DISCLAIMER: All characters (Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera, Emma Spencer, Ava Peralta, blah blah etc.) and situations belong to Guiding Light, Telenext, Proctor & Gamble, etc. I'm not them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So there was this discussion in the "Insert Kiss Here" thread on Incandescent Fire between Formerlurker and mujeriega if I recall correctly about how Natalia was always the one to initiate a kiss between the two of them, for most if not all of the thread. Being the contrary sort of soul that I am, I took that observation as a challenge and thus this fic was born.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

No More Waiting
By Jaina


Olivia lingered at the door to her daughter's room, watching her sleep. Emma looked so peaceful, nothing like the little ball of energy that she had been that afternoon, darting from flower bed to flower bed, eager to put as many little plants in the ground as she could. It had been a good day, she decided. Especially after Natalia had shown up unexpectedly at the park.

She had liked having Natalia there with her, not just because she always missed Natalia when they were separated, but because she'd grown used to having Natalia with her at all of Emma's school functions. There had been field trips, speeches and plays before they had moved out and Natalia had gone with her to all of them. For the first time it had felt like Emma had two parents, not just one, and it had been wonderful.

In the suite's outer room, her cell phone rang. Olivia turned away from Emma's room, pulling the door shut behind her as quietly as possible, not wanting to wake Emma. Then she hurried across the room to answer it before it stopped ringing.

She scooped it up, catching a glimpse of Natalia's name on the caller id and smiled as she opened it. "Hey you."

"Hey. How are things? Did Emma ever calm down after we left the park?"

Olivia sank onto the couch, tucking her legs up underneath her and settling in. These calls had becoming more and more like a nightly ritual for the two of them in the past few weeks, one or the other of them waiting until things had calmed down and then calling to catch up on the day - even if they had spent it together. It felt different to Olivia though, more like the long talks that they used to share on the farmhouse porch late at night after Emma had gone to bed. It was for them alone, time to be themselves with each other and Olivia savored it. It felt like Natalia letting her back into her life.

"She was so excited today, especially when you showed up. She didn't stop talking about it until after dinner. I thought it was going to take a while to get her to bed, but when she was finally still for a second she crashed."

"She must have been exhausted," Natalia said with a soft laugh.

"She was and she might be cranky tomorrow, but it was a good day, I think," Olivia said. Any day spent with Natalia was a good day. She had been so certain that Natalia was going to kiss her earlier when they were in the gazebo, but then Emma had interrupted them to drag them off to see something else and the moment had vanished just as quickly as it had appeared. "I'm glad you were able to come. I missed having you with me," she said simply.

"You just like it when I'm there to be nice to the other parents so that you don't have to be," Natalia teased her.

Olivia grinned. It was true. A little. "Maybe. But mostly I just wanted to see you. Have a chance to spend some time with you."

There was silence from the other end of the line. Olivia strained to hear anything. Had that been the faint sound of Natalia's breath catching? Surely that hadn't been pushing too far, but maybe it had been the warmth in her voice. Had it been too revealing. Olivia cursed silently.

"Do you think Jane could come over and watch Emma for a little while?"

It was Olivia's turn to stop breathing. "I'm sure she could," Olivia said. There was no way Natalia could be suggesting, in her most roundabout way, what Olivia would have assumed was being suggested had anyone but Natalia said it to her. "Is everything okay?" Maybe Rafe had come by after all and left Natalia a little more devastated and Natalia needed reassurance that they were doing the right thing.

"Oh, everything's fine," Natalia said quickly. "I just wanted to see you. You said that you would wait for me to invite you back in. So this is me, inviting you." The playful lilt in her voice warmed Olivia's heart like a blanket around her shoulders on a cool autumn night and she could imagine exactly how Natalia looked at that moment, all broad smile and a flash of dimples, her dark hair curling over her shoulders and her eyes glinting.

"Okay," Olivia said, trying to restrain herself and conceal just how giddy Natalia's invitation was making her. Even if Natalia didn't mean the impossible it was still huge and amazing that Natalia was inviting her over to spend time together, just the two of them. The phone calls had been good, wonderful even, but getting to see Natalia in person and just be with her was even better. "I'll be there in a little while, as soon as Jane can get here." And Jane would get here, whether she liked it or not. It was late and Olivia usually hated to use her at this hour, unless it had been scheduled well in advance, but this time she wasn't asking and she would make it very worth Jane's while.

