DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters; I believe P & G or Telenex or someone besides me does. I am only writing this for fun and because TPTB have messed up the storyline.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Erin Bree for being my beta reader, and to my girl Krazy, who inspires me.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Love is a Battlefield
By shesheinhouston


Chapter 14 – Like a Star

Olivia saw her as soon as she entered the bar. Long flowing hair as dark as a starless night. She was wearing that dark green top that Olivia knew would make her chocolate eyes stand out even more. And those dimples…dimples that she was now showing an attractive blonde that had just sat down beside her. What the fuck?

Seeing the woman sit beside Natalia brought out what could only be described as a primal need to protect what was hers. And she had come to realize that, no matter what, Natalia was, and always would be just that: hers to love. Not thinking consciously about what she was doing, Olivia found herself stalking up to the bar. So intent on her target, she almost didn't see the waitress with a tray full of drinks coming right at her. The young woman's warning to "Watch it!" momentarily stopped her, but it was enough for her to be brought back down to reality. She couldn't very well throttle the woman for just sitting next to Natalia. But there were other ways to make sure that the woman knew that the dark-haired beauty was not available.

"Why is it I'm always running into you at bars these days?" She whispered into Natalia's right ear, as she laid her arm around her shoulder and felt the younger woman shiver slightly.

"Olivia! What are you doing here?" Natalia asked, turning slightly to look up at her.

"Why, looking for you, of course." The other woman replied, before turning jealous green eyes to the woman on her right, who wisely took the hint and murmured a quick goodbye before she departed.

"Why did you run her off?"

"I did no such thing. I guess she had something better to do."

"Yeah… right. If I didn't know better, I would think that you were jealous. But...that can't be, since you've been avoiding me the last couple of days." Natalia said.

"I haven't...I've…just been very busy, that's all." Olivia replied.

"Right, whatever." Natalia realized that tonight, she was too tired to play games. "You know what, why don't you just get on your white charger and head out of here."

"Uh... excuse me?" Olivia said narrowing her eyes. "You want me to leave?"

"Oh, you can stay here at the bar, if you want. But, I no longer want to talk to you." With that, Natalia turned towards the bartender. "Sherri? Can I have my check, please?"

Olivia, for her part, stood speechless, rapidly blinking her eyes, trying to figure out what was happening. She was the one who usually told a person off and then turned her back on them. Not the other way around. "Wait just a minute--"

"Is she bothering you?" Sherri asked, pulling herself up to her full 5'9" height and glaring at Olivia, before sliding the bill across the bar.

"It's okay." Glancing at the check, Natalia laid a ten dollar bill on the bar before giving the woman a wink. "She's really all bark and no bite."

"Oh, an ex girlfriend, huh?" The bleach blonde laughed before taking the money and giving Nat a wink back.

"Something like that. See you next time." With that, she started for the door, with Olivia trailing behind.

Once outside, Olivia took Natalia's arm and turned her around. Wagging her finger in Natalia's face, Olivia was livid. "Oh, no, I'm not going anywhere, until we get a few things straight. I don't want you talking to strangers about our personal life!"

"Is that a command, 'ole exalted one'? Am I now a child who gets told what to do?" Natalia asked. "Oh, that's right, I'm just a stupid naive girl so, of course, you have to tell me how to talk and who I can talk to, right?"

"I never said you were stupid! But, as for being a child, well, lately you've been acting like one."

"I've been acting like one?? I'm not the one who was in the bar acting like an over protective high school girlfriend!" Natalia hollered.

In just about any other circumstance, she wouldn't have done it. But here...now...with her emotions on edge, and Natalia looking so beautiful, with the moonlight shining upon her, and her eyes blazing similar to how Olivia imagined they would be when the younger woman was aroused, she just couldn't stop herself. Before she could think twice, Olivia cupped Natalia's face in her hands and brought her mouth down upon the lips of the smaller woman. Moaning, Olivia slid her tongue along the soft mouth, which opened, allowing the kiss to deepen. And when their tongues met, Olivia was sure that she'd explode on the spot. Hands were caught in auburn hair as Natalia pulled even closer the woman who meant everything to her. How long they stayed like that, neither was sure. A minute…two…more… all they did know was that it ended too soon.

Leaning their foreheads together, each took deep breaths, trying to steady themselves. "Come home with me." Natalia said softly.

"I...I shouldn't...have done that..." Olivia stammered, before stepping back, realizing that tonight, of all nights, was not the one for this…for them…to happen.

"Why? We both wanted it."

"But we still have things…to discuss…and when I tell you…you..might not want me." Olivia stammered.

"Olivia, why can't you love yourself like those around you do?"

Shaking her head slightly, she muttered, "Just...forget it."

Shaking her head, Natalia moved closer. "No. I don't want to forget it. What is it that makes you feel that you don't deserve our love: Emma's, Ava's, mine?

"It doesn't matter..."

