Original Post Date: September 13, 2009
Original Post Location: Passion Perfect
Summary: What happened when the moving crew left - aka my imagination of what the Friday 9/11/09 episode of Guiding Light could have been had there been a Friday episode (and a backbone).
Disclaimer: CBS, P&G, Telenext et. al. owns these characters; I'm just making the implicit explicit because they can't be bothered.
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man's son doth know.
- Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 3
It turned out Natalia was a football fanatic.
Not just a fan, but a fanatic. A "there's a game on and therefore I must be watching it" fanatic.
Now Olivia loved football - watching competitive guys in tight pants smacking the snot out of each other was good therapy, no question - but never, in her wildest imaginings, had she expected that she would spend her first night back in the farmhouse snuggled up next to Natalia while her beloved periodically bellowed "Kill him!" at the TV.
No, she hadn't imagined that at all. But then, she hadn't imagined everything she owned that wasn't affixed to the ground scattered in different rooms of the farmhouse when she'd woken up this morning. Okay, maybe she'd imagined it. But she hadn't thought it could be real.
Sometimes, life is kind in ways one cannot fathom.
Still, there were drawbacks. Such as —
"This game is boring," Olivia blurted out.
Natalia shifted her head, which had been resting on Olivia's shoulder just over her heart, and frowned. "You're bored with me already?"
"Ha," Olivia said, bumping their foreheads together. "No, honey. The game. As in zero-zero, lots of punting. This game is boring."
"It's a defensive battle," Natalia said. "Maybe the best one we'll get all year. Al Michaels said so."
"That's code for a really boring game."
Natalia sighed, her lips pursing in a pout. "You are just no fun today. First you won't let me play softball, now this. When the Bears play on Sunday night..."
"When the Bears play on Sunday night I will not whine because they are the Bears and you love them. Plus that Urlacher guy is hot..."
Natalia's eyes narrowed.
"...in a Cro Magnon I want him to run Security at The Beacon sort of way." Olivia stroked a fingertip down Natalia's cheek, moving it up and down against the smooth skin until she was rewarded with a dimple implosion. "But this game just isn't doing it for me."
"It is a little..." Natalia searched for the right word. "Static, I guess."
"So maybe..." Olivia glanced over at Emma, who had sacked out in the chair, a bowl of popcorn about to tumble off her lap. "Maybe we make it an early night."
Natalia glanced over her shoulder at Emma, then swiveled her head back around. Olivia looked down into those fathomless brown eyes, her stomach flip-flopping at the love she saw in their depths.
"It has been a long day," Natalia murmured, her gentle curves pressing more tightly into Olivia's side.
"It has." Olivia stroked a hand through the impossibly soft silk of Natalia's dark hair, then back again, her palm cradling the back of Natalia's head. She felt Natalia's arm tighten around her waist, her head lift fractionally even as Olivia lowered hers. Their faces were nearly touching, their mouths just inches apart —
Emma snorted, the popcorn bowl rolling out of her lap and onto the carpeting.
"That damn kid," Olivia muttered.
Natalia burst into giggles.
"I swear, she does it to us on purpose," Olivia said with a soft chuckle as she stroked her fingertips up and down Natalia's back.
"She didn't this afternoon," Natalia said, a radiant smile lighting her face.
"No, she didn't," Olivia replied, feeling a flush tingle through her as she recalled how they had stood on the porch of the farmhouse, watching the last of their moving help's cars depart down the drive. Standing there with her arms around Natalia, it had seemed the most natural and reasonable thing in the world to turn her head and press her lips against Natalia's. It had been a slow kiss — exploratory, sweet, as innocent as two teenagers under the mistletoe for the first time — and yet in it, Olivia had tasted a deep, heady promise. Red wine and dark chocolate, roses and caviar — these were trifles compared to the depths, the knowledge that Olivia sensed was waiting to be explored — to be awakened — in Natalia. It begins here, she remembered thinking. All my life I thought I was on a journey, but it turns out I was just looking for the starting line.
Looking down at Natalia now, she was reminded, almost painfully, of how much she needed her. We've been waiting so long, she thought, part of her still unable to process the reality of Natalia curled up in her arms on the couch. She wanted more, she realized. She wanted everything.
