DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The ending is not what I wanted, but it was either go with it or scrap the whole thing… you decide which is a better option. I have been mostly away, so I don't know if there are lots of stories in a similar vein, and too tired to go check… I have no beta, all mistakes mine. Comments are, as they say, el amor.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Head Start
By Juri


"Okay, mission accomplished: I am sweaty," Natalia gasped, stumbling onto the top of the hill – mountain really, the precipice had to measure higher than Kilimanjaro. Olivia smiled, chuckling.

"Someone needs to go to the gym." The younger woman chose to ignore the jibe, shaking out her hair in hopes of it drying more quickly.

"Yeah, I just, I really had no idea that you were the outdoors type."

"I'm in or outdoor; Olivia Spencer, woman for all seasons. Is that a problem?" The older woman teased, but Natalia could tell there was a hint of insecurity to the question.

"No, as long as I don't have to keep up." She quipped, smiling to show she wasn't upset at her friend for insisting on the hike.

Grinning, Olivia swept closer, fingers grasping the open ends of her jacket and tugging their bodies together. "Race you back to the room," she suggested, and if Natalia didn't know better, she would think she was being propositioned. Blinking against the thought, she forced herself to focus quickly, for fear of actually having to run.

"Wait, I don't wanna, please, I don't wanna race." She implored, giving Olivia her best puppy eyes, unable to stop the nervous giggles from bubbling up.

"I'll give you a head start," the older woman offered, beaming at her. Why did she have to do that, it made it so much harder to resist her.

"Wha-that's like cheating," she almost-whined, eyes beseeching her love to have mercy. No such luck.

"Okay!" the taller woman whooped, and took off like a shot down the hill-mountain.

"Wait! Wait!" No luck, she was off like a greyhound on a track. The dark haired woman couldn't help but smile, loving that Olivia felt comfortable enough to really be herself.

"Olivia? Olivia!" Natalia called for what seemed like the twentieth time since the beginning of her trek back to the spa. For the first few minutes of walking alone, the memory of Olivia's exuberance and excitement at the great outdoors was cute and endearing. But now, as sweat began to dry on her skin, leaving behind sticky, itchy residue, and ominous animal noises sounded at random intervals all around, 'cute and endearing' became 'irritating and negligent'. "Really, this is ridiculous; what, did she sprint back?" she grumbled, scratching at the back of her neck unconsciously.

Something buzzed by Natalia's ear, smacking into the side of her head, and she squealed, whipping around and slapping at her hair frantically. "Ew, ew, ew!" Never again, she vowed to herself, shuddering. Bugs, and weird noises, and itchy plants – who in their right mind willingly subjected themselves to this? What kind of person enjoyed this? She would have to insist that her boss-come-girlfriend get examined by a therapist when they got home.

A husky chuckle from behind her transformed panic into annoyance and she scowled, turning slowly to face a brightly smiling Olivia. "Not funny," she chided.

"Aw, what's the matter? Did the big, bad fruit fly attack you?" the older woman asked, stepping in front of her and pulling her close by the lapels of her wind breaker. Natalia rolled her eyes.

"Ha, ha. Keep it up and you sleep on the floor." She grumbled, even as her hands came to rest on Olivia's hips of their own accord. Olivia's grin widened and her eyes crinkled at the corners in the way that the Latina found utterly charming.

"Oh yeah? You're putting me in the dog house already?" the hotelier teased, wiggling her eyebrows, drawing a reluctant chuckle from her frustrated assistant.

Gentle, hesitantly, Olivia reached up and brushed a stray lock of hair behind Natalia's ear, fingertips leaving a tingling trail on soft skin in their wake. The air was suddenly thick and vibrating with energy, almost like a caress; the moment ensnared them with its power. With unconscious motion, as if were the natural progression of things, the entranced women found themselves drifting closer.

Natalia's breath hitched, caught in her throat as they came into full contact, thigh to breast. She wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck as the other woman's encircled her waist. Green eyes darkened, became smoky in that way the olive skinned woman secretly loved even though she had always pretended not to see. Desire, heavy and warm poured out of those eyes and into her, coursing through her and filling her, and it took all of her will power to force her lungs to start taking in oxygen again.

Natalia was hypnotized, bewitched by full lips being wetted by a pink tongue – obviously intentionally sensuous in its unhurried course from left to right, bottom to top. Warm, strong arms held her close, sending small jolts of electricity to where they rested against her, making her shiver. The sun shone softly through new leaves, lending an almost surreal quality to the atmosphere. Slowly, carefully, the dark haired woman leaned forward, tilting her head slightly, her eyelids fluttering closed as Olivia did the same. The kiss was perfect.

Tender hands glided up Natalia's body to cup her cheeks then bury themselves in her inky hair, nails lightly scratched at her scalp. Soft, moist lips caressed her own, teasing and fleeting at first, then more firmly, loving and passionate. This was what the younger woman had been dreaming of and wishing for since she had held Olivia's hands and told her that she loved her.

If she was honest with herself, this was what she had been waiting for since she was a little girl looking forward to and contemplating the great love of her life that would one day come and sweep her off her feet. This was everything anyone could hope to want. Then, a warm tongue gently invaded her mouth and she moaned as pure heat and need swept through her. She suddenly realized, there was a whole list of things that she hadn't even known to pray for.

