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Poisoned Pill

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Poisoned Pill
Summary: (Didn’t like how the Donna and Kalinda scene went down. The snarky comments about Alicia bothered me.) Alicia hears the inappropriate comment made for Kalinda’s ears only, something in Alicia’s chest began to boil.

‘She’s not your type.’ It wasn’t the sentence. It wasn’t even the way Donna made the statement. It was the way Kalinda tensed, her smile and eye roll as she responded that made something in the pit of her stomach snap. Alicia wouldn’t have seen or heard any of it if she had been paying attention to what Blake was blabbering on about. She finally was beginning to notice what Kalinda had been complaining about since the young investigator started, as he tried to block her view of the woman Alicia had promised to leave the party with no matter when or if they got separated. Every time she turned to see where Kalinda was, trying to get her bearings before her escape, he would step a little more to his left. Stepping more in her view of the woman she had come to the party with, had sat and talked to all night. If she hadn’t turned back, out of habit, to make sure her best friend was comfortable with the unfriendly, almost rude, unfamiliar woman; out of her side vision, she could see Donna leaning closer and something in her chest and belly began to boil. She could see the fake smile on Kalinda’s face as she leaned into the woman’s touches. She almost swore she could see Donna watching her, testing how far they could push her before she ignored all her social graces and made a scene. She knew Blake was watching her, could feel his eyes scanning up and down her back. It didn’t matter what he was talking about, or whether she was listening or not, she could see him glancing over his shoulder at the couple at the bar, and smirking as he looked back at her.

Alicia didn’t bother excusing herself since she wasn’t listening to whatever gossip Blake was trying to distract her with. She could hear him calling her name over the music and the crowd, but she couldn’t make herself turn back. It was like a magnet was pulling her, and the closer she got to the woman she had grown so fond of, the pull became unbearable stronger. She took the ten or so steps back to the bar, her eyes connecting with Donna’s for a moment before she appeared at Kalinda’s side again. She could tell the investigator was startled for a moment, but watched her relax as Alicia slowly turned her back to Donna and began whispering in the woman’s ear. She hadn’t meant to be so bold or to cross that physical boundary with the young investigator in a room full of gossiping lawyers. She hadn’t meant to give more fuel to the burning rumors that circled them every day. She could feel Will’s questions already filling her ears as she caught his half smirk out of the corner of her eye. Alicia could feel Donna’s eyes burning into the back of her head. She could even hear the tapping of her nails on the marble counter top. But she didn’t focus on the woman she was learning to hate without even getting to know. She focused on the way she could see goosebumps spreading along Kalinda’s neck as her hot breath touched the cool skin. The way she closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep as Alicia’s left hand wandered to her lower back. “Don’t flinch,” she barely said against the shell of Kalinda’s hot ear, resting her fingers on her exposed wrist. The attorney could feel the young woman’s pulse pounding in her slender wrist. She could feel the woman almost shiver as her nails ran up and down the sensitive skin. Alicia could see the woman was itching to touch her, her fingers twitching at her side, but they didn’t move. She wanted to grab Kalinda’s hand like she’d done a hundred times before. She wanted to interlace their fingers, showing herself again how they seemed to magically fit together like a puzzle piece. But the action was too intimate even for Alicia’s level of bravery. That was something they only shared alone. “Just smile and nod.” Alicia felt Kalinda nod and take a step closer. Her eyes connected with the young woman’s and could see the questions, could see the uncomfortableness, but it didn’t stop her from giving a soft smile. It also didn’t stop the younger woman from almost leaning in to Alicia’s touch. She could feel the weight against the hand on Kalinda’s back. She could feel the woman’s bare arm brush against her chest. “I’m going to the roof for a while. Join me when you’re finished with her,” she whispered, her lips so close they accidentally grazed the woman’s flesh. It wasn’t a demand, but it wasn’t a question either. She was giving Kalinda another option. She could stay and play with Donna or follow her and see what happens.

Alicia had never felt more powerful in her life as her eyes caught Kalinda’s for a moment before squeezing her hand and watching the woman blush. Watching her smile spread to her eyes for a moment before squeezing her hand back. But the moment her hand left Kalinda’s, she felt a cold chill run down her spine and for once, she missed the woman’s physical contact. And by the slight pout on Kalinda’s face, something Donna didn’t see because Alicia stepped between them for only a moment, she missed the warmth of her touch as well. “It was nice meeting you, Donna, was it?” She turned and asked before walking away without waiting for an answer.

She rode the elevator to the eleventh floor in silence. Sending Will a text to ask Blake to finish his paper work on the case and have it on her desk in the morning. She also lied and told him that his last three reports had been late and interfered with her cases in court. She didn’t feel bad about it. Whatever Will and Diane decided to do to the man would never be enough to satisfy her after learning everything that had happened between him and Kalinda. But more than anything, she wanted someone watching him, making sure he actually left the building. She didn’t trust the bastard not to follow them. Not to record them or snap their picture if he had the chance to catch them in a vulnerable situation. She almost felt like the man was waiting for it. Waiting for Kalinda to mess up, leave a clue, say something that would let him know he was on the right track. She didn’t understand his fixation on Kalinda. Didn’t understand the strange names he called her. Or the way he would hover outside her office door when the woman was alone inside. What she was beginning to understand as she remembered the way he always looked at her, the way her body tensed and she became snippy, his constant concern with having access to personnel files; Blake was dangerous. He thought he knew something about their investigator that no one else did and wanted to confirm it. He wanted to embarrass her. Show her she wasn’t as invisible as she made everyone believe. And Alicia hated him for it. She hated seeing Kalinda mopping around the office, looking more tired and stressed than she had the year before. She stayed by her side more, doing her paper work in Alicia’s small office instead of working out of her own. She refused to walk into the building until Alicia got there every morning since she witnessed Blake cornering the woman in the conference room and Kalinda having to shove him off. Alicia had almost stepped in that night, but chose to stay hidden in the shadows, only making sure the woman got into her car before Blake caught up with her. Alicia had been worried, she was always worried about the small investigator, but it was becoming a constant gnawing feeling the more the days passed. As the elevator opened, she hurried across the hall, climbing the last flight of stairs, leaving her heels by the door for Kalinda to find later.

The crisp air hit her lungs like a lead weight as she took her first fresh breath of air in hours. Her stocking covered feet were sensitive to the cold concrete as she took her first few steps toward the place she had sat more times than she could remember. Someplace she could be alone where no could find her until she was ready. Every event Peter had to attend usually happened in the building she was now standing on. She couldn’t stand talking to the rich and powerful while Peter made backdoor deals and whatever other illegal activity he participated in while she was looking the other way. Most of the older men stared at her too long or tried to grab her ass while she danced with them. When she would complain to Peter, he would laugh and ignore her, not defend her like she expected. It was like she was being thrown to the wolves every party, every celebration or opening. The women wanted to gossip about one another, something she got enough of during her PTA meetings. The younger women tried to kiss her ass in order to get closer to the State’s Attorney’s wife, hoping to get their husbands out of a parking ticket or DWI. And she had to listen. She wasn’t able to just walk away and leave whenever she wanted. Peter would have made sure she never heard the end of it when he finally came home. And after dealing with the kids all day, she was too tired to even try to fight with him. It was easier to just do what he asked. That didn’t mean she had to be friends with these people, or even try to like them. Most of the time she wasn’t even listening when she had a drink in her hand. She hadn’t had the time for their petty complaints when her brain was occupied with her children’s schedules, Peter’s campaign, and her weekly shopping lists. Now that she was working fifty, sixty hour weeks, on top of her children’s activities, Peter’s trial, and considering filing for divorce, Alicia really didn’t have the patience for the people downstairs; back then or now.

Alicia sat on the ledge, her back resting against the concrete wall that housed the buildings air unit while pulling her legs up to rest against the cold, hard ledge. She could feel a chill run down her spine as the cold seeped from the concrete wall through her suit jacket. She could feel her slacks shagging on the uneven concrete; she didn’t care. By the time she would decide to leave, everyone would be gone. There would be no one but Kalinda to see the tears at the back of her legs or the dust on the back of her black jacket. She used the flash light on her phone to find the joint Owen had left for her weeks before. She’d begged him not to leave any in the apartment, fearing her children would find it or Jackie would discover it and blame her children while she wasn’t there to protect them. It had taken her almost three days to find what Owen had ended up leaving behind in the small zipper pocket of her wallet. She couldn’t even be mad at her little brother as she laughed at how clever and sneaky he had become over the years. Always trying to do something to get his older, up tight sister to let go for just a little while. He knew from personal experience that marijuana was the easiest way to get that relaxed result he wanted. It hadn’t been a habit for her in many years; before she was married to the State’s Attorney. Something she did late at night to force herself to concentrate on the three more hours of case law she had to memorize. But every now and then, when the planets and her PMS lined up just right, she indulged herself. Sometimes sneaking up to the apartment roof after everyone was in bed and smoked just enough to relieve her anxiety. As she was exhaling the first puff, coughing slightly as the smoke floated away with the wind, the door to the roof slammed against the concrete barrier behind it as Kalinda stormed past her, not seeing her in the dark.

Alicia watched as the smaller woman look around, the joint hidden over the edge in her left hand, concealing her further. It wasn’t that she was trying to hide from the woman she had basically seduced to the roof top, she was trying to access the woman before she revealed herself. She wanted to see what she was feeling. Wanted to see if the investigator even wanted to follow her in the first place. She watched Kalinda’s fists clench in frustration, saw the woman suck her bottom lip between her teeth as she continued looking around in the dark. She saw the moment Kalinda caught the smell of what she was concealing, and saw the anger build as she continued stomping in the opposite direction; searching for the woman that had requested her presence. “Alicia, I can smell it. Where the hell are you?” It wasn’t the investigator’s normal tone she usually received when they were alone. There was fire behind her words. A bite she had only heard the woman use with suspects that refused to cooperate and more recently Blake. “Over by the air unit,” she shouted, when Kalinda’s boot heels no longer clicked on the concrete and a small shot a fear shot through her. She hadn’t expected the investigator, her best friend to be angry when she finally made it to the roof. She’d never been angry with her. She’d seen Kalinda pissed off, but it had never been directed at her.

