Green Eyed Monster

Hasta Luego, Lucas

ONCE at the hospital, the first thing Olivia did was to immediately ask to talk to the medical staff in order to gather as much information as possible about the incident. Before entering Peter's convalescence room, she needed to know what exactly had happened, and to hear it from an objective source.

-Good evening. Special Agent Olivia Dunham.

-Good evening, Agent Dunham, I am hospital administrator Matthew Bridges-a kind elderly man stood up from the chair and cordially shook her hand. –Please, have a seat.

Olivia reluctantly sat in front of him and nervously cracked her knuckles. She didn't come here to chit chat.

-Please, tell me everything you can about the incident-she stated decidedly.

-I will have to disappoint you, Agent Dunham… I, for one, do not have any information about what had transpired… However, I did some investigating among the medical staff that was in charge of Mr. Bishop's ward… I have spoken with the nurse who was tending to Mr. Bishop in room 419, Ms. Maya Stone. She will be here in a minute.

Olivia's fingers drummed impatiently on the desk and Mr. Bridges resumed his speech.

-I understand that Mr. Bishop is your colleague? He works for the Bureau?

-No, actually, he is a civilian consultant for the Department of Homeland Security. Not a full-fledged agent. He and his father collaborate with the Bureau whenever their assistance is required.

-What kind of assistance, if I may ask?

-Scientific experimentation and laboratory research-Olivia kept it brief. –Can you tell me what exactly has Mr. Bishop done, while we are waiting?

-Oh, the material damage is negligible. One broken mirror and that is all.

-I assure you that FBI will take care of all the expenses…

-Don't fret, agent. It's not the money I'm worried about. It's our patient's destructive behavior. It eventually harms the hospital reputation… Seeing how we weren't able to vigil and control him…

-What other damage were you talking about earlier?

-On Wednesday afternoon, at lunch time, Mr. Bishop refused his meal and sent the scalding hot plate of chicken soup over our nurse's hands, causing boils to appear on her skin. Afterwards, he violently grabbed her lab coat and shook her hard. Those are her words. We didn't call you then, since exactly one hour after the incident, Mr. Bishop was found in his bed with an extremely high fever, so the medical staff figured that his disruptive demeanor was due to the deterioration of his medical condition.

-He… He had a fever?-Olivia asked in a tentative, mild, yet anxious voice.

-Yes, and a high one at that, followed by hallucinations and delusions. He was practically almost unconscious during three days. When he resurfaced, according to the testimony of the nurse, Mr. Bishop appeared to be much better and more lucid.

Olivia almost inaudibly sighed with relief and mentally chastised herself for not being there for him. No matter what his decision about the Fringe division was, she was his friend. I should've been there. Her eyebrows shot up and her forehead wrinkled in concern.

-What happened after that?

-Doctors and nurses at his ward heard shouts from the men's restroom tonight. When they entered, Mr. Bishop was lying on the floor, out cold, bleeding, and covered with shattered glass. It appeared that the wounds were self-inflicted. He practically tore up his own bandages.

Olivia shook her head several times incredulously, forcing herself to stay calm but her eyes widened in distress.

-There was also a very distinct smell of alcohol coming from his body. We assumed that the reason for Mr. Bishop's aggressive actions was his inebriated state.

She frowned and clenched her fists. I should've known.

-Later on, after having searched his room, we found two whisky bottles; one from…-he cleared his throat uncomfortably.-From my private stash, and another from… One of the other patients.

-I am sorry?-she inquired angrily. –Are you suggesting that the convalescents here at the hospital are actually allowed to have their own personal… Alcohol hide-aways?

-That is exactly the thing I wanted to talk to you about, Agent Dunham… I was wondering if we could reach some sort of agreement… You see… We are not going to press charges or bring up the Bureau in negative context… If you consent not to mention this to anyone… We are currently revising all our patients' rooms for non-permitted… Beverages… And Mr. Bishop, apparently, was not the only case… I am very personally invested in this task and I can assure you we shall be more vigilant from now on. Now what do you say?-he gave her a sweet smile.

