A/N – well, this is it dear readers, last one for now! Also, I've no idea as to the accuracy of Saks window display, artistic license in full.
Olivia's cell phone woke her, and she tried to extricate herself from Amanda's vice-like grip without waking her. Luckily the blonde was so sound asleep she rolled away from Liv and curled around the blankets on the opposite side of the bed. Leaving Liv with no choice but to get up and find some clothes because she was cold.
"Hey Fin," She answered a little reluctantly, knowing that since Amaro was taking Zara back to DC and Amanda had asked Cragen for another day to spend with her Mom. Fin calling her at 4am meant they'd caught a case. "What we got?"
After that she showered as quietly as possible, rubbing soap over faint bruises and other marks, dressing in the bathroom to avoid waking Amanda up. A cup of coffee and a lovingly crafted note later and she placed the latter on top of the pillow beside Amanda, bending to kiss the top of a blonde head which still smelled sleepy and enticing.
With a sigh, she turned away, leaving Amanda to her dreams. The glow of light from the hallway through a crack in the open bedroom door bathed her naked body in a soft amber glow.
"So beautiful." Liv whispered.
She clipped on her gun and badge, leaving the softer side of Olivia Benson behind as the apartment door closed.
Several hours later, Liv stood beside Fin in the ME's office as Melinda revealed the ID of the body – a young woman employed on the perfume counter at Saks. After a long drive up town in the midst of heavy, post Boxing Day, traffic, they flashed their shields in order to get the attention of a salesperson in Saks, hoping to gather some more information about their victim.
The interview garnered more questions than answers, with Liv feeling frustrated at the throngs of people milling around. She'd take an interview room back at the precinct any day, sick of being jostled and shoved as crazed shoppers vied for the best bargains on offer.
"This is ridiculous." She muttered to Fin, "let's get the hell out of here."
Fin nodded, "I'm right behind you."
They burst through a bottleneck in the doorway, both relieved to be out on the sidewalk in the open air. Liv was just gathering herself, ready to head back to the squad car, when a brightly coloured kitchen display in the side window caught her eye.
"Hey Fin, wait up."
He stood beside her; transformations were often marked at the beginning of new relationships but the sight of Liv checking out kitchen appliances was a puzzle that even he couldn't explain.
"In need of a new mixing bowl?" He asked sarcastically.
Liv gave him a brotherly shove. "No … not for me."
It was all suddenly very clear, such that she didn't need to hear it from Amanda anymore, she knew. Finally, after however many relationships and decades of feeling like she'd never find someone she even wanted to open herself up to – here they were. Without needing confirmation or clarification she knew what she needed to do.
"Wait here for me Fin?"
He nodded, just pleased that she hadn't asked him to venture back inside for whatever this 'essential' purchase was.
There were mixers in every colour under the sun. Liv stared at them all lined up like proud little soldiers – in a state of sheer confusion. She tried to call to mind the colour scheme in Amanda's kitchen, but that only made her feel worse when she realised it hadn't exactly been top of her list of things to remember.
"Can I help you?"
A salesperson sauntered over. She was tall and statuesque and unfortunately reminded Liv a little too much of the poor dead woman she saw laid out upon the slab earlier that morning in the morgue.
"Um … the Kitchen Aid?" Liv asked, "I'm not sure … what's the difference?"
The salesperson chuckled a little and stepped closer. "I take it this is a gift?"
"What gave me away?"
"Well, in my experience people usually walk in here and tell me straight away which colour they want, it's just like buying any accessory, if it's for you, you know."
Liv sighed, "It's for my girlfriend, and I can't decide."
"Wow, lucky girl, well … what's she like?"
Liv folded her arms across her chest. "She's amazing, she's smart and funny and caring and brilliant …"
The salesperson stepped in to interrupt her. "Um … I meant, what things does she like, what's her style?"
Liv fell silent, thinking hard. Amanda liked the Falcons, they were her team – their colours were red, black, white and silver. She loved running, her running shoes were black with a red stripe. Liv remembered because she'd teased her once and called it her 'go faster stripe'. Her iPod was red, she bought red soaps and shower crèmes to go in the bathroom. Red was the colour of seduction and heat, signifying impulse and desire and the ability to exercise self-control and restraint. She suddenly found herself wishing that the handcuffs she'd bought were red as well, not purple.
