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Torey

altfic in passion_perfect

Life and Breath 5/?

Title: Life and Breath
Author: Pink Rabbit Productions
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia/Natalia
Part:5
Date: 28, June, 2009
Rating: Personally, I'd call it an R, but some might consider it NC-17 at some point.
Disclaimer: The characters and situations belong to other folks far wealthier, more important (or at least with better lawyers), and hopefully more charitable and kinder than I. They include, but are not necessarily limited to CBS, Proctor and Gamble, and Telenext. The actual arrangement of words, however, remains my own as do any original characters. Meanwhile, there is likely to be all female romantic and sexual activity ahead, so if this is likely to get you, me, or anybody else arrested should you take a gander, please move along. Also, if you find that sort of thing offensive, you really probably shouldn't hang around anyplace I'm posting. Just sayin'....
Archiving: The Pink Rabbit Consortium
Spoilers: Some early scenes definitely, plus anything through the spa trip is fair game.
Timeline: Unlike some folks, I don't have an exact scene where this one takes off. However, it's definitely set after the spa trip, but before Rafe's release from the halfway house.
Earlier Parts: | Part 1 (Prologue) | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |


Life and Breath
by Pink Rabbit Productions
Part 5/?


Her vision starting to blur from the concentration required to stare at page after page of facts and figures when all she really wanted to study was the graceful curves of the woman hard at work on the other side of the room, Olivia slowly massaged the outer curve of one eyebrow where a headache threatened to gather. It didn't help any that the only thing lying between her and the object of her interest was a large, oh-so-comfortable looking bed.

Which brought up a dozen mental images of all the things they could do to pass the time.

As if hoping to drive both the headache and the stress-inducing fantasies out of her head through sheer force, she intensified the pressure against her brow, rubbing in slow circles.

It didn't help a bit.

Exhaling a soft sigh, Natalia shifted in her chair, stretching out stiff muscles, the soft sound drawing green eyes to the length of lean leg and shapely hip and thigh. Perfectly smooth, lightly tanned skin overlaid taut muscle that shifted and played with every tired stretch, each graceful movement igniting the profound desire to trace the rises and hollows and explore the way one muscle led into the next.

Damn. For the first time in her life, Olivia understood the phrase, 'Legs that went all the way to the top,' and her hands itched to make the journey.

The fingers rubbing concentric circles at her temple pressed deeper, leaving faint dents in the skin. Not so much the desire to rid of herself of a headache now as the need to keep at least one hand busy. She fisted the other tightly in a desperate attempt at impulse control—not her strongest suit at the best of times— and disturbed the report spread across her desk.

As if sensing the close perusal or perhaps alerted by the soft rattle of papers, Natalia abruptly looked up from the report she was proofreading. Chocolate eyes swung Olivia's way and a frown sketched its way between arched brows as she noted the way Olivia was massaging her temple. "Headache?" she inquired worriedly as she pushed to her feet. The older woman was prone to them, particularly when stressed, and she'd seemed on edge all day.

"No," Olivia denied too quickly, then paused in response to the doubting look directed her way. "Okay, a little one...started after lunch," she admitted. She made a small waving motion to indicate her temple. "It's letting up though."

Frowning worriedly, Natalia stepped closer. "You should have taken a longer lunch. You work too much," she chastised lightly. "And you're pressing too hard. You'll make it worse." Gentle fingers brushed Olivia's hand aside, then smoothed silky hair off her forehead before taking up a slow massage along the line of her brow.

Magic fingers, Olivia thought with some satisfaction, and not the cheap, run-on-a-quarter kind once found in low-rent motels. More like those belonging to some gossamer-winged fairy made human for the night and destined to return back to her hidden world when the sun rose in the morning. Smiling at the image of Natalia with a skirt made of leaves–tiny leaves that turned transparent and barely covered a thing—she couldn't resist the urge to let her eyes slide closed and lean into the tender strokes.

"Better?" Natalia questioned after a long moment, her voice little more than a breath of air.

"Mm-hm." Olivia's head drooped a little further forward as the headache fled under the assault of Natalia's particular brand of sorcery. "Much better," she exhaled. If she could have, she would have purred.

A soft smile touched full lips as Natalia watched the tension literally drain out of Olivia. Her touch softened, no longer so much massaging as petting lightly, then stroking back from arched brows to comb lightly through burnished silk hair. "Claude's been playing with your hair again," she observed, noting the color was rapidly migrating back toward her natural brunette shade, though he'd also added some auburn highlights and softened the cut. Bringing her other hand up, she toyed with a few strands, enjoying the feel of fluttery silk against her fingertips.

