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15 August 2009 @ 10:22 pm
Fic: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 28), GL, Olivia/Natalia  
Title: Hide Beside Me (Chapter 28)
Author: DiNovia
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Rating:  Chapter=NC-17/Overall=NC-17
Archival:  P&P, Kimly, and AUSXIP of course.  Everyone else, please ask.
Spoilers:  None
Summary:  Phillip Spaulding has returned to Springfield with a vengeance.  Olivia Spencer, afraid that Phillip will take their daughter Emma from her again, flees Springfield with the help of her assistant, Natalia Rivera.  Can they stay one step ahead of Phillip?  Will they ever be safe again?
Content Disclaimer:  This is an AU story--based on a drabble I posted in February--that splits off from the "I can trust you with my life!" scene on 2/16/09.  All canon after that does not exist in this story.  Also, the Phillip Spaulding that returns in this story is still bat-shit crazy and evil. Graphic depictions of love between two consenting adult women are contained within, obviously, coincidentally in this chapter, too.
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.
Style Note:  As some of you have noticed, I am switching POVs for every chapter.  Natalia, Olivia and Emma will tell their stories in their own words, first-person present tense.  Any other exposition needed will happen in third-person past-tense.  This will cover the urgency I need and will also allow for omniscience for exposition with multiple characters.  I am very interested in knowing whether this style works how I have intended it, so let me know.
Thank You:  To mightbefound  and bldy_destini and fewthistle for beta-ing this story.  Thank you also to Tiff for helping me to figure out the major plot problems I'd been having and for being on call when I forget them and need to review.  ;)  Thank you to djshiva for your comments and general enthusiasm for this story. 


Emma looks at me strangely as you practically bolt out of the room, already pressing buttons on your phone.  I take half a second to thank God for Sam's call this morning because I honestly don't know how much longer we can do this: running from city to city, from hotel to hotel.  Phillip has all the resources of society at his fingertips.  My father worked outside the law.  There were no Amber Alerts, no police involved in his relentless search for my mother and me.  Only threats and bribes and bullying.  I used up the few skills I learned from that time of my life about a week ago and I'm terrified to tell you that I've just been...winging it...since then, though I think you already know that. 

That possibility makes me sigh.

After a second or two of intense inspection, Emma flings herself onto the end of the bed, her pajama top riding up a little, showing me her belly briefly before she yanks it back down.  I frown because it doesn't have the rounded fullness of health and bounty that it should.  She's too skinny and I know it's from stress and bad food and the loss of her routine.  That's...unacceptable.  If it kills me, I'll figure out a way to get it back, even if we can't go home at the moment.  I hope to God Sam can help me.  Help us

"You cut your hair," says Emma, still eying me warily.  She kicks her feet against the side of the bed but doesn't smile.  She's so serious, so calculating.  Where's her joy?  Where's her childhood?

Did we leave it back at the farmhouse with her ducks?  Or did it burst, like a bubble, when she figured out the ring wasn't magic and that parents lie?

That's too much for me to think about right now.  I touch the tousled ends of my short hair and grin self-consciously instead.  "I did.  Do you like it?"

Emma doesn't answer.  She makes another observation.  "You cut it so you'd look different.  So people wouldn't recognize you."

I swallow.  She's your daughter, that's for sure.  Wheels turning constantly behind sea-blue eyes, measuring angles and distance and weighing the truth against what she sees, what she's been told.  How much of it comes up short?

