Green Eyed Monster

Lady in Red

Everyone in the room was secretly watching them, trying to look innocent, especially Walter, and Olivia slightly frowned. To her, it was painfully obvious. As if they were waiting for something to happen. Оlivia didn't know why she did what she did; why she caressed the back of his head, why, if only for the moment, she rested her weary head on his warm, secure chest.

She wasn't sure if it was because of the joyous, amicable, relaxing atmosphere around them or because of the way he reacted to the sad song which seemed to describe his nomadic life perfectly … It made sense to her, she wanted to console him… Just to make him feel a little bit better for a while, yes, that's all that it was…

But Olivia was certain of one thing: she couldn't allow that to happen to her again… Olivia wouldn't allow herself to feel like that so soon after John… Especially when there was Peter Bishop involved… He was bad news since the first day they'd met… And even though she knew him so much better now… She was still weary of his boyish charms. Peter was flirty, she reminded herself, he used to flirt with her, Astrid, and Rachel almost constantly, she remembered. Not to mention the countless waitresses from the diners and pastry shops they were occasionally visiting after the cases were completed. So this was probably just a game for him. Maybe, she pondered, Peter thought that wooing her was somehow even more challenging since she always seemed so serious and stern. And she didn't want to be anyone's toy. Olivia convinced herself that she desired a clear, sincere and honest friendly relationship, the one that should exist between two working buddies and nothing else. Everything else was simply too… Dangerous for her. Painful, even. He was not the man for her. Here one day, gone the next… One lovely lady- pretty much same as the other… Those were his mottos, as she knew all too well.

When Olivia carefully raised her head to look at Peter again, her wondering, cautious gaze met his foggy, unfocused eyes and her heart skipped a beat. He looked positively smitten with her, he had that silly grin plastered all over his face and Olivia felt an irresistible need to run away from this man as fast as she could. Fear from him was coiling in the pit of her stomach. Fear of how he was beginning to make her feel…

-Um… Peter… I think I'm going to go and sit down for a while- Olivia tried her best to look inconspicuous, slowly removing her hands from his neck and distancing herself from Peter a little. She immediately felt her skin protesting for being torn apart from the soft, warm embrace in which Peter held her just a moment ago as she crossed her hands and the chilling goosebumps raced through her body; however, she merely gritted her teeth and closed her eyes, decisively, quickly placing herself on an empty chair next to the little bald boy. Her legs were trembling. The boy stretched his hand and caressed her cheek gently, with certain confusion and wonder in his eyes, but then he quickly resumed his drawing.

-Hi! Are you enjoying yourself tonight?-Olivia was amazed how different, how breathless her voice was, almost as if she had jogged ten kilometers before opening her mouth and she mentally chastised herself for that. –Soon we'll have to take you back to the hospital but… Don't worry. I will look after you. Everything is going to be fine.

The boy nodded and smiled shyly. Olivia now had a perfect excuse not to raise her head, not to look at anyone in the room; her eyes were focused on the animal her young friend was drawing and so was her mind. She successfully banished all the other thoughts from her head and congratulated herself.

Peter just stood there aimlessly in the middle of the room, confused. The wave of disappointment swiftly washed over him, drowning him, pinning him beneath, filling his lungs with despair, and leaving him utterly miserable. He was feeling tricked, as if robbed of his most prized possession, of the most wondrous sentiment he had ever experienced. Peter was like a starving man who for a second got to try the sweet ambrosia and then was left empty-handed, with nothing but an ashen taste in his mouth…God, why is she torturing me like this? I felt… I felt her, she was there with me for the moment, she was comfortable with being wrapped in my arms, she didn't shy away from my touch… Olivia relaxed…. She… She embraced me so lovingly, with so much care… She came to me… For one heavenly moment she willingly came to me. And then she just… Left. Or was I imagining things? Maybe it meant nothing to her at all… Maybe she didn't feel a thing. Oh God… Oh God… I just can't… I can't take this anymore.

He had to compose himself, he had to calm down, he had to…. He couldn't let anyone see… How he was feeling. It took him all the strength he could gather to walk away from there. Peter put on his best poker face and went over to Walter and Astrid who exchanged knowing looks but said nothing.

