This is something I wrote for my intro to creative writing class. I needed an elective and it seemed like an easy 'A', but now I'm nervous as to my grade. This is what I wrote sans a few minor changes. I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks everyone! Enjoy.
She felt like she was being watched. Sure there were people looking at her, but someone was watching. It made her spine tingle.
Her date glanced down at her and possessively put his arm around her waist, but this didn't do anything to alleviate the chill running through Alex. She decided to chance, nonchalantly scanning the room over her left shoulder. She definitely didn't want to run into any perps at this charity gala and if she knew they were there, Alex knew she'd be so uncomfortable she'd have to leave.
As she scanned the room, her eyes locked with a pair of deep brown eyes across the room. The chill that had taken over her body had turned into a white hot heat. Those brown eyes, she'd never forget. They were like nothing she'd ever seen before and like nothing she'd ever see again. As hard as she tried to look away, the more they pulled her in.
The lips that belonged to the eyes curled into a sly smile that caused Alex's knees to almost give out. She swallowed hard and finally managed to look away. The champagne in her hand was making it the only part of her body that wasn't bursting with heat. She subtly pressed the length of the glass to chest in a hopeless effort to cool herself. She ran a hand through her straightened blonde hair and inwardly sighed.
She would have been fortunate to find an ex-con staring her down. The person staring her down was much more frightening to Alexandra Cabot. Not because the person could do her, but because Detective Olivia Benson had a strange power over her. Olivia could make her forget. Forget all articulate speech, forget how to walk, forget how to move entirely, forget all intelligent thought, forget the world around them exists, forget her upbringing, and most of all, forget the rather sizeable engagement ring on her left hand.
Going over files, notes and testimony with the detective to put together a prosecutorial case was pure torture, but seeing her outside of work was worse. When her chestnut hair was flowing over her shoulders, long and wavy, instead of the sensible ponytail the detective donned at work. When she was wearing a stunning evening gown, such as the one she is wearing tonight instead of the nondescript pants suits she wears at work.
As the group, she and her fiancé were a part of, laughed, a smile automatically appeared on her face. She didn't want it to look like she was off in la la land while society's elite engaged in small talk for the sake of appearances.
Having always prided herself on her sheer will power, Alex found it ironic that someone she never expected could make all of it go away. She looked back over her shoulder. She looked up and down Olivia's body while the detective chatted with a small group of her own. She noticed how the one shouldered, black cocktail dress showed off the toned, delicate, yet powerful arms of the head detective.
It wasn't five seconds later that the detective caught Alex's eyes just as they were about to drift away. Alex chest felt like it was going to explode. Gathering what was left of her infamous will power, Alex pulled out of the trance Olivia put over her and turned to her fiancé, Jonathan. "I'll be right back."
His perfect smile disappeared as he looked at his wife-to-be's face. "Are you alright?"
She nodded and let out a weak smile, "Just going to the bathroom." She didn't wait for him to reply before b-lining to the bathroom, which was in the back corner of the hotel ballroom.
Once inside, she was relieved to find the small bathroom empty. She situated herself at the sink farthest from the door. She dropped the green clutch that matched her evening gown on the counter and leaned on the cold stainless steel sink. It was a pleasant contrast from the warmth that was slowly draining from her body.
She turned to the paper towel dispenser and pulled one out as the door opened behind her. She ignored the intruder and continued to wet the paper towel with cold water before pressing it gingerly to her neck.
As Alex looked at her hair in the mirror, the intruder appeared next to her in the mirror. The elderly woman proceeded to wash her hands, unconcerned with the flustered state of the young blonde woman next to her.
Alex threw away the paper towel and opened up her clutch to search for her mascara for a touch up. The well dressed ,elderly woman walked out without another word. As the door closed Alex glanced at the door to make sure she had gone, but was stunned to see the object to her frustration standing next to the door. She must have slipped in as the old woman left.
The blonde was silent as Olivia made her way to her side. The look on her face was unreadable and with each step Alex's heart skipped a beat. When the detective stopped just inches away, Olivia smoothly took Alex's left hand and lifted it to shoulder level.
The touch alone almost brought Alex to her knees. She wanted to say something. Anything really, but nothing was coming out of her mouth. Every word she had ever know had been erased by the soft hands holding hers.
"It's beautiful," the detective commented.
It took Alex a couple seconds to realized that Olivia was looking at her engagement ring. "Oh I…um, thanks."
