Thanks for the all the reviews. I loved them all!
Again, thanks PRAI, you're the best.
The Cabot family manor was always Alex favorite place to celebrate her birthday as a child, and it seemed Angie had developed the same fondness for her grandma's house. The place was churning with activity as a super-hero costumed group of five-year-olds blustered around the place. Alex stood at the door entrance to one of the rooms with a camera in her hands and a huge grin across her face. Inside the room laughter echoed all around as Angie and her friends tried to overpower Olivia, pretending to be the mini- heroes' arch enemy.
"She's good with kids." Serena said joining Alex at the doorframe.
"She's good with a lot of things." Alex continued filming while waiting for Serena's smartass comeback. When it didn't come she lifted an intrigued eyebrow at her friend.
"What?" Serena asked in mock innocence.
Shutting off the camera, Alex turned to fully face her friend. "This is the part where you say that I should stand up and fight to get out of this marriage and bla bla bla, you know, what you usually say."
"I have nothing to add." Serena shrugged nonchalantly and sipped her soft drink. "You already know what you're missing." She nodded to the room where Angie and her friends were now teaching Olivia the steps to the Hokie Pokie.
Looking at them, Alex felt her heart swell as she admired the object of her affection. She noticed how the detective looked particularly beautiful with her knee length black leather coat, black pants, v-neck red shirt and boots.
"That woman is a knockout." Serena whispered teasingly in Alex's ear. "Do you think if she goes into a bar she'll ever leave alone?"
Alex bit the inside of her cheek as a sudden feeling of possession washed over her. "No."
The commanding voice of Alex's mother-in-law, snapped her out of her reverie. "Mrs. Altman."
Without acknowledging Serena's presence, the gray-haired woman stood haughtily at Alex's side. "Do you think that's wise?"
"What's wise?" Alex looked at Serena who shrugged.
"Bringing that detective to your daughter's birthday party?"
Taking a deep calming breath, Alex turned around to face the obnoxious woman. "What's the problem with that?"
"She was responsible for investigating a very traumatic case that affected some of those children." She narrowed her eyes keenly observing Olivia. "Don't you think her presence alone could bring back memories that are better forgotten?"
"Take a good look there, Mrs. Altman." Alex pointed inside the room. "Do they look like traumatized kids to you?"
"Well, no they don't." She shook her head disdainfully. "However children aren't always aware of the danger that surrounds them." Turning around she challenged Alex with a glare. "What if one of them gets a hold of her gun?"
Alex closed her eyes and counted to ten inwardly. "Detective Benson would never be irresponsible enough to leave her gun unattended." She stated firmly returning the other woman's glare.
"Besides, she's not carrying her gun today." Alex cut off her tirade. "She's off duty, because she, contrary to your son, knew how important her presence would be to Angie, and switched with one of her colleagues so she could be here today."
"I'm sure Robert had an excellent reason to miss the party." Mrs. Altman lifted her chin arrogantly. "He adores his child."
Alex scoffed. "Yes we can tell."
Mrs. Altman opened her mouth to reply, but the ringing of her cell phone prevented any further comment. Excusing herself she left Alex and Serena alone again.
"Maybe you should send her in to play with the kids." Serena teased and received a confused look from Alex. "The super-heroes would love to defeat the evil witch."
Alex chuckled, lifted the camera and walked in to film the fun of the children. Serena moved around the house until she was intercepted by a gentle but firm hand on her arm.
"What happened?" Mrs. Cabot questioned nodding toward where Serena had come from.
"A bitch being a bitch." Serena joked but grew serious after meeting the blonde's reprimanding glare. "She was complaining about Olivia's presence."
"What's going on between Alex and Detective Benson?"
Nearly choking on her drink, Serena met a pair of very wise blue eyes. "You don't beat around the bush, do you?"
"I've known you and Alexandra your whole life." She smiled knowingly. "I know when you're up to something."
"I plead the fifth." Serena ducked her head felling like a teenager being scolded by her parent.
Shaking her head the older blonde softened. "Serena,"
"Look Camille, Olivia might be the last chance for Alex to be happy." Serena turned and discreetly pointed to Alex playing with Olivia and the kids. "That's only if she has the guts to fight for that."
