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01 March 2009 @ 12:52 am
Tanked Muse Productions Presents...  
Title: Captured for the Queen to Use (part 2) 
Author: DiNovia
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Rating:  NC-17
Words:  14,441
Archival:  P&P and Kimly, of course.  Everyone else, please ask.
Spoilers:  None
Summary:  After Alan's confrontation, Natalia seems guardedly relieved that only three people considered her and Olivia a couple.  A closer look at her surroundings, however, reveals another person with the same mistaken impression.  But is it really mistaken after all?
Content Disclaimer:  This could be considered an AU as it does not respond to any canon Otalia after Alan confronted Olivia.  That means the mayor never went on TV with Emma's presentation, there was no lunch with the mommies, there is no Valentine's weekend with Frank, and Phillip has not returned in my story.  Also, graphic depictions of love between two consenting adult women are contained within, obviously.  
Source Disclaimer:  I do not own Guiding Light or the characters therein depicted.  I do not seek to profit from this story. 
A/N:  I tried to remain as close to character as humanly possible but as I have only seen YouTube clips of Otalia and no full episodes, I cannot guarantee the results.  Also, the title is a line from the Yes song "I've Seen All Good People."  I was driving to work in early February when it played on my radio and as soon as I heard that line, I knew I would be writing Otalia.  Here are the results. 
Thank You:  To bldy_destini for beta-ing this long-ass story.  And for getting me hooked on Otalia in the first place.  :)
Submitted to the Guiding Light As It Happens Challenge at passion_perfect .



"Mommy?"  Emma Spencer picked up the greasy napkins and paper plates from their illicit pizza feast and took them to the garbage can under the sink.  Olivia was supposed to be wrapping the leftovers in tin foil and putting them in the refrigerator but instead she was peeling pieces of pepperoni from Emma's half of the pie and munching on them surreptitiously.  For a second she thought she'd been busted--and getting busted by Emma doing something "bad" for her health was only slightly less likely to garner a lecture on the proper care and feeding of a transplanted heart than if Natalia had caught her.  Natalia had trained the child well.

"Yes?" she asked around a contraband disc of salted pork and beef.  She kept her back to Emma and prayed she wasn't going to have to sit through another showing of the Power Point presentation on heart healthy nutrition from the American Heart Association.  She'd seen it twice this month already. 

"When Natalia comes home, do you think she would help me with my Valentine's cards for school?"

Relieved, Olivia swallowed the pepperoni hurriedly, closed the tin foil over the congealing slices of pizza and slammed the fridge door.  "Sure, honey.  I'm sure if you asked her nicely, she would be happy to help.  I could help, too, you know.  I'm not all thumbs."

Emma laughed.  "That would look silly!  All thumbs!" she said, holding up her own and waving them around. 

"Yeah, but it would be all the better to tickle you!" said Olivia, pouncing on the little blonde and going straight for her belly button.  Emma squealed with laughter and tried to escape but Olivia held on tight, finally wrapping her arms around her daughter and lifting her off the floor.

"Hey!" cried the fourth-grader.  "Put me down!"

Realizing she wasn't supposed to be doing any heavy lifting--not even of her own child--Olivia reluctantly put Emma back on the floor and hugged her, taking a moment to lose herself in the clean, sweet scent of her daughter.  She used to do that a lot when Emma was a baby, especially during those quiet feedings between two and four in the morning.  She felt like she never got to spend any quiet time with her little girl anymore.  She missed it so much.

"Do you want to start on those Valentines tonight, baby?  I promise we can leave some for Natalia to help you with.  We won't leave her out."

"Are you sure she won't mind helping?" asked Emma timidly, instantly confusing the hell out of Olivia.  It wasn't like Emma to be hesitant, especially regarding Natalia.  She thought of her as her other mother, for God's sake! 

"I'm pretty sure," she replied, her brows crowding over her eyes.  "Why are you so worried about it, honey?"

"Because they're hearts!" she explained, looking at her mother as if she were a little dense. 

"What?"  When Olivia finally understood what Emma was trying to say, the implication hit her like a brick, making her eyes burn with tears she was desperate to hide.

God, she thought.  I'm crying at everything lately.  I have got to get a grip!

To Emma, she said, "You know what?  We'll just have to ask her when she gets home.  Until then, I'll help, okay?  Let's get your craft stuff out and we'll make Valentines right here at the table."

Emma nodded morosely and opened the little green cabinet under the plate rack, pulling out her craft supply basket and a sheaf of construction paper.  "Okay."

Olivia helped set out the supplies and ruffled Emma's hair.  "Emma, honey, you're sweet to worry about Natalia's feelings like that."  She sat down and pulled out a piece of pink construction paper, folding it in half and cutting several heart shapes out of it.  They fell to the table like the petals of a flower.  "You really love her, don't you?"

Emma took one of the hearts and opened it up.  She retrieved a purple crayon from the gigantic tin filled with them and began to outline the edges of it.  "Yeah," she answered, concentrating on her art.  "She's my other Mommy!"

Olivia pulled a red piece of paper out of the stack and soon red petals joined the pink ones.  "Does anyone in your class say anything about our family, sweetheart?  Has anyone made you feel bad about being a little...different?"