"It does to me." Natalia pleaded. "Tell me what you're feeling?"

"I just can't. I know we have to talk…about a lot of things…but not tonight. Tomorrow… maybe. But just not tonight."

It was something in the tone of her voice that made Natalia really look at the woman in front of her. And, for a brief moment, Natalia thought that she saw something that she'd never seen before, in Olivia's eyes: fear. But, just as quickly, it was gone. Knowing that she wouldn't get more out of the other woman, Natalia just nodded and agreed, before leaving, "Tomorrow, then."


Chapter 15 – Push

Natalia hated storms, and when you had a house with as many rooms as hers, that was a lot of windows to check. Leaning against the doorframe of the room that had once belonged to the woman she loved, Natalia was flooded with memories. Olivia, dressed in shimmering red, hair in an upsweep showing off her gorgeous neck, standing just inside the door, drink in hand. You sound like someone's wife. Just not mine. With those words, the older woman had once again tried to express her feelings but, running scared, Natalia had cut her off by indicating that perhaps Olivia had had too much to drink. Deep in thought, it took a minute for Natalia to realize that she wasn't alone. Someone was coming up the stairs and, since she had just hung up the phone with Rafe, she knew it wasn't her son.

"I have a gun, and I'll use it if I have to!!"

Oh, my god, she really doesn't have a gun, does she? Olivia thought.

For all intents and purposes, Natalia Anna Maria Rivera was a kind, loving soul but then, being six months pregnant and alone in a big empty house in the middle of nowhere might have caused her to partake of a weapon. Better safe than sorry. "Natalia! It's me; it's Olivia. Don't shoot!"

"Olivia, what in blazes--" Natalia stopped in mid-sentence, as she gazed upon a very wet and wild looking woman. To say that she resembled a drowned mouse would be putting it mildly. Her usually perfectly coiffured hair hung like a wet mop on her head. Beautiful green eyes were ringed with smeared mascara, making it look like the hotelier had gone a few rounds with a prizefighter and lost.

"So, I take it you don't have a gun?" Olivia asked, as she leaned on the banister and took off her one remaining shoe, as the other was stuck somewhere along the long driveway in the mud.

"Uh... no, that was just a ruse to scare off would-be burglars." Moving down a few stairs closer, Natalia asked, "What happened?"

"I was out playing tidily winks," came the sarcastic reply. "What the hell do you think happened?"

Taking a deep breath, Natalia went on. "I meant, what are you doing out here this late, and how did you get stuck in the rain?"

"Uh...I promised Emma that I would check on the ducks. I figured I had time before the rain hit." Even to her ears, the explanation sounded extremely lame. In truth, Olivia had been driving around, trying to clear her head and, needing something to ground her, she had ended up at the Farmhouse, amidst the familiar barn and house, not to mention the woman inside it. Parking under the grove of trees at the edge of the property, she was close enough so that she could see shadows in the windows, but not close enough to be noticed. She made a mental note to mention to Natalia later, about getting the trees cut down a bit. Olivia didn't like thinking that someone else could do the same thing, and watch her unobserved.

Giving her an unbelieving look, the younger woman slightly shook her head and said, "Right. Okay, I guess it doesn't really matter why you're here. What does matter is that you need to get out of those wet clothes. I think there's a pair of sweats upstairs that you left behind."

Following Natalia up the stairs, Olivia remarked, "You're just now telling me that I left clothes behind?"

"Well, you're just now letting me know that you still have the key to the Farmhouse. Plus, you know I don't have a lot of sweats...and...they're very comfortable.

There it went - the fluttering in her stomach. Like a thousand butterflies being released. Tonight it was magnified, as images of the light caramel-skinned woman pulling Olivia's worn pants over her smooth hips popped into her head. She had to stop that train of thought, or it was going to be one very long night.

Natalia heard Olivia stumble, and smiled slightly. It helped her self-confidence a bit to know that she still affected the other woman.

"Why don't you take a hot shower, and I'll place the sweats and a t-shirt on your old bed."

"Okay, but first I need to use your phone and call to check on Emma. My cell doesn't seem to be working."

"You know where it is. I'll start the shower for you." Heading towards the guest bathroom, Natalia remembered dozens of times she had done the very same thing, after Olivia had come home late from the office. Olivia would first spend a few moments talking to their daughter, while the shower got hot. As she showered, Natalia would warm up the other woman's dinner and, after Olivia came down, they would spend time together just talking. It was those times she missed the most.

Olivia observed the dark-haired woman, who stood with a wistful look on her face, turning the shower knob a bit to the right, trying to get the temperature just right. How many times before had they been in just this same scenario? "Ahem."

"Oh, sorry, I didn't hear you. I think it's about right."

Nodding, Olivia moved into the small room, being careful not to bump into the younger woman. "Natalia…"



Nodding her head, Natalia simply replied, "I'll see you downstairs."

