I�ll bring it to you. I�m not the one who got stuck pulling a double shift."

Not really wanting to protest, Alex didn�t. Instead she shuffled over to the table, noting the open bottle of wine sitting there. Pouring herself a glass, she sat back, eyes closed, and waited for Abbie to join her. She really was looking forward to whatever creation the other woman had for her. If there was one thing that she knew about Abbie after their time together, it was that she could cook.

Soft music switched on, jolting Alex out of her near trance, and she smiled indulgently as the tinny notes drifted over her. In addition to a talent for cooking, Alex also had a talent for listening to some of the most obscure music.

"And what�s this?" she asked with a grin, noting with interest the odd French dialect weaving through the song.

There was the click of a dish in front of her, and then Abbie was settling into the chair opposite her. "Cajun music. Fitting, I thought, since I decided to make crawfish etouffee."

Testing a spoonful, Alex sighed in contentment. Spicy but good, the crawfish nearly fell apart on her tongue, and the roux left a light coating of heat in her mouth. "I don�t understand it. Just to look at you, I wouldn�t think that you�d be able to make things like this."

"Awfully stereotypical, don�t you think," Abbie drawled, watching with interest as Alex devoured her concoction.

"I�ll discuss the wrongness of my statement later," Alex said wryly. "Right now I�m eating."

With a chuckle, Abbie fell into silence. It was a comfortable silence, one that probably could have stretched on for hours, but all too soon Alex had scraped up the last of her second bowl of etouffee. Leaning back against the back of her chair with a satisfied sigh, she eyed Abbie appreciatively. "Thanks," she said simply, watching with interest the way shadows played across the sharp planes of her companion�s face. For some reason, sitting there completely relaxed in a simple pair of jeans and a tee-shirt, Abbie was breathtakingly beautiful.

"No problem," the brunette rasped, something in Alex�s eyes seeming to make her lowered voice a necessity. "It was worth it."

"Hmm," Alex burred. "Why?"

Grateful for the dark, glad that it was going to hide the blush that she was sure was coming, Abbie muttered, "To see you look at me like that."

Unable to help herself, Alex laughed. "That sounded so ridiculously romantic coming from you," she explained moments later, laughter behind her.

"Are you calling me ridiculous?" Abbie teased indignantly.

Sobering, Alex said softly, "Of course not. Its just that sometimes you surprise me."

A half-grin crept over Abbie�s features, one that Alex acknowledged was absolutely enchanting. "Surprise in a good way, I hope."

"A very good way," Alex assured, then shifted tracks completely. "This music is beautiful. I�ve traveled all over the globe, but can�t say that I�ve ever been to New Orleans. Or, Louisiana for that matter."

Settling back into her chair, Abbie tilted her head to the side speculatively. "We�ll just have to fix that then. Back when I was in school, we�d go down on the weekends sometimes. It was about a ten hour drive from Austin, eight if you ignored the speed limit. We�d head down on a Friday night, spend all day Saturday walking around like tourists, spend Saturday night partying, and head back as soon as one of us sobered up enough to drive on Sunday morning. It�d take us all week just to recover," the brunette recalled fondly, and Alex leaned forward, drawn into the remembrance.

"I never did anything like that," she whispered, amazed by the sense of lacking she felt. "I mean, my family would take an annual ski trip, or we�d spend a week in Paris or Rome or somewhere equally exotic, but I never really, well� never had friends that would take off for a weekend with me, spur of the moment like that."

Staring at Alex contemplatively, Abbie came to a decision. "Dance with me," she said impulsively, pushing up out of her chair.

For a long moment, Alex merely stared at the hand the other woman had outstretched to her. Looking up at Abbie�s face, not at all certain she�d heard her correctly, Alex asked, "Dance with you?"

Jerking her chin, indicating the living room, Abbie cajoled, "Come on. Dance with me."

