Green Eyed Monster

It Has Always Been You

OLIVIA was nervously chewing the tip of her pen. It was so hard to write the report for Broyles, harder than she had ever imagined it might be.

She got back home from the hospital rather early, around half past eight in the morning, to Ella's immense joy. Rachel quickly whipped up the famous omelet; the three of them had breakfast together and then Olivia played with her niece for a while, observing different microscope slides and giggling together, trying to determine what the strange shapes they analyzed looked like. Olivia loved engaging in different activities with El. Being around that happy, curious little girl who was always up for mischief and new investigations, merely talking to her, would unmistakably lift a huge burden from Olivia's tired shoulders, making her as carefree and as light as a feather.

However, when the noon came, and the lunch time soon followed it, Olivia became aware of the pressing fact that she was supposed to sit down and start typing away, retelling the occurrences from the latest case to her boss who would impatiently wait for her testimony to appear on his desk, probably on that very Wednesday evening, seeing how they completed the sewer monster case last night, on Tuesday.

Rachel carefully explained to Ella that Aunt Liv needed to work on something very important right now and that they could play later, as much as El wanted to.

The little girl seemed to have understood the significance of what her aunt was doing and she tiptoed quietly to Aunt Livy's room to find a children's book with pictures to browse through and thus amuse herself until her Olivia finished working.

After having typed the hasty introduction to the case, Olivia tiredly rubbed her pulsating temples and closed her throbbing eyelids. She nervously removed the glasses she wore, pushed away the machine, and decided to firstly simply write an old-fashioned report on a piece of paper, with a pencil, and to type it later on her laptop. Olivia couldn't stare at the screen any longer. It hurt her eyesight and her concentration at the same time.

The content of the report didn't go easy on her either. The statistical information wasn't that complicated… The monster of the week and its thorough description were actually the easiest part to write down, but the hard part was the one which described her and Peter's confrontation with the beast, down in the sewers…. Whenever Olivia tried to objectively access the situation and describe it the best she could, images of wounded Peter lying on the ground would flash through her mind and her hand would tremble and stop scribbling.

She sighed deeply and decided to drink a cup of coffee and clear her mind.

I could really use a break right about now.

She glanced at the clock on the wall. It was about six p.m. She needed to complete her writing in an hour or so, and then drive to the Department of Homeland Security office and hand it in.

Rach came in to check up on her.

-Hey… You look terrible. And I swear to God, this has got to be the sentence I've started telling you almost every day. And you know that's not good, Liv. What are you writing so much all afternoon? Haven't you already finished that report yesterday? You came home early in the morning, for god's sake. Were you typing that all night?

Olivia blushed remembering where exactly she had been and what she had been doing all night, recalling how she had woken up wrapped up in Peter's warm embrace.

-I… I couldn't focus… It was a particularly difficult case… And I've just completed it… Some gory details are still so vivid and fresh in my mind that…

-Alright. I guess that makes sense. How do you do it, Liv?

-I don't know. I just do. I don't think about it, I simply go with the flow.

-Well, I want you to know that you have complete and unreserved support of your sister and your niece. Ella admires you a lot, and so do I. The job you have chosen to do… It's so noble and it practically means giving up your entire life; I can't even imagine what kind of horrors you have to face on a daily basis. I guess it's a good thing that Ella and I are living with you now. Know that a warm meal will always be waiting for you every evening, no matter how late you come home.

Olivia's mouth widened in a grateful and loving smile, and she stood up, hugging her sister tightly.

-Thank you for being here for me, Rach. It means so much to me.

-I've said it countless times, but I'll repeat myself. What are the sisters for? So, are you up for some home-made lasagna tonight?

-Sure, it sounds great!

-Luckily, your boss hasn't called you today so that must mean there is no case yet… I know… I know… Sometimes a case comes up in the middle of the night but let's hope that it is not this day. We could spend a family night together, watch cartoons, eat lasagna and play silly games like "Simon Says" with Ella. What do you say?

-I say it's on!-Olivia giggled enthusiastically. She really hasn't been spending so much quality time with Rachel and Ella lately and she decided to make it up to them on that particular evening.

-Great!-Rachel beamed and then immediately frowned after that, when her jeans pocket vibrated with the familiar "Hey, Soul Sister" melody. –Oh, what now, Peter! This man is incorrigible! He calls me so often that I can't even…-she raised her hand in a "hold on a second" gesture to her sister and Olivia nodded comprehensively but something inside her died a little.

-Hey? What's up? Can't live without me?-Rachel chuckled into her cell and Olivia closed her eyes for the moment, leaning on the table for support as her body shook slightly. –Sure. Let me just go to my bedroom and we'll talk about whatever you want-Rachel covered the phone for the moment and turned to Olivia. –I've gotta take this in my room. Will be back in a jiffy, don't move, OK?

-Sure-Olivia nodded, casually. This should definitely stop bothering me so much.

Rachel closed the door of her bedroom and jumped on the top of her bed, leaning on a huge pillow.

-Hey, mister! What was so important? You were interrupting my family dinner plans! Oh and by the way, before I forget, congratulations on speedy solving the case last night!

-Thanks, Rach. You really could say that Olivia and I were pretty efficient.

-Of course. You two are my dream team-she giggled.

-So…-he sounded uncomfortable and she wondered what was up with that. –I… I was thinking about what you said to me earlier over the phone.


-When you… Told me… Olivia wasn't dating Lucas anymore.

-Well, Casanova, I gave you some good news back then, and what have you done with that particular piece of information? Nothing at all! And here I was, telling you should console my sister properly and everything was going to be fine… But no… Mr. Best Friend decided to keep being Olivia's shoulder to cry on. "I don't wanna rush things, Rach"… "I think I should take it slowly from here"… Yadi yada and so on. I mean, how passive can you get? You didn't strike me as the type at all. You have liked her for almost a year and yet you haven't made a single move to make it happen. Neither of you is getting any younger, you know. You're both like, thirty years old. No time like the present, Bishop.

Rachel heard his throaty laugh on the other end of the line.

-No need to remind me how old I am, Rach.

-Both of you are driving me crazy. I mean, I am not about to get involved, because it's a private thing between Olivia and you, but, sheesh!

-OK. Let's say you've got a point.

-What?-she almost stopped breathing. –You finally think I'm right?

-I… I do.

-Oh my God!-Rachel exclaimed loudly and so gleefully that even Olivia heard her in the living room and wondered what kind of pleasurable information was her sister receiving at that moment in particular. –Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod!

-Rach. Calm down. You've really got a rich vocabulary there-Peter teased her seeing how she couldn't stop repeating those same three words out of sheer excitement.

Rachel took a deep breath.

-You're right-the next words came out as a conspiratorial whisper. –It's just so… Overwhelming. I'm incredibly happy you've decided to do something about this stalemate situation! What's the plan? You are going to tell me what the plan is, aren't you?-she asked, in a slightly accusatory tone. –I deserve to know.

-Of course-Peter stated in a laidback tone. –Especially because you're part of the plan, actually.

-I am? In what way? What do I have to do? Oh, this is so exciting!

-Actually… Your role is not as exciting as you might believe. So I was thinking… Um… Maybe… I could come to Olivia's apartment tonight and talk to her. About… Us.

-This is finally happening! I am freaking out here!-Rachel fanned herself.

-Yes it is. But, there is a little problem I need taken care of first. You know our lab assistant, Astrid?

-Yeah, the cute girl who came to Ella's birthday and to your welcome home party. What about her?

-Normally, when I have to go somewhere late at night, or, let's take my hospital days as an example, when I am not at home, she Waltersits.


-Yeah, that's what I call taking care of Walter.

-Cute derivation.

-I'm not sure how cute that is, despite the fact it sounds adorable. Astrid is with him right now. She took Walter for an afternoon walk in the park. He likes to feed the pigeons, although they horrify Astrid. She called them rats with wings more than once. However, tonight, she's going to stay with her father, they are apparently visiting some cousins and she can't Waltersit for me. And I… I want to tell Olivia tonight-Peter gulped. –I don't… I don't wanna wait for another case, emergency, or a life threatening situation that might tear us apart even more.

-That what you've just said is so kind of romantic! Awww….

-Please try not to sound so surprised. You know how I feel about Olivia.

-I do, I do… I'm just so happy for you and Olive, Peter, I can't believe you've finally made up your mind and decided to step up. What urged you on, why now?

-Nothing in particular-Peter lied, not wanting to tell her about the kiss Olivia gave him in the sewers. That moment was so intimate for the both of them, and for Olivia much more, since it was a huge step she had taken. Olivia repented for it, she was even embarrassed in front of herself and Peter knew she would feel even worse if someone else found out. –I… Don't want to be passive any longer, that's all there is.

-That's my boy!

-You're starting to sound like Walter.

-Did you tell your father about it? Oh, I bet he will be thrilled as well! I saw the little satisfied looks he was casting on the two you while you were giving Olivia the presents you got her, next to the window, at your welcome home party yesterday morning!

-Absolutely not. And there is no need for him to find out. Well… I might eventually tell him, but at the last moment. Listen, Rach. Don't get all hyped up over this. Tonight, I am just going to admit my feelings to Olivia. But that doesn't mean she will actually accept me. I may only make a fool of myself. So you might wanna save that jubilant tone and that little victory dance I know you're doing right now. Maybe she'll say no.

-She's dying for you to hold her, I just know it! Why the hell would she reject you? My sister is weird, I give you that, but she's not that crazy!

-There are number of reasons… We are friends, and partners… Perhaps she won't want to endanger the relationship we already have.

-Well, then you'd better start making up excuses for those would-be reasons of hers! Oh, Pete, you just gotta convince her! Listen. Just show up at the door looking your usual smart and hot self, spill the beans and she'll be all yours. Olivia is not immune to your physical charms… And you two have an incredible chemistry. When Olivia and you are next to each other in the room, everyone can feel the tension and the electricity that builds up between you. You can almost cut it with the knife, for crying out loud!

-Thanks for supporting me. It means a lot. The fact that… You approve of our potential relationship.

