DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many, many thanks go to mammothluv for her wonderful work beta'ing this as quickly as she did, and to help to shape my first foray into fic in many years. This is all the better for her time spent, and I thank her for it.
SPOILERS: Nope. In-fact, this story could be situated almost before there were spoilers to be spoiled. However, it probably works best sometime just after the kiss.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Ruminations and Revelations
Olivia Spencer liked sex. She'd always known this; something about the sheer carnality of the act appealed to her passionate nature. So it surprised her when she realized that she didn't miss it. She hadn't missed it for a while, in fact.
What she did miss right now, alone at the kitchen table while Natalia ran errands, was the warm smell of coffee pervading the house as she stumbled downstairs, cranky and disheveled and half-asleep in the mornings. What she missed was Natalia's warm, private smile as the brunette came downstairs after reading Emma to sleep the smile that told Olivia all she needed to know about just how much Natalia loved her little girl, and let her sleep a little easier knowing that Emma would be loved should something happen to her heart.
She missed the times that Natalia sweet, kind-hearted, practically-a-saint Natalia allowed a little bit of Olivia's snark to rub off on her, coming out with something meant for Olivia's ears only that made the older woman snort with laughter, and she missed the way the other woman blushed a little when she did it, as if she were doing something terribly naughty.
But imagine her surprise when she realized that she aggressive, passionate, volatile, impulsive, definitely-not-a-saint Olivia didn't miss sex. She didn't miss tawdry, spur-of-the-moment hook-ups. She didn't miss hate sex. She didn't miss impulsive, you're-someone-else's-and-that's-why-I-must-have-you-right-now-on-this-desk/table/floor sex. In fact, the idea of all those things almost, almost, made her ashamed. Almost. Being ashamed of her actions wasn't in her nature. Or, at least, it hadn't been until now.
Now, whenever she thought of doing anything like the antics of which she was so famed for, one thought and one thought only flitted through her mind: what would Natalia say if she found out?
And that thought? That thought had her cringing in her designer boots before the last word had even finished reverberating around her brain. The feeling of never, ever, ever wanting to disappoint Natalia had her sitting a little straighter in her chair; had her, in bars and restaurants, diverting her eyes from anyone who might even be a remote prospect for that sort of activity. She, in the dark of night, in her lowest moments, could picture Natalia's expression with stark, intuitive clarity. The expression that said, 'I can't believe you would do something like that'. The expression that said, 'You are not the woman that I thought you were'. The expression that said, 'I believed you were better than that'. And the worst was the expression that didn't say anything at all, but simply resonated with a simple, strong sense of disappointment, sadness and heartbreak.
Sometimes though because she's Olivia Spencer, because she's not a saint, and because years of training, well, who's going to break that in a few months? sometimes she slips. Sometimes she flirts with someone who's taken. Sometimes she says things knowing that, should the moment come where she has to make a choice between giving her body to someone to gain a little power over them for one bright moment or simply leaving instead, for the first time she does not know which choice she would make.
And it's because never, in a million years, does she want to see that look on Natalia's face. So she stops scoping out guys. She stops thinking about sex, and men. It's easy. It's frighteningly easy. And because she's smart, and because she likes sex, she wonders why.
She wonders why she's no longer scheming to get a married man. She wonders why she's not scheming at all; not involved in some plot to, well, to do anything as long as she's involved in a plot. She wonders why she doesn't miss these things that so many people have deemed integral to her character, to her personality; why she has no need to feel satisfied in that way any longer.
She supposes a near-death experience would change anyone, but her gut tells her that's not the answer to this particular riddle. So what is, then? She analyzes herself, and finds that she still has all the passion, all the tactile carnality that she ever did. So why isn't she interested in a torrid affair with any of the men of Springfield?
Olivia Spencer, let it be said, was not a stupid woman. She knew men. She knew what they looked like when they wanted her, and how she looked and how she reacted when she wanted them. The eye-contact held for a little too long, check. The stolen, longing glances, the any-excuse-to-touch-you routine, check. The involuntary in-drawn breath with sudden, unexpected contact, check. The unbidden heat bought on suddenly by an unguarded glance or veiled sentence, check, check, check.
She was still pondering these things when Natalia arrived home, announcing herself with a greeting and a sweet, wide smile. Olivia found her eyes riveted to the other woman's face, a smile of her own quirking her lips as she returned the greeting. They gazed at each other without speaking for a moment, and then Natalia turned away to bustle. Olivia continued to watch her for just a second longer before rising from her chair and moving alongside, trying to help unpack groceries while Natalia tried to stop her. The whole thing devolved into a pull-me-push-you, laughingly fought argument, a paper grocery sack the impromptu token of the conflict as they fought over it held between them.
Without thinking, Olivia moved her hands to cover Natalia's, trying to pry them from the sack. It was funny, she mused later, how even over all the banter and the rustling of the paper and the contents it contained, she still heard Natalia's gasp as if it were the only sound in the room, so sudden and unexpected as it was. She glanced up and saw Natalia's slightly parted lips, and found her eyes unwilling to continue their upward journey for just long enough to be classified as odd.
When they did, and she finally found Natalia's eyes, she felt a familiar tingle start on her skin at the un-shuttered, naked look that the younger woman perhaps unknowingly was giving her, before blinking and looking away, the moment lost.
In that moment, the revelation was as clear as if it were written in blazing letters across the sky. Blazing letters there may have been, but written across the sky they were not. No, they were claiming her skin, scrawling and marking her. Their message, the instant reaction of her body to the moment was the only clarification she needed, the only answer she could have discovered, and the only one that made sense.
Quickly conceding the point and stepping away, she sat down once more, her skin still sensitive, the crawling, familiar fire still setting trails up and down her body. Suddenly, Olivia found that not thinking about sex with men was easy, but not thinking about sex at all? Now that that was going to be the kicker.
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