DISCLAIMER: All characters (Olivia Spencer, Natalia Rivera, Frank Cooper blah blah etc.) and situations belong to Guiding Light, Telenext, Proctor & Gamble, etc. I'm not them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To procrastinatingsith[at]gmail.com
SPOILERS: The Wedding Week.
Once Upon a Time in a Graveyard
"I love you. But I don't know what offering my love will do to you. It'll ask you to change who you are and what you believe. And then that would make this whole thing a lie, wouldn't it?"
Olivia sounded so broken it made Natalia's heart ache. She couldn't not speak, not reach out to her, not try to soothe the hurt she could hear so clearly in Olivia's voice.
"Don't you know how much-"
"Don't!" Olivia said, cutting Natalia off just as quickly, lunging forward to cup Natalia's face and then pulling her hands away almost as soon as she'd touched her, as if Natalia's skin burned. She touched Natalia's arms and then clutched her hands tightly.
"You know where you need to be...and who you need to be with." Olivia said softly, her forehead pressed against Natalia's as she raised a hand to wipe away Natalia's tears with her fingers and stroked the softly smooth skin of her cheek with the pad of her thumb. She couldn't resist, just one touch. This was as close as she would ever get to being with Natalia. Even here and now, as it felt like her heart was breaking - would never heal again - Olivia was conscious of how slight the distance was between them. All that it would take was the slightest tilt of her head and her lips would be brushing across Natalia's.
"You've got a wedding to get to," Olivia said, tearing herself away and summoning determination that she didn't really feel. If she didn't stop herself now, she never would. "Come on."
Her crisp, clipped words, stripped of any of the tenderness and devotion of just seconds before hit Natalia and left her reeling. She had still been caught up in the spell of Olivia's words.
"You know where you need to be...and who you need to be with."
She did know; she had always known who she was meant to be with. But it was hard and terrifying and she had never been quite sure if Olivia felt the same way until Olivia had blurted her heart out - spilling her guts out to a field of ghosts - that she was in love with Natalia.
And then Natalia had known. She had watched stunned as Olivia poured her heart out. It was the most beautiful, devastating thing she had ever seen. She had struggled to gather her courage to respond, to tell Olivia that she loved Olivia just as much as Olivia loved her. Her forehead pressed against Olivia's, Natalia drew strength from her, reveling in their connection and soaking it all in. She just needed another moment and then she could tell Olivia, speak the words that would tell Olivia that she wasn't alone after all.
But Olivia had moved away from her, her warmth slipping away to be replaced by determination. She caught Natalia's hand to lead her away, her grip firm. The spell was broken. Natalia had missed her chance and she was left reeling, stunned and dizzy in the wake of Olivia's sudden shift.
Olivia seemed intent on taking her back to the Church and forgetting everything that she had said to Natalia. All Natalia could focus on was the warmth of her hand and how close they had been a moment before. She felt confused as Olivia began to drag her back toward the church. Natalia stumbled over the first step and then...and then she planted her feet against the cold, hard ground and held tight to Olivia's hand.
Olivia jerked to a stop, yanked back by Natalia's firm grip. She looked just as bewildered as Natalia had felt a few moments before.
"Natalia. What are you doing?"
Words choked her throat and Natalia was left desperate and grasping once again. What could she say that would make this right? She made a frustrated, whimpering sound, pleading with Olivia with her eyes to understand.
Olivia caved, sinking inwards and giving her head a quick shake. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you any of this - especially not on your wedding day. The last thing that I wanted to do was ruin this for you. Just go back to Frank and forget this ever happened. Please." She was begging, tears running freely down her cheeks.
Natalia swallowed and stepped forward, not letting go of Olivia's hand. She was afraid if she did that Olivia would bolt.
"I don't want to."
If anything Olivia looked even more confused. "Don't want to what?"
"Forget this happened," Natalia said, her voice hoarse. Her knees were shaking. Had she been this terrified when she told her parents that she was pregnant with Rafe? Yes, probably. And that had gone so well. She took another step forward. Her legs didn't collapse from underneath her. That was something.
Natalia pulled Olivia's hand to her chest, forcing Olivia to step a little closer with it. The movement was wooden and automatic. Olivia was somewhere else, her mind working frantically, trying to figure out what Natalia was saying.
"I can't forget," Natalia whispered, repeating herself. "You love me." She reached out and touched Olivia's face. "I love you."
Olivia swallowed and looked stricken. "You can't say that. You don't mean it."
"I don't know what to do. I was going to give you up so you could be happy - with him."
"You are what makes me happy. Don't you know that? More than anything."
Olivia just shook her head. "I'll ruin you. I ruin everything," Olivia countered, the admission torn from her.
"Not this," Natalia countered, trailing her hand across Olivia's jaw and back behind her head, tangling her fingers in Olivia's hair. Natalia used that hand to draw Olivia closer, pulling her head down until she could press her lips to Olivia's.
Olivia's eyes turned wild and scared when she realized what Natalia intended, but she didn't try to jerk away. When Natalia's lips touched hers she whimpered and her hands clutched at Natalia's waist desperately. Her eyes fell shut. Natalia's lips brushed over hers and then pulled away.
Olivia waited impatiently, resisting the temptation to open her eyes, hoping against hope that if she had faith that she just might be rewarded. A second touch of the softest lips she had ever felt against hers and Olivia could breathe again. She tilted her head to one side and pushed forward, deepening the kiss. Natalia's arms surged around her, clinging to her.
"What are we going to do?" Natalia breathed, resting her forehead against Olivia's as they finally drew apart. She didn't linger long, turning her head to kiss Olivia's temple, trailing kisses down the side of her face.
"I don't know," Olivia said just as softly. "What do you want?"
"You," Natalia said without hesitating.
"Then you have me."
"Just like that?" Natalia asked, sounding almost awed.
"Just like that."
Natalia shook her head and buried her face in the crook of Olivia's neck. There was still so many things they had to face. She wasn't ignoring that. The thought of going back to the church and telling Frank that she couldn't marry him made her want to take Olivia's hand and run forever. But despite it all she felt almost...happy. Complete. Content.
And it was all because of Olivia.
"You make me feel blessed."
Olivia let out a soft snort, not derisive, but full of disbelief. Natalia raised her head to capture Olivia's face in her hands.
Olivia swallowed and brushed her thumb across Natalia's lower lip. Then she raised her eyes to meet Natalia's.
"You make me want to believe again."
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