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A One-Time Thing

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“Congratulations again, Counselor,” Olivia said, catching up with Barba after he finished his victory lap with the press.

Jocelyn Paley’s violent assault at the hands of talk show host Adam Cain was a tough case to win, and Manhattan’s newest ADA had gone to incredible lengths to earn their guilty verdict. Incredible lengths, including claiming (feigning? she wondered absently) ignorance on rough sex techniques and goading the defendant into choking him with his own belt in open court. His demeanor was infuriating, but she couldn’t deny that his methods were effective. And kinda hot, her brain intruded.

“I told you I win cases that other prosecutors duck,” he smirked, straightening his tie and suit jacket.

“Actually, I told you that,” she replied. “And I wasn’t sure you could pull it off until that, uh. That stunt with the belt.” She blushed. Her stomach fluttered a little when she realized that he was blushing, too. So maybe he really is just an Average Joe, she thought. Then she tried desperately to stop thinking about it. Cool it, Olivia, she chided herself.

It had been awhile for Olivia, and she was… empowered enough to admit to herself that it was driving her to distraction. She and Brian had been distant since they came back from the Bahamas, neither of them sure about whether this thing between them had any staying power. He was still hung up on Carissa, she suspected. When she asked him point blank what exactly they were doing together, he had stuttered something about reconnecting with an old friend, and they hadn’t really spoken since. She was just a little lonely, a little... frustrated, she rationalized, and that was why she couldn’t stop flirting with the arrogant, infuriating, ruthless, insensitive, unbelievably sexy new prosecutor.

“Yes, well,” he said, clearing his throat. “The jury had no incentive to believe Jocelyn when she told them who she was. I had to force him to show them who he was instead.”

“Well, you gave them quite a show,” Olivia said before she could think better of it.

“I thought you didn’t approve of me, Detective,” he said.

“I’m coming around,” she replied.

She realized they’d been staring at each other for a heated moment when he cleared his throat again and looked around the courthouse steps. “Do you want to get a drink?” he asked.

She should say no. She knew that. She couldn’t trust her mouth around him, and after his breakout performance with Manhattan SVU there was a chance they would be working together more often. She had become entangled with ADAs before, and it only ended in heartbreak. She had liked David Haden, and she had loved Alex Cabot, but relationships between detectives and prosecutors were so complicated. Who said anything about a relationship? her brain protested.

What the hell. They’d won an impossible case, and Cragen was coming back, and Barba looked so damn tempting in his purple tie. She felt like celebrating. “Sure,” she smiled. “You have a place in mind?”




They ended up at a little place near the courthouse called Forlini’s, sitting at the bar, rehashing the case, and cases from their pasts. After about an hour or so, Rollins and Amaro walked through the door. They both shot her quizzical looks until Barba asked if they wanted to join them, and they all ended up getting dinner at one of the nearby tables. After a couple hours, Rollins and Amaro left, offering to walk her home, but she declined. Amaro looked a little confused, maybe even a little angry, shooting glances between them, but it wasn’t his business, she rationalized. They were just two adults having dinner. Rollins practically dragged him by his shirtsleeves out of the restaurant.

After Rollins and Amaro left, Olivia and Barba returned to their seats at the bar. He looked right at home there, she noticed. She had asked the bartender for a Merlot, but Barba didn’t have to order at all. The bartender seemed to recognize him and immediately poured him a bourbon. They had both taken off their suit jackets, and Olivia found her gaze lingering at his throat. To check for bruising, she rationalized. She’d been doing a lot of rationalizing around him lately. She ordered another drink.

“How long have you been with Special Victims?” he asked her, swirling the liquor in his own glass before taking a sip.

“Long enough,” she replied.

“Ten years?”


He looked surprised. “It’s a dirty job. You ever think about leaving?”

“Not seriously.”

“Why not?”

“I suspect it’s the same reason you’ll never leave the DA’s office.”

Now he looked really surprised. “I won’t? Why’s that?”

“Your reputation precedes you, Counselor. I don’t have to tell you how good you are, because I’m sure you hear it often enough, especially from defense firms trying to win you over to the dark side. You know you’re amazing in the courtroom. There’s no need for me to stroke your ego,” she teased, leaning a little too heavily on the word “stroke” to be making an innocent observation. He cocked an eyebrow suggestively. “But there’s a reason why you get the tough cases, the big cases, and you win them. You want to protect people. You want justice.”

“I want to win,” he rebutted, still wearing a dirty smirk. Maybe she was taking this too far, she thought. Take it farther, whispered the parts of her brain that were starved for touch.

“You could win anywhere. It’s more than that.” He shook his head. She smiled and sipped her wine. “You don’t have to admit it. You can pretend to be a big, scary prosecutor with a big, brass ego.” He laughed out loud at her dig. “But I know why you’re doing this.”

