A/N: Yes, its been forever. Sorry, life gets crazy what can you do? Thanks for sticking with me.

Chapter 7


The time it takes for a bullet to reach its target at a distance of 2 meters away is precisely 1/20th of a second. Most would call that not a lot of time for anything to happen.

But those seemingly miniscule moments of time allowed a lot to happen for Serena Southerlyn. She was transported on a journey through her life…

The time she climbed the tree in her family estate's backyard much faster than her brother, much to her elation and his disgruntled dismay…

Her first kiss in the girls locker room with Shelly Frescanelli, the girl had legs that went for miles..

Her acceptance letter to law school…

The butterflies as she began the opening statement on her very first case, she could almost smell the unsavory cologne of the defense attorney she sent running for the hills after her cross that obliterated his star witness…

The last minute that played in her mind during that 1/20th of a second, however, was the first glimpse of strawberry blonde, sauntering her direction down the long hallway of the city courthouse.

She could almost feel herself groan, as the scene played out like a bad comedy.

The attorney had been so enamored with the beauty before her, Serena had promptly ran into a package boy, who then with no other place to go, collided head on with the unknowing strawberry-blonde sending her tumbling.

Wanting to smack herself over the head, Serena quickly tried to help up the women now sitting on her backside on the marble floor all the while muttering hurried apologies.

Much to her surprise, when she went to help the blonde back to her feet, she found the other women too caught up in a fit of laughter to be helped.

Eventually regaining her composure the strawberry blonde extended her hand for Serena to take.

Still unable to form a coherent sentence, Serena could on stare, her mind begging her not to make even more of a fool of herself. Silence it figured was the best option.

Unfortunately, it left Serena looking quite awkward standing, seeming transfixed with the women's hand still gripped in her own.

It seemed the other women picked up on the apparent discomfort and began to shake the hand Serena still held.

"I'm Casey," the women smiled

Those words leaving the gorgeous women's lips in front of her caused Serena to gain momentary control of her voice,

"S…Serena, Serena, Southerlyn," she stuttered

Casey broke into a wide grin, "Well Ms. Southerlyn it is nice to meet you, although I wish it had been under different circumstances."

"I'm, oh wow, I'm really sorry about that," the attorney blushed

"I'm not, it gives me a chance to talk to a beautiful women," Casey looked almost surprised as Serena at her sudden boldness.

The strawberry blonde's openness, however, put Serena immediately at ease.

"Well in that case, you could always buy me a drink to thank me," Serena smirked.

This caused Casey to chuckle, "That hardly seems fair considering you knocked me over."

"Ah, but you see that is actually your own doing," Serena replied playfully.

"And how is that?"

"You see, I also happened to see a beautiful women today, and was just trying to linger in her presence a little longer."

"Is that so?" Casey questioned flirtatiously, "Well in that case, how does right now sound?"

Serena couldn't contain the grin that spread across her lips

"Sounds perfect," she said bending down to pick up Casey's attaché and gesturing for the strawberry blonde to lead the way.

1/20th of a second is not a lot of time, but it was just long enough for Serena Southerlyn to realize her life had been a good one.

1/20th of a second also happens to be enough time for a trained detective to anticipate the turn of evens and lunge forward pushing an unsuspecting ADA out of the way.

Serena felt the force of something collide with her left side, as if she were a car stuck on the train tracks without seeing the roaring train engine coming at her.

She didn't have time to register what was happening as the memories of her life faded suddenly, giving way to reality. Her focus came rapidly at the crack of a gunshot and the impact her right side make with wood floor.

As quickly as it came, the force against her was removed and replaced with gentle hands guiding her upwards. She quickly recognized those hands. She could vaguely hear muffled groans and outright swearing, but they seemed so distant as she stared into the frantic, but loving eyes in front of her.

"Casey," she whispered as if her girlfriend was a dream that might disappear.

Casey ran a caressing hand down Serena's cheek as tears slipped from her own eyes.

Serena closed her eyes to her lover's touch, testing to see if when she opened them, Casey would still be there.

The slight tremble of her lower lip, was stopped as gentle lips pressed against hers.

She opened her eyes again and cupped Casey's face, "God, I love you so much Case."

Her words caused Casey to choke back a quiet sob, "I love you too baby."

Alex Cabot's shrill cry broke their moment

"Please, she's bleeding," begged the frantic attorney, huddling over Olivia's softly moaning form as Abbie had both hands pressing down forcefully on the detective's left shoulder.

"Please we need to get something to stop the bleeding," Alex begged again.

Carson, Serena noticed, still stood in the middle of the living room, clearly rattled as his plan took what she knew was an unsuspected turn.

Part of her anticipated at any second for him to raise the gun again and shoot her, but he didn't. Instead he stood silently for a moment, before nodding to one of his men who disappeared through the front door.

Serena and Casey quickly moved from their spot by Alex's armchair to the floor to help.