Natalia was worth that and so much more.

"Okay, see you soon," Natalia said, her voice carrying its own contained excitement. Olivia felt her pulse begin to race.

"Okay," Olivia whispered. "Bye."

She dialed Jane the moment that she disconnected with Natalia and headed for her closet.

"Hi, Jane," she said the moment Jane answered, cutting her off before she could say anything more than "hello". "I need you to come watch Emma for a little while. I know it's last minute, but it's important. I'll double what I usually pay you." There that should do it, sweetening the deal until Jane couldn't possibly resist.

"How soon do you need me there?" Jane asked.

Olivia tuned out most of the rest of the conversation, finalizing the details with Jane as her mind raced ahead, going far beyond what she was saying to Jane until finally she was able to hang up. That just left her staring once more at the contents of her closet.

Oh God, what was she going to wear?

Her clothes from earlier were out of the question, all dirty and sweaty from planting flowers. Fortunately she had already showered, but that did nothing to solve her clothing dilemma. Normally she would show up in her most enticing clothes, things designed to emphasize her cleavage and show off her figure, but that didn't feel right with Natalia. She didn't want to presume or pressure her. She went through several outfits, pulling things out and then discarding them before she finally decided on a pair of faded jeans that nonetheless still fit her just so and a form-fitting but not obscene t-shirt. She hoped that it looked casual enough. Then she waited for Jane to show up, pacing the living room and tossing her keys from one hand to the other.

Natalia opened the door before she knocked. Which was a good thing, because Olivia's nerves had hit her somewhere between the car and the porch.

"Hi," Natalia said, smiling sweetly and sounding a little breathless.

"Hey," Olivia said quietly.

For a moment they stood awkwardly, staring at one another from opposite sides of the threshold. Then Natalia seemed to come alive again, reaching out and grabbing Olivia's wrist, pulling her inside.

"I grabbed a bottle of champagne you'd left here," Natalia said, hefting the bottle and two glasses she held in her other hand. "I thought we could celebrate tonight."

"Celebrate?" Olivia asked, still feeling a beat behind.

"I did get a job today," Natalia reminded her, sounding adorably excited about that.

"Yes, you did," Olivia agreed, unable to help the faint sense of pride she felt at Natalia's accomplishment. She pushed away the faint sense of sadness that the thought of no longer working with Natalia brought on. This was something that Natalia had needed, both of them really. Probably. It was just that Olivia had gotten used to working with someone she could trust absolutely. It would be hard to go back to the way things had been before, when the only person she could really trust to look out for her interests was herself. "I'm so happy you found something so quickly. I hope you like working for Blake."

Natalia shrugged, looking a little nervous. "I hope so too. It'll be different from anything I've done before."

"Not so different," Olivia pointed out. "It may be a different industry, but you'll still be helping Blake, just like you were helping me."

"Not just like," Natalia amended with a smile that looked a a little bittersweet. The moment lingered, stretching out as their eyes met and neither one moved. Then Natalia seemed to shake off her thoughts. "Here," she said, her good cheer returning as she opened the champagne bottle - expertly, Olivia noted - and poured some in both of their glasses. She set the bottle down on the coffee table and passed Olivia her glass.

"Thank you." Automatically Olivia started to raise the glass and then hesitated, something hitting her mind that hadn't occurred to her on the way over. "Natalia, I don't..." She frowned, not knowing how to say this. Finally she sat down her glass of champagne and took Natalia's hands. "I'm so glad that you invited me over tonight." She tried to smile. "Really. You have no idea what it means to me."

Natalia smiled briefly at her words, but it slipped away just as quickly. She could tell from the way that Olivia was talking that whatever she had to say was serious. "But?" she prompted.

"But it's still Rafe's birthday and there's a chance he might come home."

"He's not," Natalia said with a firm shake of her head.

"But if he does, I probably shouldn't be here," Olivia said slowly, patiently, as if she hadn't heard Natalia's denial.

"I would love it if Rafe came home," Natalia said, choosing her words carefully as she sorted through what she wanted to say. "But I don't think he will. He's still too angry with me."


But Natalia shook her head. "Even if he did though, I would still want you here. You're what I want and he's going to have to get used to that. Because someday I want you and Emma back here permanently."

