She shook slightly as sobs threatened to wrack her body. She could still feel the burning, stinging; of the brutal strike that Robert had delivered to her delicate face. Robert stood over her, waiting for the wave of apologies he was sure were going to fall from her lips. She kept her gaze on the floor.

Jessica stared in the conference room in shock. Memories flooded back to her of her mother and father; the strikes he used to deal out to her and her brother and mother. She remembered the pain, and quickly realized she needed to do something. She ran over to Jim Steele's office, where she found Steele discussing a case with Peluso. Jim and Peluso noticed the frightened look on her face,

"You guys, it's Alex. Robert just hit her and he's gonna try to do it again."

"Where are they?" he asked.

"In the conference room." She said, breathlessly. Peluso and Jim quickly sprang into action and ran towards the conference room. Jessica followed them, leaving Christina and Billy in a state of confusion, so they followed as well. The entire office's attention then went to the running people.

Robert had been too entranced in his own ego to notice Rossi. He watched as Alex slowly rose again, a solemn look on her face, tears threatening to slip from her eyes. But her eyes were not full of apologies, but of regret. He raised his hand again, but she didn't flinch, and he delivered another blow to her fragile body. He then grabbed her by the shoulders, and began to slam her against the wall. Then, Jim and Peluso ran in and ripped his hands off of Alex. Robert began swinging, and the two quickly began trying to apprehend him. Billy quickly ran in and aided in the effort. Alex slid down the wall, watching the scene unfold, sobs wracking her body. Jessica and Christina ran in on either side of Alex. Alex buried her face in her hands. Jessica then whispered in Alex's ear,

"It's okay, honey. You're safe now."

The girls helped Alex to her feet and walked her out of the conference room into the office, whose attention and gazes were boring a hole in Alex. The attention frightened her even more, and she began to sob harder. Christina and Jess then guided her to the bathroom down the hallway.

Guards ran into the conference room, trying to settle the melee between the three lawyers and the raging jackass.

They got Alex to the sink in the bathroom, and Christina turned the water on. Alex mounted her arms on the sides of the sink and watched the water and her tears go down the drain, shaking her head. Christina gently pulled Alex's long blonde locks away from her face and gently brushed away the hair that was sticking to Alex's face from her crying. Jessica began rubbing circles on Alex's back.

"Are you okay?" Jess asked.

Alex merely nodded. Christina brushed away a loose strand of hair from Alex's eyes, and she and Jess were stunned at the mark the bastard had left on Alex's eye. Jessica wet a paper towel and began dabbing at the bruises on Alex's eye.

"He's not going to get away with this, Alex. I promise." Jess said.

Alex looked up at Jess,

"Thank you, for helping me. Thank you both." She said in a shaky voice.

Christina smiled.

"No one deserves that, Alex. No. One."

Then Peluso and Jim ran into the bathroom as well. Peluso grabbed Alex by the shoulders,

"Are you okay?" he asked.

A new round of sobs began to wrack Alex's body. Brian pulled her into his arms, and she sobbed into his shoulder. Jim, Jess, and Christina all exchanged worried glances. A tear fell from Jess's eyes. Peluso gently rocked Alex back and forth. Christina and Jim walked out of the restroom, still wondering if Robert had ever done this before.

Peluso held Alex for a few minutes until the sobs subsided. He gently released her and she wiped the tears from her eyes. Jess nodded to Peluso and Peluso made his way out into the hallway. Alex walked to the sink and turned the faucet, cupping her hands to catch the stream of water and began rinsing her face. Jess walked over to face her in the mirror.

"What do you want to do, Alex? The whole teams ready to take him down for this."

Alex shook her head.

"I don't want to do anything to him. He doesn't ever mean what he does." She said, realizing how lame the excuse sounded coming from her own mouth.

"What do you mean he doesn't ever mean it? Has he done this before?" Jess asked, her temple pounding with rage. Alex merely returned her gaze to the water running down the drain. Jessica shook her head,

"Alex, what is going on? You have us prosecute bastards who inflict this pain on women every day. Why don't you want justice?"

