Even here she couldn�t get away from it� identical atmosphere, just a different city. The bars were always the same, full of men and women in slightly rumpled business suits, their muted chatter providing a counterpoint to the soft, nondescript jazz-ish music playing in the background, words like "settlement" and "merger" and "plea bargain" catching the ear at random from any one of a dozen directions. She wasn�t sure why she was at this particularly uninspiring place, sitting uncomfortably on the hard-backed wooden bar stool, the polished black marble of the bar cool under her fingers, an outrageously expensive vodka tonic leaving rings of condensation on the plush white napkin upon which it was resting.
If she had the guts, she could be free here, in this strange city. Anonymous, unafraid� she could go to a bar with a broken down old jukebox playing classic rock in the corner, with liquor served in cheap plastic cups and the clack of pool cues meeting balls mixing with the clank of beer bottles and enjoy the freedom of being just another face in the crowd. At this not at all ritzy bar, she could find someone, some anonymous someone, as anonymous as she would be, and she could take her back to her hotel room and she could pretend for just that one night that that was the way her life really was. She could pretend that she didn�t have to hide, that she didn�t have to go home every single night to a cold, empty apartment and her even colder, emptier bed.
But, Alex Cabot was a creature of habit, and even here she couldn�t escape that.
There was a sigh, the light brush of an arm against her shoulder, and then cool, clipped tones floating past her, instantly grabbing her attention.
"Glenlivet on the rocks� 75/25."
Turning in her chair, intrigued by the voice and vaguely interested in catching a glimpse of the stranger standing next to her, Alex found herself speechless. The woman beside her was breathtaking, with skin the color of chicory coffee sweetened with cream, blazing near gold eyes, and softly layered rich brown hair. She was beautiful in a way that made one think of movie stars or swanky jazz singers or black and white pictures of poetesses on the back covers of slim little volumes of words that spoke straight to the soul.
"Hi. I�m Alex Cabot." The words were out of her mouth before she could even contemplate stopping them, hand outstretched to the stranger beside her, and Alex felt her face start to color, the rise of soft pink creeping up fair cheeks to stain her skin with embarrassment.
The slight quirk of a brow over sparkling gold eyes was her only response for a few incredibly long seconds, and then there was a hand in hers, long fingers wrapping around her palm, dry soft skin pressed to hers, and it took another few seconds for Alex to remember that she was supposed to shake.
"Teri Joseph," came the somewhat amused reply, and for a moment, Alex seriously considered slinking off into the darkness of the corner and drinking herself into a stupor. Stupid, stupid, stupid� that�s what she was.
Eyes dropping down to the bar, gently releasing the hand still held firmly in her own, Alex demurred softly, "I�m sorry. I didn�t mean to intrude."
With a half-smile, Teri slid into the chair next to the chagrined Alex, eyes flickering up in thanks as the bartender slid a tumbler into place in front of her. For a moment, she thought about leaving things as they were. Truthfully, she just wanted to sit and sip her drink and sulk. Things with Damon� well, things with Damon were over, and she�d come here to try and forget about him. In fact, she was going to forget all about men, and all about the troubles they caused her, and chatting with overly friendly blonde strangers wasn�t conducive to that plan.
"Sure you did. Otherwise, you wouldn�t have introduced yourself, right?" Teri shot back, a small half-smile taking the sting out of the words. "I don�t think I know you, Alex Cabot. Is this your first time here?"
Grinning slightly at the reprieve, glad to see that she hadn�t made a complete ass out of herself, Alex turned another inch to her left. The move put her facing the other woman, giving her a clear view of Teri�s profile, and she decided that she was quite fond of the view. "Actually yes. I�m from New York."
"And you�re here on business or pleasure?" Teri asked, taking a small sip of her drink. The sharp tang of the liquor brought the ghost of a grimace over her features, and she put the glass down with a decisive thunk.
Pushing down a smirk, glad to see a bit of a chink in the woman�s otherwise impressive armor, Alex replied, "Business. Picking up a few continuing education credits for my bar certification, attending a conference that fits neatly with my specialty. Nothing exciting, I�m afraid."
"And this specialty is?" Teri prodded, shifting so that she was facing Alex, bright gold eyes looking at the other woman impassively. She wasn�t entirely sure why she�d chosen to remain, much less why she�d let herself be drawn into conversation, but now that she had, she didn�t find herself in any particular hurry to leave.
A slight frown settled over Alex�s brow as she answered, almost as if just the mere thought brought all of the stress of her job to bear at that moment. "I�m an ADA. I work with the Special Victim�s Unit of the NYPD. We handle all sexually based offenses� rapes, molestation cases, sexually motivated murders. That kind of thing."
"Huh," Teri grunted, half in surprise and half in admiration. "Sounds like a fairly tough gig. I would have figured you for," she paused, hand cupping her chin as she looked at Alex speculatively, "oh, I don�t know� some sort of corporate litigation."
Alex laughed softly at that. "Not hardly. Though, I imagine that my parents would have been much happier if that was the case. What about you? I�m going to guess� let�s see� in-house counsel. Perhaps for some large publishing firm. Am I close?"
"Corporate litigation," came the droll reply, and Alex laughed again, this time a little more freely. Rolling her eyes, she reached for her drink, anxious to do something other than look at the woman seated next to her with what she was sure had to be a gaze of complete adoration. It had been a long time since she�d flirted so openly, even if this was, as was everything else in her life, done with a hint of understatement.
"Then you�d have made my parents proud," she said dryly, bringing her glass to her lips.
Teri shook her head at the self-deprecating tone. "Alex Cabot, I may not know you well, but I somehow doubt that your parents are anything but proud of you. But, let me guess. Your Daddy�s a lawyer, and his Daddy was a lawyer, and his Daddy was a lawyer, and none of them have ever gotten their hands dirty dealing with the common folk, so they�re not quite sure how to take your career choice. And, I suspect it is a choice, and not you trying to pad your resume with the docket full of cases you�re sure to get in the District Attorney�s Office."
Alex paused for a moment, unsure of how to respond. "I�m sorry. Were they handing my life story out at the door?"
"It doesn�t take a fortune teller to read you, Alex Cabot. Suit by Versace, heels by Prada, and when you go out, I�ll bet that its in Vera Wang -- probably not something off the rack. You scream old money and prestige and a fine Ivy League legal education, but my intuition tells me that there�s more to you than meets the eye. I usually listen to it, and for the most part, its right," Teri replied, quirking a brow to add an exclamation point to her little speech.
"Well then," Alex replied slowly, the corners of her lips teasing a smile, "remind me to never face off with you. It seems that you already know all my secrets. I�d be predestined to lose."
Teri let the conversation die off naturally, taking the pause provided by a sip of her drink to think about the situation. She knew when she was on the receiving end of a flirtation, and that�s exactly what the cool blonde sitting to her right was doing. What she didn�t know was what she wanted to do about it. It had been a long, long time since she�d been involved with another woman, if her college experimentations could be labeled involvement, but perhaps that�s exactly what she needed. Alex was good looking, interesting, and a stranger. Transient seemed to be an appealing quality at the moment, and with that, Teri came to her decision.