"I just don't want to make anything harder for you," Olivia admitted in a rush. "I know how important your son is to you."

"He is," Natalia admitted. "But you're important to me, too."

This time Olivia couldn't hold back the smile that crept across her lips at Natalia's words. She didn't even want to. "Okay," she said simply, wanting to believe Natalia. It wasn't that she thought Natalia would lie to her, but she had heard that so many times, from so many different people. She could only hope this time would be different.

"Good, because all I want to do is celebrate and it wouldn't feel worth celebrating without you."

"You deserve to have fun and blow off some steam," Olivia agreed, smiling and picking up her glass of champagne to take a sip.

"We both do," Natalia corrected her. "The last few weeks - months - have been pretty stressful." She stepped closer to Olivia, laying a hand over her wrist. "But I don't want to talk about that anymore. Sometimes it feels like that's all we do is talk about all the things that we can't change, over and over. And I don't want to do that tonight."

Olivia couldn't help it. There was just something about Natalia when she was being emphatic and assertive. Maybe because it was a side of her that she was usually only comfortable letting Olivia see. "Oh? What do you want to do then?"

For an instant Natalia looked like a deer caught in the overwhelming glare of headlights. Then she gave a little shrug. "I don't know. I didn't think that far ahead. Asking you to come over was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I guess we could watch tv or something." It sounded a little boring even to Natalia, but she didn't know what else to suggest. So much of their time had been spent together just living or trying to get through the next obstacle that she wasn't really sure how to just be with Olivia.

"We can do that," Olivia agreed. She didn't mind what they were doing as long as they got to spend time together.

Olivia sat down on the couch while Natalia went to get the remote. When Natalia came back, she sat down next to Olivia, so close that there was barely an inch separating them. Not that Olivia was hyper-aware of that inch or anything. Or the way that Natalia linked her arm through Olivia's as if it were the most usual thing in the world. Which it wasn't. There had been a time before Natalia had almost married Frank that it had seemed like Natalia was constantly finding some excuse to touch her. After Natalia had stopped the wedding that had changed. Oh they touched, occasionally. But each touch was measured and deliberate, not too much, not too little. Just so.

This was a casual gesture, or at least it seemed to be. Glancing over at Natalia, Olivia thought she caught a hint of color in Natalia's cheeks. Not an embarrassed flush, just a hint of excitement. The same way Natalia had looked that afternoon in the Gazebo before Emma had startled them both. Just like that, Olivia had no interest whatsoever in the show Natalia had turned on. Instead she was focused completely on Natalia.

Slowly Olivia drew her legs up underneath her, but so that she was leaning toward Natalia. The angle of her legs eliminated any distance between them and even through her jeans she could feel the warmth of Natalia's leg beneath hers where they touched. Olivia forced herself to not hold her breath, but she waited for a long moment to see if Natalia would react. When nothing happened, she let herself relax. Almost as soon as she did though, she found herself wanting more. She wanted to touch Natalia, but she wasn't sure where or how much was allowed.

She started small, putting her hand on top of her own knee, but let her fingers dangle down to brush against Natalia's thigh. Slowly began to run her fingers back and forth idly, until she almost forgot she was doing it. Then she began tracing small patterns, making more contact. There was no way Natalia could be oblivious to what she was doing now. Finally she glanced up at Natalia, who was still looking toward the television.

Whatever Natalia was looking toward however, she wasn't really seeing. The bold grin on her face as an infomercial droned on in the background told Olivia that. When Natalia felt Olivia's eyes on her, she turned to look at her, smile still in place. Olivia felt her mouth go dry and swallowed. She couldn't think of anything to say, any excuse to make for her blatant staring. Her heart began to beat a little faster, picking up speed with each passing second as Natalia held her gaze steadily. No more waiting, that's what Natalia had said. Had she really meant it? There was only one way to know for sure.

Slowly, telegraphing her intentions every inch of the way, Olivia leaned in, tilting her head down. Her eyes flicked up to Natalia's one last time, checking to see if she would pull away. When she didn't, Olivia kissed her, her lips brushing against Natalia's softly. It was nothing like the clash of lips and teeth and tongue the previous January. Where that one had been hurried and sloppy, this one was tender and gentle, reverent even. It barely lasted more than a second before Olivia pulled away to look at her.

