DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I so was not going to write in this fandom, but chilly flame had to go and dare me to do it. This is for her. Thanks to my beautiful wife sauciloo as always for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To sistersempai[at]yahoo.com
"You sound like somebody's wife but you're not mine."
Even as she'd said it, Olivia had internally railed against the statement. Natalia was hers. Just as her own heart, slightly damaged and laced with irony, belonged to Natalia.
She'd tried so hard to do the right thing, to let Natalia be happy, to gracefully step back for the greater good. She'd been a fool to think that would work. One drink to settle her nerves had turned into God knows how many. Some of the events of the engagement party were still a little fuzzy. At least they'd been in the bedroom and alone when Natalia had chose to have their little talk.
" you're not mine."
She hadn't meant to let the bitterness seep through. She'd wanted it to sound like a joke, like her usual sarcastic wit. She'd failed so utterly. The widening of Natalia's eyes had told her that. The tranquil ice that they'd been skating on for months now had cracked and splintered beneath Olivia's feet. She was drowning without putting up a fight or calling for help. She could simply slip beneath the surface, her heart frozen and under-utilized forever.
She'd gone back to the Beacon. There had been no discussion, no fight. She'd simply gathered up some clothes for her and Emma and left while Natalia was out running errands. Part of her wondered, with no little melancholy, if the other woman had even noticed. There'd been no phone calls, no unannounced arrivals in the two days since she'd left. That had been the final proof. The telling absence of action that completely shattered her heart. She'd had some tiny little bit of hope, locked away in the recesses of her psyche, that Natalia might return her feelings, might come after her. She'd been wrong, and God did it hurt.
Ironically, Olivia had been stone cold sober, dry eyed, and remarkably focused since coming back to the Beacon. Projects that she'd been putting off for weeks were now complete. Her office was organized to a fault. She hadn't been this task oriented in years. Olivia had even taken to walking the hotel several times a day, checking on rooms, sampling menus, and talking to customers and employees alike.
She'd seen the reservation during one of these little jaunts. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cooper, Suite 15, one night, billed to Frank Cooper's credit card.
Olivia had actually felt her heart stop beating. Not only had Frank booked a suite in her hotel for his wedding night with Natalia, but he'd booked the suite next door to her own. Apparently karma was catching up with her. Nearly dying had been but a warning shot. This was her true punishment for all the evil deeds she'd perpetrated.
And instead of running, Olivia had elected to torture herself. Thus she set about putting the finishing touches on the soon to be honeymoon suite. Tonight was, after all, the big night, and the happy couple deserved perfection.
Fresh flowers were arranged in both the front room and boudoir. An hour before they arrived chilled Champagne would be delivered. Satin sheets adorned the bed. It was idyllic. Olivia had made sure of that, overseeing every detail herself.
Just surveying the room made her chest ache. The whole exercise had been excruciating, like the grinding of broken bones. She walked to the bed, smoothing an invisible wrinkle in the coverlet, picturing Frank kissing Natalia, touching her face, her breasts, sliding inside her, while she sat on the other side of the wall, not twenty feet away. It was more than she could bear.
Olivia's knees buckled and she slid to the floor, sobs wracking her body. "Natalia," she whispered over and over. "I need you."
She cried for hours, days, an eternity. She cried until exhaustion overtook her, and with tears still tracing paths down her cheeks, she slept.
Natalia had bruises on her knees.
For the last twenty-four hours she hadn't slept or eaten. She walked in to the farmhouse yesterday and known immediately that Olivia was gone. Her favorite mug was in the sink, one of her coats had still been hanging on the peg by the door, but Natalia had simply known. Olivia's words at the engagement party had scared her. In that moment it had seemed like the other woman hated her.
With a sense of foreboding, she walked up the stairs into Olivia's room. Nothing had really changed. The picture of the two of them and Emma had been on the bedside table, and that had brought tears to Natalia's eyes. The picture of their family that Olivia had left behind.
She'd gone back down stairs wondering why this had to hurt so badly. Wishing that things could just go back to the way they had been. Why did this all have to be so complex? Why couldn't she and Olivia just be best friends? Why couldn't they just be a family, raise Emma together, build a home together, live happily ever
Natalia cut off the thought. They had had all those things. They had them until Olivia had told her to marry Frank, and Natalia had listened. She'd been about to tell Olivia that she wasn't going to marry Frank, but Olivia hadn't let her. She didn't want Frank, she wanted Olivia.
She wasn't supposed to want Olivia. And yet she did. So Natalia did what she always did when she didn't know what to do next. She prayed for guidance. And prayed. And after nearly twenty-four hours of praying she was no closer to an answer than she'd been before she'd knelt on the cold hard stone of the kitchen floor.