The air thickened between them, the tension growing. Olivia felt heat rise to her cheeks, saw a corresponding flush in Natalia's skin. "This is going to be like high school for a while, isn't it?" she mused aloud.
Natalia's lashes dropped, her face turning into Olivia's shoulder. She let out a slow breath, saying, "I think I'm carrying around enough hormones for two teenagers right now."
"Oh really." Olivia tucked a finger beneath Natalia's chin and drew her face upward. "Do tell."
"I..." Natalia tipped her head to the side. Eyes hidden by a thick fringe of lashes, she whispered, "I think...maybe I'd rather show you."
"Yeah?" Olivia felt a grin rising at the words, but she kept it off her face, afraid she'd look far too carnivorous if she let it show. She kept her eyes on Natalia, her fingertips caressing Natalia's jaw, until Natalia's eyes lifted.
The gaze Natalia turned on her was steady and filled with an unexpected certainty. And love — love washing over Olivia like a breaking wave, its current dragging her in and under until there was nothing — no air, no breath, nothing but that love, surrounding and filling her, making her complete.
It took a moment for the spell to break. Olivia let her head fall forward until it rested in the crook of Natalia's neck, trying to still the tremor running through her limbs. Natalia's arms were tight around her, one hand stroking the back of Olivia's head. Safe, Olivia thought, and fast on the heels of that came another thought, so profound in its simplicity that she felt tears well in her eyes. Home.
"We should get Emma up to bed," Natalia said.
Olivia nodded against Natalia's shoulder. "I hate that I can't carry her any more."
"I know, me too." Natalia gave a soft laugh. "You realize in just a few years, she's going to be taller than both of us."
"That's what I get for having children with men the size of power forwards." Olivia lifted her head, sliding one hand around to press against Natalia's belly. "Maybe this one will be tiny like her momma."
"Yeah, but she'll be feisty."
"You know, suddenly I'm imagining you as a teenager, and I'm terrified."
Natalia laughed. "I was sweet. Really."
"You were a holy terror and you know it."
Natalia let loose a one of her Mona Lisa smiles, one dimple showing as she quirked a shoulder upward. Her eyes sparkled.
Olivia felt a deep belly laugh rip through her. "Yeah, that's what I thought."
They went quiet, the two of them just staring at each other. If you added up all the time we've spent doing that in the last year, we'd probably get a day back, Olivia thought as she drank in the sight. She blinked several times, trying to shake off the hypnotic effect that was Natalia looking at her with love in her eyes, and said, "Right. I'm going to get Emma upstairs and..."
Natalia shook her head. "Why don't...I'll do it."
"You want..." Tears sprang to Olivia's eyes, and she fought to hold them back. Not alone. For the first time, I'm not alone. "You want to put our daughter to bed?"
"Yeah. And while I'm doing that, maybe you could..." Natalia's lips curved sideways, twisting in a smile that was somehow both shy and mischevious. "Maybe you could take a shower?"
Olivia felt her brain stall at the comment. Possible responses flew at her from every corner of her mind, some irritable, some salacious. What she felt most strongly, she realized after a moment, was a sense of hope and a deep, abiding happiness. Natalia didn't want her to smell like sweat and softball and moving. Natalia didn't want her to smell like that because they were going to curl up in bed together, because they were going to be in bed together, because they were going to —
Oh no, this just wouldn't do. Not if she was going to make it upstairs without her head exploding.
"Fine, fine, I'll go take a shower." Olivia pushed to her feet, her head turned away so Natalia wouldn't see the ridiculous grin creasing her face. She hit the power button on the TV as she passed it, then paused to hover over Emma and give her a kiss. "Good night, my sweet baby," she whispered. "Welcome home."
She looked up and caught Natalia looking at them both with tears welling in her eyes. A look passed between them — part disbelief, part joy. Natalia gave her a smile that lit up the room, and Olivia beamed back at her, shaking her head and blowing her a kiss before half-running up the steps.