A heartbroken face momentarily washed over the brunette's features before she caught herself. She smiled softly, "Congratulations." She leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on Alex's cheek.
The brown eyes held Alex's blue ones for a few seconds before Olivia dropped Alex's hand and walked out of the bathroom.
The blonde took a few deep, cleansing breathing before she was sure no one would be able to tell how out of sync she felt with the world. Rejoining her fiancé, Alex covertly scanned the room not seeing Olivia anywhere.
She wasn't sure if she was disappointed or relieved. Whatever she was, she wasn't in the mood for this gala anymore. She excused herself to her fiancé, telling him that she wasn't feeling well and insisting that he stay.
Once outside in the cool night air, Alex hailed one of the cabs that always lurked around downtown at night. She gave it her address and leaned back against the seat of the car. With her eyes closed she could vividly see the face of the detective as she looked over Alex's ring. She wouldn't have noticed it, had she not so intimately known the brown eyed woman's features.
Alex wasn't quite sure how after work drinks turned into a six month long affair. The only thing she knew was that she'd never, ever get enough of Olivia. The look on Olivia's face in the bathroom told Alex that the affair was over as long as that ring sat on her finger.
The blonde attorney told herself it was a good thing. She needed to end it anyway. If someone in the press found out, her political career was tanked.
But a little part of her was grief stricken by the idea of never being able to touch Olivia in the most intimate of ways again.
Alex exhaled to look up and see the building where she now lived. She moved in with Jonathan after her proposed. The building was nice. The doorman was nice. The apartment was nice. Everything about it was nice. But nothing about it felt like home.
She paid the cabbie and smiled at the doorman as she walked in. She went straight to their apartment, straight to the bedroom, and straight to bed leaving a trail of clothes in her wake. She fell asleep alone in the bed long before Jonathan got home.
"Have you seen my gray tie?" Jonathan asked, the next morning, as he shrugged on his suit jacket.
Alex shrugged, "No idea." She was completely out of it. She really couldn't care less where his tie was.
"Are you okay?" Jonathan threw over her shoulder as he walked into his closet and started searching.
He asked in an obligatory fashion so Alex supplied to obligatory answer, "Yeah. I'm fine."
"Well, I'm going to be home late tonight. I have a late meeting," Jonathan walked out of this closet with a muted blue tie in his hand.
"Have a nice day," Alex forced a smile.
Jonathan slung the tie around his neck and walked to Alex, "Call me if you need anything."
The blonde nodded slowly, not bothering to move from her seated position on the bed.
He bent down and kissed her before walking out of the bedroom. She listened to the sounds he made while moving around in the living room before the open and close of the front door.
She blew out a stream of air and fell back on the bed. Her usual plans for her days off were reading, sleeping and shopping. However, at that moment none of those things seemed appealing to her. She felt restless. She needed to get out of the apartment. For the first time in a while, she felt like running.
Changing into her running clothes took just under three minutes. She put her keys in the pocket of her sweatshirt and grabbed her phone, leaving a pile of dirty clothes in the middle of the bedroom floor.
The cold air burned her lungs as she reached the fourth block. She hadn't done this in a while, but the need to move, to run, overpowered the burning in her legs and chest.
With each step she was sinking farther into her mind. She was going over what had transcended over the past few days and what had been going on for months prior to that. She went over her options and then she did what law school had taught her best. She came up with an argument for every option. She had an argument for leaving Jonathan, an argument for staying with him, an argument for trying a relationship with Olivia, and an argument for staying away from the detective.
A part of her felt bad for staying with Jonathan because of her political aspirations. If she was honest with herself, he was more her best friend than a fiancé and he was probably using her as much as she was using him. Both of their families came from old money and had political pull. His family was from the South and had migrated to the North to be near the political scene in Washington, DC. Her family had a hand in building the city they currently lived in and her family's business connections spanned the globe. Alex couldn't even begin to comprehend their reach.
Finally the burning in her lungs got so bad she had to stop. She picked the nearest street corner and stopped next to a stop sign. Her hands automatically went to her head so she could breathe easier. She felt the icy air around her fill her lungs and cool the heat.
It took her a moment, but the finally realized her phone was vibrating in her pocket. She fished it out and answered without looking at the caller ID.
"Hey Alex," the cheery voice of the woman she shared an office with, greeted her, "Are you busy?"