Hesitantly, Alex arose as well, tangling her fingers with Abbie�s. The brunette lead them out into her living room, dimming the lights so that everything was draped with shadows. The music drifted out over them, the crooning words blanketing them with a sense of calm. Slowly, Alex settled in against Abbie, draping her arms around the other woman�s neck. Abbie, for her part, wrapping her arms around Alex�s waist. They began to sway, not really dancing so much as just moving in place, and with a sigh Alex dropped her head to Abbie�s shoulder. She couldn�t feel the ache in her feet anymore, nor could she feel the tiredness that had pervaded her every limb barely an hour before. Instead, all she could feel was Abbie, the other woman�s lithe body pressed tightly against her own, breath ruffling her hair.

"No one does this in real life," Alex murmured, burrowing closer to her companion.

Stroking one hand up Alex�s back so that it was resting against her neck, Abbie said softly, "Sure they do. We are, aren�t we?"

"This isn�t real life," Alex sighed, turning her head so that she was looking up into Abbie�s eyes. "This is a dream."

"That�s a highly debatable hypothesis," Abbie replied, chuckling. "But, dream or not, you�re beautiful."

"See, now I know it�s a dream. The Abbie Carmichael that I know is nothing if not practical, and I can�t imagine that she�d ever say something like that," Alex teased, the fingers of one hand winding into the thick hair at Abbie�s nape.

Grunting softly, Abbie drawled, "I dying to kiss you, Alex. Can we save the discussions of my flaws for later?"

Pulling back even as Abbie leaned forward, Alex clarified, "I never said it was a flaw."

"Alex�" Abbie growled, tugging on the blonde�s waist with the arm she still had wrapped around her.

"Abbie," she returned playfully, then closed the gap between them, lips meeting and immediately parting with familiarity. Alex felt her eyes flutter shut as she melted into the phenomenon that was kissing Abbie. She wasn�t sure what made the other woman such a good kisser, but she definitely was. Maybe it was the way all that intense focus was channeled into one single activity, maybe it was the way she didn�t just use her lips and teeth and tongue, but her whole body, gently insinuating a lean thigh between Alex�s own, winding her hands through Alex�s hair, nails scratching lightly against her scalp, brushing the blonde�s hard nipples with her own. It was a full body sensory experience, one that tended to turn Alex into a quivering mass of nerves, and as she felt Abbie draw her tongue into the other woman�s mouth, sucking gently, rhythmically, Alex moaned.

Letting her hands skirt down the wiry muscles of Abbie�s back, Alex made her way under the hem of the incredibly soft shirt. Long fingers soon found themselves on skin, and Alex swallowed a gasp as she traced up silky skin, her own palms feeling unnecessarily rough in comparison. The back clasp to Abbie�s bra snapped apart easily under her fingers, and before the other woman could even comprehend what was happening, Alex was cupping a small, firm breast in each hand, thumbs brushing past the tip of sensitive nipples.

Abbie tore her mouth from Alex�s with a choked cry, dark eyes unfathomable in the shadows as she looked down at the other woman. Alex took the opportunity to devour the exposed curve of Abbie�s neck, lips chasing their way down the sleek column until she found the base, lips thrumming against the other woman�s pulse point. Smiling against the sweet smelling skin, she let her hands drift down Abbie�s sides, smoothing over the flesh covering her ribs to slide under the waistband of her jeans, short nails scoring the flesh of her buttocks. A quick jerk brought their hips together hard, earning a groan from both women.

"Alex," Abbie gasped, and the blonde raised her head, nearly falling into the dark abyss of Abbie�s eyes.

"Yes?" she hissed, nipping the taller woman�s chin, placing a soft kiss on her jaw.

Taking a minute to force herself to slow her breathing, Abbie rasped, "Tell me you want me."

"I want you," Alex murmured immediately, lips ghosting up to capture Abbie�s earlobe, sucking softly on the tender flesh.

"Do you want me like this?" Abbie asked harshly, and suddenly her hand was pressing hard against Alex�s mons, cupping the skin through the fabric of her skirt as best she could.

