Hell Hath No Fury

Chapter 53: Where Lovers Tread

"You look like a new mom," Olivia smiled and helped Alex sit on the couch as Casey held Thomas securely in her arms.

"What gave it away?" Alex chuckled, "My dirty house, the bags under my eyes or my zombie-like state for the past three weeks?"

"No," Olivia laughed, "it's the trail of spit up on all of your shirts… screams to everyone you've got a new infant at home."

Alex laughed and eyed her son in Casey's arms, "That little boy has made me smile every second of every day… he's my own personal miracle."

Casey grinned and sat down, "He is a cute little boy… he's putting on the post-birth pounds."

"That's because he never lets go of my breast, sometimes it's every hour… I'm dying to get some sleep."

"Then go to sleep," Olivia smiled, "Casey and I will help you around the house and we'll entertain the little guy until Robert gets home with my boy… you know… uh, Sam hasn't wanted to go with anyone by himself for a long time."

Alex smiled softly as she curled up on the couch, "I'm not sure what Sam told Robert but those two have been talking quite a bit… Sam calls him at work to see how things are going with Thomas... calls Robert to remind him to read to Thomas at night."

"Really?" Olivia grinned, "I didn't know that."

"Yeah," Alex chuckled sleepily, "it's enduring… and while… I wouldn't normally do this… I'm so tired-"

"Sleep," Olivia smiled, "We'll do the rest."

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"Hey buddy," Elliot grinned, standing behind his walker, "how was it with Robert?"

Sam furrowed his brow at his father's voice, "You lied to me."

"What?" Elliot shook his head, "What did I miss?"

Olivia shrugged as Sam walked away, "First thing he's said since he came home with Robert…. Sam come back here."

"NO!" he screeched. "He lied to me! You both did! It's bad stuff! It really is!"

She exhaled and ran her hand through her hair, "What in the world is he talking about now?"

Elliot smirked, "Probably your meat loaf… it really is bad, Liv."

She looked at him with narrowed eyes and punched him in the arm. "It was a new recipe!"

He laughed and side stepped his walker to embrace her from behind, "See how confidant my legs are moving?"

She grinned and wrapped his hands tighter around her waist, "Yeah… you look good as new."

"Well… I had a pretty elicit dream about you during my nap time," he whispered and kissed the back of her neck softly.

"Yeah?"

"Mmm hmm, woke up with a pretty confident erection… when are we getting rid of the kids? I can't wait anymore," he whispered and rubbed into her backside, "I want you Liv. I have to have you."

She grinned, turned to kiss him, "You have no idea how much I want you, too."

"Why are you making me wait then?" he smiled and let his hands caress her bottom, pulling her closer to his body, "I don't want to wait anymore, why are you making us?"

So we're absolutely sure this goes the way you want it to. I couldn't stand it if you pulled away from me again.

"Foreplay," she smiled, "come on, let's go see what's up with our boy."

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"Sam?" Olivia called into his room, "baby come on out here, so we can talk to you and let Isaac sleep."

"I'm not talking to you ever again!" he snapped.

She walked to him and instantly picked him up, "One day, I'm gonna pick you up and I'm gonna break in half you're so big… We had an agreement young man… no more silent treatments. You know I can't stand it."

He exhaled and wrapped his arms as tight as possible around her, "I heard it mom… I heard it and it sounds very bad."

"What does?" she asked and sat him down on the couch where Elliot was waiting for them.

"I don't want to talk with him here."

"I'll leave-"

"No," Olivia shook her head and motioned for Elliot to stay. "Nope," she told Sam, "You've been doing so well with Mags. You've been talking with her and you've been talking with us and you went with Robert today-"

"I don't want to talk about Robert or the computer or Clint or the movie!"

"Whoa, hold on," Olivia shook her head, "What's the deal? Robert said you had fun and you got to go through the videos at the education center while he read a little, he said you didn't want to play chess with the other guys in the recreation room, because you ran into a classmate…. Is that what this is about?"

"He showed me. I heard it!" Sam insisted.

"Son," Elliot reached to touch him and Sam immediately withdrew.

"Don't touch me!" he warned and pushed his back against his mother's chest, effectively shielding her with his body, "and don't touch my mom ever again!"

Elliot furrowed his brow, looked at his wife who was equally as confused, "Sam-"

"Don't!"

"Honey," Olivia said calmly, "what's going on? What happened today? Robert told me you were having fun and then you were very upset but wouldn't tell him why. He said he let you listen to movies and songs… what happened?"

Sam exhaled and dug his hands into her forearms as if Elliot might attempt to take him away, "Clint Williamson sat next to me at the computer… when I was listening to a DVD… it's the only computer that had my programs on it to help me or someone has to do the work for me."

"I know… what happened?" she encouraged.

"He's not from my classroom. He's maybe… two grades higher than me and he never likes to talk to me but he talked to me today and he asked me what I was listening to."

Gently, she pried his fingers away from her, his nails leaving behind indentions in her skin. She wrapped her arm around him and let him lean into her side, "What did you say?"

"I told him that Robert had told me about a chess movie about Bobby Fisher and that was what I was listening too."

"And that upset you?" she asked in confusion and looked up at Elliot to make sure she wasn't missing anything. He was focusing on his son, careful to keep quiet.

"No," he shook his head.

"What did, then? Because, if you could see your own face, you'd see a very angry little boy."

Sam licked his lips and he rest his head on Olivia's shoulder, "I asked him… if… he knew what… sex was."

Olivia arched her brows in surprise. She'd hoped his curiosity would have diminished in time for her and Elliot to come up with something, to talk to Mags and even Vivian but they'd slacked, big time. "Honey… did you go to the internet?"

Sam exhaled, "He said he could find me a DVD about it or he could show me a site that had sound… so I could hear on the earphones."

Elliot groaned and rubbed his hands over his face, "They don't have filters there?"

Olivia flopped back on the couch and exhaled, "You know its public information Elliot. They can't do the restrictions like we can here."

"Yeah but-"

"No," Sam told them, "No, I told him I'm not allowed on the internet unless I'm at home and he laughed and said he'd find me a movie then."

"Honey," Olivia exhaled, "You can't get those types of movies there."

"Yeah," Sam shook his head, "he said all you had to do is go to the library search engine and type in a movie that you knew had sex in it."

"You did that?" Elliot asked not wanting to know.

"Clint did… and he found the movie and he played it after he got it from the shelf and it sounded really bad mom. I asked him what they were doing," Sam whispered and shook his head, "Dad does that to you? He hurts you?"

"No," Olivia said softly. "No… honey, what movie did you hear?"

He sniffled, "He said it was 'An Eye For An Eye', I thought it was from the bible but it wasn't like the Learning Chanel, like you guys let me listen to… he was hurting her so bad. I could hear it in my head phones."

Her mind raced to catalogue the events of the movie and she panicked when she knew immediately what he must have heard. "Baby-"

"Why does dad hurt you? You said that dad would never hurt you. You lied to me,"

"Honey-"

"Dad," Sam cried, "you said that when a man and a girl get married everything is better… why do you hurt mom? I know now. Mom doesn't get sick so much, does she?" he sobbed, "You're hurting her and making her sound like that."

"No," Elliot said firmly, "No. I'm not hurting her."

"He doesn't hurt me," Olivia told him softly. "He doesn't. I promise you. Do you think I would marry him if he did?"

Sam sniffled and sobbed, "She was hurting and I asked him what was happening and he said he was humping her that he was putting his d-i-c-k in her… that's a bad word."

"It is," Olivia said and gently stroked his hair. "Honey… I'm sorry we didn't sit down with you and talk to you… you've misunderstood some stuff-"

"But, mom!" he screeched. "I asked him what they were doing and he said they were doing sex!"

She closed her eyes and groaned inwardly. This was her fault, if she would have just swallowed her nervousness and answered his questions they wouldn't be in this mess. "Sam-"

"I asked him to explain the movie to me and he said he was using his penis… that's what I have… and he said that girls are different and that guys do that to them all the time and that she was yelling because he was inside of her body and that sometimes boys put their penis in other boys."

Olivia rubbed her temple as Elliot looked on in bewilderment. Some punk kid had taken away whatever innocence about sex Sam had left, "Where was Robert?" Elliot asked.

"The yelling was too much and I threw the headphones down and ran away to him. He picked me up and it was quick, he was close to me and I asked him to take me home. I almost wet myself. But, he loved me and he kept me close to him and we left so fast," he confessed softly. "Why does dad hurt you? I heard it some times but… you said you were sick. You weren't, were you?"

"No, baby," she whispered. "I'm sorry, I wasn't."

His face fell, "Make him leave for hurting you."

"He didn't hurt me. He doesn't hurt me, he never has."

"But, I heard you!"

And you have no idea how embarrassing it is to know that.

She closed her eyes and wished for a quick death, "Honey, like I said... well, do you remember what I said about believing everything from television or everything people tell you?"

"Yeah?"

"This is one of those things."

He furrowed his brows, "I'm really confused, mom."

"Son-" Elliot was cut off when Sam refused to acknowledge him.

"Your father is talking to you," Olivia reminded him. "He's not gonna hurt you."

"I heard the movie. He said they were doing sex."

"Sam," Olivia exhaled, "there's more to sex than what you heard, that's not a good place to learn about it, I-"

"It's true!" he yelled in anger, letting his nostrils flare. "That's what it's called? Christoff used different words, but he was doing sex to me?" he asked in anger. "Was he?"

"What?" Olivia looked at him sharply, "What? Sam… what's on television isn't true-"

"Mom," Sam spoke her name eerily calm, and shook his head, "you can't tell me it wasn't real."

"Samuel-"

"You can't."

"Why?"

"Because she yelled, like I yelled, and no one helped her. Just like no one helped me."

Olivia's sob erupted, finally putting two and two together, "Honey… television… it puts together things that have happened but it's not always true and-"

"He was doing sex to her?" he asked and she could hear the exasperation and anger in his voice, "Was he?" he demanded.

Olivia looked desperately for help from Elliot who was covering his mouth in an effort not to cry, "He was but… it's not what your father and I do."

He swallowed, his chin began to quiver and a brokenness she'd not witnessed before graced his features, "He was making her yell like my grandpa and daddy made me… Christoff used different words, but… he was doing sex to me, wasn't he?"

"Sam-"

"Answer me," he whispered and rested his fingertips on her face as his tears fell steadily. Quietly.

She blinked out her own emotion, "Yeah, baby… but what you heard wasn't just about sex."

"Christoff called it abuse… is that what was happening?"

"Yeah," Olivia nodded and gnawed on her bottom lip, "honey, what happened to you… it was bad-"

"What's it called?" he asked, and it scared her that his voice was more curious and even than anything else.

"Sex?"

"No… you said it was different… if it's different, if there are two kinds of sex, one for you and dad and one for me and grandpa… what's it called? What did grandpa do to me?"

"Honey… what you heard on the computer and what your family did to you… that's… Sam, please don't make me do this-"

"Tell me," he whispered, "Be my eyes, mom… I don't know what happened on the computer, but I know what I heard and it sounded bad to me… it sounded like me. I didn't like the noise and it would hurt my heart to see it… maybe that's why God made me blind, so I could never see it… but maybe that's why he let's you see… so you can tell me."

She licked her lips and sobbed. She framed his face and kissed him soundly on the forehead, "Baby," she sniffled, "what happened to you is a type of abuse… called rape, and it's not about sex at all."

"Dad hurts you?" his voice turned more curious and she didn't know rather or not to be concerned with his sudden switch or to go with it.

"No," she shook her head adamantly, "No. Absolutely not. He doesn't. I promise."

"Why do you sound so funny?"

She winced, "Uh… well, see. Hmm, I don't really know how to explain this to you, Sam."

"Does dad do sex to you?"

Elliot wanted to die and knew from Olivia's expression that she'd just as soon climb into a hole than have this discussion, "Um… yes… he does."

"You like for him to do sex to you?"

Wow. This is uncomfortable.

"Yes… I trust your father with everything I have and I know he won't hurt me that way."

