Chapter 7 Electrical Storm
"Well if the sky can crack, there must be some way back. To love and only love." – U2
Something felt off. Olivia felt dizzy and disoriented. As she slowly opened her eyes, a pain shot through her skull. She winced. It was a pain she wasn't expecting. She tried to get a sense of her surroundings but her vision was blurry. She could see two shadowy figures across the room but she couldn't tell who or what they were at first. But when the larger one moved, Olivia began to realize where she was. She blinked her eyes again and now her eyes began to focus. "Oh no. Oh God no! Not again. Please God not again." Olivia thought.
She tried to move but she was tied to a chair. The same chair as before, in the same spot, in her old apartment. Olivia began to panic. She struggled again against her restraints. She couldn't break free. She tried to scream but her mouth was taped shut. She tried to move her hands again in the hopes she could loosen the tape and rope. But it wasn't working. She needed to get out of there. Her heart was racing.
Olivia froze. She could feel the blood drain from her face. The room was suddenly very cold. That voice. The voice, Olivia could never forget that voice. No matter how hard she tried.
"Looks like we meet again. It's been awhile hasn't it? I was worried you had forgotten about me," He laughed as he reached for the side of her face, "You are always so pretty tied up like that," He grinned while caressing her cheek.
Olivia flinched. She could feel the bile rising in her stomach. How the hell could this be happening again? Why now? He's supposed to be dead.
"Why are you so scared, Detective? Don't you remember how much fun we had together last time?" He placed his hand on her leg and then began to stroke her inner thigh. He stopped when he found her scar. He closed his eyes as he outlined it with his index finger. He seemed to be lost in thought reliving the moment when he gave her that scar.
Olivia let out a desperate muffed cry.
He stopped toughing her scar and looked directly at Olivia. "What's the matter, sweetheart? Want to slow it down a bit? Make tonight last longer? I like that idea. You know what I was hoping for? Your husband over here…I was hoping he could watch."
He stepped away from Olivia and walked across the room where Rafael was bound and gagged in. Olivia could see Rafael had bruises on his face and his shirt was bloody and torn. Olivia figured Rafael tried to step in to stop him and protect her.
"How is this working out for you Mr. Barba?" You think of me every time you fuck her? Touch her? You see that mark I left on her leg? Yeah you know the one. Does it bother you? Does it bother you to know that you can never have her like I did? That you will never compare to me. I had her screaming and begging. That slut wife of yours, man, she just couldn't get enough of me."
Rafael struggled against his own restraints. He wanted to kill him. He wanted to yell back but the gag just stifled him.
"Oh look at you trying to be vocal again? Want to call me names like you did earlier? I don't think so!" He grabbed Olivia's gun from the nearby table and pistol-whipped Rafael. The force of the impact was so hard, it caused Rafael's chair to tip over. The impact made a loud noise and a small voice let out a muffled cry from the bedroom. Their captor headed down the hallway towards the crying. He returned with a small baby in his arms. Olivia and Rafael's daughter. Her cheeks were red and her green eyes were filled with tears. He placed her on the floor next to Rafael who now was unconscious and bleeding.
He then walked over to Olivia and ripped the tape off of her mouth. "I want to hear your screams."
"Please. Leave her alone. I'll do anything. But please don't hurt her. Please!" Olivia begged. She needed to get free. She had to save her. He wasn't going to hurt their daughter. This couldn't be happening.
"You will be doing what I want no matter what, sweetheart," He sneered. He looked back at Olivia one last time. Then he raised his foot above the baby's head and with full force he…
"NO!" Olivia screamed out as she woke up. She was covered in sweat and was gasping for air. She was terrified and shaking.
Her screams woke Rafael up in an instant. "Liv! Liv! What's wrong?" He wanted to hold her but he was hesitant. She was panicking and he didn't want to make it worse.
"Oh God! Rafael! Please tell me she's okay! I need to know if she's okay." The fear was palatable.
"Who?" Rafael asked gently.
"Cat…Cat…our daughter…Lewis…He…oh God!" Olivia started to cry.
"Cat?" He was at first confused but then it suddenly dawned on him, "Oh Liv. Mi amor."
"Lewis he had us tied up…and he was going to boot stomp her. He was going to kill her! Please Rafael. Please tell me she's safe. Please!" She was on the verge of a full fledged panic attack at this point.
Rafael signed sadly. It has been a long time since the nightmares were this bad. And now their daughter. He had to remind her, it was the only way he thought he could calm her down. He called to her in a voice barely above a whisper. "Liv, please look at me." He placed his hand over one of hers, "It was just a bad dream. Lewis, he's dead. I promise that he can't hurt you or me…"
"But what about Cat…" She turned her head to face him.
Rafael ran his free hand through his hair and took a deep breath. "Our daughter…Liv…we lost her a couple months ago. The miscarriage and how we went to the park…" His voice trailed off.
Reality started to settle in and she took a couple of deep breaths trying to calm herself. It was just a nightmare, she told herself. Rafael was right. None of what happened was real. She is in her and Rafael's apartment, in their bed. Not back at her old place. Olivia nodded at Rafael before climbing out of bed. She needed a moment or two to herself. The dream rattled her to her core. While she had stopped shaking, she was far from okay.