"Yes," I tell her, looking her in the eyes.  Now that she knows the truth, I'm not about to start lying to her again. 
"Is Mommy going to cut her hair?" she asks and for a moment I can't breathe.  My heart clenches in my chest and now I understand why you reacted the way you did when you saw me after I'd cut mine.  The thought of you having to cut your beautiful hair makes me want to cry.
"I hope not," I manage finally, pushing the words through the unexpected lump in my throat.  "But maybe."
"Maybe mine, too?" she asks, tugging absently at the disheveled braid at the back of her head. 
Cutting Emma's hair is a good idea.  Coloring it would be better.  But I...I can't do it.  I can't even think about it.  It--more than anything else--would make the accusation of kidnapping harder to deny.  It would make this--this whole ordeal more frightening, more real, and if the thought of you cutting your hair makes me want to cry, the thought of cutting Emma's hair makes me want to scream.
I blink the tears out of my eyes and open my arms to our daughter instead.  She pulls herself into my lap and throws her arms around my neck as I enfold her in mine, kissing the top of her head.
"Not if I can help it, Jellybean," I whisper against her hair, closing my eyes and rubbing my cheek against it.  "Okay?"
She pulls back and looks up at me.  "Okay," she agrees.  She reaches out and touches the ends of my hair, her little face crumpling into a thoughtful frown.  "Was your long hair heavy, Natalia?" she asks.
"It was very heavy," I tell her.  "When I woke up this morning, I thought my head might float off the pillow, it felt so light."  I grin at her and she laughs.  The sound washes through me, followed by profound relief.  She can still laugh.  She can still smile and be silly.  Thank God.
"I like it this way," she says finally, coming to some internal decision, giving it one more tug.  "But I like it long better."
"I know.  So does your mom.  I'll grow it back when we get home.  Okay?"  I wink at her and she grins again.
"Okay," she says, nodding enthusiastically. 
I can hear you in the other room, still on the phone, but your voice is muffled and distant.  I'm dying to know what you and Sam are talking about.  I know you'll tell me when you're done, but it's hard for me to wait.  So much rides on what you have planned, on whether Sam can even help us--but this kind of thinking isn't helping anything.  I can tell myself that all day, but unfortunately it won't make a difference.  Patience may be a virtue, but right now, it's also darned near impossible.

Just as I begin to scold myself for my impatience, Emma blindsides me with another question.
"Did Mommy sleep with you last night?"
I choke on my shock and look down into Emma's wide, innocent blue eyes.  Then I realize what she's really asking and I want to laugh at myself.  She's a child.  She couldn't possibly have meant that the way it sounded.
"Like a slumber party?" I ask.  That's much safer territory.  Something an 8-year-old would reference, would understand.  But she shakes her head no.
"Slumber parties are for little kids," she says, as if talking to an idiot. 

I laugh.  "Oh, right.  Sorry.  Your mom did--"

"Grown ups have sleepovers," she says, interrupting.  Something in the way she says sleepovers makes me nervous.

"They do?  Who told you that?"

She looks at me as if I've lost my mind.  "Mommy," she explains with exaggerated patience.  She looks very close to rolling her eyes.

 I swallow heavily.  "What exactly did Mommy say about sleepovers?"
Emma hops off my lap and settles herself against the headboard.  "Little kids have slumber parties and sometimes it's just two friends and sometimes it's more--especially if there's a birthday or something.  There are snacks and video games and movies and ghost stories and other fun things at slumber parties.  But sleepovers are just for two grown ups who are friends, and sometimes they have dinner and wine and maybe they dance.  Then, if the grown ups love each other a lot, they kiss and have special hugs."
I blink.  I blink again.  "'Special hugs?'" I squeak. 
This...this isn't happening.  I am not having this conversation with your daughter.  Not now.  And certainly not without you.  I look at the doors between our rooms, hoping--praying--that you'll walk through them and save me.