"Look, Alex Cabot, there�s far more to Chicago than a place like this. What do you say we get out of here, and I introduce you to something a little more native?" She felt as if the words were rushed, as if the tinge of nervous anticipation that had settled in her belly at her decision was pushing everything out in a blur, but apparently Alex hadn�t noticed anything amiss because she simply smiled broadly.
Fighting down a giddy flutter, Alex nodded. "An offer as appealing as that one simply begs for an acceptance," she replied slowly. "And, who am I to disappoint?"
"Indeed," Teri replied, sliding down from her stool, casually tossing a bill on the bar. "So what do you say� had enough of the stuffed shirt set for the evening?"
Tossing back the rest of her drink and joining Teri on the floor by way of reply, Alex mused that perhaps Chicago had more to offer than she�d anticipated.
Teri�s navy blue BMW was winding through streets that Alex didn�t recognize. Not surprising, really, since she imagined that there was a fair bit about the city that was unknown to her. She did know enough to realize that they�d ventured off the main streets into something a little more local, and the part of her that always clamored for new experiences was singing with excitement.
Teri, on the other hand, was wondering just what exactly she�d been thinking. She�d directed the car to one of her old haunts, a place full of smoke and sultry music and memories of the days when she was younger, more carefree. It was undoubtedly an unwise move on her part. They were bound to run into someone she knew, and that would only mean explanations and complications, both things that she wanted to avoid. But, it was too late now, with the car idling as they sat, neatly tucked into the parking space that she�d found along the sidewalk. Alex seemed to be looking around in fascination, and not quite as sure about her plans now as she had been before but yet not willing to back down quite yet, Teri sighed.
"We�re here," she said unnecessarily, her words a little gruff.
Almost too soon they were standing in front of the door to the building� O�s Place, where she�d come when she wanted to get away from everything. To get away from her family and her life and relationships gone wrong. Kind of like she�d wanted to get away tonight, but for some reason, she�d brought this woman along with her on her exodus.
"We don�t have to go here, if you don�t want to," she said, suddenly nervous. Her hand was on Alex�s forearm, holding her still, keeping them poised just a few feet away from the entrance.
Teri looked over, and Alex saw the hesitation and trepidation in her eyes. But, before she could say anything, before she could graciously extricate them from the situation that Teri had gotten into and didn�t know how to exit, the door flew open, a handful of couples with arms slung around each other�s shoulders spilling out into the night air, bringing with them a trail of sad, sorrowful music. Their laughter was raucous, infectious almost, and something in Teri seemed to change, to unwind.
So, deciding that the other woman no longer needed rescuing from her own plans, Alex smiled and tilted her head slightly to the side, toward the now closed door. "No, I�d like to see Chicago through your eyes," she said, her words as clear and formal as they had been in the atmosphere of the meat market/bar in which they�d met. She couldn�t escape it, couldn�t ever seem to pull off casual and make it look like she meant it. "If you still want to show me."
"Well," Teri said, taking in a deep breath and throwing in a placating smile, as much for her companion as for herself, "you aren�t going to see much from out here. Come on�"
Pulling the door open, a small wave of the hand gesturing Alex in before her, Teri decided to not worry about thinking for the rest of the night. Thinking always got her in trouble, what with the quandaries posed by over-analyzation, and she wasn�t in the mood to puzzle out any mental tangles that she could conceivably set before herself. She wanted to relax, enjoy the evening and her beautiful new companion, and pretend that everything that she did to forget wouldn�t have any of the consequences that the still stoically rational part of her brain knew they would.
Alex looked around the club, wondering for a second, if that was what it had felt like to enter a speakeasy. Not that there were flappers or illegally brewed whiskey flowing from barrels behind the bar, but there was the same air that she imagined had gone along with those places. Light, easy-going, and glossed over with that hint of glamour that came from a mix of tinny blues played by the live band in the corner, the sway of casually elegant bodies on the dance floor, the perfume of unconcern and flowing laughter and a good time winding its way through the place.
She felt decidedly out of place in her slightly rumpled yet still remarkably staid black suit, with its crisp lines and conservative tailoring, even though she knew Teri was dressed similarly enough to her to not make her feel completely uncomfortable. Everyone else was dressed for a night out, in clothes that were trendy and not at all conservative, and Alex realized that even if she had dressed in anticipation of this location, she probably still would have gotten it all wrong.
Then, too, was the fact that she was a rare pale speck in a sea of brown faces. Not that it bothered her, really, but she did catch the covert glances thrown her way, some questioning, some a trifle hostile. She was the quintessential outsider here, certainly more so than she had been back at the bar.
"Why don�t we find a table?" Teri�s voice drifted up to her, and she looked over, catching the eye of her companion with a little bit of relief. As much as she liked new experiences, Alex absolutely hated being the one at a disadvantage. And, she was clearly at a disadvantage here, in this place where Teri apparently felt comfortable and in which she knew no one. So, she followed along behind the other woman, her walk just a little bit awkward as she made her way through the tables, the tension of unfamiliarity stealing some of her usual innate grace.
They found a table in the corner near the back, the light so dim in that part of the club as to be almost non-existent, and Alex settled back into the shadows with a sigh of relief. In that perch, she could be an observer, and she was far happier doing the observation than being observed. Unless, of course, she was completely comfortable with her role. Give her a courtroom full of people and an avidly listening jury and she�d never fumble, never miss a step, but put her on display in front of a room full of strangers, and the tinge of awkward little girl that she�d been before, standing by her parents� elbow as they listed her accomplishments and talents almost as if she were a trophy more than a child, would rear its ugly head.
Teri watched as the blonde settled back into her chair, shedding some of the tense air that had surrounded her since they�d stepped through the front door. As she looked around, catching sight of a few familiar faces, people that she knew upon sight but probably couldn�t name, she wondered again why she�d chosen to bring the other woman to this place. She should have known that Alex wouldn�t feel comfortable, that she wouldn�t fit in, but Teri had wanted to get out of that stuffy upscale bar that she�d automatically went to as her first escape and into the more comfortable familiarity of O�s, and she�d wanted the other woman to come along with her. Maybe it was a bit selfish of her, but now that she�d orchestrated it all, she resolved to enjoy herself.
"Can I get you something to drink?" They were far enough away from the stage that distance and the mass of bodies in front of them diluted the power of the music, and Teri found, with delight, that she could use her normal speaking tone and still be heard. If there was one thing that she hated about clubs, it was having to scream every sentence. It made things completely not worth the effort, and she wanted to get to know the blonde a little bit better without the barrier of inaudible conversation.
Alex looked over, pulled from her reverie. She�d been lost, taking in the new surroundings, the new atmosphere, the new people, the new sights, and she blushed gently, realizing she�d been drifting in her own little world. "Uh, vodka tonic, I guess," she said, returning to her drink of choice from earlier.
Teri was gone before she could dig a bill out of her purse, though she hadn�t really anticipated having her money taken anyway. It was just a polite, useless gesture to let the other woman know that she wasn�t expecting anything, and was glad to see it go unanswered. Sinking back into the corner, Alex once again found herself captivated by the spectre of humanity playing out before her.
