DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is from Olivia's POV and it is for those who requested more after Dawn. Thank all of you for your interest and your response to Dawn.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To tennamc1[at]yahoo.com
I knew that I was falling for Natalia. I can't say when it started. It wasn't like a big boom, but more of a gradual realization that my feelings were more than friendly.
At first I wanted to blame it on having Gus' heart, but truth be told I had found her quite attractive when Gus was still alive. At the time, however, I figured that I was assessing her beauty to size up the competition.
It wasn't until after Gus died, and she fought for me to stay alive that I realized how much I wanted her around. I didn't want to die, but I didn't know how to live knowing that it was Gus' heart that was keeping me alive.
I thought that the only reason she was interested in keeping me alive was because of Gus' heart. Natalia reminded me daily that I should not waste the second chance I was being given, after all I had my daughters to live for one of whom was only 8 years old.
I knew she was right and that pissed me off. We fought daily. I did all that I could to push her away, but she kept coming back. She didn't turn her back on me like most would have. Maybe, just maybe, I could trust her not to walk away.
Eventually we formed a tentative friendship, and I began to see Natalia in a new light. She was funny, smart, and had a smile that could light up a room. And those dimples oh my I have a thing for dimples. Natalia's dimples are the most beautiful dimples I have ever seen.
I never expected my feelings to be reciprocated, but I had that thing with feathers called hope
As I was healing, I vowed that if I ever fell in love again I would do things differently. I wouldn't lie or manipulate. I would be honest and try to keep that love pure. Natalia made me want to do that. She made me want to be better.
Now here we are on New Year's Eve me having no other plans but to spend time with my daughter and the woman who held my heart even if she didn't know it. And what does she go and do? Agree to go to work at Towers a job that had fired her no less. I mean seriously, was I not paying her enough?
I asked her why she had so little faith in herself, and she couldn't answer. She just sort of shrugged as she put on her coat to head out. I was pissed, but more than that I was hurt. All I wanted was to ring in the New Year with my two favorite girls.
I guess my Emma and I were on our own. I tried to hide the hurt so that Emma wouldn't see. My baby girl is quite perceptive. She was sad that Natalia wouldn't be there with us. She didn't understand, and I didn't know how to explain it to her.
How could I explain what I didn't understand?
As Emma and I sat playing go fish, I allowed my mind to wander. I thought about what it would be like if Natalia felt the same way for me as I did for her. It didn't bother me much that I'd fallen for a woman. I'd never been attracted to another woman before, but Natalia was not just any woman.
Natalia is sunshine. I look at her and want to be someone who is worthy of her love. If she would allow me I would give her the world. Natalia is proud. She won't accept what she feels is charity. She's been on her own for so long that she has an independent streak a mile wide. I love that about her.
I do manage to surprise her every now and then. I know I surprised her on Christmas morning. The smile she had that morning was the brightest I'd ever seen. Who knew a piece of wood could make someone so happy? Of course when she gave me that key to the farmhouse I was pretty damned happy.
She didn't want me to leave. In fact she wanted us to stay. I wanted to stay. Even if I couldn't be with Natalia I could be near her. I knew I was gone for her because being near her was enough.
I saw Emma start to yawn. It was only 8:45. I suggested that Em take a nap. I promised I'd wake her in time for her to see the ball bounce (as she referred to it).
I guess I must have fallen asleep because I dreamed Natalia was waking me. Then I heard the distinctive sound of one of those annoying party noisemakers. It took me a few moments to realize that I wasn't dreaming Natalia was home. Damn, had I slept that long? Did my baby girl miss the ball bouncing?
Emma joined Natalia in urging me to wake up so I wouldn't miss the ball bouncing. Natalia was saying something about making it home just in time.
I was fully awake and enjoying just being her with my two favorite girls. They were both smiling and happy, and that was enough for me.
I looked over at Natalia and she had this look in her eyes that I couldn't or wouldn't identify. I had to be imagining things. She couldn't possibly feel the same way, right?
When the clock struck midnight we wished one another Happy New Year. We both kissed Emma. Natalia went in to kiss my cheek just as I went in to kiss hers, but somehow she turned her head and I ended up kissing her lips. She gave me a beatific smile and a saucy wink.
I almost passed out. She wrapped her arm around my waist and whispered in my ear that once Emma was in bed we should talk. My heart started beating double time in anticipation because there was no mistaking the love shining in those eyes.
While Natalia was upstairs putting Emma to bed I went to the kitchen to make hot chocolate. I really wanted a drink. I needed something to calm my nerves. That kiss, though brief, was the exquisite. Natalia's lips were soft and warm and fit with mine as if those lips had been created with me in mind. I knew without a doubt that I was hers for sure.
I allowed myself to believe that she was mine or at least she wanted to be mine. I could hear Natalia coming down the stairs, and knew my questions would be answered soon. I brought our hot chocolate into the living room and took a seat on the couch.
Natalia sat right next to me, took my hand, looked me in the eye and said "Olivia I love you."
What a way to start a conversation I just sat there staring at her. She must have gotten worried because through my fog I could hear her begging me to please say something. Then she was apologizing and trying to pull away.
I tightened my grip on her hand and pulled her closer. I leaned in and kissed her gently "I love you too, you know? I love you very much. You just kinda took me by surprise. What brought this on?"
"I was at Towers working and as I looked around at all the happy couples all I could think was I'd rather be home with you. I have been falling for you for quite a while, but I fell completely on Christmas day.
"You went to so much trouble to get me that piece of door frame. You knew I was missing Rafe, and you tried to cheer me up with that gift. That has to be the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me."
I gently rubbed the back of her hand with my thumb "I want to romance you Natalia, but I'm scared. What if you can't do this?"
"Olivia I know you're scared, but believe me I've thought about this. I've prayed about this and I know in my heart that I belong with you to you heart and soul and hopefully sometime soon body."
Natalia was blushing. But wait did she just say what I think she said? "B-b-b-body?" I managed to stammer out.
"Yes, Olivia, body. That is a part of what couples in love do. I may have precious little experience, but I know that is a part of being in love. I want what all couples in love share, don't you?"
"Well, yeah I just never thought it was possible for us. Just having you near is enough for me."
"Huh well, it's not enough for me Olivia. I want it all and I want it with you. For the first time in my life I know that I am truly, totally and completely in love."
"Natalia, I am in love for the first time in my life. I thought I'd known love before, but I realize now that I didn't know love until you showed me love unconditionally."
"I do have one condition."
I was nervous. What kind of condition could she have? "What is it?"
"You have to promise me to take care of yourself so you can be here with me for a long long time."
"I promise." That was a promise I knew I could keep. I wanted a lifetime with this beautiful woman.
Natalia and I sat cuddled together talking and kissing (can't forget the kissing) until sunrise.
I never expected my feelings to be reciprocated, and, as we sat cuddle together watching the sunrise, I whispered a prayer of thanks.
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