Rachel and Ella suddenly started giggling uncontrollably and everyone looked at them, puzzled. They couldn't stop laughing. Peter sheepishly looked at them, certain that they were somehow laughing at his situation but after several minutes have passed he became worried.

-What's wrong with them?

-Oh… Listen, son… I might have injected a bit of helium into that Frankenstein birthday cake…

-Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Helium? The laughing gas? Are you out of your mind, Walter? That could be dangerous!

-Not in small quantities it's… It was just a bit… To lighten the mood… And Olivia's sister and niece are the only ones who tried the cake…

-Real funny, Walter… Excellent! When will the effects wear off?

-It should be in about ten minutes…

-OK.. Listen up, everybody! Don't eat the Frankenstein cake…-Peter warned them. It's just another one of Walter's human experiments.

-It's quite tasty though, son.

-Tasty or not… I think you went a bit too far this time. Luckily, there is another cake you haven't experimented on.

Walter looked puzzled and Peter decided to change the subject.

-So, Walter-that came out as a croak and he cleared his throat… Tell me… How does a depressing song like this belong in a child's birthday party? Can you explain that to me? Or is this just one of your usual quirks?

-Peter, my son… Seeing this little girl's birthday party… Reminded me of the ones your mother and I used to organize when you were a child… Elizabeth would bake you differently shaped pancakes…. We lived in the house by the lake and so many of your little friends from school would come… You were so brilliant back then and everyone followed you around… You were always in the centre of their attention, like a natural born leader… And you were only nine back then… All the girls from the class were in love with you, remember Susie, Stacy, Anna, Daisy, Mary? They used to take turns in kissing you and you would sneak with them under the dining room table and pull the tablecloth all the way down so that the others couldn't see what you were doing. You were a little Casanova-Walter chuckled, as everyone else in the room laughed out loud at the old man's reminiscing.

Olivia's eyes gently caressed his back as she also grinned, lowering her head.

-Yeah, Walter… Thank you for that unnecessary reminder-Peter replied sarcastically, but he smiled, inwardly. His father's words were making him feel better. In a way, he thought, even if Olivia never starts loving me, I'll be able to adapt, I'll be able to live with that, as long as I have Walter. His father was his anchor, his safe port, the man who was now making up for the years of abandonment, who loved him unconditionally. Peter was so grateful for that, for his existence.

-Wow, Peter…-Rachel giggled uncontrollably and he wasn't certain if the laughing gas was affecting her or not. -You probably were a looker just as you are now. No one could resist your charms.

He bowed to Rachel with a mocking smile.

-Exactly right, my lady. Well, actually, my hair was longer… My mom seemed to like it that way…

-Really?-Rachel added playfully. –I can't imagine you with longer hair… You must've been cute!

Olivia slightly cringed at her sister's words but said nothing.

Then Peter turned to his father.

-And let me guess. You thought how happy I was back then and how my life is ruined right about now and that was what made you play the song…

Walter hesitantly nodded lowering his eyes.

-Ok, Walter… I'm gonna tell you this only once and I don't want the two of us having this conversation again. I'm perfectly fine. Sure, I've been through some tough times but everything's good now. We're good now. Now play something fast, so that Ella can dance a little bit too, will you?

-Your wish is my command-Walter bowed, and then the familiar tones of Chuck Berry's song reverberated through the room.

Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music…Any old way you choose it… It's got a back beat, you can't blues it…Any old time you use it… Gotta be rock 'n' roll music… If you wanna dance with me… If you wanna dance with me…

Ella happily screamed when Peter lifted her of the ground and started twirling her around and tossing her up and down. Walter and Astrid were dancing together as well.

-Afro!-Walter exclaimed… -You've got some good moves, girl!

Olivia hugged the little boy as they watched everyone, feeling both calmed and happy.

