Colin Chapman stared at the papers in front of him - addresses of Doctors Alan Pauls and Clarissa Timmons. He imagined their faces as he pulled the gun. He wondered if they would scream for mercy. He would wait outside their houses and wait, it wouldn't do any good. For the doctors to do their work, they needed assistants and patients.

No, they all must be punished. They will pay for the innocent lives they have taken. The Lord will exact his revenge on them. And I will be his vessel.


Olivia felt funny. She couldn't really pinpoint what it was, but her skin felt all tingly and warm. She dismissed it as a probable reaction to hormones, but it wasn't the right time of month. Taking a few deep breaths, she glanced across the darkened squadroom at her partner. Suddenly, she felt something brush her leg and realized it was his leg. She smiled when he didn't take it away, just rubbed it gently against hers. He wasn't looking directly at her. As a matter of fact, she couldn't tell where he was looking, but he looked deep in thought.


Someone is saying something.


Someone is talking to me.


"Huh?" He raised his eyes across the desk at Olivia.

"What are you looking at?" She was looking at him, puzzled. What am I looking at? His face grew warm as he realized he had been staring at her chest, and he became confused.

"Sorry. I was just thinking," he excused vaguely. He looked down at the paper in front of him, but didn't read it.

It doesn't mean anything, right? It's natural to look. It doesn't mean I'm in love with her.

It hit him like a slap in the face.

Why did I even think of that - that I might be in love with her? Because I am?

Olivia felt disappointed with his answer, and she had a pretty good idea of why. It was eating her alive, this feeling. And it increased in intensity every time she saw him.

"Thinking about what?" She probed, hoping to God the answer wasn't Kathy or his children.

"Life," he said. The squadroom was quiet, they were the only ones left there, and his voice seemed to ring out in the space.

"Oh," she replied, let down. She turned back to her papers and noticed he had moved his leg. She sighed and rested her chin on her hands, looking back at him. "I think I'm going to call it a night." He glanced up again and looked right into her eyes. They were warm and expressive and friendly and, maybe, loving.

God, she's beautiful.

The thought came into his mind involuntarily and he tried to shove it away, but it persisted.

"Okay. You've been at this since this morning without a real break. Did you even have dinner?" Elliot asked, realizing now that she probably hadn't.

"No," she admitted, "But I'm not really hungry."

"Come over for coffee," he offered. She had only been to his new apartment once when he was moving in. Or moving out, more properly. Moving out of his house, of his old life. She surrendered.

"All right. But decaf only. I don't want to miss the few hours of sleep I usually get," she grinned. He began packing up.


She sat down on his couch while he made the coffee.

"Wow, I didn't remember you had such a great view," she observed, looking out the window at the billions of tiny lights sparkling in the city skyline.

"Yeah. It's really something," he agreed from the kitchen. He poured the coffee, then joined her, setting his cup on the coffee table. She took a sip from hers, then set it down as well.

"So, what were you thinking about life?," she asked, grinning as she turned slightly to face him. He said the first thing that came into his mind.

"That it's too short."

"No kidding."

"It feels like I do the same thing every day. I don't learn anything new."


"I mean, sometimes I wonder if I'm stuck in a rut, if I'm learning anything from day to day...." She hadn't realized it conciously, but they had been moving slowly closer together.

"Elliot," she whispered, and kissed him softly, gently, full on the mouth, meaning to dristract him, to reassure him. But his reaction surprised her. One hand came up to cradle the back of her head, and then he kissed her, deeply, as if he couldn't get enough of the taste of her mouth. Her eyes closed, and she made a wordless sound of assent as she kissed back. Her body quickened, throbbed. Her pulse pounded in her ears. His hand found her breast through her shirt, flattening over it. Her nipple hardened instantly. Thoughts crossed her mind about backing out, but she was hopelessly on fire now, and she had waited four years for this.

All her thoughts of before and after were replaced by the now. His mouth lifted away from hers and he stood up abruptly, with her still enfolded in his arms. He led her toward the bedroom. He took a deep breath as he reached the open door and stopped, looking down into her face.