Please.  Save me.
"Uh-huh," says Emma, adding matter-of-factly, "but Sophie says that 'special hugs' just means sex."
I'm going to pass out.  Right here.  In this bed.  Where we just had mindblowing--  Oh, my God!  What do I do?  WHERE ARE YOU?
"She says that?" I say weakly, my eyes darting back and forth between the connecting doors and Emma's profile.
"Uh-huh."  She nods again, playing with the edge of the comforter.  She's quiet for a long time and I use the moment of peace to try to get my heart to stop pounding.  I mean, it's not as if she's asking about us necessarily.  And maybe you've already had "the talk" with her.  How would I know?  Although, I'd be surprised.  I mean, it was hard enough for me to have that talk with Rafe.  And we all know how that turned out.  Just because you're comfortable--very comfortable, I think, my cheeks flushing hot with memories of this morning--having sex doesn't mean you're comfortable explaining it to your 8-year-old. 
"Natalia?" says Emma, looking up at me finally.  Her eyes are wide and curious.
"Yeah, sweetie?"
"What's sex?"
My heart drops to my stomach, kicking my lungs on the way down.

Well, that answers that question. 
I put my hands over my face briefly, wondering what to do.  I mean, if I'm going to call her my daughter, too, then I have certain...responsibilities...to her that I can't just walk away from because they make me uncomfortable, right?  Or can I?  Can I, please?
I take a deep breath and make a decision, opening my eyes and looking directly into Emma's. 
"Tell you what, Emma, that's a good question.  But I need to talk to your mommy before I answer it.  Okay?"

She looks at me, confused.  "Why?  Don't you know?"

"Wha--?"  If ever my eyes were going to fall out of my head because of sheer surprise, this would be the time.  Before I can get anything coherent to come out of my mouth, however, Emma turns and calls for you at the top of her lungs.

"Mom!" she calls.  "Mooooooooooooooooom!"

"What?  What is it?"  You run in, battle-ready and protective, eyes narrowed, sweeping the room for danger even as you answer your daughter.  The hand holding your cell phone is slightly raised--as if you're somehow expecting to beat someone to death with a cheap pre-paid cell from Verizon.

Emma turns her deceptively innocent gaze on you.  "Mom, what's sex?  Natalia says she doesn't know."

"Wha--??" I repeat, this time an octave higher.  I look from Emma to you--and the look on your shocked face is rapidly turning into outrage, much to my horror--and back again.

"Excuse me?" you say, goggling at your daughter.

"I said, what's--"

You pinch the bridge of your nose and close your eyes.  "I heard you the first time, Emma," you grind out.  Your jaw is so tense I expect your molars to crack. 

"Well?" pushes Emma and I suddenly realize she's playing the averages with you.  Apparently she's wanted the answer to this question for a while and she's willing to bet that you're happy enough and distracted enough right now to let her get what she wants.  She's wrong, of course.

"This is not the time for that discussion, Jellybean," you sigh, opening your eyes and pinning Emma with a laser-like gaze.  "I promise, when we get settled again, you and I and Natalia will all sit down and you can ask us--either of us--as many questions as you want, okay?"
"When will that be?" asks Emma darkly, crossing her arms over her chest.  I almost laugh.  Yep, she's your daughter. 

Very soon, I think, my mouth twisting into a smirk. 

"But--" she begins, and I can hear the whine beginning.  You cut her off with a look.

"No buts.  I said 'soon' and I meant 'soon.'  That's as good as it gets, Bean.  Take it or leave it."
Emma ponders this deal for a minute, clearly weighing her options.  "Okay," she drones finally.  She's been beaten at her own game. 

She's too curious for her own good, I think to myself.  And she's going to be a holy handful when she hits puberty.  God help us all.
"Now, go pick out an outfit and get dressed.  When you're done, you can watch cartoons on the TV.  Natalia and I need to talk."

"Okay!" she says, bounding off the bed and into the other room, excited now about watching cartoons.  I shake my head, smiling after her.  She's growing up so fast and yet, she's still a little girl.  A sweet, devious little girl with a different scheme for every day of the week. 

My smile disappears, though, when I think of the other ways she's growing up and when I shake my head this time, it's to dislodge the ugly thoughts about Phillip that I'm having.  Ugly, murderous thoughts. 