She wasn�t sure how long Teri had been gone when the other woman finally returned, but it was long enough for Alex to let the seductive laziness of the music and the ambience sink into her, relaxing her. When her drink slid across the table in front of her, she picked it up, taking a long, cooling sip before turning to face her companion, blue eyes twinkling in the low light.
"I don�t want to know any mundane details about you, Teri," she said softly, her refined voice barely carrying across the space between them, forcing the other woman to scoot her chair a little closer so that she could hear. "I don�t want to know where you went to law school and I don�t want to know about your biggest case, and I don�t particularly want to know what firm you practice with. What I do want to know is something different, something you normally wouldn�t tell someone you�ve just met but that you�re going to tell me, just so we don�t get bogged down in the minutia."
Teri laughed at that, the sound remarkably pure, and Alex decided that she very much so liked the way this woman sounded when she did that. "Well, that�s a tall order, don�t you think? Spilling all of my secrets to someone I�ve only known less than an hour."
"Not especially. In fact, it should make it easier," Alex shot back, a hint of challenge in her tone. "Besides, you already know all of mine, apparently, so its only fair for you to trade."
Teri laughed again, recalling the somewhat aghast look on Alex�s face when she�d deconstructed her in the bar. "I imagine that I only know the tip of your iceberg, Alex Cabot," she replied warmly, unable to stop the slight melting of her voice.
"Alex, please," the blonde returned. "I think that we can dispense with the full name by this point, don�t you?"
"Well then, Alex," Teri said contemplatively, canting her head to the side as she thought, "let me scrounge around for an appropriate secret to divulge. In the meantime, please feel free to fill me in on all of yours that I missed."
Two hours later, Teri glanced down at her watch, amazed at how the time had flown by. Alex might not have had much to say, but she provided a wonderful listening ear, and she�d certainly taken advantage of it. It felt so good, having all of that rapt attention focused on what she�d been saying, especially after Damon�s betrayal. Knowing that someone had cheated on you could make you feel like you weren�t interesting or captivating or even important enough to pay attention to, and Teri had been feeling all those things. She�d been feeling not good enough, but with those interested blue eyes watching her intently, all of that had faded away and she�d felt like the she was the only person in the world that mattered.
"I�m not keeping you out past your bedtime, am I Alex?"
Alex had long ago shed her restrictive suit jacket, revealing the creamy charcoal gray sleeveless silk shell that she was wearing underneath. The thin fabric draped alluringly over the curve of her breasts, bared the smooth cream flesh of her arms and upper chest, and she was almost dreading having to put the thing back on.
"Not at all," the blonde replied, swirling her now empty glass, the clink and rattle of the few remaining ice cubes breaking the stillness.
Teri glanced again at her watch. "Still though, its already after one. Don�t you have to be up early tomorrow� I mean, this morning?"
Leaning back against the back of her chair, feeling a few of the vertebra in her back that had stiffened up during their long conversation crack apart with a satisfying pop, Alex regarded her companion from under hooded lids. She knew exactly what she wanted, and she was fairly certain that Teri wanted it too, but she wasn�t going to press. When it came to matters like this, that just wasn�t her style. "Not especially. Today was the last day of the conference. I�ve got a flight out later, but that�s all."
Teri floundered for a moment. She had never been particularly good at this part. Her self-assured, confident, cocky exterior was a cleverly designed shell, hiding the much more delicate nature of her true self from view. She wasn�t sure if she could handle a rejection tonight, and even though she didn�t really think she would get one should she make an offer, the potential that she�d misread the signs still made the prospect a little daunting.
"I guess, though, that you�re probably tired of entertaining the tourist by now," Alex said, her words deliberately blas�. She didn�t want to give the wrong impression, that being that she wasn�t interested, but she didn�t want to make an ass out of herself either.
When Teri remained silent, she continued on, feeling a little disheartened. Maybe she had been mistaken after all, and Teri really was just a kind soul in a city of strangers.
"I suppose, then, that I should probably bid you goodnight and let you get back to your life. Thank you�" Alex started, only to be cut off by the press of a slim finger against her lips.
Jolted into motion by the tone of finality in the other woman�s voice, Teri said softly, "Alex, I don�t want you to go back to your hotel room any more than you want to go. Am I right?"
Unable to speak, primarily because her heart had just leapt up into her throat, blocking all words, Alex simply nodded her assent, blue eyes sparkling with a mixture of desire, anticipation, and relief.
"Good," Teri said, relief of her own coloring her voice. "I don�t live too far from here. How about we see about completing the tour?"
"I think," Alex replied, her voice little more than a rasp, "that�s a wonderful idea."
It seemed to take longer to get to her house than she remembered, the minutes stretching out between herself and Alex in the silence until it was almost ridiculous. But then they were there and Teri was having to remind herself what the new key to the new locks she�d had installed looked like, and she realized that it was much too soon, and that she wasn�t at all ready. So, with a nervous push she opened the door, eyes frantically scanning the floor in search of anything that she might have left out of place. It was immaculate, of course, because her home was always immaculate, but that didn�t do anything to alleviate her rising tension.
"Teri," Alex�s voice floated over to her, soothing her slightly, "I�m pretty sure we�re on the same page here, but I�d just like to clarify. I�ve wanted you since I threw myself at you at the bar like a teenager in heat, and I think you want me too. I�m right about that, aren�t I?"
Unbidden, a chuckled forced its way past Teri�s lips. "Teenager in heat? I think you�re exaggerating a little there, Alex," she said fondly, then grew serious. "And yes, I want you too. Would you� would you like a glass of wine or anything?"
Alex stepped closer, dropping her purse carelessly to the floor. "No. What I�d really like to do is go ahead and get our horribly awkward first kiss out of the way, just so that neither of us has to think about it any more. Or, at least so I don�t have to think about it, and worry about it, and obsess over getting it right."
"Worry about it?" Teri echoed faintly, watching Alex�s approach as she stood, unmoving.
"Uh-huh. You�re an extremely beautiful woman, Teri, though I�m sure you already know that, and I can�t help but get nervous when I�m near you. You make it hard for me to think, and I�m not sure how well I�ll perform without a functioning brain to guide me," Alex said in a slightly self-deprecating tone. It was true. Every time she looked at the woman now standing only mere inches from her, she lost the ability to reason, and was horribly afraid that she�d end up coming across like a novice.
"You�re quite a beautiful woman yourself, Alex Cabot," Teri said softly, one hand coming up to push a stray lock of silky blonde hair back behind the other woman�s ear. She let the hand tangle in those locks instead of withdrawing it, and with a slight pull brought Alex�s mouth to hers, their lips meeting gently at first.
The soft exploration was little more than the brush of their lips together, an initial introduction to the nearness of each other, and then with a groan, Alex pushed forward, pressing against Teri more firmly. Her arms reached out, wrapping around Teri�s waist as she pulled their bodies together, and her head tilted minutely to the side, allowing deeper contact. Her tongue flicked out, tracing a quick path along Teri�s bottom lip, and the other woman sighed, lips parting at the move.