"I'll have a red one please, that shiny red one over there."
The salesperson smiled. "A good choice."
And for once, Liv knew that she was right.
By the time she made it back down to Fin, Liv had drawn her badge more times than she could count and came close to pulling her gun on this one group of women who just wouldn't budge out of the way. It didn't help that she was carrying a large box emblazoned with the words Kitchen Aid, it kind of meant that she lost some of her usual badass street cred.
She placed the box in the trunk of the car. "One more quick stop?"
After a call to Amanda to establish that she was still out to brunch with her mother, Liv borrowed Fin's keys to her girlfriend's apartment and carried the heavy box up three flights of stairs, relieved to be able to set it down on the countertop. She unpacked it hurriedly, stowing the box beneath as she reached for the jar and it's contents, $232 dollars in crumpled bills. She took them out and shoved them into her pockets. Taking a piece of paper off the top of the fridge she wrote a brief note, 'From now on, every time you feel the urge, I want you to kiss me instead …' She re-read what she'd written, twice, before adding, 'Forever' with a heart and kisses.
Liv spent the rest of the afternoon up to her eyes in paperwork, sifting through paper trails and trying to establish whether this attack on the Saks saleswoman was a personal one or simply a case of wrong time, wrong place.
Fin and Munch were out tracking down an old ex-boyfriend of the victim when Liv glanced up to see Amanda's Mom walking into the squad room, looking lost.
"Sandra?" She left her desk and walked over, warmly giving her girlfriend's Mom a hug.
"Hello dear," Sandra Rollins pulled back, taking off her gloves and placing them in her pocket. "Erm … I was looking for your Captain, is he here?"
Liv nodded, guiding the Southern blonde in the direction of Cragen's office. She knocked quietly, waiting to be called forth, catching the smile on her Captain's face when he saw the visitor behind her.
"Sandra, how lovely to see you again."
Liv left them to it, returning to her desk to call Amanda and check in on her day.
"Hey baby!" Amanda seemed bright and slightly out of breath as she answered. "How's it going?"
"Slow," Liv replied, "I wish you were here, it's always nice to have something pretty to look at."
Amanda chuckled. "That's all I am to you detective, a sex object?"
Liv laughed, her voice dipping a shade or two lower. "That, and so much more …" They both fell silent for a moment, before Liv picked up on the fact Amanda was evidently out and hadn't been home yet. "What're you up to?"
"Just on my way home." Amanda replied. "Mom bought tonnes of toys in the sales to take back for my cousin's kids … I'm the lucky one who gets to carry them home!"
"You know she's here visiting Cragen?" Liv checked, presuming.
"I know." Amanda was quick to respond, indicating that she perhaps had mixed feelings on the subject. "She banned me from coming down there with her, telling me that it's bad form to go in to work on your day off." She added ruefully.
Liv giggled. "It is."
"Look Liv, I'm just home …" Amanda began, she cupped the phone beneath her chin as she began rooting through her pockets for her door keys.
"I'll let you go." Liv replied, hurriedly, "Call me later?"
Amanda smiled into the phone. "You know it."
Liv set her phone down upon her desk and for the next five minutes simply stared at it, waiting.
In her mind, she saw Amanda opening up the door to her apartment, grumpy because of all the bags of toys and gifts her mother made her carry home. She imagined the look of surprise on her face as she noticed the red Kitchen Aid right in front of her, and half wished she could be there to see it. Then she pictured the blonde's excitement as she looked it over, finally noticing the note in the now empty jar. Liv smiled softly at the thought.
Her phone buzzed to life, a simple message which read, 'my place, 8pm, my mother's flight leaves at 6 xx'
At exactly 8pm Liv walked boldly up to Amanda's apartment door. As she knocked on it the door shifted a little, so she pushed with her fingers and it opened steadily, the lock left on the latch. She would have drawn her gun, were it not for the flickering candlelight inviting her in. So she stepped into the kitchen, closing the door properly behind her.