Thrusting her hips forward gently, Alex nodded. "Yes, I do," she panted, nails digging into Abbie�s flesh.

"I want you too," Abbie said starkly, pushing Alex away from her. For a moment, the blonde stood in confusion, not understanding what had happened, but then Abbie tangled their fingers together and started walking down the hall in what Alex knew to be the direction of her bedroom, and she felt a thrill rush through her. She hadn�t come over with the expectation that things would proceed as they had, but she certainly wasn�t disappointed. Abbie had stopped well before this point every other time they�d begun to get more intimate after the incident on the couch, and Alex had soon found herself yearning for more, a fact that caused her no little embarrassment. Now, though, it looked like she was about to get her more, and that sent a tingle of excitement up her spine.

The room was dark, though Alex did note with amusement that the covers were mussed before Abbie pulled her against her lanky form once more, lips unerringly finding hers. Long fingers worked their way down the buttons lining the front of Alex�s blouse, flicking them open easily even without sight to guide them, and Alex shivered at the brush of bare knuckles against her flesh. Soon she was shrugging out of the shirt, letting it flutter haphazardly to the floor, followed shortly thereafter by her bra until she was standing bare from the waist up.

"You too," she murmured, jerking futilely at Abbie�s tee shirt. With a smirk, the brunette backed away, tugging the shirt over her head and tossing it to the side, losing her already undone bra as she did so. Alex�s eager fingers shot out, tugging at the waistband to Abbie�s jeans even as her eyes took in the sight in front of her, all dusty gold skin and sleek panther-like curves. The buttons popped open easily, the old material worn and pliable, and as Alex stepped forward so that she was touching Abbie again, she shucked the jeans and panties underneath down, leaving them tangled around Abbie�s thighs as she slid her hands around to cup the other woman�s firm buttocks.

Abbie gasped in surprise as Alex�s head dropped suddenly, blonde hair sliding silkily over her skin mere seconds before a warm, wet mouth unexpectedly captured an erect nipple, tongue lapping at the tip even as Alex sucked. One hand found its way to the back of Alex�s head, holding her in place, even as the other blindly searched for the zipper to Alex�s skirt. Her movements growing increasingly frantic, she growled in frustration as she encountered nothing but slippery fabric and soft skin, earning a chuckle from Alex.

"Its on the side," the blonde murmured, releasing her prize just long enough to say the words. With a sigh of relief, Abbie slid round until she found the zipper, and with a few not so gentle tugs, it finally gave way. Of course, that left the barrier of Alex�s silken hose, and with a moan of what sounded almost like pain, Abbie pushed Alex away. Falling to her knees, jeans still wrapped around her legs, she wriggled her fingers under the tight band of Alex�s hose, slowly rolling them down until she was able to tug them off. The panties followed, leaving Alex bare, and with a sigh of pure bliss, Abbie traced her hands up the other woman�s legs until her thumbs met in the juncture of Alex�s thighs. Rubbing back and forth slowly, coating her skin with the wetness she found there, Abbie leaned forward, kissing and nipping at the angry red line bisecting Alex�s midsection, a remnant of the restricting hose she�d been wearing earlier.

Her movements almost fierce in their intensity, Alex wrapped her fingers in Abbie�s hair, pulling her to her feet. With a feral smile, she pushed Abbie back toward the bed, watching with amusement as the other woman, unable to move her legs because of the barrier of her jeans, tumbled back onto the mattress, bouncing slightly. With a laugh, Alex jerked the garment off even as Abbie cursed.

Climbing up onto her knees on the edge of the bed, Alex straddled Abbie�s form. "You�ve been teasing me for weeks," she said lowly, eyes glinting in the darkness. "Think you can live up to my expectations?"

"Teasing you?" Abbie asked with a grin, hands sliding up Alex�s legs so that her thumbs rested in the crease where thigh met hip, sliding up and down over the silky skin.

Leaning forward, bracing her hands on the bed beside Abbie�s shoulders, blonde hair hanging down like a cape, Alex nodded. "Uh-hmm. All those kisses, all those little touches," she murmured, slowly thrusting her hips against Abbie�s midsection, her wetness teasing the other woman�s flesh.