"Liv," he said, "If you don't want to do this, now is the time to say so."

"I want to," she whispered. Then he guided her into the room and lifted her up to lay her down very gently on the bed.

Elliot came down beside her, his mouth on hers again. His hands went under her shirt, then, in a single movement, he pulled the garment off over her head and tossed it out of the way while his other hand dealt with her bra. She had been working on her belt and, by the time he had the bra off, she was completely naked while he was still fully clothed. The feel of his hard, clothed body pressing against hers made her ache.

She reached for his shirt buttons, determined to strip him too. Then his fingers slid between her legs, staking quick, intimate claim, and his mouth hitched over one of her breasts.

Olivia gasped, shuddering, her body instantly catching fire. After that, all she could do was cling to him and respond.

This was Elliot, she kept reminding herself, Elliot......

She was pliant beneath his hands, too aroused to do more than writhe in mounting ecstasy beneath his caresses.

By the time he got naked himself and pushed inside her, she was begging for it, gasping her need into his ear, cajoling him with her hands and her body. It felt so good, so right, that she came suddenly, stiffening and gasping out his name as he filled her. But he didn't stop, didn't wait. He pulled back out and drove in again, then kept going, his strokes violently hard and fast, his mouth finding hers and taking it, too. Kissing him back, Olivia wrapped her legs around his waist and moved with him, matching his strokes, her body catching fire again.

He shuddered when he came, and she shuddered, too, then came again herself.

For a moment he was still, his weight pushing her down into the mattress, his body hot and damp. Then he shifted, rolling to one side.

"Liv." His breathing had slowed but his voice was still husky. "God, Liv. I never meant to do that." Her right hand, which had been resting on his chest, pulled away. Her head lifted as she tried uselessly to read his expression in the darkness. She didn't know what he meant. "I mean, I'm not sorry as long as you're not sorry," he added.

"Good. Because I'll tell you I've always greatly admired Lorena Bobbitt," she laughed, "I'm not sorry." He wrapped his arms around her then and eventually they fell asleep.

When Olivia opened her eyes pale mornig light was pouring through the window, spilling over the bed - and his alarm clock was beeping with urgency.

"Reality intrudes," she muttered as Elliot lunged across the bed to shut it off.

For a moment, she lay on her stomach, naked, blinking, her upper torso supported by her elbows, then she looked at Elliot.

I slept with Elliot. Just putting it into words in her mind made her feel tingly all over.

His eyes were closed, but he wasn't asleep.

I just slept with Elliot.

He was lying sprawled with the sheet pulled up to his waist. She took a moment to admire the muscles in his arm. Then her gaze moved appreciatively over the width of his shoulders, his broad chest, and what she could see of his abdomen. She expected to find by now that he was looking at her with the same interest she was according him, but he was not. His eyes were still closed. Reality intrudes.

"Good morning," he said heavily, opening his eyes and meeting her eyes.

His gaze swept down her body, lingering in obvious appreciation of the curves of her breasts, the feminine indentation of her waist. She forced herself not to cover up. Best to get it over with.

His eyes met hers again after he had finished looking, and he smiled crookedly at her.

"Last night, did I remember to tell you how beautiful you are?" She shook her head.

"I'm built like a twelve-year-old boy."

"I've been a twelve-year-old boy, so I can tell you you're not. You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen in my life," he said, leaning sideways to kiss her mouth. She broke the kiss after a moment and climbed out of back, trying to locate her clothing.

"I need to go home and get a change of clothes," she said, pulling on her underwear. He began to get dressed, too, trying to forget the fact that this was Olivia, his partner, that he had just slept with. "I can't find my sock," she said, frustrated.

"What does it look like?"

"Black. Don't bother. Get ready for work. I'm going to be late, anyway," she dismissed his help. He nodded, going to the bathroom to have a shower.

When he got out, she was gone, but there was a note on the table.

"Found the sock. See you at work.


P.S. Did you learn anything new?"

He grinned.