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Even the dog was making fun of her. It was poking its tongue out! And wearing those ridiculous swimming goggles. And who the hell had put them on the poor animal anyway? She suspected it was Elliot since Olivia wouldn't have been that cruel to her – or to the dog.
Alexandra Cabot stood at the edge of the pool and wondered how she'd managed to get herself into this predicament. It was Olivia's fault. Of course, her default statement in times like these was that whatever it was, it was Olivia's fault, but this time it really was. Olivia had looked at her with those gorgeous brown eyes and said, "Please." Alex' defences were non-existent whenever Olivia did that, especially if she added a lowered head and a begging glance from beneath slightly-raised eyebrows to the mix. Which she had. And Alex' resolve had crumbled into dust.
So here she was, at an inter-departmental Fourth of July party, (an event she had sworn never, ever to attend), at the DA's cousin's Long Island getaway cottage. It had started well. She had known the brand new, royal blue swimsuit she bought for the occasion would garner attention, and it had. She had strolled casually towards the pool steps, her hips swaying ever-so-slightly, several officers had injured themselves by walking into the walls, the rose bushes, and in one instance a lit barbecue pit. The best result had been the look on Olivia's face. Definitely worth every cent she had paid.
And then it had all gone wrong, and here she was now, standing at the edge of the spectacular sunken pool, and looking – as Fin had so delightfully put it – as terrified as a child-molester at Rikers.
It was a perfectly innocent request. "Jump in, Alex," Olivia said.
Alex faltered. "I'd rather use the steps,"
"No, come on, jump."
She stopped walking. "I can't."
"Alex, you're a great swimmer, it's not deep, jump."
"I can't. Yes, I'm an excellent swimmer. Yes, I'm swift, stylish and beautiful to watch. Yes, I'm powerful and have a superb action. My swimming instructor told me all those things. But I can't jump. I can't dive. I just can't."
"You mean you don't know how?" Fin's voice carried a note of astonishment. "Like this." And he dived in.
"No, I mean I can't ."
Olivia swam to the edge and looked at her. "Alex," she said very quietly, "Are you afraid?"
"Yes." Alex whispered her shame. "Please, don't laugh. I know, ADA Cabot, the terror of the courthouse is afraid of a little bit of water."
"Alex, you know me better than that." Olivia sounded hurt.
"Yes, I do, I'm sorry. It's just that I can't deal with my head going under water. Silly, I know."
"It's not silly at all, sweetheart. It's just that we've been swimming lots of times and I never knew. Some girlfriend I am, I should have noticed before..."
Alex put a finger to Olivia's lips. "You didn't notice because I took great pains to hide it."
Olivia kissed Alex's finger. "Are you happy not... I mean... Would you like to learn to dive? I could teach you."
Fin laughed from his position of safety at the far end of the huge pool. "Hey Elliot, Cabot's scared of the water!"
"Never?!" Elliot burst out laughing.
Alex closed her eyes. Olivia cursed. "I'll get them for this."
"No, Olivia, it's OK. Teach me."
Olivia's eyes darkened and her pulse sped up as she remembered the first time Alex had asked her that. The first time they had made love. She had to clear her throat a couple of times before she could speak. "If you're sure."
It was Alex' turn to remember. Her voice was husky as she replied, "Yes."
Olivia boosted herself out of the pool and stood beside Alex. "OK. Stand like this, nice and relaxed."
Olivia was a patient teacher. She demonstrated the correct method. She helped Alex practice the movements without getting in the water. She stood in the water with her and practiced again. They worked at it for over half an hour to a near-constant barrage of jokes, jibes and laughter from Fin, Munch and Elliot.
"Ignore them," Olivia said.
"I am," Alex replied through gritted teeth. "But you know what they say about revenge being sweet. I will have my revenge." Alex' smile was not pleasant. Olivia was glad to be on the side of the Angels.
Alex was ready to make the attempt. She stood at the edge of the pool and prepared. She couldn't. Elliot laughed harder. Alex crouched again. She still couldn't. Fin and Elliot lay on the grass and laughed hysterically. The DA's dog wandered over to join the laughter. It was a cute dog but the goggles did not suit it, Alex decided.
Olivia called to her from the centre of the pool. "You can do it, Alex. Try, sweetheart. I can offer you a reward." She grinned.
"What kind of reward?"
"Anything you want."
Olivia nodded. Alex crouched again and dived. It wasn't pretty but it was a dive. Olivia hugged her. "I knew you could do it!"
Alex smiled. "You said 'anything'. You, me, Madame Butterfly at the Met, next weekend."
Olivia groaned. "You're lucky I love you."
"Yes, I am.Very."