After dinner, the two couples parted ways after spending the rest of the night laughing and dancing. Elliot was grateful for whatever Olivia said to Chelsea and so was Eric who pulled her aside at the end of the night when they said their goodbyes. He didn't pry and ask what was said but simply hugged her and said a heartfelt thank you. She hugged him back and told him to always remember tonight. He looked confused but she knew he would find out later on that night what she meant.
The ride back to the apartment was pretty quiet with Elliot stealing glances at Olivia and rubbing her knee.
"What?" she asked amused.
"It must be something because you keep looking at me like you have something on your mind."
"Oh I have something on my mind alright," he said wagging his eyebrows.
"I don't mean that, gutter rat," she said and they both started laughing.
"Just…thank you for whatever you did tonight. I'm not going to ask what you said but it obviously made a difference. I've been with Chelsea and Eric before and they never looked as happy as they did tonight."
"You are welcome and you don't have to thank me. We've had help from people that care about us to get us where we are so it's a good thing to be able to pay it forward. Plus I really like Chelsea and you can tell she loves Eric. Us law enforcement spouses have to stick together you know?" she said before she caught her slip. She looked over at Elliot's smirk and saw that he caught it too. "I mean law enforcement girlfriends, fiances, whatever."
"It's ok, Liv. I got what you meant," he said rubbing her leg trying to reassure her. She was embarrassed and as far as he was concerned she had no right to be. They pulled up to her apartment and he turned the engine off. As she got ready to get out he stopped her. "I feel more committed to you than I have anyone in my life. I don't know what to call us exactly. I don't know that there's a name for it but you are more than my girlfriend. Ok?"
She thought for a moment and smiled. "Ok," she said placing a small sweet kiss on his lips.
While they walked up to her apartment hand in hand Olivia decided to divulge a few more details.
"You want to hear one thing we talked about?" she teased.
"We decided that we have to do whatever it takes to make sure you two stay partners. We don't want either one of you paired up with any young hot female agents."
"Oh really. Well clearly you don't have to worry about that Olivia. If I was able to restrain myself around you for over twelve years of our partnership, I don't think any other female agent has a chance. Clearly I'm good at resisting temptation," he said kissing her as they made it to the door.
"Is that right?" Olivia challenged lifting an eyebrow. He was standing behind her as she put her key in the lock and she purposely grinded herself against him as she pushed the door open. She heard a low groan in his throat.
"Liv," he said in a warning tone.
"Yes?" she asked innocently.
"Hey did you guys have fun?" Lucy asked interrupting them. "Noah's sleeping soundly and was a good boy tonight."
"Good. Thanks for staying late Lucy," she responded.
"Yes we really appreciate it," Elliot added.
"No problem. See you Monday."
Olivia walked over to the nursery to go and check on Noah with Elliot right behind her.
"Good night little man," she said rubbing his back. "Sweet dreams," he added.
As they walked out and she shut the door he caged her in with his arms straddling the door frame.
"So where were we?" he asked in a low voice that sent chills up her spine. She tried to act like she wasn't affected but he could see right through it.
"You called my name and I answered you. I think that's where we left off."
"I think we left off with you teasing me at the doorway," he said leaning in closer to her but stopping just before his lips touched her neck. He was breathing on her and the mixture of his cologne and heat from his body was making her weak in the knees but she was determined to not waiver.
"Actually we were on you and your strong ability to resist temptation," she said trying to make her voice sound as normal as possible.
"Are you saying I cant? You didn't end up fucked during all that time we spent together did you?" he challenged.
"Well the main reason is because I can count on one hand the number of times you touched me during our partnership. I'm pretty sure if I would've dangled the bait a bit more when you were separated you would've given in and I would've ended up fucked as you so eloquently phrased it."
"You think so?"
"I do," she said leaning forward causing him to remove his hands from the doorframe. She then sauntered towards her bedroom leaving a visual of her hands behind her back trying to unzip her dress.
He quickly followed her into the bedroom and shut the door as the dress hit the floor revealing matching red bra and panties.
Elliot put his hands in his pockets and they both stared at each other giving a non-verbal challenge to the other to see who would cave in first. When he didn't respond, Olivia turned things up a notch and turned around to bend over and take off her shoes. She smiled to herself when she heard him take in a deep breath that sounded like a whistle. This was their relationship even when they were partners. Always a challenge and a push pull dynamic that was never totally adversarial but one of them fighting for some domination or to prove a point.
"Come here," she whispered. "Touch me."
He accepted the challenge and stepped forward rubbing his hands down her back and over the curve of her ass while she wrapped her hands around his neck sucking on his earlobe. When she moaned into his ear it immediately sent a shock wave down to his groin.
"Still resisting temptation?" she whispered while she unhooked her bra from behind.
"Mhmm," was all he could muster out.
Olivia stood back from him just in panties and her high heels and Elliot took her in from head to toe. His breathing was ragged and his eyes were a deep shade of blue.
"Aww fuck it," he said before grabbing her and throwing her on the bed.
"I knew you couldn't resist," she laughed under him.
"Only you Liv. Only you. Always," he said seriously before removing the rest of his clothes.
