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Alex took off her necklace and her earrings and carefully put them away. Patrice was already dressed for bed and lounging as she read the weekend schedule for the parents. And before Alex got up to undress, she glanced at her partner's reflection in the mirror. They had been relatively quiet since they parted with their dinner companions; Alex knew Patrice was giving her time to process. She wasn't sure that she was really able to do that yet, but she methodically slipped out of her clothes and into her nightgown before perching next to Patrice. She smiled as she plucked the schedule of her hand and leaned down for a kiss. "Eli is going to want to skip half of those."

Patrice looked up, glad that Alex seemed to be staying in a good mood. She hadn't known at all what to expect after the tension of the night. She knew the other blonde better than anyone, but with the night they had just had, it would have been anyone's guess what was going on in Alex's head. It didn't help at all that Patrice didn't know much about parts of her partner's past. "I know, and I don't mind. I didn't come up here to look at flowers, I came to spend an uninterrupted weekend with my favorite women." Patrice stood and took Alex's hands, pulling her toward the bed. "You alright though?"

"I'm fine." It didn't matter that Alex knew Patrice would know she was trying to pass the evening off. She flashed a vaguely insincere smile anyway and allowed Patrice to pull her down to the bed with her. "Really. I'm glad the girls are happy."

Patrice didn't believe her really, but sometimes it took Alex a while to be ready to say what she was thinking. She nodded and pulled Alex into a kiss, letting her hands lazily feel her, working her fingers gently where she knew Alex was always sore from long hours at work. "Yes, me too. I think Eli's quite smitten, and Dani's a sweet girl." She kissed her again, and started running her fingers through her hair, "She looks just like her mother."

"She does," Alex admitted, her voice getting a little distant. Her eyes, however, were focused only on Patrice. Even the anger, even the bitterness that seeing Abbie made her remember couldn't cloud what she had with Patrice, what they had built together. She settled into Patrice's touch and groaned appreciatively, raking her fingers through Patrice's hair. "I love know I love you?"

Chuckling, Patrice pulled Alex a bit closer, "I know, and you know I love you too." She kissed the other blonde's shoulder, "And I also know you're not telling me even half of what you're thinking about." She gave Alex an only half-kidding look, silently reminding her they both had their ways of fixing such issues.

Alex didn't need to acknowledge that Patrice was right. She merely kissed the blonde and wrapped her arms around her as she moved closer. "I loved her once. The last time I saw her she told me to go home, to get out and lay low for my own protection, and I was..." She shook her head as her eyes became glassy with long unshed tears. "Well, you can imagine. And when I saw her was on television...smiling right beside Taylor." She curled her fingers around Patrice's hip, pulling her closer.

Patrice kissed Alex's temple. "I could tell she meant a lot to you, there's no hiding that." And now the picture was clearer, but she wasn't jealous, things were too settled. Patrice weighed how much to push, deciding it was time. "And you didn't tell her did you?"

Alex pulled away slightly and cast her eyes down for a moment. Patrice knew her so well, even if she didn't know every detail, she could tell. She sighed, knowing she couldn't deflect that with a mere kiss. "I was bitter, angry..."

Patrice pulled her back, holding her closer than before, though she could feel Alex resisting, "That Abbie moved on, or that you were in the middle of nowhere and couldn't?" The question might land her on the couch for the night, but it was worth the risk.

"Both...both..." Alex admitted almost desperately. It was as if she had been aching to say as much without realizing it, and the words came out before she could stop them. So did her tears. She pressed fully into Patrice then, letting herself be vulnerable, reminding herself that she would end up that way anyway. "She and Taylor had...everything I wanted...everything."

"Shhh....." Patrice kept holding Alex while she cried, letting her work it through. These moments were few and far between. "It's alright, you're fine." She waited until Alex was settling until she caught her breath, before she shifted her tone, sensing Alex was ready. Patrice kissed away a few of the other woman's tears. "Well, for what it's worth, I'm glad she ran off to be a Senator's wife; it's sure worked out well for me."

" am I," Alex admitted, breaking into grateful, humorless laughter. She smiled and pulled Patrice into a kiss, relief and simple joy washing over her. And Alex pressed into her, suddenly needing to feel nothing but her.

Patrice didn't protest, a smile still on her lips as she felt Alex relax. She started to let her fingers roam over the silk of Alex's nightgown, "So, are you going to tell me how she was?" Patrice prepared for a glare, "Or is it too soon?"