-You're a good guy. Kind, hot, smart, funny… A bit eccentric, true, but she is also a little weird so it's a perfect match. But the main reason I would like you two to be together is the fact that… Sometimes, when I catch you watching Olivia… That look in your eyes… It's almost as if it were saying… "I would take a bullet for her". It's like you'd do anything for Olivia, you'd treasure her, you'd keep her like little water on palm, you'd cherish her and keep her safe no matter what. I am absolutely certain you wouldn't abandon Olivia in the moments of severe duress and in the times of need. But even if you'd attempt to do something like that, you'd have a really pissed of younger sister over here to face, so… I'm sure you won't even try.

She could hear Peter sigh deeply.

-I wish she could see all that in my eyes, just like you do. Each time I tried to approach her in the only way I knew how, Olivia would simply rub it off as casual flirting.

-Well, be a bit more convincing, will you? Open up a bit, some more sincerity won't hurt! Make her see beyond that witty sarcastic persona you represent to the world. So, what did you need from me? Do you want me and El to Waltersit while you're over here with Olivia? Is that what this is all about? Cause if it is, no sweat. We'll gladly do it. Olivia is finishing some sort of report right now. She'll drive over to her office, hand it in, and probably be home by half past eight or nine. So you'll have plenty of time to talk. Drop by around half past nine and… Stay as long as you like-Rachel added mischievously, with a hinting, flirty tone. –Ella and I can even spend the night at the hotel. It's no trouble. You two lovebirds take your time.

-Thank you. However, I don't think there will be any need for you to spend the night at the hotel. I'll just talk to Olivia and come back by half past eleven top. You can go home as well, as soon as I return to the hotel.

-And what if you don't?-Rachel inquired impishly.

-In that case… Which I deem highly unlikely… Stay with Walter all night, then.

-Rodger that, Mr. I Just Wanna Talk-both Peter and Rachel smiled at what she said.

-OK, so: here's the deal. I'll be there at your place around… Say… Nine p.m. As soon as Liv gets back from her office, Ella and I will head out to the hotel. Is there a spare bed in the room?

-Sure. There is a sofa, and a double bed. Walter can take the sofa, and Ella and you can take a double bed.

-No problem, then. I'll send you an SMS in case that Olive returns from the Bureau later. If I don't send you anything, that will mean that she came back on schedule and that we are good to go. Deal?

-Deal.-Peter swallowed hard. His palms were already sweating of nervousness. But it was now or never and he was aware of that.

-Hey. Don't be a chicken. Everything's gonna be just fine. I have a great feeling about this. So see you in a couple of hours. I'm looking forward to get a glimpse of the outfit you'll choose.

-You really are enjoying this, aren't you?

-Yes, I am-Rachel replied a bit naughtily. –I love to see you squirm.

-Thank you for that-Peter sighed.

-See you in a bit. Bye!

-Bye, Rach.

Before going back to the living room, Rachel really did a small victory dance on the bed. Well it was about time.

When she came out, she immediately met Olivia's questioning, probing gaze.

-What's up?

-Well…-Rachel stated wickedly… -Apparently, Ella and I are spending the night at Peter's hotel room.

-Oh-Olivia blushed so fiercely that Rachel immediately felt sorry for her, but she didn't want to ruin Peter's surprise declaration.

-Ella! Come here, sweetie!

-Yes, mummy!-the little girl emerged from Olivia's bedroom, holding on to her book.

-Let's get your things and your pajamas ready… Bring me your little light blue rucksack.

-The one with the lamb painted on it?

-Yes, dear, the one with the lamb.

-Where are we going, Mum?

-Nowhere right now, but in a couple of hours, we'll be going to visit Uncle Peter and Grandpa Walter in a hotel.

-Yippee! Am I going to play with them, mommy?

-You are going to play with them and we'll have a sleepover pajama party.

-Yay! And Uncle Peter will tell me a bedtime story again? And Grandpa Walter will make taffy!

-Of course he will, honey. Now let's get you ready, shall we? Run along and find that backpack like a good girl you are and then your Mum will pack the essentials for you.

Rachel then turned to Olivia who was trying her best to suppress the sudden grief that had befallen her.

-Olive…-she shrugged apologetically. –I'm so sorry about tonight. I know we had a family dinner planned and all but… I'll make it up to you, okay? I promise.

-It's fine-Olivia nodded noncommittally. –You two have a good time, and say hi to Walter and Peter for me.

-We will. Oh, you're in for a surprise, girl! The ones who'll be having a smashing time will be you and your "friend" Peter Bishop! Literally. Smashing.

-I… I'm just gonna… Finish this report. And then I'll drop by the office to leave it there.-Olivia muttered almost soundlessly. She hated herself for being barely able to speak. She is my sister. She deserves all the happiness in the world. After all those things that bastard Greg did to her and Ella. Besides, it's not like I haven't seen this coming. I've noticed the sparks flying between them ever since Ella's birthday party. They have bonded. And that's completely normal. Gosh, why do I feel like this? So… Envious… So… sad.

-Maybe because you'd like to spend the night at Peter's and Walter's instead of your younger sister-a mischievous voice whispered inside her head.

-That's crazy.

-Is it? Remember how you smiled when Peter and you barged into their hotel room, asking Walter for the meaning of the Fibonacci sequence?"Walter, wake up! This is important!""Oh. Do you two want to use the room?"… His implication pleased you, admit it.

Olivia shook her head at those horrible suggestive thoughts and stared back at Rachel helplessly, suddenly realizing she was being asked a question. It was as if her brain was suddenly malfunctioning and it frightened her more than she'd ever allow herself to admit.

-When will you be coming back from the Bureau, Olive?

-Around half past eight, I guess.

-Great! Then you'll be there to see us off! We're heading for the hotel around that time, too.

-Mum!-Ella's voice called for Rachel somewhere from their bedroom.

-What is it, El?

-I can't find my pink pajamas!

-Which ones?

-The ones with Hello Kitty!

-Oh! Have you checked the bottom drawer?

-I have! They're not there!

-Hold on, I'm coming to help you!-with one last beaming smile directed in Olivia's direction, Rachel disappeared in the hallway.

Olivia collapsed on a nearby chair, chewing on lower lip so hard, until she felt a salty taste in her mouth. Then she abruptly stopped, after having realized that she had drawn blood.

The report, Olivia Dunham. The report. First thing's first. And your job is on the top of your priority list.

She submersed herself into her work, hiding from her loveless, broken life that was stubbornly and repeatedly waving at her from all corners of her apartment, asking for her immediate attention. Olivia decidedly ignored it, angrily pushed it under the carpet and started typing away at an incredible pace.

I'll show you, Peter Bishop. You think you can turn up just like that, barge into this town, invade my life, and occupy my thoughts… Well, I'll throw you out. I know I can. I am stronger than this.

PETER pocketed his cell phone and exhaled deeply, dropping on a sofa and clutching his head in his hands. His heart was throbbing in his chest and his thoughts were racing like crazy. He was half thinking to call Olivia on the phone next. To invite her to go out. To a bar… To a restaurant… Maybe a neutral territory was a better solution?

Was it a good decision to do this? To… Bring Ella and Rachel here? And then go talk to Olivia at her place? Maybe she'll think it's too pretentious, too daring… Who knows what Olivia might do when she sees me at the door? God, am I making a mistake here? And what do I tell her? Huh? What do I say to her?

-Hi, sweetheart. I was in a neighborhood, so I've just decided to drop by your place to see how you were holding up. Oh, and by the way: I love you.

-Aw, come on, man… That pathetic, are you, Bishop? You're thinking about what you're going to say to a chick in advance? Teenage stage regression over here, hello!

-She's not just any girl… This one is a keeper. And if I blow it right now… There is no way of telling if I'll ever be able to mend the rift again. But… That's me. The same old Peter. I play it fast and loose until it's too late. I guess it's simply who I am. A gambler. All or nothing. And I am taking a risk tonight.

Peter closed his eyes and leisurely browsed through the content of the music folder on his cell. After having found an adequate song, he relaxed and willed himself to focus on the tonight's plan.

I'm lying alone, with my head on the phone, thinking of you till it hurts… I know you hurt too, but what else can we do, tormented and torn apart… I wish I could carry your smile in my heart… For times when my life feels so low. It would make me believe what tomorrow could bring, when today doesn't really know… Doesn't really know…

I'm all outta love, I'm so lost without you, I know you were right, believing for so long… I'm all outta love, what am I without you, I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong…

I want you to come back and carry me home… Away from this long lonely nights.

I'm reaching for you, are you feeling it too… Does the feeling seem oh so right?

And what would you say if I called on you now, saying that I can't hold on?

There's no easy way, it gets harder each day. Please love me or I'll be gone…I'll be gone…

He envisioned Olivia's peaceful, sleeping face in his mind, the way it was last night at the hospital. She was lying next to him so calmly, so serenely, contently absorbing his bodily heat, relaxed in his embrace.

It felt like coming home, like belonging.

Peter let out a deep sigh, recalling the huge indifference, coldness and annoyance that existed in their relationship on the first day they had met. He was irritated by that blond bossy FBI chick, who manipulated and conned him into coming back to Boston, into seeing his estranged, insane father.

I couldn't have imagined I was going to fall so hard for her.

The next scene that played out in Peter's mind included Olivia's first entering into the tank. He didn't exactly know why, but his brain would always come back to that particular moment, in which his fantasies about her body have started budding uncontrollably and perversely in his thoughts… Olivia in a white bathrobe… Taking it off, slowly, reluctantly in the presence of a stranger that he was to her back then… And him, eying her hungrily, without decency, enjoying the show, taking in that gorgeous body, those long, neverending gams, taut, flat, stomach and full, firm breasts…

-Ugh!-Peter moaned, prostrated on the sofa, feeling the familiar, pleasurable pain between his legs slowly building up. When he opened his eyes next, he faced his bobbing steely rod that was wildly thrashing around his jeans.

Hello, zipper ripper.

The urge for the release overwhelmed him and he grunted, unzipping his pants and pulling his pecker out, gasping in relief as he was gradually becoming more comfortable.

Peter stared down to his huge, rock-hard, pulsating, formerly imprisoned beast that was now stretching out upwards happily, standing almost vertical, like a skyscraper, nearly touching his stomach, and took a deep breath.