Rachel's expression changed as she was looking at Peter and Ella, however, and no one noticed… She went over to stand by the window and a tear appeared in her eye. Why is her own father such a bastard? She was so sad that night, and she couldn't prevent it, even though God knows she tried really hard… Rachel wanted to be happy that evening, she wanted to be radiant and positive for her daughter, she… Just couldn't. The make-up… The beautiful red dress she put on for the occasion… Nothing helped her to feel better… It was all a façade…

When Peter and Ella finally collapsed on the couch, they were both panting of exhaustion and Ella's face was red, but happy. She gave Peter a big hug and a kiss on the cheek before running over to Rachel.

-Mommy, Mommy, this is the bestest birthday I've ever had!

-Yes, honey, you told me that. Mommy is glad you're happy, dear.

Peter noticed the change in Rachel's voice and eyed her warily. The effects of helium wore off, but… There was something else. Something just seemed off about her, she stopped being her usual chirpy self and he felt bad for her, remembering the conversation they had couple of days ago while they were sipping improvised pinacoladas. She must be thinking about Greg…

Olivia's sister was such a kind, warm woman, he thought. She didn't deserve to feel like this. Peter remembered her saying to him: "You really know how to cheer people up"… And he took pride in that because it was true… After all, he brought Olivia from the brink of despair so many times… Countless times… He was even ready to die for her, with her.

He stood up abruptly and announced loudly.

-Well, ladies, line-up… There's plenty of me to go around…-Peter was hoping that his joke will relax Rachel a bit and he was right, he did notice a small smile creeping up her sad, thin lips.

-Would you honor me with the next dance?-Peter came to her, beaming and she was so grateful to him, grateful for his kindness and for the way he noticed how she felt.

-Of course-she replied, winking at him, quickly wiping the tear from her eye.

-You know what to do, Walter… Chris de Burgh, right?-Peter urged his father.

-Oh, yes, of course, son, that would be quite appropriate, good thinking… Or maybe she could just have another piece of my cake-Walter fell silent noticing the expression on Peter's face. –Or not…

Peter and Rachel placed their hands around each other waists, and he winked at her impishly. Ella squealed somewhere below them:

-Can I dance with you too, Mommy, can I?

-Sure Ella-Peter replied casually-why not? This is how we do it, listen carefully, OK?

She nodded, eagerly.

-You put your left foot on my right foot, and you put your right foot on my left foot… So that you can stand on my feet. You got it?

-Yeah!

-You sure? Cause if you don't, it doesn't work… I used to dance with Walter and my mother like this, million times… Now grab my knees, and let our rhythm guide you. It's real easy, a piece of cake, right?

-But uncle Peter, I might fall over!

-You're gonna be just fine, Ella, hold on tight and you can move with us.

-Thank you-Rachel whispered softly.

Peter looked at her straight in the eyes and said, in earnest:

-You're welcome.

He brought her a little closer, embracing her gently, soothingly and Rachel's head rested on his shoulder as the ballad spread throughout the room.

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight, I've never seen you shine so bright, I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance, They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance… And I have never seen that dress you're wearing… Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes, I have been blind;

The lady in red…Is dancing with me… Cheek to cheek… There's nobody here, it's just you and me… It's where I want to be. But I hardly know this beauty by my side, I'll never forget the way you look tonight…

Rachel sighed deeply and held on to him as they slowly turned around, always mindful of Ella, who was now looking upward, smiling.

-It works, uncle Peter!

-Yes. Yes it does, sweetheart. I told you so, didn't I?-he beamed back. –You okay down there?

-Yes-Ella replied happily.

Peter leaned slightly and whispered huskily into Rachel's ear.

-Feeling a bit better?

-Yeah-she whispered back. –I am such a fool, Peter.

-It's normal, Rach. It's all normal… Take it out… Cry, if you have to… But you'll see it gets better. I promise you. I kinda felt as hopeless when…

He swallowed.

-Well, back when my mother died… And…

Rachel patted him on the back and that urged him on.

-I knew I'll never see her again. She was… She is… Irreplaceable in my heart. But I learned to live with that.

-I'm sorry.