"No.  Not really."  She moved on to another heart and Olivia noticed that she had printed 'Mom' on the first one.  She knew the second one would say 'Natalia' without even having to look.  "My friend Derek told me that he wasn't allowed to play with me anymore.  I asked him why and he said his dad said he couldn't but he didn't say why.  So we decided that we would just play at school where his dad couldn't see us."  She didn't seem overly concerned about that development but Olivia decided to press a little further.  This was her daughter, after all.  If her love for Natalia had even the slightest potential for hurting Emma or placing her at risk, Olivia knew what choice she'd make--what choice they'd both make.  Better to find out now before anything had really changed.

Right.  Nothing's changed at all.  And I have a bridge on Mars I'd like to sell you.

"No one at school has called you names or hurt your feelings about your presentation, then?"

Emma looked up from Natalia's Valentine.  "No.  Why, Mommy?  Was there something wrong with my essay?"

Olivia stopped cutting purple hearts and looked up, wanting to make sure that Emma saw the conviction in her eyes.  "There was nothing wrong with your essay, Emma.  Not one thing.  It's just that sometimes kids can say mean things when people are a little different.  I don't want that to happen to you."

"It won't," replied Emma, the surety in her voice rock solid.  "Natalia told me that kids who make fun of other kids are just scared or sad inside and if it happens to me, I shouldn't get mad.  I should just say 'That's not a nice thing to say.  I'm sorry you said that because we might have been friends.'  Then I'm supposed to tell Natalia whatever they said.  In case she has to explain something."

"Oh," said Olivia nonplussed.  "Well...that's...really good advice."  And completely opposite what I would have told you.  I would have taught you my right hook.  I have got to work on my anger issues.

Emma finished one Valentine and picked up another one, dotting it with glue.  Soon she had the red and silver glitter out and was making a fabulous mess.  Olivia could not have been more oblivious.  They were so both distracted that neither of them noticed the back door open, admitting a snow-covered Natalia.  She froze upon seeing them, a look of profound relief and utter peace stealing onto her face.

Just then, Emma blurted, "Mommy, what sort of mean things would someone say about my essay?  Is it because there are two mommies and no daddies?"

Olivia, taking a sip of mineral water, almost choked.  When she regained control of her voice, she replied, calmly, "That's part of it.  Do you understand why?"

"No.  My friend Steven only has one mommy and Amber has two mommies and two daddies.  And Jenny has a mommy, a daddy, and a grandma living at her house.  No one says mean things about their families."

"Uh huh," said Olivia aloud.  Inside she was screaming Ohgodohgodohgod!  What on Earth are you thinking, Olivia Spencer?  You're no good at this.  You, in fact, SUCK at this!  She looked hesitantly into Emma's open, expectant face and wondered exactly how she was supposed to explain these concepts without permanently traumatizing the child.  Somehow she thought a speech that started out "So you know how Mommy was married to your grandfather and your daddy..." might fall more on the traumatizing end of the spectrum.  Living through it certainly had.

"Well--" she started again, feeling as close to panic as she ever had when talking to her daughter.  She noticed she was holding the scissors in a white-knuckled grip and she tried to put them down.  She couldn't. 

At first very interested to see how Olivia would explain the other interpretation of 'My Two Mommies' to Emma and therefore invested in keeping quiet, Natalia finally relented, coming to the older woman's rescue.  She couldn't just stand there and watch her twist in the wind like that.  Besides, Emma deserved an answer.  A good one.

She came further into the room, twining her red scarf in her hands.  "Maybe I can help," she offered, her voice soft. 

Two pairs of shocked eyes sprang up from the table.

-----

"Natalia!" exclaimed Emma happily, running to throw her arms around the brunette's waist, leaving tiny glittered fingerprints on her coat.  "You're home!  Mommy said you were on vacation!"

Natalia knelt to ruffle Emma's hair.  "Yeah, I was.  I got all the way there and decided that I didn't need a vacation after all.  I just needed to be with my family."

"I'm glad you're home," said the little girl.  "Mommy and I are making Valentines!  Do you wanna help?"

Natalia glanced nervously at Olivia--who hadn't said a word--then smiled at Emma.  "Sure, sweetie...  Let me just take off my coat."  She shepherded the fourth-grader back to her chair and hung her coat and scarf on a hook by the door. 

Olivia hadn't taken her eyes off of Natalia since the moment she'd spoken and they glittered darkly, unreadable in the light of the kitchen. 

"What are you doing here?" she asked as the younger woman took a seat at the table, her voice wire-thin and hard.

"I told you...  I wanted to come home."  Natalia smiled weakly but trepidation and doubt filled her liquid dark eyes. Olivia didn't reply, just continued to stare at her, so Natalia pushed her confusion and hurt as far down inside as it would go and turned back to Emma.  "So what were you two lovely ladies talking about when I walked in?" she asked brightly.

Emma pushed a stack of blank hearts and some crayons at Natalia.  "Mommy was going to tell me why some people would say mean things about our family because it has two mommies," she explained nonchalantly.

Olivia closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose, all the fight leaving her.  Oh, sure, she thought, defeated.  You can't remember to put your dirty clothes in the hamper--ever--but you can remember that.  Great.