He furrowed his brow, "Some people do sex and some people do rape?"

Digging my own hole.

"They're two different… okay," she exhaled, "When someone rapes someone, that means they've had sex with the other person without them wanting too and it's wrong and it's illegal and it hurts people very badly… it breaks their hearts."

"And when people do sex? What happens?" he tilted his head and wiped his nose on the sleeve of his shirt.

Just put that shovel full of dirt right on top of me. Yeah, there ya go.

"Usually… when people have sex, it's because they love each other and they want to spend the rest of their lives together."

"You let dad do sex to you because you love him?"

"Yeah," she confessed, "because I love him and I promised him I'd spend the rest my life with him."

Sam's poor face bore confusion as they'd never seen on him before, "You like for dad to hurt you?"

"He doesn't."

"But it sounds like he does!"

She exhaled. Do I hear a dirt truck coming?.

"Sam… uh, sex is very intimate and it's natural for married people to have sex."

"Why?"

Come on! Give me a break!

"Well," she continued, "It uh, that's the way women get pregnant and that's the way married people get as close as they can with one another."

"Only married people do sex?"

Sonova-

"Uh… it's always best to wait until you're married."

"Why?"

"Well… it's so special that you want to give that to only one person."

"But… what if someone did rape to you? If doing rape to someone means you had sex with them and they didn't want to… how do they do sex when they get married?"

Why didn't I see that question coming a mile away? Oooh, it is a dump truck.

She exhaled, "I won't lie… sometimes our hearts do crazy things when we've been hurt super bad, but… remember? I've been hurt just like you… and I married your father, and we… uh, have… sex."

Lot's of sex.

Sam mulled the information over in his head and just when she thought she would be offered a reprieve, "Does sex feel good?"

How do so many questions come out of a little boy like you? Why do you insist on thinking so much?

"It does… and when it's between two people who love each other it's even better but… rape… that hurts people, honey. It breaks their heart and it takes a long time for them to recover and smile again. When you make love to someone it should never hurt… it should always feel good."

"Is that why you sound funny? Like when Hannah eats and she makes those noises 'cause she's happy?"

I'm soundproofing our room and I'm never making love in this house again.

"Yeah… being with your dad, makes me happy."

Elliot rubbed his neck, he felt sorry for Olivia being in the hot seat, but for once, he wouldn't change positions with her for anything in the world.

"Dad?"

Elliot's eyes grew wide, oh no.

"Yeah?"

"You don't do rape to mom?"

"No." Elliot told him confidently but couldn't help save his voice from cracking, "no. I love her, I'd never do that."

"You don't hurt her?"

"No. Absolutely not."

"Is this why I wake up and my body is doing weird things?"

Oh, safe question.

"Yeah… it's natural."

"Did you wait to do sex until you were married, dad?"

Damn…it.

"I'm sorry son, I didn't."

"Did mom?"

Elliot had never felt shame about his previous life before Olivia but, the way innocence was asking him had made him turn away from him, "Yes, she did."

More confusion. Great. This poor kid, we're screwing him up.

"Mom waited and you didn't? Why? Don't you love her as much as she loves you? Why wasn't it special to you like it was to her?"

"Honey," Olivia jumped in, "I just wasn't ready to make decisions like that, that's all. I wasn't ready because of all the time my heart had hurt. The hurt you felt when your grandpa hurt you… that's the same hurt I felt and that's why I chose to wait until I knew I was absolutely in love with someone… me and your dad, we dated for a long time and we got married and it was just as special for him as it was for me."

"Dad?"

Am I wearing a bulls eye or something? "Yeah?"

"Do I have to have sex with Crystal?"

Well, not if I lock you in your room until your sixty. I saw you kiss her, that's too much. "Are you planning on marring her?"

"When I'm old like you," he smiled.

Old? Now I'm old? When did that happen? "Sam… I think you're a very young boy who needs to sort out a lot of stuff before you take on something like sex… that's a big thing, that's a commitment that comes with responsibility and you need to know that you'll always be with that person."

He shook his head, "You guys are confusing."

Olivia bit her lip and exhaled, "Sam… you're so young… you've got a lot of time to do other stuff before this should come up."

No pun intended.

"So, if I love Crystal… and she loves me… I date her and marry her and… I do sex to her?"

Is this a nightmare? Please let it be.

"Um," Olivia exhaled, "well… when you're older… you know, you may not marry Crystal-"

"Yes, I will! We talked about it! She said yes!"

My baby boy has just been stolen from me by a ten year old, "Son… I was in my thirties when I married your father… you're ten… a lot can happen in twenty years."

"Yeah, we'll love each other more!"

Why has the dirt truck not buried me yet!

She smiled softly, "Honey… you kissed her… don't you think you're a little young to be kissing a girl? I mean… what about cooties? What happened to cooties?"

He chuckled, "Crystal doesn't have cooties… Kissed?"

"At your party… we saw you" she teased him.

"No," he shook his head. "No, that was a kiss to take away her pain… you know, like when you kiss my scars when I ask you to."

She furrowed her brow, "What pain did she have at your party?"

"She said that when her mom took her shopping for my new tie that a lady kept starring at her face… I said she was pretty."

Olivia grinned, "So where'd the kiss come from?"

He blushed, "She said that the lady had touched her face and said, 'what ashamed, such a pretty little girl and she'll never be kissed… so," he shrugged, "I kissed her."

Elliot smirked, "You kissed her?"

"Yeah," Sam shook his head, "She's very beautiful… I think she just needed me to prove it was all."

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"I'd like to kill that Clint kid," Olivia said as she snuggled into Elliot's embrace.

"Little snot-punk, I'd like to choke him… but," he exhaled "the sad thing is that that kid is probably so desensitized he doesn't know what's happening in that movie, so… it's pointless… did you call Robert?"

"Yeah… he feels terrible."

"Ah, he shouldn't…. you can't keep your eye on him every single second. I learned something tonight though. Two somethings, actually."

"Yeah? What?"

"Well, first… have you noticed how much easier it is to talk to kids about sex when they aren't your kids," he laughed, "That was so embarrassing!"

She chuckled, "Yeah… considering I was doing the majority of the explaining."

He smirked, kissed her softly and gazed at her before continuing, "I learned about our boys… they're personalities. I mean, we leave Isaac alone for five minutes and we're scared he's either gonna take over the world or burn the house down, but… we leave Sam alone and we're scared someone's gonna walk all over him… hurt him. Isaac's two, Sam's ten… sometimes I'm more afraid for Sam than Isaac."

She exhaled, "Sam's special… handle with care."

"Good thing he didn't connect walking in on Alex and Robert with him hurting her… Sam would have lost his mind."

She smiled sadly, "Robert just said he was very upset… Robert was frantic when he got home."

"It's not his fault."

"I let him know we weren't upset with him, he sounded so relieved… He said Thomas spit up on him again… they're loving parenthood… I'm gonna start torturing them about the 'sex talk'… that was so brutal."

Elliot exhaled, kissed her forehead, "You're telling me… did you call Mags?"

"Yeah… we can take him in tomorrow."

"You think we screwed him up anymore?"

She shook her head, "I have no idea, but… I hope I didn't somehow convey to him that it's okay to just go out and have sex, that it's not special."

He let moments of silence pass as he gently stroked the space between her shoulders, "Liv?"

"Yeah?" she asked and when there was no response she pulled back to look at him, "What?"

"Nothing… go to sleep."

"No… you were gonna say something, spill it."

"Do you ever regret… I mean… you've never asked how many women-"

"Shh," she whispered and covered his lips, "I don't want to know… as long as I'm the last one, I don't care."

"Really?" he asked and searched her for honesty.

"Have I ever made it an issue with you before?"

"No… have you ever regretted-"

"No," she smiled, "It's uh… pretty good to have experienced hands on my body. If I'd married someone with my own capability we'd probably still be trying to figure out how to come together."

He laughed and pulled her closer, "You're more than capable, but if you want, I can give you a refreshers course right now."

She grinned at him, "Did you not just witness the most humiliating conversation ever? We need to sound proof this room or really make sure Sam is asleep, the kid has great hearing."

"Well," he grinned and tickled her side, kissing her neck as she squirmed, "You're not exactly quiet."

Her eyes went wide as she laughed, "You don't give me reason to be quiet," she whispered and kissed him, softly, "That's a good thing, by the way."

He laughed against her shoulder, "I love you."

Olivia smiled, exhaled softly and kissed his lips, "Elliot?" she asked and he heard the nervousness in her voice.

"Yeah?"

"Do you regret… me?"

He grinned, "I've told you a million times, no… I'll make it a million and one… I do not regret marrying you, in fact," he exhaled, his face grew serious, "I wish I could have given you the same thing. It's amazing to know that I'm the only one that's been intimate with you… I wish I could have given that to you, too."

She smiled softly, "You showed me patience, trust, compassion… you showed me I could be made love to… don't regret anything you've done. I didn't exactly save myself because I didn't want to be intimate with people… there were circumstances involved, but I have to say… I love that you're the only one that's touched my soul like that."

He grazed her hip with his hand and sipped softly on her bottom lips, "Did you think… you'd never be made love to?"

She exhaled and blushed, "So… this conversation just took a turn for the serious."

He smiled, "I'm sorry."

"It's okay… no… I thought eventually, I'd have sex, but… I never thought someone would make love to me."

"You want to know something?" he asked and pushed her hair behind her ear.

She grinned, "A secret?"

"Yeah… you tell anyone and you'll be taking a dirt nap."

She beamed, snuggled closer so they shared the same pillow, "Tell me."

"I never knew that they were different."

"Who?" she furrowed her brows.

He blushed, "Uh… making love and having sex… I never understood the difference until… I made love to you."

"Really?"

"Yeah," he smiled softly. "You might have been nervous, but I was absolutely petrified and the moment I entered you, the moment I felt your unspoken trust… everything changed for me."

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He has seen his wife break in half for victims, he has seen her break into several pieces for him, but he has never seen her shatter into a million pieces until today. Sam lay curled in her arms, as Mags excused herself to let them cry. She'd told them that today would be Sam's true beginning, that it was today that he finally understood what happened to him. For, it was never really about the rapes themselves. Perhaps, for Sam, it was more about the feeling of never being desired or loved, of always being hurt emotionally and physically. The rapes would absolutely burden him, there was no question but, it seemed that the abuse and neglect was what weighed him down so much.

Sam knew what it meant to not be loved, he had no idea what rape meant, he had no idea of the aftermath it left on someone's life. But, today, he understood it. He understood with his entire being what had happened to him and as Elliot sat next to his wife and son, his cane that had just been issued to him that morning resting between his legs, he hoped that was all it would ever be, just a knowledge of what happened, but he also knew it would never be just a knowledge. He knew it would never be just that. Not after seeing this. Not after seeing realization dawn on Sam's face.

Mag's had broken down the definition of rape and abuse and slowly, over the course of an excruciating hour, Sam had finally understood the ins and the outs of what happened to him. It wasn't just the touching, the pictures, the beatings and starvation periods, it was more. It was rape. Why it had never penetrated Sam after the long nights of confession, why reality had never hit him full-on during the nights his wife had held him, he didn't know. All he knew was that today, thanks to some Clint kid, his son was completely broken in his mother's arms.

And one more thing was abundantly more definable. Olivia. He saw his wife with more clarity because he had learned through his son that the feeling of being unloved and neglected, the feeling of never being wanted was more powerful, more devastating than the act of rape. He watched his wife as she rocked their son and soothed him with her voice, in a new light. She was raped yet it was the feeling of being unloved and unwanted by her mother that truly devastated her.

The rape made her question her body, her trust and capacity to be a lover but, her mother's inability to love her made her question her own heart and for the first time since he'd known her, he could see the devastation her mother stamped onto her life, but he also saw something far more beautiful, he saw the reconstruction of her life, he saw his foundation of love that she has planted her feet firmly on, and while it has taken a long time for her to stand in the middle of that foundation, she's never stepped off of it.