Alex looked around, having finally caught her breath, "Not really."
"Is there any way I could entice you to come to the office?" her office-mate asked, "I left some of my notes in there, but I left my keys at home."
The blonde looked up at the street signs and realized how close she was to her office. "Yeah. I'll be there in five minutes."
"Thank you so much," her colleague added before hanging up.
Alex pulled her keys out of her pocket just to make sure her office key was still attached before taking off in the direction of her office.
It hadn't taken long to get there seeing as it was only two blocks away. The short run had been much easier than the initial leg of her venture.
Alex was a little uncomfortable in her jogging clothes in the professional setting of her office building. Her gray jogging shorts didn't cover much of her wind whipped legs and she doubted her blue sweatshirt was flattering at all.
She did manage to sneak into the elevator without anyone she knew seeing her. On the way to the fourth floor, she straightened the hairs that had managed to escape her pony tail and tried to tuck them behind her ears.
When the elevator doors opened, she walked into the long hallway adorned with office doors on each side. There wasn't as much noise as there usually was on a weekday. She could hear her office-mate laughing with another attorney down the hall.
Not really wanting to stay and chat, Alex slipped to her office door, unlocked it, and slipped back to the elevator before the doors even closed. She called her office-mate back and when she answered, Alex explained that she didn't see her so she figured her colleague was on another floor and she left the door open. Her grateful colleague promised to take Alex out to lunch some other time to thank and then went back to her business.
The blonde hadn't noticed that that elevator was going up until she put her phone back in her pocket. In her haste to leave, she had forgotten to press the button for the ground floor. Sighing, she pressed the forgotten button. She knew it wouldn't stop her ascent, but it would make it clear to whoever was joining her that she did have a destination and wasn't just riding around in the elevator for no reason.
She moved to the back corner of the elevator and leaned on the rail, crossing her arms. She also wanted to make it clear that she didn't want to talk to anyone right now.
A dinging announced the elevator's arrival on the eighth floor. Trying to look busy, Alex opened her phone and proceeded to check her email. When the doors opened, someone stepped in and turned around to face the doors. As the doors closed, Alex's email popped up and she began sorting through the important messages and the garbage.
Alex's head shot up. She knew exactly who had said that and it was startling. Olivia was still facing the door, but even at the odd angle she could tell Olivia was smiling. The blonde bit her lip and tried to decide what to say. Her eyes followed the faint pinstripes on Olivia's gray, form-fitting suit to the ground and her eyes seemed glued to her shoes as she searched her brain for an intelligent, or even just coherent, thing to say.
But before she could speak, Olivia turned around, "Do you need a ride somewhere?"
Alex held the hazel eyes for a beat before remembering to answer. "That would be great."
The detective nodded as the elevator doors opened and led the way out. "How was your run?" Olivia made small talk while they exited the building into the wintry afternoon.
"Long," Alex answered, sweeping the hair blowing around her eyes back. She smiled when they got to Olivia's car and the detective opened the passenger door for her. She added, "I'm out of shape," as she slid into the seat.
The brunette smirked, "Not from where I'm standing." She closed the door and made her way to the other side of the car.
After Olivia got in and started to car, Alex looked at the clock on the dashboard, "Where were you heading?"
Olivia cranked up the heater before speaking. "Lunch." She shrugged off her jacket and draped it over Alex's bare legs.
"Would you like to join me for lunch?"
"Sounds good," Olivia grinned, "Where to?"
"My apartment first," the blonde looked out the window at the charcoal gray sky, "I'm freezing." She added the last part in hopes that Olivia would reach over and touch her like she usually did.
Never failing to come through, Olivia reached across the center console with her free hand and rubbed Alex's arm, generating a minimal amount of heat from the friction. "Did you stop to warm up in the office?"
"No. I woman I share my office with forgot her keys and I was already close."
"That's a long run from your apartment."
Alex shrugged, thinking nothing of it, "I didn't notice until I stopped."
"Something bothering you?"
Releasing an internal sigh, Alex knew this wasn't the time or the place to discuss anything. Especially because she hadn't really figured anything out on her run as she had hoped. "No, I'm fine."
The older woman smiled knowingly, "Well if you want to talk about what's not bothering you, I'm here. Okay?"
The offer made butterflies appear in Alex's stomach. She remembered the hand on her arm and covered it with her own, "Thanks Liv."