It took her a little while to get organized - half her toiletries were still in boxes and her clothes were scattered in suitcases and it was very strange, anyway, to be showering in the master bath instead of the guest bathroom but eventually, she started to build a comfort zone. Her shampoo in the near corner, next to Natalia's, her conditioner - good God, how did Natalia use that brand and keep her hair so lustrous, she must be stealing olive oil from the kitchen to keep the ends intact - on the shelf along the far wall. The soap was convenience store Ivory - nothing fancy for Natalia, and in this, Olivia was inclined to not put up a fight. She loved the clean, simple scent of it on Natalia's skin, underlying the faint hint of cinnamon that always seemed to emanate off her. Was that some sort of body spray, Olivia wondered, or just all that baking causing the spice to seep into her skin? One more thing Olivia didn't know.
One more thing she couldn't wait to find out.
She had managed to find some pajamas before going into the bathroom - a pale green silk camisole and matching pants. They clung to her body in places, the humidity in the small bathroom making it harder to get them on the right way. They felt like they didn't fit, which was strange considering she'd lost weight in the last months. Her mind shied away from those memories, still so raw. It'd be worse now, she thought as she combed out her damp hair. To get this close, and lose her. I don't know that I could come back from it again.
She stared at herself in the mirror for a long moment, knowing that when she opened the bathroom door, life would change irrevocably. The thought was terrifying, unfathomable.
And she'd never been so sure of anything in her life.
Still, the butterflies were jumping as she hung her towel over the rack and turned the doorknob. She flicked off the bathroom light, hesitating for an instant while her eyes adjusted to the muted illumination in the bedroom. It came from a bedside lamp - faux Tiffany, probably 15 bucks at Wal-Mart, but pretty nonetheless, and perfect with the rustic decor of the master suite. Her eyes strayed to the queen-sized bed with its sturdy wooden frame, the down quilt with its white lace overlay —
And there in the bed, waiting for her: Natalia.
She was sitting up, pillows propped up behind her to hold her in place against the oak headboard. She was wearing a simple, pale blue cotton nightgown, sleeveless and v-necked with white ribbons trimming the edges of the neckline. It, too, looked like it had been purchased at Wal-Mart, or KMart, or one of those Mart places - and yet to Olivia, it seemed as beautiful as any negligee from a high fashion boutique. Her bare legs were extended atop the quilt - graceful, effortless, surprisingly long for someone of her height.
Natalia was brushing her hair. Olivia knew she did this every night, she'd caught her at it more than once the first time they'd lived at the farmhouse. What she hadn't realized, even then, was how erotic it was. Natalia's hair fanned out over her breasts and shoulders, a sturdy wooden brush sliding down through the strands of dark silk, pulling them outward, releasing. With a flick of her wrist, she would start again, moving the brush from the top of her head downward in one rippling, sinuous motion.
Olivia swallowed hard, tried to catch her breath. Mine, she thought, and all but wept at the beauty of it. This miracle of a woman chooses me.
It was too much to comprehend, and she might have stayed there, caught forever, if Natalia hadn't looked up, a smile creasing her features. She reached over, pulling the blankets on the other side of the bed back, and said, "Were you going to stand there all night?"
Olivia shook her head, unable to speak. Wordlessly, she crossed to the bed, sliding under the cool cotton of the soft white sheets. She deserves silk, she thought, and yet somehow, the simplicity of cotton fit Natalia. It fit them both.
Natalia set the brush on the beside table, rolling onto her hip so she was facing Olivia. She lifted the sheet and quilt, pulling both over her legs. Tilting her head against one of the pillows, she said, "I'm glad you're here."
"Me too," Olivia said, her eyes tracing over Natalia's soft curves. Her fingers plucked at the sheet, fighting the urge to touch Natalia. Why am I so afraid?
As if in answer to her silent question, Natalia reached out, her fingertips caressing the back of Olivia's hand. She pulled the pillow out from behind her so that it was flat on the mattress, then slid down so that she was laying on her side, her fingers tangling with Olivia's. She glanced up, her mouth quirking sideways as if in invitation.
Olivia slid down too, laying on her side so she was facing Natalia, their fingers still intertwined. She brought Natalia's hand to her mouth, holding the back of it to her lips for a moment, then turning it so that Natalia's palm was against her lips. Natalia smiled when Olivia pulled Natalia's wrist against her mouth, the skin whisper-soft against her lips.
"You smell amazing," Olivia said. "How do you manage that?"