-That's OK. Now, let me tell you look great in the dress, Rach-he murmured. -You truly are a lady in red. Greg is a blind man who didn't appreciate what he had. And you're amazing person, warm, positive and outgoing… Everything will work out for you. And I for one, know, that Greg isn't irreplaceable. I bet that tomorrow you'll be getting a phone call from that neighbor of yours…-Peter grinned wickedly.

She couldn't help but smile.

-Actually, yes… He couldn't come tonight since he was working up until late but… We are going to grab a lunch tomorrow… I still haven't told Olivia, though… She's in for a surprise.

His expression suddenly changed at the mention of Olivia's name.

-Look Peter… -she paused, unsure if it was any of her business but then firmly decided to talk to him. -About Liv…

-Let it go. Not anymore-he croaked and his voice became cold and unyielding.

-Please, just hear me out…

-Fine-Peter stiffened.

-I was watching her with you tonight… She seemed so… different than how I was used to see her lately… She was more relaxed, and maybe even slightly flirty… Trust me, we girls know about this stuff… Not to mention that she's my sister so I would know even better, don't you agree?

-I thought I knew her too. I thought I felt it, I swear to God. But then she pulled back, then she just left me standing there, so coldly, without even glancing back in my direction and what could I do, Rach?

-Give her time, Pete… She's not sure what she wants right now… But I really think she's attracted to you, if that helps…

His eyes darkened with anger and impatience.

-I am not so convinced. And I am so tired of… This. Dancing around… But thank you anyway.

He gently caressed her cheek with his thumb and hugged her even tighter, bringing her closer. Rachel inhaled the scent of his cologne and it calmed her down, somehow, he was so kind, gentle and intuitive, Rachel thought, and then she had the weirdest comparison play out in her head… Peter's demeanor actually reminded her of her and Liv's father… He had that same stillness and composure, that protective aura and a soothing tenderness with which he spoke to both of their daughters… Minus the sarcastic and witty persona, but… Maybe Peter was like that because life had been harsh on him.

The song ended but they remained in an embrace for a little longer before winking to each other and letting go.

Olivia's eyes didn't abandon the slow-dancing couple from the moment Peter approached Rachel.

He asked her to dance in the same way as he asked me…. The nerve of the man… There really is no end to his flirting. What was all that about, then? Let me make moony eyes at Olivia and if that doesn't work, I'll just go after her little sister? Is he so desperate for "female companionship"? And Rachel… I'm speechless… She's practically throwing herself at him, hugging him, whispering to his ear… What's gotten into her? -she simmered within. If looks could kill, Peter and Rachel would probably drop dead on the floor the very moment she started glaring at them disapprovingly. But then again, she thought, they did look cute, dancing with Ella, who was tagging along, standing on Peter's feet… Olivia felt an indescribable sadness deep within and her heart throbbed a little… What if he really does like her, but he is nice to me just to get on Rachel's good side? That's quite probable, actually. And who wouldn't like her? Direct, fun, interesting, outgoing, warm… Everything that I am not. Well, except the direct part. And anyway, why do I care? They are both grown-ups, they can do whatever they like.

Why did she care? If he could make her sister happy….

Olivia felt the little boy's hand tugging at hers and she looked at him, distressed. His eyes studied her, knowingly? Olivia briefly wondered, disconcerted, and then he showed her a piece of paper he wrote something on. reteP.

-Peter…-she whispered almost inaudibly with the hint of melancholy in her voice and caressed the boy's head. He beamed and repeatedly looked from Peter to Olivia. She stood up, nervously, leaning slightly forward, resting her hands on the dining room table, glancing timidly in his direction without really understanding why she was doing it.

