The next few weeks were filled with prepping for the Harrington trial and visits to Maya in the hospital. She was kept for a while because she was malnourished and there were some concerns over the health of her child. They initially wanted to keep her until she gave birth to be cautious but she was adamant to go home with her aunt and spend some time away from everything. Barba was trying to postpone the trial until after she had the baby but it didn't look as if it would pan out that way.
Elliot and Olivia had a low key Thanksgiving together with the kids spending most of their time at Kathy's and then coming over to their house later that evening. Christmas was promised to be a much higher end affair. Kathy and her new beau were going to go out of town on Christmas Eve so they got to have Eli for Christmas day which made them both very happy.
Olivia woke up on a Friday morning in the arms of her husband with his arm draped protectively over her belly as always. Her mind drifted to their night before in the nursery with Noah trying to explain to him that he would have a new baby sister and that there was a baby in mommy's belly. The last few weeks had seen Olivia go from only being able to tell she's pregnant at certain angles to being able to notice from every angle.
"Look Noah. Baby," Elliot said pointing to Olivia's bare belly. "Do you want to touch the belly?"
Noah got a little closer as if he was scared her big stomach was going to jump out and hurt him but finally pressed one finger to her bump and said "Baby" before pulling it back quickly.
Noah didn't seem to be fully comprehending what was going on but he was amused seeing his daddy talking and kissing Mommy's belly. Noah giggled and kissed her belly too and he and Elliot took turns. The memory spurns laughter in her and she decides to get up careful not to wake a sleeping Elliot.
It's just shortly after 6am and she decided to take a three day weekend so she could spend some quality time with her favorite boys. She tiptoed to check on Noah in the nursery and found him still peacefully asleep. In the quiet of the morning, she checks a few emails and decides to cook pancakes and bacon to surprise Elliot with a lazy breakfast in bed. He's been working non-stop lately on getting their new home renovated in time for them to move in and be settled before their daughter arrives.
Olivia was standing at the stove flipping the first pancake over when she felt his familiar hands snaked around her waist.
"Good Morning," he said nuzzling her neck and burying his face in her hair.
"Good Morning. What are you doing up? I was going to surprise you." She leaned into him and they swayed back and forth.
"You know I never stay sleep long when you are not in the bed. Come back and lay down with me before you have to go to work," he said nudging her from behind with his erection.
She snickered and placed the pancake on a nearby plate before pouring batter for another. "I'm sure you don't just want to lay down."
"I can't believe what you are insinuating," he said feigning ignorance.
"Oh I'm not insinuating anything. This," she said wiggling her ass against his erection, "is telling me everything I need to know."
"Then in that case," he said reaching over to turn off the stove burners, "let's just turn this off and he can finish telling you some more things." Olivia is uncontrollably giggling and swatted his hand back before putting the stove back on.
"Would you cut it out? I'm trying to finish these pancakes."
"And I'm just trying to finish," he countered kissing the spot on her neck that he knows drives her crazy.
"Mmm," she groans. "You know that's my spot."
"Yes I do," he said untying her robe. "We have to hurry before Noah wakes up."
She starts to give in after taking another pancake off the stove until she hears Noah whimpers.
Elliot groaned and buried his forehead in her shoulder. "Ill go get him."
"No it's ok," she said giving him a kiss. "Ill go get him. Can you take that bacon out for me?"
"I would've preferred to take some sausage out for you," he joked and looked down at his very visible erection through his pajama pants.
"You are utterly ridiculous," she said barely able to contain her laughter. "I'm going to get our child and you get that under control."
In the nursery she picked up Noah, soothed his cries by rocking him and changed his diaper. By the time she got back to the kitchen, Elliot is finishing up the last of the pancakes and the bacon is done.
"Daddy," Noah called out rubbing his sleepy eyes.
"Good morning little man."
He scoops Noah out of her arms and playfully slaps Olivia on the ass.
"Ow!" She rubbed her ass giving him a reprimanding look with humor in her eyes while she prepared the breakfast tray.
"Ok I'm almost done getting everything together. I was serious El. We are going to have breakfast in bed so you two go ahead and I should be back there shortly."
He gives her a concerned look before going back in the kitchen. "Liv why don't the two of you go lay down and get settled and I bring everything in there? You shouldn't be carrying all of that? Plus don't you have to get ready for work soon?" he asks rubbing her belly as if to remind her that she's in her third trimester of pregnancy.
"I can carry a tray. It's not that big of a deal, stop fussing over me," she admonishes him and wraps her hands around his neck. "Plus I want to do something special for you. And I have another surprise. I took the day off so we can have a nice, quiet three day weekend together."
He is completely in shock. "You did?"
"Well don't look so surprised Stabler." She gave him a kiss and whispered in his ear. "Now you two go to the back and when Noah takes his nap in a few hours he and I can finish our conversation from earlier," she said seductively and touching his erection.