"Well, that's a good question."  Natalia took a purple heart and opened it in front of her, coloring the edges absently.  "If your mommy says it's okay, maybe I could answer it for you."  She looked up into Olivia's hazel eyes, pleading silently with her own.  "Is that okay, Mommy?"

Olivia shrugged and splayed her hands in front of her as if to casually say "Have at it."  In reality she wasn't feeling very casual at all; the gesture was simply all she could manage.  She couldn't speak--she knew her voice would break.  She thought she might actually throw up.  Butterflies the size of 747s buzzed around her stomach in a particularly nauseating pattern.

Natalia nodded, grateful that Olivia trusted her as much as she did, even now.  "Well, Emma," she began, "you know your friend Derek and how he has a mommy and a daddy?"  Emma nodded.  "Well, his mommy and daddy weren't always his mommy and daddy.  Once, they were just a man and a woman who met somehow and became friends.  And after they had been friends for a while, they realized they loved each other very much and they wanted to live together and raise a family together--"

"Just like you and Mommy!"

Olivia sat up suddenly and she held her breath, waiting for Natalia's reaction.  The younger woman looked up and found Olivia's wide-as-dinner-plate eyes with her own, pouring her heart--everything inside of her--into them.  "Yes, just like me and Mommy," she answered quietly, hoping against hope Olivia would understand what she was trying to say.  The resulting gasp that Olivia tried to stifle behind her hand told her everything she needed to know.  Smiling now, almost giddy with relief, Natalia turned back to Emma.  "So Derek's family has a mommy and a daddy who love each other and who hug and kiss sometimes and our family has two mommies who love each other and who hug and kiss sometimes."

Emma still looked confused.  "But why would someone say mean things about that?"

"Well, because it's a little different.  Sometimes when things are different, people get scared or angry for no good reason and they make a big deal out of things that are really none of their business.  They may say mean things or they may avoid the different ones or they may even try to get the people who are different to change to be more like them.  They shouldn't do that and if anyone does anything like that to you--"

"I know!  I'm supposed to tell them that speech you taught me and then tell you what they said, in case you have to explain what it means."

"Right!  Absolutely right!"  She patted Emma's shoulder, noting how pleased she seemed by giving the correct answer.  She sneaked a look at Olivia and smiled.  "You could tell your mommy, too," she added.  "She's pretty good at explaining things."

Unable to contain herself anymore, Olivia burst into surprised, happy tears, looking back and forth incredulously between her daughter and the woman she loved.  The woman who had just told her, in so many words, that she loved her back.

Alarmed, Emma asked, "Mommy, what's wrong?"

Natalia answered for Olivia.  "Oh, your mommy just needs a hug.  How about it, Emma?  Do you think we can hug her back to happy?"

"Yeah!" cried the fourth-grader, jumping out of her chair.  Olivia rose to her feet and caught Emma's hug around her waist, smiling down at her daughter through her tears.  Then she opened her arms to Natalia, wrapping the smaller woman in them tightly and burying her face in her long, inky river of hair.

Natalia held Olivia, whispering softly in her ear so Emma couldn't hear.  "I understand everything now," she breathed, cupping Olivia's face in her hands, gazing into watery hazel eyes.  "Nothing will ever take me away from you again." 

Olivia cried harder, completely unable to respond except to tighten her hold on Natalia and her daughter.  On her family.

-----

Olivia stood in front of the fireplace, absently watching the flames leap.  She had her back to Natalia when the younger woman came downstairs, an indulgent smile brightening her features.  "Emma's finally asleep!  You would have thought I'd been gone longer than six hours--"  Olivia's snort of derision instantly stopped Natalia's progress down the stairs.  "Olivia?  What's wrong?" 

The older woman turned, casting a baleful look on her beautiful assistant.  "Are you sure you were even gone that long?  Six whole hours?"

Natalia's good mood evaporated.  "Oh, I see.  You're overthinking things again."  She came the rest of the way down the stairs and stood across from Olivia, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Me?!  You don't think it's possible you're underthinking things a little?  I mean this morning you told me you didn't know when you'd be back; it might be a week or more, and--surprise!--you're back six hours later!"

"I didn't need a week, Olivia.  I just needed to get some things str--"  Natalia stopped herself just in time and rethought her choice of words.  "--clear in my mind."

"Clear in your mind," echoed the distraught older woman.  "Did you do any thinking about this at all?"

"Of course I did!" cried Natalia, trying to calm herself.  She had to remember that Olivia was scared.  Scared that when things were just starting to get better, something would happen to destroy it all.  She'd lived through that so many times already, had had so many things taken away from her, sometimes Natalia wondered how she had become the strong, amazing woman she was now.  "Of course I did," she repeated, her volume lower this time.

"So--suddenly, magically--you're alright with everything.  Emma's teacher and Christina.  Alan and Buzz.  Rafe and Frank.  It's all okay with you now."

"There will be some...problems, I'm sure, Olivia.  But I meant what I said: nothing will take me away from my family again.  Not even my own ignorance."

Olivia rolled her eyes.  "There are other ignorant people out there, too, Natalia.  People who aren't going to be okay with this--with us!  How are you going to handle them?"