“You seem to have a lot of ideas about me, Detective,” he said.

“Don’t get me started on my ideas about you, Counselor.” He choked on his bourbon.


She hadn’t meant to say that out loud. She really, definitely, absolutely should not have said that out loud. She looked at him, eyes wide, and noticed that he had recovered, and was smiling. Well, smirking. She wondered if he ever smiled without looking like a smug bastard. She wanted to kiss the smirk off his face. Jesus, what is wrong with me? she thought.

“So what did it for you, Detective?” he asked finally, still smirking.

“I don’t know what you mean.” He’s going to be a dick about this, she realized.

“Come on, we’re past that now. Was it the banter? The suits? Surely you don’t have a thing for lawyers. A competence kink, maybe?”

“Fuck you, Barba.” Her cheeks were burning. She thought she might melt into her chair.

“Just tell me it wasn’t the belt. I’m not up for that. Not tonight, anyway,” he said, his sparkling eyes slanted toward her.

“Oh my god,” she said, moving for her jacket. He wasn’t just a smug bastard. He was an arrogant prick.

“I can tell you what did it for me,” he called after her. She stopped short. This is a bad idea, she thought. I should walk out right now. I should probably run.

There was a challenge in his eyes, but an unexpected softness, too. “When I was pushing Jocelyn for information, after we found out she lied to us about the book and almost ruined our case, you pushed back at me.” He stopped and took another sip, then looked in her eyes. “I saw how hard you worked to make this case. You had just as much riding on this as I did, maybe more. And you had nothing but compassion for her. No ego. No anger. No bullshit. All cops should be like that. Your integrity turns me on, Detective.” She stared into his eyes. “That, and your great ass,” he said, knocking back the rest of his drink. She smiled and leaned in toward him.

“Well I don’t know what to tell you, Counselor. For me, it was the belt, so.” He threw his head back and laughed, and she smiled up at him. She couldn’t stop staring at his eyes. She couldn’t stop smiling.

“Do you want to get out of here?” she asked.

He got out his wallet and threw down a few bills. “Your place?” he asked.

“Sure,” she replied.




They ended up making out in the cab on the way to her apartment. His mouth was as intense as his eyes, and his hands were everywhere. She was almost horizontal across the back seat, grasping at him, trying desperately to maintain her composure. “This - ah,” she said as he bit her neck. “This is a one-time thing, right?” she asked.

“Of course,” he said, taking a break from sucking on her pulse point. “We’re colleagues, we’re workaholics. We’re on the same page, don’t worry. Shit. Do that again,” he breathed as she pulled his hair. She complied.




When they finally got into her apartment, he pushed her up against the door. “Nice building,” he remarked as he pulled her jacket off her shoulders and tangled his fingers in her hair. “Two bedrooms?” he asked before he planted a bruising kiss on her mouth and worked his way down, down.

He pushed his thigh between her legs, and she groaned at the delicious pressure. “Yes,” she whispered.

“Are you answering me or just enjoying yourself?” he asked smugly, nipping at her collarbone.

“Barba,” she said, and he paused to look at her. “Please take me to my bedroom. One of two in this apartment, since you asked.”

“Lead the way, Detective,” he said, releasing her from where she was pinned.

Her bedroom was clean, thank God. She had nervously tidied up the night before while agonizing over the jury’s too-long deliberation. She turned to face him after scanning the room for anything embarrassing and found that he had removed his suit jacket and vest. He was working on his tie. “Let me,” she said. He brought his hands to her waist instead, slipping his fingers under her shirt and caressing her hips as she fiddled with the garment, savoring the feeling of the cool silk against her fingertips. She slipped the tie from around his collar and tossed it lightly on top of her bookshelf. “Looks expensive,” she explained with faux concern.

He pulled her closer by her hips. “So it was the suits that turned you on?” he asked, skirting his mouth along her jawline.

She unbuttoned the top button of his blue and white checkered shirt. “You just want me to say it’s the suits so you can justify how much time you spend getting dressed in the morning,” she teased. He nipped at her ear in response, and her breath hitched. She made quick work of the rest of his buttons.

She slid his shirt the rest of the way off his body, delighting in the feeling of the taut muscles of his chest beneath her fingers. She pushed him, lightly, down onto her bed, and he settled against her duvet cover. He looks like a god, she thought, but would never tell him. She kissed his neck at a particularly sensitive spot she had noticed, and he hissed through gritted teeth. His hands moved to grasp her waist as she kneeled between his legs, but she grabbed them with her own, holding them down on the bed near his waist. He shuddered. She smiled and kissed his Adam’s apple, his clavicle, his pec. She grazed his nipple with her teeth and his hands pushed back against hers, breath stuttering. She refused to release him.