"Feeling better?" Natalia asked from her place on the couch.

"Yes, thanks. The soup hit the spot."

"Good." Natalia said, before cutting off the TV and getting up to walk towards the other woman. "Now maybe you'll tell me what in the hell is going on!"

"I told you—"

"Stop it! Stop with the lame excuse, and just tell me the truth. We both know what it is."

Crossing her arms, Olivia asked, "And just what is that?"

Smiling slightly said, "That you were checking up on me." Reaching out and touching Olivia's arm, she continued. "It's okay that you care."

"Is it? Cause from what I see, it just causes pain. Maybe not at first…but it will. It always does." Olivia said unsteadily.

"Olivia, there's some pain in life, no matter what. We both know that. But…we ease each other's pain…we always have…" Moving closer and cupping her cheek, Natalia continued. "…and we always will." As she gazed into green eyes made glossy with unshed tears, Natalia saw hurt…pain…and sorrow. And she knew that whatever significance today meant to her love, it wasn't good. "So, whenever you're ready to talk, I'm ready to listen."

Leaning into the smaller woman's touch, Olivia could feel her nerves easing a bit. "It's just too much tonight. I really want—"

"I'm not going anywhere." Briefly touching her lips to the other woman's brow, Natalia continued. "I'll be right here when you wake up. I promise."

Looking deeply into the brunette's eyes, Olivia saw that she meant it; she would not leave her this time.


Chapter 16 - Halo

The screams woke her out of a sound sleep. Olivia! Not stopping to put on her slippers, Natalia raced down the hall, flinging open the bedroom door from where the sounds emanated. Before her, the woman she loved was thrashing on the bed crying out, "No! Please, don't die!!"

"Baby, wake up." Natalia said, as she touched the crying woman's shoulder. "You're having a bad dream." It took a nudge or two, but finally dark green eyes flung open.

"Wha—what happened? Natalia, what are you doing here?"

"You had a bad dream, and you were screaming." Natalia began, sitting down on the side of the bed. "You kept saying that you didn't want someone to die."

"Oh…uh… it was nothing." Olivia said, sitting up in the bed.

"Olivia…you've got to talk about what's eating at you. That sort of thing will tear you apart. I should know; it's part of the reason I left."

"Why did you leave?" She hadn't meant to ask. It seemed to just bubble out of her, like so many things lately.

"Sweetie, I left because I was falling apart and, at the time, the only way I thought I could deal with it was to go away for awhile." Natalia answered, as she leaned over and brushed a lock of hair out of her love's face.

"To leave me? Emma? Rafe?" Olivia asked, tears forming. "Couldn't you trust us?"

"It wasn't you that I didn't trust; it was me. I didn't trust myself not to fall apart, and I couldn't, no, wouldn't, let the people I love see me like that: like a crazy woman." Getting up off the bed, she placed one hand on her forehand, and other on her hip, as she began to pace to the door and back. "I had so many thoughts going through my mind. And the guilt...my god, all of the pain of hurting Rafe, Frank, you...everyone. Then I started to think about this baby and whether or not I deserved it, because of the things I had done..." Whirling around, she stared wild-eyed, "Olivia... I thought about not having this baby...and that was just more guilt!"

Stepping close to the bed, she continued. "All my life, I've let situations rule me… lead me. Especially having Rafe and my parents disowning me. And when I got the results of the pregnancy test, it was as if I was transported back to one of the scariest times in my life. I think if I would have stayed here, I would have had a nervous breakdown or something."

"Why didn't you just tell me that?" Olivia asked.

"As I tried to tell you before, where you're concerned, it's hard for me to be rationale. Every time I'm near you, I can't think straight. All I want to do is touch you. And I had so much to think about. I needed to get away, with no distractions."

"I'm trying to understand, I really am...but I just keep coming back to the fact that you left me. I thought... that maybe it was my fault that you left."

"No!" Reaching over and cupping Olivia's jaw, Natalia went on. "It was me. Not you. Please believe that. This is on me."

"It's just that when you left... I...I…did fall apart."

Natalia looked into deep emerald eyes, "I know. Rafe told me about the handcuff episode."

"If only it was that." Olivia took a moment to gather her thoughts before continuing, "While you were gone... I... I started to drink.... a lot." When Nat would have commented, she held up her hand to stall her. She, too, had to get the truth out. "I scared myself... and... I'm ashamed to say, I scared Emma, too."

She still couldn't believe how she had screamed one morning, at her youngest daughter, about something so trivial she couldn't even remember now what it was. All she could see was the little girl's face, gripped in fear. "That's why I lashed out at you when you mentioned talking to Emma. I felt that I had let her down so much, that I'm afraid I went overboard a bit in my bid to try to protect her."

"Sweetie, you didn't knowingly set out to hurt Emma. Just like I didn't." Gently tugging Olivia's cheek until eyes now filled with tears looked at her, she went on. "We both made some big mistakes these last couple of weeks. But, I also think that we came out on the other side better. Do you know what I mean?"