"Really, Natalia?" you blurt, exasperated, interrupting my revenge fantasies.  My head snaps up to see you gaping at me with indignant eyes.  "I leave you alone with her for five minutes and she's asking about sex?!"

"But I didn't--  You weren't--  I--  She--"  Why won't my mouth and brain work together?  Why do I always sound like bad cell phone reception around you?

"Spit it out, Natalia!" you shout and before I can even think about it, I yell back, "She asked me if you'd slept with me last night!"

That takes the wind out of your sails and you open and close your mouth a few times in shock before slowly deflating onto the end of the bed.

"What?"  You look...horrified.  No, terrified.  You're as pale as the moon.

"She asked me if you'd slept with me last night, but Olivia, she didn't mean it like that."  I grimace self-consciously.  "At least, I don't think she did.  I think she was just wondering where you were because you weren't with her when she woke up."

You level incredulous eyes at me, their usual green now dark and murky.  "And somehow this turned into a talk about sex?"  There's more than just a hint of anger in your voice, but I ignore it. 

"Thanks to you," I reply dryly. 

"Me??  What did I--"

"Sleepovers!  You taught her about sleepovers!"  I laugh when your eyes nearly fall out of your head.  See?  Now you know how I felt!

After a second, you cover your mouth briefly with your hand.

"Oh, my God," you whisper, pulling your hand away so I can hear you.  "She couldn't have been more than four or five....  She walked in on--well, Bill and I were--"

I hold up my hand in desperation.  "Please, don't tell me!" I plead.  It's bad enough I have an inferiority complex where your past is concerned.  I don't need to add jealousy, too.

You're not paying any attention to me.  "I said something--I don't remember what--"

"You told her sleepovers were for grown ups and that there was dinner and dancing and wine, and sometimes--if the grown ups loved each other--there was kissing and 'special hugs.'"  I can feel the smirk on my face.  I'm enjoying this.  Too much, maybe.  Olivia Freakin' Spencer is...flustered. 

"'Special hugs?'" you squeak.  Yep.  You're flustered all right.  You're practically paralyzed.

I nod and lean back, resting my weight on my hands.  "So...I'm thinking you owe me dinner, for sure.  Maybe some wine."  I wink.  "But I'm gonna let you off the hook on the dancing."

You look at me blankly.  I wiggle my toes and grin at you and you burst out laughing.  Full-throttle, throw-your-head-back laughter that hits me right in my middle.  God, you're beautiful....

You sidle closer to me when you finish, wagging your eyebrows at me.  "I owe you dinner, huh?" you say, your voice low and dark and sexy.  "I don't know, Natalia.  You seemed to have enough to mmpf--"

I dive forward and shut you up with a kiss because I know what you were just about to say.  My cheeks are on fire just thinking about it.

"Naughty, naughty," I scold when I finally pull away from your mouth, breathless and warm all over.  Honestly, your kisses should be illegal. 

"Funny," you quip.  "That's exactly what I was going to say to you."

"Beat ya to it," I grin, raising my eyebrow.

You get all haughty at that.  "Well, I beat you to--  To--  To--"  You keep considering things and discarding them until you finally think of one, pointing your finger at the ceiling as if to say 'Aha!'  "I woke up before you," you declare smugly.

I laugh.  "In the middle of the night, because you were worried about Emma.  Olivia, that hardly counts--"

"Not today!" you crow, pleased with yourself.  "When we were...."  Your words drift off as you pale again.

"When we were what?" I ask.  "Olivia, are you okay?"

Your voice is soft.  "I woke up before you in South Dakota," you say without elaborating.  You don't need to elaborate.  I know exactly what you're talking about.  And no, you didn't.

I guess I'm quiet for too long, because I see the panic flood your eyes.

"Didn't I?" you ask and now it's my turn to feel a little pale.  You look so worried!

I shake my head, but before I can say anything, you cover your face with your hands.

"Oh, my God," you say, your voice muffled.  Finally, you look at me, your eyes unreadable.  "You were awake?  You knew I was there?"