As if he had heard her, Peter had subconsciously chosen precisely that moment to turn around and look at Olivia. Their eyes locked for a long moment and he got ambered in hers, while the whole world seemed to be coming to a standstill. Peter slowly took in her standing curvaceous figure, that beautiful golden hair that fell perfectly and smoothly below her shoulders, and his mouth twitched upon noticing her exposed neckline, madly wanting to trace it… Then his gaze daringly dropped lower, meeting her deep cleavage and Peter almost groaned out loud, imagining how good her firm, full breasts would feel in his hands… How he would knead and fondle them with care… How her nipples would pebble below his skilled fingers, how he'd make her beg him to touch her, pleading for more, moaning…He idly wondered what color her nipples were… If he had to guess, he would say light pink… Her skin was so pale and soft… He couldn't imagine her having dark nipples…

His cock stirred uncomfortably in his pants, responding to the fantasy scenarios playing in his head. Oh boy… And here I go putting up the tent again…

Olivia blinked in confusion, gulping and hastily lowering her gaze… Was she imagining it or Peter was practically devouring her with his lustful eyes? That couldn't be possible. Olivia felt naked in front of him, she felt so exposed and she shivered a little… What kind of game was he playing with her and her sister? The bastard, she thought, angrily. She couldn't believe he would stoop so low… She sincerely thought the time he spent with her and Walter had changed him for the better, but now she wasn't sure… Peter was apparently the same smug, double-faced con man he always was, Olivia thought, disappointed. He actually was flirting with them both at the same time.

Peter quickly shook his head trying to calm down… What is she doing to me… One look at her and I am a goner, with a raging boner…God, I need a drink.

He cleared his throat uncomfortably and he announced.

-OK, everyone… It's almost time to disband… It was a great party, though… Let's eat some of that delicious chocolate cake Rachel has baked and then we can go home and let these three pretty girls rest… Gonna go to the kitchen and cut the cake… It's the only way we can make sure Walter doesn't tamper with this one…

Once in the kitchen, Peter quickly but carefully pulled his shirt down over his pants and adjusted his pulsating boner so that it would fall down his right leg, instead of insistently, painfully pushing forward and… Well, instead of showing.

Then Peter washed his hands in the kitchen sink and gulped down a double shot of whisky to clear his sex-fogged mind. He took a deep breath and started searching for the knife. He found one in the drawers and began to cut the chocolate cake with care and precision. A shadow fell over him and he glanced up.

Olivia was standing in the door. Her eyes were… Expresionless, really. She seemed so calmed and composed, and yet there was something that bothered Peter, something behind her gaze… Like a hidden anger… He smiled briefly and nodded amicably, hoping she would not start yelling at him for some reason.

She didn't. But the tone of voice she used was so emotionless and leveled, so robotic. It hit him harder than any scream she might have unleashed.

-Even though I have to admit that you organized everything quite well, I must repeat to you that I do not wish you to do something like this, ever again.

-Point taken, Dunham-Peter answered in what he believed was calm voice. Inside, he was boiling with rage and his fingers trembled.

-I am glad we got that cleared up-Olivia continued, raising her chin. –Please, hurry up with the cake, because it almost quarter to ten. I have to drive the boy back to the hospital-she said informatively.

-I'll drive him.

-No, Peter, you will not. You have done enough tonight-Olivia declared without even acknowledging him.

-What the hell is that supposed to mean?-Peter couldn't control himself any longer and he growled menacingly, stumbling towards the infuriating object of his desire. He couldn't bear her obvious humiliating provocations any longer; he needed to talk to her openly… She was attacking him for some reason and if he knew Olivia Dunham… She attacked to defend herself. Did she feel threatened by him?

Olivia backed away warily, suddenly aware of his growing fury, but as he straightened up, the knife slipped from his left hand and a deep gash appeared on his right, which immediately started bleeding copiously.

Peter swore loudly as the blood spurted all over the kitchen, ruining the cake, his shirt and his pants. Olivia gasped and instinctively grabbed his hand, inspecting how deep the wound was. He pushed her away angrily, avoiding her eyes.

-It's fine. It's just…My clumsiness. I'll clean this up and… No big deal. Just… Leave me, Olivia.

-Peter…-her voice trembled slightly. –The cut looks deep. I'll go find the bandages and some ointment…

-Save it, Olivia. Don't bother-he muttered venomously.

Olivia gently took his right hand into hers and he moaned in pain, gritting his teeth. Her warm, soothing fingers caressed his torn flesh and, risking a sideways glance at her, he saw her softened eyes were filled with worry.

-It might get infected… Wait here… I think the bandages are in the living room.

