Chapter 5: Everything Has Changed

Olivia felt her breath catch in her throat. They were so close together that their hips were pressed against one another. She tried to focus on his words, but she couldn't look away from his lips. An overwhelming urge for him to kiss her washed through her, and without thinking, she pressed her lips to his.

His hand moved quickly up to cradle the back of her head as his lips parted to deepen the kiss. He'd been dying to kiss her for months now, and just as he'd predicted to his mother, she made the first move. He moaned softly as their lips parted after a moment. "Liv," he breathed. He kept his eyes locked on hers.

She gave him a shy yet knowing smile and then a content sigh passed her lips. "It's about time, Barba."

"Rafael," he corrected. "If we're gonna start kissing, I'm going to need you to call me Rafael." He leaned in again and pecked her lips quickly. "Go on. Freshen up. I'll just get the table and Noah set." He brushed a strand of hair from her face.

She nodded and tested it softly. "Rafael." She gave him a wink, and then disappeared around the refrigerator and down the short hall to the bathroom.


The meal they shared was a quiet one. Their conversation consisted of Barba filling her in about the night before and was neatly tied up with Olivia's admission of taking his and Noah's picture.

"I better not find out you showed it to everyone. And for the love of all things sacred, do not put it on Facebook and tag me. My mother will drive me even more loco than she already is." He gently covered her hand with his own and squeezed. He was only half joking.

She chuckled softly. "Don't worry. It's for my eyes only." She tilted her head. "Now that you mention it though, I may have to have it printed so I can put it by my bed." She loved all the images of Noah that filled her personal spaces. Work even had a few of her absolute favorites.

He leaned in and whispered, " B├ęsame." To which she happily complied. "Only if I can have one of you and Noah for my bedside table as well."

"Of course," she insisted. "It's only fair."

With that, they returned their attention to Noah who had somehow managed to get noodles as well as duck sauce in his hair. He offered Barba a soggy fistful of noodles to which the man has to decline.

She couldn't do anything but laugh at this point. She grabbed a napkin and began to clean him up as best she could. "I was going to skip his bath tonight, but seems he had other plans." She began to wipe down his highchair tray. "You can stay. I mean, he'll play for a bit after his bath, but bedtime is around eight. Then we can talk."

The kisses in the kitchen were nice, but she had to know what it meant for them

She knew what she wanted, but she had to be certain that's what he wanted as well. There was a child involved, too, and she had to think of Noah as well as herself.

"I'd love to stay. I can even help..." He wasn't quite sure he was ready for another bathtime quite this soon, but he could clean up the dishes from their meal. He stood and began to clear the table. "You take care of Noah, and I'll be right out here when you two are done." He stopped beside her and pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek before he continued onto the kitchen sink to wash the dishes and wipe down the kitchen.


A little before nine, Olivia emerged from Noah's bedroom and moved to grab the glass of wine he had poured for her before she'd gone to put Noah to bed. She then moved to the big window where he stood looking out. She touched his hip as she stepped close to him. "And just where is your head, councillor?" She placed her glass on the small table near the window.

He turned then, facing her. He took her free hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. His lips quirked into a soft smile as he leaned forward and kissed her mouth softly. It was all still so surreal to him that he could kiss her like this.

She moved her arms around his neck as their bodies pressed in close to one another. Her brown eyes were soft as she gazed into his green ones. She kissed him again, deeper this time as she felt his arms go around her waist.

Their noses bumped as the angle of the kiss changed. She couldn't help but giggle and then blushed as she buried her face his neck. He held her close and smiled against her hair. "This isn't talking, Liv, but I have to say that it is definitely more fun." He tangled his fingers into her hair as he gently stroked her scalp.

She pulled back and met his eyes. "Indeed it is." She then pulled from his arms and picked up her wine glass before moving to the couch and tucking her feet up and under her. She patted the cushion next to her. "Join me. I don't bite. Well, unless I'm asked." She winked at him before putting the glass to her lips.

He moved to sit beside her, turning his body so that he could look at her. "We've been doing this push and pull for awhile now, and it seems with both want this. Unless I am misreading the signs."

She shook her head. "No, you're right. I do want this. With you." She stretched one leg out and draped it across his lap. "I'm just afraid of moving too fast and messing this up. Our friendship means everything to me."

He laid his hand gently on her knee where he let his thumb rub gently. "Me too. I don't want to lose that, but a lot of the best relationships that I know are rooted in friendship. Solid foundation and all." He searched her eyes and gave her a half smile. "Plus, I wouldn't just want to rush into your bed. I'd like to take you to dinner first. I'm a gentleman after all."

"Are you?" she teased. "I hadn't noticed." Her body shifted, cuddling close to his. "But you were just joking about not rushing into my bed, right? I mean, I had hoped you'd sleep over again tonight."

His mouth met hers, kissing her deeply as he moved his hand up her side and then shifted them so he was half on top of her, almost spilling her wine. He took her glass and managed to place it upright on the floor beside the couch before he kissed her again. "If you put up a good enough argument on why I should stay, I just might be persuaded."

She moved her nose gently along his and kissed him deeply as her tongue slipped into his mouth to tangle with his. She'd always been better at doing than talking. Her hands moved up his back and gripped his shirt before she slowly released it and moved her fingers around to the front of his shirt as she began to undo the buttons one at a time.

"Olivia," he breathed between kisses. He sucked at her bottom lip. This was only the beginning of something truly incredible, and he knew they'd both fight for what they wanted. And deserved. He couldn't wait to start his life with her.

And with Noah.

/the end