"You know how he is," Olivia sighed, then flicked an eye open and peered lazily up at Natalia. "Please tell me you don't hate it," she whispered, tensing faintly.

Continuing the slow petting, Natalia laughed softly. "I think it's beautiful," she assured the other woman, startled by her self consciousness. That wasn't Olivia's usual style at all—at least not when anyone could see-- and it still caught her by surprise when the other woman allowed some hint of her insecurities to show. "Though even if I hated it, it would just grow out in a couple of months." Olivia's hair grew fast and furiously, allowing Claude to experiment at will with few consequences. In the time Natalia knew her, her hair had run from dark blonde to a brunette shade nearly as dark as Natalia's own chestnut locks, and from nearly halfway down her back to its present layered look that fell just past her shoulders. In the same period of time, Natalia had cut her bangs. Oh, and all the work outdoors on the farm had added a few sunstreaks. She smiled at the contrast between them. So different and so very complementary.

"Pretty smile," Olivia drawled, still watching her with that lazy, pleased, thoughtful expression. "Penny for the thoughts behind it."

A hint of a blush heating her cheeks, Natalia continued gently toying with Olivia's hair, fingers absently sifting through the fluttery strands, the gentle intimacy of the gesture sending a tiny thrill of awareness through her with every stroke. "Just thinking how different we are. It would drive me crazy to have a new hairstyle every few weeks...but you love it."

"It's Claude's scalp massages," Olivia sighed, leaning a little closer still as the thought went through her head that if she could innocently manage just a few more inches, her forehead would be resting against a slim hip. "They weaken my defenses and then he knows he can get away with murder."

The whispered admission tweaked a flash of Natalia's dream from the night before and before she could stop herself, slender fingers tightened reflexively on the silk threads caught in her grasp, not harsh or hurtful, but possessive, a silent mimicry of another moment conjured by her subconscious when deep in the dreamstate. As she realized what she'd done, she started to pull her hands back, but then Olivia exhaled a tiny, pleased sounding moan and leaned more deeply into the caresses. In an instant, the younger woman was lost.

Tactile pleasure threatening to overwhelm her senses, Natalia drew gentle tracks through the sleek strands, the pads of her fingers moving slowly, rubbing away tension and silently laying claim. In her chest, her heart throbbed with almost painful intensity while an inner core of tension wound itself tighter and tighter. Even though she'd admitted the truth and they were gingerly pursuing a relationship, most of the time she carefully ignored the feelings, the wants, and the dreams. They were so overwhelming, so very intense and real that she almost feared looking too closely lest she find herself like the child who stares too long at the sun.

But suddenly, in such a small, intimate moment, it was all laid bare before her, real and inescapable. Long, fine-boned hands stilled where they were stirred amid gossamer strands of native honey and dark rust and a delicate tremor worked its way through the standing woman.

"Nat...alia?" Olivia whispered, the tiny gust of air broken as jade-green eyes rose and were caught and held by a coffee-colored gaze. The younger woman's emotions were there on her face for anyone who cared to look.

Feeling her heart slam so hard against her breast bone it was a wonder they hadn't heard the sound of her sternum giving way, Natalia could only stare.

Then suddenly Olivia was standing, Natalia's hands still clinging to her hair, their bodies almost but not quite touching, something gently predatory gleaming in eyes that were the color of turbulent seas.

For just a moment, the younger woman fully expected to feel strong hands pressing her back and laying claim, to feel silken lips moving, wet and demanding, against her throat, her cheek...her mouth. And the kisses wouldn't stop there. They'd keep moving, sliding over every patch of exposed flesh, using the time while agile fingers freed buttons and zippers to leave their mark before finding and laying claim to newly exposed flesh, drawing damp heat and searing fire everywhere they touched.

Olivia felt a gentle tremor shake the hands tangled in her hair and saw the temptation reflected in chocolate eyes. It would be so easy to press things and take what they both wanted. Natalia might not feel ready emotionally, but her body was eager to respond. A moment's pressure and she'd crack.

So tempting.

They could just salve the want and worry about the consequences later.

Just like she'd done so many times before.

Not that many months ago she'd decided that if she ever fell in love again, she'd do everything the opposite of what she'd done before.

Damn.

Natalia saw the instant the wild light in green eyes dimmed, then Olivia straightened her shoulders and blew out a small gust of air. The younger woman didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. She knew Olivia would do more than just assuage the ache that tormented her nights and edged her days. She'd weave together a symphony of flesh and sweat and sweet pleading that would draw them both in and never let go.