Alicia didn’t move from her perch as she heard the clicks begin again, but she did continue her recreational smoking. Inhaling a few more hits before the investigator came around the corner. Her face was slightly flushed, the sweat on her forehead and chest glistened under the dim emergency lights. Something in the back of her mind had subconsciously convinced her, Kalinda wouldn’t come. Even when she was saying the words, Alicia didn’t really believe Kalinda would choose her over the woman she had already slept with. A woman that seemed to be more open to the idea than she had been. But spending the evening with Kalinda, laughing, drinking, and gossiping with her caused something to stir in her belly. She wanted more time with her. Even when she had been pulled away by Will or Diane or Bond, Alicia always found her way back to Kalinda. And no matter how long it had been, she would still smile for her. She would grab her hand or bump into her shoulder showing she was glad she was back at her side. Donna caused a ten ton stack of bricks to slam against her chest, caused a hot fire to ignite in her gut. Her territory was being threatened by a woman she had heard nothing but awful things about and none of them had come from Kalinda. She was a pain in the ass legal aid attorney that made her money on the fact her ‘clients’ would re-offend. But more than anything, she hated her for having the ability to make Kalinda swoon, to make her melt with just a look. It was jealousy; something she hadn’t felt in a long time. Jealous that she couldn’t touch the woman like she had been dreaming of since the day she unbuttoned her blouse in the car. Frustrated that she wasn’t able to get her best friend to look at her the way she was looking at Donna. And Kalinda’s fiery eyes and gasps for air as she finally stood a dozen feet away, didn’t calm the green monster crawling around under her skin.

Kalinda watched Will grab Blake, hand him a file with an angry look on his face, and watched the male investigator scurry out of the hotel with his tail between his legs, all while listening to Donna rattle on and on about the State’s Attorney’s wife. The flaws the woman had. Criticizing her for standing by her husband and keeping her family in tacked. Making nasty comments about the way she dressed, about the fact that she was older than Kalinda was. Making comments that she wouldn’t be good with children any way. That she would never stick around so she might as well not even try. And even though the comments made her angry, made her want to storm off or slap the woman for crossing the line; she couldn’t. Mostly because she knew if she did, she’d be proving whatever game Blake had convinced Donna to play with her. But also, she had cared about the older woman at one point and it had been a long time since she had the chance to spend any time with her. And every once in a while, she missed her. She missed the stability she had offered for a short period of time, until Kalinda decided to run. She had liked having someone that wanted to wait up for her until she came home. She liked that Donna wanted to bring her lunch on the days Kalinda was working and she was off. And as the woman leaned in, pulling her close and kissing her for the first time in over a year, the investigator’s heart began to melt all over again. It didn’t take long for Kalinda to fall back into Donna’s web. The woman had always had a way of making her hate her and want her in the same few moments. The kiss was what she’d remember. Donna was intoxicating and frustrating; making a habit of leaving her panting and needy, and coming back for more. But something in the way Donna took possession of her mouth told her it would be the last time. And for a moment, she hadn’t been sure how to feel about it.

As she climbed the final few steps, she couldn’t shake the feeling of Alicia’s breath against her neck. The goosebumps that appeared along her chest and down her arms. She could feel the blush rising in her cheeks and burning in her ears. Donna was watching them. As she took a step closer to Alicia, her eyes connected with the other lawyers for a moment, the smirk on her face and fire in her eyes told her everything she needed to know. They had been set up. Blake knew how to push her, or who could push her, who could push her to make a mistake the fastest and prove him right. But even knowing that, seeing it reflected back at her in Donna’s eyes, Kalinda couldn’t stop her body from responding to her best friend’s closeness, the protectiveness Alicia always offered without really offering it. She couldn’t make herself step away as she felt Alicia’s lips against her ear, whispering in a way she had never heard before. Her voice was lower, huskier. She could still feel the woman’s fingers trembling as they touched her wrist. As they wandered down the palm of her hand and barely interlaced with her own, she wanted to take another step closer, wanted to address the feelings that were now stirring in the pit of her gut. But as quickly as Alicia was at her side, she was gone again, leaving her strangely cold and wanting. And as much as she wanted to focus on those feelings, on the anticipation of what was waiting on the other side of the door, she couldn’t shake the anger that Alicia had done it all in front of Blake, in front of Donna. Giving them both exactly what they wanted and would eventually find a way to use it against them.

Kalinda smelled the weed the second she opened the door to the roof, but held her tongue in case it wasn’t the woman she was looking for. She knew a few partners that indulged on occasion, a handful of junior associates that she’d caught a few times coming back from lunch smelling like weed, but she also had to remember they weren’t the only law firm in attendance. A part of her almost thought it was Cary. He had made a bad habit of coming up to the roof while he worked for Lockhart/Gardner and smoking a joint late into the night. She’d caught him a handful of times, but only joined him once. Kalinda glanced around, trying to determine which direction the smoking was coming from. She tried to listen for movement, but she heard nothing. If she hadn’t looked down, almost tripping over whatever was left by the door. “God, Damn it,” she muttered. She saw the heels that had been kicked off in order to confirm Alicia was nearby. She kicked the red heels back by the door before huffing and looking around again. If she hadn’t been holding on to her anger like a vise, the investigator would have found the action slightly alluring. She would have thought it was sexy that Alicia slipped off her heels, leaving them in the only place Kalinda would find them, walking across the cold concrete in her stocking covered feet. But she didn’t even know that was the reason Alicia asked her to join her. Yes, the woman had been flirting with her all night and Kalinda had returned the attention with a few smiles and touches of her own. But just as she was getting pulled back in by the gnawing feeling in her belly, her frustration at the scene that just caused increased. The more aggravated she became, the louder her shouts got. She could hear it in her own voice and even though she wanted to push it down, she couldn’t. She grumbled and stumped as she searched for the woman until she heard the soft reply in return.

Her first reaction, seeing Alicia sitting on the edge of the twelve story building was to grab her and pull her back to the safety of the concrete barrier. Kalinda closed her eyes and swallowed hard as a violent flash in her brain showed her friend falling, tumbling over the edge like a curious cat. Clawing at the bricks on her way down until her skull cracked on the concrete below. She wanted to protect her, put her in a bubble and never let her out. She couldn’t do that. She was terrified at what would happen if she let Alicia touch her again. If she let the woman close enough to see what she was now hiding. But even seeing the woman, strict, rule following, no nonsense Alicia, sitting on the edge of the building, her face relaxed; it stirred something very different in the woman’s gut. She was softer than the investigator had ever seen. Her face flushed, her nose just barely pink from the Chicago wind, her lips parted in slow deep breaths. It was a very different picture than she had painted for herself downstairs. The seductress wasn’t what Kalinda wanted, Alicia was more than beautiful and sexy just sitting on the edge of the building. “Damn it,” she muttered to herself, knowing how much trouble she was in just by her body’s reaction to the woman downstairs. She pushed every fuzzy feeling she had towards the older woman as she stopped a few feet away, but the attorney didn’t even turn her head. Like she couldn’t be bothered glancing in her direction. Her ears were burning, the emotion sitting on her chest caused her throat to feel raw. She couldn’t forget what Alicia had done. Kalinda had fought so hard to keep Blake away from her, the keep Donna from getting closer and her best friend gave them everything they were searching for in the matter of ten seconds. And what bothered her the most was Alicia didn’t seem to have any idea what she had done. What the consequences would be. “Get your ass down before you fall!” she yelled, as she watched Alicia taking another long inhale from the joint she would find out where she got later. She almost, almost ran to the wall when the woman began to shift. She was wobbly and shaky. She watched, ready to pounce any second, as Alicia turned to allow her legs to hang back over the roofs edge, but she didn’t come down. She only smiled and pushed the hair from her face. “If you fall off this building, I’m not explaining to Peter why you smelled like weed at your autopsy.” Truth be told, she wouldn’t explain a damn thing to Peter Florrick because she believed he deserved whatever came his way. But she would never let Alicia die, from her own stupidity or anyone else’s, just to see Peter suffer.

Alicia couldn’t help the smirk that appeared on her lips as she watched the fear flash through Kalinda’s eyes. She could see the woman’s fingers twitching at her sides. She could see her body suddenly tense as if she were getting ready in case she needed to catch her before she fell. The aggravation and terror was clear on her best friend’s face, but so was something else she never thought she’d see. Or maybe she was imagining it. It hadn’t been her mission to cause the investigator to fear for her, but to see the concern, knowing someone cared and would continue to care no matter what made Alicia braver; bolder. It made her want to really speak her mind and scream what she wanted. Finally explore what she’d been craving to investigate for the last several weeks. And the last person she wanted to think about, talk about, was the husband that made the last five years of her life a living hell. She wanted to enjoy the first chunk of alone time, with the glass walls gone, with the woman that brought her so much joy over the last several months. “Fuck Peter,” she scuffed, taking a smaller drag from the joint before gently putting it out, sticking it back in the foil wrapper, and sliding it right back in her wallet. She was more interested in what happened after she left the two women at the bar. The older attorney seemed much more interested, or she was like Alicia; her territory had been threatened and she responded. “Where’s Donna? I’m sure she didn’t choose to go home with Blake over you.” It was a bold statement to make considering she could see Kalinda was already aggravated at whatever happened before and after she left the lobby. But bold was the only thing she could feel pulsing through her veins as Kalinda took a few steps closer.