"Well you smell so clean." Natalia tugged on Olivia's hand, pulling her arm close so she could inhale against her wrist. "Lavender and...is that sandalwood?"
"Just a drop," Olivia said with a smile. "Spices things up a little."
Natalia nodded, her look turning shy, inward. She twisted Olivia's wrist around, pressing a kiss to her knuckles before moving their entwined hands so that they rested between them on the bed. Her eyes fell to half-mast, a bemused smile on her lips.
"What are you thinking?" Olivia asked.
Natalia considered for a moment. "That I'm happy. That I love you." Her eyes opened, her voice barely audible as she added, "That I want you."
Olivia felt desire surge through her veins. She pushed it down, allowing only a hint of playfulness in her voice as she asked, "That you want what?"
"That I want you to hold me," Natalia answered.
"I can hold you," Olivia said, scooting a few inches closer. She wrapped an arm around Natalia's back, her other hand slipping beneath Natalia's neck. "And what else?"
"That I want you to kiss me."
Olivia quirked her lips, her eyes finding and holding Natalia's. She pressed a hand to Natalia's cheek, her thumb making slow circles as she pressed forward and brushed a soft, langorous kiss across Natalia's mouth. She pulled back from it reluctantly, feeling power flood through her when Natalia trembled.
"Anything else?" Olivia asked, her own mind on overdrive. She fought her instincts, waiting for Natalia to speak, forcing herself to really listen to the answer.
Natalia nodded. "I want you to..." She pressed a hand to Olivia's chest, her fingers splayed over Olivia's breastbone. "I want you to make love to me."
There it is, Olivia thought, her stomach dropping as the words left Natalia's mouth. The words she'd been thinking of, daydreaming about, taking cold showers so as to not dwell on for more months than she could count. Normally, this would be her cue to ravish Natalia - she'd done it before, with others, on far less invitation. But as she lay there, looking into the earnest, unwavering certainty in those dark eyes, she found that was she wanted was not to take, but to protect.
"Are you sure?" she asked, lifting one hand to trace over Natalia's eyebrows, then down her nose. "I don't want it to be too soon."
"Soon?" Natalia let out a soft laugh. "Olivia, we have waited how many months?"
"Too many," Olivia said feeling the weight of every month, every day, every minute bearing down on her.
Natalia pressed her hand to the side of Olivia's neck, her palm warm against Olivia's pulsepoint. Her thumb stroked against Olivia's jaw. "I really don't want to wait any more. Do you?"
"No," Olivia breathed, shaking her head. "As long as you're okay, I don't want to wait another second."
And with that, Natalia crossed the distance, molding her body against Olivia's as best the baby would allow, her fingers lifting to thread through Olivia's hair as she pressed kisses like honey against Olivia's lips.
They kissed for a long time — ten minutes, an hour, a lifetime. All Olivia knew was she hadn't kissed someone like this, or been kissed like this, for longer than she could remember. Maybe never. She'd forgotten how sweet it could be — having Natalia breathe against her, that first brush of tongue against lip, that sharp, indrawn breath when they crossed that indefinable barrier between kissing and making love and Natalia's hips moved against her for the first time.
Olivia pulled away from Natalia's mouth — she had to, if she didn't, she'd stay there forever — and began to press slow kisses down Natalia's jaw. She hovered over Natalia's neck, ran her tongue down Natalia's pulsepoint, nibbled gently against her sternal notch. So many places to touch, to examine, to explore; it was hard to give every spot the attention it deserved. There was a list of things she wanted to do, a list carefully compiled from months of waiting and longing. Some of those things would have to wait six months or so — some, maybe a day or two. Some — well some she could do right now.
Starting with shoulders. Her mouth on that soft curve, her fingers slowly sliding the cotton down so that it dangled loosely over Natalia's bicep. Olivia's lips traced every millimeter of that pale olive skin, found the tan line where summer sunlight caressed exposed flesh. She followed it downward, feeling Natalia shift onto her back, a soft murmur of pleasure escaping her lips as Olivia's mouth touched the top swell of her breast. Olivia hesitated, tipping her head to squint up at Natalia, and found those dark eyes on her, a pleased smile on Natalia's lips.