The next morning Elliot left to go and get Eli from Kathy's house and take the kids to Central Park while Olivia studied for her lieutenant's exam that was in a couple of weeks. He felt bad about distracting her from studying so much lately but had to fight with her because she hated missing out on time with all of them together. He pulled up at his house in Queens with Noah in the backseat. He was a little hesitant to bring him in thinking that may make Kathy a little uncomfortable so he sent her a text that he was outside and honked his horn a couple of times but there was no answer. After a minute or so he finally scooped Noah up and went to the door. After knocking a few times she finally answered looking a bit flustered.
"Oh Elliot I'm so—Oh. Hey Noah," she said surprised.
"Can you say hello to Miss Kathy?" Elliot asked Noah.
"Hey," Noah said after a moment and waved his tiny hand.
"Well this is quite a surprise. Come on in. Eli is of course going back and forth about what toys to bring. Sorry I missed your text but I was trying to prepare dinner and Dick is here," she said cautiously. Normally she wouldn't have been so nervous but she didn't know how her son would react to seeing Elliot so comfortable with Olivia's son.
"Daddy! Can you help me pick out what action figured to bring?" Eli screamed from the top of the stairs.
"Sure squirt," he replied. "Come on Noah let's go see Eli's room."
After picking out the toys and getting him packed up, Elliot came face to face with his oldest son as he came down the stairs.
"Hey dad," he said while keeping an eye on Noah. Kathy had clearly given him a heads up so it looked to Elliot as if he was trying to put on his best behavior.
"Hey Dickie, how are you son?" he asked while reaching out to give him a hug.
"I'm fine. This must be Noah," he said reaching out to touch the little boy's hand.
"Yes it is. He's excited to go to the park."
"Do you mind if I tag along?" he asked.
Kathy looked over at Elliot and they both exchanged stunned glances.
"Umm yes of course. I would like that," Elliot said patting his shoulder. "Come on let's get going."
The drive to the park was pretty silent between Elliot and Dickie. He tried to feel out his mood but he mostly was either quiet or just interjected whenever Eli asked something from the backseat.
Noah started to follow Eli's cue and started babbling and saying a few words as well. Once they reached the park they walked around for a little while taking in the sights, the boys played a little bit and eventually ended up on the carousel.
The boys were starting to tire out and Elliot took the time as they walked back to grab some lunch to talk to Dickie.
"So how's the real estate business treating you?" he asked.
"So far so good. Business is pretty good right now. Seems like everyone is looking to buy these days," Dickie replied.
"How's everything else going?"
"Pretty good. Can't complain. Making good money, doing some renovation work on my apartment and just hanging out."
"Renovation work hunh? Well if you need any help let me know. I'd like to lend a hand."
"Really?" Dickie asked surprised.
"You seem pretty busy nowadays so I didn't think to ask," he said looking down.
"Dickie. You're my son. I'm never too busy. That's why when I went back to work I didn't go back full time. I want to make time for all of you kids. I've been seeing your sisters but haven't seen you around as much and I wanted to just give you your space. I don't want to force anything on you. But if you're up to it, I want us to spend more time together. Ok?"
"Alright it's getting late. Let's wrangle these guys up and head back."
They ate lunch and walked back to the car.
"Dad do you mind dropping me off a few blocks from here? I'm just going to meet up with some of my friends instead of going back to moms for my car right now."
"You're spending a lot of time with Olivia's little boy hunh?"
Elliot stopped in front of the car and watched Dickie closely looking for any sign of a problem and braced himself for the worst.
"Yes I am. I'm spending a lot of time with her and her son. Is that ok?"
"Yeah. It's fine."
"Yeah. He seems to really like you. That's good."
"I like him too and thanks."
They got in the car and headed to drop Dickie off. As they pulled up to the corner Elliot thought it was now a good time as any to find out if he was up to the get together that the girls proposed.
"So your sisters want to get all of us together soon for dinner or something with Liv and Noah. You up to that?"
"Sure. When?" he asked nonchalantly.
"Ill let them set it up and let you know what they come up with."
"Oh Geez. With those two in charge there's no telling what we are in for," he said rolling his eyes and they both laughed.
Dickie got out of the car after saying goodbye to Eli and Noah. Elliot called out to him to get his attention before he walked away.
"Hey Dickie. Thanks for coming with me today son."
"You're welcome dad."
Elliot arrived back at Olivia's apartment with the kids in tow. After much maneuvering between Noah and his diaper bag and Eli's luggage, Elliot opened her door to find her laid out on the couch with books and papers everywhere. It at least looked like it had been a productive day.
"Hey Olivia," Eli said before Elliot could shush him.
Olivia popped up a little startled because she didn't hear them come in.
"How was the park?" she asked while reaching down to hug him.
"It was fine. We rode the carousel, ate Cotton Candy, played on the swings and me and Noah rolled around in the grass," he said excited.
"Sounds like an exhausting day," she said letting go of him and reaching for Noah, "Hi my love. Did you have a good day?"
"He played like a champ," Elliot added rubbing Noah's hair. "He's probably exhausted."