Shrugging her shoulders, Olivia used a free hand to wipe at her tears. "No... I mean... I guess so. It's just that I always seem to hurt people. Even the ones that I love!"

"Olivia, I know you. Sometimes I think better than myself and I know that you would never deliberately hurt someone that you loved. That's not who you are."

Looking into the depth of the dark eyes, she saw tenderness and love but, to her wonderment, not judgment. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and told the person she loved the most her horrible secret: that she had killed her mother.


"Wha...what?" Shock. Disbelief. Disgust. Those were what she had expected. But instead, she only saw loving eyes boring directly into hers. Eyes that she often thought belonged to an angel, for only such a holy creation could have gotten her to ever think that she deserved to be happy, although deep down, a part of her kept saying that no matter what she did, she could never make up for what she had done. "26 years ago today, I killed my mother. So, see, you don't know me at all."

"If what you said is true, that at the age of 16 you calculated, planned, and carried out killing a human being, one in fact that gave you life…then you're right. 'Cause that Olivia Spencer I don't know." Natalia knew in her heart that the woman before her, if she had to, would kill but only to protect those that she loved and cared about. "But, if you're telling me that somehow, by accident, you caused your mother's death, then that I can understand."

"Fuck! How? How can you stand there and say that you understand??" Sometimes she was the most infuriating person. "I'm a killer!"

Shaking her head vehemently, Natalia disagreed. "No, you're not. And believe it or not, I do understand." She placed her hand across Olivia's mouth in an attempt to stop whatever else she was going to say. "Will you listen to me, for a moment?" As the woman before her nodded her head, Natalia gently caressed her bottom lip before taking her hand away.

"You don't think that, after my parents kicked me out, I didn't wish them dead? I was 16, pregnant, with $62.75 in my pocket, on the streets of Chicago. I was so mad that they could treat me like that! And, it caused me to do something stupid, that almost hurt someone. Someone who was like family to me…" she finished softly.

Olivia could tell that, for a moment, Natalia was back in that time and place, and it hurt like hell to know that she had caused her to go there. "What happened?" she asked. in an attempt to get the other woman talking again.

"We lived on the second floor of a walkup. I was never the athlete, so I'm not sure why I thought that I could make a throw like that. But…there was this piece of brick on the walk in front of the building and, before I knew what was happening, it was hurling through the window…of Tia Maria. I heard later that she had to get 5 stitches right above her eye. If it had been just inches below…she would be blind…or…. inches above, and she might have died."

Seeing the hurt in her love's eyes that so mirrored her own, Olivia was moved beyond tears. Slowly she reached up and took a tan hand in hers. "Sit before you fall."

Doing as she was told, Natalia sat beside Olivia and placed her head on the other woman's shoulder and her arm around a slim waist. "Now you tell me."

Maybe it would be good to finally just get it all out. "We were arguing. We had done it before, but never like this. I said…god, I said the most awful things to her, and that was on top of humiliating her by accusing a member of the royal house of getting me pregnant." Taking a deep breath, she went on. "And then…then I raised my hand to her. Natalia, I slapped my mother." She hadn't even told Buzz that part. Now Olivia realized that, even though she loved him, it wasn't like she loved the woman sitting next to her.

"You were upset. You were a teenager, Olivia; your emotions were on edge."

"But after that…she got this look on her face, and she told me that she never should have had me. That I was nothing but a disgrace, and then…she just keeled over. It was a massive stroke."

"Look at me. Come on…look at me." When she was sure that she had the other woman's full attention, Natalia said firmly. "It was not your fault. If she died that quickly, then baby, it was too late…any little thing would have caused her to stroke." Still seeing doubt in her love's eyes, she went on. "Think about it. You had major heart problems. There's probably a family history of heart disease and strokes. Back then, they didn't encourage eating right and getting enough exercise. Your mother didn't know how to take care of herself. That's why she ultimately died…you didn't kill her."

"I want to believe that."

"I wouldn't lie to you about something so important."

"No…no, you wouldn't." Suddenly, she was so tired. Olivia felt that, for the first time in a long time, she might actually be able to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time.

Sensing her beloved's need, Natalia leaned over and gently wiped away the few tears that remained. "Sweetie, why don't you lay down and get some sleep."

"Okay…but will you stay with me? For a little bit?"

"I wasn't planning on going anywhere."

And, as if they had been doing it forever, without another word being spoken, both climbed into bed, Olivia curling onto her right side, her head on Natalia's chest, and her hand on her partner's slightly swollen belly.


Chapter 17 – No Ordinary Love

Olivia was out almost as soon as her head hit Natalia's chest. Looking down at their hands entwined on her belly, Natalia took a deep breath to calm herself. She wanted nothing more than to touch the woman lying against her, but she knew that today had been an extremely hard day for her love, and she needed to rest. She had long ago memorized the features, but now to be able to touch them was a rare treat.