Kalinda had never seen Alicia act this way. She was dismissive and oblivious to the situation that just occurred. She was unaware of the consequences that would start rolling their way both personally and professionally because of their actions, or her best friend didn’t care. That was what was so frustrating. For once in their friendship, she couldn’t read Alicia’s face. She couldn’t tell what she was thinking or feeling. “Were you stoned downstairs?” She couldn’t help but yell as she took the final steps, blocking Alicia into the corner, but surprisingly the smile didn’t disappear. She watched the sparkle disappear from her eyes like a star going out in the distance, saw her nails began to dig into the concrete, but the small smile never disappeared. And normally, Kalinda would melt. They didn’t have a lot of moments or reasons to smile, especially lately, but any reason she could make Alicia smile for a moment usually made her heart warm. Instead, it just confused her more, angered her more. “Why would you do that in front of Blake?” She screamed the question so close to the woman’s face, she could hear the almost silent gasp come from the woman’s lips. But if she didn’t finish, if she didn’t get the answers now, they would never talk about tonight again. “He already follows everything I do in his free time. I don’t need him thinking I’m banging Peter Florrick’s wife.” She hadn’t meant it as harsh as it sounded, but after weeks of telling Alicia everything the other investigator was trying to do, complaining he was following her, texting her at all hours of the night, looking up old lovers (Donna and Lana) and using them against her. It hurt. She felt like Alicia hadn’t been listening, didn’t care as long as it didn’t concern her. “We were set up downstairs,” she almost screamed, watching the questions appear in Alicia’s eyes for a moment, before they disappeared. Like the trouble she caused didn’t matter. She couldn’t tell if it was because of the illegal substance clouding her ability to understand. She’d never seen Alicia’s stoned before. She also had never had her best friend act so strangely in front of people she knew they had to work with for the remainder of their careers. “They taunted you, Alicia. They wanted you to react. They wanted to see what you would do if my attention was on someone else. If I was flirting with someone else.” It took everything she had not to lean closer, but the edge was only six inches behind her. And as angry as she was, if she lost Alicia, she would lose a part of herself that she hadn’t realized she’d given away until that moment. And that just added to her anger. The intimate details of her life were now being analyzed, people were starting to suspect something was different between them. And she hadn’t even had to opportunity, or rather the guts, to say them out loud to the woman that needed to hear them. It felt like something had been ruined before it was given the chance to start. Like something had been stolen from them. And Alicia didn’t even seem to realize it. “You gave them exactly what they wanted. You reacted exactly how they knew you would. They knew you couldn’t stand being away from me just by watching us for an hour. They knew you wouldn’t be able to handle watching Donna and I acting the way we did.” She groaned in frustration as she saw the first tears beginning to shine in the lawyer’s eyes, but if she had to deal with the backlash of what happened downstairs than so would Alicia. “Why’d you do this?

Alicia almost snarled at the mention of her future ex-husband. She heard very little of what the woman said after the first snide comment. It hit her square in the chest, the wind suddenly leaving her lungs and as much as she wanted to pull away, there was a twelve story fall stopping her from moving. She’d made a mistake. One of many, but a mistake that would continue to embarrass her long after the night was over. She hadn’t been paying enough attention to what was going on around them. She trusted the people she was with, believed they were safe, that was her mistake. She became too complacent. Maybe she had depended on Kalinda too much. She didn’t spend more than a few minutes talking with Will and Diane combined before she was back at the woman’s side. When Kalinda had wandered off to talk with Cary, she was back at Alicia’s side before the cushion on the chair started getting cold. In the office, where one was usually they could find the other, and everyone seemed to instinctively know that. She couldn’t count how many times Diane would be looking for the younger woman and wander into her office, smiling when she found Kalinda right where she thought she’d be; sitting on Alicia’s couch, filling out more paperwork. Or even when they were apart, everyone knew to ask the other. Alicia never left the office without sending the woman a quick text if she couldn’t find her, and surprisingly, the investigator had picked up the habit as well. Even through her foggy brain, she could remember getting strange looks, both at the party and in the office. David Lee had started giving her sly smiles, while Bond and Will gave her questioning looks. Diane’s attitude and actions toward her never changed, but Diane was an enigma all her own. Alicia hadn’t realized what they were for then, looking at Kalinda’s face now, she could see exactly why they were being stared at all night. She could see why the young woman had been so tense and almost refused to smile. She could feel something Alicia couldn’t and instead of following her lead as she would normally do, she reacted without thinking. And just as her anger was beginning to dissipate, Donna’s words echoed in her ear. The fact that her best friend wasn’t too worried about being close to someone else in public. She knew what was happening and still allowed herself to be pulled in. She wasn’t afraid of Blake or Bond saying anything then. It was only with Alicia, and that fueled her frustration and anxiety even more. The one person she depended on was suddenly turning against her. She gave Kalinda a nasty look and motioned for her to move. She could feel the color rising in her cheeks and was done humiliating herself for one night. She wanted to hide. She wanted to crawl under the covers and forget the night ever happened. For once, Alicia wanted to separate herself from Kalinda and wasn’t looking forward to their next interaction. When the investigator didn’t move, giving her a questioning look instead, Alicia couldn’t stop her eyes from rolling, her mood turning just like the tide. “If you want me to get down, you have to move,” she snapped, watching the young woman get thrown off, not knowing what to say, but only moving a few feet. She had never snapped at her best friend, she hadn’t even yelled at her, she’d never had a reason to. She’d never had a reason to get annoyed or frustrated or angry. But she was feeling it all in full force now. And that feeling alone, towards the person she wanted to open up to the most, made the tears start burning in her throat. Alicia slid back down the wall, scratching the back of her thighs on her way down. She ignored the pain, ignored the rips she knew would be in the back of her slacks, and pushed past the woman she had wanted to want her. The woman she thought would be there no matter what, the one she thought had her back. “Sorry I wasted your time,” she mumbled, feeling more deflated and embarrassed than she had felt when the scandal first broke.

For a moment, Kalinda’s brain wasn’t quick enough to process Alicia’s sudden change in mood. She wasn’t fast enough to catch her before she was storming past like she usually would. All she had time for was responding to the words. Responding to the sudden burst of frustration and aggravation coming from the older woman’s body with her own. Feeling the embarrassment from being rejected by Donna for the second time and having Blake waiting for her when she walked out the entrance doors just dug the knife a little deeper. But something else had been stirring in her chest all night long, that’s the feeling that led her to the roof. She didn’t know what it was, but she was willing to follow it and find out, even through her anger. Kalinda watched Alicia taking sluggish, but purposeful steps along the walking path. Her shoulders slumped in defeat, but she could see her smalls hands balled into fists at her sides. “You call me up here, make it obvious to not only Donna and Blake, but to the entire room, and you’re pissed off?” Kalinda didn’t know what happened. She didn’t know what suddenly changed in the older woman. They’d had spats before but neither of them ever tried to run away. They had their moments when they went to their separate corners to cool off, but it was spoken. In the middle of their fights, one of them usually came to their senses and would suggest backing off for a while. But neither of them ever turned their back on the other. It was an unspoken agreement that they would continue until whatever the problem was was solved. But nothing about tonight was normal. “How do you think it makes me look sneaking up to the roof with the State’s Attorney’s wife? How do you think that won’t effect both of us? Haven’t you been in the news enough for a lifetime?” Kalinda knew as soon as the words left her lips that she hit Alicia lower than she ever had. She had never brought up the woman’s past in an argument. She’s never thrown what had happened in the woman’s face just to see how far she could fall. She was the one that was supposed to protect Alicia from the backlash of the scandal. She was the one that was supposed to keep Cary away from her, keep Amber Madison from calling her, make excuses when she had to leave because one of her children needed her because of the drama Peter had created in their lives. Kalinda had promised herself after their first case together, after seeing the woman break, witnessing how vulnerable she really was, that she would be the soft place for her to fall. That she would never judge her; she was in no place to judge anyone anyway.

Alicia couldn’t stop the anger bubbling in her belly. The frustration blinding her, the hurt in her chest making it difficult for her to breath. The thought that someone else that she trusted didn’t want her. Someone else didn’t want to take the time to really understand her, to know her and learn what she needed, hut her far more than better had. She was invisible to someone else she thought really saw her. Someone she laughed with and cried with more times than she cared to admit. Someone who never teased her or thrown Peter’s public infidelity in her face. She lost everything she thought she could depend on in the last ten minutes. And for once in her life, she had nothing left to lose. “You know what I wish?” she screamed as she spun around, clearing startling Kalinda, causing her to flinch and take a step back. But Alicia couldn’t find it in herself to care. She was angry. And that anger turned to fury as the words began to tumble out. As the words began to cement in her heart and mind as the truth. “I wish someone would see me for more than being Peter Florrick’s wife. I wish my name could be associated with any body else, anything else than Peter Florrick,” she growled, watching the realization suddenly appear on Kalinda’s face, but it was too late; she couldn’t stop. Even when she saw the confusion and anger leave the investigator’s body, she couldn’t make herself pull the emotion back inside. She couldn’t make herself forget like she did with everything else. “I hate that every time we’re in the office, the moment a client hears my name, it’s automatically associated with his,” she screamed as the silent tears began to fall. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to defend someone who feels sorry for you. Someone you have to look at every day, listening to their careful comments and seeing their pitiful looks. Some don’t even try to hide and laugh in my face.” She took a few steps closer. Swallowed hard and took a few deep breaths as her hands began to shake. “I know you and Will had to go to bat for me to get my job. I know Diane and David didn’t want the bad publicity.” No one had told her Will had Kalinda change some things in her file. Pulling out what made her look the best and discarding everything else. But the blush appearing on Kalinda’s face, the way she looked at the ground and pretended she wasn’t there told her everything she’d suspected had been true. No one really wanted her. The Florrick name was all anybody ever wanted from her; as long as it benefited them. Which is exactly what Diane did in the end; used her name to get clients to stay. But it could be worse. If it weren’t for Will she wouldn’t have a job at all. Everyone else saw her resume, saw her transcripts, but it was never enough to override what Peter had done. She was lucky Will had taken pity on her, but that didn’t erase the years of pent up anger and aggravation. Years of not being listened to or taken seriously. Years of being told how to act, what to think, what to say and how to say it all bubbled in her chest and she couldn’t take the pressure any longer. “When I was looking for a job when Peter went to jail, no one would hire me because of HIM!” If Alicia hadn’t been so angry, she would have noticed Kalinda’s face softening. She would have noticed the big wet eyes staring at her. She would have noticed the woman trying to reach out. But all she could focus on was her rage. “I thought out of everyone, you would see me. You wouldn’t see Peter Florrick’s wife, the mother, the woman who’s reputation had been ruined before she even got a chance to build it.” The last of her sentence came out more broken hearted than she had meant. She wasn’t running out of steam, not by a mile, but her throat was beginning to burn. Her heart was aching and her feet were beginning to become numb. “I wanted you to see me differently.” It was almost a plea as the tears fell faster, but she didn’t have it in her heart to keep fighting. She was tired of defending herself. And she was more than tired of arguing. It felt like all she did all day long was argue and defend and she wasn’t talking about at work. “I’m sorry I assumed you were different and I’m sorry I embarrassed us both,” she said a little quieter, watching all the fight leave Kalinda’s smaller frame, but refusing to wait around for it to return and turned to where she left her shoes. Urging the tears to stop every step of the way.

