A/N: When it boils down to it…family is not necessarily a bond given by birth or blood, but one given by the heart.

DISCLAIMER: SVU belongs to Dick Wolf, this story, however, belongs to TStabler

He pulled on his tie, knotting it almost perfectly without even trying. He kept his eyes on Olivia, sleeping soundly in the incredible bed they'd been given. He sighed as he snapped his cufflinks through his jacket sleeves, and he blinked only once when he saw her stir.

"Hey," she mumbled. "Why are you up so early?"

He laughed. "I'm ten minutes late," he said, bending over to kiss her. "For obvious reasons, you have the day off. I've gotta be in court in…"

As if on cue, the phone rang. He narrowed his eyes and glared at the offending device. With a cough, he answered it. "Stabler residence," he spat, ignoring the confused look on Olivia's face. "What? When? Well it would have been nice if…I gathered that, thanks! Do you still need me to…no, no, I know who did it. I'll thank him myself."

Olivia ran her hands through her hair. "Lemme guess," she said, her eyes closed.

"Dean Porter is no longer on trial," Elliot hissed, his jaw tight. "He gave them a full confession and he pled out, serving time at a county jail in Virginia," he stated.

"Virginia?" Olivia questioned. Then her eyes narrowed. "Quantico. He's not going to jail. He's going home. Back to…"

"FBI," he interrupted. "Made a deal with your father to end this whole thing on his terms, and he is going to jail. A maximum security facility two blocks away from a military base and FBI headquarters, both watching his every move."

"My father did this," she huffed, flopping back onto the pillows behind her. "Why can't he just leave…"

"He is your father," he cut in again. "He would do anything to make sure you were safe, and that no one would be around to hurt you, ever again." He blinked. "You have no idea what the people who love you would do to make sure of that."

Her head tilted. "What…" she sat up and looked into his eyes, her interrogation face. "Elliot, what did you do?"

He bit his lip. "Nothing," he said. "Yet."

"Elliot, I swear to God if you get involved with him…"

"It's too late, Liv," he spat, shaking his head. "Last night, he…I love you, more than anything, you know that, don't you?"

She pressed her lips together. "I don't like where this is going."

"I hate her for what she did to you," he told her, sitting on the mattress beside her. "I would have killed her myself if…" he shook his head. "I couldn't let her…I couldn't let him…"

"What did you do?" she asked, interjecting.

He took a deep breath, then took her hands. "I told him…I asked him not to hurt her, to let the NYPD handle her, legally, fairly."

"You asked him for a favor," she said with squinting eyes. "Fuck, El! Jesus! You had to know that…"

"All he wanted in return was a promise," he broke in. "One that I fully intend to keep." He squeezed her hands. "I had to swear to him that I would kill the next person who tried to hurt you. Really. Kill."

"Oh, my God," she moaned, bringing her knees up to her chest and clutching his hands tighter.

"It's the only way he would…Liv, I wanna marry you, spend the rest of my life with you, in this family that means I've gotta…" he stopped. "I also had to do it so he wouldn't hurt Kathy. It's a small price to pay for making sure that the mother of my kids will be around for a while. Granted, for the next few years, she'll be in a psych ward, but…" he shrugged.

Olivia pulled her hands out of his and shrank away from him. "I asked you…begged you not to do anything for him. You don't ask him for favors, you don't take his gifts, and you don't…under any circumstances…make any deals with him!"

"I didn't have a choice!" he yells. "Damn it, Liv, he knows someone's coming after you! He has to lay low for a while, we've fucking arrested every one of his goons, your brothers won't do shit about stugots angul and you know it! If anyone is gonna lay their life on the line for you, it's me!"

She looked at him for a moment, the way his shoulders heaved and his nostrils flared, the way his anger masked his fear yet both stemmed from his love for her, and the way he just spoke Italian without realizing it all made her weak. "El," she breathed, rising to her knees.

"God, what?" he hissed, turning his head to look at her. He tilted his head, watching her crawl on her knees along the bed to him. He sighed as his arms wrapped around her, his head fell to her neck. He kissed her as he squeezed her tight. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm so sorry, but I…I would do anything to keep you safe."

She scratched at the nape of his neck as she held onto him, she kissed the skin of his shoulder lightly. "Tell me the truth," she whispered.

He was quiet for a moment. "I have a list of names…"

"I knew it," she said, sounding defeated. "El, you don't know what you've gotten yourself into."