Starting with eyes that could easily change from sea green when smiling, to stormy blackish green when she was mad, down to high cheekbones, and a natural full mouth that most Hollywood actresses paid thousands of dollars to have--Olivia was stunning.

As much as she just wanted to lie there and observe, she needed to rise, and soon, as the baby was pushing against her bladder. Trying to slide out from under Olivia's arm and leg, she managed to just stand before she heard a mumbled, "Where ya going?"

"Just to the bathroom. I'll be back." Slipping from underneath the covers, she padded across the room towards the door. Another mumble, which sounded like, "Hurry back, baby…" made her look back just in time to see Olivia turn over, causing her t-shirt to rise up and expose a vast portion of her supple back. A shiver shot up Natalia's spine and, for a moment, she had to hold on to the doorframe for support. She stood for a moment and just gazed at...beauty, before she quickly walked down the hall.

Sighing, Natalia shuffled down the hallway back towards Olivia's bedroom, but stopped when she spied flickering light coming from under the entryway to her bedroom. Opening the door, she was greeted with a most wonderful sight—her beloved lying on her bed as she had dreamed time and time again. Adding to the effect was the warm glow cast by tea lights scattered throughout the room.

"The lights were flickering, so I thought that I'd light a few candles, just in case. And I figured you'd be more comfortable in here." Olivia said, with a slight smile on her face, as she sat up and moved to the side of the bed. "Plus, I have to admit…I've often wondered how it would be to sleep in your bed."

"Oh, really?"

"Yes. Now, come here." Olivia said, holding out her hand. Wrapping her arms around her love's waist, she pulled her tight against her before placing a small kiss on her belly. "You know, we really have to name this kid."

"We've still got some time." Natalia replied, as she slowly ran her hands through dark auburn hair.

"Not according to our little girl. She wants a name, and soon."

It warmed Nat's heart to hear, "our little girl". Trying not to let the tears flow, she replied, "Well, I think I had gotten up to the I's."

"Hmmm...how about Ireland?"

Laughing, Natalia answered, "Do we really want to confuse her? She'll already have to deal with her Puerto Rican, Greek, and San Cristobel heritage. Do we really want to confound her even more by naming her after a country?"

Looking up in wonder, Olivia asked, "We're going to teach her my heritage, too?"

"Honey, you're her other mother; of course she'll learn about where you came from. Olivia, I'm not sure if I can explain it…but, in some ways, this is more your child than it is Frank's. When I think about raising her, I think of you…and me. Not him." Seeing the uncertainty in the other woman's eyes, she went on. "Like I said before, she knows your voice. And she'll spend way more time with you than she will with him. At least, I hope so. I want you here…with me. I love you." Olivia still hadn't actually said that she would move back in to raise the baby.

Olivia saw the fear in Natalia's eyes, and whatever last piece of misgiving that she had-- dissolved. "I love you too, and want to be with you. So, yes I will help you raise our daughter." With that she stood up and placed a hand on either side of the now smiling face and leisurely but thoroughly kissed the other woman leaving no doubt of her intentions.

When the soft lips left hers, it took Natalia a moment to gather her thoughts, and when she opened her eyes, she was greeted with the "look". That one in a kind way that the older woman narrowed her eyes and looked right through you…into your very soul. It left Natalia feeling as if nothing else mattered but her, and that Olivia desired her, and no one else. Feeling her knees beginning to buckle, Natalia placed her hands on Olivia's waist and leaned forward slightly, with her head on the other woman's shoulder.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes…" Natalia began before licking her lips. "It's just that, when you look at me like that…like I'm the only one that you want…and need…well, it does something to me."

"I want to know. Please tell me." Olivia said softly.

Having heard Olivia finally say that she wanted the same thing that Natalia wanted gave her a boost in confidence. Raising her head slightly, she whispered into her love's ear, "It gets me…wet."

"Uh…okay." Olivia replied, a bit unsteadily, which was definitely out of character for her. Clearing her throat, she went on. "I mean…I'm glad that I can make you feel that way."

"Do I make you feel that way?" Natalia asked, before taking Olivia's earlobe in her mouth and sucking on it. Her answer was a groan that she felt start deep in the other woman's chest.

"Good." With that, Natalia pressed soft lips to soft lips, reveling in the pleasure that now surged upwards throughout her body, until she almost couldn't breathe. Slowly, she inched Olivia backwards, until the back of her legs hit the edge of the bed.

Breaking the kiss, Olivia asked, "Did anyone ever tell you that you're a damn good kisser?"

Natalia could see the desire Olivia's eyes. However, there was more in those green depths, too; her beloved was nervous. For all of her experience, this was out of her realm—being with a woman.