He saw their children in her fallen tears, saw their children and his love for her as beams that have supported her and helped her to keep standing through everything that they have endured, and as her slender fingers ran through their son's hair he saw a survivor caring for a victim, a fighter caring for the wounded.

Both wife and son sobbed, holding tight to one another and he simply slipped his arm around her, rubbed Sam's back gently and offered them his love, his tears and his unconditional support.

He'll never raise a victim, he won't. Can't.

But, he'll do everything in his power to raise a survivor.

A fighter.

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"You look exhausted," Elliot smiled and walked to her, his elbow locked as he bore his weight on the cane.

"I'm so tired," she yawned, "But… he finally fell asleep."

"He's been crying all day," Elliot whispered and ran his knuckle along her cheek, "So have you."

She exhaled slowly and leaned into him, "He asks a lot of questions… but, I think most of it was handled in Mags' office today. I think he just needs to cry now, get it all out. He's broken."

"Which just means… we've got to rebuild him, now."

"It's amazing what understanding something can do for you… I'm not sure why we never thought about just sitting down with him and being blunt."

He wiped at her tears again, "Maybe it was because we were trying to build his trust up and crushing him wouldn't have done it."

"Maybe," she exhaled and smiled softly, her hand on his waist band, "you look so good standing up."

"I feel good," he grinned. "I think I'll put the walker away and maybe keep the chair for our long outings."

She cupped his bearded cheeks, kissed his mouth and exhaled resting against his forehead, "You amaze me every second of every day… thank you for marrying me."

He chuckled, "I'm pretty sure I'm the one owing thanks, but… right now, I'm just concerned about Sam."

She kissed him again, took a small step closer and rested her chin on his shoulder, "He's gonna make it. I have no doubts now… he fell asleep right now and you should see it Elliot… he's got this peaceful look that he's never had before, it's so beautiful… like when Isaac was home from the hospital, do you remember?"

"Yeah," Elliot smiled softly and leaned his cane against the counter as he wrapped his hands around her waist and very slowly, very cautiously began to rock back and forth.

"Are you dancing with me without music again?" she asked playfully.

"Yeah… without my cane, too," he said softly and rocked gently with her in his arms. After several minutes he broached a different subject, "Ricky called while you were with Sam.

She froze, "O-oh yeah?" she stammered.

"Is he okay?"

She pulled back and looked at him, "As far as I know… is something the matter?"

"You tell me… he asked if you'd talked to me about 'the money situation'."

She cringed, "Uh… yeah, about that."

"Yeah?" he smiled, "Does he need a loan? Is he having trouble with the gym? He said something about buyers lining up."

She groaned, "Do we have to talk about his right now? I just want to dance with you. I want you to have your hands on me."

"They are," he kissed her softly, "and we don't have to stop dancing to talk… is he okay? You know that I've considered him my friend, too… I can out fish him," he chuckled, "I'm sure we can put something together to get him along."

She shook her head and exhaled "You don't understand."

"What don't I understand? Is this why you've been stuck in our financial planner forever?"

She looked at him dead in the eye, her rocking had stopped, but she continued to hold him around his neck, "Yeah, yeah it is, actually."

"He needs a lot of money?"

"Um…" she looked away, "yes and no."

Elliot arched his brow, "That sounds confusing."

"He asked me what I was studying… I told him and he uh… offered… to uh, make me, uh… his business partner, sort of."

Elliot grinned, "Really?"

"Yeah."

"Do it."

"Excuse me?"

"Do it," he told her again and kissed her, "Come on Liv… you're taking all of these crazy classes and you're good handling money… do it!" he urged her.

She furrowed her brows, "I don't think you understand… he wants to sell me his business. We'd own it but for the first three years we could only keep eighty percent of the profit. I'd work the books and all of that… it would let me work at home and then I'd use the remaining twenty percent to pay him."

"Huh?"

She chuckled, "He's moving, he's finally getting married, which I might add, I didn't think would ever happen, but he is and he wants to move and open another gym… he needs money to do that. Thus selling."

"So… you're sort of investing?" he asked and reached for his cane to support himself again.

"Yeah… only… well, Elliot… I've went through our finances, we'd have to completely use everything we made off of the apartment, sale all of our stock and if we want to own it outright, without help from a bank… we use what's left of the money Munch left us."

"Would we have enough to get buy, until it turns a profit?"

"Yeah… the business does very well, Elliot and that's because it's small and private... there are bills that come with it, property taxes and electrical bills and water bills and-"

"Sounds like you're talking yourself out of it."

"I don't want to put us in a situation that jeopardizes the family, financially."

"But, you just told me it makes a good profit."

"It does."

"So?"

She exhaled, placed her hands on her hips and looked down, "I'm nervous about it… we're talking a lot of money here, some of which I've scrimped and saved since I had my first job… what if it's a bad choice?"

"How long has it been opened?"

She looked back at him, "I think he said it's going on its twelfth year."

"Sounds like it's established… I think you should do it."

"It would be just me Elliot… it would be you and the kids… everything would be riding on this… what if it falls through and… what if we lost the house or-"

"Liv," he smiled softly, "we both agreed when we got married we'd never use the house as collateral or take a loan out on it or anything like that… what is stopping you from doing this?"

"It's a big decision!" she snapped.

"Hey," he smiled and took her hand, "Come on, let's sit and talk it over, huh?"

She took a deep breath and followed him to the table, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap."

"No big deal… you've known Ricky for a long time?" he asked and carefully lowered himself to the chair with Olivia's help.

"Years."

"He's always been a good guy to you?"

"Yeah," she nodded and claimed her own seat, "he's always been. Never given me reason to question him."

Elliot leaned back in his chair, "So… let me understand, he wants to sell you the gym facility and you'd be business partners with him… keeping eighty percent of whatever is made?"

"Yeah… I've run the figures… after bills are paid and staff was paid… we'd be making considerably more than what you and I pulled down when we were on the force."

"Liv… if he's been a good guy and has never given you reason to doubt him… maybe he's trying to get you to take this… so you can be better off, so we can be better off."

She exhaled, rested her chin in her palm, "What about the kids?"

"What about them?"

"You'll eventually want to get some type of job, won't you? I mean, I'm not pushing you too, I'd love for you to be home all the time, but we both know you'd go stir crazy… I don't like that Mrs. Reynoso gets to spend more time with them than we do… I've enjoyed being home with them and having them drive me nuts."

"I told you," he smiled, "I'm gonna do the gig for SVU, I'll be home a lot and… come on Liv, we can work things out, I won't need a normal job, I can stay with them or we can both take them to work or we can… we'll work it out, Liv."

"I don't want to leave them, anymore. I don't like it."

"Liv, you know what I think?"

"What? Please tell me," she said, genuinely wanting his opinion.

"I think that if he still wants a piece of your profits… he knows you're capable of running it and making it prosper. I also think that if he's willing to sell one so he can build another then he's very confidant in his product… I think this is a win-win deal."

"Two."

"What?"

"He owns two… the profit that he's keeping would pay off the balance left on the second one and me doing his books would add to that… he says the staff that runs both have all been with him a long time. He said they're capable of running the gyms on their own, he just likes to be there… it's two Elliot, we'd run two… different story isn't it?"

"No," Elliot shook his head, "If he could do it as a single guy… I'm sure we can do it as a team, right? Besides, with all the cops we know… you're bound to get more business, right?"

"It's so much money Elliot, I mean, you think I've got us on a tight budget right now… we'll be hurting for months trying to recover if we deplete our bank account like that."

"Olivia… think of the good you can do there… you can create a youth center if you wanted to, you could develop his martial arts program… you could provide self-defense for women and hopefully Carp and Fin and Mac won't have so many clients. Think of it as preventative measures."

She smirked, "You think I could do all of that? You think I could still make a difference without being a cop?" she asked softly, "You believe in me that much?"

"I do… you know what else I think?"

"That you married a crazy woman?" she grinned.

He took her hand in his and smiled softly, "No… I think that you are so scared of what's in the bank that you're letting it stop you from taking a risk… that's not the Olivia I know. The Olivia I know, would say, 'balls to the wall' and dive in… It's blind faith, remember?"

She shook her head, "No… no matter how much I want to do this, I'm not risking our family's finances and security on it."

He exhaled and tilted his head, "I think you're hiding."

"What?" she pulled her hand away and furrowed her brow, "Why would you say that?"

"I think you're using us to hide from potentially making a mistake. I think you're so scared of doing something, other than being a cop, that you're using us as a scapegoat… that's not right."

"El-"

"We'll put up the house," he told her, "Discussion over."

"Elliot!" she pulled back, "No! You just got through saying we agreed to never do it."

"Then empty the bank account…. Either way, you're making this deal."

"No."

"Liv," he exhaled "I've never, ever flexed my muscle as the leader of our home. You've been such a good woman to me and you've done things that I didn't realize were possible, but I'd be jerk to let you let this go… you just told me you wanted it. Take it."

"No."

"You don't understand," he whispered and caressed her cheek, "I'm telling you. You're. Taking. It. I'm not arguing with you. We're one, a team, which means half of what's in the bank is mine too and so I have a say in this and I say, yes. Do it."

"Elliot-"

"Either way you look at it, one of us is calling Ricky," he said and reached for the phone, placing it on the table between them, "the only question is, who's calling? Me or you?"

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"Hey," Olivia smiled down at him, "relax."

"That guy keeps staring at me…" Elliot exhaled. "I have half the mind to launch this can of spinach at him."

She chuckled as she pushed the grocery cart with both Hannah and Solomon strapped safely in the seat, Isaac opting to ride in his father's lap as Sam followed with his hand on the side of the cart, "Hand me the weapon," she smiled and took the can, tossing it in the basket, "who cares about him… he's the one that looks freakish to me."

Elliot smiled, "Hey, look at this," he said and opened the frozen food glass door and wrote her a note on the fogged window, I love you, he penned backwards with his finger and she tossed her head back and laughed.

"Yeah?" she grinned and opened the adjoining door. She smiled and penned her own message, You're sexy.

He blushed and wheeled backwards, "I'm leaving before someone calls security."

"Chicken," she chuckled and grabbed a sac of frozen vegetables before wiping her hand over the phrase and following him, "Can't take the truth or what?" she asked, deliberately looking at the man that had made Elliot uneasy, "Guys are just jealous because you've got that amazing chest and they've got nothin'."

The stranger smirked and walked over to the dairy section.

"Mom, can we get ice cream?" Sam asked as he held onto the corner of the basket.

"You mean… more than the ton you've already sneaked into the basket?" she teased.

"Dad told me too!" he protested and Elliot stared at him with his mouth open.

"Way to throw me under the bus, Sam," Elliot chuckled and adjusted Isaac who was fighting sleep, "Hey, come and push your old man while I get Isaac to go to sleep."

Sam obeyed with a smile and settled behind his dad to slowly push him, "Sorry, dad."

"No problem," Elliot chuckled. "I'll sneak some more when she's not watching."

"Heard that," Olivia piped in, grabbing a bag of rice as they made their way down a new aisle.

The stranger seemed to follow.

"I must have an amazing rear end," Olivia said as if talking to herself, "sure am glad no ones following us to look at it," she said sarcastically and raised her brow at the man suggesting he go watch some other circus show, because her family wasn't on the bulletin.

They made their way to the check out stand and she groaned, "El, I forgot the eggs… I'll be right back. Sam knows how to unload and run the credit card if you need help."

"Okay," Elliot smiled and watched her trot quickly to the section. Anger flashing in his eyes when he saw the same stranger leave the line next to them and follow her. He'd kill him.

Olivia found her carton of eggs and marked it off of her shopping list, holding the pen in her mouth as she inspected the eggs.

"Excuse me, I couldn't help but to-"

"Stare and follow," she mumbled around the pen. "It happens… more so when you happen to be an inconsiderate jerk," she smiled as if engaging in simple conversation rather than releasing a verbal assault.

He blushed, "Uh… I deserved that."

"Hey," she shrugged, "At least you have some understanding."

"I just… you're so beautiful."

She narrowed her eyes at him, her jaw slacking and almost dropping the pen. She took it from her mouth, still holding the opened carton, "You are aware that was my husband and four children right?"