And as alluring as all that was, Natalia wanted more. She wanted the softness and gentleness she knew the other woman was capable of, not just the predator on the prowl. And she wanted to be confident enough to be an equal in whatever happened and not simply there for the taking.

Consciously stepping back from the brink, Olivia shook her head gently and Natalia's hands fell away, sliding down the plane of her neck and shoulders to come to a rest on her upper chest.

Utterly mesmerized, Natalia watched the shift in expression as the older woman mastered the hungry, ambitious side of her nature. Knowing Olivia had done so for her without even being asked, sent a a delicate thrill of power through her to twine together with a sweeter strain of absolute trust. "Thank you," she said very softly.

The smile she got in return was soft and adoring and everything Natalia could have hoped for. "I promised not until you're ready," Olivia whispered, leaning forward until their foreheads just touched. "And I meant it...even if it's a little bit of a challenge to keep to it sometimes."

Curling her fingers into the lapels of Olivia's jacket, Natalia felt the ripple and tension of muscle under her hands. "For me too," she admitted raggedly.

"Is it really?" Olivia asked before she could call the words back. Sometimes—maybe even most times—she wasn't sure the other woman felt anything near the intensity she did, and it terrified her to actually ask. After all, what if the answer was no? An answer wasn't immediately forthcoming and she looked away, anywhere but at Natalia. She couldn't bear the thought of seeing dark eyes suddenly cloud with discomfort at the question. "I'm sorry," she exhaled sharply, the sound coming on a whoof of air as though she'd been gut-punched. "I shouldn't have—"

"Olivia." Soft fingers brushed the taller woman's cheek and jaw, bringing her head back around until their eyes met. Natalia's heart clenched as she glimpsed the terror reflected in jade eyes. A flash and then it was gone again as Olivia schooled her expression into one of perfect neutrality. It wasn't the first time the younger woman had caught sight of the deep well of insecurities the other woman kept carefully shielded from view. She was so good at projecting an aura of total confidence and control that it was easy to forget just how damaged the woman underneath really was. And when Natalia allowed herself to think about it, she knew that in keeping Olivia hanging, she wasn't exactly helping on that front. "I love you," she said softly, the words coming slow and with careful emphasis in an effort to imprint her seriousness on the other woman. She brushed the pad of her thumb along a high cheekbone. "Trust me," she pleaded.

"I do," Olivia demurred instantly, though her eyes remained too shadowed for Natalia to completely believe her. She caught the hand at her cheek, wrapping her fingers around Natalia's palm, and tugged it to her lips to press a soft kiss over her knuckles. "I trust you," she repeated.

She sounded so sincere, but it seemed to Natalia that the clouds never completely cleared from her expression, and she released her loose hold on slim fingers the moment her lips broke contact, then stepped back and turned away. Her shoulders remained stiff with tension, and she quickly reached for one of the papers splayed across her desk, her tone becoming more business-like. Maybe the need to master temptation and desire, but maybe something else. "I should probably get back to reading this...make sure I've gone through it all before any calls come in."

Feeling a wall come up between them, Natalia took a half step forward, her expression worried. "Olivia," she said very softly. Anything else she might have said was cut short by the sound of a key-card unlocking the door.

"Mom!" Emma Spencer-Spaulding, pure energy given life, voice, and the sweetest and most manipulative of smiles rocketed into the room, her harried and frequently left in the dust nanny, Jane, several paces behind.

Olivia pivoted and dropped to a crouch just in time to receive a crashing hug from her daughter. "Hey, Jellybean," she laughed, her mouth tipped up in a happy grin, any disappointments or hurts related to the moments before her daughter had arrived instantly pushed aside or forgotten.

"Hi, Natalia," the girl said cheerfully as she swung an arm around her mother's neck.

"Hey there, Em." Natalia stepped closer, a happy smile touching her mouth and lighting her eyes as she watched the ease with which Olivia stood, lifting her daughter into her arms as she moved. Not that many months before she couldn't have even considered picking up her child that way and the sight was a joy to behold.

Holding onto her mother's neck, Emma launched into an animated and somewhat convoluted story of the various excitements that had dominated her school day. And amazingly, Olivia Spencer, who could be cold to the point of brusque with most adults and had the patience of a hyperactive two-year old, was grinning and listening attentively to every word.

Just like she always did when her daughter spoke.

Even in the darkest days, one foot in the grave, her personal life coming apart, Olivia had made Emma her priority, and in spite of the bitterness between them, Natalia had found herself touched when she saw them together. Knowing that Olivia was after her husband, she'd wanted to think her sweetness with her daughter was just an act, but Emma was too genuinely happy and trusting, and Olivia too genuinely undone by her love for her daughter.