-It is not up to me, Mr. Bridges-Olivia glared at him disapprovingly. –But I shall pass the word on to my supervisor anyway.

-I would be very grateful to you if you did that. Very grateful indeed.

A hesitant knock on the door interrupted their strained conversation. Mr. Bridges stood up gingerly, relieved, rubbing his hands.

-Ah!-he said, jovially. –That must be Ms. Stone. And so it is!-Mr. Bridges added, seeing a young, redheaded attractive girl standing nervously on the other side of the door. –Do come in, Ms. Stone. Special Agent Dunham here would like to ask you some questions.

Olivia immediately recognized comely brown-eyed nurse whom she'd seen during her first and only visit to Peter, the day he was brought in. She seemed nice. The girl was in her twenties, she had a round, pleasant face and a kind smile. She seems awfully fidgety for some reason-Olivia thought suspiciously.

-Hello, Ms. Stone… Maya? May I call you Maya?-Olivia started gently, not wanting to frighten the nurse even more. It was obvious she'd never been interrogated before.

When Maya nodded, Olivia resumed her speech.–I was wondering if I might ask you some questions about the events that had transpired here recently, and that were related to my work colleague, Mr. Peter Bishop. Can you tell me, firstly, about the time he physically assaulted you? When did that happen? And why do you think it happened? Please answer truthfully. I am aware you had nothing to do with this, but I just need to know all the facts since I am evaluating my colleague's psychical condition. He has been very much of use to the Bureau lately and we have to find out what exactly we're dealing with here, in order to know which approach we're going to take from now on.

Maya swallowed and started speaking, slowly, but apprehensively.

-That particular incident happened on Wednesday afternoon. It was lunch time. Mr. Bishop had had a visit from Mrs. Rachel… Dunham…-Maya stopped for a second thinking about the reason why would the FBI agent and the woman who visited Peter have the same last name, but then she decided not to dwell on it and to stick to her story. –And her daughter Ella Blake.

Olivia said nothing. She merely gave her a slight approving nod, thus urging Maya to go on with what she was saying. She already knew that part. Maybe that is why Rach and Ella didn't stay for long. Peter was probably showing some signs of nervousness, or… Fever symptoms… So he behaved strangely and Rachel decided to leave with Ella. Maybe they even argued about something. Olivia made a mental note to ask Rachel about that when she got home that night.

-Mr. Bishop had been complaining about the quality of hospital food before… So I didn't give it much thought when he told me he wouldn't be having his lunch… However, doctor strictly ordered me to make him to, since he had already lost some weight and it was of importance that he ate… So he suddenly became furious…

-Just like that?

-Yes, he told me to take the food away and then, when I insisted again, he… Pushed the plate away himself and so the soup ended up on my hands… I am sure it wasn't intentional-Maya said. –I got burnt because the liquid was hot but it is not entirely Mr. Bishop's fault. I should've recognized the fever symptoms… His eyes were widened, his forehead sweaty… He was experiencing slight body tremors… But I didn't relate it to the fever because just one hour before that, I talked to him and he appeared to be fine. When I came back to his room, he was already lying on the bed, unconscious, with the high temperature. So the doctor decided that his behavior was strictly the consequence of his illness and we didn't dwell on it any further. We didn't know it might take place again.

-OK-Olivia rubbed her temples tiredly. Maya didn't tell her anything new. She'd already heard it all from Mr. Bridges, who was now standing by the window, looking outside, without interfering in the conversation.

–What can you tell me about this evening in particular? Have you visited him tonight? Before the incident, I mean? And do you happen to know how he got his hands on the whisky bottles?

Maya looked at her feet. Olivia could've sworn the girl blushed. Mr. Bridges, however, was the one to speak next.