Natalia was biting one corner of her lip and staring back at her. She didn't look shocked or horrified, but she did look serious. What if she hadn't liked it?

"Come here," Natalia said softly, raising her hands to cup Olivia's face. This time she guided Olivia back down toward her and when their lips met Natalia kissed her back.

It imbued Olivia with confidence and made her feel as if she was on top of the world. She had kissed Natalia and Natalia hadn't hated it, had wanted to kiss her again. It made her giddy and brave. Her lips parted and she brushed Natalia's lips with her tongue, seeking to deepen the kiss. She'd had a taste and already she craved more. Her hands slid forward from Natalia's thigh and found their way to Natalia's hips, holding her close.

Natalia responded instantly, opening to Olivia, not just accepting what Olivia was doing but being an equal participant. The kiss had gone from sweet and tender, to eager and intense. Natalia, who she had always thought of as innocent and a little bit naive was showing her just how wrong she was, leaving her breathless and incredibly turned on. She was almost panting, when they broke away a second time.

"I was hoping you'd do that," Natalia admitted.

"Is that why you invited me over?" Olivia asked, teasing this time, not that she hadn't wondered after Natalia had called. But then Natalia had said it had been a spur of the moment decision.

"I...not exactly. I mean I was thinking about that in particular. Just today, in the gazebo..."

"When you almost kissed me?" Olivia asked, her voice still light.

"I meant it when I said I didn't want to wait anymore. I wanted to kiss you so badly."

"I've wanted that for weeks," Olivia admitted, a little bit of her carefully contained emotion slipping out as she said it.

"I know." Natalia smiled and brushed her thumb across Olivia's bottom lip, staring openly as she did. "Can we make up for lost time?" Natalia asked, managing to surprise Olivia even now.

"We can do that," Olivia said, with a hint of cockiness. She leaned in matching her actions to her words and kissed Natalia again. Without hesitation, simply allowing herself to get lost in the taste and feel of Natalia.

This time it was different as inhibitions began to fall away. Olivia gasped almost breaking the kiss when Natalia's hands slid beneath her t-shirt and found the bare skin of her stomach. She arched into the touch, unable to help herself. A desperate thought of scaring Natalia away with her response occurred to her far too late to do anything about it, but Natalia kept exploring, her fingers always moving, searching for something new to touch and caress. When her thumbs brushed against the bottom of her breasts through the padding of her bra, Olivia whimpered.

"Natalia," she whispered desperately. "We should stop or take a break or something."

But Natalia frowned looking a little hurt. "I thought you wanted-"

"I do," Olivia said a little too emphatically. "I want you so much, but I don't want something to happen before we're ready. It took us a long time to get here and I don't want anything to jeopardize that."

"Olivia," Natalia said gently. "It won't. I'm ready to take this next step with you." Her thumbs stroked back and forth against bare skin. Not her breasts, but just below them. It was still so distracting.

"Jesus, Natalia," Olivia breathed, forgetting herself for an instant. "We just had our first kiss. How can you be-"

"Not our first," Natalia corrected her, attempting a small smile.

Olivia snorted and shifted a little on the couch, trying in vain to find a comfortable position, one where she could forget that her body was screaming at her to finish what they'd started. "You said that didn't count."

Natalia gave a little shrug. "Maybe. I felt something...I don't know. It wasn't this, but it was something."

Olivia smiled, surprised but somehow gratified by Natalia's admission. "Should I go?" she asked softly.

Natalia shook her head. "Only if you want to. I'd rather you stay here - with me."

"I don't want to go anywhere." Olivia hesitated and pushed back her nerves. "Except maybe upstairs." Her voice lifted on the last word, making it as much a question as it was a statement.

"I think that sounds good," Natalia agreed, rising from the couch and holding her hand out to Olivia. When Olivia stood, she wrapped her arms around Olivia's waist and leaned into her, pressing their bodies together. They were so close that she couldn't resist stealing a kiss. "I love you," she murmured. "I don't think I've told you that enough."

"Tell me again?" Olivia asked.

"I love you," Natalia said immediately, filling her voice with certainty and tenderness. "And I want you."

Her last second addition made Olivia laugh and snapped her out of her brief, desperate moment. "I want you too. Now let me show you," Olivia said, tangling their fingers together and backing toward the stairs, her gaze never leaving Natalia as they went.

Their time had finally come and now there really would be no more waiting.

The End

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