“Unlawful imprisonment,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Don’t make me use my handcuffs, Counselor.” She licked and then bit the skin just under his navel. He swore. She bit him again. He was shuddering now, his skin covered in goosebumps, and she laughed, her hot breath teasing the skin just above the button on his pants. She released his hands, and he immediately used them to drag her up to his mouth, kissing her fervently, his tongue dancing along her lower lip and marrying itself with her own. His hands roved from her hair to her waist to her ass, and she deftly unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. Her fingers ghosted over his erection, and he let out a soft groan.

She extricated herself from his grasp and stood up. He slid toward the end of the bed to chase her, and she used the opportunity to pull his pants and boxers down past his knees. His freed erection jumped in anticipation as she sank to her knees on the floor in front of him.

“Dios mío,” he whispered. “Dear God, what are you doing to me.” She unceremoniously swallowed him whole.

He convulsed against her, crying out from over-stimulation, and she eased back. She took her time with him, working him up, learning his body. As she alternated between bobbing her head and twirling her tongue while twisting her hands along his length, his fingers danced in her hair. He was being gentle with her, whispering the whole time that her mouth was “so good, yes, please, just like that, oh my god” until she lifted a hand up and dragged her fingers lightly across his balls. He convulsed again, his hands fisting in her hair, his hips pistoning up into her mouth. He cried out, loud and low, and it nearly undid her. She sucked at the head of him, lovingly, once more, and then lifted her eyes to look up at him.

Maybe it was his eyebrows, she thought. Dark and thick, set low just above his eyes, almost touching his beautiful lashes. They lent an authority, and intensity to his gaze that robbed her of whatever teasing comment had come to the tip of her tongue. “Come here,” he said, and she did. He kissed her fiercely, his teeth and tongue at war with her own, and then he stood up. He stepped out of his pants and boxers and stood before her in just his socks. (They were an argyle pattern, purple and gray. They matched his tie, she realized, delighted.) He pulled her shirt over her head and made quick work of her bra, then leaned her back and pulled off her pants as well, leaving just her panties. He knelt on the bed next to her, still staring his intense stare, intimidating and exciting the hell out of her. She began to squirm under his gaze, then writhe. Finally, after what felt like eons of him not touching her, only staring, she huffed out a breath. “Come on, Barba,” she said. “Don’t tell me you’re all talk.” She smirked up at him.

“You’re beautiful,” he said.

Then his mouth descended on her nipple, and her senses went into overdrive. He was perched over her, administering scorching kisses across her chest and stomach. When his mouth was on one breast, he teased the other with his hand. Then he brought his mouth back to hers, and his fingers trailed down to her underwear. He slipped a hand under the thin fabric and began rubbing slow, firm circles over the knot that was her clitoris. She moaned into his mouth.

“How’s that?” he asked, his lips never leaving hers. He quickened his pace, and she gasped. He huffed a laugh into her mouth. Her legs started to quiver, her hips began to buck. He laid next to her and strung one leg over both of hers, his bent knee pinning her to where she lay. “Tell me how you like it,” he demanded, and it came out like a growl, low and slow. He never once stopped kissing her mouth, worrying her lips with his teeth, tongues dancing between them. It was what he had said in the courtroom, she realized, when he had been cross-examining Adam Cain, but it was different here. There was no bravado in his voice, no teasing. He wanted to make her feel good, needed her to moan, shake, cry out.

“Oh my god,” she breathed, and he slipped a finger inside her, still carefully administering pressure to her clit. “Jesus Christ. Don’t stop.”

She felt his lips quirk unto a smile against her own as he added another finger, driving her past desire and into madness. She moaned and released a positively filthy combination of swears and praise. Her hips bucked, and he whispered, “Come on, good girl. Let me hear you come.”

The world exploded behind her eyes. He pushed her through her orgasm, trying to make the sensations last, and she almost cried with pleasure until the waves of her release slowed, subsided.

He pulled his hand out of her underwear, kissed her again, lightly, just so, and said, “You look amazing.”

“You are amazing,” she said, knowing he needed to hear it. “Fuck, that was so hot.”

He hummed against her lips. They kissed a little longer, slow and languid. She got her breath back, but her nerves were still revolting against the rest of her body. She had almost come all the way down when he began sliding her underwear down her body and pushing her legs apart gently, his hot breath against her thighs making her shiver once again. Then he put his mouth on her tender, swollen bundle of nerves. She jerked against him and reached down, pulling at his hair. It only spurred him on, and he lapped at her harder, then suckled at her clit. He was tender, attentive, coaxing her desire back into a sharpened peak. In what felt like only seconds, she was quaking again, shuddering, screaming, and finally, coming, bucking wildly against his mouth and tugging hard on his hair, his name on her lips like a sob. He released her clit and bit her, hard, on her thigh near her entrance. She shrieked in ecstasy.

