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A/N: Alrighty, peeps, we're getting to the good stuff now! From here on out, we're veering off into Muse's crazy imagination. I hope you all are buckled up nice and tight!

CHAPTER 7

Emma was unusually quiet in the back seat as Olivia turned down the street that would take them to Emma’s school. Olivia glanced in the rearview mirror and saw her daughter staring out the window looking wistfully at the road they’d just turned away from – the road that led to the farmhouse. Sighing and going against her better judgment, Olivia made a decision.



“Hey, Jellybean, how would you like to see Natalia?”

The young girl immediately perked up in the back seat. “Really?”

Olivia shrugged. “Sure, why not? You’ve been moping. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

Emma quirked her mouth to the side in gesture she picked up from Natalia. “I’m not the only one.” She weighed her words before saying them. Someone had to get things back on track for her mom and Natalia. “Maybe you should just ask her out, Mom.”

The car swerved slightly from Olivia being taken by surprise. “What?”

“It’s okay, Mom. I know. You’ve been miserable without her. We both have.” Emma slumped in her seat at the depressing thought, and she could see her mom ready to make excuses.

“It’s not that easy though, Bean.”

Emma grumbled, “It could be if you let it.”

Olivia pulled into the line-up at the school waiting to get to the front where Emma could get out safely. She could tell that she really needed to have a long talk with Emma, but now wasn’t the time. As she pulled to the drop off spot, she parked the car and turned in her seat. She reached for Emma’s hand. “Baby, when you get home, we’ll talk more about this. In the meantime, I’ll ask Jane to drop you off at Natalia’s after school. How about that?”

Emma smiled happily, glad to have the victory in the matter, even if it was only a small one. “Thanks, Mom! I love you.” She leaned forward and kissed her mom on the cheek before getting out of the car and running to the front door of the school.

A honk behind her got Olivia moving and she drove off before seeing Emma go inside. She waved her hand out the window at the impatient person behind her. “Yeah, yeah! Bite me!”

In the time it had taken Olivia to get from the school to the Beacon, she had called Jane to make sure she could drop Emma off and then pick her up from the farmhouse before bringing her home for the evening. When she got to work, she sent a quick text to Natalia making sure it would be okay for Emma to come by. She could have called and probably should have, but talking to Natalia was too hard after yesterday. Her emotions over the other woman were still too raw and she could swear that she could still feel Natalia’s soft lips on hers.

She half-sighed, half-growled, trying to pull her scattered feelings together before walking through the hotel lobby. Giving a curt nod to the girl at the front desk, Olivia quickly made her way to her office. Fortunately, she was early enough that she’d beat Kiera into work, so she could disappear for a little while to pull it together.

Closing the heavy wooden door behind her, Olivia leaned back and took a deep breath. It was stupid crazy how Natalia made her feel and she wasn’t even there. She shook her head, determined to forget about Natalia for a little while, and pushed away from the door. She walked around her desk to sit down and get to work, but her attention was drawn to a large manila envelope on her desk. It wasn’t there when she left yesterday and Kiera wasn’t in yet.

“Huh, what’s this?” She picked it up and flipped it over. There was no writing on it so she opened it. Inside was a simple note: Come to Roof. Very Important.

When she opened the door to the roof, she was greeted by an elaborately decorated table with a variety of juices, breakfast foods, and flowers. Olivia looked around but didn’t see anyone. “Hello?”

No one needed to tell her who had done this. In her heart, she knew and the emotions from yesterday and all the previous days came flooding back.

“Hi!” As if conjured from a dream, Natalia came up behind her. Olivia spun around to gaze at Natalia’s smiling face as she slowly walked forward. “I know two things about you. One, you never make time to eat breakfast at home, and two, you love to eat outside. Here you go.”


Posted Image

Olivia couldn’t help it. She was charmed by Natalia’s incessant wooing of her. Quickly, she looked down trying to hide a blush that crept to her cheeks. Natalia sauntered past her, brushing her hand over Olivia’s as she passed, and Olivia couldn’t deny the leap that her heart took at the simple touch.

She turned to look at Natalia. “Thank you for this. But…I don’t think I can do this…now.”

Natalia tilted her head, a small smile causing her dimples to barely show. “Not now, no. But soon.” She bit her lip and tried not to think too hard about how beautiful Olivia looked in the morning light. “Can we sit though? I need to tell you something, and it’s really important.”

Olivia sighed and rubbed at her temples. An ache was settling behind her eyes, and she wasn’t sure if she could deal with this right now. “I’m not really up for re-hashing everything. I have a lot of work to do anyway.”

“This isn’t re-hashing, Olivia. This is the truth.” She gestured to the chair, urging Olivia to take a seat, as she did the same opposite her. Natalia waited until the older woman was seated. She reached for the carafe of orange juice and poured Olivia some, then herself, knowing it was Olivia’s favorite. “So, what would you like? There’s pancakes, homemade of course. Low-fat bacon. Fruit.”