"Yeah," he smirked, and crammed his hands in his jean pockets, drawing attention to the bulge in his pants, "but, uh… I'm pretty sure I can give you something he can't."

She smiled softly and took a breath, "It has been awhile."

"I'm all about no strings… if you'd like."

She grinned, "Sounds interesting, enough… want my number? I can give you my cell… that way he doesn't know… I don't want to hurt him, you know? After the accident that's all he needs."

He smiled like a horny kid, "Uh… yeah, yeah, I'll take you're number."

She grinned mischievously, "Uh I'm out of paper, but uh… hold these?"

He let her rest the open carton in his hand as she wrote on the inside cover, "You'll have to buy these."

He looked down at her penned note, Kiss my ass, but before he could ask what was going on, she pushed his hand up, effectively mashing the carton of eggs into his chest. He gasped as yolk ran down his chest combining with the whites and dripping slowly to the floor.

Olivia grabbed another carton, opened it and retrieved a single egg, before he could protest anymore she smashed it firmly on the crown of his head and smiled as the egg dripped down to his brow, "How does it feel to have people stare at you?" she asked and simply walked away with her carton of eggs. She smiled at the young stock boy next to the cereals, "Uh… there's a man in the dairy… looks like it's gonna be a wet clean up, he had an accident."

"I'll get right on it, Ma'am."

"Thanks so much," she smiled and returned to her husband. She handed him the carton as the cashier continued to ring up their groceries.

"Liv," Elliot looked up at her, "there are only eleven eggs in here."

"Uh… yeah, I… dropped one. The stocker is cleaning it. It's fine."

He nodded and let the cashier do his thing. She smiled to herself as they left the grocery store and, like a little kid, she pushed the cart as fast as she could and stepped up on the bottom rung, flying through the parking lot with Elliot wheeling hot on her heels, Sam and Isaac in his lap until they stopped at the car.

"You certainly are wired," Elliot laughed out of breath.

She grinned down at him and chuckled, "Haven't done that for years… beat you."

"You cheated… I have the boys."

"I had the babies… two for two, El." She chuckled and popped the hatch, watching as Mr. Egg Head exited the store taking his shirt off as he crossed the aisle.

"There's like an eighty pound difference, Liv." He protested, "And I'm all beaten up."

She eyed the man who had enough audacity to still stare at her from two cars over. She bit her bottom lip as she looked down at her smiling husband. She angled Elliot's chin up and kissed him, ran her tongue over his lips as seductively as she could at her awkward angle. Her hand cupped his cheek her other stroked his chest as Sam groaned and slipped off of his dad's lap, muttering how gross they were. She deepened the kiss, his hand resting on her bottom. She looked over Elliot's shoulder as she continued to kiss him and shot the stranger a dangerous and angry stare to which he instantly turned and got in his car. She smiled against Elliot's mouth, sipped from his lower lip, "I love you."

He panted, "Uh… not that I'm complaining, but… what was that for?"

She cupped his cheek, rubbed his bottom lip with her thumb, "Just… I love you."

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October came and went like nothing the Stabler's had ever witnessed, perhaps it was Elliot almost having a heart attack when Olivia broke the news she was taking Sam to his first voice lesson, or perhaps it was the insurmountable amount of paperwork they had to sign to become owners of gyms and partners with the man who'd done the hard work of establishing them. Perhaps it was the growth that both Olivia and Elliot noticed within themselves and within Sam, who after his breakthrough with Mags, after gaining a true understanding about what happened to him, he seemed more content to fight, to open up and to, for once… live.

They couldn't tell you why on earth they just emptied their bank accounts and stocks to buy a gym business, but perhaps that was the growth they were experiencing as a couple, perhaps, taking on something other than being a cop, perhaps settling in and being a family was truly what they needed. To get away from the Richard Whites and Nick Ganzners, to spend time with one another and nurture their children so they didn't become the aforesaid.

They didn't take a loan out on the house and she has never spent more sleepless nights lying in bed, wondering if this business endeavor was the best idea, she knew nothing about owning a business, she knew nothing about advertising and the actual knowledge needed to run a gym, pay staff and make a profit. She'd literally worried herself sick, more than once, and while she and Elliot still haven't made love he's shown more and more interest and desire in her as October fell into November and so today she knows that when Elliot comes home from his first consultation with SVU, the only part of them that is still considered cop, his desire will become reality.

She slipped out of bed preparing the last arrangements of her plan and quietly gathered the kids one by one until all were peacefully sleeping in the SUV.

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"Liv isn't here?" Fin asked as he pulled the car up to the Stabler home.

"No," Elliot exhaled "she said she was taking the kids to visit with Alex and Thomas… Robert had to go out of town and Alex didn't want to be alone… she stopped by the gym, she's getting a leg up on all the paperwork and trying to keep the managers on her side so they don't bail… she's stressed but you know what? I've never seen her so happy… she likes dealing with money entirely too much," he laughed and looked out the window to the dark house. Worried.

"Gotch'ya," Fin smirked, "You gonna be okay, getting your crippled body in the house?"

"I'll beat you with this cane."

Fin laughed, "It's good to have you around again, Stabler."

Elliot exhaled, "You know… when I went in this morning, I was apprehensive."

"That's to be expected, don't you think? You've been out for awhile."

Elliot looked up at his house, envisioned his children playing, his wife waiting for him, " I thought I'd miss it, but you know what? I don't. Not at all. I enjoyed helping you guys on this case, and I'll continue with the consultation jobs, but you know what? I missed my kids, I missed Liv, being home with them… if my legs worked well enough ever again, if I could ever carry a gun again… I wouldn't go back. Not a chance."

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His legs hurt as he walked through the door and really, all he wanted was the Tiger Balm. That stinky, ointment that took all the pain away. He wanted to lie down and rub it deep into his legs and go to sleep and when Olivia finally got home he wanted to pull her close and continue to sleep. He loosened his tie and hanged his cane on the edge of the counter top moving slowly but confidently to the refrigerator in hopes she'd left him dinner.

She left him something else.

He smiled, pulled the recent magnet picture of Sam holding Hannah off of the envelope and opened the flap. He pulled the simple stationary out and smiled at her sloppy handwriting…

Call Number

Give Address

Use Key

He arched his brow and used the chord-less to make the call, when a cab company answered he immediately looked at the card-key and chuckled. Things just gotten interesting. He gathered his keys after relaying the address to the dispatcher and waited impatiently.

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"So, you're gonna stay and help me out?" Alex smiled down at Sam who was holding six-week-old Thomas in his arms.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna help you because I had lots of practice with Solomon and Hannah. I'm a professional now and Moses woke up all night long for food, so I'm a pro at waking up in the night time too."

Olivia laughed and kissed him on the crown of his head, "I love you… you have the hotel's phone number in case you get nervous, right? But remember, that you promised me you'd call only if you were super scared or something was really wrong right?"

"Right. I'll be okay," he assured her. "I will. I'm going to help Aunt Alex and me and Thomas are going to have fun."

"I want stay!" Isaac grumbled from the couch and folded his arms in a huff before jetting out his lower lip and looking up just to make sure someone was paying attention to him.

"Sorry, honey… but Alex needs help and you said you wanted to go play with Addy."

"Addy!" he giggled and quickly jumped off the couch grabbing his coat and moving to the door, "Mommy Go! I want go!"

"He really likes Addison, huh?" Alex smiled, "Think he'll like Thomas when he gets bigger?"

"No doubt," Olivia smiled and took him carefully from Sam, "Everyone is so in love with this little boy… he's amazing. I think he's just what everyone needed, a little piece of happiness."

"He's funny around three a.m." Alex smiled and waited for Sam to walk away to put his bag in the spare room, "So… you and Elliot… tonight?"

Olivia grinned, "Uh… that's the plan."

"Think he suspects?"

"No. I think it'll surprise him… he asked me to shave his beard and cut his hair when I thought we were ready… I didn't so, he really had nothing to go by."

Alex chuckled, "Will I get a sordid story out of this?"

Olivia blushed, "I've got to get these guys to Casey's."

"Hey," Alex smiled, "What about my story?"

Olivia smiled over her shoulder, "Coffee, Monday six O'clock. Bring Casey… you'll get your story."

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She really did go all out on the hotel, in fact he knew she probably debated for a long time rather or not to drop so much money, but here he was, in a honeymoon suit. He smirked imagining her in a teddy as he inserted the key only to open the door to no one, "Liv?"

No answer, "He wheeled himself further in, closed the door behind him and parked his chair, opting to use his cane while indoors.

Hot tub. Score! He grinned and narrowed his eyes at the turned-down bed, a note folded on the pillow. He made his way to it, the plush carpet making his steps a little more uneasy but he soon found the right rhythm to make it to the bed which, to his surprise, bore their comforter and pillows.

She'd been here.

Sneaky.

He looked around, didn't see anything particularly interesting that would give the night away but he did pick up the note revealing a small tin of soothing balm and read her instructions.

Strip.

Use me.

Sleep.

He exhaled in disappointment, he'd assumed this would be the night she made love to him, but alas, she'd let him come here to sleep and rest. He groaned and smacked his lips before slowly following the instructions and walking to the restroom to wash his hands of the messy substance. He flipped the light on and grinned at the small photo of her tucked in the frame of the mirror.

Maybe this wasn't about relaxation at all.

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She slipped into the hotel room as quietly as possible and placed the bag of food on the counter, her bag along side of it and smiled at her husband who was sound asleep, naked with the covers pulled back to his waist. She'd finish setting up the room while he slept and prepared the bathroom where everything would start… if she could control herself that long.

It was somewhere between lighting the second of three candles just after she'd run scalding water for a bath, that she heard him stir. She lit the last candle and closed the gap between them as his eyes fluttered under their lids. She kissed each lid softly, "Hello," she whispered and grazed his lips with hers and when he only hummed against her she trailed her hand softly down his abdomen until she met his length and kissed him again. "Wake up," she said softly and stroked him from the very base to tip before tickling his inner thigh. His smile gave him away.

"What are you doing?" he chuckled.

"Just seeing if you followed directions," she whispered.

He finally opened his eyes to look at hers and if it were possible to become erect and come in a split second he would have done it. Her eyes swam with want and it was all geared toward him and he couldn't be more turned on than what he was right now.

"You get my picture?" she asked as she trailed soft kisses along his neck, sucking momentarily on the line of his collar bone.

"Uh huh," he smiled and rested his hand on the small of her back. "That feels nice… what if a maid saw that picture?"

She grinned against his chest, ran her tongue in a wet circle over a freckle, "I'm sure she wouldn't care."

"What if it was a guy… he'd of taken it," he smiled and rested his palm on the back of her head as she continued to kiss his body, "You're going to kill me aren't you?"

"No," she shook her head softly and ran her finger along his hardening length, "maybe just give you a little stroke."

He sucked in air and grabbed her wrist, "Uh… you're going to make me come… it's been a long time, Liv… I uh… I'm still sort of learning how to control myself again."

She smiled, kissed her way back up his chest, "What if I told you," she whispered and flicked her tongue over his un-attended nipple, smiling when he hissed, "that tonight is all about you loosing control," she said and straddled his body with her jean covered legs. She kissed his cheek, grazed her teeth along his jaw to his ear and added, "Over and over again."

She heard him swallow hard, felt his hand grab her bottom and pull her into him, "Liv… I want you so much… I was having a dream about you."

"Yeah?" she whispered and pried his hands from her body so she could stretch them above his head. She kissed his mouth, trailed her tongue along the seam of his lips, "Tell me it," she said and slowly made her way back along his neck, following the length of his arm.

He smiled and moaned as she ran her tongue along the sensitive skin of his bicep, "Uh… we we're making love," he whispered and groaned at her lips caress, "and you came as soon as I entered you… and you…" he panted as she rubbed into him again. "Liv… you're gonna make me come."

She smirked down at him, "That's the goal… but not yet."

"Then," he swallowed, "you'd better stop touching me like you are… it's too much."