In the blink of an eye, Elliot was moving out of the kitchen grabbing Noah and was on his way to the bedroom with Olivia laughing and shaking her head at him.
After they ate breakfast in bed together, they settled together in the bed with Noah in the middle watching television and making small talk about the house and work. The goal was to have the house done by mid January which would give them another month to get everything settled before the baby came.
"Is he getting sleepy?" Elliot asked hopeful.
Olivia chuckled softly and rolled her eyes. "He's only been up a few hours. It's barely 11am."
"I need to break out my fantastic storytelling skills on him. Always works," he bragged getting comfortable and pulling the blanket up over him.
She felt the baby kick and held her stomach.
"She at it again?"
"Yep. You know how she gets when you start all that talking," she teased.
"Alright let the master work his magic," he said sitting back up as if he was getting into position while Noah put his hand over Olivia's on her belly.
"Ba-by," the little boy said with his eyes heavy.
"That's right honey," she said kissing his head. "That's the baby."
"Do you think he's starting to get it?" she asked admiring her son who was getting comfortable on the pillow.
"Tough to tell, we just need to keep talking to him about it. I don't think it's really going to sink in until she gets here."
"Yeah," she said rubbing her hands in a circular motion on her stomach. "So what kind of story are you going to tell them this time?"
Elliot smiled mischievously and rubbed his hand across "Well this one is kind of an original that I wrote myself."
She just stared at him while he continued. "I call this one Beauty and the Detective."
She laughed and got settled in the bed to listen to whatever he came up with, "Yep, original indeed."
"So what is this story about?" she humored him.
"About a Princess whose name was Olivia. She was smart, fairly good looking I guess you could say but she was tough as nails. She even had a little bit of a mean streak."
"Umm hmm," she smiled urging him on.
"She was used to being by herself but then she realized she had to change because she met this devastatingly handsome debonair charming Detective named Elliot."
Olivia burst into laughter holding on to her stomach. "So you decided to go with a fairy tale then. Got it," she said.
"No this is based on a true story so a few very minor details may be have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties involved. Now can I not be so rudely interrupted?" he asked quirking an eyebrow at her.
"Minor details? Whatever you say Elliot. Please continue."
Noah nuzzled against her and his eyes began to close.
"So as I was saying. This man was handsome and the way the women would just falllll to his feet. Man. He almost needed a fly swatter to shoo them all away."
Olivia wanted to laugh but she was careful not to wake Noah. She loved to see Elliot like this. So funny and carefree. He loved his work but he was absolutely radiant when he was with her and the kids. His words he once said to her was ringing in her mind.
Family is everything.
"So despite all the women throwing themselves at him he only had eyes for one woman…" he said seriously locking eyes with her. "Heidi Klum."
They both couldn't contain their amusement but thankfully Noah didn't wake up.
"You are such a dick," she said swatting at him.
"Speaking of that…so he's sleeping hunh?" he asked wagging his eyebrows.
"Yes he is so why don't you just call Heidi Klum or another blonde since that seems to be your preference." She got under the covers and acted as if she was upset but she really just enjoyed indulging her husband's playful side.
He pulled back the cover and kissed her cheek. "I'm just joking Liv. You know there's only you. There will only ever be you."
"Is that the end of this tall tale?"
"Yes it is."
"Good. Now kiss me," she demanded and pulled his lips on hers. The kiss was soft and gentle. Just what she wanted. She didn't want anything today to be frenzied or rushed. She wanted to take her time and spend the minutes and hours savoring the time with her husband and son. Rest of the world be damned.
Noah started to stir and they quickly pulled back from the kiss.
"Come on little guy let's get you in the bed."
He tried to pull Noah from Olivia's side but the little boy just leaned more into her and whined.
"Come on Noah," he tried again to no avail. Elliot looked defeated and she smiled at him knowing his sole purpose for getting Noah out of the bed.
"A little help here Liv?" he prodded her.
"Well maybe we could all take a nap together," she suggested and saw his face fall momentarily. He quickly recovered and got back into bed turning on his side cuddling up close to her and Noah.
"Sleep tight little man. You owe daddy one," he whispered and kissed him on the forehead. Within a few minutes the three of them were sleeping soundly.
An hour later, Olivia climbed back into bed after putting Noah in the nursery. She rubbed her hands up and down his arm and he stirred. She decided to be a bit more aggressive and kissed his neck and shoulder and he jolted awake.
"Hey how long was I asleep for?" he asked lifting his arm to give her access to lay on his chest.
"Just an hour. I put Noah in his bed," she said rubbing her hand across his chest. He turned over on his back and she pulled the blanket back to reveal her naked form.
