Abby's eyes widened into saucers. "He left you standing there naked? Wow! That is priceless. Why did you announce the location of the condoms so casually as if you have sex all the time, Liv? Imade you buy those. And then, you said that making love to him would be putting you two out of your misery? Why would you say that…out loud? You are so green when it comes to men, dating, sex, love…"
Abby stopped her commentary when the server arrived with their breakfast. On this Sunday morning Olivia had decided to distance herself from Fitz. She wanted to get some perspective on her relationship with him, which was impossible, when he was always around her. By the time he had returned from walking Rolfo yesterday, Olivia had showered, changed, and graded one stack of her remaining 4 stacks of essays. Everything seemed to go back to normal between them. Neither mentioned what had transpired in the bedroom. When they finally met Karen and Gerry, it was just like any other gathering. They ended the night with a kiss. "I'll call you in the morning," Fitz had said. Olivia nodded, but she had already made her decision. When he left, she immediately phoned Abby.
"All must not be well in paradise if you are calling on your very neglected friend."
"Abby, I'm sorry. You guys are always trying to fix me up. Now that I have a boyfriend, you are whining!"
"But why are you inviting yourself to hangout with Paul, the kids, and me?" Abby had asked, suspicious.
"I miss my favorite family. You can't turn away a wayward soul like me that is asking to go to Mass with you and the family? Where is your proselytizing spirit, Abs?"
"We Catholics don't proselytize, but you are always welcome. Even though you won't say, I know you need to talk to me about something, so…we'll ditch Paul and the kids after Mass and catch up over breakfast at The Good Egg."
Sitting across from Abby now at The Good Egg, Olivia felt very unsettled about her relationship with Fitz. He had called several times that night and that morning, but she wouldn't answer the phone. Before leaving for Mass this morning, she had sent him a text.
OP: Good morning! Forgot that I promised to babysit for a friend today. I'll be out all day. Miss you. Call you later. Have a great day! :-)
She tried to relay a light tone to her text message so he wouldn't think anything was wrong. In reality, Olivia was mad at him for rejecting her like that.
"I am not green. I've had my share of men," Olivia said after the server walked away. Abby rolled her eyes as Olivia continued to talk. "I will admit that my comments might have broken the mood some, but it was acceptable for me to tell him where the condoms were before we had gone too far. We are both adults. And it has been difficult resisting each other lately, so having sex would put us out of our misery-"
"But Liv he-"
"No, let me finish, Abby. When I woke up and found him lying beside me, I couldn't help myself…I got caught up…but then he demanded that I declare my love for him. It was just too much. Who does that? What does he want from me? It has only been two months! Why does he have to be so…so…pushy and insistent about things?"
"Liv, Liv, Liv. You aren't making much sense. Let me break it down for you like you do with your fourth graders. Number one: You didn't want to sleep with him from the beginning because you felt it would complicate your relationship if you broke up since he is essentially your boss. Number two: You proceeded to spend every waking moment with him and his two kids. Number three: You try to jump his bones, but he stops you after the clothes come off because you won't say those three little words. When are you meeting his mom and dad?"
"They live in California. Only his two sisters live here in Denver. I met them, but only because they have come to the Karen's and Gerry's games."
"I think I know what your problem is. You're still scarred from your failed relationship with Edison. It has been more than two years. He's in DC!" Abby said too loudly.
"This has nothing to do with Edison!"
"Okay, just answer one question. Do you love Fitz?"
Abby stared her down as only Abby could do, her piercing green eyes daring Olivia to tell the truth. Olivia squeezed her eyes shut and grabbed the nape of her neck.
"Yes," she said in an almost whisper.
"What was that? I didn't hear you," Abby said.
"Yeees! Okay…I…yes. I love him." Olivia leaned her head back, covering her forehead with both palms.
Abby reached for Olivia's arm. "Why is it so hard for you to say it? You look like you want to come out of your skin, my friend."
"Fitz is too good to be true. Aside from his bossiness, he's practically perfect. I'm waiting for the real man to show up."
"Most women would kill to be in your position. Just enjoy it and stop looking for problems. My only concern is if anyone at the school finds out about your relationship…anyone other than Harrison, Huck, and me, that is. You need to consider transferring."
"I don't want to transfer. I love teaching at Ambrose. No one will find out. We stay away from each other at school as much as possible. We avoid being alone in a room together. I rarely if ever address him directly."
"Be smart about this. What if someone sees you out in public? It is only a matter of time. Just think about it. It is February. The school year is almost over. If you two very careful, you can make it to the summer without being caught, but I still think it is bound to get out."
"You're right, Abby. You see how my brain has turned to mush? I am at Karen and Gerry's games with Fitz every weekend. That would be the perfect place for someone to see us."
"Well, hello ladies! What are you two cooking up over here?"