"Olivia, we don't have to rush this." Leaning once again on the other woman's shoulder, Natalia went on. "We have all the time in the world. I'm not going anywhere." Sensing Olivia relaxing a bit, she continued. "And if we have to go slow… and….practice…over and over to get it right…"

"Practice does make perfect. Plus, we have the kissing part down pretty good, don't you think?" Olivia said as her eyes flicked down to view the pink lips so close to her own.

"Oh, yeah, definitely." Natalia answered, as she softly traced Olivia's jaw line. "You are so beautiful. You almost take my breath away."

Olivia had heard many men say much the same thing to her. However, never had she heard the words spoken with such sincerity…and devotion. "Make love with me."

"Yes." Natalia uttered, before once again crushing her lips to Olivia's, where almost immediately her tongue gained entrance and began to explore the soft mouth. Moving her hands from auburn tresses down to a firm backside, she pulled the other woman roughly against her. Natalia could feel the heat radiating from her beloved, and it made her warm…inside and out. It was too hot to be clothed. Reluctantly severing their connection, dark eyes looked deeply into dark jade ones, and no words needed to be spoken, as Olivia slipped her hands under the hem of her shirt before pulling it over her head and flinging it to the floor.

Using the back of her hand, Natalia slowly circled around one of the slightly protruding nipples, feeling it harden under her touch. "I've thought about doing this so many times," she said, before taking the pink tip into her mouth and gently sucking it. The sensation was almost more than she could bear. Rough texture against her smooth lips, and she pulled back slightly before taking even more into her mouth.

"Ohhh…baby…that feels so good." Olivia whimpered, as she held Natalia close to her.

"I'm glad." Natalia answered, before switching to the other nipple.

She'd hardly had her fill before Olivia urged her head up and closed her mouth over hers briefly before reaching down and grabbing the edge of Natalia's gown. "You are the beautiful one." Olivia remarked after raising the garment over her love's head and dropping it to the floor. All she could do for a moment was gaze at the woman before her bathed in the glow of the soft candle light.

"Olivia…I don't think I can stand you not touching me," whispered Natalia, her voice filled with need. "Please…"

Her eyes never leaving Natalia's, Olivia wet the tip of her index finger and began to trace a path unhurriedly across the shorter woman's chest…over one nipple and then over the next…before continuing down to just below her belly button and back up again. "Your skin is so smooth…it's like silk. I want to feel it against me." With that, Olivia pushed down her sweat pants before pulling back the top sheet and climbing into bed, moving over to allow room for the love of her life to lie down next to her.

Hands reached out and touched wherever possible…breasts…stomach. Bit by bit, they learned one another's body…while lips devoured each other. Finally, neither could stand the ache, and Olivia rolled over onto her back, with Natalia climbing on top. Both began to move against each other…center pressing into center…feeling their wetness merge. Over and over, in a timeless rhythm. Then, as one, they both cried out their release, before falling into each other's arms.


Chapter 18 – You're the Only One

"You okay, Baby?" Olivia asked, as she ran her hand through luscious hair, the color of midnight, which was splayed over her stomach.

Looking up, the woman laying half on top of her answered, "Yes… That was wonderful, Love."

"Mmmm….you can say that again."

"Then I say we do it again." And with that, Natalia began a slow crawl up her lover's body, stopping to place kisses on firm thighs and a taut stomach.

"Ohhh!" Came a loud moan.

"Olivia! Are you okay?" Panicked, Natalia stopped moving and looked up at Olivia. "Is it your heart?"

"No…it's just that when you started to move up…your… uh…nipple touched a very sensitive area, Love."

Blushing slightly, Natalia asked, "I take it you liked that?" Seeing Olivia nod her head while giving her a sensual smile gave Natalia confidence. She raked the tip of her left breast through wet folds before once again moving upward, stopping to slowly move her now hard nipple across the bundle of nerves located between Olivia's thighs. The younger woman was amazed at the look of unadulterated pleasure that was spreading across her lover's face. She, shy Natalia Rivera, was doing that: pleasing the woman that she loved. She could feel her own body responding, and there was an ache building in between her own legs. As if by instinct, she straddled Olivia's right thigh and began to move. The other woman moaned above her, and clutched at her shoulders, needing to hold on to something. The more Olivia moaned and moved, the harder Natalia rubbed…and rode. Harder…faster…louder. Until both of them cried out in satisfaction, before Natalia once again collapsed onto her beloved.

"That…that…was…" Olivia gulped for air before continuing. "Fucking fantastic. I can honestly say that I've never felt such pleasure before. And, I don't just mean physical."

"Oh, Olivia—"

"I mean it. When we make love, it's like we make love with our whole being: body, mind, and soul. I've never, ever, felt that before. Only with you."

She tried not to cry, but the words just spoken had touched her greatly. Rising up, Natalia leaned over the woman she loved more than anything, and gently placed a kiss of love, and promise, on her lips. "You're my everything…forever." Pulling up the sheet, she said, "I think we need to rest a bit, baby."