"Like this?" Abbie asked innocently, even as her hands slid up Alex�s side to cup her breasts, each thumb and forefinger pinching an erect nipple. The blonde gasped at the move, pressing herself down hard on Abbie�s belly, eyes fluttering shut.

In lieu of a reply, Alex swooped down, capturing Abbie�s lips with her own. Beyond uninhibited now, her tongue delved deeply into Abbie�s mouth, stroking, caressing, teasing. The brunette growled at the sensation, wrapping her arms around Alex�s torso and pulling her down until their bodies were pressed tightly together, soft skin sliding along soft skin.

It wasn�t enough though, and with a grunt of effort, Abbie rolled them over, settling easily into the vee of Alex�s thighs. Her mouth traced a line down the blonde�s throat to her breasts, lips easily finding and latching on to a pert nipple even as her hand slid down Alex�s belly to tease in the soft hair guarding her sex, brushing lightly back and forth. In response, Alex bucked her hips upward, seeking more, and Abbie pulled away from her perch, chuckling.

"You want something?" she drawled, bending down and baring strong white teeth to nip at Alex�s other nipple, drawing a startled yelp from the blonde.

"I want you to stop teasing me," Alex said huskily. Then, with a hint of amusement in her tone, she added, "And I wouldn�t really mind if you did that thing with your teeth again."

"Oh really?" Abbie asked, and even though Alex couldn�t see her face, she knew that one dark brow was arched.

With a groan of frustration, she wound her fingers through the thick hair at Abbie�s nape, urging her head down. "Yes. Come on, Abbie. Please don�t make me beg."

Lowering herself again, taking the same nipple between her teeth and tightening them, slowly pulling back so that the skin rasped out of her grasp, Abbie purred deep in her throat. "But I like the thought of you begging, Alex."

For a moment the blonde was motionless, conflicted. She wasn�t at all certain whether Abbie was simply teasing her or if she was really serious, and the thought of actually begging someone to touch her was a bit disconcerting. After all, it was Abbie, and despite the recent escalation of their relationship, there was still that natural competitiveness and antagonism that told her, in no uncertain terms, that she wouldn�t ever beg, much less Abbie Carmichael. She didn�t feel comfortable with it, not only because of her pride, but also because of the inherent submission in the act. Her will rebelled against the very thought, even as a part of her seductively insisted that she wouldn�t mind seeing the brunette do it, so it was only fair that the same would be true in reverse. And really, would it be all that bad?

"Alex?" Abbie asked questioningly, well aware that the blonde had drifted away from her. Looking to pull all attention back to focus on her and her actions, she slithered up Alex�s form until she was hovering above her, long hair tumbling over her shoulders to brush against the blonde�s collarbone. "Did I do something wrong?"

There was genuine confusion and concern in the other woman�s voice, and Alex shook off her obviously far too serious thoughts. Surging forward, capturing Abbie�s lips in a short, hard kiss, she whispered, "Not at all."

The words did little to push away the tension now blanketing Abbie�s form, and so she kept her position, anxiously searching Alex�s face. "I don�t want to do anything that you don�t want," Abbie rasped, the twinge of insecurity shooting through her beckoning her to retreat, to pull back and throw up her walls of self-defense. "You have to tell me�"

She trailed off awkwardly, swallowing nervously and turning her head to the side, no longer able to look at the blonde, and Alex felt a surge of warmth and affection for the other woman. "I want you to kiss me," she murmured huskily, tugging gently on the back of Abbie�s neck, bringing her gaze back once again. "How�s that for starters?"

At the words, Abbie felt something loosen inside her belly. With a grin, she said, "We�ve already started doing that, darlin�. How about we move on to something else?"

"Now why didn�t I think of that," Alex said wryly, rolling her eyes. Then, deciding that she had far better things to be doing than engaging in verbal banter, she closed the distance between herself and the brunette, kissing Abbie very slowly and very thoroughly, even as her body screamed at her to speed things up, to make copious amounts of forward progress in the pleasing department.