-As far as the alcohol is concerned… Mr. Bishop confessed everything after he came to.

-What exactly did he confess?

-He said, and I quote: "I just wanted to have some fun" and he admitted having sneaked out of the convalescence room and having stolen the bottles himself.

-But how could he possibly know where they were?

-Apparently, he overheard the nurses-Mr. Bridges flashed an angry glare in Maya's direction-"giggling about hospital administrator's secret alcohol hide-away" and he already knew where my office was. The other patient, Jim Swanson, was a young scientist with pneumonia, from the room 421, just across the hall. During one week, while Mr. Bishop's father, Walter Bishop, was here, Jim Swanson would frequently enter their room. Swanson admired older Bishop's work. Mr. Peter Bishop stated that Jim would often talk about his clandestine whisky stockpile. The rest was "a piece of cake" according to his words.

-When did you last see Mr. Bishop?-Olivia turned to Maya again.

-Twenty minutes before the incident-the girl muttered. –I was doing a regular evening check-up on the ward. He had just had his dinner.

-And did he seem drunk to you?

-No… -Maya swallowed. –He looked perfectly sober. He was in a good mood too. He started to seem happier ever since his father began visiting him and bringing him home-made food.

Olivia looked surprised, but Mr. Bridges hurried to explain:

-We made an exception in his case. It was in his best interest… Your supervisor, Mr. Broyles, told me he needed Mr. Bishop to recover as soon as possible. But I assure you, all the food Mr. Walter Bishop brought in was carefully inspected before it was passed on to Mr. Peter Bishop. His father wasn't the one sending him alcohol. I believe Mr. Bishop is not lying when he says that he… Procured it on his own. He does seem… As a resourceful type of person.

Olivia chose to ignore that remark on purpose.

-I only have one last question for you, Maya. Did you see Mr. Bishop leaving his room?

-No. No, I didn't. At the time he left for the men's restroom, I was in a room 422.

-That is all. You may go.

-Ms. Stone?-Mr. Bridges stopped Maya just before she went out the door.

-Yes, Mr. Bridges?

-As a hospital administrator, it is my duty to inform you that you are going to be transferred to a different ward, the one with the comatose patients. We are not taking any more chances. You have made a grievous mistake by letting something like this happen on your watch, and neglected your duty by not being more careful and observant about your patient. This is the only thing we can do so that it doesn't happen again. You are lucky that it's obvious from your and Mr. Bishop's statements that you weren't involved in the incident; otherwise, you would've instantly been fired. Consider yourself warned. We shall be keeping a close eye on you from now on.

She merely nodded, flushed.

-Thank you for giving me another opportunity, ser. I assure you I won't let you down.

-Now… Get your things from the locker, go home and rest. You'll start working the morning shift tomorrow, on the sixth floor.

-Good night, Mr. Bridges. Good night, agent Dunham.

-Good night-Olivia replied absently and then she turned to the hospital administrator.

-May I speak to Mr. Bishop?

-I believe he is sound asleep by now. The nurse removed all the glass from his torso and legs, and placed new bandages on his stomach instead of the old ones he forcefully removed. Of course, you may see him if you desire so, but I highly doubt you'll be able to talk to him.

-I shall go to his room anyway. I'll try to keep it brief and depart soon. Thank you for your time, and for your assistance, Mr. Bridges.

-It's been my pleasure.

PETER groaned and shifted in his bed. His head was like buzzing like a beehive. He was trying to fall asleep, but without success. He hurt everywhere. His mind was still foggy from the whisky but he was just enough sober to realize how madly, how foolishly he had behaved.It's curious how I always come to that conclusion right after the deed is done.

A sudden streak of light struck him in the eyes as the door opened and he saw Maya standing in the door frame. Peter tried to sit upright but she quickly reached his bed and pushed him back down.

-You need to rest-she said softly. –How are you feeling?-her worried eyes scanned his injuries.

