Author's Note: This is the conclusion folks. I thank all who read this story and a special thanks to those that leave feedback. Extra special thanks to those who gave me the courage to publish this story...something I never would have done on my own. Enjoy!

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Alex's eyes shot open. "Liv?" She swallowed hard and squirmed out from under her. "Where's Casey?" She curled up on the opposite end of the sofa.

"Shhhh, it's ok. Case went to bed. I was tucking you in down here and getting ready to turn in myself...but it sounded like you were having a nightmare." Liv inched closer to the blonde who'd pulled herself in to the fetal position.

"No, Liv. I'm fine. I should go. Sorry I fell asleep on you." Alex's face was flushed yet she shivered.

"No way. Casey will kill me twice if I let you drive home at 1am. I'll get you settled upstairs. Come on." Liv offered her hand. "If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine...but you're not leaving."

Alex made no move to leave the sanctity of her corner of the couch.

Liv walked over to Alex, kneeled next to her and put her hand on her forehead. "You feeling ok?"

Alex jerked out from under the touch. "Yes, Liv. Please." Alex closed her eyes and tried to even her breath. A dream. It had all been a dream. A stupid dream. A wet dream. Oh God. I'm still worked up. Her stomach lurched a little and she covered her mouth. "Excuse me. Sorry."

Liv watched in astonished silence as Alex scurried off to the downstairs bathroom acting like she was going to be sick. She ran both hands through her hair as she stood by the bathroom door and waited. She eventually heard the toilet flush and the water running.

Alex's loneliness since Richard's death had only rarely taken a physical form. After the first year of their marriage, their love life would have made most nuns look like swingers. They were intimate once a month or so if their schedules allowed it. Mostly, she enjoyed his physical presence more than their physical intimacy. Being held, hugged, kissed and caressed meant more to her than toe-curling sex. Yet, she was only human and eventually her baser needs would surface. But why here, tonight...and with both of her dearest friends? What kind of sick, twisted perversion of their friendship was that? She sat on the toilet and hung her head.

After several minutes, Alex placed her hand on the doorknob and took a deep breath. "Hey, Liv. Sorry about that. I guess maybe you were right. I'm not feeling well."

"Ya think?" Liv cocked her head. "C'mon. Let's get you upstairs and in bed." She offered Alex her hand.

"That's a good idea, but I'm just not in a touchy, feely place right now. I'll put myself to bed, thanks." Alex thought her words seemed harsher than she meant them. She rarely turned down offered touch from Olivia.

Liv furrowed her brow, rocked back on her heels and blocked the doorway. "What was your nightmare?"

Alex made her lips a thin line and rubbed her forehead. "It wasn't a nightmare."

Liv stroked her chin and played with her bottom lip. She sighed then pursed her lips. "Well, something happened while you were asleep and it has rocked you pretty hard. Since I care about you, Alex, I'm going to ask you one more time, then I'll be forced to tickle it out of you." She wiggled her eyebrows.

"Don't you dare. Liv...really. Don't." Alex backed up slightly. She didn't know what having Liv's hands on her body even in a teasing, tickling way would do to her in her current state.

"Then answer the question. What was your nightmare?" Liv took one step in to the bathroom.

"It wasn't a nightmare, ok? I swear. Now let me out of here." Alex took another step backwards.

"Have it your way." Liv advanced on Alex with her hands outstretched. It was obvious that Alex wasn't in the mood to play. "At least let me give you a hug."

Alex closed her eyes and didn't back up when Liv closed the remaining distance between them. She felt Liv's strong arms wrap around her as they had so many times before offering her safe harbor. Liv rubbed soothing circles on her back and pressed Alex's head to her shoulder before running her fingers through the silky blonde strands.

Alex felt waves of emotion crash over her. Fear. Shame. Doubt. Desire. And the undertow of love. "Liv. Let go of me, please."

Liv shook her head. "Not until you tell me what's wrong."

She tried to wiggle from Liv's grasp, but that was never going to happen. Liv was far stronger though a few inches shorter. "Liv. Stop."

"Shhhh. Alex, c'mon. It's Olivia you're talking to here. It's all going to be ok. Just don't shut me out." She whispered her words low and in to Alex's ear.

Alex had begun to cry. "Please just let me go."

"Never." Liv continued to hold her and began to rock her a little. She pressed a kiss on the side of her head. "Please tell me what has you this upset."

"Ok. But only if you let me leave the bathroom."

