“I can see how much he likes you.”
Of all the outcomes Amanda had anticipated from Willa’s case, being called out in front of her boss about Carisi’s feelings for her were not even on the radar. The tragic week had ended on a happier note, thanks to Sonny’s observational skills and desire to help the victims get justice, and the closure Willa was expressing now reminded her of why they did this job. However, it did make for a long ride back to the precinct with her Captain, who thankfully was nice enough not to comment. But Amanda didn’t miss the smirk turning the corner of Olivia’s lips or the way the woman kept glancing over at her.
She distracted herself by playing Willa’s comment back through her head for the millionth time.
“I can see how much he likes you.”
A stranger to them, who had not witnessed the years of partnership and friendship and near misses….could see that Carisi had feelings for her. Of course, Amanda wasn’t naive. She knew that no matter how professional Sonny was, there was a way about him; a subconscious perk in his body when she entered a room, and he was always close by; an arm's reach from her, most of any time they were together.
But they’d always been like that, hadn’t they? She didn’t think much had changed in their work persona since they’d made things official a few months ago. Fin, Kat, Liv...they’d all seen the two of them together and wondered, but everyone had just accepted that it was the way their relationship was. Intimate, personal...friends.
Willa was oblivious to all of the history. The only thing she would have had to go off of was the interactions that Amanda and Sonny had shared over the course of her case, and honestly, Amanda thought they were pretty discrete. So how was it that the girl had picked up so quickly on the truth of their feelings? Surely they weren’t the first people to stand too close. Didn’t have to mean anything. Or did it?
They made it back to the precinct and Amanda quickly finished closing up the case file, trying not to be too distracted as she did so. She was hasty when she was able to leave, feeling the urge to rush over to Hogan’s Place...to see Carisi so she could relax and compartmentalize the thoughts in her head.
It wasn’t a long drive, and nobody paid her any mind as she trapezed through the halls, up to the floor his office was on. She could see through the cracked blinds that he was in the room, behind his desk, papers sprawled in front of him. She knew he was probably wrapping up the details of the Tik Tok case, and took a moment to appreciate just how good he looked, pensive and focused, a pen being rolled between his long fingers. His suit jacket had been discarded, probably hanging up near the door, and his sleeves were pushed up on his forearms.
Amanda moved to the door and lightly knocked as she opened it, more to alert him to her presence than for permission to enter. She was always welcome, if he wasn’t in a meeting. His head lifted and when his gaze met hers, she realized exactly what Willa had clocked between them.
The lines between his brows mellowed out, and his eyes softened as he smiled at her in greeting. It was nothing new; a look he’d given her a hundred times since their first kiss; and if she was being honest, a few times before then. But it screamed in volume of every single moment they’d shared and the bonds of love and trust they’d spent years building. It was a single constant, despite the changes in them both since his move to the D.A’s office, where the harder edges of his status fell away, and he wasn’t ADA Dominick Carisi, but Sonny...the goofy new guy who’d wormed his way into her heart...and she had finally reached the point where she could accept that.
Yeah, he a hell of a lot more than “liked” her. And anyone who saw that look on his face, wouldn’t be able to deny it.
Amanda’s step faltered at the emotion on his face; that pure happiness just to have her near wasn’t something she’d experienced with any of her past relationships, and it made everything in her body turn to jelly. As he straightened, she changed her course of action.
“Rollins, hey, what are ya-”
He trailed off as she shut the door behind her and twisted the lock, then turned for the blinds and pulled them all the way down.
“‘Manda-” he started, his voice thicker this time, but she didn’t pause to consider asking if now was a good time, or if he was too busy, or if this could maybe wait until they got home...she didn’t care.
He turned in his chair as she crossed the space between them, and she straddled his lap before he could stand. She kissed him, long and hard, wrapping her arms around his neck as his hands grabbed her hips and slid down to cup her ass, pulling her more firmly into him.
“Mhmm, wait,” he murmured against her mouth, and leaned back, breaking the kiss, “Not that I’m not enjoyin’ this, but-”
“The door’s locked,” she reminded him, dropping her mouth to his jaw, “The blinds are closed…”
She trailed kisses across to his neck, and nipped his earlobe with her teeth, “And I want you, now.”
The warring of his thoughts played across his face for barely half a second before he caved, leaning forward to recapture her mouth. Amanda smiled into the kiss, well aware that he wasn’t in the habit of denying her, and also appreciating how quickly the hardness beneath her grew when he made up his mind. He wanted her as much as she wanted him, and with two young children at home, they’d perfected the art of half-dressed quickies.
Sonny stood quickly, lifting her with him, and her surprised gasp morphed into a deep moan as he sat her on the edge of his desk and filled the space between her thighs. Her arms dropped from his neck and ran her hands down his chest, before landing on the band of his suit pants. She found the button easily and made quick work of unfastening it.