“Mercy,” she finally gasped. “Mercy. I need a minute.” It was too much, too good. Her nerves were on fire. Her blood had turned to cement. She had never, never felt this good. She laid back against the bed and covered her face with her forearm. He was next to her in an instant, cuddled close to her body. He stroked her hair, kissed her temples and her hands. He whispered how beautiful she was, how good she made him feel, how badly he had wanted this to happen. The intensity in his voice was still there, but it had changed, somehow. It seemed like he no longer felt he had anything to prove to her. He was just focused now on making her happy, making her feel desired, making her come. Her tremors subsided, and she removed her hand from her face. He kissed her sweetly, mouth closed, and she smiled at him. “Can I ask you something, Barba?”

“Anything,” he responded.

“Do you ever stop talking?”

He let out a surprised, joyful laugh, and then rolled on top of her, burying his face in the crook of her neck, his hands sliding playfully over her ribs and hips. She moaned lightly under his touch and felt his dick twitch against her hip. “There are condoms in the top drawer of my bedside table,” she purred in his ear. He swore. “You have a filthy mouth, Counselor.”

He tore open the condom wrapper and discarded it, then rolled the condom along his length. He hovered over her and stared into her eyes. He kissed her lightly. “Is this okay, Detective?” he asked, lining himself up against her.

She was touched by his softness, his sweetness. His request for affirmative consent before engaging in sex, the cop part of her brain added. “Yes,” she said simply, then, when he seamlessly slid himself all the way inside her, louder, she cried, “Yes. Oh my god yes.” As he pulled out and rocked his hips against her slowly, “Yes.” As he reached down to tease her clit, “Yes.” As he established a rhythm she liked, turning her inside out with pleasure, “Yes, yes, yes, yes.”

“Barba,” she gasped, as his thrusts gained power and momentum. “Barba,“ she cried out as a deep and well-placed thrust of his hips sent her over the edge a third time.

He rode her through her orgasm, through her gasps and whines, until finally, she said, “Switch me. It’s your turn.” He protested lightly, and she added, “I want to be in control of this one.”

He acquiesced, embracing her and rolling onto his back, pulling her with him, still sheathed deep inside her. She kissed him roughly, then sat up, using her new position to take him deeper still. His eyes fluttered closed. She rested her hands on his pecs and rocked, once, twice. Pulling herself almost all the way off of him and then letting her whole weight drop against his length. “More,” he asked, and she did it again. He moaned, and she picked up her speed, rocking up and down on her knees. His hands found her ass and he squeezed, then braced his hands on her hips, his fingers biting into her flesh.

He pushed her harder down on top of him, hitting her deep and delicious and perfect, and her hands on his pecs clenched, nails raking his skin. His eyes flew open and he pulled her down to him again, again, again, yelling things like “fuck,” and “more,” and finally, “please, please, please.” Finally, together, they exploded into bliss. Stars were born and died, tsunamis overtook the earth, a wildfire ignited the bed, and they rocked together, alone on the planet, surrounded by nothing but their pleasure.

She slumped against him, both breathing hard, exhausted but triumphant. They cuddled like that for a bit, her head on his chest, his lips in her hair. Eventually, she rolled off him gingerly, and he flinched as she lay down beside him. She kissed his cheek and he opened his eyes into slits.

“There’s a bathroom down the hall on the right,” she said. “Whenever you’re ready.” After a moment, he groaned and stood up to leave the room. She watched his ass as he left, marveling absentmindedly at its curve, the strength of his thighs. When he returned, she stood and walked past him, stopping to kiss him on the shoulder as she made her way to the bathroom to clean up.

When she got back, he was standing in the middle of her room, still naked except for his socks, she realized. He seemed unsure of himself, not at all like she expected. She moved toward him and rested her arms up on his shoulders, pulling him close. He slid his arms around her waist, caressing her tender skin. They were almost dancing.

“So, that.” He cleared his throat. “That was a one-time thing?” he asked.

She considered him for a long moment. The damage was done. Might as well dance in the rain, so to speak. “Counter offer,” she said.

“What?” he asked, surprise lighting up his face. He wasn’t smirking anymore. He looked a little older, a little more real. He was beautiful.

“I have a counter offer. You stay the night. I get to be the little spoon. And in exchange,” she added, “in the morning, we can do it again. A one-time thing.”

His eyes danced. “Are you sure about that, Detective?” He kissed her long and slow. She pulled him toward her bed.

“Final offer, Counselor,” she replied.

“I have no objections,” he murmured. They arranged themselves under her duvet, with him curled around her, drawing her back toward his chest and looping a possessive arm over her waist, his hand on her heart.

She almost couldn’t wait until morning.