"One at a time," said the brunette evenly.  Remember, she's scared.  She has to get this out.  Don't kill her right this minute.  "That's all I can do, all we can do, Olivia.  Live our lives one day at a time--"

Olivia threw her arms up in the air and turned away from Natalia, annoyed by the answer.  "That's just it--this is our lives I'm talking about, not some stupid sitcom!"

"Oh, for God's sake!  Don't--"

"Aha!  God!"  Olivia whirled and pointed at the younger woman accusingly.  "What about your faith, your church?  There's no way you could have come to terms with that in six hours, Natalia!  It takes you longer than that to make the weekly meal plan!"

The younger woman clenched her fists at her sides in an effort to keep herself from throttling her would-be lover.  "Actually," she said as calmly as she could manage under the circumstances, "Father Ray and I had a long talk at the cemetery today--eh!  Let me finish!"  Natalia stopped the older woman from speaking with a raised hand when she saw the question in her eyes.  "We had a long talk at the cemetery," she repeated, "and he made me see that maybe I was thinking about our relationship all wrong.  Remember when Alan was in the hospital, having visions of Rafe?  I asked Father Ray one day if God was punishing me by putting Rafe in prison, if He was punishing me for my lack of faith.  He said that maybe Alan's visions were a part of God's plan for me.   He reminded me of that today."

Olivia shook her head.  "I don't under--"

"What if those visions of Alan's were meant to bring Rafe and I here and what if everything that happened later--Rafe going to prison, Gus dying, you getting his heart, the $80,000--what if that was all meant to bring us, you and I, together?"

"What?"  Olivia couldn't believe what she was hearing.  "You really believe that?"  The question came out more hopeful than she'd meant it.

"We're together, aren't we?  We live here and are raising Emma in spite of everything else.  It could have gone wrong so many times, but we're still here, still together."

Olivia looked at her dubiously.  "What about the Church's view on same-sex relationships?"  She gave Natalia a crooked grin, the fight seemingly leaving her.  "You can't tell me Father Ray gave us his blessing."

"Actually, he sort of did," she replied, shrugging.  "He started out by giving me the Church's official stand on homosexuality but then he said that he'd seen some gay relationships that were based on mutual respect and love with strong, decent values while he'd seen some marriages--some he had even officiated at--that were empty of love and everything else.  He said he'd rather have me in a good, decent, loving relationship with a woman than in a loveless marriage--no matter what the Church said.  He told me that God trusted me to know right from wrong and if I felt--in my soul--that you and I were meant to be together, there was nothing he could say against it.  It was between me and you and God and no one else."

Olivia looked at the floor, afraid of the answer she would see in those incredibly big, dark eyes.  "And do you?  Feel that way, I mean?"  Her voice was barely audible--for once, thought Natalia--and she looked for all the world like a lost child.

Natalia took two steps to reach the older woman and held her trembling hands in her own.  "Look at me," she commanded gently.  When Olivia raised her eyes and Natalia was sure she had her undivided attention, she said quietly and with utter conviction, "Olivia Spencer, I know in my soul you and I are meant to be together."

She reached up and tenderly cupped Olivia's cheek, drawing her down to her mouth.  When the taller woman hesitated, pulling back a little, she whispered, "It's okay..."  She covered Olivia's mouth with her own, parting her lips gently, groaning when she felt Olivia open to her.  Their tongues twined together for the second time that day and the resultant explosion of feeling was twice as intense.  Olivia--at first restraining herself in case this all turned out to be a dream--finally relinquished her control, kissing Natalia thoroughly and deeply, exploring her hungrily first, then tenderly, until the kiss wound down and they released one another.

When they parted, Olivia felt tears flood her eyes again.  "God!" she complained, exasperated with herself.  "I've got to stop crying!  I probably look awful!"

"You're beautiful," Natalia reassured her, wiping away the tears as they fell.  "And besides, crying is good for you.  It keeps your heart healthy."

As soon as she'd said them, Natalia knew they were the wrong words to say.  If she could have taken them back, she would have done so--ironically--in a heartbeat.

"My heart?" asked Olivia, suddenly unsure again.  She felt like she was drowning in quicksand, every breath, every thought threatening to take her under.  She'd get to one safe place only to find the ground beneath her slipping away again. "Or Gus's heart?"

Natalia closed her eyes.  She was trying to be patient with Olivia's insecurities but honestly, she was becoming a little tired of this do-you-don't-you dance.  There were other things--much more satisfying things--she'd rather be doing at the moment.  Things that would bring back that head-to-toe tingling sensation to which she was quickly becoming addicted.  She felt a blush creep into her cheeks and hoped Olivia wouldn't notice it.

"Your heart, Olivia," she soothed, gazing steadily into fearful hazel eyes.  "It's your heart."

Olivia shook her head, her chestnut tresses shivering with the movement.  "But--"

Natalia lost her patience with Olivia suddenly, snapping, "Oh, face it, Olivia, if Nicky's heart had anything to do with this, you'd be in love with Harley, not me.  She was the love of his life.  You're mine."  Olivia drew in a sharp breath at her words but she continued on as if she hadn't heard.  "Now, I'm tired of arguing with you.  Come on.  You and I are going to bed."  She held out her hand until Olivia took it, moving slowly, disoriented.  Natalia pulled her gently to the bottom of the stairs where Olivia halted them abruptly.