Breaking away from the kiss slowly, they pulled back, blue eyes looking hesitantly into searing gold, seeing desire there in the flare of enlarged pupils. "Not awkward at all," Teri breathed, the words ghosting past Alex�s lips, and then they were kissing again, lips parted and tongues sneaking out to taste one another.
Alex pulled her hands back around Teri�s sides, fingers tracing over the fabric-covered flesh, to find the buttons on her own jacket. She�d wanted to take it off just as soon as she�d put it back on as they were leaving the club, and with a few fierce flicks, she had the buttons undone. Shrugging the garment off, she tossed it to the floor. Her lips were tracing a path down Teri�s neck, chin nudging against the collar of her jacket, and Alex brought her fingers up to the top button of Teri�s suit. She paused there, pulling her head back slightly. Finding nothing but encouragement in the other woman�s eyes, she quickly worked her way down the row of buttons, surprised at how easily they seemed to slip open for her. In the past, on occasion, she�d bumbled her way through things like that, fingers slipping and fumbling even as she willed them to behave, but as she slid the cloth off of Teri�s shoulders, she marveled at the ease in which it had been removed.
Unlike Alex, Teri wasn�t wearing anything under her jacket but a smooth satiny black bra, and the blonde pulled back, taking in the full curve of ample breasts, the rich expanse of silky skin.
"Come on," Teri said, breaking into her thoughts. When Alex looked up, it was to see the other woman extend her hand. Tangling their fingers together, Alex followed the other woman up a short flight of stairs, kicking off her shoes as she went. They came to a stop in Teri�s bedroom, and Alex paused for a moment, taking in the elegant d�cor, the large, comfortable looking bed. But, she had more pressing things on her mind than furniture, and without a second thought she turned her attention back to her partner, fingers tugging her shell free from the tight confines of her skirt.
When she finally managed to get the fabric loose, she found the hem, grasping onto it and pulling the silk over her head. Her own bra was a light pink, and Teri took in the sight with appreciation. Alex�s skin was creamy and smooth, ghostly against the harsh black of her skirt, and Teri took a step forward, anxious to touch the other woman.
As she traced her hands over Alex�s taut belly, she took in the contrast with a detached, discerning eye. It was appealing, the smooth, rich warm brown of her own skin against the pale ivory that was Alex, and she couldn�t help but watch the progress of her fingers, transfixed. As she did, Alex reached back, small breasts pressing forward with the angle of her arms behind her, fumbling with the tab of her zipper. She finally managed to get it undone, and as the skirt slid to the floor, she hooked her fingers into the waistband of her silk hose. Breaking free, for the moment, from Teri�s touch, she slid them down, her head brushing against the other woman�s abdomen as she straightened.
Alex felt infinitely better with the restricting hose gone. She hated the things, as did, she imagined, all women. Though, she did have to admit that there was something innately seductive about the slide of silk covered limbs against one another. Not enough to justify their necessity, but at least something to make them minutely salvageable.
Satisfied with her state of undress, Alex turned her attention back to Teri. Her hands slid up the other woman�s torso until they were cupping full breasts, thumbs flicking over rapidly hardening nipples, and suddenly she needed to be able to taste that skin. So, she stepped forward, plastering their flesh together as her fingers fumbled with the clasp of Teri�s bra, and her lips stole another kiss. For a moment, as Teri�s tongue flicked against her own, Alex forgot what she�d been doing, and her hands almost dropped down to rest on the other woman�s hips. But, before she could do that, numb fingers somehow got the clasp undone, and as she pulled away, drawing the garment down Teri�s arms, the need to taste became tantamount again.
So, taste she did, her head immediately dipping down, lips latching onto one taut peak. Her hands were cupping Teri�s breasts, one supporting the breast she was feeding on while the other alternately caressed and teased the supple flesh, and Teri groaned, her fingers coming up to wrap through Alex�s hair, pulling her closer. She stumbled back, knees hitting the edge of the bed and sending her abruptly to a sitting position, tearing Alex�s mouth away from her flesh. But, seconds later, Alex had returned to her perch, having crawled up on the bed, straddling Teri�s thighs with her own as she continued to suckle, her teeth and lips and tongue bathing the other woman�s flesh.
As she worked, moving slowly across Teri�s chest to capture a neglected nipple, sucking it in, she began to rock slightly, her hips pushing into the other woman�s through the barrier of Teri�s skirt. Teri moaned in frustration at the move, fingers desperately fumbling with a recalcitrant zipper. The pressure of Alex�s hips on hers was just enough to tease but not enough to satisfy, and she pulled roughly at the fabric separating them, jostling Alex from her position. In the end, Alex ended up sliding down off the bed, tugging the skirt down from uplifted hips. Hose and panties soon followed until Teri was left nude, her body delightfully open, and Alex decided to take full advantage of her position.
Nuzzling her cheek against the smooth flesh of one inner thigh, she let Teri�s scent drift up to her. One hand drifted up to Teri�s belly, and as she flattened the limb out on the other woman�s skin, she pressed backward, toppling the brunette over so that she rested in a half-recline, propped up on her elbows. Slim fingers parted already spread thighs even further as Alex traced her hands up to rest in the juncture where Teri�s legs met her hips, thumbs massaging the slight crease there.
Straining forward, she pressed a light kiss on Teri�s belly, the ends of her long hair teasing the other woman�s skin, ticking against her upper thighs. Moving down slowly, lips brushing past slightly rough, curly gleaming black hairs, she placed barely there kisses along the other woman�s length, hot, rasping pants of air scorching Teri�s skin. Watching with anxious and bemused golden eyes as Alex teased her, Teri was finally rewarded with the pressure of strong thumbs parting her, sliding down her sex to her core. They dipped in momentarily, stretching her skin slightly, before tracing back up, parting her. Then, there was the flat of a soft tongue against her clit, and Teri felt her eyes flutter shut, felt her back arch a tad as her hips rolled upward, and she held her breath, waiting on that touch to return.
And return it did, sliding down, filling the space left wanting by too quick fingers. A few rapid thrusts and it was gone again, teasing back up to her apex, and Teri flexed her thighs, drawing them up and draping them over Alex�s slim shoulders, hers heels coming to rest against a strong back. Alex took that as an invitation, and her hands slid around to Teri�s buttocks, fingers digging into the flexing muscles there, short nails burning into the flesh. She pressed hard against the other woman, alternately licking, sucking, and biting the hot, wet flesh beneath her lips until she felt the light, jerky shivers of climax race though Teri�s body and heard the long, low moan that accompanied her pleasure.
Even then she didn�t stop, just pulled back and slid two, and then three, fingers into the other woman, using her crouched position to provide extra leverage to each thrust until she was pressing roughly into wet flesh, her fingers curling up to tease against the slightly rough spot on Teri�s inner walls that she knew would bring the other woman pleasure. The legs around her shoulders were tightening, pulling her in even closer to the other woman, and as Teri felt her second orgasm shoot through her, this one coming mere minutes after the first, Alex�s touch almost too much for her supersensitive flesh, she shot up, pulling the blonde�s face in to her belly, wrapping her fingers through that long hair and holding the other woman still against her, wrapped in a cocoon of her flesh, legs and arms and body cradling Alex. Her breath was still harsh, panting past her lips, and she whimpered as each small movement of Alex�s fingers sent a slight jolt through her overloaded system.