Even if Kalinda hadn’t seen the outburst coming, she didn’t blame Alicia for having it. She didn’t blame her for screaming and pushing past her, or snarling in her face. She didn’t take it personally in the way she was sure Alicia would apologize for later. She couldn’t be angry with her best friend for finally saying everything she had wanted to say all those months ago. Alicia needed to explode. She needed to vent and show just how angry she was, even after almost a year of steady employment, she was still pissed off. And knowing what she knew, Kalinda couldn’t do anything but nod and agree because she knew it was true. Unfortunately most of the things flying out of Alicia’s mouth had some truth to it. And Kalinda felt that same ping of guilt settle into the pit of her stomach remembering Will’s reaction to the original file. But more than anything, Alicia was right about her. Well, she was right about most of what she thought was true. She had changed the woman’s file. She had lied to get Alicia hired. And she had promised herself from day one, not to talk about Peter unless it was necessary. Unless Alicia was hurting because of something that was said on the news or sent to her email. She never voluntarily wanted to talk about Alicia’s marriage, never brought him up in passing, refused to even read most of the articles that were published about the couple. And looking at Alicia’s face now, she should have kept Peter’s name out of her vocabulary. She shouldn’t have brought Peter into their conversation. She shouldn’t have stuck Alicia into the same category as her cheating husband. She had never seen them as one before. She’d never judged her best friend for what Peter did or said or even how he treated her in the past during her short employment. She shouldn’t have yelled at her before asking what was wrong. Kalinda could see the jealousy in the woman’s eyes, the hurt and desperation she had never seen before when she was talking with Donna. She could feel it pouring off her skin when she was whispering in her ear. She should have followed her to the roof immediately instead of playing downstairs with Donna. She knew something was wrong when Alicia started running her lips over the shell of her ear and brushing a soft thumb over her knuckles. And now all she saw in Alicia’s face was disappointment and loneliness. She was hurt and afraid. She could see the embarrassment beginning to take over her features as she took the investigator’s questioning and attitude as rejection. “Where are you going?” she asked, as Alicia reached the sidewalk leading back to the door.

Alicia stopped but didn’t turn around. She knew her face was blood red in embarrassment. She knew the tears were already starting to well behind her eyes and any moment, they would be flowing down her face. She didn’t want to look at Kalinda’s face. She didn’t want to see the rejection and confusion and anger she had put on the investigator’s face. She could already feel her eyes boring into her back. She felt a weight sitting in the pit of her stomach. She felt the tension return to her body that had been gone an hour ago. The loneliness she had felt when Peter first went away slowly returned with a vengeance. The depression and panic enveloping her like a dark storm roaring on the horizon. She was terrified to go home alone. She was terrified to close her eyes and wake up in a blind panic and have to calm herself. She didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to a strange noise and have fear slowly take over her once strong body. This time she didn’t think she was gonna be able to fight off the demons that would scream inside her head all night long. Alcohol and pills weren’t gonna make the look on Kalinda’s face leave her memory. The razor she had swore she would never pick up again didn’t even satisfy her. She was beyond physical pain taking away the scars deep in her soul. But there was no where else for her to go back to the place she felt the worst. The place she felt like she was failing the most, but she no longer had the energy to fix what was broken there either. “Home. Isn’t that where I should be anyway?” she tried not to snap, but the emotions were starting to bubble in her chest all over again thinking about walking through her apartment door. Dealing with Jackie’s snide, inappropriate comments. Asking her why she was running late until she couldn’t emotionally take the questioning anymore and decide to lock herself in her room for the rest of the night. Then she’d had to deal with Peter’s phone call in the morning asking why she was out so late. Asking who she was with. Accusing her, yet again, of sleeping with Will. Accusing her of not caring and wanting him to go to prison. She was tired of the fighting. She was too exhausted to defend herself anymore and there was no one for her to turn to to take up the slack. It had even crossed her mind to sleep with Will, give in to what they both clearly wanted, just to have something to throw back in Peter’s face. The only thing that stopped her was Will. She couldn’t make herself take advantage of the man that had never said an unkind word to her.

Kalinda had to make a decision: let Alicia leave, return home to her mother in law and children; or ask her to stay and see what happens. She could already see the woman fighting with herself. She could see on her tear stained face that she wanted someone to fight for her. She wanted someone to stand beside her and catch her only when she needed it. She wanted someone to feel what she was feeling. To really see the pain deep in her heart. “I see you, Alicia,” she yelled as the woman stopped for a moment.

Alicia heard the words but didn’t believe them. She’d seen Kalinda’s face when the words left her lips, she meant what she said; at least at the time she knew she meant it. She was Peter’s wife. That would be her reputation until she died. It didn’t matter that she was divorcing him. Didn’t matter that she was changing back to her maiden name. Her face was already in every tabloid and new paper in the tri-state area. She was on every news station that would cover the scandal. She was a Florrick. And for that reason alone, she didn’t blame anyone for keeping their distance. “No you don’t. You just don’t want me ignoring you all week,” she said, turning for a moment and catching the woman’s glance, but decided to continue toward her shoes. She didn’t take much stock in the worried look on her friend’s face. In the end, the investigator knew she wouldn’t be ignored for long, no matter how deep her words stung.

Something in Kalinda snapped. She had read Alicia’s file over and over and over again until she knew everything there was to know about the amazingly brilliant attorney. She investigated, she talked to everyone that knew her before she left the workforce. She knew Alicia. She knew Alicia probably better than Peter and Will did. “Alicia Cavannah graduated valedictorian of her high school, first in her class in pre-law, tenth in her graduating law class; higher than Will and Peter. Was so dedicated to helping people you volunteered for a rape crisis hotline throughout your years at Georgetown. Volunteered as a youth leader at summer camps in high school and spent three years assisting in an animal shelter.”

Alicia shook her head, she still wasn’t getting it. And the longer she stood in the cold Chicago wind, she sank deeper into that dark hole she had fought so hard to get out of. She was almost wishing it would hurry and swallow her so she could go back to feeling nothing. Numb was so much better than the burning feeling she had in her chest. “You saw all that when Will asked you to investigate me before I was hired. And he could have told you most of it before you wasted your time,” she said a little louder, becoming more and more agitated. Her achievements didn’t mean anything to her. Of course, they did when they occurred in her life, but they weren’t who she was. Most of the things her parents made her do. She didn’t want to take her little brother to camp every summer and be a Counselor for a bunch of rowdy boys, but she did it. It looked good on paper and that’s pretty much all her parents cared about. She didn’t volunteer at the vets office when she wasn’t at school, he was paying her under the table because he believed her parents were wrong for forcing her. She never told them and used the money for books. The only thing she ever did on her own, something she truly wanted to do, was working on the counseling line. She enjoyed helping the young men and women that called, confused about what happened to them, some couldn’t remember anything at all. All she could do was talk to them, but most that was all they needed. Someone called every night asking for her, some never called back again. But every call she had never ended with her feeling like she didn’t do something. But no one knew any of that because no one ever bothered to ask. “Just forget about it, Kalinda,” she said, bracing her hand against the door as she started to put her right foot in her four inch heel.

Kalinda grabbed Alicia’s arm, spinning her around and pinning her against the stairwell door. Surprising the both of them. But she couldn’t let the woman walk away. She could see that familiar darkness returning to Alicia’s eyes, could feel it radiating off her skin. She’d seen it so many times before, had seen Alicia break so many times, that it took every nerve in her body to stop herself from doing what she would naturally do. She wanted to comfort. She wanted to pull the woman against her chest and tell her everything Peter should have. She wanted to wipe the tears away and make her smile like she had done so many times in the privacy of Alicia’s office. “You bite your nails during closing arguments because no matter how well you’ve done, you’re still terrified that you somehow messed up. You’re afraid you’ll lose, every single time,” she said, gripping the woman’s wrist in her hand, pinning it hard to the cold concrete wall. She tried searching Alicia’s eyes but she continued looking in the opposite direction, trying to stop the tears that Kalinda knew were about to fall. “I know that you still look for me in court. Sometimes multiple times depending on how bad the other lawyers are treating you. And every time I give you a smile and nod, your demeanor completely changes. You’re more confident and relaxed.” She slid her fingers along the palm of Alicia’s hand, searching for the right match. When she found it, Kalinda interlaced their fingers. She searched the woman’s face. The tears were silently falling, her bottom lip quivering so she pulled it between her teeth. “You do that when you’re so frustrated, so upset that any second, you’re afraid a sob will break through,” she whispered, the fingers of her other hand gently touching her chin. “You cried after you won that first case. After you reunited a mother and daughter that never should have been apart.” Finally, Alicia’s eyes focused on hers. And all the pain Kalinda ever felt in her lifetime was directed back at her in Alicia’s eyes. The loneliness, the depression, the anger, the frustration, she’d felt it all in her many years by Nick’s side, but she had never felt it as deeply, as intimately as seeing it in the older woman’s now dark eyes. She understood wanting to crawl under the covers and hide for weeks at a time. She knew what it felt like to sit in the dark, hoping whatever monster was lurking in the corner would take her. Kalinda didn’t have anyone to pull her out of that dark place, she would be damned if she let Alicia get sucked into that place without fight. Without knowing she had the support she needed right in front of her, all she had to do was ask for it. “You went back to the office after we had drinks. I came back to get my phone. I saw the light from under the door and the blinds were drawn. I heard you in there talking to yourself and then you started to cry.” She watched the older woman remembering. It was the most difficult decision the investigator had ever had to make. She wanted to knock on the door, ask if she was ok, invite her to come over. But something in her that night stopped her from opening that door. “I didn’t want to bother you so I left. I came back a few hours before everyone else. I found you asleep on the couch in my office. I sat their for the longest and just watched you sleep. It was the first time I had ever seen you completely relaxed. That’s how I know you snore just a little when you sleep on your back,” she whispered, stepping a little closer, leaning in further. Kalinda had come back to the office that night because she couldn’t sleep. After hearing Alicia’s cries, they echoed in the back of her head every time she closed her eyes. When she hadn’t found the woman in her office, she thought maybe she’d finally gone home and gotten a few needed hours of sleep. Instead, Kalinda found Alicia curled up on her pull out couch. She refused to wake her, instead she covered her with the blanket she kept in the filing cabinet and allowed her to sleep until she was sure Diane was a half hour away. She could see the thin line Alicia was trying to balance on, on the verge of breaking or protecting herself. And it terrified Kalinda that she just might push her away after tearing down her own walls. “Don’t tell me I don’t see you, Alicia. I’ve never seen you as the State’s Attorney’s wife. I don’t give a shit if you’re Peter Florrick’s wife and I never will. And it doesn’t matter to me if you have children or not. That doesn’t change you,” she said a little closer to the woman’s face, the tears still falling. “It makes you more compassionate. You’re more understanding than any lawyer I’ve worked with and even though it can be frustrating sometimes,” she said with a smirk, catching the corner of Alicia’s mouth rising slightly. “It makes you better. You wanted to be my friend immediately. You didn’t care about the things you saw me do during our first case together, you didn’t care about the rumors you had already heard. You accepted me and I’ve never felt that before.” Alicia began to struggle causing the woman to let her hand go, but she didn’t push her away. Her hands fell to the investigator’s waist, her hands twisting the fabric of her blouse. “Tell me what you need me to see.”