-Don't let Ella come in here-Peter shouted after her.

Seconds after, he heard footsteps, but this time, Rachel entered the kitchen.

-Hey! How's the cake coming… Oh my God! Pete!-she exclaimed, covering her mouth.

-Yeah… Gulf War in the kitchen-Peter beamed, trying to sound positive.

Rachel quickly got to him and clasped his hand, mirroring Olivia's movements and that made him smile.

-Ok… Now give me your hand… That's right… You've been a bad boy-she joked.

-Karma is a bitch, what can I say-Peter mumbled in pain.

-There is some alcohol in the drawers, and the bandages are in the pantry… Just hold on a second…

Rachel moved swiftly through the kitchen, doing, as it seemed, five things at the same time. She quickly threw the cake into the trash and wiped the blood away from the counter and from the floor. Then she cleaned his hand with alcohol as Peter was wincing, looking at the deep mark embedded in his skin. It all took less than five minutes. Rachel was just unfolding the bandages and carefully wrapping up his hand when Olivia came back, babbling worriedly:

-Hey, um, I couldn't find the bandages anywhere, but I thought we can at least clean the wound with alcohol, and then Walter can fix you up when you…

She stopped abruptly staring at the two of them and Peter suddenly felt guilty although he didn't quite know why.

-Oh-Olivia said curtly. –But I see you are doing just fine. I'll go and drive the boy back, then.

Her voice was made of ice once again and she stormed out the kitchen door, slamming them loudly.

She repented as soon as she came out of the house. Driving quietly, Olivia was repeatedly shaking her head, confused and angry with herself. Was she jealous? She didn't want to be… She made a mental note to apologize to them both… I behaved so horribly and… God, how embarrassing. I'll just have to say I was nervous or something…

-There you go, soldier. All set-Rachel smiled gently at Peter. I'm afraid that shirt and those pants are probably ruined but… Does it hurt?

-Nope… I'm good now. It throbs a little but… I'll survive. Thanks, Rach.

-Peter-Rachel said, earnestly. –I think Liv is jealous of me.

-What?-he sighed incredulously. –That's ridiculous.

-Think about it, I mean… She saw us dancing and talking in hushed softened voices… Who knows what she thought. And then she saw me bandaging your hand… She likes you, Peter, I'm sure of that now… Jealousy is always a sign. A green eyed monster got her-Rachel grinned.

All the pieces of the puzzle started to come together in Peter's head. Rachel might be right, But… What a strange thing for serious, stern, calculated Olivia Dunham to feel… Could that be the missing ingredient Walter was talking about? The jealousy.

-I don't know, Rach. But it's not fair. Who am I, a boy toy? When she's in the mood, she's all nice and flirty, but if I try something with her for real she immediately gives me cold shoulder. Basically, she wants someone to… What? Gaze at her lovingly, flirt with her, support her… And.. Be alone forever. How does that make sense?

-You have to trust me, Pete, go slowly, be there for her and everything will fall into its right place… For starters…-Rachel teased him… -I don't have to tell her I'm going out with the neighbor.

-Whoa. What are you… You actually want her to think there's something between us? I don't think I could do that to her… his eyes darkened with doubt. -I mean, if we suppose she actually does like me. It would torture her.

-Yes, but it would make her realize how much she wants you to be hers and not someone elses. And it's not like we're gonna date, Pete. You can call me up several times, I'll talk to her in front of you and… Tell you how it plays out. I want her to be with you, I want her to be happy. She's got a jackpot in front of her eyes and she doesn't even see it. You two are perfect for each other. Just the right amount of chemistry…

-Thank you-he replied shortly. –However, I disagree. I certainly don't think I am good enough for her. She's an angel, Rach. And I am a cute crook with a good sense of humor, but a crook, nonetheless. She could do so much better. I want her because… Who wouldn't?-he fidgeted and moaned desperately. –But that's just pure egoism.

-She wants you too, Peter, I assure you, I picked up all the little signs… And you really have changed a lot since my sister came into your life, you told me so yourself.