She walked into to the bathroom, flipping on the light switch. She stared at her hallowed reflection in the mirror. After all this time, William Lewis still haunted her and taunted her. It has been well over a year since her assault and yet she couldn't shake him. Now in her dreams, her daughter, Catalina Barba was his new target. His new way of getting to her.
Olivia clenched her fist in frustration. She tried to sort her thoughts but she could hear Dr. Lindstrom's voice in her head, "Healing is a process Olivia. You need to give it time." She wanted to tell him to shut up. Tonight she didn't to be comforted by his platitudes and words. This wasn't like the other times. She gripped the edge of the sink and lowered her head. "What's wrong with me," she whispered.
"Nothing Liv." A voice inside her head said. It was the voice of her old friend, George Huang. Olivia knew if he was here right now, he would tell her not to be so hard on herself. It will be okay. Olivia wanted to believe him. He was someone she could always trust. But a sob escaped her lips. She was hurting badly tonight. She began to cry again. This dream felt like it was almost too much to bare. It was an acumination of all the things that ate at her soul. She gripped the edge of the sink harder and shook her head. She was just so tired.
After a few minutes, there was a soft knock on the door. Olivia knew it was Rafael coming to check on her. He always did. "One second, Rafael," she mumbled. She turned the cold water on and splashed her face. She hoped it would take away some of the redness and the puffiness from her eyes. She dried her face and then opened the door. Rafael was there as expected waiting for her.
Despite her best efforts, Rafael knew she has been crying. He could always tell. "Liv, what's going on?" He asked as he stepped closer to her, reaching to pull her into his arms. He wanted to make her feel safe again.
"It was a nightmare but it was a really bad one. It just felt so real. It was like it was all happening all over again but you were there…and our daughter. She had your eyes. They were so green," she said as she buried her face into his shoulder, wrapping her arms around him tightly, "I don't know where this came from or why."
"Sometimes these things just happen. I don't know why our minds will do this to us. But it happens. Bad dreams, they get to all of us sometimes. There is nothing wrong with you," Rafael reassured her as he rubbed her back, "Do you think you need to go see Dr. Lindstrom? I can call for you in the morning."
"No…I don't feel like talking to him about this. I think right now I just want to try and lay down again. Can you hold me for awhile?"
Rafael kissed the top of Olivia's head. "Of course. You don't even have to ask. Hey…are you okay? Do you want me to get you anything before we go back to bed?"
"I'm okay. What did I ever do to deserve you? You are way too good to me. You know that?"
"I just love you that's all," Rafael smiled, "Come on let's get back to bed." He reached down and took Olivia's hand in his. He led her back to their bed.
Olivia climbed in on her side first, adjusting her pillow so she could rest her head just right. Rafael crawled in on the other side snuggling close to her. He wrapped his arm around her just under her breasts and kissed her shoulder.
Olivia shifted slightly and grabbed Rafael's hand. She tried to slide it down towards her stomach so she could more comfortably hold his hand as they slept. But the moment she moved his hand, Rafael began to feel uneasy. Olivia felt Rafael's body tense as he quickly moved his hand back to its original position. Olivia frowned. Something was off and she wasn't sure what.
Early February 2015 Rafael and Olivia's apartment
"Liv, Rafael thanks for having Eric and I over for dinner. It has been a long time!" Alex Cabot smiled as she sat down on the couch next to her fiancé, Eric Wilder.
Olivia nodded, "It sure has. What has it been? About six-seven months and when did you two get engaged?"
"Well it's actually been closer to eight! But we were in the Congo for about six of those months. And this guy," Alex smiled at Eric, "Ever the romantic, asked me to marry him as I was packing my anti-malaria medication and lamenting how they upset my stomach. He turned to me and said, "Hey stop complaining and do you want to get hitched?' I felt so special. But here we are. We are looking to get married late summer up in Cape Cod. Liv, I wanted to ask you if you would be my maid of honor.
"Of course! I would be honored. Though I am sure Munch will be very disappointed. And to be honest, I don't know what exactly my duties as maid of honor will be."
"Well don't worry about it right now. There will be plenty of time to figure it out. And hey! What's this about you two getting married and the honeymoon in Paris over New Years? I heard from Munch! Congratulations to you both!" Alex's happiness was genuine for her friends. This was something she thought Olivia and Rafael both deserved.
"Well we wanted to keep things quiet until I am able to transfer to a position with the Feds. We don't want any higher ups at 1PP or at my office to get upset," Rafael replied, "But yes Olivia is officially a Barba now for better or for worse. She has definitely made an honest man out of me." Rafael smiled at Olivia. "So Alex, Eric…can I get you guys something to drink? We have wine, beer, scotch." Rafael asked, already cradling a tumbler of his favorite scotch on the rocks.
"Red wine would be wonderful if you have some, Rafael…oh wait…this is Liv so there will be red wine." Alex chuckled.
"I'll take red wine too. Thank you," Eric added, "So Olivia how was Paris? I keep telling Alex we need to go."