It was ten o'clock in the morning. She would be married to Frank in less than eight hours. Unless she called it off. In her heart of hearts she'd been hoping for Olivia to do something. To stop it somehow. But Olivia had left.
Natalia didn't love Frank. He was a good man, and he would make a good husband and father figure for Rafe. Olivia made her want to tear her hair out. They argued constantly. It couldn't possibly work. Except it had. Living with Olivia had been one of the best things in her life. Even when the whole town had thought that they were... together. That was the crux of the matter. Could she reconcile herself with a relationship with another woman? Face the censure of the town, the church, and whoever else decided to judge them? Did she have the courage to love Olivia?
Natalia closed her eyes once more, fervently praying for an answer. The crash of shattering porcelain a few feet away made her jump. One of Olivia's precious plates had fallen from its place in the hutch. Pieces lay scattered across the kitchen floor. Natalia gasped in sorrow. She knew how much these plates meant to Olivia. The other woman would be heart-broken. And then it occurred to Natalia. She'd left the plates. Olivia had left the plates, and she'd left the modern art hanging in her bedroom. She'd left the picture of the three of them. Smacking palm against forehead, she saw the truth begin to make its painstaking way out. Olivia hadn't left for good. The stubborn woman was hiding from her. And Olivia only hid when she was afraid.
"You sound like somebody's wife..."
The bitterness and anger behind those words finally registered.
"...but you're not mine."
Olivia didn't want her to marry Frank. She'd been trying to protect her yet again. It was like the money with Decker. Olivia was sacrificing her own happiness for her. The woman really was insufferable. "I may not be your wife, you damn pig-headed woman, but I'm certainly not Frank's."
Natalia picked up her keys and bag, heading out the door without bothering to clean up the mess in the kitchen. She knew where Olivia was hiding, and God help her if she tried to run.
Natalia waved to several of the front desk staff as she strode through the lobby of the Beacon. She headed straight for the elevator and pressed the button for the top floor. Olivia always stayed in the same suite, and Natalia had her passkey. Five minutes later Natalia was ready to start busting down doors. Olivia was staying there alright, but she wasn't in the suite. A quick call to the office had confirmed that she wasn't there either. If she had to search for her room by room Natalia was prepared to do it.
She stormed back out into the hallway, just barely managing not to slam the door behind her. She ran a frustrated hand through her hair, and walked back toward the elevator. She stopped when she heard someone call her name.
"You didn't trust us to make everything perfect for you, eh?" Michelle, one of the hotel maids said with a smile. She'd just come out of one of the rooms, her arms full of used sheets and towels.
"I'm sorry?" Natalia responded with a frown.
"Your suite. Ms. Spencer has been fluttering about it all morning, making sure the roses were perfect, and the sheets. I don't even want to think about those getting out. All the guests will want them."
"My suite?" Natalia was still frowning. "What do you mean my suite?"
"For tonight." Michelle seemed confused. "Your fiancé, he booked the suite for your wedding night." The maid reached out. "You didn't know! God, Natalia, I'm so sorry. I've ruined his surprise."
"No, no. It's fine," she reassured. "You said Olivia has been setting up the suite?"
Right next door. Either God or Olivia had a horrible sense of irony. "Thanks Michelle. You have no idea how much I appreciate it." Natalia turned and walked back the way she come, passing Olivia's door with a grim shake of her head. She yanked the passkey back out and let herself into suite fifteen. The main room, scented by the enormous arrangement of flowers, was empty. Natalia narrowed her eyes and crossed to the bedroom. "Olivia Spencer you are in so much tr... "
Natalia stopped dead, utterly shocked by what she saw. Olivia lay on the floor against the edge of the bed, and Natalia's first terrifying conclusion was the hotelier's heart had given out. Olivia's chest rose and fell in even measured breaths though, and Natalia felt her own heart begin to beat again. The proud woman was curled in the fetal position, and even from across the room Natalia could see the tearstains and puffy eyes.
She set her purse on the floor and slowly walked over to Olivia. "What a mess we've made," she whispered. Natalia knelt down and gently stroked the chestnut strands framing the other woman's face. "I should have smacked you when you told me to marry Frank. I was such a coward. And so were you. You've never backed down a moment in your life, but I had you running scared." Natalia smiled and leaned down to place a small kiss on the smooth brow before her. "I want you Olivia." She kissed her temple. "I'm in love with you." She kissed her cheek. "And it's time for you to wake up."
Natalia had been in this same position not so long ago. This time she would not be denied. She lightly brushed her lips over Olivia's. "Wake up," she whispered again.