He scratched down her back and kissed her neck. "I know exactly what I've gotten myself into." He lifted his head, looked at her, and kissed her lips. "Your family."

She sighed and then she smiled. "You're the one who doesn't get it," she said to him. "You are my family. My father…he's blood, yeah, but that man is not my family." She kissed him softly. "You're the one who's kept me sane, been there for me when I needed to laugh, cry, or hit something."

"It was usually me," he joked.

She laughed and nodded. "You're the one who made me feel less alone, even when I was." She shook her head as she stared into his eyes. "You were there when I was at my greatest, at my lowest. You kept me strong, kept me alive, since the moment we met. You kept my secrets, told me all of yours, you even helped me commit a crime or two."

"Or nine," he chuckled.

She laughed with him and kissed the end of his nose. "You're the reason I found him, El. You led me to my father, but you were always my family." She blinked and kissed his lips gently. "You always will be."

"I made sure of that," he nodded, kissing her. "I need a little extra insurance, Liv. Besides, when I asked him…forget it."

"You asked him…what?" she tilted her head. She had an idea, but she needed him to tell her.

"I asked him…for permission," he said, his eyes closing again. "To marry you." He swallowed hard and opened his eyes to look into hers. "He told me that this was the only way to earn my place in your…"

"You," she cut him off, "Are the only man…the only person who has already earned a place in my family, in my heart, by just loving me." She kissed him once more, cupped his face in her hands, and whispered, "I love you. And that's all the permission you need."

He smiled at her, and with one good shove, he had her on her back, on the bed, and he was sprawled over her like a blanket.

She laughed as he kissed every inch of her body, and she looked at the clock. She was grateful her father had Dean taken care of, and that Elliot would be home with her. There was no way she was letting him go now.

He growled a bit when he felt her hands on his back, tugging at his shirt. He moaned when he felt her nip at his ear, her hot breath sending chills down his spine. "God," he seethed, "You're trouble, Benson. You are a world of trouble."

"Good thing you like trouble," she laughed, tugging on his tie and pulling at his buttons.

He smirked at her and narrowed his eyes. "Oh, yeah," he said with a wink. "I'm, uh, I'm about to get into trouble right now, actually."

Laughing, she peeled his shirt away from his body. Her legs, still bare as she hadn't gotten dressed, skimmed up his and begged the cotton of his pants to fall away, too.

He took her hint and worked out of his pants, kissing and biting at her lips and neck as he struggled with the material. He finally threw them to the ground with a grunt and pulled the sheets away from Olivia's body. "You know," he breathed against her skin, "You're my family, too, baby. You were, you are, and you always will be."

"Please," she panted, feeling him shift over her, ready to thrust. "Please, call him, El. Tell him you won't…"

"He knows," he interrupted, poking at her entrance gently. "He knows I wouldn't. He just…he needed to see if…"

"You would," she understood, gazing at him.

He nodded, a small, peaceful smile on his face. He lowered his head, kissed her with a short moan, and rocked his hips, filling her and groaning as he felt himself slide against her. "Feels so good," he whispered, kissing her chin.

"Hmm," she hummed in agreement, holding onto him. Her legs wound around his body, her hips met his in slow thrusts, and she whispered his name softly between kisses.

He moaned hers in response, his lips and teeth trailing over any part of her he could reach, and his hand worked its way under her head to clutch the back of her neck.

She moaned and rolled her body into his, her back arching each time his skin rubbed against her clit as they moved. Her nails dig into his shoulders deeper and harder as her body tensed and tightened. "El," she cried. "Oh, my God, Elliot."

He smiled as he heard the unmistakable waver in her voice, the shaking cry that told him she was on the brink and that he needed to work a little bit harder and a little bit longer to get what he wanted. "Come on, baby," he encouraged, nudging her face with his nose. He moved his mouth to her ear and whispered, "Cum for me," the way he always did when he needed to really get to her.

The snap of skin under her nails accompanied the cry of his name and loud growl that flew out of her mouth as she did just that, and she clamped hard around him as she trembled violently with her release.

He watched her face, her eyes, and her body as he thrust a few more times, leading to his own powerful ending, and he kissed her once he began to shoot off inside of her, unknowingly giving him another binding tie to her. One that really would make them family. Forever.

A/N: Fini. Grazie per aver letto questa storia. Finished. Thank you for reading this story.