"But I--  There's no way I could sleep right now, Natalia," she complained.  There was too much going on, too much to think about!  How on God's Green Earth was she supposed to relax enough to be able to fall asleep?

"Did I say anything about sleep?  No, I didn't.  So shut up already and come..."  Natalia wrapped her arms around Olivia's waist and dropped a kiss in the hollow of her throat.  "...upstairs..."  Her mouth moved to the tender spot under Olivia's ear and her stomach dropped deliciously when she heard the tiny gasp that kiss inspired.  "...with me..."  She finished her oh-so-persuasive argument by wrapping her arms around Olivia's neck and pulling her into the deepest, wettest, most toe-curling kiss either of them had ever experienced.  It went on and on until both of them began to see exploding lights behind their eyes and they broke it off, gulping air into tortured lungs.

They looked at each other for a long moment, stunned by the power between them, until Olivia began to prod Natalia up the stairs, saying, "Upstairs.  Now.  Right now."

Natalia laughed as she tried to keep her feet beneath herself on the treacherously steep staircase.  "Okay, okay!  We're going!  Right now!"

-----

In her room, Olivia almost laughed out loud at the irony.  Here she was, blissfully alone with the woman she loved, with the woman who had chosen her despite the gossip and the looks and the veiled undercurrent of disapproval, who had put her first above all of that--and she couldn't get her damned hands to work!  It was maddening!  She struggled with the first button on Natalia's blouse but it kept eluding her, slipping through her fluttering fingertips like the fireflies used to on summer evenings when she was Emma's age.  She made a short, sharp, self-deprecating sound and glanced nervously at Natalia.
 
"Let me help," whispered the brunette, gently placing her hands over Olivia's trembling ones, steadying her.  Then one by one, she calmly undid the tiny buttons on her wine-colored blouse until it hung open, revealing a tantalizing glimpse of black lace and soft curves underneath.  She took a deep breath and raised her eyes to Olivia's, her gaze shy and yet expectant, her breathing shallow with anticipation.
 
The significance of this offering was not lost on Olivia Spencer.  This woman, this sweet, beautiful woman who had already given her so much--her husband's heart, her friendship, her trust, her home--was selflessly offering one final thing: her love.  It was almost beyond Olivia's comprehension.  Things like this didn't happen to her; they happened to Reva or Harley.  They happened to more deserving people, better people.
 
What could I have done to deserve her? she wondered, the haunting music of Tosca and the acrid taste of champagne and Seconal swelling briefly in her memory.  To deserve this?  A love story I can be proud of...a home...a family... 
 
She slipped her hands under the silk of Natalia's blouse, edging it off her shoulders, dropping to the floor with a sigh.  Then she reached out and lightly traced the hollow at the base of her throat with her fingertips, incredulous, breathless that any of this was happening.
 
"So...beautiful..." she whispered, dazed, stunned with sensation.
 
Natalia's eyes fluttered closed and her breath caught.  Olivia's tremulous touch cut like a steel blade, burning like ice, and she ached for more.  Part of her wanted to just push the older woman against the wall and kiss her until the icy flames consumed them both utterly...but she couldn't.  She knew that Olivia needed to believe in this, in her.  She needed to understand that what Natalia was offering was real and honest and fearless.  If it took Olivia all night to unearth the truth and she never did more than touch her right there, then Natalia would somehow endure it. 
 
For the love of my life. 
 
Those words...  They should have sounded stranger to Natalia than they did.  To the unmarried, pregnant sixteen-year-old Catholic girl inside of her, they were shocking...but Natalia was beginning to realize she wasn't that naive, frightened child anymore.  Somewhere along the line, she'd grown up.  She'd discovered this unshakable core of strength inside her that had weathered all manner of chaos and yet still stood tall and proud.  It was that strength that recognized its complement in Olivia Spencer, the unconquerable woman and mother who had overcome a lifetime of pain with precious little in the way of help or support, and it cried out for her, hungry for completion.
 
Olivia followed her fingertips with her mouth, mapping Natalia's heartbeats with her tongue and lips, and a soft gasp of surprise escaped the younger woman.  Olivia drew Natalia into her arms, laying a delicate vine of wisteria kisses along the length of her throat and along her jawline until she found her mouth, capturing it, plundering it rapturously, deeply, slowly...  It was she who maneuvered Natalia until she had her pressed against the doorway and she who found agility enough to manage the catch on Natalia's bra, unhooking it and discarding it without breaking their endless kiss... 

When Olivia cupped her breast for the first time, the younger woman threw her head back, crying out as the ache inside her coalesced suddenly, urgently.  She arched her back and Olivia took the movement for invitation, following the caress with a kiss.  Olivia's mouth was wet and hot against her skin and when she suckled the tightening bud of Natalia's nipple, the overwhelming tide of sensation dragged the younger woman under and she fought for breath, fought to keep her feet. 

Olivia, stunned by the electric chaos that was her own need, pulled her mouth away from Natalia's skin and braced herself against the door, gulping air as she looked at the raven-haired goddess before her.  Natalia's eyes were huge, wildly reflecting Olivia's disbelief and her hunger.  Their mouths crashed together then and they devoured one another until Natalia pushed Olivia away, hands scrabbling for the hem of the older woman's t-shirt, pulling it from her jeans and snaking underneath it, trying to push it up and over her head.