"Yes, but Olivia--"

"You never said anything.  You--"  You stop abruptly, remembering the next night.  Grand Junction, snow, Mary Poppins, and one giant bed.  I can see it in your eyes, growing wider every passing second.  "The king bed?  That was...?"

Now it's my turn to cover my face with my hands.  "I didn't know what I was doing," I explain, finally gathering the courage to look at you again.  "I wanted to...recreate how I felt that morning in South Dakota, waking up with your arms around me.  Safe.  Protected.  Comforted.  But I didn't know how to--or why.  Not until the cafeteria in the Grand Canyon when you whispered something in my ear and I felt it all the way down to my toes."  I laugh, but this time it's self-conscious laughter.  "I didn't know what to do after that.  It was....  I was very confused."

Your face--your whole body, actually--kind of crumples with something that looks like defeat, and when you look back at me, your eyes are sad and knowing.  "Because of this?" you ask, reaching out to trace the shape of a bit of gold at my throat.

I grab my necklace and tug at the charm, making sure it's the cross my mother gave me at my confirmation.  Of course it is.  It's the only necklace I've ever worn.  When I realize what you're asking, though, it hits me like a bolt of lightning.

"Oh, no!  No, no, Olivia!"  I take your hand in both of mine and look into your fearful eyes, watching them bleed out into a green-tinged gray color, like wet concrete.  It hurts me to see you look that way--afraid of me running away from you, from us.  "It wasn't my faith that confused me.  My faith, my God--they're about love.  And I know God brought me to you, to Emma for a reason."

You snort and look away.  "Not this reason," you say, glancing at the rumpled bed where, only hours ago, we were tangled up together like unspooled yarn.

I reach out and lightly take your chin in my hand, turning your eyes back to mine.  "Exactly this reason, Olivia.  Why does it have to be God or this?  Why can't I love both of you with all of my heart?  It's big enough; I promise it is."

"But the Church--"

I shake my head again and cut you off with a kiss.  This one is soft and sweet and meant to comfort you.  "The Church is wrong," I whisper when I pull my mouth away from yours.  I rest my forehead against yours and take your other hand in mine.  "The Church is wrong about so many things, Olivia.  They're human and fallible.  And I'm not one of those Catholics who mistakes my Church for my God or who believes that in order to be a good Catholic, I have to do everything the Church tells me to do, whether I agree with it or not."  I kiss your cheek and look into your eyes.  "God knows my heart, Olivia, and He is glad.  Glad that I've found someone so strong, so wonderful and beautiful to share it with."

You snort again, but your eyes shine like green glass.  You can't hide your joy.  You never could.  Not from me.  "Now I know you're lying to me.  God doesn't think of me that way."

"He does because I do," I tell you, smiling at you indulgently.  I know you're not good with the mushy stuff and that we're probably right at the edge of your tolerance, so I decide to give you a break.  "Now shut up for a minute and c'mere."  I tug the lapels of your--correction: my robe--and you lean forward until I can claim your mouth in another kiss.  The second you part your lips to deepen the kiss, I moan.  I could happily drown in your kisses.  I know this for a fact.  Everything about them drives me mad with need.  Their heat, their depth, their slow, languid, luxurious--Oh, my God!

You stroke the roof of my mouth with your tongue just as you cup one of my breasts in your hand, circling my nipple through my tee-shirt with your thumb.  All the sweet, aching pressure that's been building inside me since we began this kiss boils over in that instant and I come, groaning into your mouth, shuddering against you as wave after wave of pleasure crashes over me.

You pull away from me, clearly startled.

"Did you just--?"  You look at me but I can't bring myself to look back.  I press my face against your throat instead, nodding, gasping for breath, trying to weather the aftershocks pulsing through my body.

"From a kiss?" 