Every barrier Alicia had been building around herself since the affair came to light, since the tape recordings had been released to the press, and her children began coming home crying from school every day because other children and the teachers were talking about it, crumbled to the floor. Every flood gate of emotion was suddenly open. Every nerve in her brain was suddenly firing and for a moment, the fog was gone. She could feel the fabric of Kalinda’s blouse between her fingers, holding on as if her life depended on it. The investigator’s fingers were gentle against her cheek, while the other softly and slowly touched the skin of her neck. She couldn’t stop her body from leaning into the touch, and for a half a second, she thought she could see understanding in Kalinda’s eyes. She thought she could see what she wanted reflected back at her. Alicia didn’t just want to be seen, she wanted to be wanted. Her husband obviously didn’t get what he wanted from her. Will didn’t want her anymore. And the woman that she had relied on for the last few months couldn’t be an option. If she were, Alicia was positive Kalinda would have made it clear by now. She didn’t want to say that. She didn’t want to say anything, but feeling the woman fingers on her face, seeing her open and understanding eyes caused the words to tumble out before she could catch them. “I want you to want me,” she whispered into the air. But as the words reached the investigator’s ears and she took a step closer, trapping her body firmly against the wall, Alicia tried to cover her face with her hand. The investigator caught it, holding her wrist gently. She could feel the blush heating up her chest and face. The embarrassment setting her blood on fire. The tears coming faster as she fought hard not to jerk her hand away from Kalinda’s. “I shouldn’t have said that,” she mumbled trying to squirm away.

Kalinda pressed her body against Alicia’s, pinning her to the building. Catching her hands as they began to push her away. Holding them gently and running her fingers over Alicia’s palms and wrists. She could feel the warmth from the attorney’s body seeping through her blouse. She could feel the confusion as she tried to push her away and press herself closer at the same time. Alicia’s fingers closed and opened around her own. She could see the want on Alicia’s face, but she could see the fear of the unknown. She could feel her friend almost expecting the rejection. She could feel the woman’s breathing increase, could see the start of panic in her eyes. And just when she thought Alicia would never look at her again, the woman swallowed hard and finally her eyes shifted back to Kalinda’s. All she saw was vulnerability. Alicia’s eyes and heart were finally open and allowing the investigator inside. She knew to be gentle. She knew it was time to soothe and comfort, and open herself so Alicia could see she wasn’t the only one with feelings she didn’t quite understand. Kalinda brushed the hair behind the attorney’s ears, leaving her with no place to hide. The back of her hand brushed down the woman’s cheek, along her perfect jaw, and down her long neck, settling around the small necklace most people never saw her wear. “Shhhhh….,” she hushed as she leaned closer, resting her forehead against the older woman’s. “What are you so afraid of?”

Alicia could feel her hands shaking as Kalinda let them go, allowing her to push her away if she wanted to, but she didn’t want to. Instead, her fingers touched the woman’s warm cheek with her trembling finger tips; almost wanting to make sure she was real. She could feel a wetness on the woman’s face that she hadn’t seen in the shadows. The investigator was terrified and hiding it well. Alicia leaned closer, finally sharing the same air as the woman she had craved for so many months. It was more intimacy than she’d had in a long time. And Kalinda smiled as if she could read her mind. But something stopped the attorney from capturing the investigator’s lips with her own. She wanted to, God knew how bad she wanted to, but she was almost frozen in fear. She was letting her walls burn and hoping the young woman would be there to catch her in the end. “I don’t want you to hate me,” she whimpered through the tears. That was her biggest fear. She was used to being rejected, years of practice. She wasn’t used to being hated. She didn’t know if she would be able to look at Kalinda every day if knowing how she felt about her caused a break in their friendship. “Please, don’t hate me.”

Kalinda couldn’t stop how her body began reacting to Alicia’s pleas. She didn’t care about the party going on down stairs. She didn’t care that Will had watched her wandering to the elevator soon after Alicia. She didn’t care that Donna would tell Blake she’d gone up the stairs after the older lawyer. Nothing mattered in her multi tasking mind, but making Alicia see how she felt. To feel how she’s felt from the beginning and was unable to show it. Kalinda wanted to erase the insecurities that were wrecking havoc on her best friend’s beautiful brain. She wanted Alicia to see she didn’t have to hide or fight for her anymore. She was present in the moment, something very rare for her, and she could feel the older woman imprinting on her skin. Alicia was taking possession of her, owning her without even realizing it. Without even being aware she had that kind of power over her. Kalinda felt a violent shiver run down her spine as Alicia’s lips ghosted over her face. Her eyes closing for a moment, allowing the skittish woman to explore until she felt soft, barely there kisses to her cheek. She nuzzled the woman’s nose with her own, something she never did with any other woman. Unlike anyone else, Kalinda had wanted to know what it would be like to be with someone like Alicia. Someone she knew who would love her no matter what, someone that wouldn’t rush her, that would understand her anxieties and fears. Someone that not only want her body but want her, with all the ups and downs she knew it would cause. She had wanted it for so long, with Donna, with Lana, but she was too afraid to let that much of herself be exposed. She could never let her own walls down long enough to feel with it was like to really be loved and cared for by another person. “Never,” she whispered, “I could never hate you.” She felt the woman’s hands wander along her spine as her own slipped under Alicia’s suit jacket, pulling her blouse from her slacks, searching for the warm skin she knew was hiding there. “But you didn’t have to go to all the trouble if all you wanted was my attention.” She was finally able to free the fabric and the second Kalinda’s fingers touched her warm back, her nails lightly scratching on either side of her spine, Alicia arched into her. The investigator knew it was from the cold, but it didn’t stop her from admiring the woman’s beautiful neckline in the process. Or the way Alicia’s lips parted in a silent moan, and her eyes stayed connected with her own. It was innocently arousing. “God, you’re sexy,” she moaned as she saw the smile finally break through and spread across her face. She took advantage of the distraction, moving her lips to the soft, flushed skin of the woman’s neck; right below her ear. Some place the investigator had a feeling would be particularly sensitive for the over stressed woman. She kissed, sucked and licked along the side of Alicia’s neck. Listening to the soft gasps and sometimes loud moans when she sunk her teeth in a little too deep. She could feel Alicia’s nails digging into the fabric of her back, could feel when they began searching as hers had done. “You’ve had my attention since you walked into your office the first time,” she whispered before gently biting the woman’s earlobe.

Every time Kalinda bit down on the skin of her neck she wanted to scream. She seemed to have a radar for the most sensitive spots, the most moan worthy places no one had ever found. But it was more than that. She could feel Kalinda taking her time, savoring the chills that ran through her body and the whimpers that left her lips. “Kalinda...” It was the first time the woman’s name left her lips in physical pleasure, but it felt natural. And it caused something to burst within the woman’s chest. Alicia couldn’t help throwing her head back against the hard door, feeling something stirring in her belly that she hadn’t felt in a long time as she felt the bruises Kalinda was leaving behind with every hard suck and bite. “I was jealous downstairs,” she whimpered, as the investigator began to sooth the bruised skin with soft kisses. Her tongue licking the redness away. She didn’t know where the confession came from. She didn’t even know if she fully believed the words in the moment, but it wouldn’t have been the first time she had been jealous when Kalinda’s attention was directed elsewhere. ‘I know. Don’t think about it anymore,’ was whispered in her ear so softly, so gently, the attorney thought she might cry all over again. It was Kalinda’s version of forgiveness. And in order to truly feel what was happening, what was going to happen, Alicia needed it. “You’re all I think about anymore,” she confessed into the cold night air. Little by little the wall was falling, Kalinda was carefully chipping away, seeming to enjoy taking the slow exploration Alicia was desperately needing. With every kiss and sharp bite against her pounding pulse, another brick fell. Another stone shattered to the ground. “I wake up thinking about you, wishing so badly that you were there,” she moaned as she felt the woman falter against her skin. She heard the gasp in her ear. She felt the goosebumps spreading down her chest, covering her arms as the younger woman whispered closer to her ear. “I dream about you touching me and when I wake up and you’re not there I can barely stand it.” Alicia didn’t understand what came over her the moment she met the young fire ball of a woman, but she couldn’t find it in herself to care. She had never been attracted to a woman before and that didn’t even seem to bother her the first time she woke up with soaking panties from her explicit dream about her best friend. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t stop talking, couldn’t stop telling Kalinda things she wouldn’t have told anyone a week ago if she were being tortured. But with every confession, she felt the woman shiver, tremble against her. She could feel the woman’s pulse pounding in her neck as her fingers moved the hair away, the few strands that the Chicago wind had managed to pull from the tight bun. “God, you’re so beautiful,” she moaned, feeling the goosebumps develop on the woman’s skin, a violent tremble traveled through her body before she moaned in return. Kalinda’s fingers gently scratched down her back, digging into her hips and pulling her closer, before trailing slowing to the button on her slacks. She was coherent enough to slowly pull a hand from Kalinda’s back and place it over her trembling ones while she was distracted leaving obvious bruises down her clavicle. She didn’t want to stop, God knew, the last thing she wanted to do was give the younger woman a reason to pull away. But if she didn’t ask, if she didn’t check in, she was even more terrified Kalinda would permanently push her away if she were in any way wrong. “What are we doing, Kalinda?” she couldn’t help whispering, as the woman froze for the moment. She could feel the steady breathing against her neck and Alicia feared she’d finally stopped the woman for the last time, but instead of pulling away, Kalinda stopped biting, stopped the aggression and started leaving soft butterfly kisses.