With a sharp intake of breath, Abbie pulled away, moving quickly down Alex�s body. She placed light, hurried kisses on random spots of skin on her way down, but this time she was definitely moving with a purpose. "I�ve wanted to taste you for months," she whispered, the words said so softly that Alex wasn�t even sure that she�d heard them.

Seconds later she wasn�t hearing anything other than the rush of blood through her ears, the harsh rasping pant of her own breath, and the blatantly hedonistic moans rumbling through Abbie�s throat. The other woman had spread her legs apart, pushing back against her knees until her shins were pressed tightly against Abbie�s shoulders. The position left her feeling obscenely open, and she mused that she probably would have been embarrassed by it had Abbie not chosen that moment to slide her tongue deep inside her. Instead she nearly screamed, body instinctively curling up into a half-C, one hand automatically pressing Abbie�s head closer to her while the other scrambled to support her suddenly upright body.

"Oh fuck," Alex murmured, unable to stop the words. They came from somewhere deep inside her, somewhere primal, and had been driven free by the feel of Abbie�s tongue rasping up her center to flick against her abruptly painfully aroused clit. They elicited an answering moan from the woman between her legs, the sound reverberating through Alex�s body, and she shivered from the mixture of painful arousal and tension that had her body as taut as a bow.

With a gasp, Abbie pulled free of her perch, and Alex blushed when she realized that she could see the evidence of her arousal glistening on the other woman�s lips. "Is that a request?" Abbie husked, simultaneously sliding two fingers deep into Alex�s core.

Unable to respond verbally for a few seconds, Alex instead let her head fall back, eyes shutting tightly as her hips rolled up to meet Abbie�s thrust. "More," she said hoarsely, a sound of pure pleasure erupting past her lips as the brunette drew her fingers back, only to return with three.

Smiling ferally, Abbie began to thrust her fingers in and out of Alex�s body quickly, pressing up hard against the smooth flesh of her inner walls. The move brought a nearly inhuman sound from deep inside Alex, and she began to pant in earnest, her hips moving frantically to push down against Abbie�s fingers. Placing both hands back on the mattress, she used the leverage the move provided to press her hips forward.

Surging forward, nearly lunging over Alex�s body, Abbie braced herself on the bed with one arm, her thigh coming to bracket her still thrusting hand, and took a hard nipple between her teeth, pulling hard. The keening note the move elicited spurred her to move her teeth to the side, leaving a trail of little red bite marks interspersed with the rounded beginnings of bruises from her less than gentle suckling.

The painfully pleasurable sensations combined with the relentless thrusting of Abbie�s fingers inside her to drive Alex higher and higher, until she couldn�t hear anything but the absurdly loud rush of her own blood. Feeling almost as if her heart was going to explode, she tightened on Abbie�s fingers once more before exploding, her arms collapsing to send her sprawling back onto the bed, thighs tensing and quivering with exertion.

Slowing her thrusts until Alex began to whimper, Abbie finally pulled away, nuzzling the blonde�s neck, her tongue reaching out to swipe at an errant drop of sweat.

"Thank you," she whispered, drawing an amused chuckle from Alex.

"Thank me? No, thank you," the blonde said tiredly. "And I will, I promise. Just give me a second."

Pressing her face even more deeply into the crook of Alex�s shoulder, Abbie murmured, "You don�t have to. This was enough."

"Enough?" Alex echoed in disbelief. "Its not even close. I want to touch you, want to make you feel like you made me feel."

A long sigh was her only reply, so Alex reached down, urging Abbie�s head up. "Why, not scared are you?" she asked cockily. "Not sure you can handle me?"

Abbie merely grunted at that. "Oh, I can more than handle you," she shot back, a hint of a smile curling at her lips. The jab was punctuated by a nip to Alex�s shoulder, earning a scowl from the blonde.