"Light...Nat..." gasped Olivia, hand reaching for the switch on the wall.  "Light...off..." she breathed, shivering at the feel of Natalia's hands on her skin.

"No," countered the younger woman, playfully swatting Olivia's hand aside with one of her own while the other continued to hike up her shirt.  "On."

"No," said Olivia, her voice changing from desire to desperation.  "Off."  She lunged for the switch but Natalia caught her hand, stopping her.  "Off!" she repeated harshly, pulling away from her lover.

Surfacing painfully from her need, it took a moment for Natalia to recognize that something was truly wrong.  Confusion overtook her features, still flushed with desire.

"Wait--why?"  She held her hands in front of her--palms up--in a gesture of harmlessness.  "Olivia?"  She wracked her brain for a reason that having the light off would be so important, stunned by what she came up with.  "Is it...your incision?"

Olivia crossed her arms tightly over her rumpled shirt, holding herself together as best she could.  "I--I don't like to see it," she explained darkly.  "I don't like anyone to see it.  It's embarrassing...but not in the way that you think.  It isn't vanity."

Vanity, she thought, laughing derisively at herself, remembering her endless quests for the perfect shoes...clothes...possessions...in the years before her heart gave out.  All of them wasted, useless.  All of them incapable of buying her one more hour, one more breath on this Earth.  She shook her head and turned haunted eyes to Natalia. 

"Do you know what they do when they open your chest?" she asked softly.  When Natalia--eyes round and worried--silently shook her head, she explained.  "They cut through your ribs and your sternum with something that looks like a set of bolt cutters.  When they've cut through the last one, they open the whole thing like a birdcage, holding it that way with something they call a 'rib spreader'.  The process is called 'cracking the chest'.  Then they shove your lungs out of the way and they--"  She stopped, suddenly overcome with waves of revulsion and terror.  Angry, frightened tears welled in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks.  "There were h-hands inside me and they cut out my heart, NataliaThey put it in a stainless steel bowl like a dog dish and left it there, naked and broken, until finally they discarded it.  Threw it in the furnace to be incinerated like a piece of rancid meat!"  She shouted the last word, startling herself, jarring herself from her grief.  She closed her eyes and covered her face briefly with her hands, taking a deep, steadying breath.  Then she scrubbed at her tears.  "I have never been so vulnerable...so alone...so powerless before; not even waking up that morning after I'd been raped."  Despite her best efforts, the tears continued to fall.  To compensate, she tried to deaden her voice.  She was only marginally successful.  "It's a daily reminder of my weakest moment.  Sue me for not wanting you to see it."

The long silence that followed finally got the better of Olivia and she looked up, afraid of what she might find in Natalia's eyes.  Don't pity me, she pleaded with her own.  I couldn't take that.  Not today.  Not ever.

But there was no pity in Natalia's eyes.  Instead, she looked at Olivia pensively before glancing down at the button on her own slacks, reaching for it and undoing it. 

"I'm going to tell you a story," she announced, slipping out of her shoes and putting them neatly next to Olivia's dresser.  She unzipped her pants and slipped those off too, folding them and hanging them on the back of a chair.  "It's about a man in India, a servant.  Everyday he walked to the river for fresh water, hauling it back to his master's house in two earthen jars that he carried on a pole balanced on his shoulders."  She demurely removed her panties, folded them, and placed them on the chair with her pants.  "One of the jars was whole, but one had a crack and every day the cracked one lost half its water on the pathway."  She glanced at Olivia, her head held proud and high despite the vulnerability she was so obviously feeling, and she made a decision, padding solemnly over to the older woman on bare feet.  She knelt in front of her and helped Olivia take off her shoes, lining them up neatly next to her own.  "After two years, the broken pot apologized to the man, saying 'I am so sorry!'  'But why are you sorry?' asked the man.  And the pot said, 'Every day you work hard to carry water to your master and because I am cracked, you lose a portion of it.  I am a burden to you.'"  She stood and undid the button on Olivia's jeans, unzipping them and slowly sliding them down her long, beautiful legs.  It was the first time her voice cracked.  "The m-man picked up the jars and began to walk back to his master's h-house.  'Do you see the flowers along this path?' he asked the broken pot.  The pot said 'Yes.'"  She folded Olivia's jeans and laid them over the back of the chair, too.  Her eyes then fell on the tiny wisps of cloth that pretended to be Olivia's panties and she removed them from her hips, her fingers trembling.  "The man s-said, 'I planted those flowers along this path knowing about the crack.  I used your flaw to provide water to the seeds so that they would grow.'"  Natalia raised her eyes finally to Olivia's, a question shimmering in their depths, and she reached out for the hem of her shirt.

For a long moment, Natalia didn't know what Olivia would do.  They stood there in the golden light of the room, neither one moving, until the older woman finally sighed and uncrossed her arms from her chest, having known from the beginning that she would, having known that she could deny Natalia nothing.  "The man continued, saying, 'Every day I pick these flowers for my master's house and they make it beautiful.'"  The two women reached for the hem together and pulled the t-shirt over Olivia's head, Natalia smiling through her tears as she assisted with the pale blue bra underneath.  "So beautiful," she repeated earnestly, gazing on the thin, twisted ribbon of coral skin that marked the East and West of her lover with such abrupt clarity, then moving on to take in the exquisite curves and hollows of Olivia's stunningly gorgeous body. 