She could feel the nip of sharp teeth against the flesh of her belly, and Teri finally willed herself to relax. When she pulled back, it was to see mischievous blue eyes looking up at her, and she laughed, tugging on Alex�s hair, urging her up onto the bed.
"Why are you still wearing clothes?" she asked archly, taking in the matching pale pink bra and panty set Alex was still sporting.
"Because someone forgot to take them off of me," Alex shot back, amusement lacing through her tone.
Teri�s fingers trailed lightly down the other woman�s torso, eliciting a shiver, and she grinned slyly. "Well, we�ll just have to rectify that, won�t we?"
Fingers hooked into the front of Alex�s panties, but instead of pulling downward, they slid inside instead, moving over soft blonde hair to sneak into the other woman�s wetness, and Alex gasped, her hips jerking up unsteadily, seeking more pressure.
"I don�t think that�s helping," she said, her voice slightly ragged. Rolling up on her side, throwing one leg across Teri�s thighs, she undulated gently against the still teasing fingers.
Pressing a little deeper, fingertips scraping over hard, aroused flesh, Teri grinned again. "But I don�t think its unappreciated either," she said smugly.
With a growl, Alex pushed herself up, straddling Teri�s thighs. Her body loomed over the other woman�s reclining form, and she tossed her hair absently back over her shoulders as she reached around to the back clasp of her bra. Finding it, she flicked it open, pulling the garment down her arms and tossing it absently to the floor. Teri�s fingers were still inside her panties, still tracing a light path between the inflamed lips of her sex, and Alex reached down, bracing one hand against the other woman�s shoulder. Using her newfound balance, she pressed down hard, grinding herself against her companion�s fingers, hips rolling and circling as she forced the rhythm she desired.
Teri felt her mouth go dry, eyes fastened on the figure of the woman on top of her. Alex looked positively delicious, with her head drooping forward, long blonde hair flowing down past her shoulders like a cape, breasts swaying gently as she moved. Unable to help herself, her hand tugged down roughly on the fabric of the other woman�s panties, managing only to lower them a few inches, even as she curled upward, wrapping her free hand around Alex�s waist, lips fastening blindly onto a taut, pale pink nipple. Alex whimpered at the touch, the hand that had been braced on Teri�s shoulder slipping up to wind through the other woman�s short, thick, silky hair.
The position didn�t leave Teri much room to maneuver, but she made the most of what little she did have, her fingers slipping against Alex�s skin, bumping over her clit and teasing her core. Alex did her part as well, hips rolling up against Teri�s stomach until she felt her body tighten, felt it stall at the precipice of orgasm, and she pulled back, tearing Teri�s mouth away from her breast, both hands dropping to plant firmly against the bedding as she leaned back, her body tilted over Teri�s thighs, and she wrapped her legs around the other woman�s waist, a quick move bringing her firmly down onto three waiting fingers. A choked noise slipped past Alex�s lips at the penetration, and her eyes fluttered shut for a second as she enjoyed the feeling of being impaled, of being stretched. Then, she began to move, hips lifting up and dropping down, riding Teri�s hand until finally she pushed over that last remaining inch, freezing in mid-air as her body clamped down fiercely her companion�s fingers, holding her in place.
Teri brought her free hand around to support Alex�s waist, nestling against the sweat covered small of her back, a look of wonderment on her face. She hadn�t been expected such unbridled sensuality from the otherwise staid young attorney, and to find it was beyond exciting.
Apparently finally beginning to catch her breath, Alex inched up until she was sitting on Teri�s thighs. Reaching forward, she drew the other woman�s lips to hers for a long, soft kiss, fingers tracing down the smooth skin of Teri�s back to cup her buttocks.
"That was amazing," she murmured, pulling back from the kiss and letting her head drift down to rest on Teri�s shoulder.
Still somewhat awestruck, Teri said, "No� you�re amazing, Alex Cabot."
Alex awoke from a light sleep, and a quick glance at the alarm clock conveyed that she�d only been out about 15 minutes. She rarely slept well in foreign beds, especially when her body was already keyed up with the knowledge that she had a flight to catch, so with one last lingering glance at the woman sprawled out beside her, bare limbs tangled in the sheets and wildly mussed hair fanned out against the pillow, she slid out of bed, bare feet barely making a sound against the thick carpet.
Tracing her way back to the foyer, she re-pieced together her outfit. A little rummaging through drawers in the kitchen produced a phone book and a piece of paper, and she rattled off the address that she found on a letter laying on the counter to the man that answered the phone at the cab company listing she�d found. Alex wasn�t exactly sure why she felt the need to slink away, other than that mornings after were always horribly awkward, and if she could spare the both of them that, then she would. But, that didn�t mean that she was going to let herself become a memory, and settling down into a chair at the table, she stared for a moment at the blank piece of paper she�d found until, with sharp decisive movements, she scrawled a short message across its surface.
Capping her pen, she read back over the missive. It was short, to the point, and not overly fawning, and she felt that it conveyed everything that she wanted to convey without delving into messy emotional sentiment. So, she folded the note, the gesture a long-familiar habit, and left it sitting on the middle of the table, a crisp pristine square in the midst of dark oak. She imagined that Teri would find it easily, and satisfied that she�d done all she could to further a relationship between them, Alex made her way quietly out of the front door, choosing to wait on the cab outside.
Teri awoke at the soft snick, though whether it was from the noise or from the nearly imperceptible change that seemed to flow through the air whenever anyone entered or exited a house, she wasn�t sure. A quick glance to the left side of the bed let her know it was empty, and she rolled over onto her feet, groggily making her way out of the bedroom.
Alex had been a phenomenal lover, something that she hadn�t necessarily expected, though when she�d mentioned it the other woman had merely laughed and thrown out a comment about repressed enthusiasm, so she�d let the topic die a quiet death. They�d finally fallen into an exhausted stupor near dawn, and the last thing she remembered was seeing blue eyes flutter shut as they kissed one last time.
She hadn�t really thought ahead to their inevitable parting, though she hadn�t necessarily anticipated waking up to an empty bed either. Trudging into the other room, feeling goose bumps break out over her bare skin as the air conditioner whirred to life, she scanned the house, looking for any trace of her nocturnal guest. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the little white rectangle of paper resting in the middle of her dining room table, and she picked it up, quickly flicking it open.
After scanning over the contents, she closed the note carefully, smoothing her fingers over the crease. With a soft sigh, she made her way back into her bedroom, sliding the piece of paper into a drawer before settling back into the bed, suddenly hyperaware of the warm smell of sex still lingering in the air.
The sharp trilling of her cell phone pulled Alex�s attention away from the brief she was proofing, and with a sigh of frustration, she reached out to snag the offending item. Flicking it open, she absently checked the display, not getting much information from the �Out of Area� reading.