His fingers tangled in her hair and his teeth dragged across her bottom lip as she slipped her hand into his pants and grabbed his length, freeing him from the constraints of the fabric. He groaned into her mouth as she stroked him, and a moment later, he was pulling her up and into a standing position.
Even as urgent as she knew he felt, Carisi’s hands were gentle on her hips as he turned her, his head dropping to her neck, kissing down her shoulder blade as he pressed against her backside. She had enough sense to push his files to the side before letting him bend her over the desk. Excitement coiled in her stomach as his arms wrapped around her waist and unfastened her pants; tugging them down to her thighs.
It was a continual surprise to Amanda that even in the rushed, half clothed, quick fucks, Carisi made her feel just as loved and cared for as he did when they spent hours beneath the sheets at night. She loved the feel of him, in every way he touched her, and it took no time at all for her to fall apart as their hips thrusted together in tandem.
Another thing that really shouldn’t have been a surprise, was how much attention Sonny put into aftercare. Even now, after a mere ten minutes of screwing her over his desk, he put effort into making sure she was okay; helping her clean up and re-dress, kissing her, running his hand down her back, pulling her into his lap when he sat back down in his chair...all the little things she had no idea could matter so much.
“I love you,” she murmured into his neck, where she was resting her head as he held her body against him.
He pressed his lips against her temple and she felt the smile on them.
“I love you, too.”
He’d said those words to her several times since they’d defined their relationship as something serious, but though she felt the same, it was always a little harder for Amanda to say them back. Maybe it was the fear, the vulnerability, that admitting the truth of her feelings would somehow cost her the best relationship she’d ever had...but she was learning.
Slowly, Dominick Carisi was rerouting all of the neuropathic warning signs in her head; every hesitance and doubt. He made her feel so completely secure that she was forgetting to be afraid of her own emotions. He was teaching her through words and actions what it meant to really be loved...and to love in return. He made her feel safe enough that, maybe, they didn’t have to hide the truth anymore. They’re in love, and apparently even strangers can see it.
Amanda reached for the hand that Sonny had placed on her thigh and laced their fingers together.
“I think we need to disclose,” she said quietly, and if the admission surprised him, he didn’t say so.
“You sure?” he checked with a neutral tone, like he hadn’t been making subtle hints about it for the past few weeks.
He wasn’t pushy, and assured her that he would wait until she was ready, but Amanda knew how uncomfortable he was prolonging the secret, especially with all the upheaval going on with SVU.
So she nodded, and pressed a soft kiss to the side of his throat.
She could have explained how Liv’s smirk after Willa’s comment made her feel like her Captain might already suspect something, or how the look Fin often gave her when Carisi visited the precinct was full of friendly suspicion, or how she would always dodge Kat’s texts teasingly asking when she and Carisi were gonna finally admit there was something between them...but she didn’t. She could told him how good she felt when they were together, and how she saw forever in his eyes, and how she was learning that it would be okay to share their truth with the people in their lives...how it was the next step that would lead to sharing the rest of their lives with each other...but she didn't.
And he didn't ask for an explanation.
With a slight nod and hint of a smile, Sonny told her he’d get the necessary papers, and that she should ask for the same from Liv. Simple and easy, just like every other transition in their relationship, each step unfolding as it was meant to with little more than a passing comment. Co-workers, friends, best friends, lovers, partners...they were always exactly where they were supposed to be.
“Tomorrow,” she promised, sitting up to look at him, “Right now I want us to go home to the girls, shower, eat leftover spaghetti, cuddle on the couch, and forget all about work and being grown ups.”
Carisi chuckled, and brushed back her hair from her face, letting his thumb linger on her cheek, “Sounds perfect. Give me ten minutes tops to finish up here, and we can go.”
She nodded, and kissed him once more before getting up and moving to the couch across the room so he could focus. She texted Sienna that they would be home shortly then pulled up Olivia’s number.
A short text where her fingers didn’t tremble like she thought they might...where she felt nothing but a calm certainty that things would be okay, no matter the outcome.
Can we meet a little early in your office tomorrow? There’s something I need to talk to you about. It’s important. -Amanda
She sent the text and answered the reply a few minutes later, where Liv agreed and they set a time. She wondered if her boss had already guessed what the meeting would be about, because she didn’t ask for any details. Amanda smiled, remembering the way Liv had kept looking at her on the ride back to the precinct, and how obvious her blush must have been.
“I can see how much he likes you.”
She wondered if it was as obvious on her own face that she liked Carisi just as much, and her smile grew when she considered how much happier she felt since letting herself admit that. She liked him. She loved him. They were happy.
“Ready to go home?” he asked her a moment later, and her smile answered him.
Home, with him. She’d been getting ready for that all her life.
“Yeah,” Amanda climbed to her feet as he walked over, and she wrapped her arms around Sonny’s waist, “Let’s go home.”