-Suffice to say… Worse than the first day I got here.

-Why did you do all that, Peter?

He stubbornly averted his gaze.

-Ok, I'm sorry, I understand. You had your own reasons…-she shifted, uncomfortably, deciding not to insist. –I just came here to say goodbye to you.

-Oh?-he looked at her inquisitively.

-Mr. Bridges has just told me I am to be transferred to the sixth floor ward. I'm lucky I wasn't fired. Thank you for sticking up for me. I… I didn't expect that, I was so surprised when he said that you told him you stole the bottles.

-No sweat, doll. I was least that I could do. I didn't want you to land in trouble because of me. After all, I was the one with the sudden alcohol craving, remember?

Maya gently caressed his cheek.

-Just… Don't endanger your recovery again. Promise me that.

-I promise-he smiled. –So, I guess this is it, then-Peter was feeling a bit melancholic.

-Take care, Peter-Maya was already at the door when she turned around and whispered. –I hope that special girl realizes how much you love her.

After she left, Peter placed his tired head back on the soft pillow and started counting cheese sandwiches. In his half-dream, Walter was standing in the lab, making them, while Peter was lying with Gene, in the hay, and whenever one of the sandwiches was ready, Peter would open up his mouth and Walter would throw it right inside… The scene was cartoonish-like and Peter happily sank into catnap thinking about his father…

OLIVIA stood in front of the room 419, gathering her strength. She was extremely nervous. She hadn't seen Peter for two weeks and she didn't know what to expect.

Maybe he's sleeping, so… I'll just come in to check up on him for a moment and then leave. Yes. That's what I'll do. I don't have to talk to him. I've already gathered enough information for the report I have to give to Broyles on Monday.

She carefully opened the door, ever so lightly, so as not to wake him up. Her eyes immediately fell on Peter, as drawn by some invisible force. He was lying in bed, sprawled, snoring lightly. She looked at him quietly while he slumbered and she smiled at his familiar figure. As her eyes were slowly accommodating to the semi-darkness that reigned in the room, it took all she had to stop herself from gasping loudly. It was as if different man was lying there in Peter's stead. He looked so thin… His hair and his beard were… Too long… His face seemed tortured. Olivia had never seen him like that before.

One of Peter's legs snuck out from under the sheets and she could clearly discern soft, fuzzy hair and the numerous fresh gashes on it, made by shattered mirror glass… Olivia felt an abrupt desire to approach him and to cover him better with the blanket. His sleeping form suddenly started twitching, and he quietly moaned several times. He is having a bad dream-Olivia thought sadly. Just as she turned away and tried to quietly head for the door, Peter Bishop's dark blue eyes flew open and looked straight at her. Olivia stopped dead in her tracks and crossed her arms, simply standing there, gazing at him without saying anything.

Peter's heart jumped into his throat as he took in her graceful silhouette, her soft, celestial features, her golden hair and her worried bright green eyes. Olivia was here. She was finally here. She found out what happened to him and she came. She cared about him. His face illuminated at the presence of his beautiful guardian angel. He wanted nothing else but to revel in her appearance. Peter felt a maddening need to touch her… To hug, to caress her, to tell her how much he missed her, how much he cared about her. And then his eyes fell on the alluring dark green dress she was wearing beneath her simple trench coat, and on an expensive emerald necklace around her neck and his blood boiled in anger. She was with him. She was on a date with him.

His fury got the best of Peter and everything he'd been meaning to tell her went out so wrong… Peter was bitter, he felt abandoned and hurt… So he wanted to hurt her as well. To make her feel at least a part, at least a tiny bit of desperation she drove him into.

Olivia took a tentative step forward, and gave him a small insecure smile.

-Peter…-she scolded herself for sounding so breathless.

-Now who might you be, young lady?

Olivia cringed at the cold, calculating, despising tone she discovered in his voice.