"Yeah." Olivia yawned before snuggling up to Natalia, who was now lying beside her. "We'll have to talk to Emma in the morning. Tell her about us." She didn't have to look at Natalia to know that she was smiling. And, as she lay there with her head on Nat's chest, hand on her stomach, she thought how right it felt. As many lovers as she had lain with, even those that she had loved, she had never experienced such contentment. Finally, she was home.

"Sshhh…" Emma whispered. "They're sleeping. See." With that, she eased open the door a bit more. "They look happy, don't they?" she asked, turning big eyes so like her mother's to him.

"Yeah, Short Stuff, I gotta admit that they do look happy." He had seen his mother, many times throughout his 19 years, as she slept and, he had to admit, this was the most relaxed that he had seen her in a long time—curled up in Olivia's arms. "Come on, Em. Let's go find something to eat."

With that, he leaned over and softly closed the door, before leading his sister down the stairs, only to be stopped cold by her next comment. "Rafe, I'm sorta confused."

"Uh, yeah, well there's a lot of that going on." He mumbled. At Emma's quizzical look, he said, "I mean, umm… what are you confused about?"

"How will the baby be both my sister and your sister?"

They were now in the kitchen. Rafe tried busying himself with fixing breakfast, hoping beyond hope that Emma would change the subject. He should have known that she wouldn't, since she was like her mother in that regard, too. Once she got a hold of something, she wanted answers.

"Cause we're a family," he answered over his shoulder, as he put two pieces of toast in the toaster. "Remember when I told you that families come in different ways?"

"Yeah, I remember. But, don't those families live together?" He saw where this was going.

"Em," he began, as he walked over to the table and kneeled down to look her in her eyes. "I don't know when, or if, you'll be movin' back here. But that doesn't mean we're not a family. A family is love…and I love you mucho, okay?"

"Okay…but I still wish we were a real family. I mean, our Moms like being together, so why can't we move back here?"

"Well… ahem…it's just not that easy. I mean, your Mom was really mad when my Mom left."

"I know. I was, too, for a little while. But I knew that she was coming back. If she wasn't, she would have told us all goodbye. So I stopped being mad, and just waited. Plus, since they're having a sleepover, I don't think they're mad anymore."

"You might just be right." He laughed.

"Olivia!" Natalia called, nudging the sleeping woman besides her. "I think the kids are home." She thought that she had heard the bedroom door closing earlier, but dismissed it. However, now she was pretty sure she had, since the smell of bacon and toast was coming up the stairs. "And…I think that they were in here earlier."

"What??" With that, the other woman became fully awake. "You sure?" Seeing her lover nod, she smiled, and said, "Then I'm real glad that you woke me up a few hours ago, to make love again, and then made me put on a shirt."

"So am I." Sighing, Natalia started to rise, only to be stopped by a hand on her wrist.

"You okay?"

"Yeah…I guess I'm just a little nervous…"

"Sweetie, it'll be okay. Emma loves you, and Rafe and I have made our peace. I know that we all still have some things to work through, but it'll all work out." With that, she slowly placed a kiss on Natalia's lips. "Now, let's finish dressing, so we can go talk to the kids."

Once dressed, they made their way down the stairs, pausing outside of the kitchen door. "You ready?" Rubbing the back of her hand against Olivia's cheek, Natalia nodded, "As ready as I'll ever be."

"Morning, Jellybean. Rafe." Olivia held Natalia's hand tightly in hers. She figured that they would just act like nothing out of the ordinary was happening, and see how Emma reacted. With her right hand, she pulled a mug from the dish drainer and poured herself a cup of coffee. She needed a quick sip for some liquid courage.

"Hi, Mommy. Hi, Natalia." Emma said, in between bites of her breakfast.

"Hey, Ma. Olivia." Rafe looked briefly at their joined hands. "Blake tried calling, but I guess the lines were down. So, she asked me to bring the munchkin over."

"Thanks, Rafe, I really appreciate it." He simply shrugged his shoulders before turning back to his meal. Olivia wasn't sure how to judge his reaction, but at least he didn't make a snarky comment or storm off. It was a start.

"Mom, can I go check on the ducks?"

"Sure, Emma, but don't take too long; it's still wet outside, and I don't want you to get a cold." With that, she put down her coffee cup and turned towards the table.

The little girl was hardly out the door before the older woman got her answer about Rafe and his feelings.

"Make sure the door is locked next time, okay? I mean, no guy wants to see his…his parental… units all… all hugged up and stuff. And, if you guys are moving back in, then you really need to talk to Em."

"You're right, Rafe. We're sorry. And we plan on telling her today," Olivia said, while trying to hide a grin at his use of "parental" when referring to her and his mother.

"Si, hijo. From now on, we'll make sure that the door is locked." Dropping her love's hand, Natalia leaned over and kissed his forehead. "Thank you for accepting this. It means a lot to me." When she leaned back, Olivia reached over and plucked a piece of bacon off Rafe's plate.