Olivia lowered her head again, her hand moving to cup Natalia's breast under its thin cotton covering, to trace her thumb over the ribbon piping of the nightgown. Natalia's hands, which had been resting gently against the back of Olivia's head, suddenly tightened, her fingertips threading through Olivia's hair. Her hips shifted, the soft swell of the baby pressing harder into Olivia's midsection. Olivia felt her own body flush with heat as she pulled the nightgown a bit further down Natalia's arm, exposing Natalia's breast to the open air. It was perfect — smooth, flawless skin, dusky rose at the center — like a dream image, barely remembered but somehow known. When Olivia's mouth first brushed over that gentle curve, her lips caressing every bit of skin before brushing across the nipple — well that too was like a dream, one from which Olivia never wanted to wake. It was all so slow, so strangely quiet — the silence between them broken only by an occasional murmur or cry of pleasure. Natalia's hands were on her, stroking her back, her head, reassuring and encouraging with her touch, and somehow that was the only guidance Olivia needed. She didn't have to ask if it was okay to stroke Natalia's thigh while she kissed her — she knew — or pull her camisole over her head so that she lay bare-chested in Natalia's arms. The latter development did lead to a prolonged distraction while Natalia did some exploring of her own, not that Olivia minded all that much what with Natalia's mouth trailing all the way from her clavicle to her belly button, except that it was stoking a fire that Olivia didn't exactly want turning to inferno just yet. Not with Natalia still mostly clothed and needing — Oh God, what she does to me —
Olivia pushed up, gently driving Natalia back onto her side of the bed. She hovered over her, kissed her hard, her fingers worrying at the hem of the nightgown. Natalia looked up at her, her hair splayed out on the pillow beneath her, and nodded, that same mysterious smile dancing on her lips. Her eyes fell shut as Olivia lifted the nightgown, her hips lifting so that the garment could clear them, and then she pushed up on one elbow, moving into an awkward half-sit so that the clothing could be lifted off her torso and up her arms. Olivia let it fall from her fingertips somewhere near the foot of the bed, her gaze fixed on Natalia, who was sliding back down to lay on her side, her eyes filling with something that might have been apprehension as Olivia gazed at her.
It's almost too much, Olivia thought as she surveyed Natalia's form. There were more tan lines, patches of light olive skin interspersed with the warm brown of Natalia's summer tan. There were curves — the swell of breasts, soft and full from the pregnancy, leading to the ample rich mound of the baby growing inside her, then tapering into the sinuous twist of hip bone bisecting belly and thigh. There was warmth — a heat radiating off Natalia, her own life force augmented by that of the baby, and on top of that, the desire that all but sparkled off of her, dazzling Olivia's eyes. And the smell — sweet and carnal, home and sex — with every breath, Olivia took it in, her body shaking at the overload of input, at the multitude of possibilities that were embodied in the form of this woman that she adored, desired, loved.
Natalia reached for Olivia's hand, clasping it between her own. Her voice uncertain, she asked, "Is it — am I okay?"
"Oh, baby." Olivia lay back down, their bodies side by side but inches apart, and lifted her hand to hover over Natalia's shoulder. "You're everything."
"Really?" Natalia asked, a pleased grin lighting her features. Her eyes crinkled and her shoulders lifted, in that disbelieving, 'say it again' way she had which Olivia was convinced was the most endearing, adorable method of whoring for compliments known to man. And so she said it again.
"You're everything to me." She moved her head forward, careful to keep her body a safe, torturous distance away, just for one moment longer. She allowed herself the luxury of one fingertip tracing the curve of Natalia's side, and was rewarded with a shiver. Smiling at Natalia, she looked into her eyes and said, "I won't see anything but you for the rest of my life."
Natalia reached across the intervening space, her hands resting on Olivia's back. She slid her hand lower, her palm trickling fire against Olivia's skin, and pressed her hand to the small of Olivia's back. "Make love to me," she whispered, pulling Olivia close.