"He looks like it. I'll go lay him down and Eli how about you and I start working on what we will eat for dinner tonight since we had to miss making breakfast together for your dad when he left?"
"Yes!" he shouted. "I thought you forgot about that."
"I would never forget. I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to do it that day and I had to break my promise but we are going to make a great dinner tonight. Go get washed up."
He ran to the bathroom while Elliot and Olivia laughed at his enthusiasm.
"You know you are really great with this one," she said reaching to take a now sleeping Noah out of his arms."
"Yeah I've had a little practice," he answered.
While Olivia disappeared into the room to lay down Noah, Elliot went to settle on the couch. He had to move a lot of her papers and books out of the way to make room for himself and his eyes settled on a paper with Noah's name on it. He was already reading it before he thought it may be an invasion of her privacy.
The paper was a notice from the court to finalize Noah's adoption next week and a form for her to complete for his new birth certificate. She already had most of the paperwork completed. He took notice that she moved Porter to Noah's middle name and the attorney on Noah's behalf was Trevor Langan. There was also a paper that listed the name of Noah's birth father as John Drake and listed him as incarcerated. The adoption was coming up sooner than he realized and she hadn't mentioned anything about it to him. He realized she was overwhelmed but it was such a big event in her life he was taken aback that she didn't talk about it much and share more details with him.
"Hey he's down for the count," she said coming out of the room making him jump. He hurried and put the paper back down on the table before she noticed and acted like he was fumbling through television channels.
"You ok?" Olivia asked when she came to sit next to him on the couch.
"I'm fine," he said in a clipped tone. "Hey Eli why don't you pick out a movie for us to watch?"
"Ok daddy but it has to be a short one though because me and Olivia have to make dinner," he said matter of factly.
"He's so excited to make you a special meal," she said leaning in closer to him. "I just realized I haven't even properly greeted you yet." She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you again for taking the boys out today. I got a lot of studying done and was able to take care of some other paperwork too."
"What other paperwork?" he asked.
"Just miscellaneous stuff. I forgot how behind I was with everything so it was nice to get all of that taken care of. But, no more day trips without me. I want to have fun too once I get past this exam," she said playfully.
He didn't respond and searched her eyes for a little bit trying to see if he could figure out why she wasn't talking to him in detail about the adoption process. They seemed to share everything else. He couldn't shake the feeling that there was some deeper reason as to why she was being aloof about the adoption.
"Are you sure you are ok?" she asked again.
"Yeah I'm just a little tired," he lied.
"Ok well you can rest on me while we watch the movie or go in the back and take a nap until after dinner is ready," she offered.
"I'll watch the movie and then go lay in the back while dinner is cooking."
"Ok," she said cautiously. She knew better than to push Elliot when something was wrong so she decided she would wait until later to see if he would be more forthcoming.
Elliot didn't say much to her during dinner and they focused all of their attention on the kids. Although Olivia was bothered, she enjoyed how much Eli liked talking about all of the things that were going on with him and bathed in the attention. His banter back and forth with Elliot was pure comedy and Noah joined in as best he could with a few words here and there when prompted.
She was so happy that everything in her life seemed to be getting on track but Elliot's demeanor bothered her. He had gotten pretty good at sharing his feelings lately and being more vocal about what was on his mind so the regression was concerning.
"Alright we are all done. I'm going to go give these two monkeys a bath and then it's time for bed," he offered. Before she could say anything he was lifting Noah out of his high chair and heading to the bathroom.
After a joint effort of getting them both down for bed in Noah's room Eli asked for his daddy to stay with him for a minute. Olivia kissed him and Noah good night and left the room.
"What is it son?" he asked leaning down on the floor next to his bed.
"Are we always going to stay here when you and I have time together?" he asked.
Elliot's heart sank. He had been spending so much time at Olivia's house he didn't think that Eli wouldn't always want to be there.
"No we don't have to. I'm sorry I should've asked you first. You'd rather we stay at our apartment next time?"
"Well it's not that it's just…." he struggled to get out.
"Eli you can talk to me. You can tell daddy anything. I won't be mad at you. Do you wish we spent more time just you and me?" he coaxed him on rubbing his hair.
"No I like Olivia and Noah it's just that well…..my xbox is at your apartment. If we are going to be here can we go get it?" he asked sincerely.
Elliot erupted in laughter but quickly quieted himself concerned he would wake up Noah and Eli looked confused.
"What daddy?" he asked furrowing his eyebrows.
"Nothing. I love you son. Yes we will go get your xbox ok?"
"Ok. Good night daddy. I love you."
"Ni ni daddy," Elliot heard another small voice say. He stopped in his tracks thinking he was hearing things.
He looked over at Eli who was already out cold. He slowly walked over to Noah's crib to see him awake and cuddling one of his bears. He laid his hands on his belly and rubbed back and forth to try and sooth him to sleep. He still wasn't sure that he really heard Noah correctly.
"Time to go night night little man," he whispered. After a few moments Noah started to drift off.
"Ni daddy," he said again before closing his eyes.
Elliot smiled after getting his confirmation and leaned down to kiss his forehead. "Goodnight son."