"What?" She asked innocently. "I'm just asserting one of my parental unit rights."

"Pee Eww." Emma laughed. Three sets of eyes looked over at her for explanation, as she walked through the door. "Paa-rental Unit. P and U. Get it?"

"Yeah, Em, we get it." Smiling, Olivia walked over and ruffled her hair.

"I'm gonna go check and make sure that there was no damage to the house, from the storm." With that, Rafe got up and started for the door, turning back to mouth to the two women, "Talk to her now."

Once he was out the door, Olivia once again took Natalia's hand and, looking at Emma said, "Honey, Natalia and I want to talk to you for a minute." At the look of bewilderment on her daughter's face, Natalia hastily added, "Sweetie, you're not in trouble or anything…we just need to discuss something with you."


Sitting down at the table across from their little girl, Olivia rested her hand on Natalia's thigh, under the table. She needed the security that her lover provided. "You know how much we love you, right?" At the young girl's nod, she went on. "Well…we, Natalia and I, love each other, too. In fact, we're in love with each other. Do you know what that means?"

"Yeah…I think so. Like Lizzie and Bill, right?"

"That's right, baby. I love your mother the way that your sister loves Bill." Natalia said. "And she loves me the same way."

"So…" she began, her little brow furrowing as she thought things through. "Does that mean that you're gonna get married like they did? And kiss and stuff?"

"Uh…well, baby, yes one day…" They hadn't talked about marriage per say, but Olivia was sure that's what Natalia wanted, and she wanted nothing more than to make her love happy. Now wasn't the time to explain to the little girl that it wouldn't be soon, as Illinois hadn't gotten their heads out of their asses where same sex marriage was concerned, nor adoption by same sex couples. So, instead, she just said what was in her heart. "Even though we haven't had a ceremony, in my heart, Natalia is my wife…and your mother. And mommies who love each other the way we do…yes, they hug…and kiss."


"You're okay with us hugging and kissing?"

"Yeah, I don't see why you do it, but it's okay." God, please let her feel that way for a long while, Olivia thought, for she wasn't relishing the idea of a teenage Emma dating in a few years.

"I do have a question, though." They should have known that their youngest would have at least one more question; she was a bright and inquisitive kid.

"Families like us live together. Don't they?" Both women knew where this was headed, so they just smiled and nodded in unison. "Yay! When can we move back? Can we do it today? I don't need all my stuff, just some of it. Please!!"

"I think that's a great idea, Em. You can go get some things now, and we'll get the rest later." Olivia quickly turned at the statement, and looked into smiling brown eyes. "I'm sure." Natalia whispered at the unasked question.

"Then it's settled. Let me grab something to eat, and another cup of coffee, and we'll go get our stuff."

"Do you need some help?" Rafe asked. They hadn't heard him enter.

"Yes, thanks."

"No problem. That's what families do, right?"

"Rafe, did you know that your mom and my mom love each other and that they kiss and stuff…like you and Ashlee?"

"Yes, I knew that they loved each other…but, uh…me and Ashlee don't kiss, short stuff." The last thing he wanted was to talk about his love life in front of the two women now smiling at him.

"Yes, you do. Rafe and Ashlee sitting a tree. K-i-ss-ing." Emma sang, as she tried to keep out of her big brother's reach. However, he soon caught her and proceeded to tickle her.

Watching her children kidding each other and, with recent events, the realization that she now thought of Rafe as her own, brought joy, but also a longing. After her heart surgery, Olivia had never thought about having more children; however, starting a new life with Natalia had changed that. Suddenly, it occurred to her: why stop there? Natalia loved children and, although they hadn't yet discussed it, she was sure that Natalia wouldn't mind having at least one more. Maybe another son. If she looked hard enough, she would swear that she could see a little tousled dark-haired boy of about 3 sitting at the end of the table. And the most amazing thing was that her youngest son had emerald eyes.

Could it be? As she asked herself the question, Olivia was filled with a warmth…and a certainty like she had never felt before.

"Honey, are you okay?" Natalia whispered, wrapping her arms around her love's waist and leaning her head on her shoulder.

Nodding, Olivia replied, "I think I finally get it…faith."


Turning in Natalia's arms she continued, "Well, maybe not the religious kind…but the firm belief in something. In the belief that what we have is real…and meant to be."

"Oh, Olivia. I love you so much."

"I love you, too, with all my heart, and I plan on spending every day showing you." Tears were now starting to slide down her cheeks. Once she would have felt ashamed for anyone to see this side of her. But, now, she wanted her kids to witness the love that she had for their mother.

"Then it was worth it, wasn't it?" At her beloved's questioning look, Natalia went on. "All the battles?"

"Yes, it was." And with that, Olivia took Natalia in her arms and kissed her, as their children looked on.

The End

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