She smiled, kissed him again, "Come on… let's take a shower."

"Huh? No. I want to make love to you… it's been seven months Liv… make love to me, right now," he said and immediately attacked her buckle.

"Hey," she said softly and pulled his hands away. "I want this whole night to be about you, not me… I want to make you come, but I want to take care of you first. I've got food and a hot bath waiting."

Impatiently he moved for her buckle again, "I already had a bath and I'm not hungry."

She held his hands at bay and lowered her body over his, "Yes you are," she smiled and kissed his lips, "and you smell like Tiger Balm."

He groaned, "Why'd you ask me to put it on, then?"

"You'll see," she whispered and rubbed into him again. "You like that, Elliot?"

"Olivia-" his voice broke. "Please. Please let me make love to you tonight."

"Shh," she whispered into his ear, "you will, I promise, but… let's enjoy this. Let me take care of you and love you-"

He framed her face and kissed her, "I just want you," he breathed hot against her, his tongue gliding over her lip before he tangled his hand in her hair and deepened the kiss, he pulled back, panted for air and rested his forehead against hers. "I've wanted you since the moment I woke up in that hospital bed."

She locked her brown eyes with his blues ones and traced his hair line with her fingertips, "And you'll have me," she assured him. "I'll give you me because I'm desperate for you too, but… please, let this be a night where you're the one that's loved more, okay?" she whispered and caressed his cheek, "Do that for me? Let me love you more?"

He furrowed his brows, kissed her mouth softly, "Liv… it's not a competition."

"I know," she smiled gently and ran her fingers along his chest. "I know… but, you've given me so much… I've always felt like you've loved me so much more than I could ever imagine. Sometimes more than I think I'll ever be capable of loving you back… let tonight be a night where you're finally the one that is loved more, okay? Let me take care of you, this weekend, without fighting or arguing or anything like that… let me make love to you," she whispered and moved her hips again. "Let me take care of you, Elliot."

He whimpered at her contact and his hands dug into her hips pulling her deeper into him, "What do you want me to do?"

"Come on," she smiled softly and helped him out of bed. She kissed him playfully, her hands snaking around his body to grab his butt before she led him to the restroom, "You're walking without your cane?"

"Yeah," he grinned as they entered the bathroom and the steam instantly caressed his flesh, "Liv… it's hot in here."

"I know… but, by the time I'm done, the water will be just the way we like it."

"We?"

She smiled, stepped into him and sipped from his bottom lip as her hands found his shaft and her palms caressed him one stroke after the other. Continuous. "I want to take a bath with you… that okay?"

He raised his brows, his chest already rising and falling in noticeable effort, "Yeah," he nodded slowly as her hands mesmerized him in mere seconds, his knees threatening to buckle at her touch, "fine."

"Sit," she smiled and watched as he slowly did so, gasping for breath.

"What?" she asked in concern.

"Uh… cold seat," he laughed and then laughed even harder when she chuckled.

She turned the clippers on and smiled, "Want to finally be rid of that thing?"

"Uh… how about a goatee-"

"You don't have to," she said over the hum of the clippers. "I know you only do it for me."

He grinned, "Goatee."

She smiled, turned the clippers off and leaned into him, cupping his face in her hand in an effort to get one last touch of his scruffy face. She kissed him, felt her own body responding and pulled away softly before she got into trouble. "Goatee it is," she said and began the cut as his hands instantly rested at her hips, his face tilted up, his eyes locked on hers as he sat naked, his hands slipping under her shirt to stroke the flesh he found and when the clippers were finally turned off again, she ran her fingertips over a stubble and was amazed that the simple touch of her hand against his face could encourage his erection even more.

"Where did you hide all of this stuff," he whispered as she began to apply the shaving gel to his face.

"I knew you'd snoop," she said. "I brought it in while you were sleeping."

"I like the candles," he whispered as she made a careful pass of the razor against his cheek, "I don't think we've ever made love with candles."

She smiled, made another pass, "We'll have them with our bath, too," she said pulling the razor against his neck and motioning with her head to the unlit candles near by, "It's all about you this weekend, Elliot."

"You're going to let me make you come, right?" he asked and she almost laughed at his concern.

"Yeah… but not for awhile."

He smirked, "You won't be able to hold out," he told her, "I know you…you can't handle all of this."

She smiled wide, "We'll see," she nodded and used a towel to wipe the excess cream from his face. "You're gorgeous… have I ever told you that?" she asked as she gently caressed his smooth cheek, her thumb grazing the scar that was now visible from his surgeries. It was definite. It wasn't one of those scars you could tell people you got when you were a kid because it faded well. It wasn't one of those scars that looked cool because it was in just the right place.

It stood out.

Served as a reminder.

She trailed her fingertip along its risen path and jumped when his hand flew like lightening to her wrist, "El-"

"Don't," he commanded gruffly.

She peered down into wounded eyes, "Elliot-"

"Don't touch me like that," he snapped and squeezed her wrist tighter in his hand.

"Elliot," she whispered and kissed his hand on her wrist, "Baby… let me go," she said tenderly, "It hurts."

His release was immediate and she simply smiled in compassion at him, "Hey," she whispered and framed his face, "Look at me."

Timidly, his eyes reached her, silently begged her for forgiveness. Begged her to love him, begged her to think of him as so much more than a man beaten and left to die. He wanted to be her lover again, wanted to be her friend, her strength. Her man. "You are so sexy," she told him and kissed his lips, "so, sexy," she whispered and pulled back only inches as she raised her hand, "I'm going to touch you, Elliot-"

"Liv-" he protested with glassy eyes, "please don't."

"I'm going to," she told him again and slowly touched her fingertips to his mangled cheek. She tenderly traced the scar before gently lowering her lips to it, kissing him softly, "Does it hurt you?"

"No," his voice was low. "What does it look like? Bad?"

She furrowed her brow and remembered that she'd let his beard grow while he was in the hospital and even when he was shaven to a stubble, gauze covered it. She pulled back to rest her fingertip along his cheek, "Like a permanent tear… it's maybe three inches… do you want a mirror?"

"No," he nodded softly and pulled her closer, "not tonight. I'll look later, but… I want to be with you tonight and tonight… I feel sexy," he blushed. "You make me feel that way and I don't want to know otherwise."

She grinned, "You feel sexy?"

"Yep," he beamed, "I'm a sexy man… and you are a very lucky woman."

She chuckled, wrapped her arms around his neck, "You have no idea how lucky I am… or how lucky you're gonna be tonight."

"You're gonna make me loose control just from hearing your voice and knowing what you plan on doing to me."

She smiled, grabbed her hair scissors and stepped closer. He groaned, "You're not wearing a bra."

"You barely noticed?" she asked with a smirk and ran a comb through his hair trimming it, surprised when he held her wrist again, "Liv… not too short."

"Really?" she grinned.

"Yeah… I know you like to run your hands through my hair when you come… not too short, I like how it feels when you do it."

She nodded and smiled, "Thank you," she said and cut his hair, trimming it only a few inches. "Do you think you're strong enough to lower yourself into the tub?"

"Yeah."

"Good," she said with a smirk and turned to lite the candles, "let's see." She blew out the match, let it rest next to the now lit candle and reached to turn the light off, smiling when the room fell dark save the candle light and his arms wrapped around her.

"Let me undress you," he whispered and pulled her closer to him, "Let me."

She licked her lips, brought his hands to her waistline and nodded her approval. He had her pants falling to the grown in a gentle stroke, his hands caressing her bottom, "No panties, Liv?"

She smiled, turned to face him and shrugged, stepping out of her pants, "Took 'em off before you woke up… thought I'd give you a head start."

He closed his eyes and grinned, opened them and slowly pulled her shirt off. Her hands resting on his shoulders, a gentle massage given as he appraised her body as if seeing it for the first time, cupped her breast in his warm hands, "You're sweating."

"It's hot in here, remember?" she smiled and lowered her head to his ear, "I turned the heater on too… it's gonna be hot tonight, Elliot."

He looked at her, caught her double meaning and swallowed, "I had a feeling."

She stroked his length, "I'm sure you did… come on, before the water cools."

It had taken a little finessing but he did manage to lower himself into the bath tub, hissing and groaning as the steam and bubbles gathered around his body, "Liv… my legs feel funny."

"It's the Tiger Balm and the water temperature… let it go… it's okay, it's gonna help you to not be so stiff."

He exhaled finally getting situated in the tub, "It feels really weird."

"It's fine," she whispered and kneeled beside the tub.

"Hey… get in here, with me… I never thought I'd get you in a bubble bath with me again… get in."

"I will," she smiled and reached for his shower gel, "I just wanted to help you out a little."

He grinned and leaned back, felt her slick hands cover his chest and abdomen, felt her fingers purposefully graze his erection, his inner thighs and finally his legs. He sucked in air at the curious sensation but quickly relaxed, "Mmm, feels nice. Thank you."

She stretched up, kissed his mouth gently, "You're welcome. Want me to do your hair?"

"No," he shook his head, "Get in here with me." She smiled and stood, watched his eyes as they followed her body into the tub, "Lay against me."

"You sure?" she asked, "I could just sit over here-"

"Here," he said and motioned for her to sit. She did and let him pull her firmly against his body, his erection pressing against her back, his mouth immediately on the back of her neck, "Liv… I want to have you, right now. Please?"

"No," she said and softly stroked his thigh. "Not yet, but soon. I promise."

He groaned, "I just want to touch you. I want to have my hands everywhere," he said and caressed her breasts from behind, "Let me wash you?"

She nodded, moved her hair to the side as he used her bath gel to lather his hands, he massaged her shoulders with his soapy hands, worked his way down her strong arms and crossed over, paying particular attention to her breasts, her abdomen and thighs until he stroked her center. She slapped the water to retrieve his hand, a small splash hitting her face, "Don't," she hissed, "I want you to come first. Don't."

He continued to suck softly on her neck, alternating between kissing and teasing licks as he rubbed her legs with his hands, felt his erection continue to grow, his breathing labor, "Liv, please."

"Let's go eat."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Where are the kids?"

"They're safe… we're not talking about them at all this weekend," she smiled and let him adjust himself so he was sitting up in the bed. Naked.

"Dinner in bed? With a naked wife and candle light?" he grinned, "Every man's dream."

She chuckled and crawled on the bed with a small plate in her hand before snuggling close to him, "Actually… I thought we'd skip dinner, tonight."

"Yeah?" he smirked, tipped her face up to him, "Can I have you as my dessert?"

She smiled, kissed him softly, "No… I got you cheesecake."

He smiled, "You got you cheesecake."

"No," she shook her head and straddled his body again, "I told you," she said softly and gathered the food on a fork, "it's about you tonight… it's not cherry," she smiled and held the fork to his mouth. His hands dug into her waist and he moaned as the chocolate hit his tongue, "See?" she whispered and kissed him, licked the chocolate from his lips and smiled against him, "I love you."

"Make love to me."

"I don't want to rush this," she said, kissing him again. Sampling the taste of his mouth, the velvet of the chocolate.

"Rush? It's been too long… I just need to be inside of you. I need to feel close to you and connected again… please, Liv… don't make me wait anymore. I want you to come in my arms, I want to feel you." He held his lips to her ear and whispered, "I want to hear you."

She backed off of him and smiled, "I looked at the Kama Sutra… at the stuff you selected."

"Please… anything. I don't care," he whispered. "I just want to be with you."

"I saw your little side bar about the sixty-nine… were you serious?"

"You said what ever was easy on my body… sometimes it hurts my neck to-"

"Shh," she smiled and placed a finger over his lips, "get your self situated, eat your dessert, I'll be right back."

He'd no sooner consumed the last morsel of chocolate and put the plate on the night stand than he saw his wife standing almost nervously in a pale pink teddy. Her nipples erect through the satin, her thighs barely covered, "Is this… what you-"

"Come here," he smiled and offered her his hand, surprised when she tugged him to stand, "What?"

"Dance with me."

"Dance? I want to make love to you."

She grinned, "We're going to make love. I promise you, but I just… want to dance with you."

He grinned, "I'm naked."