I nod again, my cheeks flushing with heat, and ask, "Is that...weird?"  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  Never with Nicky--either time we were together--and certainly not with Frank.  Frank's kisses were like...like being hit in the mouth by a dead fish.  Yours, though....  All I have to do is think about your mouth and tingles wash through my body to settle...somewhere south of my bellybutton.  God, what's wrong with me?

"Weird?  It's freakin' amazing!"  I can hear the pride lacing your voice and I wonder briefly how insufferable this little incident is going to make you.  "Can we try it again?"

I laugh weakly but nod.  Like I could say 'no' to you....

My body arches toward you as soon as our lips touch.  When you part my lips with your tongue, I whimper.  When you finally stroke your tongue along the roof of my mouth again, I have to pull away just to breathe through my orgasm, this one stronger than the last. 

Oh, God!  I'm so screwed!

When I'm able to open my eyes again, you're watching me with an enraptured, lust-filled gaze.

"You're fucking gorgeous when you do that," you say, your voice deep, throaty.  You lean forward again and reach for the covers over my legs, whispering needfully, "I need to be inside you, Natalia...."

I shake my head and push feebly at your shoulder.  "No," I whisper back, looking at the connecting doors worriedly, my sense of propriety fighting with my overwhelming hunger for you right now.  "Emma...."  I'm so dizzy with desire that I can't seem to make myself clear, but you understand anyway.

"She's watching cartoons," you say, one hand slipping under my tee-shirt to cup my breast.  "We'll be quiet.  She won't hear a thing."

I don't believe you for a second but I can't get my brain to work anymore.  I can only feel and what I feel is electric, wild.  You push my top up just enough to bare one nipple to the cool air and take it into your blistering mouth.

"O-Olivia," I breathe and throw my head back.  I--I give up.  I need you too much, need this too much.  Everything in me aches for want of you.  "Please...."

You slip your free hand beneath the covers and I part my thighs without hesitation.  You wrap one arm around my back, bracing me, holding me upright.  Your tongue is doing amazing things to my nipple.  I want you more than I've ever wanted anyone or anything in my whole life.  I'm so scared.

You pull your mouth away from my body so you can look up at me, eyes dark with need and overflowing with adoration.  My fear dissolves in your gaze.  I know...I know I will always be safe with you.

"I love you," you say and you fill me with your fingers, pressing into me with one fluid motion.  I bite my bottom lip to keep myself from groaning with relief.

"You're so beautiful," you say and you fill me again, slipping those intoxicating fingers deeper inside me every thrust.  My eyes flutter shut and I try to remember how to breathe.  You feel so good.

"I want you so much," you say and my heart pounds in my chest.  My hips rock in rhythm to your powerful strokes and I can feel myself begin to clench around those heavenly fingers.

"I'm...yours," I whisper, my voice torn to shreds.  "It's...always...been you.  Olivia....  Only...you...."

Your eyelids close over pupils so wide, your eyes look almost black, and you dive forward, taking my nipple into your mouth again, flicking it with your tongue, suckling it and stroking it until I feel the world begin to shift and spin, expanding and contracting with my every breath.


Then you fill me until I can't take anymore and the whole world cracks apart, like a great big egg, and you blindly cover my mouth with your free hand, trying to muffle my cries of release...and failing. 

When I come back to myself, I realize I'm still rocking against your fingers.  We're both gulping air into our mistreated lungs and I'm a little surprised to find that I want you again.  And again after that.

"I can't keep my hands off you," you breathe and I feel your fingers twitch inside me.  I whimper.

"We can't," I reply, my voice low and desperate.  "Olivia, she could run in here any second!"

"I know....  I know...."  You rest your forehead on my thigh and slowly slip your fingers from inside me.  I feel their loss as an ache, sharp and immediate.  I try to push it away.

"Talk to me," I order you, frantic to cool this...this whatever this is between us.  Just a little.  Just so I can think again.  I have to learn to control myself around you now.  I've never felt like this before, never wanted anyone the way I want you.  "Tell me about Sam."  That will help.  I need to get back on track, back into this crazy world that makes no sense anymore.  Our daughter's life depends on it.