How long has it been since I have put out a batch? God, I can't even remember… It was probably before… Ella's party… Then there was Big Eddie…. Two weeks in hospital… I almost got laid but… And after that… I went to a bathroom… I remember I was sporting a stiffie… But I didn't jerk off. I just… Split the mirror and nothing else…

Since I came out of hospital, I had a couple of hard-ons in Olivia's presence, but I haven't relieved myself… God, I need to clean out my pipes. I can't go talk to Olivia like this… Horny, with a loaded gun… What would she think of me? And not only that… Having an erection really blurs my judgment… Instead of focusing on what I am going to tell her, I'll just be imagining what kind of underwear she has on and… Aghghgh…I won't be able to concentrate. I'd be more likely inclined to growl than to have a normal conversation about how I feel about her. I need to… Think clear… To take a load off.

He stood up and glanced at his wristwatch. It was half past seven already. He was supposed to head to Olivia's apartment around nine, if everything went according to plan. Astrid hadn't returned yet with Walter.

I need to take a shower anyway.

He hastily entered the bathroom and locked the door behind him. Then Peter stripped off his clothes and stepped into the bath tub, turning both hot and cold water on, and adjusting the temperature.

Peter recalled how, when he was around fifteen years old, senior boys from high school would tell him that, once he buried himself in a warm, wet silk of girls pussy, he'd never stop yearning for sex. They got that part right. Ever since Peter had lost his virginity with Tess, he kept wanting more and more…

Walter wasn't exaggerating when he reminded me of the primal screams Elizabeth and he could hear coming from my bedroom. Once I climbed up, I couldn't climb down until I was completely and utterly satiated, even though if it meant an hour or more of incessant sex.

It's just my testosterone level. Damn. It's always been too high. I've never gone without sex for longer than ten days or so. Eleven months have been a torture to endure… And in Olivia's presence… There has been a tenfold increase in my libido. She was making things oh so much worse. She still does.

He grabbed a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil Walter kept on the bathroom shelf and slowly massaged up and down the length of his bone-hard dick. It felt amazing and Peter groaned, giving himself away to the sensation, as his legs started shaking.

He leaned his back on the cold tiles and started breathing deeply, rhythmically pumping his now lubricated prick, visualizing Olivia's soft, full lips on his thirsty ones, imagining Olivia kissing him slowly, languidly, dreamily… But without pulling back, without retreating as she did in the sewers…

Firstly sliding her tiny, tasty tongue into his mouth, teasing him, and then lowering her lovely, blond-haired, slightly tilted head, even further, tracing light, feverish kisses down his neck, chest and lower abdomen… All the way to his sizzling shaft, pressing it into her hot palm… Wrapping her fingers around the base, squeezing…

Lust overwhelmed Peter; his head felt dizzy, and as his grip tightened and his erection turned a darker color, he pictured Olivia's mouth enveloping his swollen mushroom head, whose veins stood out in relief from the bony column…. That very image was enough to drive him mad with desire and Peter zealously doubled the speed of his hand movements…

Soon after that, he felt that unmistakable tingle in his loins and started panting furiously. Peter was now leaning back on his right hand, and he aimed his cock in front of him, with his legs splayed wide, and his balls bouncing widely with the pounding of his left hand up and down his shaft.

Peter's body shuddered as he finally, tenderly, moaned Olivia's name, reaching his crescendo, wrecked with an intense pleasure of sexual release, shooting his load, milking every drop out of his trembling member and eventually sliding down the bathroom wall to sit on the bath tub floor, unable to stand or think coherently anymore.

Precisely at that moment, a fierce repetitive knocking resounded on the wooden door and Peter, simultaneously frightened and surprised, jerked his head backwards, hitting it hard on the ceramic tiles behind him and swearing loudly.

-Peter, this is your father, Walter Bishop. I have come back from my walk. It is now precisely eight o'clock in the evening. Will you finish masturbating soon, I really have to urinate? Peter!- Walter banged on the bathroom door more intensely now. -Do hurry up with that self-pleasuring, I have a dire necessity to use the bathroom!

-Oh, come on!-Peter muttered angrily, embarrassedly and somehow managed to stand up and rub his bruised nape. –Be right out, Walter!-he growled furiously at the door and heard his father reply overtly sweetly:

-Take your time, my boy, take your time…

-Didn't you just say you needed to urinate?

-I did. But I don't need to anymore.

-Did you piss your pants again?

-Yes-Walter replied mournfully.

-Fantastic!-Peter moaned and quickly got dressed, coming out of the bathroom to face his repentant father.

-It's fine, Walter-he said, resignedly, after having seen tears in old scientist's eyes.

-No, it's not, son. I am supposed to be one of the most intelligent people in the world, and I can't control my bowel and bladder movements.

-Listen…-Peter fumbled through the wardrobe, decided not to put Walter through even more embarrassment. –Here's a pair of clean underwear, socks and pants. Take those off and let me put them in a washing machine. You go on in and take a shower.

-Thank you, Peter-Walter nodded gratefully.

-You're absolutely welcome.

After having placed Walter's dirty clothes into already full washing machine, Peter sighed and sat back on the sofa. It was quarter past eight and he was supposed to start getting ready. He had no idea what to wear. Just as he was getting up again in order to browse through his clothes, hoping that the mere sight of them would help him make up his mind, Walter emerged from the bathroom, smiling, humming a jovial tune and looking positively refreshed and rejuvenated.

-How did it go?- Walter gave his son gentle conspiratorial elbow nudge. -Oh wait, me first! I still didn't get any, as you youngsters say, but I am hoping to get lucky soon. She liked my brownies, though. We will be going out again tomorrow night.

-How did what go? Walter, I am not sure I know what you are referring to here, and I am not sure I wanna know either.

-The hospital visit, of course!

-Are you referring to the only visit I got, from my best friend and my partner, while my own father couldn't care less if I was going to live or die and went on a… -Peter was reluctant to use the word imagining his father and Gertrude… Well… On a vampire nocturnal date.

-Now Peter, don't be jealous of Gertie! You know your father loves you!

Peter raised his eyebrows.

-So it's Gertie now? That's awesome! But you still haven't answered my question. I, for one, was certain that you'll be the first person I'll see by my bedside, or, in my bed, for that matter, dabbing a suspicious cream all over my body or, even worse, trying to suck the venom out of my shoulder.

-Oh, Peter, speaking of the cream! I see that your shoulder is still bandaged! There is some of that brown ointment left! Why don't you use it on your wound, it will heal in no time!

-Um… Thanks, Walter, but no thanks. Besides, it's just a scratch. It was the venom that was causing me the actual discomfort. So, would you care to offer me any particular explanation why you didn't come and visit?

-There was no need, my boy, I had already known the venom would wear off at precisely one o clock in the morning! It was a risk free bite.

-Oh? Any reason why you didn't mention this to Olivia when she called you from the sewers?

-Didn't I? It must have slipped my mind.

-Walter…-Peter eyed his father suspiciously. -Did you lie to Olivia about what the venom would do to me?

-Did you at least kiss last night in the hospital?

Peter's expression remained still and guarded even though he was caught off guard with that joyfully exclaimed question that came out of the blue. Walter disappointedly took it as "No".

It went without saying that Peter wasn't going to divulge a piece of information about Olivia's sewer moment of weakness either, mostly because he was certain it would give Walter another reason to start gleefully jumping around their modest hotel room.

My father, ladies and gentlemen. A Cupid matchmaker. Did he really think I was going to pounce on Olivia in the middle of the hospital? I might not have dated in the last eleven months, and I may be a tad rusty, but I still know how some things are done. And for such a huge step, for that enormous change in my and Olivia's relationship that I am about to propose to her, I need privacy. And time. And making sure she won't run away from me, which she could have easily done if I had spilled the beans in hospital.

-Oh, my. Agent Dunham is a tough nut to crack. But I am positive now, son, you should have heard her, Peter, when she called me to tell me you were bitten… She was sick with worry.

-I did hear her, Walter, I was lying right there next to her in the mud.

-You were lying next to her?-Walter winked at him.

-That's hardly the point. So, you heard her concerned voice and you decided to lie to Olivia, just like that, in order to make her worry even more…

-I just wanted to give Agent Dunham a gentle nudge so that she could realize what she had known all along. I have told you this before, Peter, don't you remember? When I came to visit you at hospital, I told you agent Dunham loved you and that she would come to you. And so she did. We have recognized the moment, Peter! It has finally happened! Now you can freely make your move! She is not seeing that other boy anymore, is she?-Walter was screaming enthusiastically as if he were on a verge of an important scientific discovery.

-No, she isn't seeing him anymore-Peter replied reluctantly, seeing how his father immediately started rubbing his hands contently. -Walter, would you please stop being such a shipper. I… I really don't know what other term to use. That giggly little girl demeanor doesn't really suit you. Whatever is happening between Olivia and me, or, not happening, as the case may be, is really between us. It's none of your concern-Peter was uncomfortable of confiding in the exaggerating mad scientist.

-Your happiness is my concern.

-And while that's very nice of you to say, I still can't help but wonder why you had to try and force things.

-I haven't forced anything-Walter stated defensively.

-Yeah, right. Listen… Rachel and Ella are going to come over here in half an hour or so to play some games with you. They might even spend the night. So be a gentleman as I know you are and take the sofa, do you hear me?

-Good, I love company! I hope they like Cluedo! And where are you going?-Walter asked, confused.

-I am going to talk to Olivia.

-To agent Dunham? You're going out for drinks? On a date?

-No. We are not going out. No drinks. No date. Just having a conversation. Apparently, Walter, that's what normal people do. They sit around and talk.

Walter suddenly cried out, lifted his forefinger in the air and he was now rummaging around the wardrobe they shared in their hotel room.

-Walter, may I ask you what are you doing?

-This!-his father stated ecstatically, pulling out a light blue shirt, ivory white flannel trousers and an iron out of there.

-And this being…

-Why, preparing the clothes you'll be wearing for your date tonight. You'll look great in this shirt, and the trousers are a perfect match! Now let me just iron them for you…

Peter had to agree with Walter, albeit reluctantly. Those really did look good on him. He was wondering where those pants were, actually.