She chuckled, "I know," she waggled her brows and stepped closer, "all the better."

He tossed his head back and laughed, stepping closer and pulling her against him. She moaned feeling his erection against her hip, "You want me, Liv… have me. Let me have you. Right now."

"Dance," she panted and they took careful steps to sway with one another. "Kiss me."

"You're bossy," he grinned but lowered his lips to hers, his tongue gently sliding into her mouth and caressing her own as his hands found their way up her teddy, massaging her butt until she pulled away, rest her forehead in the crook of his neck and breathed hard.

"Elliot… I want you so much."

He smiled and slowly sat on the edge of the bed, "I want you too."

"I had… I-" she lost her train of thought when he lowered her to his lap.

"What?"

"I had… every intention of going slow… but-"

"Make love to me, Liv… I want to come together the first time, I want that connection back, then you can have me anyway you want… but I want you."

Her kiss was frantic and desperate and sweet and erotic all at once and he had no choice but to lower himself to his back, "Ah-" he moaned, "no… not like this… my legs."

She stood immediately, "I'm sorry."

"No… no it's not your fault… I just… I need to be further up."

"Okay," she nodded and waited until he situated himself in the middle of the bed. "Elliot… let me make you come. I want to make you come… I don't care about me," she whispered and kissed him along his shin, letting her tongue caress every scar and blemish left behind as she went further up his body, "Let me," she whispered, "let me be the one to love you more." She made sure to kiss every scar over his chest and legs as she aligned her body with his until her lips met his mouth again.

"Liv-"

She trailed a hot line with her tongue back down his body, "Let me," she told him firmly and kissed the inside of his thigh. "I read your selections," she said softly.

He grinned resting his head on the pillow, "Please tell me this is for real."

"It is," she whispered and moved to the side of him, "What do you want first? Tell me."

"I just want you. I don't care." She grinned, whispered in his ear and pulled back to see his face, "Yeah… that'll definitely work," he croaked.

She smiled, kissed his torso down to his belly button and straddled his middle so she was facing his feet. She looked at him over her shoulder and chuckled at the shock and anticipation of what was about to happen, "Are you sure?" she asked.

He pulled her thighs closer to him and kissed the flesh of her bottom, she walked herself back just slightly so he could rest against the pillows and he moaned against her center the moment her tongue swirled around his head. She never figured him for this position but it was the most intense feeling she'd experienced. His tongue against her core as her lips offered him his own pleasure. She controlled her thoughts not willing to come. She wanted him to break tonight, wanted to let him rest, and then start all over and keep repeating the same sweet cycle.

He caressed her derriere, pulling her deeper into his eager mouth and felt her abdomen caress his, felt the warmth of her mouth glide over his shaft as one hand stroked his thigh and the other massaged his base. He couldn't take it anymore, "Olivia," he groaned and sat up, pushing her forward then pulling her back so she was against him, kneeling between his thighs. The absence of her lips over his swollen erection almost made him want to let her do whatever she wanted, but the thought of being inside of her spurred him on, "I need you. No more play. Let me have you."

She grinned at the intensity of his voice, grinned because he was at his breaking point and she was the one that got him there. She was the one that made his body swell with anticipation of being inside of her, she was the one that was making his heart beat faster against her shoulder blade and she was the one that he was wanting to be with, "You want me?"

He massaged her breast as she leaned against him, "You know I do," he said gruffly and bit playfully at the back of her neck, "I'm going to take you now," he whispered in her ear, "I'm not going to take this off," he said and fingered the strap of her teddy, "but I'm going to lay you down and I'm going to make you scream."

She arched her brows and teased him, "What if I don't scream?"

"You will."

"What if I refuse?" she teased and suddenly yelped when he playfully slid out from behind her and thrust her to the mattress.

"See there?" he grinned as she laughed and covered her face with her hand, "you're already getting loud."

She swatted him playfully, "I wasn't expecting that!"

He laughed, kissed her neck, "Olivia?"

"Hmm?" she responded cupping the back of his head as his lips traveled down her body, sucking her nipple through the thin fabric.

"Can I have my legs back?" he smiled.

She raised her head up and looked at their legs, "I'm sorry," she laughed and brought her legs up so he could finish moving his body to lay beside her, "hey, do th-"

"Shh," he told her and angled his body over her.

"Elliot, your legs."

"Shh," he shook his head and kissed her hard on the mouth, taking in a breath through his nose as she rose up slightly from the pillow and parted her lips, his tongue pressing into her mouth as he leaned on one forearm, gripped her hip with his free hand and adjusted his hips between her legs.

"El-" she gasped when his lips finally separated form hers, "I wanted to make you come first, ple-"

"I just need you," he told her and rested his forehead against her chin, "Olivia, I need to be inside of you. I don't even care if I come, I just… I need to be home again."

Home.

She grinned, framed his face and kissed him playfully until her lips gave way into something much more seductive. She let her tongue slide into his mouth without her lips touching his. She coaxed his tongue to come out and play and when he attempted to meet her lips, she pulled back only centimeters and engaged only his tongue, feeling his hand push up the teddy faster than he normally would have. He wanted her desperately and she was done arguing.

She felt him hard and ready and she whimpered against him knowing that her plan was just tossed out the window and the moment that he entered her, she wouldn't stand a chance against him. His breathing was becoming more rapid as he dipped his finger into her, stroked her only enough to make her arch back and separate her lips. He kissed her immediately and even though he felt the pain in his knee, he didn't care. He slipped his now moist index finger between their kissing lips and watched her as she sucked his finger slowly. He closed his eyes, groaned at the feeling of his erection pulsing.

When he couldn't stand it anymore he threw caution to the wind, withdrew his finger from her lips and pressed into her with one swift motion. She cried out in pain, her hands immediately grabbing his chest as her head arched back sharply, her brows furrowed and she hissed in air, "El!" she gasped.

"I'm sorry," he whispered and stilled immediately, "I'm sorry… what happened?" he asked and softly pushed her hair from her face.

She fought for breath, fought to control her body. Fought to accept him, "Um," she took a deep breath and looked at him. She was blushing.

"Liv?" he smirked, "What?"

"Uh… it's been a long time, Elliot," she said shyly. "You're gonna have to take it easy on me the first time."

He grinned, "I forgot… I'm sorry. I just… got a little excited."

She chuckled under him, "It's okay," she assured him and framed his face, "I'm not going to come… not the first time. I want it to be you, I want you to experience everything, every sensation-"

"Liv I wa-"

"You promised you wouldn't argue with me… that you'd let me love you more tonight… please don't go back on your word," she whispered and bucked her hips into him.

He groaned and that one simple action by his wife undid him. He moved over her, his hands supporting the majority of his weight as his hips took on a life of their own and crashed into her. This was what she wanted. She wanted him to not worry about pleasing her, to not worry about giving, just taking and receiving. The heat of the room combined with the heat of their bodies allowed him to slide over her flesh as he moaned and grunted with his thrust.

She framed his face with her hands and it dawned on her that this was exactly where they'd left off all those month ago, with him laboring over her, his body sweating over hers. Him claiming her as his. She wrapped her ankles around his waist, helped bury him deeper as she fought her thoughts, demanded her body not to come in spite of the fact that that was all she wanted. Her body screamed at her for release as his hips ground against hers, his cheek resting against hers, his labored breath warming her ear. She wanted to come. She needed to come. She denied herself.

His jaw clenched as his head dropped and his hips sped up, "Liv," he groaned, "Liv."

She ran her hands over his sweaty chest as his body continued to move within hers, "It's okay," she assured him and watched as he pulled back almost completely withdrawing and pushing quickly back into her, his head falling backwards, his eyes shut as he sped up and gasped with each thrust, whined at the pain in his legs, at the sensation climbing his spine. He dove into her deeper, hearing her whimper as her fingernails dug into his biceps and he suddenly stiffened over her. He yelled out so forcefully the chords of his neck were strained, he seemed unable to catch a breath, his body shook violently above her, but he tried to continue moving as his orgasm crashed over him.

His strides turned useless and uncoordinated and his shoulders dropped. He was so exhausted, but Olivia didn't miss the tear falling from his face as he suddenly buried his face into her neck and sobbed. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed his cheek as he cried, "I love you," she sniffled and let her tears mix with his. "You looked so incredible right now," she whispered, "You felt so right," she said and stroked his sweating back with her nails. "I can still feel you… I felt you the whole time and you were amazing."

He sniffled, raised up to look at her, a soft kiss over her lips, "I'm sorry if I hurt you."

She shook her head, caressed his face, "You didn't… I promise," she smiled. "You felt so amazing I was fighting like crazy not to come."

He smiled, sucked softly on her lip, "You should have."

Carefully, she rolled them so he was under her and she slowly separated from his body to lay next to him, "Go to sleep."

"What!" he sat up immediately and looked at her, "I'm not going to sleep… I want more of you… I want to make you come. I want to feel you come around me and I want to-"

"Elliot," she smiled and gently used one hand to push him softly back to the mattress, "we have all weekend to ourselves, "I wanted to make you come first. I wanted you to feel everything, whatever you want from here on out is up to you, but… you need to sleep. Get some rest," she smiled and kissed him, "I'll wake you up in an hour."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Wee wee!" Isaac grinned just over the dinner table, "Wee wee!"

"I think he's got to go," Paul laughed and stood just as Casey did, "I'll do it," he smiled and kissed her temple, "stay with Addy."

She grinned as his lips lingered against her flesh and she turned her head to kiss him softly, "Thank you."

He smiled against her mouth, kissed her again and pulled her tight against him, "You're a beautiful woman, you know that?"

She laughed and nodded to the high chairs that contained Hannah and Solomon, "I don't know how they do it… this is harder than I thought it would be."

He pulled back softly and rubbed her biceps, "How are you feeling? Overwhelmed? I don't work this weekend so I'll be right here with you and you don't have to-"

"Hey," she grinned up at him, "I meant… it's hard to feed two babies and two toddlers."

Paul smiled and kissed her forehead, "Oh… but…. Other than that? You're okay?"

"You mean… do I want to jump off of a bridge?" she asked with smirk, "I'm good."

"WEE WEE!" Isaac yelled again and launched his fork to get their attention.

"He's got to pee," Casey chuckled and kissed her husband again, "I love you."

Paul smiled and leaned into kiss her when Isaac groaned and promptly pulled his pants down and off, "Wee wee! No kissy! Yucko!" he told them and moved to pull his boxers just as Paul had scooped him up.

"Oh, no you don't. There will be no wee-weeing in the front room," he teased and rushed him to the restroom.

Addison grinned at his mother from his booster seat of telephone books Paul constructed for him so Solomon could make use of Addison's high chair, "Oooohh," he grinned and pointed at the babies.

"You like them?" Casey chuckled as Addison laughed and clapped his pudgy hands over his face. She laughed and scooted his plastic plate a little closer to him, "Eat up, honey, it's getting late."

Addison continued to stare at Hannah who simply stared back, both erupting into smiles and laughter, "Oh, so you're flirting with her, huh?" Casey smiled and pulled Solomon's chair closer to feed him, grinning at Solomon's wide eyes as soon as he realized food was about to make it's way into his chubby belly.

Casey was so wrapped up tending to three young children that she didn't hear Paul make his way to them standing and soothing Isaac who, after eating entirely too much for his stomach and then relieving himself, seemed to drift off in Paul's arms. He watched Casey as she teased Addison and Hannah while she wiped the spoon across Solomon's lips, "You look good surrounded by kids," Paul said softly.

Casey smiled up at him, "I feel good."

He chuckled, laid Isaac on the couch and pulled up a chair next to her as Solomon carefully smeared his food into his blond hair, "He eats like you."

She elbowed him playfully, "Shut up!"

Paul laughed at her and wrapped his arms around her waist, "We could… try for a girl," he whispered.

She exhaled and leaned back into him, "Paul… I feel good today… I don't know if I'll feel good tomorrow or the next day or the next day after that… I don't know if I could handle another one right now," she confessed.

He kissed her neck softly and held her, "I love you."