-That's true-he sighed warily. –I don't know about your plan, though. I'll think about it. Let's just leave it at that… I don't want to make my life any more complicated than it already is…

After he said goodbye to Rachel and Ella, Peter first dropped Astrid off and then he and Walter headed back to the hotel. His father eyed his injured hand warily and that was making Peter nervous.

-I'm fine Walter-Peter mumbled through his teeth.

-I will make you a powerful ointment tomorrow in the lab… That'll turn into a scratch in no time, you'll see, my son.

Peter parked in front of the hotel and came out to open the door for Walter when a vicious surprising blow struck him in the stomach, sending him face down on the cold hard concrete. Several more followed and he gasped for breath. He could've sworn the assailant, or the assailants made his rib crack. Then someone kicked him right in the mouth and he gagged, spitting blood.

-Not this again-Peter groaned in pain, without looking upwards. –My best shirt and my pants were ruined by blood just quarter an hour ago-he desperately joked, trying to maintain his dignity.

-Always a smart mouth, Bishop-his blood froze in his veins upon hearing that mocking, cold, gravelly voice. –Shut up if you know what' s good for you. There's more where that came from.

His eyes met the penetrative gaze of Big Eddie, surrounded by his thugs. Peter quickly counted them… There were five, in total, not counting Big Eddie. He stood no chance. He found me. I'll be damned.

One of the thugs seized Walter and pulled him out of the car. The old scientist shivered.

-Peter?-he whispered, seeing his son lying beaten on the ground. –What are you doing down there?

-Run upstairs to the room, Walter!-Peter barely managed to groan but it was too late. They grabbed his father too and the fist of one of the thugs locked with Walter's eye. He whimpered and covered his face, bursting in tears.

-Leave him alone!-Peter shouted, exasperatedly, sick with worry. God… What are they going to do to him… Please don't let them hurt him.

-Is this your father, Bishop? The same guy you told us about… How you hated him, how you wanted him dead… How you thought him repulsive… How your mother's death was his fault? So now you "care" about this old lunatic? That's nice to know.

Peter shook his head at Walter's saddened face, knowing how all those words must've hurt him.

-Is that… Is that true… Son?

Peter couldn't look him in the eye.

-Gag 'em boys, and put them in the trunk. Let's have some fun in the warehouse. You'll remember the day you crossed me, Bishop. You somehow managed to avoid the car bomb, but now I am personally going to take care of you…

Well, fuck my life.-Peter thought.

Olivia stopped in front of the hospital and turned around to look at the boy.

-Well-she whispered with affection. –Here we are.

Her expression changed in the one of the terror as she saw the boy convulsing and clutching his stomach.

-Oh my God!-she screamed… -What's wrong? Let me get you inside. It might've been something you've eaten…

He jumped up furiously and started writing frantically on the piece of paper…

PETER PETER PETER PETER Courtney Road 14. Courtney Road 14. Courtney Road 14. Courtney Road 14.

She swallowed hard and trembled with fear.

-Something's wrong with Peter?

The boy was now nodding repeatedly, now clutching his jaw and shaking uncontrollably.

Olivia didn't remember what she did next… Everything was hazy and blurry, as if in some kind of dream. She swiftly left the boy at the hospital, she called Broyles, and now she was driving like a maniac towards her only clue, towards the address written on a piece of paper.Just don't let anyone harm him, please, just don't let him be dead…

Her phone rang and she picked it up nervously.

-Dunham.

-Dunham, where exactly are you?

-Agent Broyles, sir… I am now approaching Courtney Road…-she whispered into the phone, her voice strained, tense and filled with worry. She wasn't aware of the tears that were running down her face.

-Stay put, Dunham. That's an order. I understand you are worried about Bishop but you should wait for the back-up. I repeat. Do not enter the building alone. They'll be there in fifteen minutes.

-I'm afraid I can't promise you that, sir… -Olivia hung up abruptly.

-Dunham? Dunham?-Broyles slammed his hand angrily on the wooden table realizing she turned off her phone. Always so stubborn, dammit.

Olivia had to do this. With or without back-up. Peter Bishop's life was at stake.



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