Her predicament was forgotten when they got into Alex's apartment. She insisted Olivia come inside and not wait in the cold car. It wasn't long before Alex was standing in her massive closet looking for something to wear while Olivia sat, fidgeting on the bed.
As Alex pulled a dark long sleeved shirt off of the hanger, she heard Olivia ask, "So you have the day off today?"
"Yeah," Alex answered, quickly changing into the shirt and some jeans she grabbed off of a different hanger. "I figured I'd stay at the dinner last night longer than I actually did."
The next question came slightly quieter and more hesitant than the last one, "When did you leave?"
Alex didn't want to admit that she left because Olivia left, but she didn't want to lie to her either. She knew eventually they were going to have to have a heart to heart. She knew that it wasn't going to get easier with time to have that talk. Plus, she didn't expect it to be in the same room where she slept with Jonathan every night, but now was as good of a time as ever.
"Right after you did," Alex answered picking up some black high heeled boots on her way out the door.
As Olivia asked why, she saw Alex step out of the closet.
"Because you left," Alex's voice was barely a whisper and she didn't trust it to say much else without wavering.
The blonde watched Olivia swallow hard. Her eyes were trapped in the light blue gaze of the attorney. Finally about to avert her eyes, Olivia stood from the bed, "Ready?"
Alex closed her eyes and sighed. She had finally realized they needed this talk. She was as ready as she was ever going to get and Olivia was trying to dodge the whole situation.
Tentatively, Alex reached out and took Olivia's hand. The detective started to pull away, but Alex held it firmly, "Wait."
The brown haired woman carefully looked up, only to see the blonde on the verge of many emotions.
The detective's proximity, made it slightly hard for Alex to breathe. She wanted nothing, but to fell the woman's lips against her own. Her resolve to not give in was started to wear thin. "I…I miss you."
The pain in Olivia's eyes was evident. She slowly reached forward and ran her fingers across Alex's cheek, "I miss you too, but we can't keep sneaking around. Maybe," she took a deep breath, "we should stop being around each other outside of work."
The words that would have agreed to the statement, never came to Alex's mind and certainly didn't cross her lips. She realized that the pain in the older woman's eyes was intensifying as the conversation went on. "Do you want to end it?"
Alex could see the detective mulling it over in her head. Then she answered with a look of pure anguish. "You can't keep cheating on him. Especially not with me."
Taking this as an ultimatum, Alex looked at the ground. She didn't think she was going to have to choose right then. She hoped she would never have to.
Seeing the struggle, Olivia gently lifted Alex's chin and tenderly brought her lips to Alex's. The blonde melted into the selfless display of affection.
Just as quickly as it began, Olivia pulled away, leaving Alex breathless. "Goodbye Alex."
Tears jumped to Alex's eyes. Partially because Olivia was leaving and partially because she knew she would never feel like Olivia made her feel ever again.
Olivia turned to walk to the door, pulling her hand out of Alex's, her eyes lingering on the blonde before moving to the doorway. What she saw made her freeze in place.
Jonathan was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, coat in hand. His face was unreadable. She didn't know how long he'd been standing there, but if it was more than ten seconds, he knew exactly what was going on.
Alex looked up when she saw Olivia stop. Her heart started hammering in her chest when she saw Jonathan standing there.
Jonathan's voice sounded cold and hard, like steel when he directed it at Olivia, "I think you should leave."
Olivia looked back at Alex then to Jonathan. She warned him with a fire in her eyes, "Don't you dare hurt her."
Jonathan dropped his jacket on the chair next to the door, "It looks like you've already done enough of that for the two of us." He gestured to Alex who was having trouble holding back her tears.
Alex saw how that comment cut Olivia and defended her as best she could, "It's my fault. She didn't have anything-"
Jonathan cut her off, "I believe it takes two to tango."
"Maybe you should leave Liv," Alex added before wiping her eyes, "We need to talk."
Olivia looked from Alex to Jonathan and back again. She shot Alex a look that told her if she needed anything Olivia would be there.
The blonde numbly nodded and watched Olivia walked out.
A couple hours of talking, crying and rationalizing later, Alex stepped into the hotel room she checked into. She put her bag next to the bed and sat down. As she stared at the wall, she ran her right hand over where her engagement ring used to be.
She didn't have Jonathan. She didn't have Olivia. She didn't have a permanent place to live. It seemed she lost everything that mattered to her in a matter of hours.