"Sam?" you ask, confused.  You're staring hungrily at my still bare nipple and I yank my top down to cover it.

"Your brother?  Olivia, please!"

The desperation in my voice breaks through to you finally.  "Right.  Right!"  You take a deep breath and force yourself back to the present.  "Sam.  Sam's in Italy."

My heart sinks.  How is he going to help us from there?  "Italy?  What's he doing in Italy?"

You blink and I can see in your eyes that you don't know and didn't think to ask.  Instead, you tell me what you do know.  "He's on his way home.  He says we can stay with him.  For however long we need."

"In New York?" I ask, trying to remember if that's where you said he lived the last time we talked about him.  When was that--Christmas?  But you shake your head no.

"In the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Some place in North Carolina.  Beta, I think he said.  A cabin in Beta."  The urgency of our desire is slowly fading for both of us and I can feel my brain starting up again, even though it feels a bit...rusty.

"Won't Phillip know to look there, Olivia?  Isn't that the first place he'd look?"  And do we really have the right to put someone else in danger?

"Maybe," you say, flashing me a brilliant grin.  "But four years ago, when Phillip disappeared, Sam was living in a little village somewhere in Mexico, working on a story about--I don't know--banditos and stables of enslaved piece-workers supplying the tourist traps around Mexico City with cheap souvenirs for Americans.  Something like that.  Anyway, when he came back to the States, he moved to New York, thinking he'd get a job with the Times.  The last I'd heard, he was doing a lot of freelance work for traditional news agencies and progressive blogs up there.  But it turns out he moved to Beta, North Carolina and lives there now.  He says he's teaching."

"So...?"  Honestly, I don't know how that changes anything.

"So, if I didn't know where Sam was, neither will anyone else.  It'll take Phillip a while to find him, even if he thinks of it.  Which I'm betting he won't.  Or--if he does--he'll get frustrated and stop pursuing it as soon as he hits the first road block."

I feel a hesitant smile tug at my mouth.  "It'll give us some time.  To plan.  To stay in one place.  To get out of the public eye.  Even if Phillip does pursue it, it will still give us some time."

"Exactly," you say, relief and confidence flooding your eyes.  "We can work on our next move without feeling like someone's watching us around every corner.  Maybe Sam can even help us get out of the country.  He has contacts all over the world.  And he was once hunted by the mob."

Oh, I am not even going to ask about that.  I lived in Chicago for a long time.  I know better.

"Is there anyone else Phillip would go after to get to you?  Anyone not living in Springfield?  Like--oh no!  Olivia, what about Ava?  Will Phillip go after her?"

"He doesn't even know she exists," you say triumphantly.  Then your face falls a little.  "At least, I hope he doesn't.  She didn't come to Springfield until after Phillip disappeared.  But even if that bastard does find out about her, Jeffrey's there.  He'll take care of her.  Especially since you prepared him."  You look at me with such gratitude and such pride, it takes my breath away.  "You did everything right, Natalia.  We made it here, all the way to Oklahoma City, because of you."

"We had God's help," I say softly, embarrassed by your faith in me.  "And--you know--we're a little bit lucky."

"We're a lot lucky," you say, correcting me, and I can tell you're not talking about our near misses and our close calls.  "We're going to be okay, Natalia.  Everything's going to be fine now."

I nod, agreeing with you, trusting you implicitly.  "We have each other," I say, smiling. 

"Yeah.  We do."  You cup my face in your gentle hand, lean forward, and press your lips to mine.  This kiss is not meant to set me ablaze.  It's a kiss of reassurance, of presence, of endurance.  I return it eagerly, wanting you to feel the strength of my love for you, wanting you to know--from this kiss alone--that I'm here.  With you.  Here to stay.

We're still kissing softly when Emma runs in from the other room to announce that she's hungry.