The shock of their bare breasts pressed together was almost too much for Olivia. She froze for a moment, disbelieving, even as Natalia's mouth sought hers out, something more urgent in her kisses now, something needy and raw and real. After a moment, she surrendered to it, pulling Natalia close, her hands gently caressing Natalia's back and sides while their kisses deepened. Her pajama bottoms became an impossible irritation, and she broke away long enough to slide them off her body with Natalia's help. After that there were no more barriers, just them, pressed together, curve to curve, skin against skin, the love that flickered within the room filling the empty spaces until there was no part of them that wasn't in some sort of contact. Natalia's thighs were moving against Olivia's, her body tensing restlessly as Olivia's hands slid over her breasts and thighs, back and stomach. She let out a gasp and pulled back from a kiss, her eyes impossibly dark in the soft light.
Olivia looked down at her, and felt the quiet, wordless conversation pass between them.
I'm not sure what I'm doing.
You'll figure it out. I trust you.
I just want it to be okay.
Just touch me already.
There had been time enough, during one of that afternoon's lemonade breaks, for Olivia to have an awkward but informative three minute conversation with Doris. It had ended as most such discussions usually did, with Olivia saying, "Right right, I get it, stop talking" while Doris grinned like the cat who had gotten the proverbial cream. But in retrospect, Olivia realized, Doris had given her, amidst several practical if visually scarring tips, the most valuable piece of advice she could have received on the subject.
"Let her come to you," Doris had said. "It's going to take time, more time than you think you can stand. Just wait for her."
It made sense now, as Olivia's hands glided over Natalia's abdomen. She felt a gentle flutter from the baby, laughing inwardly at the sense that she'd been given some strange sort of permission, and then her fingertips were caressing Natalia's thighs, moving closer with every sweep until finally, the tip of her finger brushed Natalia's center.
Natalia's eyelids fluttered, her hand tightening against Olivia's back. Her lips parted, her upper knee lifting so that it was resting on Olivia's hip. She scooted closer, her eyes never leaving Olivia's face. Waiting.
Olivia lifted her hand again, letting it rest on Natalia's center, feeling the tremble that rolled through Natalia even as a gentler but correspondingly soul-shattering one ran through her own frame. They remained within the stillness of that moment for who knew how long, until something snapped in Olivia and she couldn't hold still any more. She needed to touch, to move, to make Natalia move —
But gently. So gently.
Let her come to me.
She let her fingertips stroke over Natalia's flesh, finding the right angle, the right pressure. When she found what worked, she pulled back, holding it in reserve, forcing them both to wait. Natalia was a patient woman. They both were, when they had to be. And in this, how much sweeter if they made themselves be.
Their kisses grew longer, deeper, until they weren't so much kissing as breathing against each other. Sometimes they would lay facing each other, looking into each other's eyes, each twitch and flutter and occasional lift of an eyebrow an entire conversation. Natalia's hands only stopped moving in those moments when she got close, but when Olivia would back away, her fingers would start their caresses once again, exploring every ounce of skin she could reach, creating distraction where she could. Her fingers found Olivia's center at one point, which was entirely unfair. She only stopped when Olivia said, "Call me selfish, but I'd like to be able to keep my full attention on you doing that for the first time." Natalia had relented with another of those instigator smiles of hers, and Olivia had had no choice, none whatsoever, but to find one of those right spots, just for a moment, as payment in kind. Natalia was starting to tremble when Olivia pulled away.
"Tease," Natalia whispered.
Olivia grinned and kissed her soundly. "You just noticed?"
Natalia stretched against her, wrapping her leg more tightly around Olivia's hip. Her toes caressed the back of Olivia's thigh, her fingertips finding Olivia's breast, plucking at in ways that made Olivia's fingers falter. "I've always known."
Olivia kissed her harder, increasing the pressure of her touch. Natalia began to pant against her, her arms clenching around Olivia's shoulders. She tensed, shaking, and let out a soft whimper.
"Baby?" Olivia whispered, pulling back to look at Natalia's face. She saw uncertainty there, and something that might have been fear. For all her longing, it seemed the limits of Natalia's experience were catching up with her.
Olivia backed off for a moment, her free hand rising to caress Natalia's cheek. "Sweetheart, look at me."
Natalia took a shallow breath and opened her eyes. It took them a moment to focus.
"Just relax," Olivia whispered, kissing her temple. "Do what feels good."
She stroked her fingertips along the sides of Natalia's face, waiting for Natalia to open her eyes again and really look at her, and then other hand went back to what it had been doing, finding the right angle, the right pressure. Natalia tensed again, but then suddenly she was surrendering to it, her body surging against Olivia's while her hands clung tightly to Olivia's shoulders.