-Walter, you really don't have to do that… I can iron them myself.

-I want to-Walter reiterated stubbornly, continuing his mission.

As Peter busied himself with searching for clean underwear, socks and shoes, waiting for his father to finish ironing the shirt and the pants, Walter sneaked from behind and swiftly applied cologne to Peter's neck, wrists and back of his ears.

-Ugh, Walter! What gives? What are you spraying me with?

-Let me read it to you, Peter! This is perfect scent for you, boy: Acqua Di Gio: a popular choice for men. It features a light scent inspired by the sea, warm sun and richness of the earth. For men who like a subtle, fresh scent with a crisp undertone.

-OK. That one actually does have a nice smell-Peter was pleasantly surprised with his father's suggestion. –But it still doesn't help me to shake away the feeling that you are behaving as an overjoyed father who is seeing his teenage son off to a high-school prom.

-Don't mention high-school prom to me, Peter… It always saddens me… I should have really been there to see you off…-Walter started wailing like a baby.

-Hey… Walter-Peter clumsily patted him on the shoulder. –It wasn't your fault. You couldn't have known that the lab accident was going to happen. It's OK. Come on, don't cry.

-You're right. I shouldn't dwell on my own past, when there is so much I can do for my boy's happy future.

-Walter…-Peter started warily.

-Now, let your father give you some instructions. Lesson number one, son! Breakfast, Peter!

-Breakfast?-Peter inquired sardonically.

-The most important meal of the day! You will both have to recharge your batteries after the night of fornication. And, of course, it is only fit that you make it, in order to please agent Dunham.

-Ugh! Walter! Just… Stop.

-Tut, tut, son.. .Now don't look at me like that, Peter… It is completely normal and understandable that the body falls into a sex-induced slumber and suffers from exhaustion right after the intercourse. The energy needs to be replenished-Walter was rambling on enthusiastically.

-For crying out loud, Walter! I am only going to talk to Olivia, as I have already told you!

-Don't lie to me, my boy… Fathers can read their sons like open books. Besides… Why waste words when body language can most effectively substitute all known common channels of communication, Peter…

-Fine, I give up. Think what you want.

-Your clothes are ready. Put them on… Let's see…-Walter attacked Peter's hair from behind with a wet comb, tidying its tussled form. –Now, you're a real looker. Too bad your peacoat is still dirty, Peter, you'll have to wear this dark blue jacket, but no matter…. No matter… You'll take it off in no time, I presume-Walter winked to his irritated son. -Lesson number 2, Peter! Condoms!


-We don't want agent Dunham to have a bun in her oven just yet. Although I, for one, wouldn't mind becoming a grandfather for real and cradling a bundle of joy in my arms…

Peter's expression softened as he imagined Olivia holding their child in her loving, caring embrace, but then he quickly shook off those thoughts, horrified at the influence his father actually had over him.

-The best brand on the market was Trojan… However, I have been investigating recently…

-Why does this not surprise me?

-And it turns out that there is an even better brand on the market right now: Crown "Skinless Skin" Condoms are actually ranked #1 world-wide. They are made of natural rubber latex, rather than the all-synthetic balloon-style latex that most condoms are made from, they are somehow thinner but stronger, and they feel as if you're not wearing a condom.

-I am not buying condoms, for one simple reason. I am not sleeping with Olivia. Not tonight, not any other night, for that matter. So drop the baby talk, and back off, Daddy!-Peter stated ironically and defensively.

-Don't you like agent Dunham anymore?-Walter sighed sadly.

-It's not that, Walter… It's just…

There was a knock on the door of their hotel room and both father and son could hear raised voices and child's laughter that resonated from the outside.

-Saved by the bell-Walter said smugly and went to open the door for Ella and Rachel.

-Grandpa Walter!-little girl jumped into old scientist's arms and planted numerous kisses on his forehead and cheeks.

–Hello, little Etta!

-It's Ella-she pouted. –When will you remember my name, Grandpa Walter?

-I am sorry, dear… I will try harder next time. Come on in, both of you, no need to be shy! Miss Dunham… Lovely and radiant as always…

-Thank you, Walter-Rachel grinned at him and gave him a warm hug.

-Uncle Peter, Uncle Peter!-Ella ran over to her favorite person in the world next, but stopped abruptly in surprise, reluctant, not sure if she should jump into his arms. He looked different, almost as a stranger and it confused her.

-Hey there, munchkin!-his familiar deep voice filled the room and Ella beamed in recognition. –What's wrong, sweetheart? You look like you have just seen a ghost.

-Uncle Peter-Ella approached him shyly, eying him carefully. –You look very nice tonight. And you smell nice, too. Like a prince.

-That he does-Rachel added, standing in the doorframe, and winking at Peter. –Mr. Bishop… My… My… Aren't you an eye candy…

Peter actually blushed in front of all three of them and then did what seemed easiest to him at that awkward moment: he turned his full attention to Ella and knelt right next to her.

-And? Aren't you going to hug and kiss me too, like you did Grandpa Walter?

-Well… I don't want to get your trousers and shirt dirty and all that…

-Nonsense! Come here!-Peter wrapped her up in his arms and pulled her closer to him.

-Are you going to go to the cinema now, Uncle Peter?-Ella asked carefully, remembering that that was how Lucas used to look like when he was taking her Aunt Liv to see a movie.

-No. No cinema-Peter turned to Rachel. –Where is she getting all this strange ideas?

-Beats me-Rachel replied casually, not really wishing to remind Peter of the unwanted visitor who was, thankfully, already gone.

-So…-he said, putting Ella down on the ground and letting her run over to the double bed and start jumping on it. –You're good?

-We're good. We'll have fun together, won't we, Walter? We can play a board game, like Risk, Monopoly, or Cluedo…

-Oh, I was hoping you'd mention Cluedo-Walter's eyes glimmered with happiness.

-There is food in the fridge… Some cheese, ham, and salad. So you can have a snack or make a sandwich… I think there's fresh bread, milk and eggs as well… I bought them today. Oh, and… If Walter gets a little cranky, just give him some red vines, that'll soothe him-Peter informed Rachel a bit too eagerly, and with too many details.

-Peter-Rachel was now positively laughing at him. –You're behaving as if you were leaving us with a little baby.

-Well… That's actually not too far from the truth-Peter said worriedly. –But I confide in you and I believe you know what you're doing.

-If I can manage one child, I can most certainly manage two as well-Rachel stated decidedly. –Now. Go get the girl of your dreams. Come on. Run along. Olivia is at the apartment; she came back from the Bureau around half past eight. I haven't sent you an SMS because there was no change of plan.

Peter bit his upper lip and exhaled noisily; then he turned to his father and said:

-Thank you for the help with... Everything. See you in a bit.

-See you tomorrow, son!-Walter waved at him impishly and Peter simply shook his head at him incredulously before leaving the hotel room.

Ella stopped jumping on the bed for a while, tugged at her mother's skirt and asked doubtfully, looking puzzled:

-Where is Uncle Peter going? Is he going to tell a bed time story to Aunt Liv?

-Yes, honey, he is-Rachel smiled knowingly. -Hopefully it won't be boring, so she won't fall asleep immediately.

AFTER Olivia saw Rachel and Ella off, closing the door behind them, she changed into her dark green nightshirt and went to the kitchen to get a bottle of wine out of the fridge. She had a tuna fish and tomato sandwich again, just like last night.

What an interesting life I am leading. I should get a cat next. Or two cats, for that matter. Then I can gradually become like a crazy cat lady from the Simpsons. Apparently, when I have free time, from now on, I won't be having anyone to spend it with.

Olivia sat on the couch in the living room and downed two glasses of wine relatively quickly, one after another, in order to relax, to brighten her evening. It did nothing for her; she could always hold her liquor pretty well. If anything, Olivia's mood became bleaker than it was before having drunk the alcohol. Twiddling her thumbs, pondering what she should do; Olivia grabbed a remote and turned the TV on. Next to a DVD player, there were heaps of Ella's Disney cartoons and she chose one haphazardly, hoping that it wasn't "Cinderella", "Snow-white" or "Sleeping Beauty". She couldn't stand all those idealistic fairy tales filled with happy endings in which the beautiful princess eventually always got her loved one, and all the monsters were slain. That's not how it would happen in a real life at all. No matter how many monsters you killed, there were always more, lurking around the corner, waiting to openly mock you… Then Olivia thought she also wasn't in a mood for "Bambi" either. She really didn't want to see a little fawn losing its mother.

However, when she glanced at the title that she had randomly picked, she saw that it said "Lady and the Tramp" and she sighed in relief. She placed the cartoon into a DVD player and started watching. She remembered the 1955 cartoon vividly… It was about an American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lived in a refined, upper-middle class family, and a male stray mutt called the Tramp, who lived his life from moment to moment, begging for scraps from an Italian restaurant. Olivia felt herself drawn into the story straight away, because of the colorful scenes and anthropomorphic dogs, but what really irritated her was the connection she had immediately seen between the Tramp and Peter Bishop. Two dogs stirring up trouble in a chicken coop and stealing reminded her of the day when Peter and she, well… Mostly Peter, but with her silent approval, forced their entry into his old house, in order to find a device they needed to place on Roy Mc Comb's head so that he could tell them what conversations he was hearing.

-Blast from the past. What's the game plan here? We're just gonna knock on the door, ask 'em if we can tear out their walls?

-Pretty much.

-I guess the badge is the "pretty please" in that equation. There's no lights on.

-I'm gonna call in. See if we can track down the owner for consent. What are you doing?

-What? This is barely even a crime. I used to live here.

Then there was an Italian restaurant scene, in which Lady and the Tramp shared a bowl of spaghetti, and Olivia recalled the day when Peter first took her to Damiano's. She had never been there before; Olivia had merely driven past it on her way home but never gave it a second thought. Peter was assuring her that they made the best pizza in Boston, but Olivia somehow wasn't convinced, not even after having eaten it. It was too spicy for her taste.

After Lady was caught by the dog catchers and taken to the pound, other dogs admired her license and she found out about Tramps many girlfriends, and how he was unlikely ever to settle down.