"Great, probably just more work," she muttered, one hand coming up to rub at her temples, the gesture futile against the tension headache settling in behind her eyes. She�d been swamped at work for the past month and a half. Which really wasn�t anything different from the norm, but for some reason it seemed that much more daunting after her brief, blissful interlude in Chicago.
"Cabot," she barked into the receiver, pen held at the ready to jot down anything of importance that might arise from the call.
There was a moment of silence, and then a soft, hesitant, "Alex?"
The blonde paused for a moment, shocked into silence. "Uh, yes. This is Alex Cabot," she finally managed to get out. She wasn�t sure if her memory was playing tricks on her, but it sounded just like�
"This is Teri Joseph. From Chicago," the voice clarified, and Alex almost laughed. As if she�d forgotten, in the past six weeks, just who Teri Joseph was.
"Teri, hi," she replied, smoothing her voice back out into its normal calming timbre. "I didn�t really expect to hear from you," she admitted.
There was a soft laugh, and then, "Why�d you leave your number if you thought I wouldn�t call?"
Alex chuckled in reply, leaning back into her seat, headache miraculously making a retreat. "Wishful thinking, I guess. Eternal optimism. A glimmer of hope."
The conversation stalled for a short moment at that, and in an effort to get it back, Teri asked, "I didn�t catch you at a bad time, did I? I�m horrible with time zones. In fact, I don�t even know if you�re in a different one than I am, but I thought you might be home by now."
Glancing at the clock, Alex noted with surprise that it was already after 8:00. She hadn�t realized. "No, not a bad time, and I never really get off work, so don�t worry about that. To what do I owe the honor of your call?"
Teri paused again, and Alex felt her anticipation grow until she quite literally wanted to reach through the phone and rip the reason from the other woman�s throat. "I�m going to be in New York next week. Its just a few days, get there on Thursday night, leave Sunday morning, but I thought that maybe we could get together."
Alex frowned slightly at that, mentally running through her schedule. "Well, I�m on call next weekend, but if you don�t mind the possibility of an interrupted evening, I�d love to see you. I�d offer to let you stay with me, but I imagine you�d probably actually be more comfortable in a hotel. Somewhere to run to if I bore you to death, at least."
A soft laugh floated through the phone, and Alex smiled in reflex. "I�d take you up on your offer, but the firm has already booked me into a hotel," Teri replied, a slight smile in her voice. "But, I certainly doubt that you could ever bore me to death, Alex Cabot."
"And here I thought that we�d finally made it to first name only basis," Alex sighed, though in truth she loved the teasing way Teri said her full name.
"Uh-huh, but I only use it when you�re good," Teri teased back, and Alex blushed slightly, despite the fact that there wasn�t anyone there to see it.
"Before I spontaneously combust here at my desk, why don�t we make some plans? I�d say that I want to see you Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday morning, but I imagine that you might actually have some work that you need to get done, so why don�t you tell me when you�d like to see me and I�ll make it happen," Alex said confidently, suddenly buoyant with the knowledge that Teri was coming to town, that she�d called her.
"Fate�ll strike you down for saying something as cocky as that," Teri warned, a teasing note in her tone. "But, just in case it doesn�t, why don�t you reserve Friday night, Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday morning for me. It�ll probably be later Friday night, because there will undoubtedly be drinks with clients to endure, but I�d still like to see you. The rest we can take from there, but I want to make sure that my booking is at the front of the list."
Alex laughed softly at that. "It�s a good thing that I don�t already have any plans for next weekend. I�d hate to have to cancel them."
"Better be careful or you�ll turn a girl�s head with promises like that," Teri replied, somewhat amazed at the easy flowing flirtation that she�d fallen into.
She�d thought about Alex since that night six weeks before. Actually, she�d thought about her a lot, and there was something so alluring about the promise held by that little note. It was simple, unassuming, and made her want to call the other woman so badly that she�d had to force herself, on more than one occasion, from picking up the phone and dialing. But, when she�d learned that her firm was sending her to New York, she�d decided that it had to be fate, and she�d gone ahead and extended her stay by a couple of days, putting the hotel room cost on her own credit card, and planned for a little vacation. Now, caught up in their easy banter, she was glad that she had.
"That�s what I�m counting on," Alex answered, and Teri felt the natural end of the conversation prod her. She was well aware of the part of her that was telling her that she could talk to Alex like this for hours on end, but she didn�t want to do that, at least not yet, and so, with a sigh, she began to wind things down.
"Why don�t I call you Friday around noon, let you know how things are progressing with my client," Teri suggested, absently tapping her fingernails against the arm of her couch. She could already feel a tinge of anticipation shoot through her at the prospect of seeing Alex, and she tried not to think too much about what that meant.
Alex nodded, then realized that the gesture really wasn�t doing her any good. "That sounds great."
"Good then," Teri sighed, relieved. She wasn�t sure why it felt as if a weight had been lifted from off her shoulders, but it did. "I�m looking forward to it."
"I�m looking forward to it as well," Alex replied, smiling warmly. "And Teri� I�m really, really glad you called."
Alex had been on edge all morning. It was Friday, which meant that Teri was in town, and she was looking forward to their meeting that night with all of the anticipation of a 5-year old on Christmas Eve. On speed.
"Alex� Alex� ALEX!"
Shaking her head to clear it, Alex looked up, slightly perturbed. "What?" she asked acidly, eyes narrowing as she surveyed her lunch companion.
"I was just wondering where you�d wondered off to, that�s all," Don Cragen replied testily, then harrumphed, shoulders slumping as he leaned back against his chair.
Alex looked over at the SVU Captain fondly, well aware that she wasn�t the best company in the world at the moment. "I�m sorry," she said apologetically, offering him a wry smile. "I�ve just got a lot on my mind."
Shaking his head and sighing, a gentle smile creasing his features, he asked, "Big case?"
"Hmm? Oh, no� its� well, personal," Alex admitted, blushing slightly.
"Personal," Cragen teased, leaning forward and resting his elbows on the table, looking for all the world like a sorority girl about to receive hot gossip.
A slender blonde brow arched upward, and Alex shook her head in consternation. "Uh-huh. Personal, which means no prying."
The older man pouted for a moment before giving in, well aware from the look he was getting that no more information would be forthcoming. "Be that way, then. Keep your secrets, see if I care," he said airily, and Alex laughed again.
"Its really not that big of a�" Alex started, then trailed off, the shrill tone of her cell phone cutting through the words. "Hold on."
Reaching out anxiously for the phone, her movements so jerky that she almost sent the small charcoal rectangle flying to the floor, Alex snagged it on its second ring. She waited for the third, taking a deep breath to calm down in the interim, and then clicked the phone on, bringing it to her ear.
"Cabot," she said, though this time her voice was warm with anticipation.
"Don�t they even give you a lunch hour, Alex Cabot, when you don�t have to answer the phone like that and can say �hello� like a normal person," came Teri�s teasing voice, and instinctively Alex turned to the side, focusing on something other than the Captain and making the conversation as private as possible.
"Teri," Alex said with a smile, eyes crinkling.