Nodding silently, Camille studied her daughter for a few seconds before turning back to Serena. "I haven't seen her smile like that since Angie was born."
Both women watched as Alex argued with her daughter over, what seemed to be, Olivia's attention. Alex walked out victoriously and led the detective to the kitchen providing a little break from her mini-fans.
As they entered the kitchen, Alex walked straight to the fridge, opened it and turned back to the detective. "Here, drink this." She handed Olivia a bottle of Gatorade. "You'll need to restore your energy."
"Thanks," Olivia removed the cap, took a big gulp and smiled. "Jesus, I thought I was well fit, but to keep up with that horde, you need to be an iron man."
Alex chuckled and started placing a couple of boxes on the counter. "Especially when you're not that young anymore."
"Is that a dig at my age?" Olivia raised a questioning eyebrow.
Alex snickered. "Not at all." She opened one of the boxes, retrieved a cupcake and offered it to the brunette.
Chocolate brown eyes sparkled as her mouth watered. "Red Velvet from Magnolia?" Olivia accepted the treat and smiled. "That's my favorite."
"I know." Alex whispered shyly then laughed out loud as Olivia took a reverent bite of the cupcake. "Goofy."
"What?" Olivia shrugged innocently.
Alex used her index finger to motion around the brunette's face. "You have frosting all over your face."
"I do?" Olivia crossed her eyes trying to see her own nose.
Shaking her head at the irresistible detective, Alex reached out to wipe icing from the tip of Olivia's nose. In an automatic gesture the blonde moved her finger to her own mouth and licked it off her finger.
The innocent gesture felt like a blow to Olivia's stomach. Her eyes widened at the sensual display and she swallowed feeling her heart racing and almost dropped the rest of the cupcake.
As if sensing the heat emanating from the detective, Alex looked up and locked their gazes. Driven by an invisible force, she lifted her hand and cleaned more cream out of the corner of Olivia's mouth allowing her fingers to linger there.
Olivia sucked in a long breath as Alex's thumb stroked the skin along her jaw. Not able to stop herself, Olivia took Alex's hand and pressed it against her cheek, enjoying the warmth and softness of the blonde's touch.
Neither woman was able to resist the pull as their faces moved closer together in sync until they started breathing the same air. Closing her eyes, Alex's breath became labored as she tilted her head and waited for Olivia to close the final gap.
Olivia's mind had gone totally blank and she just reacted as her arm snaked its way around Alex's waist crushing their bodies together. Without a second thought she pushed forward to meet Alex's waiting lips.
Angie's sing song voice echoed through the kitchen before she physically appeared. Startled, both women jumped apart and moved to opposite corners of the counter in an attempt to calm their racing hearts.
"Mommy, can we have the cake now?"
Alex managed a nervous smile and nodded at her daughter. "Sure you can honey." Alex swallowed and moved to the counter strategically avoiding eye contact with Olivia. "Here, help mommy carry this outside."
Angie balanced the box in her hands and looked at Olivia. "Come on detective Liv, it's time to sing happy birthday to me."
Olivia closed her eyes and took a long breath to calm the heart that still pounded in her chest. She couldn't believe what just almost happened. Lifting her head she looked at Alex and felt her stomach somersault under the blonde's intense gaze. Looking down she was met by Angie's eager grin. Running a hand through her short hair, she returned the little girl's smile. "Sure honey, lead the way."
Alex grabbed the cake and started walking with Angie by her side. Olivia smoothed out her leather jacket and followed the two blondes out of the kitchen.
Pushing her arms inside the sleeves of her jacket, Serena observed with open admiration as Camille Cabot came down the stairs. The elegant blonde possessed the perfect mixture of charm, finesse, and elegance. When she walked in a room it always seemed like she's owned the place.
"Is she asleep?" Serena smiled and gestured toward Angie's room upstairs.
"Out like a light." Camille sighed and returned the smile.
"The party drained all her energy." Serena dumped the remains of the plastic plates in the trash can. "She'll probably sleep for a week."