And who might you be, pretty lady?-Big Eddies voice mocked her again out of the remotest corners of her mind. –I see you are wearing a dress… And a nice one at that, too… Did you have a date with Bishop or something? You don't seem to be his type… He likes his women giggly and cute… You're too stern for his liking…. All the whores he fucked in Iraq were sweet, wet and willing… You are no fun. It'll be like in good old times… I'll just enjoy her delicious pussy first… You can watch… And then you'll get the leftovers…

Did Peter really do all that? Sleep with so many women-she couldn't help but wonder, as her thoughts flew over to his mocking face and clever bright blue eyes. He is with Rachel now. So… I guess he has probably settled down. For good.

Great drops fell from her eyes; the heavy rainclouds in her mind let loose their turbulent nature as the on-screen female dog in the pound started singing about the Tramp:

He's a tramp

But they love him

Breaks a new heart

Ev'ry day

He's a tramp

They adore him

And I only hope

He'll stay that way

He's a tramp

He's a scoundrel

He's a rounder

He's a cad

He's a tramp

But I love him

Yes, even I

Have got it pretty bad

You can never tell

When he'll show up

He gives you

Plenty of trouble

I guess he's just a

No 'count pup

But I wish that he

Were double

He's a tramp

He's a rover

And there's nothing

More to say

If he's a tramp

He's a good one

And I wish that I

Could travel his way

Wish that I could travel his way

A doorbell interrupted her train of thoughts and Olivia frowned, angrily brushing the tears out of her eyes, surprised at its sound.

It's probably Rach and Ella… They have forgotten something, as always.

However, when she glanced through a peephole, astounded Olivia saw a familiar boyish blue-eyed stubbled face of Peter Bishop and her heart skipped a beat before she forced herself to calm down.

Perhaps he didn't know they had already left for his hotel room and he came to pick them up.

Nevertheless, Peter seemed awfully nervous and fidgety to her for some reason, and his gaze was darting left and right, up and down… Everywhere, actually, except in the direction of the peep hole.

Maybe there has been an emergency.

-Just a second!-Olivia slightly raised her voice so that he could hear her.

-Okay!-Peter cleared his throat, replying shortly with a gruff chuckle.

Olivia wasn't exactly going to open the door to Peter wearing nothing but her nightshirt, so she hastily put on a long, soft white bathrobe over it and headed to the entrance once again, unlocking it and unbolting the latch.

-Hi-Peter said huskily, and a bit breathlessly, cocking his head slightly and sizing her up briefly before lowering his gaze onto the floor. He had one hand in his pocket, while the fingers of the other drummed some sort of an unknown, but to him, apparently, soothing rhythm on her doorframe.

Olivia slowly took in his tight white pants, a light blue shirt he was wearing under his dark blue jacket and that clung snugly to his muscles, a pleasant smell of his cologne to which her nostrils had somewhat widened and his familiar wide smirky grin. He looked absolutely fetching and… Well… Slamming hot.

Olivia couldn't really recall if she had ever seen Peter dressed up like this before. Maybe at Ella's birthday party, but not even then…

He would normally wear his usual baggy old man sweaters and his casual jeans under his peacoat... She briefly wondered what the occasion was but remembered she was supposed to say something, not just stare at his figure at her door. His amused facial expression unnerved her and she recollected herself and asked a bit sternly and bossily:

-What's up?

-I was hoping I might talk to you-he said calmly and guardedly.

Olivia was puzzled.

-Is there some kind of an emergency?

-Nope. No emergency-Peter smiled good-naturedly and warily.

-I… I don't wish to seem rude but… I was actually going to lie down for a bit… Have you come to look for Rachel and Ella? They have… They have already gone to your place, you must have missed them.

-I know. I was in my hotel room when they both got there. I won't keep you long, I promise-he grinned amiably.

Olivia finally nodded in agreement, still looking utterly perplexed.

-OK. Come on in-she shrugged, motioned him inside with her right hand and went straight to her living room, turning her back to Peter.

Peter stood in Olivia's doorframe for several seconds longer, composing himself and gulping down couple of times before actually following her tiny bathrobe-clad figure into the salon.

Olivia was standing in the middle of the room, with her arms crossed and that posture strangely struck Peter as somehow defensive.

All the possible interludes he was thinking about in the car on his way to Olivia's place betrayed him, promptly vanishing from his mind as soon as he stepped inside her apartment. He could now only stare at her light green bright gaze, caught in it as a frightened rabbit in a headlights, not knowing what to say, how to react or where to start.

When one was starting a conversation with Olivia Dunham, there was always firstly a huge rift between Olivia's formality and Olivia's normalcy that needed to be crossed; the next barrier was the one between her normalcy and her cordiality-which Peter would only hope to trespass if he had done something outstanding for her-Peter remembered Olivia played nice when he revealed the location where Claire Williams was being held to her; and the last one, apparently, the one she herself had crossed in the sewers-the one between her cordiality and her unreserved affection-which Olivia displayed towards him seemingly only when his life was on the line.

Peter assumed he must have looked pretty stupid standing like that and gawking at her; what Olivia said next definitely confirmed his initial hypothesis.

-Peter-her tone of voice sounded impatient and slightly cross –What do you want? I haven't got all night.

Retorting words flew out of Peter's mouth before he could stop himself.

-It seems to me that you have-his eyes went over a half empty bottle of wine on the table and a too loud Disney cartoon that was playing on TV. –I don't see you have anything better to do.

-Has it maybe occurred to you that I might wish to rest?-she spat venomously at him and Peter cursed himself inwardly for having initiated the conversation in such a stupid derisive way.

-Sorry. It came out all wrong. That's not what I meant. I guess I was… I guess I was a little hurt seeing how you couldn't wait to get rid of me.

Olivia's expression softened a bit and she replied, tiredly:

-It's not that, Peter… I… Just… I was hoping to get some time to myself tonight… Seeing how you, Rachel and Ella were going to…-Olivia stopped herself on time, or at least that was what she thought.

-What are you watching?-Peter inquired amicably, deciding to definitely bury the hatchet and walking over to sit on her couch after having taken a sip of wine from her glass. –It's not bad-he praised her wine choice.

Olivia was still standing, wondering why the hell he was behaving so comfortably in her own apartment; it was something that Peter had never done before-he was practically imposing his presence to her.

-It's… One of El's cartoons.

-Um… Let me guess… Is it "Lady and the Tramp"? I had nightmares after having seen this scene where the giant rat attacks the baby in the crib. Ugh.

Olivia eyed him sympathetically but eventually inquired for the third time:

-So what is it you wanted to talk to me about?

-Aren't you going to sit down?-he patted the spot right next to him. –I don't bite.

-Is that a dare?-Olivia's eyebrows shot up into the air as she accommodated by Peter's side swiftly, albeit little wobbly.

No, sweetheart. Just a bit of good old reverse psychology.

-Is Special Agent Olivia Dunham a bit tipsy or I'm imagining it?-Peter teased her affably, leaning towards her and instinctively taking both of her hands into his just as he did during her hospital visit.

-Um… I only had two glasses of wine-she blushed and shivered, casting her eyes downwards and trying to hide the effect Peter's warm hands had on her.

-Are you cold, sweetheart? You don't look so good-Peter eyed her cautiously, analyzing her overtly, more than usual pale face and the black bags under her eyes.-Why didn't you turn on the heating?

-I wrapped myself up in this blanket so I…

-Hang on, I'll turn it on.

-I'm fine, Peter, honestly, there is no need to pamper me so much. It's nothing, really.

-We don't want you to catch a cold now, do we, honey? Remember how ugly those enlarged cold viruses looked like?

-Yuck! Peter! You really didn't have to remind me of that just now!

He chuckled at her horrified expression and she reluctantly did too, after some time had passed. Then Olivia recalled their previous conversation.

-Peter. For the umpteenth time. What did you want to tell me?

-Nothing. I was just messing with you. Does a guy need a reason to check on his partner? I simply dropped by to see how you were doing.

-Well, in that case, maybe you should head back to hotel. I'm fine, really. I gave the today's report for Broyles… I ate…-Olivia grinned remembering that was usually what Peter was interested in. -I even took a nap. Rachel and Ella are probably waiting for you. I… I don't want to be the one to deprive them of their time with you-she whispered with a hint of sadness even though her eyes were looking straight at his and trying their best to smile.

This farce has gone on for way too long. I shouldn't have let Rachel do this. Look at her… Olivia is so depressed because of what she thinks is going on between me and her sister.

-They are fine, I promise. They are both having smashing time with Walter. And seeing how Walter likes to play… It's probably literally smashing time-Peter smirked clutching her tiny hands even tighter in his. –Who knows what they have broken in the room so far…

Olivia shook her head incredulously at that joke and then stood up a bit nervously, pulling her hands back from Peter's and running her fingers through her hair.

Why is he here? What does he really want? And how long is Peter planning on staying?

Peter stood up hastily and a bit clumsily as well, placing his hand on her cheek next, trying to make her look at him. When their gazes finally locked, he muttered:

-Agent Dunham… A fine partner you are… I come to check up on you and you don't even ask me how I am. Apparently, you can't wait to see me off-Peter crookedly played the self-pity card.

-Why? Is there something wrong with you?-her fingers instinctively flew over to his left shoulder, tentatively touching the barely visible bandage. –How is your wound?-Olivia anxiously inspected his face. –Did the doctors tell you anything else? I… I thought everything was fine now… Now that the venom has worn off-she looked lost and nervous, waiting for some sort of reply, squirming under his touch and under his scrutinizing gaze.

It's almost as if he's waiting for something to happen… But what? What does he wish from me? Why… Why is he staring at me like that?

-It is. Everything is fine-Peter cleared his throat gazing lovingly in her concerned eyes.

-Then why would you scare me like that by bringing up the subject, Peter? What the hell? This isn't funny.

-I liked it how you were worried about me when I was injured… In the sewers-he whispered in a flirty tone…

-Well of course I was worried-she sighed exasperatedly, stating the obvious, still without understanding where all this was going. –We had no idea what the poison might do to you.

-You were really worried.