"I hadn�t quite pictured you as the biting type," Alex noted, watching with amusement as a blush heated Abbie�s face. "Not that I�m complaining, mind you."

"I wonder what Freud would have to say about that," Abbie mused lazily. While her body was, understandably, hyperalert and more than aware of every single millimeter of bare skin currently being pressed against it, her mind was floating in the blissful lassitude of the happily content.

"I don�t know," Alex said wryly, "but I have no doubt that it would somehow be connected to sex.

"You�re undoubtedly right."

Anything else Abbie might have been planning on saying was abruptly cut short at the feel of trimmed nails raking up the skin of her inner thigh. Without conscious thought, she parted her legs, effectively straddling Alex, a position of which the blonde soon took advantage. Sliding her fingers through the wetness between Abbie�s legs, she teased the flesh there, never touching with enough intent to drive things to the next level, but sending little jolts of feeling in her wake nonetheless. Holding herself absolutely still, convinced that she wasn�t going to move no matter what, Abbie waited patiently, pushing back whimpers on the occasions when Alex would catch her clit with the tip of a nail.

It wasn�t until those fingers began to move with purpose, two sliding deep inside her, that Abbie moved. Instantly catching Alex�s wrist in a firm grip, she pulled away, resettling herself back a few inches. "Its not good for me that way," she husked in response to Alex�s unanswered question, turning to head to the side in an attempt to avoid eye contact. It was a moment that was an inevitable part of the whole process with her, but that didn�t mean that saying it got any easier.

For a moment Alex was still, slightly confused and vaguely, unaccountably, hurt by the words. But then, wordlessly, she pushed back on Abbie�s shoulders, shifting their positions so that she was on top, her head even with the other woman�s chest.

"Whatever you say," she murmured, bending to take a firm nipple into her mouth. She felt, more than she heard, Abbie�s sigh of relief, which baffled her to no end. Alex personally loved penetration. She adored the feeling of being possessed, of being impaled, of having another person inside her. And, as much as she loved the feeling, she loved being on the other end of that equation as well. The touch was so innately intimate, and it made her feel more connected with her lover than, really, anything else could. But, she wasn�t going to push the issue, at least not at the moment, and so settled her fingers over Abbie�s already throbbing clit, beginning a fast, hard rhythm that soon had the other woman babbling incoherently.

Abbie was in heaven. Not only was the rough velvet of Alex�s tongue bathing her nipple, but her fingers were sending flames licking up her belly and down her thighs. Her hips instinctively started a series of short, shallow thrusts, each upward moving causing those fingers to scrape almost painfully hard over her flesh. Blindly, she raked her nails down Alex�s back until she reached her neck, leaving four perfect crescents where they imbedded in the skin there. Alex mewled at the rough touch, instinctively biting down on the flesh in her mouth. The jolt of slight pain was enough to send Abbie careening over the edge, and as she climaxed she shouted Alex�s name hoarsely, the word reverberating through the room for long seconds after it left her lips.

Crawling up Abbie�s form, feeling, at the same time, both intensely satisfied and yet somehow dissatisfied, Alex let long arms wrap around her, pulling her close.

Both were silent for so long that Alex was sure Abbie had fallen asleep. She was nearing that point herself, but just as she was sure she was about to drift off, Abbie�s voice washed over her, the words so soft she had to strain to hear them. "You�re okay with this, aren�t you Alex?"

Shifting so that she was looking up into Abbie�s face even if the darkness of the room meant she couldn�t see much, Alex asked, "With tonight?"

A soft smile curled the corners of Abbie�s lips. "Yeah, with tonight."

"Of course I am, Abbie. Aren�t you?" A momentary bolt of insecurity shot through Alex. Maybe she�d pushed too hard. It hadn�t felt like it at the time. It�d felt like Abbie had wanted it as much as she had, but now, looking back, it seemed impossible to tell.

"Yeah, I am."

Which, while not a ringing endorsement, sounded extremely convincing to Alex�s ears.

Continue to Part 5

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