-Peter, cut it out. You know very well it's me-she replied cautiously. I don't want us to talk like this.

-My… My… As I live and breathe. If that isn't Special Agent Olivia Dunham… Long time no seen. To what do I owe this pleasure, sweetheart?

He's angry-she realized, and fear slowly crept up her spine. Olivia had never seen Peter like that before, except maybe when he was trying to spare Walter from talking with that dead lab assistant's mother, but this was a different matter entirely. But she most certainly wasn't going to give him the pleasure of having the upper hand in this conversation. His tone sounded so… Accusatory. I am the one who should be asking questions here-she thought angrily. She cleared her throat, still standing by the door. Somehow, Olivia didn't dare to come any closer.

-Broyles told me what you just did. I am here on his behalf. How could you be so reckless, Peter? I don't understand. You're jeopardizing the work of an entire Fringe division. Broyles was planning you outta here in five days and now you might need to stay for a week longer. They are even considering assigning the guard to stand twenty four hour vigilance in front of the door of this convalescence room.

-Well what can I say, sweetheart? I am a wanted man.-Peter replied tipsily. I should have guessed she didn't come just because she missed me. She probably hated it when Broyles called. There she was, enjoying with her beau, when duty called.

-Anything else? Got any more… Jokes?-she was furious. He's behaving like this is just a silly game.

-I have to admit I've ran out of jokes lately. But let me tell you what I do have…-he straightened up in the bed, reaching under his sheets, and pulling out a whisky bottle Maya hadn't drunk and which he had carefully hidden for later.-Peter took a good swig and the hideous headache he had subsided a little. It's easier to talk with her like this.

-Peter, where did you get that? How come you're…-Olivia was truly appalled.

-What do you know… I've been in here for so long that I even have my secret booze stash. Makes me feel like home. You know what Rick from Casablanca says: "The whole world is about three drinks behind… And that's the problem with everyone…. The people who never drink are afraid of revealing themselves."

-What has gotten into you, Peter? You drink, you behave like that…

-Well, well, I never thought I'd see the day. Special Agent Olivia Dunham lecturing me on drinking. Here's looking at you, kid-he toasted, never removing his murderous gaze from hers. She could see he had bags under his eyes and his hair was a mess.

-As for your answer, Olivia…Well, it's hard to be confined to a hospital bed while everyone else is out and about having fun… Wouldn't you agree?

Olivia ignored his venomous, prickly attacks because it was the only way she could deal with them.

-Stop drinking right now-her tone was mandatory.

-Sheesh. Fine, Mom. When did you become such a party breaker? Oh, let me guess. Olivia Dunham can go to the party, but we, mere mortals, aren't allowed to drink whenever we're pleased.

Olivia didn't know what to say to that. It seemed to her as if she were talking to a stranger. She didn't know this man, she had no idea how to approach him, how to proceed. Peter spoke first again.

-Why are you standing there at the door, sweetheart? Come on in, make yourself comfortable… Well, as comfortable as you can… It's not a Liberty Hotel but we'll manage… I'll be on my best behavior. Come closer… Don't be shy… I won't bite. Sit... Make yourself at home….

She sat warily on the edge of the old wooden chair beside his bed and her eyes widened as she sadly observed his injuries.

He knows about Lucas… Rachel must have told him. Is he… Is he jealous?-a strange thrill surged through her veins and she would almost flash a little smile if not for that horrendous strange expression on his familiar face.

-Is it true you're staying?-Olivia timidly placed her left hand over his, and caressed his stubble with her right one, tenderly, and daringly, trying to make him drop the bitter, cynical tone he'd been using during an entire conversation. She sensed him tremble a little.

But Peter was wounded too much by her long absence.

-What's it to you? You don't care about that, Olivia-he pushed her hands away.

-How can you say this to me? Peter, we've spend months working together. Of course I care.