The apartment was silent. The Kitchen Aid was still out on the countertop but pushed further back, as if set into its rightful place. Beside it stood a single cupcake in a lavender coloured paper case. Stuck into the top of the swirl of yellow buttercream icing was a tiny piece of folded paper. Liv set down her overnight bag and took it out, unfolding and reading …
'Take off your jacket and shoes. p.s. you can eat this one.'
Liv took a bite of the heavenly vanilla cake and its creamy frosting. She glanced around the room, spotting another two cupcakes, one on the coffee table and one on the shelf beside the TV. She removed her jacket and shoes, leaving the bitten-into cupcake behind.
'Don't eat me, save your appetite. But take off your shirt and imagine that I'm watching you.'
The instructions on the second cupcake made Liv smile. She unfastened the buttons of her shirt, slowly, one by one, picturing Amanda's eyes on her as she did so. She picked up the third cupcake, not seeing anymore around the room. The door to Amanda's bedroom was closed and Liv felt herself tremble with anticipation at what was waiting for her behind it.
The note on the third cupcake was the longest. It read …
'I want you wearing just your bra and panties, because that's all that I'm wearing, sort of. I tried to think of the best way to test out my new mixer and thank you properly at the same time. Come in when you're ready.'
Liv took a deep breath, willingly divesting the rest of her clothes. She stood the other side of Amanda's bedroom door, wondering what she'd find on the other side.
As she leant against the handle, opening it, soft giggles escaped from the bed. Amanda lay naked on top of her sheets, the only items of 'clothing' covering her body were a vanilla buttercream pair of panties and matching bra – to a fashion. The blonde lay perfectly still, trying hard not to cover the bed in sticky icing, unfortunately, the more she laughed, the more the icing slipped away from places.
"This seemed like a really good idea when I was horny and thought of it this afternoon!" Amanda stated, staring at Liv's mixed expression of amusement and surprise, with a hint of devilish desire.
Liv walked towards her, understanding that the blonde couldn't move or it would all go everywhere. "I think it's a fantastic idea." She replied wantonly. "If I'd known this is how you planned on using it, I'd have bought you one months ago …" She knelt upon the bed, situating herself between Amanda's spread legs. "Are you wearing anything under there?"
Amanda shook her head. "Nope. It sort of tickles."
Liv chuckled. Perhaps it was Amanda's ability to make her laugh that made her love her? Even when the days outside were dark and having the lights on inside didn't necessarily make things any easier. Usually the days immediately after Christmas were about reflection on the year coming to a close, another one older, another one closer to retirement and further away from the things she'd hoped to achieve in her life. This year the days immediately after the holidays would always be about the time her girlfriend got naked and covered her body in buttercream, just because she could.
Just to see her smile.
Olivia leant over her, careful not to smudge anything. She cupped Amanda's face, leaning in to kiss her softly. "You're crazy, you know that right?"
Amanda grinned. She ran her index finger through the buttercream covering her left breast, bringing it up to Olivia's lips to taste. "I might be crazy, but I taste delicious."
Liv's eyelids fluttered and she moaned softly, "I've no doubt." She bent her head to have a taste, agreeing that it was indeed, delicious.
Olivia looked up. "Yes baby?"
"I really want a shower …"
Liv suppressed a fresh round of giggles, the look on Amanda's face a picture. "Okay baby."
She helped the blonde stand up, bits of icing falling off here and there.
"Maybe next time I should try whipped cream …" Amanda mused, walking awkwardly towards the bathroom with Liv's help.
Liv suddenly tugged her arm, pulling back so that they were face to face, not caring anymore about the wet icing against her mauve lace underwear. She wrapped her arms around Amanda's body, holding her close. "I love that you did this, please don't ever stop doing things to surprise me."
Amanda's reply was so sexy and soft that Liv's knees almost buckled beneath her. "You don't need to worry about that Liv, I've no intention of ever stopping anything."
That's all folks, reviews are awesome and remember - if you want to make suggestions for a sequel, leave it in the box! Sofa x