Peter's face was now in such proximity that Olivia could actually see the twinkle in his impish eyes and feel his hot breath on her mouth. The hospital scene from two weeks ago, when she first visited him after he was battered and bruised by Big Eddie and his thugs, repeated all over again, as Olivia Dunham felt like a helpless prey once more, trapped in his hypnotizing gaze.

She suddenly realized, albeit too late, that she shouldn't have allowed Peter Bishop to come so near her. Peter put his right hand around Olivia's waist and it burned her skin all the way through the bathrobe, as he pulled her impossibly close.

She barely had the time to gasp in protest when his left hand cupped her cheek and brought her head mere inches from his, never removing his eyes from Olivia's.

-So sweet, Livia… You are so sweet when you fear for me-Peter whimpered and not being able to contain himself any longer, he gently and slowly placed his lips upon hers.

Olivia's first reaction was to bolt upwards, surprised, but Peter steadied her as he continued to explore her warm, yielding mouth, letting out tiny grunts of protest and bringing her closer whenever she would reluctantly try to pull apart.

Olivia's palms were on his chest and she was halfheartedly pushing him away for several seconds until she herself sighed deeply too, getting lost in the wondrous sensation of his cool minty lips and his salty sea taste she recalled all too well.

Her hands sneaked up, betraying her, wrapping around Peter's neck as Olivia returned the kiss, without fully comprehending what she was doing.

Feeling her arms around him, as his mind was realizing Olivia was actually kissing him back and not believing his own luck, overwhelmed with desire, Peter suddenly felt his instantly, fully aroused manhood spring to life in his pants as several droplets of precum actually escaped from its opening.

He moaned into Olivia's mouth, backing away a bit without breaking the kiss, embarrassed, trying his best to hide the instant effect her lips and her closeness had on him despite the fact he had just relieved himself just an hour ago.

Their hearts were ferociously pulsating and their bodies were humming in unison, recognizing each other and enjoying the intimate encounter.

After almost half a minute had passed and their mouths parted gasping for breath, Olivia felt Peter's strong arms encasing her, bringing her head to his trembling chest as his lips repeatedly cherished her forehead muttering her name.

-Olivia… Jesus… Olivia… I was waiting for so long for this to happen… You… You have no idea… For… For almost a year.

-Peter… Peter, please. Please let me go. I… I need you to leave right now. We can't-her self-defense mechanism kicked in as she pushed him earnestly and decidedly looked away from his foggy, unfocused eyes. He seemed positively smitten with her and Olivia felt fear nesting in her chest because that wasn't far from what she was feeling, either. She needed to clear her mind, she… She needed him to stop holding her the way he did. Because if he didn't… She didn't know what she would do…

Olivia managed to wriggle out of his embrace and pace all the way to the kitchen door; she immediately felt better. Peter looked horribly disappointed but she didn't care about that now, she… She had to make him go away…

Oh boy. Here we go… Denial, stage one.-Peter cursed himself for kissing her so daringly in the first place. What happened to "I just wanna talk"? It flew out the window somewhere between that familiar white bathrobe and her worried gorgeous forest green eyes. Well…-he smirked. At least my sweetheart kissed me back all too eagerly, and that's a start.

He knew she needed him. Peter was sure of it now. That sweet, stubborn, infuriating human being who ran away for so long from his feelings for him.

-Don't do that to yourself, Olivia. Don't do that to us. Don't hide, don't run away from me.

-Us? There is no us, Peter… I…-words started flying out of her mouth way too fast even for her brain to follow. –I don't understand… Why would you do this out of the blue? Why the hell are you behaving like this? Is this some kind of game to you? I mean, I know you like to flirt and that… You are a player… That's just how you behave… But this… This has surpassed every limit of decency! What? Don't look at me like that!-she wanted to hit him and wipe away that self-satisfied grin from his smug face.

-Let's just say that you were looking out for me down there in the sewers so I am just returning the favor.

Olivia's face reddened. He can't possibly mean…

Peter advanced to the kitchen door and boldly retook her hands into his own, not removing his eyes from hers.

-I know you kissed me, Olivia. I felt it-he simply stated, waiting for her reaction.

Her tiny mouth opened, forming a little "O" and Peter licked his lips on impulse, and leaned slightly forward, subconsciously longing to kiss her again.

-Don't even think about it-Olivia threatened him and he grinned as a rebuked boy.

Then she swiftly composed herself, approaching the problem in the only way she knew how. Rationalizing.

-Okay. So Walter was somehow wrong and you actually were able to hear, feel and see everything that was happening around you whilst you were under the influence of venom.

Peter nodded briefly, exasperatedly, noticing the change in her tone of voice.

Uh-oh. She has started the analyzing sequence. Honey, you are really overthinking it sometimes.

-Well, then you were probably aware that I was under a severe pressure. I haven't eaten or slept all day for that matter, my best friend got knocked up by a beast and my partner was practically dying in my arms or so I thought. It was… I don't know what it was… It was a moment of weakness and I don't really want to talk about it, or to think about it, let alone repeat it like you have just done. Don't you ever… Peter, listen to me. Don't you ever try something like this again.

-That's not what I felt moments ago-Peter complained dumbly.

Olivia closed her mouth and then opened them again.

-That was a mistake, Peter-she blurted out defensively. –I had too much wine and I… I reacted instinctively.

-Yeah. Tell me about it.-he nodded mockingly, hurting on the inside. Why are you pushing me away like that, you stubborn woman? –Mere two glasses of wine clouded Olivia Dunham's mind, something that not even four shots of whisky could have done. And we really had a nice time during those "instinctive" twenty seconds or more, wouldn't you agree?

-You just can't resist it, can you?-she shouted at him angrily, not knowing what to say anymore. Olivia's attack was her best defense.

-What, Olivia?-Peter raised his hands in the air defensively. –I don't understand what you want from me. What are you accusing me for now? I know what I felt and I am admitting it, while you, on the other hand, just keep piling up worthless excuses. And frankly: lying both to me and to yourself. That's nothing like you, honey. If anything, Olivia, you were always an honest person and that is one of your most admirable qualities.

She ignored his remarks knowing they were true, deep inside.

-You can't resist an opportunity to flirt. That's what I meant. Staring at every waitress in each bar or a restaurant we have ever eaten as if they were wearing nothing on, bantering with the countless female witnesses we have interviewed, listening to music and sharing a meal from the same plate with Astrid; presumptuously charming my sister… I could go on forever with this list. You have kept your distance from me so far, you have respected me, and I was grateful for that. I thought that what we had was a clear, sincere, honest… Friendly relationship. Now you abuse one moment of my weakness and you suddenly decide you want another conquest. Wooing serious and bossy Olivia Dunham. What a challenge for your ego, am I right?

Peter was trying so hard to suppress his widening smile, now assessing the situation from a new angle, but happy for the way she had opened in front of him.

My, my, Olivia Dunham. As I leave and breathe. So jealous, sweetheart… The quantity of details her little radar had picked up during the eleven months we had worked together…

He almost told her I didn't know you were so interested in my conquests, but Peter knew that would only mean taunting her even more. It was not his goal. He wanted to be sincere, to convince Olivia that his feelings for her were true and deep. That he wasn't merely flirting with her. That she meant the world to him.

-Olivia…-Peter raised his arms. –Can we talk about this? Please? Just let me explain… Let me tell you everything… And then… I will leave. If you want me to.

-Fine-she nodded crossly. –Fine.

They sat back on the sofa facing each other, but Peter knew better than to try something again. He kept a respectful distance, aware that he was being scanned by her wide open, attentive emerald gaze. Olivia was about to drink in every word he was going to say and memorize it forever, Peter realized, horrified, remembering her photographic memory.

I better watch my mouth.

Rachel's advice popped into his mind from out of nowhere.

"Open up a bit, some more sincerity won't hurt! Make her see beyond that witty sarcastic persona you represent to the world."

As if it were that easy. If I open up… And she rejects me… She'll despise me for the fool I am. And how are we going to work in an atmosphere like that?

-Olivia. I… I understand you perfectly well when you say you want to stay friends. To be friends and friends only. Heck, it even took us a lot to get there. In the beginning… You were so formal and buttoned up. But I guess I… What I am trying to say is… That I have always liked you more than just a friend-he swallowed, not being able to withstand the surprised look on her face.

Olivia had never seen Peter like that. So nervous, so cautious, so careful with his words. His whole face was flushed and his eyes were wandering around the room. He seemed more sincere than Olivia could ever remember seeing him.

But… What is he saying?-her confused mind was refusing to believe it. Her mouth opened but before she could actually comment on what he had just said, or ask him anything, Peter started blabbing away so fast that Olivia could do nothing more but listen.

-We could be so much more. I know I want more and I can feel you do too. We could be friends 2.0. You know, like-his voice trembled again, wondering what the hell he was talking about. –Like an improved, updated version of friendship that would work perfectly on a whole other level. We know everything about each other, we care about one another. I… I fell for you almost since the first moment I saw you. When we were sitting on the bench… When you told me there was no file… And I admired how craftily you conned the con man. Well… That… And the way you smiled. I've learnt to appreciate your smile because it would brighten your face so rarely from then on-Peter raised his gaze to caress her features with the same adoring look he had previously given her in the sewers, and during her last hospital visit, and Olivia's eyes lowered to the floor, slightly ashamed but pleased.

-But there was John and I… -Olivia jerked her head upwards at the mention of John's name… -I knew I couldn't compete with his memory, which was still strong in you… So I didn't try anything… There were times when I thought… I could have sworn you were lightly flirting with me, like when you came to pick me up at hospital for the first time, after the magical can of space soup had landed, but… I didn't dare act on it… And on the night of your birthday… I wanted nothing more than to kiss you…

She blushed and stared at him, incredulous. What Peter was admitting to her… Olivia would have never thought she would see the day to hear him saying things like this… So openly, so honestly… Without a drop of sarcasm.

-I mean… I thought… The hell, I deserved the kiss after everything I had been through-Peter chuckled and Olivia smiled a little. –Of course-he added hastily-it's not like I've been doing all that just to get a kiss, but still…

Olivia shook her head exasperatedly at his boyish struggle with words but the smile didn't leave her face. Her eyes were gleaming now and it urged Peter on.