"I wouldn't hold my breath on that one." Camille chuckled and looked around the house. "Where's Alex?"
"Outside." Serena moved to the mirror to comb her hair and reapply her lipstick. "I think she needed to be alone."
With a concerned frown, the elder Cabot looked through the glass door to see her daughter sitting by the pool deep in thought. "She hasn't done that since she was little."
"Maybe she needs her mommy, right now." Serena winked knowingly. "I, on the other hand, have a hot date tonight." She put the final touches on her makeup before walking to the front door and with her hand on the handle she threw over her shoulder. "Take care of our girl."
As soon as Serena left, Camille walked to join Alex outside. Making sure not to startle her daughter she grabbed a chair and sat beside the younger blonde.
"Want to share what's on your mind?" She offered gently.
"I'm not sure you want to hear it." Alex blinked to avoid the tears forming behind her eyes.
Nodding knowingly, Camille decided to approach carefully. "Angie seemed disappointed when detective Benson left the party."
"Olivia got called in."
"I thought it was her day off."
Alex raised an intrigued eyebrow at her mother's sudden interest in Olivia's working schedule. "She was but something came up with one of her cases."
Nodding, Camille tried to sound nonchalant. "You two seem pretty close."
Knowing her mother pretty well, Alex suggested with a smirk. "Why don't you cut to the chase mother?"
"Are you two involved?" Camille finally asked bluntly.
"No." Alex replied without hesitation.
"Do you love her?"
Taking a minute to contemplate her answer, Alex chose a non-committal reply. "It doesn't matter."
"I'll take that as a yes." Camille nodded not buying her daughter's strategic choice of words. "What are you going to do about it?"
"There's nothing I can do mother." Alex took her glasses off and rubbed her face exasperatedly.
Looking as if her mother had grown a second head Alex answered slowly. "Because I'm stuck in a loveless marriage, or do you forget I have a husband?"
Rolling her eyes at her daughter's antics Camille continued. "Of course I remember. That's not the point."
"What are you waiting for to confront your husband?" She cut Alex off.
"And tell him what? That I love someone else or that I want to have an affair?"
Contrasting Alex's escalating tone, Camille continued in a calm voice. "Why don't you ask for a divorce?"
Taking the hint, Alex replied in a much softer tone. "Because the minute I do I'll lose Angie."
"Alex, something tells me Robert is as much stuck in this marriage as you are. But he fears his mother too much to do anything about it." Releasing a long breath, Camille looked into her daughter's eyes. "Maybe it's time for the two of you to stop fighting and join forces."
"What makes you think he'll accept an agreement? Or worse, do you really think the wicked witch will allow a divorce in the family." Alex asked skeptically.
"She already gained what she wanted from this marriage: prestige." Camille concluded. "She wanted to be accepted into the high society, and she achieved that by using the Cabot family name."
Alex sighed and ran a nervous hand through her blonde locks. "This is so fucked up."
"No need to use that kind of language." Camille scolded.
Watching her daughter's dejected pose, Camille felt a pang in her heart. "This is all my fault." She shook her head. "I should have stopped your father."
"You wouldn't have been able to." Alex laughed bitterly and slumped back in her seat. "The man was gifted. He could argue his way into or out of anything."
Eyeing her daughter knowingly, Camille smiled. "That's true."
"Of course it is," Alex winked breaking the tension. "Who do you think I got my argumentative nature from?"
They shared a quiet laugh and fell silent for a moment before Camille spoke again.
"I think she's worth it." She stated receiving a questioning eyebrow. "Detective Benson," She explained. "The more time you spend with her, the more I see the old Alexandra Cabot."
"The old Alexandra?"
Nodding she continued. "Yes, the one that from the age of seven already knew that she wanted to be a prosecutor and arrest bad guys." They laughed again. "During the last few years, I've watched you withering like a sad flower Alex, but now you're blossoming again and I think Olivia is a big part of that." Standing up, she walked over to Alex, bent down and planted a soft kiss on her daughter's head. "I think she's worthy fighting for." Camille gave Alex's shoulder a comforting squeeze before walking back to house and leaving Alex alone to mull over what had just been said.
Don't forget to feed the bard…