Alex turned the spigot off and walked briskly out the door. Jess quickly caught up to her.

"Alex, what is going on?" she nearly yelled.

The women walked into Alex's office, and Alex quickly walked to her desk and began piling folders together and putting them into her briefcase. Jessica shut the door behind her,

"Did he threaten you? Are you worried about your career?"

Alex slammed the folder on top of the others and glared at Jessica through battered eyes.

"What is it? You're usually so vigilant with these-"

Alex looked up,

"I'm pregnant, Jess!" Alex shouted.

Jessica just stared at her in shock, as Alex continued to pile the folders into her briefcase. Alex then halted putting the folders in and slowly sat down. Jessica came out of her confusion, and walked over to the front of Alex's desk.

"…pregnant, Alex does he know? Maybe if he knew, he wouldn't-"

"He has known." Alex said in a monotone, staring at the wall. Jessica merely stared at Alex; confused by the fact that her formidable boss, had been reduced to such a helpless person.

Alex shook her head,

"…he has known."

Jessica walked around the side of the desk and knelt in front of Alex and took her hand.

"If he knows, then why is he hurting you this way?"

A tear rolled down Alex's cheek,

"I wish I could figure that out myself."

"You need help Alex. You need to get away from him."

Alex shook her head,

"I'm afraid, Jessica. I'm afraid that if I leave him, he'll find me, and do something even more drastic. And there is no way I could raise a baby on my own."

Jess stared at Alex in disbelief. She had never once seen the formidable Alex Cabot doubt herself.

"Do you need somewhere to stay?"

Alex shook her head.

"No, I'll be okay. Thank you, though."

Jess nodded and walked out of the office. Alex took her cell phone out of her bag. She flipped it open and dialed the familiar number she had entered so many times before, praying that the owner of the number was still the person she needed right now.

The pulses of the ringing passed slowly. Finally …a voice.

"Hello?"

"Hey." Alex hesitantly responded.

"…Alex? Wh-why what's going on?"

"I just need to see you. Now, if at all possible."

"Okay, just name the place."

"How about Moretti's, at six?"

"You got it. I gotta g-"

"Go ahead, I'll see you tonight."

A small smile spread across Alex's face as she flipped the phone shut.

**********************************

Alex waited at the table in the back, staring at her red wine. What would she say when they got there? How was she going to explain herself? Why after five years she suddenly had the gall to call them?

Her guest had finally arrived. Detective Olivia Benson. She was stunningly clad in a blue dress with a brown leather jacket over it, with matching brown boots that rose to her knees. Tears began to well up in Alex's eyes. Five years, she had not seen Olivia. Her engagement to Robert had only made things worse.

Alex rose to her feet as Olivia approached her. Alex was greeted by that same, warm smile that had made her weak in the knees so many years before. Olivia approached Alex with open arms, and Alex gratefully accepted. The two parted, and sat on either side of the table. Alex smiled,

"Thank you for coming to see me."

Olivia grinned,

"Anytime, Alex." Olivia looked down at Alex's hand, which was currently enveloping a glass of water. The diamond shimmering on her finger made Olivia cringe, and she looked away. Alex took notice of this,

"….I'm sorry I waited so long to call you." Alex said, wincing at the words coming out of her mouth. She knew there was no justification for what she had done.

"It doesn't matter now. You're here now, and you need my help. So what's up?" Olivia shifted.

There was a brief moment of silence, and Alex's gaze shifted from her water glass to the ring on her finger. She looked into Olivia's concerned eyes,

"Liv, I'm trapped."

An expression of astonishment grew across Olivia's features,

"How so?" she asked.

"…There's a lot of things, but…" a tear slipped from Alex's eyes, a fell down her cheek. Olivia's heart broke,

"Alex, I;m here, okay? You can tell me whatever it is that is bothering you," Olivia took Alex's hand.

"…what'dya say we get out of here and go to my place? It's not much, but it's a little more private."

Alex nodded and smiled through her tears,

"I'd like that."