-What… Pained me and irritated me most was… And it still is… The way you would sometimes approach me with so much trust and kindness, opening up and then you would suddenly shut down, flee, and turn your back on me… Almost like you were afraid that you're giving away too much, that you were overtly confiding in me… But I wish to tell you there is no need for that. I will always be there for you. I would never betray you.

-I know-she nodded, whispering weakly.

-Listen…-his eyes feverishly bore into hers as he carefully placed his hand over Olivia's. –Walter was right. When… When you were abducted… I realized… It wasn't just a crush… I couldn't think of anything else. I was sick with worry… Pacing around like a beast in a cage. Wondering where you were… How you were… Whether you'd be able to make it outta there alive. It frightened me, you know… How much I cared about you. And when you went into that tank again… I thought you were going to die. That you weren't going to make it out-his hot forehead lowered all the way to her cool little hand that lay still in Olivia's lap, and stayed there. Olivia felt the need to somehow comfort him, and she gently caressed his hair, recalling his voice was precisely what helped her to find the way out.

-And you could never stand still-Peter jerked his head upwards staring at her both worryingly and accusatorily. -You would daily rush from one life threatening situation to another. I wanted to watch your back so badly… Always, Livia-he sighed deeply and she nodded, remembering the way Peter went undercover for her in the transformation case, risking getting himself killed, and how he came back to stand next to her while she was trying to pass the flashing lights test.

-You know… I never really thanked you… For what you did for me back there at that building, when I discovered I had the… Ability-she whispered. –You somehow calmed me down… It helped me focus… While I was turning of those lights, I thought of you, Peter. Of the faith you had in me-the last words she uttered were barely audible but it didn't stop him from taking her fingers into his hand and kissing them slowly, admiringly, one by one. –It took a lot of courage to do what you did… I really appreciated that… And I have to apologize I took all your support for granted more than once.

-It wasn't just me supporting you, Liv. It was the other way around too. The things we did for one another….We always walked the path of danger together and we would pick each other up whenever there was a need for it. On the night that was the best and the worst in my life… Well… The best, because I realized my boss looked great in a dress and I got to dance with her…-Olivia flashed a small smile in his direction. –And the worst, because of what happened later with Big Eddie… On that night, I realized how much you cared about me. Olivia, you came out there alone to face him… You see the pattern here?-Peter chuckled caressing her hair and Olivia shrugged, puzzled. –Whenever I was in danger… You would be more affectionate to me… And rush to save me no matter what.

-Peter, I… I do care about you… You have become an important part of my life. You know it already. I told you that last night at hospital… I was glad I got there on time… And that Big Eddie didn't kill you-she gulped. -I was so worried about you in the sewers. You seemed so…. Cold… I don't know what I would do if… If something had actually happened to you-tears started welling in her eyes and Peter cupped her face, brushing them away, firstly with his thumb and then with a Kleenex he pulled out of his jacket pocket.

-You never really have a handkerchief handy when you need one, do you sweetheart?-he teased her kindly, wiping her face. -But it didn't-Peter sighed, encircling her waist with both of his palms and carefully pulling her into a gentle hug. – Nothing happened to me, Olivia. I'm here. I'm alive. And well. I'm here for you-he pressed her tighter onto his warm chest for the moment and she listened to a hastened thumping of his heart, relieved.

Then Peter lifted Olivia's head and stared long and hard into her eyes, emphasizing every word he was saying:

-Olivia. I care about you so much. You have no idea how much. I would die for you and I know you would do the same for me. The two of us could be so beautiful together. I just know it. Give us a chance.

-Peter, we shouldn't. We're partners. It's forbidden-she tried to dissuade him, weakly.

-Hardly. Remember, I'm a civilian consultant. Broyles can't tell me a thing. But that's not all that's bothering you, is it?

She shook her head.

-Peter… The job we are doing… You already know how I feel about this. It is too risky… And I…

-Are you afraid that I'll die?

-Peter, it's not that I am scared of such possibility. It's reality. You almost died twice in three weeks! I can't go through this again.-his heart swelled with emotion seeing how worried she was. -It would be like with John…-Peter's hand fell limply on his side and he looked sad for a moment. -Peter… It's not like that… I don't think of him in that way anymore… I think I have moved on… But what he meant to me…-she bit her lower lip.

-I mean to you as much now?-Peter embraced her in earnest, and feeling her tiny, timid nod, he started gleefully planting rapid, light kisses all over her face to eventually bury his lips into her soft hair and just hold her like that, reveling in her closeness and in her shy confession.

-Olivia, it's going to be fine. We'll always watch each other's back.

Suddenly, a realization dawned on Olivia's face and she pushed him away, yet again.

What now?-he thought, desperate.

-Peter, what about Rachel?

-What about her?

-I… I can't do this to my sister.

-Olivia… Rachel is just a friend.

-Yes, but she… She likes you and… I've seen the two of you together. She could be better for you than me. My sister is the one who is kind, gentle, cordial, feminine… I put job in the first place… I am a lousy cook… I…Am awkward… Not as affectionate as I should be and…

-Honey! We are in luck. I put job in the first place too because I have a very strict boss-Peter grinned seeing how he managed to make her smile. –I am an excellent cook so we complement each other. About the affectionate part… Olivia, that's nonsense and you know it. You're just a bit buttoned up until you get to know a person. Heck, you are ready to die for complete strangers, you constantly put your life on the line for people you have never met. There is no greater affection for the humankind than that one, methinks. And the way you are with Ella and kids in general… Tells me you'll be a good Mom some day. You are awkward. That part is true. But I am always a little weird too and you know that.

Olivia opened her mouth to protest but Peter gently stopped her from speaking placing his forefinger on her lips.

-Rachel doesn't like me. Not like that. Sure, we get along great, and she's my sidekick and confidante, but… Nothing else. Besides, she has a boyfriend.

-What? Whom?-Olivia inquired, confused.

-Your neighbor from the ground floor. They've been together for… A month, I think.

-The neighbor from…-the information was slowly sinking in completing all the pieces of the puzzle in Olivia's mind. –Why didn't she tell me anything?

-Well-Peter stated warily-I believe she thought… And I am quoting her… That you thinking she and I are flirting might make you… Realize how you felt about me sooner.

Olivia rolled her eyes and said calmly, but overtly sweetly –She did, didn't she? I'll simply have to talk to her about that… As soon as I see her.

-I am sure you will-Peter chuckled, imagining Olivia fuming in front of her little sister. –Now… Where were we? Any more excuses to pile up? Let's see… I've dispatched the "flirty" one, the "let's be friends" one, the "we're partners" one and "you are my sister's boyfriend" one-Olivia blushed, feeling his warm arms wrap firmly around her and embrace her as if he was never going to let go.

-Sweetheart-she heard him whisper huskily into her ear. –Your sister has a boyfriend. And you don't. Now how is that fair?-Peter's hands were now nervously caressing her hair and roaming aimlessly down her back, and Olivia could sense him swallow periodically. –And, guess what: I just happen to be a free player too… So how about you and I…

-Peter…-Olivia muttered exasperatedly, but she didn't pull away.

-Livia-Peter leaned his forehead onto hers and playfully scratched her face with his stubble, enjoying watching her grumble. He nuzzled her nose with his next, and repeated the process several times until she complained that it tickled.

She is so cute-he thought. Lying in my embrace like an obstinate protesting little girl.

-Livia, listen to me. It has always been you I wanted. It has always been you.-he reiterated, clutching her even stronger. -You are the only one I care about in that way. I actually came here tonight to tell you that, and got rid of Rachel, Ella and Walter for the night, in case you hadn't guessed already.-she shook her head in disbelief. –I don't know how it turned out, I mostly presume that what I was saying came out as a bunch of incoherent ramblings but I know how I feel. And I can sense there is a mutual attraction between us, Liv. I mean, I know you like me, too, right? Who wouldn't? I'm quite a catch-he winked at her and Olivia couldn't help but smile. -We can take it as slowly as you wish. I don't wanna rush you into anything; I don't wanna scare you off. Just don't… Don't say no. I don't know if I could stand it-he muttered into her hair. –Anyway… To cut the long story short, I guess that what I'm trying to say is…-Peter stood up and bowed to her oldfashionedly. –Agent Dunham, would you do me an honor of becoming my girlfriend? And by girlfriend… I don't mean just a girl… And a friend… Which you already are…-Peter got entangled into his own words and he grinned stupidly, not knowing what to say anymore.

Olivia looked up at him fondly, incredulously. She found herself in awe of Peter. Of this apparently strong man, who would normally hide behind cynical and sarcastic façade, and yet he was now tentatively offering her such a gentle, hopeful smile, literally pouring his heart out to her. His expression was, as always, mocking, but she could sense how much her answer would mean to him.

Olivia couldn't believe that her major concern, her jealousy over her sister and that enormous sadness and envy she felt was gone, just like that… She was constantly suppressing how she felt about Peter, afraid to admit it to herself, because she was certain he was going to form a relationship with Rachel. After having heard everything he had to say… She realized how wrong she was… What a mess and misunderstanding everything had been lately.

And Olivia desired this mannish boy so much. His handsome face, his mischievous, goofy smile, his shifting blue, green and steel gray gaze, which could be penetrating, comforting, playful, adoring and loyal at the same time. She loved the way he was constantly managing to find some excuse to be around her, to check up on her, to ask how she felt, to see if she ate anything… The way he felt protective of her.

Olivia recalled how she was fantasizing precisely about him countless times, without being able to put her urges under control; when she was angry with Peter, when she believed he was leaving, when she distanced herself from him, when she was avoiding him… Even when she was trying to replace Peter with Lucas… To forget him… The thoughts of him, of the everyday, mundane conversations they had together would always creep up on Olivia… Everything used to remind her of Peter. In a way… It had always been him. Confusing her, making her heart skip and turning her knees into jell-o.

Peter was somehow the only man in her life she'd ever allowed herself to be feminine around, to allow him to console her when she needed comfort and to let her guard down. She couldn't believe he was in her apartment, in her living room, saying the very things she would never imagine she'd hear from him. Not in her wildest fantasies.