"Fair enough. Where's a better place?" Liv released Alex from her embrace and grabbed her hand.

Alex wiped her eyes with her free hand and led Olivia back to the family room. "No place like the family room for an inquisition, right, captain?"

Liv groaned both at the insinuation and the use of her title. "So, tell me, DA Cabot-Metcalf, what has you so upset this evening?"

Alex plopped on to the sofa and buried her head in her hands. "You're really going to make me tell you, aren't you?"

Liv nodded. "Alex, I've managed to put together that you weren't having a nightmare. So that really leaves only one other kind of dream that you wouldn't be willing to share."

Alex spoke from behind her hands. "Yes. I was having an erotic dream. Happy now?"

"Depends. How was I?" Liv sat next to Alex but left a respectful distance between them.

"You're so convinced you had a staring role?" Alex lowered her hands and looked at Liv. She was relieved to see no judgment or ill feeling there, only a slight smirk.

Liv moved her head from side to side. "I didn't? Hmmm, must be slipping in my old age."

Alex took a breath and looked Liv in the eye. "Your role was more of a co-star."

"Ah. You know that actually makes sense. Richard and I are the people you feel safest with. And you're human, Alex. You have needs. If you don't consciously address them, they'll come out in other avenues."

"You think you've got all the answers?" Alex widened her eyes. "Richard wasn't your co-star."

Now it was Liv's turn to widen her eyes. Then her brows knit tightly and she squinted. Alex loved watching her face process the information. It was Liv's detective face. "Casey?"

"You should be a detective, you know?" Alex snarked.

A mischievous smirk danced across Liv's dark features. "You know that your dream was not all that original, right?"

Alex coughed. "What do you mean?"

"You're a beautiful woman, Alex. You hug and kiss us in a way that's just north of friendship. I'd be lying if I told you Casey and I hadn't fantasized about the Alex Love Sandwich." She picked up Alex's hand and kissed it.

Alex shook her head. "WHAT?"

"Casey and I have been together almost ten years, Alex. Eventually, you have to spice things up in the bedroom or things fall flat. One of the things we do is share fantasies. You remember how erotic it was when we did that with each other? You're one of our fantasies."

"But...but..." Alex couldn't believe what she was hearing. "It felt like such a betrayal to me when I thought of you, both of you, that way."

"I guess I understand that. But, sweetie, it's ok. Really." She moved her hand up Alex's arm and rubbed it.

"And Casey's ok with it, too?"

"I think Casey got a bigger charge out of it than I did." Liv grinned.

Alex arched an eyebrow. "Huh."

"Can we get some sleep now?" Liv asked with a yawn.

"Yeah, I feel a lot less dirty now. Thanks, Liv." She reached over and kissed her cheek.

"You wanna upgrade from the guest room?" Liv smirked and wiggled her brows.

"Give me a break." Alex shook her head.

"Just to sleep?" Liv arched both eyebrows.

"Nuh uh. I'm probably going to need some, uhm, alone time before I can drift off." Alex blushed.

Liv nodded. "Well, if you just want to sleep after, you know where to find us. I'm gonna head up, then." She leaned over and pressed a kiss to Alex's forehead. "Good night, Alex. Oh, and sweet dreams!" She winked and headed up the stairs.

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About a half hour later, Liv heard the bedroom door open. Her eyes blinked open and her ears perked up. A moment later, once her eyes adjusted to the dark, she made out Alex's silhouette in the doorframe, backlit by the nightlight in the hall.

"Alex?"

Liv's head turned to the woman she thought was sleeping next to her. Sleepy green eyes met hers then turned towards the door.

Casey groggily spoke up. "Alex, honey, you ok?"

Alex shrugged silently and padded barefoot and clad in her nightshirt over to the foot of the bed. She looked down at the two women who lay in the king size bed. In the dark, her eyes seemed almost gray.

Liv and Casey exchanged a look and then reached out their hands to Alex. Alex slowly crawled across the bed and with the help of the other women, insinuated herself under the covers between them.

When they were finally settled, Alex was curled facing Casey and Liv was nestled in against Alex's back. In almost ridiculous unison, the three women sighed contentedly.

"Good night." Alex pressed a kiss against Casey's neck.

"Night Alex." Casey managed to mumble.

"Sweet dreams, ladies." Liv kissed the back of Alex's head and draped her arm over Alex so that her hand came to rest on Casey's hip.

The three women drifted to sleep surrounded by warmth, comfort, strength and love.

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The End