She smiled at his sharp inhale of breath. He was looking at her like he'd never seen her before.
"Come here," she said pulling his arm.
"Just give me a minute," he said. He pulled down his pajama pants and never took his eyes off her. He pulled the blanket all the way off and hovered over her looking her over from head to toe. She was starting to feel a little self conscious about her size and put her hand on her belly.
"Don't," he stated. "You have never looked more beautiful than you do right now. Don't hide yourself from me."
It was amazing how he always had the ability to rid her of any insecurity. She grinned back at him and removed her hands and put them behind her head under the pillow fully exposing herself.
"We are going to have to start getting creative with positions now," she told him as he began to kiss her.
"Oh don't you worry about that little lady. Where there's a will there's a way." He cupped her breasts and she began to moan softly feeling his erection against her. "And I definitely have the will."
After they made love, they laid in blissful silence for some time with Olivia laying on Elliot's chest. Her mind began to wander and he could feel that there was something on her mind.
"Penny for your thoughts?" he asked stroking her naked back gently.
"I was just thinking about something that Sydney said and…" Elliot looked down at her to make sure she was ok and this wasn't something that was bothering her in an adverse way.
"You said she's doing ok right?"
"Oh yeah she is."
She was quiet for a few minutes before she began talking again.
"Did I ever tell you about my next door neighbor when I was younger?"
"No you didn't."
She pulled back from him and laid on her back to get a little more comfortable. Elliot turned over and rested his head in her side.
"Her name was Miss Charlotte. She was this older lady, she had a few cats, no kids she was all alone but she was always so content. When my mom would go into one of her episodes I would go sit on my front steps. I just couldn't stand to be in that house and be in the same space as her after we would have one of our fights. So Miss Charlotte would see me outside and always invite me over," she smiled at the memory. "I should've been weary because of the whole don't talk to strangers thing and I was only ten but there was something about her I instantly trusted. She had this old antique dollhouse and said she needed me to help her restore it so I did. I think that was her way of having a reason to have me over instead of just coming out and saying she felt sorry for me because my mom was a sloppy drunk. I spent a lot of time over there. Pretty soon I started just going over there on my own instead of waiting for when my mom and I would get into an argument. I know she knew my mom was an alcoholic and that I was suffering but she never mentioned it to me. I appreciated that so much because I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want anyone to pity me, I just wanted to feel like a normal kid and do normal kid things like play with dollhouses and watch cartoons."
Elliot looked up at her and noticed how her face lit up talking about the woman.
"You playing with a dollhouse? I can't believe it. Doesn't seem like your style," he teased playing with her fingers while she continued her story.
"Yep I played with that dollhouse all the time. Then she brought me some dolls and I would rock them and dress them and comb their hair.."
"Now that I could see. Always the mother, even back then," he added and began to rub her belly.
"Yeah. There weren't many things I looked forward to back then but I would go home and hurry and do my homework so I could go over to her house. I didn't always play with the dolls or the dollhouse, sometimes her and I would just sit on the back porch, drink lemonade and look out at the world. It was so peaceful. It was the best year of my life spending time with her."
"Sounds like a nice lady. I can't believe you never mentioned her before. What happened to her?" he asked.
Olivia took a deep breath and continued. "I went away for a week to some stupid summer camp my mom made me go to and when I got back I couldn't wait to go over to her house and see her. I knocked on the door and this other woman answered the door. Turns out it was Miss Charlotte's sister. She had a heart attack a few days after I left and…she was gone," she swallowed the words a little shocked that it still evoked emotion from her after all this time.
"I'm sorry Liv."
"Yeah. She was the first person I met that really showed me there are some genuinely good people in this world. No bullshit, no ulterior motives, just good people." She leaned down and gave him another kiss on the lips.
"Thank you for sharing that story with me. I know it's not easy to talk about your childhood. What made you think about it?"
She thought for a minute, feeling her daughter begin to move around again inside her. "It was a conversation that I had with Sydney in the hospital a month or so ago. She said I should name the baby after someone or something that was a positive memory for me or something I view as happy," she explained as realization dawned on him.
"El, I want to name her Charlotte," she said smiling down at him. "If that's ok with you. I know we haven't really talked about it and it should be a joint decision and—"
He put his finger on her mouth to stop her. "I think it's a beautiful name. I like it."
"You do?" She was a little astonished that he agreed so quickly.
"Absolutely." He moved closer to her belly and began to talk to the baby.
"Ok little girl. How do you feel about the name Charlotte?" he asked earning a chuckle from Olivia.
"If she answers you, I will be a little worried."
"We will improvise. One kick for yes and two kicks for no," he joked and she continued to laugh gliding her hands against his short hair.
A few moments later, they felt the baby kick…once.
"And there it is. She agrees," Elliot announced.
"We can't wait to meet you Charlotte."