Olivia and Abby looked up at the woman who now stood at their table. She was dressed in a conservative grey skirt suit. Her strawberry blond hair was cut in a stylish layered bob, and her makeup was applied to perfection. She had the type of face that most people would characterize as perky with the stereotypical cheerleader cuteness. It was too bad that her disposition didn't match her appearance. She taught kindergarten at Ambrose and most people loved her mostly because they didn't want to get on her bad side. Whenever there was confusion and controversy, Sara Marks was in the center of it. Unfortunately, she was never discovered to be the cause of it. Olivia and Abby knew her, but they rarely exchanged words except for a smile if they passed in the hallway. She wreaked most of her havoc on the K-3 grade teachers.
"Hi, Sara," Olivia said. Abby didn't say anything.
"Don't you love this place? They have the best omelets and pancakes! How are you two doing?"
"We are fine, Sara? And you?" Olivia answered for both of them.
"I'm fantastic. My grades are done, so I won't be caught up in all the franticness of next week. Everyone is going to try to be on time to please Mr. Grant. What do you all think of him? He is certainly good on the eyes."
Olivia realized that Abby wasn't going to engage. She had turned her attention to eating. "I guess he is okay. I miss Mrs. Vega."
"Really Olivia? He's done so much in these two months. I thought you'd be happy about the duty free lunches we now have? That has been one of your biggest issues. You have mentioned it at every faculty retreat. Now we have it? Did you have anything to do with that?" Sara said.
"That was Harrison, wasn't it, Liv? Didn't he meet with Mr. Grant with a proposal about that?" Abby said through her chewing. She jostled Olivia's leg under the table.
"Yes." Olivia answered taking a sip of her water.
Sara narrowed her eyes at Olivia, but quickly replaced her expression with a big smile. "I'm sure he is getting a lot of proposals if you know what I mean. If I wasn't married…but we all know that is a no, no according to…"
"Sara, I think your husband is waving for you. Thanks for stopping by!" Abby said with fake enthusiasm.
"Okay, I'll see you girls tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!" Sara walked away.
"I hate her. She is so fake! Something must be up because she wouldn't have come over to talk with us unless she was fishing for something. We need to watch her, Liv."
"You don't think she knows anything..."
"I don't know, but we should get Huck to keep his ears open. He talks to more of the early grades teachers. Don't worry about it. So where is your Prince Charming today?"
"I don't know. I am avoiding him. I turned off my cell phone after texting him that I would be busy babysitting today. But after our little chat, I need to see him. I am going to his house after I leave. Thanks, Abby."
"I can guess what you two will be doing tonight, or maybe you'll wait until Valentine's Day next week? Just don't go all Edward and Bella on each other and rip up the pillows and the headboard."
"Abby, this is why I love you!" Olivia laughed while shaking her head at Abby.
"See, Liv! Wasn't that easy? It will be easy to look that hunk of man in the eyes and say what you feel."
Olivia felt a sense of déjà vu as she drove to Fitz's house. She recalled being just as excited on that Wednesday night two months when she left Harrison's and drove to Dave and Buster's. She had kissed him in the parking lot resolved to take the next step. Now, driving to his house this Sunday afternoon, she felt that same resolve. She would tell him she loved him and then show him later. As Olivia drove, she started to imagine what it would be like to make love to him. By the time she'd reached Fitz's tree lined street, she was wound tight with anticipation and lost in her thoughts. The three extra cars parked at the edge of his yard escaped her attention.
Olivia hopped out of her vehicle and walked to the door. After ringing the doorbell, Olivia smoothed down her simple green A-line dress. She chuckled remembering how Abby said she was always overdressed for Mass. The door swung open and Olivia's heart beat a little faster at the sight of him.
"Olivia, where have you…?"
She placed her finger over his lips. "Shhh. I love you, too, Fitz." She didn't have to rise up like last time because her heels made her taller. She kissed him slowly and thoroughly. When she pulled back, he took her hand.
"Your timing is impeccable, Livy," Fitz whispered in her ear. She grinned as he pulled her into the house and into the formal living room.
"Mom, Dad, Granny…meet my girlfriend, Olivia Pope. Livy, meet my mom, Elise Grant, my dad, FJ, and my grandmother, Lillian Grant. You know Sybil, Lauren, and their families.
Olivia tried not to look too shocked. The room was filled with people, Fitz's sisters, each of their husbands and children. Karen and Gerry stood next to an older, regal looking woman with perfectly coiffed white hair. Across from them sat Fitz's parents. They were all dressed up and arranged like they were posing for a family portrait. All those pairs of eyes were trained on her. She looked from Fitz to his family and back to Fitz unsure of what was going on.
Sara Markson dialed her number.
"You'll never guess who I ran into this morning at The Good Egg," Sara whispered. She was hidden in her walk-in closet. She had stolen away a few moments from her family to make this call.
"Who? Don't keep me in suspense."
"Olivia Pope. She was eating breakfast with another teacher. I heard them mention Mr. Grant's name, but they could have been discussing school stuff. I don't think I'll be able to get a picture of them doing anything at school. They are never together," Sara explained.
"Well, you keep trying. You're prepared for tomorrow, right?" the woman asked.
"Yes, everything is all set, Mel-"
"Don't say my name!"
"I'm sorry. See you tomorrow." Sara hung up the phone hoping that this little venture would finally be her ticket out of the rut of teaching.