"That�d be me. Looks like we�re going to finish up here and head out for early Friday evening drinks. You still okay with me coming over?" Teri questioned, and Alex rolled her eyes. Still okay? As if she hadn�t been making preparations since the unexpected phone call the week before.
Pausing for a teasing moment, Alex said, "Oh, I think it�ll be alright. I�ll manage to squeeze you in somehow."
Teri laughed, and Alex felt her stomach drop an inch. God, she was so hooked. "So good of you to make the effort. Look, though, I don�t know how late I�m going to be."
After a moment of thought, Alex offered, "Well, how about this. I�ll make some dinner, something that can sit, and whenever you wrap things up, you come on over. Got a pen? I�ll give you my address."
A few seconds of faint scratching noises later, Teri replied, "Sounds great."
Alex rattled off her address, finishing off with, "It�s the Penthouse. The elevator should bring you right up."
"The Penthouse, huh," Teri replied, sounding slightly impressed. "Guess I wasn�t wrong about that Vera Wang."
The fact that she remembered brought a smile to Alex�s face, one that could be heard in her voice. "Its nothing special� you�ll see it tonight."
"That I will, Alex Cabot. That I will."
After their mutual good-byes, Alex closed her phone gently, well aware of the broad smile still tilting up the corners of her mouth. Mentally preparing herself, she turned back around in her seat, rolling her eyes at the smirk Cragen sent her way.
"So, sounds like you�ve got a hot date tonight," he teased, and Alex couldn�t help her blush.
"You�ve got no idea."
And with that, Cragen watched his dreams of being more than just a friend to Alexandra Cabot begin to slowly die.
For perhaps the hundredth time that night, Alex paused in front of the mirror in her bedroom, taking in her attire. She�d opted for the casual look, figuring that she�d feel just plain silly wandering around her apartment in a cocktail dress. The jeans were fashionably worn and cut a little loose, ending in a straight boot cut over her presently bare feet. The vee-necked black sweater that she�d chosen hugged her curves and highlighted the pale cream of her skin and was, in all, a very good choice in her opinion. She looked good but not contrived, which was exactly the statement she wanted to make. Not like she was waiting around in an overanxious tizzy for Teri�s appearance, even though she really was, but more like the calm, sophisticated Alex Cabot that she was more familiar with.
Resisting the urge to pace, Alex settled down onto her couch, flipping the television on. She never really got a chance to watch it between work and exhaustion, and as she flipped listlessly through the channels, she decided that she wasn�t missing much. It was as she was making the channel circuit for the fourth time in a row that she heard it, the faint knocking at her front door, and in a quick, jerky motion, she flicked off the television, dropping the remote carelessly onto the couch, and stood, hands smoothing over the thighs of her jeans. Taking a deep breath, not quite sure why she was so incredibly nervous, Alex moved toward the door.
Teri stood looking at the solid piece of wood in front of her. It was stained a tasteful shade of dark brown and she had the sneaking suspicion that it was cherry, which did nothing to put her more at ease. After an hour or so spent at the bar with her firm�s newest clients, she�d managed to excuse herself without looking rude. A quick trip back to her hotel room for a change of clothes, and she found herself in a cab, reading off the address that Alex had given her earlier in the day, though by that time she was quite convinced that she had it memorized. The building that they�d stopped in front of had been unassuming, yet another tall brickfront in a line of tall brickfronts, but the street was quiet and reasonably clean, and a doorman had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, apparently not surprised to see her.
She was nervous. If her sweaty palms hadn�t given it away, then the rapid increase in her heart rate at the sound of locks being thrown and bolts being turned would have, and it was with no little trepidation that she looked up, relieved to see that Alex appeared to be a bit nervous as well, if the way she was chewing shyly on her bottom lip was any indication.
"Come in," Alex said warmly, taking in the sight in front of her. Teri was just as beautiful as she remembered, perhaps even more so. She�d obviously taken the time to change after her meeting, because she was wearing slim cut black slacks and a pale moss green sweater set, and Alex felt her mouth grow dry at the sight. Well, that and the small black bag that the other woman was clutching combined led to the sudden evaporation of moisture in her mouth, and she tried not to get too excited about just what, exactly, that might signify.
Teri ducked her head slightly as she moved past the door, eyes immediately roaming around the interior of Alex�s Penthouse. Hardwood flooring apparently ran throughout the place, and from what she could see of the living room, furniture rested on islands of large, thick, muted rugs. Everything was tastefully, and expensively, decorated, the style a show in understated wealth, and Teri had to take a moment to process the fact that even her conjectures had apparently fallen short of the truth of who Alex Cabot really was.
Catching a surreptitious glance toward the bag in her hand, Teri blushed, bringing it forward slightly. "I hope its not too presumptive of me," she said, ducking her chin and quirking a brow, a slight smile curling at her lips.
Alex answered with a smile of her own, taking the bag in hand and heading back toward her bedroom with it, calling back over her shoulder, "Do you want something to drink? I�ve got a bottle of Pinot Gris breathing in the kitchen. It�s a Vendange Tardive� Zind-Humbrecht."
Making her way across the living room in what she believed to be the general direction of the kitchen, Teri called out laughingly, "Alex, what I know about wine could probably fit in a thimble. I know they come in red and white and that�s about it. That is it, isn�t it? There aren�t any more colors, right?"
Reappearing from the back of the house, a tinge of blush gracing her cheeks, Alex shook her head, amused. "Sorry about that. I suppose I could sum it all up with� its good, trust me."
"I do trust you," Teri replied, her voice taking on a serious note as she walked over to where Alex was standing, coming to a stop about a foot away from the other woman. "Its good to see you again, Alex."
Cursing her fair skin and its propensity to showcase her blush, Alex said softly, "Its good to see you again, too. I really didn�t think I�d hear from you, but I�m glad you proved me wrong."
Teri paused for a second, then, "I really didn�t think you�d hear from me either. Alex, I�m not� that is� I don�t� I don�t usually� see� women. In a romantic sense."
Taking a step forward, closing the gap between them so that they were so close that clothes brushed softly against clothes and breath mingled, Alex replied, "I thought that might be the case. I�m glad that you decided to make an exception for me. I don�t want to push you Teri, and I don�t want to take this anywhere you don�t want it to go, but I do want you to know that I�m very interested in seeing as much of you as I can, in taking you out to dinner and wherever else you want to go, in learning as much about you as you�ll let me. And, I�m probably coming on too strong, aren�t I�"
Trailing off, Alex self-consciously backed away, putting the barrier of a few inches between them again. Her head dropped, eyes focusing on Teri�s torso without seeing it, and she mentally cursed. It was too much, too soon. She�d barely even let the other woman get in the door before she cornered her, spouting off about all of this far too serious relationship type stuff.
A hand slid around her side, coming to rest at the small of her back, and Alex looked up, finding herself startlingly close to intense golden eyes. "Why don�t we worry about all of that later," Teri said, smiling softly. "Right now, I�d much rather spend my time getting reacquainted."