Olivia stood up and peeked curiously into his expectant face. Peter was now pressing his mouth in a tight thin line and chewing his upper lip. It was something that Olivia had noticed Peter was doing when he was nervous.

Well, I guess we are complete opposites.

She gave him a little encouraging smile, placing one of her palms on his chest and gently caressing his stubbled cheek with another. Her eyebrow shot up in the air as she whispered, playfully:


Peter sighed deeply in relief. He carefully, tentatively tucked the golden strands of her sleek hair behind her ears, pulling her closer. He spun her tenderly in his arms gazing goofily and disconcertedly into her light green eyes.

Olivia was never good in opening up with words, but nevertheless, she tried to express her feelings in a different way, raising on the tips of her toes and gently brushing her moist lips against his. Peter eagerly responded, invading her mouth and tasting her yet again. While their tongues were mingling, he forgot to breathe as he felt her soft fingers finding the skin on the back of his neck and then moving to touch his face tenderly and lovingly, cherishing him and whispering his name.

After they broke apart, flushed, Peter was at loss for words. He cradled her cautiously in his embrace, as they sat back on the sofa once more, now holding hands. He didn't want to make a mistake; he wanted to let Olivia come to him, to do everything at her own pace. Everything was so different than in his wet dreams, where his bodily urges would prevail…

Here, with real Olivia in his arms, even though he sported a huge boner once again that hadn't abated since he first kissed her, Peter was simply content with being close to Olivia and listening to her hastened breathing, observing her diminutive body sitting next to him on the couch.

-Look at you-he muttered, teasing her endearingly, in a soft voice.

-What?-Olivia's glance shot up inquisitively.

-You're so tiny; your head is so small, it actually fits in my palm. Have you ever noticed that?-Peter placed his large hand on her cheek and cupped her face mockingly.

-Hey!-Olivia snarled defensively.

-Who would've thought that Special Agent Olivia Dunham is light as a feather and as bony as a skeleton? Check this out… I can actually move you around and harass you however I wish, you're like a little ragged doll-Peter shook her petite body jovially left and right, like a happy child pleased with his new toy until he heard her growl half-menacingly:

-Do you want me to get my gun?

-Point taken, boss-he said apologetically, but a wide silly grin remained on his face.

Olivia's head was currently on his shoulder, and he could hear her sigh a little. Both of them were comfortable, for now, with just sitting next to each other and staring into one another's eyes.

Then her stomach rumbled.

-You hungry?-Peter asked, apprehensively.

-I'm starving-she complained. –Rachel promised me this home-made lasagna tonight but…-her reproachful beautiful green eyes got lost in his adoring cobalt gaze and her voice trailed off.

-Do you wanna order in from Damiano's?-he threatened, jokingly.

-No, thank you very much, I think I'll pass -Olivia giggled childishly, and to Peter, it was the most entrancing sound he had ever heard.

Without being able to resist his urge, Peter placed his cool lips onto her forehead, peppering it with myriads of small kisses, and then he went on kissing her cheeks, her eyes, and her chin, not really certain if he was yet allowed to take the initiative and touch her lips again.

-I could kiss you like this for hours, to make up for all the times I wanted to kiss you in these past eleven months… Also… -he murmured, while he continued his expedition. -It is the best way for counting your freckles. Does that bother you?

–No-she simply stated.

Her palms measured his broad shoulders, passing onto his taut biceps, gently squeezing them, and eventually sneaking daringly under his shirt.

-What are you doing?-Peter mumbled hoarsely, and she felt him tense beneath her touch. His hands lay limply on his sides, and Olivia smirked thinking how cute he looked when he was bewildered, vary, and unsure how to proceed.

-Exploring-she replied with a sly smile. He chuckled and cleared his throat in confusion. -Well, knock yourself out-she never ceased to amaze him.

Apparently, she had taken his permission way too literally, because her hands slowly circled downwards, travelling along his chest, only to continue to his well defined abdominal muscles, gradually lowering their road little by little.

-Olivia-he groaned. -That's just too far south.

She grinned mischievously, massaging his lower stomach, but eventually stopped, blushing, after seeing how hard he was and how rapidly he was bobbing beneath his linen cage.

Peter somehow willed himself to calm down, ignoring her ministrations, and barely resisting the urge to pinch himself and check if he was dreaming. Olivia leisurely resumed the attention she was paying to his chest.

-What is that obsession of yours with my torso?

-I don't know-she admitted honestly, recalling one of her bathroom fantasies from the first time she visited him. And that morning in the hospital. Then her gentle finger found the BE letters shaped scratch and Olivia scowled, clenching her hands into tiny fists.

-I was actually thinking of keeping those as a souvenir. Maybe… Expanding them in a tattoo… It would be saying… Something along the lines… BE FREE… Or BE YOURSELF…

Her incredulous, angry frown amused him.

-I'm kidding. He's gone, Olivia-Peter said. -And I have you to thank for that. My superwoman took care of him-he could see her smile shyly into his shoulder and suddenly he desperately needed to feel her closer. -You know, there is a spot beneath my chin just for your head. It's a perfect match. I loved it when you put your head there in the sewers… And… At hospital… Last night. While we were sleeping together.

Olivia placed her head where he had indicated her, and wordlessly snuggled beneath his chin. Peter sighed, relieved… He somehow felt complete with her tiny perfect body cradled next to his in that way.

Adam and Eve for the win. It's as if she really were made of my rib. I am usually the last to subscribe to this kind of stuff, but there is something in that biblical story…

-Right there, Liv-he sighed and his voice rumbled in his chest as he patted her head clumsily.

Olivia pressed her ear closer to listen to his unique pitch, just like she often did with the seashells when she was a girl.

-I love your voice. It's so deep, and soothing… With so many different tones just in one sentence that it's like your own melody, a musical signature that's solely yours. It's amazing. -Olivia whispered.

Peter swallowed hard caressing her hair.

God, what she is doing to me when… When she's talking about me like that.

-Now I understand why Ella enjoys her bedtime stories. But I think you could read me a phonebook and it would not matter at all…I really like listening to you… You know, sometimes when you go in your scientist mode and start explaining away… I pay more attention to your tone than to what you actually are saying –she admitted in a low voice, beaming like a child and his heart violently jumped out of his chest and started running around her living room floor, reacting to that endearing smile, which was such a rare occurrence. That simple tender confession was all it took for Peter's insides to melt as he abandoned every pretense of self-control then and there. He was so in love with her and he yearned to feel her. All of her.

-Olivia-he muttered, squeezing her hard, pulling her impossibly close, pressing his forehead onto hers and whispering hurriedly into her mouth-when you are in the room, it's like there's this invisible thread that binds me to you and I can't restrain myself from watching you, or going to stand where you are, saying something stupid just to be able to be near you, to see you react to me... No woman has ever done that to me…Please believe me when I say this is not a one-time fling. I want us to give it a try… To last forever. You gave me a family I never had. I'm over the moon for you.

He looked down to her tender moist eyes and traced his thumb around her slightly parted mouth. Olivia reached up so that she could touch and fully caress his face and he lowered his lips, pressing them onto her neck, searching for the most sensitive part, toward her collarbone, giving her slow, wet kisses and gently nibbling on her skin. Her head arched back eagerly as the goosebumps ran down her body.

Hearing Olivia moan in reaction, and seizing the opportunity, his tongue paid attention to her mouth next and flicked teasingly over her plump lower lip, sweeping around the curve of her mouth in an enticing dance before slipping between them. She shivered with the shock of electricity his taste sent down her spine, her tongue curling around his, stroking along it and building the fire within. They started devouring each other more urgently and more greedily by the second…

Olivia then gasped into Peter's mouth as her hands skillfully unbuttoned his shirt and started massaging his abdomen yet again, now instinctively tracing his thin dark happy line that led all the way below into his underwear but stopping herself on time, just above his pulsating erection.

That was too much for Peter and he hastily, covetously unwrapped Olivia from her bathrobe, almost ripping it apart in the process, driven mad with desire, needing to see the most beautiful present he was receiving.

He groaned after having discovered the tight green nightshirt beneath it, which clung to Olivia in such a way that left little to imagination.

His sex fogged brain and the cock that was now rapidly twitching in response to her previous actions urged him on and the tips of his fingers unconsciously brushed her nipples.

Peter held Olivia firmly against him as they were sitting, panting and smiling, facing each other. She wrapped her arms around his torso, and grabbed the skin of his back, and shoulders, slightly digging her nails in.

As their kissing became deeper and more intense, his warm palms lowered started caressing her thighs and moving around to cup her buttocks.

Slowly, he blindly, lustfully started rocking his pelvis, leaning over to her without thinking and through his pants, Olivia, blushing heavily, could feel a steady, pulsating pressure of his manhood that was now rubbing against her thighs, just like that morning in the hospital.

They lounged at each other desperately, clutching and grabbing frenetically, each needing to feel the other one as close as possible.

Peter suddenly realized what was going on, that they were going too fast and he was the first one to resurface and to break apart, heaving.

-Liv… We should stop… We don't have to do anything… I… Maybe I should go home now. Please… And-he tried his damnedest to sound coherently, reasonably… -You should get some sleep… How about I take you to dinner tomorrow night? And… We can slowly continue where we left off…

-Stay, Peter. Stay-she whispered simply, shrugging, with a light shake of her head. The images she had in her mind under the shower last night came back in full glory and she wanted nothing else but to sense him. They have already known each other well enough, and the only thing that was missing was the intimate touch, the ultimate meeting of their bodies.

-But… Olivia-he moaned desperately. -If I stay, I don't think I'll be able to control myself anymore.

-I don't want you to.

Upon hearing those soft, sensual words, his brain exploded and turned into mush. Peter was unaware what was actually going on around him, he was oblivious to his surroundings, and simply feeling Olivia's body incredibly close to his; begging for that moment never to end, praying she wouldn't change her mind. But she didn't. Olivia merely stood up, took him plainly by his hand as if it were the most natural thing in the world and slowly but insistently pulled him towards the door of her bedroom, closing it behind them once they were both inside.


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