Kalinda felt that sudden hot poker hit her in the heart as the words left Alicia’s lips. She could feel the arousal seeping from Alicia’s over heated skin. She could see it in her eyes when she looked at her. The words she said not moments ago still floating around inside her brain. She’d thought she giving Alicia what she wanted, what they both obviously needed. She didn’t know what was holding the attorney back. She couldn’t sense what she needed from her and, for the second time tonight, Kalinda was petrified she would say the wrong thing, ask the wrong thing and Alicia would run away again. “Talk to me, honey,” she whispered against the hollow of her best friend’s throat. She’d heard the desperation in Alicia’s voice as she held her hand tight against her belly. She didn’t want to think she had crossed a line that neither of them knew existed until now. And she couldn’t bring herself to push. She couldn’t force herself to continue talking when all she wanted was to mark Alicia’s neck with bruises that wouldn’t be ignored tomorrow. But she decided to wait and see if the question meant what she thought it meant. She didn’t pull away. She didn’t become frustrated or hateful like she had in the past. She was quiet and gentle. The fingers of one hand slipping from the older woman’s, trailing her nails softly along the trembling knuckles before her heavy hand rested above the woman’s pounding heart. “Thought this was what you wanted,” she mumbled against the woman’s neck, feeling Alicia’s fingers tighten around her own. She could feel the older woman’s want for her with every beat of her pulse. She could see it in Alicia’s eyes when they finally met her own. But she needed Alicia to decide. She couldn’t force her to drop the wall and let her in. She couldn’t make her relax enough to just enjoy the moment. Alicia had to do it on her own.

Alicia hadn’t stopped wanting what Kalinda’s was offering, now that she was finally offering it. But she didn’t want to take advantage. She didn’t want her best friend, the only person that accepted her despite her baggage, to consent because she felt like she had to, like the woman was doing her some kind of favor. The investigator would do anything to make her feel better. To make her smile for even a moment. She did it all the time when Alicia felt like she was falling apart. She didn’t want Kalinda that way. She wanted Kalinda to want it and from what she could remember through her haze about the woman’s intimate past, Alicia wasn’t sure if she would be able to tell if the woman was consenting out of necessity or out of love. Whether the young investigator was giving her what she wanted in order to keep the friendship they both depended on. She wanted to know. She wanted to be able to look Kalinda in the eyes and see the same passion reflected back at her and know it was real. And she wasn’t positive with her ability to read anyone anymore, let alone the woman that made a living off her poker face. She hated herself for a moment for even considering Kalinda would put on a show for her, put on a front to make her happy. But she didn’t know what to believe anymore. And with the investigator’s lips on her neck, the soft touches over her skin, Alicia was having a difficult time not moving her hand and allowing Kalinda to do whatever she wanted; no matter what she would be thinking later. “I want you so bad,” she leaned down and whispered in the woman’s ear, feeling the most violent tremble yet run through the young woman’s body. She could feel the tension building in the way Kalinda’s hands squeezed and released the fingers wrapped around her belt. She could feel the air getting thicker around them as the investigator began to to almost pant against her chest. “It’s fucking sexy when you do that. I never dreamt I could make you tremble for me,” she groaned, almost not recognizing her own voice. Alicia wasn’t one to usually talk in the bedroom. She could never just let go and say what she wanted. She could never just be sexy without feeling ridiculous. She still refused to make love with the lights on when she was with Peter. She barely wanted to talk about sex at all, with anyone. But she wanted Kalinda to know. She wanted the confession staring them in the face to save herself from trying to convince the woman later. “You’re all I want anymore,” she half hissed, half moaned as Kalinda began scraping her teeth, slowly down her neck. She couldn’t say ‘I love you’ even though she would mean every word and she would mean them a month from now. But it wasn’t the time. She’d bring it up later when they were alone again. She let out a shaky breath, she didn’t know if she had been holding it or not, but it burned her lungs the next time she inhaled. One of her hands wandered up the young woman’s arm until she found the investigator’s fingers. “You always wanna give me everything I want.” She couldn’t stop herself from wrapping her hand around Kalinda’s smaller one and squeezing a little harder than she probably needed to. “What do you want?” she whispered, waiting for the woman to look at her.

Kalinda kissed a line from the woman ear to her jaw slowly. Not trying to get out of answering to answer, but to extend her ability to touch Alicia before she answered. She’d thought she was clear how she felt. She thought crossing these lines with her best friend was answer enough. But then she remembered who the woman was she was about to bed. What she had been through the past year that would make her question everything not once but twice. Alicia needed reassurance. She needed the constant reminders, maybe not before Peter destroyed her self esteem, but definitely after. And even after Kalinda told her over and over again how she felt and what she wanted; she knew Alicia would continue to doubt it. It would take a long time before she would be able to look at the older woman and tell her the truth and have her actually believe it. It would probably be even longer for Alicia to believe Kalinda wouldn’t change her mind. And she was willing to remind the woman every day if that’s what it took for the terrified woman to finally believe her. “Let me show you how much you’re wanted,” she muttered against the woman’s ear as she sucked the lobe between her teeth. “Let me show you how much I want you,” she husked as her voice dripped with arousal. She felt the nod, but more than that, Alicia’s hands let hers go. She didn’t step away when her hands left Alicia’s body for only a moment to begin pulling up her skirt, eyes locking on the older woman’s. The observant attorney was watching her every move. She could see the flashes of want appear as Kalinda revealed more and more of her thighs. Even in the dark, she knew Alicia could see where the thigh highs ended and her skin began. She felt the woman suck in a breath as Kalinda wrapped a hand around her and guided it to her thigh. The moment her best friend’s fingers touched her skin in a place she had only imagined made her want to push a little more. She loosened her grip around Alicia’s wrist, allowing her to move, which she did almost immediately. Her nails scratched up and down her sensitive thigh with very little guidance. “You’re driving me crazy,” she moaned against Alicia’s cheek, feeling her knees almost give as the woman’s hand traveled higher and higher up her wet upper thigh. She could see the questions, but for once, the older woman said nothing. Kalinda was thanking whatever God there was that she had decided against wearing spandex to the party. And before she could loose her nerve, she took Alicia’s hand and guided it inside her soaking wet panties. Not her reaction from Donna. Not her reaction from knowing Alicia wanted her so much. It was her reaction to Alicia every day. She didn’t take her eyes off the woman panting against the roof door as her fingers touched her wet, swollen lips for the first time. For a moment, she had to bite her lip to stop the animalistic moan that wanted to erupt from her chest. She could see her eyes turning a bright green and her pupils dilating as her fingers moved through her short public hair. Touching her clit with the tip of her middle finger before moving away again. “Alicia…,” she barely whispered into the night air. Kalinda couldn’t stop her mouth from falling open as Alicia began exploring on her own, actually pushing her hand away as if it weren’t needed any longer. Moving easily through her as if she had done it so many times before. “Does that answer your question?” she moaned as she leaned closer searching the woman’s face for permission.

Alicia couldn’t stop her fingers from beginning to move as Kalinda’s slipped away to begin working on her slacks again. She couldn’t stop the smirk that appeared on her face as she began circling the woman’s clit and hearing the deep moan released from her lips as she rested her forehead against her shoulder. She felt the zipper give and the woman’s finger slip under the band. She was embarrassingly wet. She could feel her arousal coating her thighs. And with every little touch from the woman’s fingers caused a new rush of excitement to settle in the pit of her stomach. But the moment Kalinda’s fingers touched her clit, she felt the pain of being overly aroused and couldn’t stop the whimper that left her lips. “Kalinda, I….” she gasped and then the woman’s fingers were gone.

Kalinda could see the discomfort on Alicia’s face. She could only imagine how long the older woman had been dripping and frustrated. How long she had been pushing this moment to the back of her mind. “Shhh...” And even though the woman’s finger’s never stopped moving against her own center, she decided to try something else. “Any reason I can’t be inside you,” she half whispered, half moaned against the woman’s ear.

Alicia’s fingers moved faster at the thought of Kalinda inside her. She knew what she was asking without asking it. Still refusing to embarrass her if she didn’t have it. “No,” she whispered, turning her head quickly towards the woman, finally catching her lips in a heated, messy, but passionate kiss. She could feel the woman’s fingers circling her entrance. Could hear her moaning against her mouth as her fingers began to slow again. Dipping lower for a moment to trail two fingers through the flood of arousal she was oddly craving to taste. Before she couldn’t say anything, before she could taste anything other than Kalinda’s tongue, she felt the investigator’s fingers slowly push inside her to the knuckle, the palm of her hand resting over her pulsating clit. She felt fuller than she had in a long time. She felt that familiar quiver beginning in her lower belly. No one, Peter included even in their early years, had ever made her climb that peak so quickly. No one made her as slick and tight as the woman that was beginning to slowly curl her fingers and smile. “Kalinda...” she gasped, between licking and nipping the investigator’s bottom lip.

Kalinda could already feel the tremors beginning around her fingers. It didn’t take her long to find that sensitive spot inside Alicia’s sticky walls. Massaging the spongy patch only lightly, but it was far more than enough for the older woman. Kalinda didn’t know what turned her on more; how turned on Alicia was or how turned on Alicia was because of her. She was dripping long before she arrived on the roof and she could feel that thick, sticky arousal covering not only her long fingers, but the palm of her hand, her wrist. The investigator could taste the marijuana on the woman’s tongue with every open mouth kiss. And for some reason, it turned her on more. “I want to hear you moan for me,” she groaned as she felt Alicia’s fingers push inside her for the first time. Her eyes watched the older woman’s face as she moved her fingers a little faster. She watched her best friend’s mouth fell open, but instead of closing like she expected them to, Alicia’s eyes stayed open. And unlike Donna or Lana or any of her lovers from the past few years, she didn’t flinch away. She didn’t close her eyes to break what Kalinda knew to be her intense stare; instead she matched it and curled her fingers just right inside her. She couldn’t stop the long low whimper that escaped her lips; a rarity, as the woman with little experience with women found her g-spot with little effort and sighed in pleasure as her fingers began to match the ones Kalinda had buried deep inside her.