"It was beautiful. It was everything I had hoped for and then some." Olivia grinned.
"Be honest, how much of Paris did you actually see?" Alex smirked.
"Well we saw some of the sites…like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre…and other things…" Olivia blushed.
"Just what I thought! I'm glad you guys had a good time. So what's next now that you had the wedding and the honeymoon? Are kids next on the list? I think you two will both be amazing parents. It would be good for you." Alex said unaware of what happened just a few months ago.
Olivia looked away. She felt sick. Alex's words were like a kick to the gut. While she knew Alex was completely unaware of what happened, Alex's words cut deep. It was only four months ago but the emotional wound was still very raw. There were so many things she wanted to say at this moment but all she could muster was "Rafael and I talked about it…but we just don't think right now is a good time."
Olivia wished she could have told Alex to butt out and that they tried to have children but Olivia's body was defective. She was broken and the daughter they tried to have was gone. But instead, Olivia sate there quietly listening to Alex and Eric talk about they have plans to have a child of their own soon and then they intend to adopt one or two children from a village in the Congo. Olivia wanted to retreat from this conversation. She wanted nothing more than to retreat to the safety of her bed and grieve for their daughter.
Rafael returned with drinks for everyone. He quickly picked up on Olivia's change in demeanor. He could tell something upset her because of a subtle change in her body language. He could always tell. He wondered what happened while he was off in the kitchen. Whatever it was, it didn't seem to register with Alex and Eric. After giving their guests their wine, he sat down next to Olivia and took her hand in his. Olivia responded by squeezing it tightly. It was her way of telling him that right now she wasn't okay and needed him.
While the rest of the evening was filled with stories of work, travel, and New York City goings on, Olivia seemed a bit removed from the conversation. When it came time for Alex and Eric to head home, the couples agreed to meet up in a few weeks for a double dinner date. As soon as Rafael and Olivia said their goodbyes to their friends, Rafael turned to her and asked, "Liv what's wrong?"
She shook her head as she made her retreat towards their bedroom.
Rafael followed. He wasn't going to let this drop. Olivia always encouraged him to talk even when he didn't want to, now he was determined to do the same for her. "It sure seems like you're upset. You have been off almost all evening. I could see it in your face, Liv, your body language…it gave it all away. They might not have seen it but I did."
"It's nothing." Olivia mumbled as she sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Mi Amor, please talk to me. I know it's something. You don't get upset for no reason." Rafael was worried.
"I don't know if I can…or if you would be able to understand."
"Well help me understand," Rafael said softly as he sat down next to her, "What happened? Did Alex say something?"
Olivia wrapped her arms around herself and sighed, "She asked when we are going to have kids…and then she talked about how they were planning to have kids. I know it sounds so stupid but it really bothered me. She doesn't know about Cat but it hurt."
"Oh God, Liv. No. It's not stupid at all. I don't like that she pried like that. It hurts me too. It's not fair what happened to us." Rafael wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close.
"It's not…it's not just that she asked, it's hearing her talk about having kids and giving birth…it makes me feel kinda inferior."
"Inferior? I don't know what you're talking about."
"Inferior…I feel like less of a woman. Carrying a child, giving birth…I can't do that. I hate that there is something wrong with me."
"You are not less of a woman. You're more than a uterus, Liv. Giving birth to children doesn't define who you are or your womanhood. And your medical problems, they don't make you who you are. You are a woman in every sense of the word," Rafael tried to reassure her.
"I keep being reminded of how I can't give us a family. It's my fault that we can't have kids. Things changed…I know you don't look at me the same."
"What? No. God no! The miscarriage…it happened. Remember what the doctor told us? There wasn't anything you did wrong. Why are you thinking this? My feelings for you haven't changed one bit. If anything, I love you more. Where is this coming from?"
"It was that nightmare I had…the one with Lewis…"
"It was just a dream. It wasn't real. None of it."
"But afterwards…why didn't hold me like you used to? You wouldn't touch my stomach," there was a deep sense of sadness and heartache in Olivia's voice.
Rafael let go of Olivia and pushed himself off the bed. He ran his fingers through his hair. "It's not you," he said in a low sad voice as he walked towards the window. He didn't want Olivia to see the tears in his eyes.
"If it's not me then why did you move your hands?"
"It's not you, okay? I love holding you and touching you. But I just can't touch your stomach right now," Rafael rubbed the tears out of his eyes.
Olivia got up and joined him by the window. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him. Olivia started to understand. "The last time you touched me there…it was the night she kicked."
Rafael nodded, "I miss her."
"Me too," Olivia whispered.
Rafael turned so he could wrap his arms around her. Olivia rested her head on his shoulder.
"I never doubted your love, Rafael."
"I love you more than you ever could possibly know," Olivia hugged Rafael tighter.
Rafael kissed Olivia softly, "I love you too."
After a few moments of silence and being locked in each other's embrace, Rafael broke their silence, "Hey Liv?"
"Maybe we should look at other ways to have a child and start a family?"
"I think I like that idea…a lot." Olivia pulled back and smiled at Rafael before placing a kiss on his lips.