Casey watched as Hannah's head bobbed forward and back as she fought sleep in the high chair, "Please don't be upset."

"I'm not, I promise," he assured her, "just 'cause you don't want to have one right now, doesn't mean we can't in the future, right?"

She smiled, reached behind her and caressed his cheek, "Right."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Be careful," Olivia smiled, "you're still half asleep," she teased Elliot who held tight to her as she helped him into the hot tub.

He chuckled as he lowered himself to the step and pulled her quickly over his naked lap, "I woke up because you had your mouth on me… believe me, Liv… I'm completely awake now."

She blushed as the water jets surrounded their bodies, his hands holding her over him, "I told you I'd wake you up in an hour."

He smiled against her neck, trailed his tongue along her warm flesh and nipped her gently, "Are you going to let me wake you up now?"

"Nope."

He groaned, "Liv… come on."

She chuckled and turned in his lap, "I told you… I want to wear you out."

"Not fair," he smiled and leaned down to kiss her naked breasts. "How long did you agonize over paying for this hotel?"

She furrowed her brows, framed his face and looked down at him, "What?"

"It looks pretty expensive," he teased with a grin and tickled her inner thigh, "I know how you are about frivolous purchases."

"Elliot," she kissed the corner of his mouth softly and ran her wet hand through his hair, "Eighty dollar bras… that's frivolous. This… I wanted to do this for you."

He smiled, covered her hand with his and kissed her palm, "Thank you… but how long?"

She chuckled, "About three seconds."

"Really?" he smiled, genuinely surprised.

She scooted closer to him, let her hand disappear into the bubbling water until her slender fingers rested between their bodies and stroked him, "Really," she whispered and sipped from his bottom lip. "Do you remember the last time we were in a hot tub?"

"Yup," he said tightly as she gripped him firmly and stroked him.

"What did we do?" she whispered and wrapped her arm around his neck, her breast meshed with his chest as she continued to move over his shaft.

"Uh," he groaned, "uh… Liv- do you really expect me to think like this?"

She chuckled, flicked her tongue softly over the seam of his lips as she rocked her hips backward and then quickly forward until he groaned and whipped his head back. She ground into him as his chest heaved, she lowered her lips to his ear and continued to move, "I told you… tonight isn't about thinking," she whispered as his fingers dug into her hips, "It's about feeling."

"Liv," he bucked his hips into her, "please."

"No."

"Liv-"

"No- I wa-" before she could explain herself he managed to push her away, "Elliot!"

He grinned, scooted off of the step and quickly moved her so she was where he was sitting, "Kneel down," he whispered as he smiled against her lips.

"What?" she chuckled, "we're in the water."

"You won't drown," he smiled and slowly kneeled down in the water, "I want you to feel something."

"Elliot."

"Liv… you said this night was about me and what I want," he said as he gripped her hips, turned her so her back was to him.

"El, your legs-"

"The water makes it easier on me," he told her and kissed the small of her back as he gently applied pressure to her hips until she began to kneel, his tongue caressing the flesh of her back as it slowly disappeared.

"What are you doing?" she whispered, feeling his hand caress her belly under the water.

"I'm putting you in a new position," he chuckled and lifted her hips with his hand, supporting his weight against the edge of the hot tub with his free arm.

"Elliot… your legs," she whispered and groaned as he began to rub into her back side.

"They're doing just fine," he said and raised her slightly higher, "put your arms on the ledge,"

"EL-"

"Why do you insist on arguing with me?" he laughed and adjusted her arms so they were on the ledge like he wanted.

"I don't want you to hurt yourself," she whispered and looked over her shoulder at him, "I don't want you to be sore tomorrow."

He laughed, his grin sexy and full of desire, "Oh, I'm gonna be sore," he assured her and pressed gently into her body, his length sliding safely into her. Her eyes closed as she groaned and pulled herself closer to the edge of the hot tub, the difference of temperature making things all the more interesting.

"Elliot," she panted, "this can't be comfortable for you."

"I'm going to be sore," he smiled and moved slowly out of her body, "but it's gonna be worth it, when I see you break." She moaned as he slid deeper inside of her, his hand over her belly-button as he pulled her higher onto the step, "this is what you've wanted for months for, isn't it, Liv?" he whispered next to her ear.

She rubbed her bottom into him and whimpered, "You've wanted this too, El… don't act like I'm the only one."

He laughed, moved his hips in slow figure eights, "I haven't denied anything… I've wanted to be inside of you since the moment I woke up."

He moved faster, her breath hitched as the water splashed around them, "Looks like you've gotten what you wanted," she breathed and gasped when he plunged deeper into her, holding his tip against her womb.

"Yeah," he nipped at her neck, "but I'm gonna give you a little something too," he said and pulled out slowly only to push back in as he moved faster. She moaned louder, her hips moving against his, their rhythm as fluent as it's always been, his warm breath cascading against her cool chest that rested just above the water line.

"Elliot," she ground out, her jaw tight as her neck arched back, her cheek against his, "El… coming." He lifted her slightly higher so the water jet pulsed into her center as he continued to move, "Elliot!" she gasped, her hands clamping down against the marble of the hot tub as she felt the water pulse against her, heightening every sensation, "Elliot!"

He moved faster, careful to hold her just right, the jet stream massaging his body as well as hers, "Does that feel good?" he grunted into her ear.

She gritted her teeth as he continued to pump his body into hers, "So good," she gasped, her head falling forward as her fingers gripped the marble harder.

He pushed into her one last time, she tossed her head back and screamed out her release as he continued to move, her muscles gripping him tightly, encouraging him to come which he fought with every ounce of control her had. Her body grew slack in his arms and he withdrew, lowered her back into the water gently as they both continued to kneel. Her breathing still labored as he locked his hands around her waist and kissed her cheek, "If I didn't know any better… I'd say you really enjoyed that."

She laughed, still trying to get enough oxygen to make the room stop spinning, "That was definitely enjoyable."

He chuckled against her and kissed her shoulder, "Olivia… do you have any idea- I mean any idea how amazing you feel… how sexy you make me feel?"

She smiled, carefully turned around to face him, "I make you feel sexy? Isn't that my line?"

He ran his wet hand through her hair and kissed her mouth, his tongue tracing her lips, "You make me feel sexy," he whispered again and kissed her chin. "I didn't know… I didn't… my face and the scars," he swallowed hard and looked down.

"Hey," she tipped his face back up and lowered her lips to his scar, "I was kidding with you," she assured him and kissed his mouth, "It's just… you don't hear a guy say that he feels sexy very often."

"That's because I'm the only guy who's got a woman that can make him feel that way."

She grinned, "You've gotten sappy on me."

He laughed, caressed her cheek and nuzzled her nose with his, "Olivia… you make me feel so sexy."

She laughed against his lips, "Elliot… you are sexy. I've got nothing to do with it."

His smile fell as he looked up at her, broken, "You've got everything to do with how I feel, Liv… you've got to know that."

She furrowed her brow and sat on the seat of the hot tub, "Elliot… I don't understand what you're telling me. Why are you so serious?"

He smiled, pulled her leg so she slipped off the seat and was forced to kneel in front of him again, his hands holding her waist, "I… didn't know if you'd want me again-"

"What?" she shook her head, "What? Why? Why would you think that?"

"I'm not exactly a stud anymore, Liv," he whispered, his hold on her waist loosening.

"Hey," she whispered and covered his hands, encouraging his hold on her, "I'm yours and you're mine."

"I know," he nodded, "But… I just," he exhaled, "I-last month…I read my file for the first time-"

"Elliot… look at me," she said softly and waited until pained blues scorched her, "why did you read it? You said we'd do it together when you were ready."

"I… had to know… why you didn't want me."

Her face twisted in confusion, "What? I've wanted you… Elliot, I've wanted you everyday since the first day I walked into the precinct and Cragen partnered us up together. "I've wanted you everyday… I've wanted you every minute since you and I got married, and every second since you woke up… I've wanted you Elliot… why do you think I wouldn't?"

"I saw the pictures they took of me…in the hospital and after my surgeries… my body is so different now."

"Really?" she furrowed her brows and assessed him with a small smile, "You still look pretty hot to me."

He exhaled, "Why did you wait so long?"

"Huh?"

"To make love to me? I've been good for a while now… why didn't you want me?"

The realization of what he was getting at finally set in, "Oh, baby… no… no it wasn't like that," she whispered, "it wasn't."

He furrowed his brows, "Is it… because of how I look now?"

She framed his face firmly and brought hers inches from his, "You look amazing to me," she arched her brows, "I don't care about your scars… do you care about mine?"

The corner of his mouth smiled as he stroked her abdomen bellow the water, "No."

"Then?"

"But…I made love to you… the first second you would let me. You seemed like… you didn't want me."

She exhaled softly and kissed his lips, "I didn't want you to push me away… if this didn't go well… that's why I waited. It didn't have anything to do with your body."

His eyes closed, a sigh of relief escaped his lips and he pulled her tight against him, "I thought… I thought maybe, the whole Frankenstein thing I've got going… turned you off."

"Elliot," she smirked, "you're my own personal Greek god… so you put on a little weight… you've been working out and believe me when I tell you… I could feel it when you raised me up against that jet stream… El, believe me when I tell you, I'm so completely in love with you that just hearing your voice turns me on."

He grinned, "You. Are. So. Easy."

She kissed him through a smile, "No… you're just so sexy."

He blushed and looked away before looking down, "You're sure… you can handle this… all the time? You're sure, the scars won't bother you?"

She furrowed her brow, kissed him softly as she blinked out her tears, "Elliot… I love you so much. Scars, broken bones, wobbly legs and this gorgeous smile. I love you Elliot, you've got to know that."

He nodded, "I know… I just… you know… I don't really know, what I look like… I've never looked. I've felt your mouth, and I've… I've felt my uh, little Marine," he blushed, "but… my face is mangled isn't it? There were no pictures of it that I could really make it out in."

She touched her fingertip to his cheek, "Do you want to see? Do you want me to get you a mirror?"

"No."

She shook her head and smirked, "I see where Sam got his indecisiveness."

"We weren't gonna talk about the kids." he teased

"Then we won't," she whispered and wrapped her hands around his waist, "how are your legs? Want to sit on the step?"

"I'm fine… what do I look like?" he whispered, "To you… what do I look like?"

She finally realized what he was doing. Testing her. He was using his ability to know her right down to the bounce in her eyes when she was lying to him, right down to the sound of her voice when she wasn't telling the truth. He was waiting for her response, analyzing it.

Slowly, she raised her hand to his cheek, kissed him tenderly, "You're beautiful."

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"Hey," Sam rubbed his eyes, "you need to be quiet Thomas, Aunt Alex is in the shower… you don't give her any girly time, man."

Thomas opened his mouth reflexively and kicked his small legs, his fussing growing louder, "Come on man, I'm tired," Sam groaned, "Aunt Alex is tired and you cry more than Hannah does and she's a girly girl."

Thomas' cries grew louder and Sam grinned as he picked him up, supporting his head, "I read about you in the bible," he whispered and lowered his lips to the fussing boy's forehead. "Hungry?" he whispered, "Aunt Alex made the bottles like my mom does for Hannah and Solomon," he said and quickly began to prepare it.

When he was sure it was just the right temperature he sat comfortably on the couch and let Thomas latch on, "I don't think Aunt Alex and Uncle Robert know how much of a strong name you have," he yawned and smiled as the infant reflexively slapped his hand against his chest as he ate happily from the bottle. "My mom and dad take me to church… you can come too, when you're bigger," Sam said, rubbing the little boy's leg, "I asked my Sunday school teacher about your name, she said some will call you a doubter 'cause that's the guy from the bible… Doubting Thomas, but, she said that's not what it's about at all."

Alex leaned up against the hall wall and cinched her robe tight as she continued to listen to Sam talk softly to her son as he held him close and fed him. Olivia had told Alex that Sam would want to act as a big brother, but she never imagined she would ever hear young Sam talk of God again. She never imagined, after everything he'd been through that she would step out of the shower at eleven O'clock at night and hear him whispering truths to her son that she didn't even know, herself. Truths that, when they named their son, she had no idea existed. She continued to listen.