Alicia knew Kalinda was holding back. Knew she had probably been holding back not just in their relationship, but in every relationship she’d ever had. She’d asked the questions in the beginning of their friendship and she received vague answers, but she accepted them because the longer she knew the young woman, the more she realized it wasn’t that her answers were vague. Her answers were true to who she was. But Alicia didn’t want vague at the moment and she certainly didn’t want Kalinda holding anything back. The fingers of her free hand traced the woman’s cheekbone before curling around the nape of her neck. Needing to touch as much of the woman’s skin as possible. Needing to feel parts of Kalinda that she would never allow her to touch. And with every passing moment, every touch beneath her fingertips, every curl and movement of Kalinda’s wrist between her legs gave Alicia everything she’d been missing. She wanted someone to want her, to touch her, to care enough about what she needed, and to take the time and give it to her. “Let me hear you, Kalinda,” she moaned before her thumb started moving faster over the young woman’s sensitive nerves.

Kalinda closed her eyes and took a deep breath as the attorney moaned in her ear and curled her fingers hard. She had never been vocal when it came to her own pleasure. She didn’t scream and moan her lovers name in her moments of ecstasy. They were lucky to get a gasp or whimper as she was coming down. But for once, just once, she let herself be heard. “Fuck, Alicia,” she moaned, as her fingers began working faster. The fingers of her other hand ripping Alicia’s suit jacket, buttons scattering as her hand quickly slipped under the cotton padded bra. She felt the woman moan against her mouth as she massaged the perfect flesh and scratched the warm hard nipple. Her teeth bit down on Alicia’s bottom lip one more time before opening her eyes and catching the older woman smirking. Not a sarcastic smirk, but a ‘I knew you could give me more’ smirk. And she pinched the hardened flesh while pushing her palm harder into the woman’s slick clit. She was becoming tighter and tighter around her fingers. “I wanna see you come,” she hissed, as Alicia’s fingers moved faster inside her. She could feel the tightness in her belly and the rising goosebumps on her chest. She knew she was gonna finish harder than she had since the first time she touched herself. It was gonna be loud and violent and embarrassing. And for some reason she just didn’t care. She didn’t bite her lip like she did every time Lana was between her legs. She didn’t throw a hand over her mouth as Donna bent her over the counter and fucked her from behind. She stopped holding her breath like she did when Cary moved inside her so slow she thought she was going insane. Instead, she let out an almost sharp scream as Alicia curled her fingers harder, moving them deeper and deeper inside her as her internal muscles finally contracted violently. All sound disappeared. The cold breeze that had been blowing against her had stopped, and every nerve under her skin felt like it was on fire. And as her eyes slammed closed all she could feel was Alicia. All that mattered was feeling Alicia. All she could smell and taste was the woman that was continuously pumping inside her, pushing her so far over the edge, she could barely remember how to breath.

Alicia knew how close she was to shattering Kalinda’s eardrums with her cries. The pressure in her belly and pelvis grew hotter and hotter with every pinch and twist of her nipple. She could feel her legs beginning to shake as the investigator started grinding against her hand. She could feel the familiar tremors wrapping around the fingers that were dripping with the shaking woman’s essence. She watched in amazement as Kalinda threw her head back for a moment, mouth open as a long, loud moan left her lips. It was beyond arousing, stimulating and beautiful. It was Kalinda letting go of whatever had been holding her back. It was her allowing her walls to fall, if only for a little while, to just be in that private, intimate moment with her. “That was so sexy,” it was out of her mouth before she could push the words back down. But as Kalinda’s eyes fluttered open and connected with her own, as she felt the orgasm begin around her fingers, she realized she didn’t want to take it back. She’d never wanted to take any of it back. Alicia’s fingers tangled in the loose bun, as she held the investigator’s gaze. She could see how close Kalinda was to pouring down her hand and as she watched the woman’s eyes flash, she curled her fingers quickly. She only experienced the first few seconds of Kalinda screaming, trembling and coming for her. She could remember the look of pure pleasure in her eyes as her name fell from her lips. But as Kalinda was coming back down, she was still pushing Alicia for that release she had been begging for.

Kalinda couldn’t believe how intense her moments of ecstasy was. She trembled and screamed in Alicia’s arms. She came all over her best friend’s hand and was still not ready to back down, as she normally would. Although her mind was foggy, she nuzzled Alicia’s nose with her own. Catching her lips in a hard, wet kiss before pinching the woman’s nipple harder and moving her fingers more with a purpose. Needing to see what her face looked like when she finally let go. Kalinda pulled away enough to catch Alicia biting her lip. “If you don’t let me hear you, I’ll stop,” she gasped, as the soft muscles around her fingers began quivering.

Alicia’s eyes fluttered open, she knew they were wet and begging, but she didn’t care. She stopped biting her lip even though it was something she would naturally do. She wanted to give Kalinda anything she wanted. Anything she needed that would keep her from stopping Alicia was willing to give. “Please don’t stop,” she moaned louder than she ever had or probably ever would again. She was right on the edge, ready to fall over for the first time in almost a year because of another person’s touch. Because of Kalinda’s touch. And as the investigator curled her fingers one more time, whispering something in her ear she wouldn’t soon forget; Alicia shattered. She screamed Kalinda’s name as if her very last breath depended on it. She trembled as the soft touch of the young woman’s lips on her neck caused her to fly higher. She could feel the sticky liquid running down her thighs. Could hear Kalinda mumbling sweet words in her ear. She felt light and free for the first time since Peter put a ring on her finger. She felt that giddiness in her chest that usually began soon after she orgasmed. But instead of the familiar smells that usually invaded her senses, she smelled Kalinda’s perfume, her skin, the mint gum she’d been chewing all night. As she was coming down, the adrenaline finally starting to fade, the high of the weed long gone, guilt began to set into her chest. Even with Kalinda nuzzling into her neck, fingers still buried deep inside her, she felt ashamed, not of what they’d done, but how they’d done it. And as the last of the tremors faded, the first tear fell.

Kalinda felt it long before she heard the sniffle. She had prepared herself for the moment of regret before she pushed Alicia against the wall and in her mind she truly believed she could handle it. She had been rejected more times than people really knew about. She had been pushed away after sex, asked to leave, and some she never saw again. Kalinda had grown used to going home alone and waking up alone. She hadn’t thought she’d had expectations when she kissed Alicia for the first time, but it turned out she did. She wanted more and from someone like Alicia, she expected more. But feeling the woman she had been watching and wanting from afar tense after the last hour, made her heart ache. She kissed Alicia’s cheek, allowing her hand to slid from under the bra and blouse. She could hear the woman’s soft whimpers with every small touch to her skin. Before she could look at Alicia’s face, she gently touched her cheek. Wiping the tears away by touch alone. “We don’t have to talk about it again,” she whispered, but even as the words left her lips, she wished she could take them back. She wanted to talk about it. She wanted to understand more of what Alicia needed. She wanted to see the private things she never had the chance to learn about the woman.

Alicia released a slow breath, eyes finally opening and searching Kalinda’s face. She looked scared for the first time in their friendship. Her eyes showed nothing but fear. But Alicia couldn’t focus on the fear she was seeing reflected back at her. Kalinda’s slightly flushed cheeks, parted lips still slowly panting, and her almost blown pupils; she thought the woman couldn’t look more beautiful. She could still see the light layer of sweat on her forehead, the teeth marks in her lower lip. Alicia still wanted her, still needed her and no matter what happened after tonight wouldn’t change that. She just wanted to make it a little better, a little easier for them both. “I didn’t want it to happen like this,” she whispered, as a half laugh half sob left her lips. She’d thought about a lot of ways their first time could happen, dreamed about a few of them when they were apart for days at a time. None of those dreams included a public display, an argument, and sex on the roof while she was stoned. That’s what hurt her the most, she ruined their first time because she couldn’t just tell Kalinda she wanted her. She took that away from them and there was no way to get it back.

Kalinda felt every muscle in her body relax again. She brushed a few tears away that were racing down Alicia’s face. She’d never thought Alicia, her best friend, the prim and proper lawyer would ever think twice about taking her to bed. She had seen the looks from across the conference room table. She had felt some things starting to shift more and more during the late night cram sessions before each case. She thought she could feel something changing, but she pushed the feeling away. Alicia never said anything about leaving Peter. She never said anything about liking women. So hearing she had been thinking about her, dreaming about her. Wondering what their first time would be like made her heart warm. “How did you imagine it?’ she asked with a sly smile as she slowly, gently removed her fingers from inside her. Watching Alicia’s eyes flutter closed and hearing her gasp would be the sound she would hear in her dreams from now on. “I’ve imagined it. Sometimes you lean back in your office chair and it takes everything I have not to get on my knees,” she whispered against the woman’s lips, feeling her gasp as the words filled the silent roof top. Kalinda was enjoying seeing and hearing Alicia’s reaction to what she’d thought about doing, what she wanted to do. But more than anything, she wanted the beautiful, sensitive woman to realize that she’d been thinking about it to. “And no matter how many times you’ve leaned against the elevator walls, stretching your back, that I didn’t want to push the emergency stop button and show you how much you turn me on.” She waited for the older woman’s eyes to open again before she batted her own, smirked and licked her fingers clean. Tasting Alicia for the first time and it was a taste she would crave from now on. And watching the woman blush while she enjoyed her unique, earthy taste made her own internal muscle begin to clench again.

Alicia had never seen something more arousing. Watching Kalinda lick her lips as she finished cleaning her fingers was something that she would dream about for the next few weeks. It was something she had hated when Peter had done it, and most of the time he did it just to get a reaction out of her. She refused to kiss him, refused to kiss him after oral sex too. But Kalinda made her want to know what she tasted like on her lips. Alicia took a deep breath before slowly and careful sliding her fingers from Kalinda’s warmth. She watched the woman’s eyes flutter closed for a moment and swore she heard her name muttered, but she refused to ask. “I’ve wanted to know what you felt like for a long time,” she whispered, as the investigator gently kissed her lips. Not an open mouth kiss, but enough that when she pulled away and licked her own lips, she tasted herself. “I’ve thought about it a lot.” Now she was thinking about her wet fingers still under Kalinda’s skirt. She wanted to know how the woman tasted. She wanted that unique sensation on her tongue. But Alicia wasn’t bold. She didn’t do things to draw attention to herself. And for some reason, the thought of cleaning the woman’s essence off her fingers embarrassed her.