And then her lips were on Alex�s, and the blonde decided to forget about how stupid she�d been and simply enjoy the moment. Far from a chaste kiss, their mouths clashed hungrily, tongues meeting to slide against one another, reintroducing each woman to the other�s taste. Reveling in the feeling, suddenly very certain that her memory hadn�t been playing tricks on her, Alex slid her arms around Teri�s waist, pulling the slightly shorter woman closer, pressing their bodies together. It felt very, very good to have the other woman�s lips on hers, and the skin beneath her fingertips was even softer than she�d remembered. It was as if everything had suddenly painted itself in hypercolor, the warmth of their bodies blending together to burn a bright white, and not wanting to get carried away too quickly, Alex drew away, planting soft kisses on Teri�s lips until they separated, each breathing heavily.
"Well, good to see you again, too," she joked lightly, shaking her head slightly to clear away a bit of the erotic fog that had descended over her.
Fingers tugged gently at the waistband of her jeans, urging her forward. "I�d like to see more of you," Teri said seductively, a sly smile creeping across her face.
The words stole her breath, and for a long moment Alex stood silent, unable to make her mouth move and form the words her brain desperately wanted it to say. But, reminding herself that she had plans, had food and candlelit seduction all planned out, Alex breathed, "You keep looking at me like that and we�ll never get around to dinner."
"Alex, no offense, but I didn�t come here for your cooking."
Rolling up lazily onto her side, eyes taking in the sprawled form of her lover, lean limbs nestled amongst rumpled sheets, Alex smiled broadly.
"I suppose it�d be superfluous at this point to reiterate just how glad I am that you came to see me," she murmured, reaching out to splay her fingers across the flat plane of Teri�s belly, lightly rubbing over the skin. She couldn�t get enough of the other woman, didn�t think that her fingertips would ever get over the tingle of having that flesh underneath them.
With a groan, Teri turned her head to the side, hazy eyes falling to rest gently on Alex�s face. "Is it completely necessary for you to use multi-syllable words like that right now? Can�t you wait until blood actually returns to my brain?"
"Sorry," Alex replied, smirking. "It�s a nasty habit of mine. The whole using my education thing, that is."
With a playful growl, Teri rolled herself over, pinning Alex�s unprotesting form to the bed. "Oh, don�t go playing that like a trump card you don�t have, Alex Cabot. I think we�re running about even in the brains department, don�t you?"
Wriggling her hips a bit, settling more firmly under the lithe form atop hers, Alex replied coyly, "I don�t think that I�ve ever questioned your intellectual capabilities, Ms. Joseph. If you�re feeling particularly sensitive about them, then I suppose that�s just an issue that you�re going to have to deal with."
"An issue that I�m just going to have to deal with, hmm?" Teri echoed, looking at Alex thoughtfully. The blonde, for her part, was thoroughly enjoying the teasing exchange. Everything in her life was tinged with that dampening bit of seriousness, and it felt good to be like this� light, carefree, happy. "The only issue I have that needs dealing with right now is you."
Alex quirked a brow at that, hands sneaking up to trace up Teri�s thighs, brushing against the silky skin with a teasing softness. "You�re planning on dealing with me?" she asked, the smirk returning full force.
"Uh-huh," Teri replied, shooting Alex a smirk of her own. Reaching down, wrapping her fingers around Alex�s wrists, she drew the other woman�s arms upward, pressing them into the mattress above the blonde�s head. The move put her full breasts tantalizingly close to Alex�s lips, and the other woman took advantage of the opportunity, tilting her head up to wrap her lips around one dark peak, tongue teasing it to hardness.
Momentarily distracted from her task, Teri allowed the move. A low moan escaped from between her parted lips, and she lowered herself to her elbows, body barely supported on arms still weak from their early bout of passion. But, as much as she was enjoying the attention, as Alex made her way over to the other breast, the brunette took advantage of the break and pulled away, moving back up to wrap the fingers of one of Alex�s hands around her other wrist, forming a loose vise, fulfilling her original objective.
Sitting back, pleased with her work, Teri took in the sight beneath her. With her arms raised, Alex�s breasts were pushed upward, pale tips seemingly begging for attention. The smooth cream of her skin seemed highlighted by the pale blue of her sheets, the fabric complimenting the echoing color of her eyes. Eyes that were currently focused on Teri with a mixture of curiosity and anticipation.
"Think you can stay like that?" Teri asked, a hint of tease in her voice as she placed one hand on the mattress behind her, using the leverage provided to gently buck her hips against Alex�s prone form.
Alex�s brow wrinkled as she appeared to ponder the question. "Why would I want to stay like this?" she finally asked, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"Because I want you to play along," Teri replied, running the fingers of her free hand up to trace lightly over the swell of Alex�s upturned breast, thumb brushing delicately over a pale pink tip.
"And what do I get if I play along?" the blonde prodded, arching her back slightly, pressing herself into the other woman�s hand.
Teri took a moment to stroke the proffered flesh, short nails raking a path from the top of Alex�s breast and down her stomach. "I wasn�t aware you were the opportunistic kind, Alex Cabot," she replied, one brow inching up slightly as she took in the calculating look on the face of the woman beneath her.
Alex laughed. "That�s only because you haven�t known me for very long. If I�m going to be so generous as to give, I want to get something in return for my sacrifice."
"Sacrifice?" Teri asked, one brow rising in bemused disbelief. "Sacrifice?"
"Uh-hmmm," Alex hummed contentedly, thoroughly enjoying the light scrape of Teri�s nails against her belly, the motion apparently an unconscious one of the part of her companion. "Not being able to touch you� I think that�s quite a sacrifice."
Laughing delightedly, Teri leaned down, pressing a light kiss against Alex�s lips, drawing away even as the blonde arched up, wanting more contact. "Do you talk this sweet to all the girls, Alex Cabot? Or, is it just me?"
A snort of self-derision bubbled past Alex�s lips. "I don�t talk like this with anyone, Teri. And, if you hadn�t minded me making a fool of myself at that bar in Chicago, I probably wouldn�t be talking to anyone at all right now."
"Oh, I don�t believe that," Teri replied, grinning softly. "Someone like you� smart, successful, beautiful� I bet you have to beat�em off with a stick."
Rolling her eyes, Alex shook her head slightly, disagreeing. "Thanks for the compliment, but I�m afraid you�re sadly, sadly mistaken. I go to work, I come home, I go to sleep and then I get up and go to work again. There�s no one beating down my door... Hell, no one ever even really asks me out."
Shrugging self-consciously, Alex let her head tilt to the side, eyes drifting off to stare, unfocused, at the far wall. "You�re the first person I�ve had in the apartment in at least two years, Teri. Well, except for my parents, but they don�t count. Meeting you, going home with you� I haven�t done anything like that since law school, really."
Alex looked sadly vulnerable, and before Teri even realized what she was doing, she�d slid her hands up Alex�s arms, locking their fingers together. Alex�s head snapped back around at the move, and she found herself inches from Teri�s lips, the other woman�s golden eyes searing into her.
"Maybe you�ll have to beat me away, Alex Cabot," Teri whispered, then lowered herself the remaining scant few inches, losing herself in the blonde�s touch.