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The steady beat of her own heart is heavy in Olivia's chest and loud in her ears. Of course, it's nonsense to believe that Alex can hear or see it; she doesn't seem to notice anything at all. But when their fingers brush together as Olivia hands Alex the case file, the touch provokes a telltale tremble like an electric current too strong to deny.

And later that night, when the masks of professionalism are shed, lying crumbled and forgotten on the floor, Olivia's heartbeat mingles with Alex's until they become one, a comforting cadence erasing all of their fears.