–Oh, please. Olivia, let me ask you something. Why exactly are you here? As far as I can see, you wouldn't even have come if Broyles hadn't told you to. Why don't you just leave? Go back to the man who gave you that necklace. You've got all the information you need now. I got drunk, I made a mess. Boys will be boys. I cannot give you anything else. Not even the pleasantness of my company, as the case may be. Since I am feeling rather unpleasant. I also happen to look awful, as you might have noticed.

He licked his dry lips and then eyed her mockingly and appreciatively at the same time. Olivia felt uncomfortable under that lustful gaze.

-Unlike you…You look expensive… And not like yourself at all… Who knew special agent Olivia Dunham had it in her… I wish you'd dressed up like that especially for visiting me, but something's telling me you didn't. It matters not… If you are so decided to stick around, we might even have some fun. Want some?

He dangled in front of her face with the whisky bottle and she got a sudden urge to hit him. As her hand moved swiftly in the air, in order to take the bottle away from him and throw it in the trash, but Peter was faster. He grabbed both of her hands in the process and held them firmly in his grasp. His feverish eyes bore into hers and Olivia was suddenly terrified. She just sat there, paralyzed, and in shock, as he brought her face almost inches from his.

Then Peter practically growled into her mouth and Olivia shivered.

-Last time our faces were this close, I wasn't a man enough to do what I'm about to do now, but it's a miracle what some whisky will do to propel you towards the right direction.

-Peter…Peter, release me immediately or I'll-they were both swallowing hardly, not being able to avert their gazes from each other…

-Or what, sweetheart? You wouldn't hit an old, bruised, bloodied man with glasses, while he is lying on his death bed.

In other situation, she would find that remark funny. But not that night. Not when he was looking at her rabidly and fervidly, as if he was about to either to crush her skull or to roughly press his mouth onto hers right there, without even caring… His breath reeked of alcohol and his callous, warm hands released hers, only to find the way to her hips and to brush her thighs.

Why, oh, why did he place his hands on her in such a way? And why couldn't she simply pull away, why did she stay there, glued to his fingers, mesmerized by that haunted gaze of his?

Olivia was so scared of Peter, of that dormant fire he was waking up in her, holding her like that. She was frightened like she'd never been afraid of anyone in her life. The fact that terrified her most was that she was at his mercy. At the mercy of this handsome, dangerous, flirty man who could crush her heart in a split second.

Olivia knew she couldn't let it show. It wasn't time for that. She needed to be calm. Composed. She couldn't play this game with him, not now, she wouldn't get involved. Olivia urgently needed to distance herself from Peter Bishop. Because Peter was drunk and this obviously meant nothing to him. She was certain of that… It was just a little game he was playing with her. Flirting. His favorite pastime. And she sure as hell wasn't going to behave as if it meant something to her. Olivia had to end this. Now. But she couldn't. She had no idea how. She felt so helpless. Last time she felt like that, Olivia was in a vicious Big Eddie's grasp. But this is different. Peter is not like… Him… He's not-she tried to convince herself.

Something in her eyes made him stiffen in regret. She is afraid. I… I never wanted her to be afraid of me.

Olivia saw his darkened, cloudy gaze turn into a confused, repentant light blue stare. His grasp became less intense and Olivia's head cleared. This was her chance.

She took a deep breath and willed her hand to land swiftly and hardly on his bearded cheeks once, twice, thrice, until the smug look on his face was replaced with the astonishment, and until his powerless hands completely slid off hers, falling limply next to Olivia's waist and her thigh. He looked as if he was going to cry, she thought, alarmed, and utterly bewildered, but she pressed her lips hard together and made herself tell him anyway:

-Release me, you drunken fool.