A twig snapped in the distance, signaling the approach of intruders, and they reluctantly tore apart, gasping desperately for breath. They leaned heavily against each other, foreheads touching as they gazed into each other's eyes, and Natalia thought that Olivia had never looked more beautiful than she did in that moment. Lips bruised, bee stung, green eyes gone black with arousal, pulse beating strongly, throbbing visibly at the side of her throat. She shivered delicately under the weight of their combed adore.

The footsteps drew closer and, as if realizing their position for the first time, Olivia sprang away, straightening her clothing and attempting to assume a nonchalant pose. Dazed, Natalia watched the older woman try and appear calm and controlled, but the fear was almost naked in her eyes; the younger woman's chest tightened. She thinks I am going to freak, she realized, heart sinking a little. She thinks I can't handle her desire for me. How-how can she think that after the way I kissed her back? But Natalia understood what would make her friend feel that way.

That was the problem of course, that word right there: friend. Innocent enough in common conversation, a positive thing even some would argue. But she and Olivia weren't just friends, had never been "just friends". They had been adversaries, rivals, employer and employee, unwilling patient and unrelenting enforcer, and then… and then lovers, in spirit if not practice. Natalia knew she had willfully muddied the waters, not wanting to see what was happening, what they were doing, even as she became dependent on it. They had been a couple since Olivia and Emma had moved into the farmhouse, since before that even.

She could remember the exact moment when things had shifted, when she had looked over at the older woman and known, in her heart, that this was it, this was her future. It had been during the nearly disastrous dinner with Decker and the Xiao's, or rather right after it, when Olivia had slumped back onto the couch and closed her eyes in exhaustion. Right then, she had felt butterflies in her stomach, and an ache to walk over and kiss the lines of stress away from otherwise flawless skin. She had known that she would do anything for that woman, wanted to do everything for and with her; she had known in that moment that she was home.

And still, she knew why Olivia would think that she would regret bending to her advances – ha, as if they hadn't been mutual. She had been careless with her words and her insecurity in the past, letting all her doubt pour out and keeping her hope bottled up, not letting her beloved see the joy that even the smallest gestures brought her. She had purposefully misinterpreted signs, recklessly using the older woman as foil against which to drive her reservations, trusting her to be strong and sure against all her uncertainty even as she should have known that Olivia would be searching for any indication that she might not be happy with this, with them. Olivia only wanted to make sure that she was happy, that she had the best, but Natalia hadn't really thought that she was so good at hiding herself, hadn't thought that she could fool the older woman into thinking that anything but her would be it. She would have to remedy this immediately, because the guarded look in her lover's eyes was breaking her heart.

Dark brown eyes filled with tears, even as Natalia was filled with renewed determination, and Olivia's face became stricken, mistaking the moisture for regret of their kisses. "Shit, Natalia, I'm sorry! I didn't mean-I mean I did but- Shit, I didn't mean to push you!" The older woman's panicked stuttering would have been cute if it didn't make Natalia so sad. This was Olivia Freakin' Spencer, ball-busting, man-eating terror of Springfield. She had the power to make men beg with a raised eyebrow, level buildings with a glare, make angels weep with a smile. And yet here she was, anxious as a child caught with her hand in the cookie jar, her confidence completely shattered. She, Natalia Rivera, had done that. Days later, when she lay alone in her bed in the farmhouse, she would be filled with awe and a strange sense of pride at having so much command over the dynamic woman. But now she felt only guilt at misrepresenting her loyalties and devotions, at reducing this woman that was her everything and always to tip-toeing around their love.

With a sniffle, the dark haired woman surged forward, roughly burying her fingers in chestnut hair, crushing soft lips to her own again. This kiss was hard, and wet, and sloppy, but as she pulled back and studied the shock tinged with hope that filled the other woman's eyes, Natalia thought that it might have been better than the first. "I know this is confusing," she admitted, stroking her lover's face gently, reassuringly. "But I don't want you to doubt, even for a second, that I want this – that I want us. Because I do; I swear to you Olivia, you are who I need."

People often told Natalia that she had a beautiful smile; that it was genuine and open, and that her dimples could charm even the surliest of men. Her best smile had nothing on the one slowly spreading on Olivia's face. It was joyful, and grateful, and loving, and warm, and a little wicked. It could have powered the sun, could have made blind men sighted, if only just to witness it; it was beauty.

The footsteps drew closer, but neither woman took notice. An older couple power-walked by them, slowing briefly to nod politely and comment on the weather, before continuing up the trail. Grinning mischievously as the pair disappeared up the hill-mountain, Natalia let her partner go, winking as she stepped out of reach. "Last one back pays for dinner," she exclaimed, and then took off like a shot, laughing giddily at Olivia's indignant shouts of, 'Hey, no fair!' And 'Head starts are cheating!' "All's fair in love and spa vacations," she shouted over her shoulder, secure in the knowledge that they would have many, many years to argue about that particular issue.

The End

Return to Guiding Light Fiction

Return to Main Page