"This?"  Natalia said, tracing the scar with inexpressibly gentle fingertips.  Olivia gasped and trembled with the touch, a wildfire storm of silver shivers cascading over her.  No one had touched her like this since before the transplant.  Being touched by Natalia now--so lovingly, so patiently--was overwhelming.  "This is not a sign of weakness, Olivia Spencer," continued Natalia tearfully, looking up into eyes the color of the sea.  "This is the crack God gave you so you could pour your love onto your daughters, onto me...  Helping us grow and change...  Reflecting the love you give back to you..."  She drew Olivia into her arms and when their bare bodies met in embrace for the first time, it was as if a great bell had rung, the sound pealing out in rolling waves, setting the whole world right.  Natalia twined her fingers in Olivia's silken hair and pulled her down for a long, languid kiss that hollowed both of their bellies with delicious anticipation.  When they parted, they stared at each other for a long time until Natalia brushed a few strands of Olivia's hair out of her eyes.

Olivia arched one well-defined brow.  "Are you calling me a crackpot?" she asked saucily, tugging at a lock of raven silk.

Natalia wiped her eyes and arched a brow in return, a mock haughtiness entering her features, calling her high cheekbones into stark relief.  She gave a small shrug.  "If the shoe fits..." she countered, deadpan.

"How would I know?" replied Olivia, equally deadpan.  "You took mine."

The air crackled between them as they each fought to maintain control but in the end, they couldn't restrain their laughter.  When it faded, Natalia said long-sufferingly, "I didn't want you to run away again."

Olivia's eyes darkened with fervent intensity, becoming instantly fierce and resolute.  "I'm through running from you, Natalia," she said softly.  "I'm through running, period.  From now on," she promised, "whatever comes, I stand and fight."  A tiny smile played around her kiss-bruised lips.  "As long as I have you, I can't lose."

-----

In the end, Olivia compromised about the light...  She lit candles.  And in her eyes, she was brilliant because the candles' buttery flickering radiance touched Natalia's skin with a luminous auric halo and she understood, finally, the rapturous contemplation of the believer.

Natalia's luxurious hair, spread like a Japanese fan made of the finest ebony silk, framed her face and her glimmering eyes pierced Olivia's own, pleading with her to touch her again.  Olivia bent her head and captured a dark nipple with a searing kiss, groaning when she felt it pebble in her mouth.  Her trembling fingertips blindly searched for Natalia's other nipple, circling it, grazing it with her nails so softly before finally tugging it, rolling it gently between them.

Natalia whimpered and arched her back, her body aflame, aching with need.  It elated her and terrified her at the same time, this all-consuming need, and her body quaked, ravaged by adrenaline and desire.

Olivia sensed her lover's disquiet and rose above her, gazing into her eyes, soothing her and begging her, Trust me.  Natalia nodded, struggling to breathe through her fear, feeling as if she were dissolving, dissipating into glittering starlight.  Olivia lowered her mouth and grazed the hollow at the base of Natalia's throat with her lips.  Then she suckled first one, then the other breast, marking them with a benediction of her longing.  She caressed the younger woman with her thread-of-gold hair, sweeping it down her body, her eyes fluttering closed and her breaths sharp and shallow.  The scent of Natalia's need was dark and heady, like currants, spice and molten gold.  Olivia's arms strained to hold her upright as she peppered the gorgeous woman with ephemeral kisses...here at the curve of her left breast, here at the rise of her hip, here at the swell of her navel, here at the heartbreaking union of hip and thigh... 

Olivia gently parted Natalia's legs, her mouth coming again to the rise of her belly, kissing her there, slowly, deliberately, as she settled herself between her trembling thighs.  As Olivia's mouth began its scorching journey downward, their gazes locked, feverish in the half-light.  Natalia held her breath, the ache of her body coalescing, intensifying...threatening to tear her apart.  She waited on a knife's edge.

"I have waited so long for you," Olivia husked, then she kissed Natalia, plundering her satiny, silken cleft with her mouth, consuming her, devouring her slowly, ravenously, absolutely.  At the first touch of Olivia's tongue, Natalia threw her head back and cried out her name.  Awash in the blazing liquid ferocity of Olivia's ardor, she could only pray that she would survive it.  She lifted her hips, pushing them into Olivia, wanting to feel her deeper inside and then she did and--Oh God--there had never, ever been anything like this!  Her blood pounded in her veins, thundering through her, blotting out sight, sound, everything.  Her whole body, her heart and soul, all narrowed to a single blistering molecule of time and space, driven by Olivia's utter adoration, and it became a dervish, dancing to the music of its own lunacy until...until...

Olivia Spencer was lost...  She stood--fearless, laughing joyously--in a cloudburst, worshiping the taste of rain.  She cupped it in her hands and drank deeply, unquenchable in her need, filling up with light, with love, filling up with shimmering sweetness, drowning in it, until she toppled over like a wine goblet, the honeyed liquescence of her yearning surging into the world, flooding it, until... 