As she watched the two, she could almost locate the exact moment she'd started to fall. Her own actions had cost Olivia a heart transplant and she'd been torn by guilt which the older woman had mercilessly prodded with sneering sarcasm that barely papered over her raging fear and anger. Then Emma had arrived, and Olivia had become a different person. Still hurt and frightened, but also gentle and caring. And when it was Natalia who picked up the child and spun her around in her weakened mother's place, she'd encouraged the gesture for her daughter's sake, but at the same time her eyes had been so full of loss that it still hurt the younger woman to remember.

The ogre had possessed a heart as large and soft as any in the kingdom. She just kept it locked behind very high walls when it came to anyone other than her daughters.

She was yanked out of the dark memories by a happy giggle. As suddenly as it had washed over her, the past fell away again as Natalia was drawn into another of Emma's accounts of the day's events–-some silly story about a substitute teacher, an escaped guinea pig, an overstuffed storage closet and a great deal of ensuing havoc. Probably the details were true enough, but Emma had her mother's knack for embellishment, and quickly had both adults laughing.

Her mouth tipped up in an indulgent smile, it felt utterly natural to Natalia when she flowed forward and enfolded both mother and child in her encompassing hold.

They were her family and she wanted them back home. Maybe not permanently just yet, but home all the same.

Which was why, as Emma finished her story, Natalia reached out and tucked a stray lock of hair behind the girl's ear, her gaze on the child, though her focus was on the woman at the edge of her peripheral vision. "Sounds like you had quite a day," she said, smiling broadly at Emma's vehement nod. "Think you still have enough energy for a little more fun today?"

Easy question. Emma was always up for more fun and her head bobbed vigorously in approval of the idea.

Natalia flicked a quick glance at Olivia whose brows had drawn into the faintest of frowns. Curiosity, the younger woman decided, not disapproval. "Well," she began a little breathlessly, "since it's Friday, and we haven't done a movie night in awhile, I was wondering if you and your mom would like to come over to the farmhouse and do pizza and a couple of DVDs and then spend the night...and have a fancy pancake breakfast tomorrow morning?"

That wasn't an offer that required any time for consideration. "Mom, can we?" Emma turned a hopeful look her mother's way.

A wry smile curved full lips and Olivia nodded. "On the condition that you get your homework done before we go."

Emma nodded quickly. With the start of summer only a few days away, it wasn't like it was a big deal.

"Okay." Olivia lowered her daughter back to the floor. "Better get to work then," she said as she tucked a tender hand under the girl's chin. She glanced at Jane where she was standing off the side, watching the scene with a faint smile. Another one who, like the hotel staff, had probably figured some things out, she realized abruptly as she noted the faraway, isn't-that-romantic look in the young woman's eyes. Suddenly Jane straightened herself and stepped forward to rest her hand on a narrow shoulder.

"I'll make sure she gets it done," she assured her employer, which probably would have had more effect if Olivia weren't well aware which of the two had all the power in the relationship. And it wasn't Jane.

"Thank you." She ruffled her daughter's hair, an affectionate smile still on her mouth as the two hurried out on their way to Emma's room. After the door had closed in their wake, she turned a knowing look on the woman watching her closely. "Feel safer knowing there'll be a chaperon along?" she questioned.

Natalia didn't deny the gently made charge. "It's not just that," she explained, reaching out to stroke a high cheekbone. "I want our lives back...not just..." she paused, the words momentarily drying up. Finally, she took a deep breath and let it out in a quick gust, then continued, "...not just us, but everything...our family...you, me, Emma...the fun and silliness and just being together." She swallowed hard, forcing down a sudden bout of nervousness brought about by Olivia's unreadable expression. "I miss...us." Her gaze slid away, focusing on anything but the other woman. Her attention snapped back as a gentle hand fitted itself along the line of her cheek.

"I do too," Olivia said very softly. Her thumb ran slow circles over the gentle swell of Natalia's cheekbone, each brushing caress sending the smaller woman's pulse into overdrive. "Thank you for inviting us."

"It was my pleasure," Natalia responded honestly.

Taking a deep breath, Olivia tamped down the temptation to say so much more, afraid that if she started talking, she wouldn't be able to stop. And poor Natalia would probably flee in stark terror. She glanced over at the papers still waiting for her and hooked a thumb in their direction. "I should probably get back to that," she said on a regretful note.

Natalia just nodded.

* * * * * *

Comments

I love the interaction between Olivia and Emma. So sweet!

Nicely done!
That relationship is definitely a fun one to write. Glad you like. :)

Thanks for writing.
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