Shaking her head, Olivia raised her hand to stop the brunette from talking. “Please. Natalia. Just tell me what you want to tell me.”

Accepting the rebuff, Natalia took a deep breath and decided to jump in heart first. She had to have faith that Olivia could accept this. “First, I want to say that I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time, but there are so many reasons why I couldn’t, which I’ll get to. I hope. Anyway, I tried to tell you the other day. Wrote you a note in the cookies and everything, but…well, we know how that went. So, I decided that I would take the braver approach and tell you, face-to-face.”

Olivia quirked her eyebrow. “And?”

“I lied,” Natalia blurted then watched as Olivia’s face turned to stone. “I lied, yes, about everything. Except loving you. That, Olivia, was completely true. Who I am? Where I come from? Being pregnant and losing the baby?”

Olivia nodded before pushing away from the table, her mind already made up and her heart unable to take any more pain. “Figures. Don’t waste your breath, Natalia.”

As soon as Olivia turned away, Natalia was there in front of her. “What the…? How did you…?”

Natalia put her hands up and begged Olivia to hear her, “Please, don’t go. Just…let me explain.” She pushed forward with what she needed to say even though Olivia rolled her head in disbelief. “I work for the government. It’s a secret agency, more secret than the CIA.”

“Yet, you’re telling me about it. Not very secret,” Olivia mocked.

Sighing, Natalia brushed her hair back. “And that’s why I couldn’t tell you.”

“Right.” Olivia stepped aside to leave but Natalia gripped her wrists suddenly. Her attempts to pull free were futile as Natalia held her in place. Panic and fear set in as Natalia held her. “What the fuck? Natalia, let me go!”

Seeing the frightened look in Olivia’s eyes, Natalia suddenly let go. “Oh God, Olivia. I’m sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I? Please tell me I didn’t.” Maybe what Rafe had said was true. Maybe Olivia and Emma would be safer without her around.

Olivia stepped cautiously back, ready to run if she needed to. She wasn’t sure what was going on, but she knew she didn’t like it.

“Emma?” Natalia asked, wondering if she’d completely destroyed any hope of winning her family back.

With the space between them a good ten feet, Olivia felt safe enough to be strike out at the other woman. “Like hell!”

When the door slammed closed behind Olivia, Natalia slumped to the ground, tears streaming down her face. “No! Please, no.”

***

Olivia paced the Beacon lobby tapping her phone anxiously as she checked and re-checked for a text, a call, anything from Jane. After the debacle this morning with Natalia, Olivia called the babysitter to let her know that she could take Emma to the park instead. Jane was due back almost an hour ago and all of Olivia’s texts and calls were going unanswered. The sun was dropping in the sky and it wouldn’t be long before darkness set in.

Finally, unable to stand it any longer, Olivia flew out the door and jumped in her car. On the way to the park, she called Phillip to make sure Emma wasn’t with him. She tried to stay calm but he could hear the panic in her voice.

“Don’t do anything crazy, Olivia. I’m on my way.” With a click, he was gone.

Olivia dropped the phone on the seat next to her and swung into a parking space in front of the playground. It was completely deserted.

“Shit!” Panic turned to terror as she jumped out of the car and ran the perimeter of the playground calling Emma’s name.

Jane’s car was nowhere in sight.

“Where the hell are you?” Tears streamed down her face as she began to shake uncontrollably.

***

Keeping herself busy was how she handled stress. Natalia dumped the bucket of dirty water at her feet out the back door. The kitchen floor was so clean you could eat off of it. When she looked up, Rafe was running at full speed towards her.

“Where have you been?” He asked frantically.

“What?”

He pushed her inside the door. When he closed it behind them, he peeked out again before closing the curtain back. “I’ve called you over and over again for the last hour! Haven’t you gotten any of your messages?”

Natalia shook her head and raised a hand for him to slow down. “I was cleaning and had my phone off. I had a rough morning. Anyway, what’s going on?”

He ran his hands through his thick mass of hair and then gestured with one toward the table where he saw Natalia’s phone sitting. “See for yourself.”

Dropping the bucket, she walked to the table and picked up her phone. She waited for it to turn on and when she saw the messages her heart sank. “No.”

“This is the price you pay for talking. You knew the consequences for telling our secret,” Rafe spoke in a monotone the words he’d memorized from his identical text message. Natalia spun to look at him. He shook his head at his friend. “You told her, didn’t you?”

Natalia held her phone out in the palm of her hand, as if doing so would conjure an answer or some kind of magic. The shock still hadn’t truly sank in yet. “I tried. I almost did, but she wouldn’t let me finish. I held her, tried to keep her from leaving.” She paused for a long moment. “I think she’s suspicious.” Then something terrifying occurred to Natalia and she jerked her head up, fear was written all over her face. “What did they do to her?”

Rafe swallowed. “Not her…Emma.”


Date: 2012-10-12 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bsofthewest.livejournal.com
Worse than the CIA? Now Emma's missing...thanks for that!

Date: 2012-10-13 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanama31.livejournal.com
omg not emma. update soon plz this is getting to good

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