It wasn't much, as such things go. A handful of seconds, fifteen at most. And yet it was without question the most profoundly satisfying fifteen seconds of Olivia's existence to date. She pressed a kiss to Natalia's lips, felt Natalia respond weakly at first, then strong, as the last of the tremors shook through her. She nestled her face into the crook of Olivia's neck, a light sheen of sweat covering her body, while she slowly came down. Olivia stroked Natalia's back, her touch about comfort and safety now, nothing more.
"Okay?" Olivia asked softly after several minutes had passed.
Natalia nodded her head, her arm tightening around Olivia's waist. "More than okay."
"I'm glad." Olivia started to reach for the sheet, intending to pull it atop them. "Why don't you just —"
"Nuh uh." Natalia pushed herself up on one elbow, giving Olivia a stern look. "Just what do you think you're doing?"
"Letting you get some sleep."
"Oh, no no no. I have Olivia Spencer naked in my bed for the first time ever. Do you really think I'm just going to roll over and go to sleep?"
"Well I don't know about the rolling over part, I was thinking you could just stay curled up like you are and —"
"Hey." Natalia pointed a finger at Olivia's chest. "You, stop."
"Whoo." Olivia tried to keep a straight face. "Yes, tiger, I mean, ma'am, I mean..."
Natalia tipped her head to the side and narrowed her eyes. "You're not going to argue with me any more, are you?"
"Well, only if it means you'll keep going all spitfire on my ass."
Natalia put a hand in the middle of Olivia's chest and pushed her back into the mattress. She leaned over her, their faces only inches apart, and whispered, "Would you hush."
And then Natalia was kissing her, and Olivia forgot how to speak.
It was much later than it should have been when they finally turned the lamp out and settled in for some sleep. They'd put their pajamas back on, a concession to the very real possibility that Emma would burst into their room early in the morning, clamoring for a chance to go feed the ducks. Bedroom locks were all well and good at midnight, but not during hours when Jellybean would be on the prowl. It would only get worse, Olivia realized, when the baby came. There would be baby monitors and diaper changes and midnight feedings and sleepless nights galore. The bed was a great bed — she'd helped pick it our herself, as she recalled— but they needed to get a chair of some sort in here for Natalia to sit in when she was nursing. Maybe a big comfy chair, or a love seat of some sort, so they could curl up together. It would be winter after all, and —
"Stop that," she heard from the warm weight spooned in front of her.
"Stop what?" she asked.
"Stop thinking so loud. It's keeping me awake."
"Sorry. I was just —" Olivia brushed Natalia's hair away from her neck, planting a kiss there. "Shopping for furniture."
Natalia twisted her head around, meeting Olivia's gaze. "Augment tomorrow. Sleep tonight."
"That sounds like an advertisement for a bad plastic surgeon."
Natalia giggled and settled back into place. "The alarm goes off at six, you know."
"I know." Olivia rolled her eyes, mentally bidding a reluctant farewell to the concept of sleeping in. "Next summer, after the baby is old enough, I want to take you somewhere."
"Anywhere somewhere? Or somewhere specific?"
"I don't know." Olivia let her mind wander. "Maybe Hawaii. Or the Greek Isles. You'd look good in a toga."
"Do they still wear togas in Greece?"
"I'm sure we could find one." Olivia pressed her hand to Natalia's baby bump. "We should have that though. A real honeymoon."
"Olivia." Natalia turned again, this time raising up on one elbow. She lifted her free hand and traced it over Olivia's face, smiling when Olivia caught her hand and pressed a kiss to her fingertips. "I would love to go away with you somewhere. But..."
"But what?" Olivia asked.
Natalia's face creased in a beatific smile, and this time there was no mystery in it whatsoever - just love, and light, and her. She gestured around the room, then pressed her hand to Olivia's chest and said, "This is our honeymoon."
Olivia grinned back at her, barely able to keep the tears out of her voice. "Smart. How'd I end up with someone so smart?"
"You're really lucky."
Olivia leaned forward, pressing her lips to Natalia's in a soft kiss. She clasped Natalia's hand between her own, pressing it to the center of her chest, and whispered, "I really am."