"What can we do?" Casey asked looking to Alex.

"We need some blankets to her from going into shock, and Rena can you lift her legs," Alex instructed hurriedly.

Casey ran off in the direction of the stairs as Serena moved to lift Olivia's legs onto her lap. About the same time, goon #1 came back through the door carrying a first aid kit.

He threw it haphazardly at Alex.

Ignoring everything but Olivia, Alex ripped open the kit and tried to find something they cold use to slow the bleeding.

Settling for the large gauze pads, the ADA handed them to Abbie to use to apply added pressure to the wound.

"Liv, Liv look at me baby, open your eyes," Alex called, running a hand down the detective's face.

Olivia fought the urge to surrender to the welcoming darkness as she heard Alex's voice calling to her. Slowly she opened her brown eyes to meet worried blues.

"Hey, there you are. Just keep looking at me ok," Alex cooed lovingly.

"K," Olivia managed to whisper as she felt the warmth from the blankets Casey had returned with spread through her body.

"We need to roll her to see if the bullet exited," Abbie said eye's meeting Alex's.

Alex was ready to reply, when Carson made his presence once again known.

"Counselor, you can play doctor upstairs. We will continue our court proceedings in the morning," he told Alex.

Alex, surprised at Carson's willingness to allow for such a break, stood up to face him.

"What does that mean," she asked

"I think the statement was fairly self-explanatory, Counselor, however, if you would like to continue to allow Detective Benson to bleed on the floor, by all means continue with your proceedings."

Alex couldn't quite place it, but something was off. Carson's demeanor was completely changed, the resounding certainty in his voice was now replaced with almost a quality of hesitation and insecurity. No, something definitely wasn't right, but the attorney was not about to squander her chance.

"Alright Carson," she nodded

"The master bedroom should accommodate you for the night, right Counselor?"

'Why was he asking her this?', Alex's mind screamed in warning.

She decided to play along, resolving to figure it out after they were 'safe' upstairs.

"Yes, of course."

"Good, I expect you to behave, there is no reason to try and escape. I think we both know the implications that can come from that," he stated, a little of his original cockiness showing through.

"We aren't going to try anything," Alex tried her best to bore holes through the man with her eyes.

"Alright then, goodnight Counselor."

Alex turned and knelt down again, her eyes meeting four pair of questioning ones. She would try to work it all out later. Right now Olivia needed help.

"Abbie do you think we can get her upstairs?" Alex questioned.

"Yeah, we will take her under the shoulders and go slow," Abbie replied, knowing that while painful, it would be better than letting Carson's men take Olivia.

"Ok," Alex nodded and turned to Serena and Casey, "Can one of you grab the kit, and the other help support Liv from the back?"

Casey moved to grab the first aide kit, as the other three readied to lift Olivia up.

"You ready baby?" Alex asked the detective who hadn't said anything during the whole exchange.

"Piece of cake," Olivia replied weakly giving Alex her best attempt at a smile.

Alex smiled back, "Ok on three"

Abbie and Alex carefully lifted Olivia into a sitting position.

"You alright there, cowgirl?" Abbie asked once Olivia managed to catch her breath.

"We'd probably all be a lot better if you laid off the twang there Tex," Serena joked from where she knelt behind Olivia.

"I resent that Southerlyn," Abbie threw back in mock hurt

This caused the rest, even Olivia, to chuckle despite the situation.

"One…. Two…. Three," Alex called as she, Abbie, and Serena got Liv into a hunched standing position, her arms around the two attorneys at her sides shoulders.

Olivia tried to bite back the searing pain at having her left arm lifted over Abbie's shoulders, but it was no use as pained yelp left her lips.

"Just take a sec, and tell us when you're ready Liv," Alex said wiping away a traitorous tear of pain that made its way down the brunette's cheek.

Taking a deep breath, Olivia gave slight nod for them to continue.

Slowly, the four being followed by Casey made their way up the stairs and down the upstairs hall to the master bedroom.

No one dared look back, fearful that Carson would suddenly change his mind.

Once inside, Casey quickly shut the door wanting as much distance from Carson and his men as humanely possible, which Alex, Abbie, and Serena gently lowered Olivia onto the master-bed.

Clearly exhausted, and pale from the short trip, Olivia let out a shaky breath as you leaned heavily into the plush mattress, she not 24 hours ago lay on making love to Alex.

Easing gently onto the mattress, Alex brushed a strand of hair out of her lover's face.

Bleary brown eyes came to meet hers, and she lowered herself to place a soft kiss on Olivia's lips.

"I am going to get us out of this," she whispered, letting a tear cascade freely down her cheek.

A/N: ok, there you have it. Still kind of a cliffhanger, but you got to admit not as bad as last chapter's. Anyways let me know what you think…good, bad or ugly. And I know I'm giving Olivia a hard time, but I really couldn't see one of the others playing hero and pushing Serena out of the way. I would love suggestions for what you want to happen too.