You pull away from the kiss so quickly, I think I hear a pop.  I chuckle briefly at how shocked you look, then turn my attention to our daughter.

"I know, Em, sweetie.  We are, too."  I know I am.  Starving, that is.  You make me hungry in every way.  Even now, when you look like a cartoon version of yourself, your mouth hanging open and your eyes wide as saucers.  I look over your shoulder.  "Your mom will be there in just a minute to order breakfast for us while I take a shower, okay?"

"Okay!" she agrees happily, skipping back to your room.  I hear her fling herself onto one of the beds.

"Do you think she noticed?" you ask, stage-whispering comically.  Before I can answer, we hear the slightly off-key strains of a popular children's song being sung in the other room.

"Mommy and Natalia, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," sings Emma sweetly.  All the blood drains from your face.  "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage!"

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  So I settle for being a smart-ass.  I think you're a bad influence on me.

"Hmmm," I say, watching you try to get something--anything--to come out of your mouth.  "It looks like we're going to have to cover state marriage laws with that sex talk we're going to give her."

You just goggle at me.

I close your mouth with a click of your teeth and hop out of bed. 

"I'll be in the shower if you need anything," I say sweetly, ducking quickly into the bathroom in case you get it into your head to follow me.

Instead--just before I close the door--I hear a softly uttered, "Bitch!"

I pray that the sound of the shower running drowns out the sound of my laughter.

But I doubt it does.



Comments are love!

(Deleted comment)
Revolos55: Otalia - Bench Cuddlerevolos55 on August 18th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
and if the thought of you cutting your hair makes me want to cry, the thought of cutting Emma's hair makes me want to scream. - Neat line.

This...this isn't happening. I am not having this conversation with your daughter. Not now. And certainly not without you. I look at the doors between our rooms, hoping--praying--that you'll walk through them and save me. / Please. Save me. / "Uh-huh," says Emma, adding matter-of-factly, "but Sophie says that 'special hugs' just means sex." - HA! Oh, poor Natalia.

"Tell you what, Emma, that's a good question. But I need to talk to your mommy before I answer it. Okay?" / She looks at me, confused. "Why? Don't you know?" - Oh, ow! I think I hurt myself laughing.

"No buts. I said 'soon' and I meant 'soon.' That's as good as it gets, Bean. Take it or leave it." - Oh, I love when Emma is Mini-Olivia.

Why do I always sound like bad cell phone reception around you? - Neat turn of phrase.

It's bad enough I have an inferiority complex where your past is concerned. I don't need to add jealousy, too. - Awww

"I woke up before you in South Dakota," you say without elaborating. You don't need to elaborate. I know exactly what you're talking about. And no, you didn't. / I guess I'm quiet for too long, because I see the panic flood your eyes. - Ooh, nice! I like this all coming out.

Frank's kisses were like...like being hit in the mouth by a dead fish. - *snort* Hahaha

My body arches toward you as soon as our lips touch. When you part my lips with your tongue, I whimper. When you finally stroke your tongue along the roof of my mouth again, I have to pull away just to breathe through my orgasm, this one stronger than the last. / Oh, God! I'm so screwed! - Whew! *fans self*

"Mommy and Natalia, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," - Hehehe

Instead--just before I close the door--I hear a softly uttered, "Bitch!" / I pray that the sound of the shower running drowns out the sound of my laughter. / But I doubt it does. - Hahaha
djskyplayerdjskyplayer on August 21st, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
Wee! I'm so glad to have another update. My bark of laughter was so loud and unexpected at this line "I can hear the pride lacing your voice and I wonder briefly how insufferable this little incident is going to make you." that my poor petite chatte was startled from a nap and fell out of bed! *lol* Thanks! :)
Tiffany: comic dc t-rex barelypiekid on August 31st, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I wonder briefly how insufferable this little incident is going to make you.

Insufferable, eh? ;D