Olivia's harsh, cold voice returned him to reality and it stung deeply…

-Whatever you say, boss. No blood. No foul-he faux-smirked, pretending it was all the same to him, while a little part of him died inside… Her strong sharp slaps brought him to his senses and Peter was now sober to some extent. The gravity of what he had just done, the way he had approached her, the cockiness, disrespectfulness and rudeness with which he had treated Olivia were slowly dawning on him. Repentance washed strongly over Peter Bishop and he just sat there, mouth slightly agape, eyes remorseful and pleading, but without being able to utter a single word.

-Broyles will be wanting my report on this tonight. I'll tell him you weren't yourself, that you were under the influence of alcohol and leave it at that. The Bureau will pay for the material damage you caused. I'll forget that this has ever happened. I expect the same in return, Bishop. I'll see you on the field. Goodnight.

She practically ran out of the room, leaving him to his desperate thoughts of his own foolishness. You really are a drunken fool, Bishop. She came to see you, she came to you willingly, she even asked you how you were, she was glad you were staying… And what did you do? You mocked her, you grabbed her like that, so violently, as if she were…

I am not the man for Olivia.

Maybe her being with Lucas is for the best. What have I got to offer her? A single bed hotel room for me, for her and for my mentally deranged father. Two hundred dollars allowance a week. Criminal past. Dangers lurking behind every corner.

He could give her a normal life. A house, huge garden, swimming pool, a dog. Five kids… American dream. Enough cash to make her feel like a queen. Clean criminal record. Safe life. No mood whiplashs.

But Olivia Dunham was always a little weird. Do you think she cares about normal, safe life? She likes adventure, putting her life at risk for other people. And maybe she likes bad boys more than she'll admit it to herself-a small voice in his head inquired.

Hey, everyone wants a bit of normalcy. Even me. And here I am, talking to myself.

Peter Bishop groaned and sunk his head into his pillow. How am I going to face her once I'm outta here? I have no idea.

OLIVIA was driving fast, trying to suppress the thoughts of what had just transpired. Her whole body was on fire, her lips were pulsating and a desire cradled in her stomach.

I need to see Lucas. I need him so much right now.

Before she knew it, she was at the door of his apartment suite. It was late, almost midnight. He opened up, surprised, wearing nothing but black briefs.

-Olive? I thought you weren't coming tonight…

She stormed into the room, threw her coat on the sofa, and just sat there, shivering.

Lucas immediately went to her, hugging her tightly, and she let herself be consoled by him, placing her head on his firm chest.

-What happened, Olivia? What's wrong?

Since the moment he landed to Boston, two weeks ago, Lucas could feel there was something terribly off about her. Olivia was the one who called him, and there was no happier man than him when she did, but whenever they went out, she appeared distant and aloof, as if she were daydreaming about something else. She seemed so different than before. And when he thought of "before", he didn't think only about their relationship from many years ago. Lucas thought of the last time they'd seen each other, in Frankfurt, three months ago. Olivia paid attention to him and him only back then, she let him explore her body, she couldn't resist him. If not for that phone call, they would've definitely slept together.

But now… Every time he kissed her, he could sense that she didn't enjoy it… It was as if she… Were enduring it, somehow. Waiting for something. He knew her well enough to feel that. Lucas never asked her about it because he didn't want to lose her, he wanted to fully make use of his time here with her, of his newly given chance.

Instead of answering to his question, she bit her lower lip and shook her head in disarray, kissing him fervently, almost desperately, running her trembling fingers through his thick black hair, pulling him impossibly close to her body.

Olivia had never been so passionate with him before and it blew off his mind. He hastily lowered the straps of her dress and dove his heard right between her beautiful breasts, landing lustful kisses on her pert nipples and fondling them with care.

Olivia arched her back and sighed, giving herself away to those cold lips that soothed her fire, letting go, trying to find the oblivion in Lucas's touch… To quench the thirst Peter's hands left her with. Lucas rubbed her nipples once more, this time with his clean shaven cheek and a single tear appeared in Olivia's eye as she remembered an erotic dream she had, two months ago, about John, who was replaced by Peter…

-Peter… -a soft moan escaped her lips and Lucas froze immediately.