To make matters worse, she was going to have to call her parents and tell them she wasn't getting married to their dream son-in-law. Then she was going to have to endure all the questions about the absence of her ring at work. Then she was going to have to work with Olivia, knowing she couldn't have her.
Alex fell back on the bed and groaned. Her tears had dried up. She wasn't as upset as she thought she should be over losing Jonathan. She had stopped crying after Olivia left and was able to have a civil conversation with Jonathan. He was upset, but not angry. He wished Alex well and asked her to leave. She didn't blame him for wanting her gone. She also didn't want to stay any longer.
So there she was, laying on her hotel bed. Alone.
Alex stared at the ceiling trying to decide what she was going to say to her parents for almost an hour before she heard a knock at her door.
She heaved herself off of the bed and trudged to the door, hoping that it was just room service at the wrong room.
Alex flipped the lock back and leaned on the wall next to the door as she opened it. She was physically and emotionally exhausted and standing seemed like a great feat at this point.
When she saw who was on the other side of the door, she immediately straightened up. "Liv, what are you doing here?"
Olivia stood in the hallway with her hands in her pockets, rocking back on her heels, "Jonathan called me and let me know what happened. He thought I might want to check on you…which I did."
"How did you find me?" Alex asked, not quite believing that Olivia was really standing outside.
Olivia let out a half smile and a shrug, "I'm a detective."
"Oh yeah," Alex briefly smiled. Then opened the door wider, "You can come in if you want."
The detective nodded and stiffly walked in, not looking entirely comfortable.
Alex closed the door before following her in. "Do you want something to drink? I think all I have right now are mini bottles of liquor."
That elicited a small chuckled from Olivia, "No thanks." She walked to the window and moved it the curtain to the side a little so she could see the street below. "So your engagement is really over?"
Alex nodded, slowly, "Yeah. I should have know it wouldn't end well." She walked to the bed and sat down on the edge. She took a deep breath, can't believing she was about to say what she was about to say. "I'm glad it's over."
Olivia turned around and surveyed Alex, "Why's that?"
Looking at the ground in front of her feet, Alex answered, "I couldn't stop myself from….being around you. I would have had to avoid you altogether if I was still with him. At least now we can work together."
"I don't think I would have been able to handle not being around you either," Olivia rubbed the back of her neck, slightly blushing from the confession.
Alex looked up, her eyebrows raised in surprise, "Really?"
Olivia nodded, finally meeting Alex's eyes. "I think cheating is wrong and that the mistress is just as guilty as the person in the relationship, but I couldn't stop myself. Being around you was…I couldn't help myself."
The blonde finally smiled, "Really?" She needed confirmation on what she just heard. She needed confirmation that may have not lost everything she thought she had been agonizing over the past few hours.
There was a pause in Olivia's movements. She kicked at the ground with the tip of her left sneaker. "Yeah." She looked up, meeting Alex's unwavering gaze. "So, I was thinking…if you want to…maybe we could, do this properly? I could take you on date, maybe?" She quickly added, "I know now is probably too soon and that you can't really be…out, but…there's something here that I think should be explored."
Alex's chest swelled with an emotion she wasn't used to. She smiled fully for the first time in a while. "I would absolutely love to go on a date with you."
It was Olivia's turn to be surprised. "Really?"
"Of course," Alex stood and walked over to Olivia. She moved her hands to Olivia's waist and slid them around the detective, sinking into the protective arms Olivia offered.
Alex closed her eyes, content in the shelter Olivia provided. She felt Olivia's fingers run through her hair and smiled into the brunette's shoulder. "So, when is this date?"
"Whenever you want," the soft reply floated through the air.
The attorney took a deep breath and pulled away enough to look at Olivia's face, "I'm kind of hungry right now."
Being the ever intuitive one, Olivia knew immediately what Alex was hinting at. "Would you go to dinner with me?"
Alex leaned forward and meshed her lips with Olivia's. Just as Olivia was starting to relax into the kiss, Alex pulled away with a coy grin, "In case you didn't get that, yes I would love to go to dinner with you."
The detective laughed. "Thanks for clarifying." She pulled completely away from Alex, led the way to the door and opened it for the blonde.
"Thank you," Alex smiled, flipping off the lights as she walked out. Olivia closed the door and walked with Alex toward the elevator, leaving the empty hotel room behind them.