Hazel eyes fluttered open, and an involuntary smile lit Olivia's face, before recent events came slamming back into focus. "Natalia? What are you doing here?" Olivia tried to sit up, but Natalia wasn't moving. "Why are you... here? What time is it?" Olivia's head darted around, trying to see the clock from her position.
Natalia sat back slightly, freeing her hands to reach out and cradle Olivia's face, forcing her to meet her gaze. "I'm here because you're here. I'm here because you ran away from me, from us, and I'm telling you to stop."
Olivia's eyes grew wide. "Stop?"
Natalia nodded. "Stop running. I don't want to have to chase you down every time I want to tell you that I love you." She leaned forward and placed a small quick kiss on Olivia's lips.
"But..." Olivia began, trying to catch up with what was happening. "You're getting married... aren't you?" She wasn't completely certain that she was conscious. This might be some odd dream. Some odd, brilliant, amazing dream that she'd like to extend, if possible.
"The only marriage in my future would involve us moving to either Canada or Massachusetts." Natalia said with a crooked smile.
"Massachusetts." Olivia's heart sped up. "Do you mean... us moving? You're not going to marry Frank?"
"As cute as you are when you're completely befuddled, let me make things clear to you once and for all. I love you Olivia Spencer. I'm in love with you. You're the one that I choose. You." And with that pronouncement Natalia leaned in and kissed Olivia like she'd been wanting to do for what seemed like all her life.
Olivia wound her hands into Natalia's hair and hung on for sheer sanity. Natalia was kissing her. Natalia loved her. The other woman would be lucky if she ever relinquished her hold.
"Natalia I love you so much. I love you." Olivia couldn't stop saying it.
"I love you." Natalia breathed, kissing her way down Olivia's cleavage. "God, I love you so much." Her lips ghosted over Olivia's silk blouse, lingering on the hard nipple beneath it.
"Natalia, please. Yes." Olivia had been on fire since the other woman's lips had first touched her own.
Natalia got to her knees, then gave a hiss of pain.
"Natalia? What is it?" Olivia sat up concerned.
"It's nothing, just a bruise. But while we're moving, why not take advantage of this glorious bed you arranged for me."
Olivia smiled, sarcasm suited Natalia. She was such a bad influence. Olivia took the hand Natalia offered and got to her feet. She reached out tentatively to run her fingers down Natalia's neck. She traced her collarbone and saw goose bumps break out across the exposed skin. Natalia gasped. Olivia stepped closer and traced the same path with her lips.
"Olivia I want..." Natalia couldn't seem to finish the sentence, but when she reached up and grabbed Olivia's hand and placed it on her breast she didn't need to.
Olivia felt the nipple harden under her palm and gave the soft globe an experimental squeeze. Natalia groaned. She brought her other hand up and cupped both of Natalia's breasts.
Their lips found one another again, and while Olivia caressed and teased the contours of Natalia's curves, the other woman made quick work of the buttons on Olivia's silk blouse. In minutes the last piece of clothing slipped from Olivia's fingers, leaving both women naked. Natalia lightly pushed Olivia onto the bed, crawling up her voluptuous body a moment later. She kissed her way over the tops of Olivia's breasts, making her squirm before finally taking the rock hard peak into her mouth.
Olivia's back arched off the bed. "Natalia please. Please I need you to touch me." Olivia felt like she was already on the brink. She was so wet, so ready for Natalia.
Natalia gave one last kiss to Olivia's nipple, before placing a gentle kiss on the scar that ran between the two breasts. Her fingers trailed down Olivia's stomach to her thigh, squeezing slightly before moving to play with the downy hair between them. Olivia's gasp sounded loud in the quiet room.
"Oh Natalia." Fingers slid inside Olivia forcing her head back and her hands to fist in the sheets. "Natalia, Natalia." Olivia could only repeat the name again and again, as the other woman found her rhythm.
A thumb found her clit, and Olivia's breathing stopped. Her hips however continued to follow Natalia's commands. "Natalia..." Olivia's voice broke as she climaxed, and the emotions too long denied overwhelmed her, streaming tears down her cheeks. Soft hands were there in seconds, wiping the drops away. Soothing kisses fell on her eyelids and cheeks. She felt Natalia roll them both onto their side and gather her up.
Their breathing slowed, and soon Olivia was fighting to keep her eyes open. She shifted slightly to look at the woman holding her. Natalia's eyes were barely open. "I love you Natalia Rivera," she whispered.
"And I love you. Now sleep, we both need it."
"You sound like somebody's wife," Olivia murmured.
"Yours," Natalia whispered back.
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