Alex opened her mouth immediately to speak, but she stopped, considering for a moment. There was a little glint in Patrice's eyes, and when she recognized it, a slow smile spread across her face. "She was enthusiastic," she said, shifting so as to accommodate Patrice's touches. "And thoroughly...maddeningly the best way."

Patrice grinned and slipped one of the straps of Alex's nightgown off her shoulder, and leaned in to kiss her neck, "Mmhmm...I could see that." She slid the other strap down as Alex moved to let her, "And she doesn't seem like the type to wear anyone's collar, am I right?"

"Not at all." Alex pulled her arm out of the strap and let the other one fall as she ran her fingers over Patrice's hips. "But she does behave very well for Taylor...if I remember correctly." She smirked, thinking back to that night.

Raising on of her eyebrows, Patrice quickly dragged Alex's nightgown off, reaching to pull the blonde into her arms, "Oh really? Was she now?" She should have expected as much, knowing what she did of Alex. "And did you as well?"

Alex licked her lips lightly, considering playing at being coy. "Have you ever known me to be...particularly well behaved when it comes to unexpected situations?" She asked, raising one of her eyebrows. She kissed along Patrice's jaw, smiling to herself. "I was very...young."

"I see." Patrice moved to pull Alex under her, kissing her neck, and starting to trail her fingers over the other blonde's body, "You can manage it...with the right direction." She smirked outwardly at the thought.

"It does take..." Alex shifted her Patrice's touch and began to work the blonde's shirt up, touching her skin almost hungrily, "a certain type of hand..." And they had certainly been through many, many scenarios in which Alex's talents were put on display. "But then could certainly say the same of you. And I'm very..." She kissed underneath Patrice's ear. "Glad that I get to be stingy with you sometimes..."

Patrice laughed lightly and shrugged out of her shirt as Alex pulled it up, "I know you are…" She ran her fingers lightly up the other blonde's thigh, pausing before touching her where she wanted it, "but I still can't believe you didn't let on you'd been with a Senator...even if she wasn't one at the time."

"You know how I hate to brag," Alex teased. It was as if the one moment of vulnerability had loosened something inside of her that she hadn't completely realized she was holding so tenaciously. And she felt lighter...even though she knew she wouldn't, couldn't, completely let those years go, she felt lighter. She walked her fingers up Patrice's chest, pausing, hovering over the blonde's sternum before gently cupping one of her breasts, running her thumb along the bottom curve before moving her fingers over the nipple. "We made a bet once—Abbie and I." she said, half smiling, knowing Patrice would be aroused even as she was amused. "She didn't think I could...surprise her. She didn't think I would be so bold as to get on my knees in her office..." The irony, so many years later, was almost too much.

Patrice laughed, but the thought was making her wet, "God, Alex, I hope you won, even if it means I have to give up my fantasy that my office was the first one you'd been on the floor of."

"Well..." Alex was smirking as she kissed Patrice lightly, "it was certainly the first one for the other side." The rest of the night with Abbie was vague in her memory. The thought still brought back chills, but there were so many other memories that filled Alex now. She kissed Patrice again, deeper, firmer this time.

When the kiss broke, Patrice finally slipped her fingers between Alex's legs, starting to touch her. She nipped at the other woman's neck and smiled again, "I suppose I'll have to be satisfied with that, and that I'm the one who still gets to see you on your knees now and then." And she did still so love those moments.

"Mmm...I..." Alex moaned, losing a coherent train of thought. She squirmed into Patrice's touch, ready for it, needing it still. And she didn't wait to touch Patrice in return, moaning louder at how wet she found the blonde. "You are...mmm...still so wonderful..."

"Alex..." Patrice moaned and kissed her again, loving how Alex mirrored her actions. Soon she was pressing against the other woman harder, feeling herself getting close already.

Alex's breath caught, and she closed her eyes, her climax taking her by surprise and overwhelming her. She pressed into Patrice, squirming. She continued to touch the blonde, fingers moving erratically, desperately.

Patrice wasn't far behind, and she moaned, arching her back, mouth open slightly as she came. Slowly, they both relaxed, and Patrice quietly pulled Alex's arms around her, folding into the other woman's body. Her voice was quieter, content, "thank you Alex, thank you for telling me." Joking aside she knew it hadn't been easy, and she felt it needed to be said.

"There are so many things I should have said sooner," Alex murmured as she slowly pulled the coverlet up around them and settled into Patrice's warm arms. She knew Patrice understood, would continue to understand, and she smiled against her skin. "Thank you for listening..." Alex closed her eyes, content.