-Olive…-he said warily. –What did you just say?

She blushed and shook her head.

-Who is Peter?

-He is a colleague of mine, I just went to the hospital to see him. I must've gotten confused since I've just talked to him… It's nothing.

-You got so confused that you called his name while we were making out?

-It's not what you think, Lucas.

-Is that the same guy who called you back there in Frankfurt? The one Ella so conveniently happens to call: Uncle Peter? While you are: Aunt Liv? Don't think I haven't noticed that one.

-Lucas, he is my partner. And my friend. Nothing else.

-No, no, no, no, no…. –Lucas stood up and looked at her. –There is more to it than that, Olivia, I can feel it. You're not telling me everything.

-That's all there is-Olivia stated calmly. –You'll just have to trust me on this one.

-Since I got here, I've been noticing the differences in your behavior. You were colder to me… More reserved… The chit chat was nice… However, I didn't seem to attract you like before. And that worried me, Olive… And your strange daydreaming was constantly getting on my nerves. But I kept quiet. I gave you time. Because I wanted us to be together again. But even after two weeks… When we finally got together… You said another guy's name.

-Lucas…

-Look. Olive. I thought you called me because you were certain you wanted another go with me.

-I did-she started biting her lip furiously.

-You're not telling me the truth.

-I am-she lowered her gaze to the floor. –I needed you back here.

-That is closer to the truth than you might think-he said, with a agonizing expression on his face.

-What do you mean?-she was just plain nervous now.

-You needed me. For some reason. To forget something painful. Or someone.

-Lucas, you're now just being paranoid. There is nothing between Peter and me.

-Look, Olivia-he sat next to her again with a tired, irritated expression on his face. –This isn't going to work.

-Luke… What are you saying?

-There isn't just you and me anymore. There is a shadow of someone else now… Something has recently happened in your life that has had such a deep impact on you, on your personality, on the way you think, the way you act… And it's so obvious that even I have noticed it. I, who haven't seen you for years. Whether you'd like to admit it or not… You're not the same Olive you were when we were together. And you left me behind long time ago. This… Attempt to revive the past… This experiment of yours… That you've conducted for I don't know which reason… It has obviously failed. And now you're just trying to force things. The way you flung yourself into my arms tonight… You did it out of desperation, not out of desire. And a guy like me, who is very observant, as you already know… Well, let's just say I am aware when it's my time to leave.

-You want to leave?-her voice was still, but hoarse. No, please. Then… I'll have no one left. But she didn't say it out loud.

-Yes, Olivia-he cupped her face with his both hands and kissed her on the forehead. –You don't love me. You like me as a friend… As an old memory. And nothing else. I hope you'll find what you're looking for. You deserve all happiness in the world, even if it's not with me.

-But…

-I am going to book the first flight that'll take me back to Frankfurt. My business is done here. I came for you, and you only. And it turns out you are the one person I can't have. I'll do my best to forget you… Don't call me anymore. That lucky bastard you're thinking of doesn't even know he's hit the jackpot.

Olivia just stood there not knowing what to say. Her mind was racing. He's deserting me when I need him most. I need him because I can't get through this alone. But nothing I can say, nothing I can do can convince him to stay. She could see that.

-I would like to be left alone now, please. Go home, Olive.

Olivia could see how badly shaken he was and she tried to reach for his shoulder but he pushed her away.

-No.

He escorted her to the door. Olivia turned around giving him a deep, meaningful look. She seemed like an abandoned little girl and her eyes were glistening.

-Lebewohl, liebe Olivia. Glücklich sein.

With the last deep sigh, Lucas Vogel slammed the door in her face, thus also symbolically forever closing the door of his past. Olivia stood in the hallway for a minute of two, pressing her palm on the wall of his suite and then she put her hands in the pocket of her shabby black trench coat and headed to her car, trembling along the way.



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