A cataclysmic collision ignited their incandescent release and Natalia cried out, "God!  Olivia!"

-----

In the stillness of the deep night with only one candle still burning, Natalia Rivera lay on her stomach, her body replete with satiation, her lovely features arranged in a visage of utter contentment.  Olivia Spencer was propped up on one arm next to her, tracing the hollow of the younger woman's spine from the sacral dimple to the nape of her neck and back again, over and over.  The hotelier could not stop touching her lover and the gentle caress made the brunette purr with feline satisfaction. 

They'd made love twice again already, Natalia discovering in herself a certain voracious appreciation for the sounds that Olivia made just before she climaxed.  She planned to hear them at least twice more tonight if she could manage it.  She grinned to herself with the thought, blissfully happy to spend this momentary hush planning her next 'attack'.

Olivia was lost in her own ruminations as she stroked Natalia's back, the primary one being Well, I guess I don't need to order that copy of 'Lesbian Sex for Dummies' I've been eying on Amazon.  Humor aside, the older woman was stunned by how easy, how natural, how right making love with Natalia felt.  Their bodies fit together like a well-made clock, every movement, every sound, every touch leading to another and another, unceasing, until the chime of the hour broke the silence, a pure, silver sound that felt like coming home.  It was amazing and Olivia understood how lucky she was to be alive, just to experience it.

"Mmmmm..." hummed Natalia, stretching gently under Olivia's ministrations.  "What are you thinking about?" she asked softly.

"Clocks," replied the chestnut-haired woman without elaboration.  Natalia stiffened beneath her fingers and it took quite a lot of discipline for Olivia to keep from laughing right out loud.

The younger woman pushed herself off the bed and turned incredulous eyes on her lover.  "Clocks?!" she repeated, aghast.

"Yeah, clocks," agreed Olivia.  "Why?  What do you think about after sex?"

"Well, not clocks!" complained Natalia, her voice rising with her distress.  "I mean-- I--  Olivia, clocks?  With the minute hand and the cuckoo and the--"  As her disbelief spiraled out of her, she noticed the tremor of Olivia's shoulders and her slowly cracking features.  "And Oh God, Olivia, you are so mean to me!"  She swatted her with the palm of her hand, harmlessly but still clearly annoyed.  "What were you really thinking about, you--you--bad girl?"

Olivia laughed.  "Bad girl, huh?"  She waggled her eyebrows at Natalia and gave her a lascivious once-over.  "You don't know the half of it," she growled, pulling the younger woman into her arms, nibbling her throat.

"Olivia!"

The older woman relented.  "Okay, okay!  What was I thinking?"  Natalia nodded, her big, brown eyes wide in the dim light and tenderness flooded Olivia unexpectedly, taking her breath away.  "I was thinking how I am so in love with you," she breathed, her voice catching on her sudden emotion.  "I was thinking that I am so lucky to still be here and that it's all because of you and that I don't really deserve you but I am so glad you love me anyway--"

Olivia found her mouth stopped by the purest, most guileless kiss she'd ever experienced and when they parted, Natalia cupped her cheek in the palm of her hand.  "I love you, too, Olivia Spencer.  I will always, always love you."

Reminded suddenly of a question she had, Olivia didn't respond, averting her eyes.

"What?"  Natalia felt the shift in her lover's mood immediately.  "Olivia, what is it?" 

Olivia sighed, not sure she wanted to know the answer to what she was going to ask and yet powerless to keep from asking it.  "When you went to the cemetery today to see Gus--was it to say goodbye?  Because of us?"

Natalia smiled sadly, kissing Olivia on the forehead softly before catching her gaze, wanting her to see the truth in her own eyes.  "No, sweetie," she said softly.  "I went there to thank him." 

"Thank him?" repeated the older woman.  "For what?"

Natalia ran her fingertips down Olivia's incision, finding it without even looking, caressing it almost absently, comforted by its presence. 

"For your life," she said simply.

Fin



Comments are love!

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

DiNovia
 
 
My State of Mind: excitedexcited
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Paper Heartseftiri on March 3rd, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
Thank you!
ThaGreatGonzothagreatgonzo on March 18th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Aww a sweet story!
seftiri: Otalia Look At Meseftiri on March 21st, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Otalia Look At Meseftiri on April 3rd, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
Aww! I am so glad you liked this! And my T/7 work, too! I'm also glad you've joined the ranks of the Otalia-infected (it truly is a virus, isn't it?).

A mutual friend of ours told me that you are waiting for Hide Beside me to be finished before you begin to read it (which I would so do myself, if I wasn't the one writing it) so I thought I'd give you an estimated date of completion.

My outline suggests 44 chapters and an epilogue. I am planning on having it done by the first week in August.

I hope that helps! :)

Thank you for the lovely feedback....
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Olivia Spencer Amazingseftiri on April 4th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
How can we fail when there is Crystal Chappell involved? Honestly, I would happily watch that woman peel potatoes or sweep a floor. For hours.

As for getting infected with this fandom, you can thank bldy_destini for that one. One too many YouTube clips on her LJ and I had to find out what was so special about yet another subtext-only soap couple. Only to find that the subtext was maintext and the couple was sexy as Hell. ;)

I'm so glad she got me hooked! My bosses and professors on the other hand? Not so much. LOL