Kalinda could almost hear the thoughts rolling around inside Alicia’s brain as the woman kissed her temple. She could feel the wet fingers trembling between her legs. She knew what the older woman wanted to do. For a moment, it was as Kalinda were reliving her own first time. The woman she had been with had been far more experienced. And she could remember not knowing what to do after, being too embarrassed to do what your body was telling her to do. Her first lover hadn’t been patient, hadn’t been loving and caring after; she’d been cold. Not caring what she’d done or if she even stayed. Kalinda didn’t want Alicia to feel that way. She didn’t want the silence and unfamiliarity to get in the way of her feeling everything she could feel, everything she could have that Kalinda was willingly giving for the first time. She turned her face to nuzzle the skin just under Alicia’s ear. “I have hand sanitizer in my purse,” she whispered not expecting the older woman, with no experience, to react the same way she reacted. She didn’t want the intimate moment she was finally able to share with her to be tainted by embarrassment and unknown questions. Kalinda also didn’t want Alicia wiping her hand on her clothes because she was too uncomfortable to do anything else.

Alicia knew physically she could do anything she wanted. She could pull her hand from underneath Kalinda’s skirt, bat her eyes, be sexy, and lick her fingers clean. She knew she could put on a show if she could push the anxiety done far enough to forget the negative thoughts in her head. She could get on her knees right now and taste the young woman like she’d been imagining for so long. She knew Kalinda wouldn’t make her feel uncomfortable even though Alicia made herself uncomfortable enough for the both of them. She would be quiet and gentle like she always had been. She would be understanding and patient. Kalinda would wait and continue to wait until she was ready. It was something Alicia hadn’t had in her life in a long time, if she ever really did. She knew she wouldn’t be judged by anything she did, but she couldn’t make herself move. “I’m not...I can’t...” Alicia tried to steady her breathing. She’d always thought it would be the physical act of sex with Kalinda that made her the most nervous. But it was the after, with Kalinda watching her, observing her every move. “I need you,” she whispered, the frustration clear in her voice, but so was a little determination she hadn’t had before.

Kalinda’s hand trailed down the older woman’s arm until she reached the wet fingers between her legs. “How about baby steps?’ she whispered, before interlacing their fingers and bringing them out from under her skirt. She could feel how wet she had gotten after her explosive orgasm. The palm of Alicia’s hand soaked and sticky from the constant dripping. “Close your eyes,” she barely whispered, but the woman obeyed without giving it a moments thought. Kalinda knew it would make Alicia blush and look away if she were watching what she was about to do. She didn’t want that. She knew what Alicia wanted whether she wanted to take it for herself or not. The investigator only wanted to make it easier, maybe even a little sexier. “Don’t pull away,” she mumbled, before blowing a puff of hot air over their fingers, giving Alicia some warning before she touched her. She tentatively touched the tip of her tongue to the pad of Alicia’s finger, when she didn’t pull away, didn’t flinch, but whimpered instead, Kalinda couldn’t stop herself from sucking one of Alicia’s fingers along with her own between her lips. Tasting herself, something she’d done a hundred times, what was different was the taste of herself on Alicia’s skin. As she was taking the second set of fingers between her lips, she looked up to watch the older woman’s face. Alicia’s eyes weren’t closed in frustration anymore. They were open and watching her every move. As she finished cleaning their sticky fingers, Alicia pulled her closer. Eyes glancing from her own brown ones down to her sticky lips. Her eyes were bright green now, almost glowing. “Taste me now,” she whispered against Alicia’s parted lip.

Alicia licked Kalinda’s bottom lip. Nipping and sucking her confidence back. She could smell Kalinda long before the woman sucked her fingers cleaned. It was intoxicating even from a distance. Now, with Kalinda’s sticky, wet lips so close to hers, it was a smell that invaded her senses and burrowed in the front of her brain. There was nothing in the world she could compare the smell of Kalinda’s arousal mixing with her own on the woman’s mouth. “God, you smell good,” she groaned, turning herself on all over again. But it was the first taste of the investigator on her tongue. It was a taste she would never be able to identify as anything but Kalinda. She was sweet and tangy, and something she couldn’t put a name to as the young woman’s tongue searched out her own. It was sticky and messy and everything the older woman had been missing in the last year. Everything she had been missing for the last ten years. Alicia wanted more and she wished she’d taken the chance and tasted Kalinda the way she’d imagined she would. But even as Kalinda’s lips left hers, the woman didn’t pull away. “You said baby steps,” she whispered, against the woman’s cheek. Hoping she meant what she thought it meant, but refusing to beg for more time.

Kalinda hadn’t expected to go home alone tonight. She had at least expected to stay at Alicia’s, something they had done before. But something in the way Alicia still clutching the fabric of her blouse told her she didn’t want to go home. She didn’t want to deal with the constant nagging and questions and accusations. Kalinda couldn’t blame her, she had seen Jackie in action on more than one occasion. Several times she had wanted to step in, but the look in Alicia’s eyes told her to stay quiet. And if they would have to deal with the mother in law that had no business questioning the mother of her grandchildren when her own son was sitting behind bars, knowing he slept with multiple women during his marriage to the strongest women she’d ever met. Knowing he could have brought diseases home not only to Alicia, but to her grandchildren. He put them in more danger than anyone seemed to realize and Jackie didn’t seem to care. Kalinda hated the older woman more than she should, but she couldn’t stand the blind stupidity. The ‘boys will be boys’ mentality. As far as she was concerned, Alicia could move in with her tomorrow if it meant keeping Jackie from tearing down what she was working so hard in building back up. Kalinda was almost terrified letting the attorney leave her, not knowing what would happen if she wasn’t standing behind her. She couldn’t send Alicia home. She couldn’t abandon her when she was so vulnerable and needed the extra care. “Stay with me tonight,” she said, finally taking a step back, catching Alicia’s hands as she lost grip on the fabric. Protecting the older woman was only seventy percent of the reason she wanted Alicia to come home with her. The other part was she wanted to wake up with her best friend in her arms. She wanted to see what she looked like just waking up, the sun kissing her skin for the first time. She wanted to see her naked body and smiling face the moment her eyes opened.

“Yes,” it was out of her mouth almost embarrassingly quickly, making Kalinda smile. Alicia didn’t have to think about whether or not she wanted to go home with Kalinda. Jackie and the kids were already asleep. It wouldn’t matter what time she went home now, her future ex mother in law was sure to tell Peter during their next conversation. She didn’t want Jackie to ruin the intimacy that they had just shared. She wanted to cherish the contact with the only woman she had ever let touch her body in this way. She wanted to follow Kalinda home and curl into her bed for the first time. Alicia wanted to spend all night learning the young woman’s body until they were both too exhausted to move. She wanted to open her eyes and see Kalinda’s smiling, sleepy face. She wanted to feel her warm skin against her normally cold body in the middle of the night. She wasn’t ready to break their emotional connection and go home to a freezing cold bed to fall asleep alone, again. “I need you, too,” she said, swallowing the lump in her throat. Remembering the words whispered in her ear moments before she lost all coherent thought. “More than I think even you realize.”

Kalinda kissed the woman’s knuckles, still smelling herself with every inhale, but Alicia didn’t need to know that. She silently knelt down, picking up one heel and tapping the woman’s foot to get her to lift it. She couldn’t help looking up between her lashes, biting her lip trying not to smirk when Alicia gasped as her nails trailed up her calf. She slowly and gently repeated the process with the other foot, picking up both their bags before standing again. “I think we should continue this somewhere a little less windy.”

Alicia took her purse, throwing it over her shoulder before zipping and buttoning her pants. Even something as simple as that, with Kalinda watching her, biting her lip, looking at her through her lashes, Alicia couldn’t stop the blush from spreading down her chest. “I have to be back home by 6:30, before the kids go to school.” The attorney was almost afraid to mention the daily duties she had to contend with. Nervous Kalinda had forgotten about the biggest responsibility she had. But instead of shying away, she gently wiped what she assumed to be lipstick from around her mouth with her thumb.

Kalinda had always been confused when the children were mentioned in conversation and Alicia would flinch. She apologized almost obsessively when one of the kids would call while they were working late together. She never asked about the behavior, Kalinda assumed Alicia wanted to keep them away from her work life, but now she was beginning to think she was trying to keep them away from her. From bothering her or annoying her or whatever was going through Alicia’s mind that made her think she didn’t want anything to do with her kids. She liked Alicia’s kids because they weren’t kids. They didn’t need constant supervision. They didn’t need to be told what to do every ten minutes. They could feed themselves and put themselves to bed. They were teens that Kalinda could actually have a conversation with, especially if it involved homework. She thoroughly enjoyed helping them, when Alicia would give her a chance or if she was too busy in a meeting to notice. They loved asking her questions and when they did get a chance to talk about their day, she realized she loved hearing about the teen drama. “I get up at five every day,” she whispered, kissing the woman’s lips softly.

As Kalinda pulled away, Alicia shook her head, almost laughing. “Why in the world would you get up at five every day?” she asked, finally taking a shaky step to the side as the wind began to turn to ice, allowing the investigator to pull the door open.

Kalinda motioned for Alicia to step inside. “Takes time to look good enough to get your attention,” she said with a cheeky smile, as the woman brushed past her, rolling her eyes slightly.

As the door slammed closed behind them, Alicia’s hand brushed Kalinda’s. Pushing the woman gently against the wall. “We’re really doing this?” she asked, searching Kalinda’s face for any sign that the woman was uncomfortable. Any sign that she wanted their intimate interaction to end on the roof, but all she saw was a happy, sleepy smile.

Kalinda was tired, not a normal after effect of having an orgasm, but it also wasn’t normal for her to shove her best friend against a wall and make her moan her name. Everything about the experience had left her emotionally full, something very rare, but physically drained. Even having Alicia pin her to the wall, something she would never allow, but was thankful to have someone to lean against. Someone that would hold her up for a change. “Come home with me and find out.”