"Thomas means 'the twin'," Sam said softly. "My mom helped me look that up on the internet, and Julian means 'great', you know what that means?" Sam whispered and kissed his forehead gently. "It means you and me… we're made for big things. We're great… Isaac's great too, but in a different way… You and me? We're gonna hold our families together when things get super hard… you've already started to do that. I remember when Aunt Alex's voice was so sad, but then you came and I can hear the smile in her voice, but…now you have to learn to take away the fear I hear, too."

Alex wiped softly at a tear and slowly made her way to the boys, "Sam?" He startled and it surprised her, "I'm sorry… I thought you would have heard my steps."

"Shh," Sam whispered to Thomas who was equally startled and adjusted his bottle before his fussing turned into full blown crying, "No… I didn't hear you. I'm very tired."

"So am I," Alex smiled softly and tipped Sam's chin up, "Why will they call him Doubting Thomas? That's not strong."

Sam grinned, "You were spying Aunt Alex?"

She rolled her eyes and laughed as she sat, "I was… overhearing."

Sam chuckled, "You spy like my mom… his name is strong… don't worry."

She furrowed her brows, "I just… liked the way it sounded… why will they call him Doubting Thomas?"

"Cause that's the guy in the bible… but I think people got it all wrong."

Alex laughed, "You do?"

Seriously, Sam replied, "Yeah… I do."

Alex narrowed her eyes as her son fought sleep in Sam's small arms, "So… people who've studied the bible for years… they're wrong?"

"Not wrong," Sam shrugged, "Blind."

"Blind?"

"Yeah."

"You lost me, little man."

Sam grinned, "People get so mad at Thomas because he wouldn't believe that Jesus came back until he touched him."

"I don't know the bible."

"But God knows you."

She arched her brow, "Sam… he might know me… but he didn't stand by me."

Sam tilted his head, "Why do you think that?"

Alex exhaled, rested her hand over Thomas' belly, "He took my first baby… I thought he would take Thomas from me, too. Whose to say he still won't?"

"But…Thomas is right here."

"I know."

"Then why are you so scared now?"

"I'm not scared."

"You shouldn't lie Aunt Alex."

"I'm not-"

"I hear it in your voice… you're happy, but you're scared."

Alex exhaled, the only sounds were her son's breathing and sucking, "I'm scared, that one day… God will remember that he was supposed to take Thomas… and he will."

Sam shook his head, "He gave you Thomas… just like he gave me to mom and dad."

"Sam?"

He grinned, "That's me… the one and only, baby."

She laughed out loud and caressed his face, "You're such an amazing boy-"

"Thomas will be amazing too, but you have to stop being so scared… or he'll be scared."

"Why do you say that?"

Sam's smile shattered and he exhaled, "All the days my dad was in the hospital… I could feel how scared my mom was… every day, and it made me so scared."

"Hey," she wiped at the moisture under his eye, "your mom and dad are out having some alone-time this weekend. They're fine, honey… your dad gets stronger every day and your mother… can't you hear how happy she is?"

"Yeah," Sam smirked, "I can hear it… she sounds so beautiful and she's not afraid anymore, but dad is… late at night I wake up and I can feel how scared he is, and sometimes… sometimes I hear mom trying to make his heart not hurt. Sometimes I hear her tell him how much she loves him… sometimes I hear him cry. I hear her cry with him and it breaks my heart so much."

Alex exhaled and looked down at her now sleeping son, "Your dad," she looked back at Sam, "has come a long way, Sam… but what happened to him, it can't all go away, not over night, not in a few months or even one or two years-"

"With my mom's kiss? Will it go away with that?"

She shook her head, rested her hand on his small chest, "I'm sorry honey… not even with your mom's kiss… but you don't have to be afraid… you have to be strong for him, so he knows what it is to be strong again… can you do that for him? Can you be your daddy's strength?"

Sam grinned, "That's what I've been telling Tommy-"

"Tommy?" she smiled, "that's his nick name?"

"Yeah," Sam giggled, "it's cool"

"Yeah… cool," she smiled and rested her elbow on the cushion as she continued to gaze down at her son, "Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"Why are they wrong?"

"Not wrong," he reminded, "just blind."

"Why are they blind?"

"Because they only see one part of Thomas, they only see that he didn't believe-"

"Isn't that what happened though? He didn't believe?"

"You're being a lawyer."

She blushed, "Sorry… tell me why they're blind."

"They didn't see that Thomas made a super big faith sentence… bigger than anyone else in the bible."

She furrowed her brow, "What'd he say that was so special?"

"He said that Jesus was Lord and God… .no one else ever said that, but no one wants to see that. Thomas wasn't just a doubter Aunt Alex… he was a believer too, that's what makes him super special…just like you. Mom says sometimes it's better to be a believer when you've been a doubter… she says it makes for better evidence."

"You trying to get me into church?"

Sam exhaled, "You asked me what I thought… why did you name him Thomas if you don't believe in God?"

"I don't know."

"But your heart does… doesn't it?"

"Sam-"

"You're so angry at God, that you don't want anything to do with him, just like I didn't want anything to do with Hannah… I missed Hannah so much. Don't you miss God, Alex?"

Angry, but still calm, she swallowed, "After what he allowed to happen to you, after what he allowed to happen to Isaac and your parents, after he took my baby… I'm sorry, honey… I don't miss him… I don't even believe in him."

He furrowed his brows, reached out and allowed his fingers to touch her check, "He believes in you."

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"That hurts!" Elliot yelped and balled the sheets in his hands.

"I'm sorry," she said kneeling next to him the morning light filtering in though the window, "Elliot… you shouldn't have did that hot tub routine… you can barely move."

"I'm just tight," he exhaled and swallowed, "That's all."

She smiled, "Does that have anything to do with making love all night long?"

He grinned, "Could… although, I plan on making love to you in about two minutes."

She laughed and stretched out next to him, "You can barely move."

"Just means you'll have full control."

She arched her brow, "You'd like that wouldn't you?"

He laughed, "I liked taking that teddy off of you…. I liked the cheesecake and I really liked the way you tasted after you took a bite, but not nearly as much as I loved making you scream on the couch… that was something."

She chuckled, "I think we got the couch all wet… we should have dried off when we got out of the hot tub… I'm not paying for damages."

"Carp asked me where I got your engagement ring," he blurted after a few moments of silence.

Her brows shot up, "You did not just bring Carp into our bed."

He chuckled, "Liv… I think he's gonna pop the question."

"They've only been dating a while… I don't think so."

"Then why would he ask?"

She grinned, "He's planning… believe me, he might buy the ring, but he's not asking for awhile."

"How do you know?" he furrowed his brow.

She exhaled, "I just know that he's gonna be overly careful with this whole, love thing… he'll be cautious with his heart."

Elliot rested his hand on her hip, "Like you?"

She nuzzled close, "Yeah…, but I like who I gave mine to. I'm happy with the decision I made."

"Carp was raped wasn't he?"

"Elliot," she pulled back sharply and furrowed her brows, "No…don't go there."

"Liv-"

"You can't ask me to reveal his secrets… I wouldn't do that to you, don't ask me to do it to him… you want to know? Ask him, he just might tell you."

"Liv-"

"Elliot," she looked up at him, "Come on… what happened to making love in two minutes?"

He grinned "Oh… you wanted that?"

She laughed and slapped his chest, "I'm out of here."

"Hey," he attempted to pull her back to him but she escaped before he could, "Come back! It's cold!"

She laughed, "Just relax cowboy… sit tight, I'll be right back."

She walked away and he cupped his hands around his mouth, "You look hot when you walk away naked!"

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"Robert!" Sam laughed and ran to his voice as soon as the door opened, "Aunt Alex! Uncle Robert is home!"

Alex stepped out of the nursery in confusion and grinned as soon as she met her gaze with Robert's, "You're home a day early."

He laughed and closed the gap between them, a gentle kiss, "I tossed and turned thinking about you and Thomas… I ditched the last part of the conference and came home."

"Sam has been a trooper," Alex whispered into his chest and exhaled, "he got up all through the night to take care of Thomas so I could sleep… he said he had a lot of practice because Moses woke up every three hours to eat when she was a puppy."

Robert rubbed her back gently, "Why are you upset?"

"I'm not."

"Yeah you are."

She exhaled continued to lean into him, "Robert… why did you name our son Thomas?"

He looked at her in confusion, "I thought we liked that name."

"I do, but… what was your reason behind it?"

He furrowed his brows, "Al… you're not making sense."

Anger and frustration took over and she shoved him hard and pointed at him, "You rubbed it in didn't you!" she hissed.

Shocked and confused he stared at her, "Sam," Robert called into the living room, "go get the chess board ready, little man."

"Are you guys fighting?"

Alex rubbed her temple, "No baby… please go set up the board, Robert would like to play a game of speed chess before we go to the park."

Sam exhaled, "If you're gonna fight," he said making his way to the office, "make sure you kiss after… that's how mom and dad fix it," he told them and slipped into the office."

"Al?"

She shook her head, wiped at her tears, "I'm sorry."

Robert smiled and embraced her again, "Thomas keep you awake?"

"No," she sniffle, "well, yes, but… that's not it."

"What is it?" he whispered, "I came home to spend time with you… what's wrong?"

"Do you think… it's wrong to be this happy with Thomas, knowing there should be two?"

"No… we can't think that. God gave us Thom-"

She shoved him back again, hit his chest in anger, "What is with everyone and this holy god bull!"

"Al-" he whispered and rubbed his chest trying to dull the ache, "Alex… what's going on?"

"He took our baby! Aren't you pissed off at that!" she yelled and turned quickly. He followed her, surprised that she made her way to the nursery and instantly picked their son up, holding him tight, "I'm not giving Him Thomas… I don't care what you say or think, I'm not giving him up, Robbie. I'm not."

"Al," he exhaled and touched her shoulder softly, his arms wrapping around her and his son, "No one is asking that we give up Thomas… what happened while I was gone, hmm?" he asked and kissed her cheek softly as he stroked his son's back, "Tell me, Al."

Alex bent her neck to kiss the crown of Thomas' head, "I looked up a bible story Sam was telling me about after he went to sleep."

He smiled, "And? What did Reverend Stabler tell you?"

"It's not funny, Robbie," she scolded and wormed her way out of his embrace.

He took another step closer and turned her so she and their son faced him, "Alex… you're holding Thomas… like you're scared someone's gonna take him… what happened?"

"He took our first baby… God just… up and took our baby. Was it… was it because I didn't go to church? Because I made fun of Liv for going? Why? Tell me why… because, every day I try to understand why he took one to give us another and I can't make sense out of it," she sobbed.

He exhaled and carefully extracted Thomas from her arms before settling him in the crib, "Come here," he whispered and pulled her close, "Talk."

"He'll take our son."

"Who?"

"God."

"No He won't… He gave him to us."

"He'll take him."

"No."

She sniffled and rested against his shoulder. Long, silent minutes past, "How do you know?"

He wiped the tear on his cheek against her hair, "Because… when you were on that operating table, I begged him not to take him and when I held Thomas for the first time, I knew that God gave us him."

She sobbed into his neck, "I don't want to loose, Thomas."

"We won't," he assured her. "We wont. He's been home for weeks and he's healthy and he eats like a horse."

"How can you know? How can you be so sure?"

"Sam told me," he shrugged as if that were enough.

"Sam?" she furrowed her brow, "You're putting Thomas in Sam's hands?"

"Isaac and Solomon and Hannah… managed just fine in his hands, but no… I'm not putting Thomas in Sam's hands… I'm, uh… choosing… to trust…uh-"

"Trust what?" she furrowed her brow and stared at him, "Tell me."

"God," he stared back at her, "there's got to be something to Him… didn't you feel that when you held Thomas?"

She turned and looked down at her son. She exhaled and reached down to run her fingers through his soft hair, "Did you know… that Thomas was in the bible?"

"No… but Sam seems to think his name is pretty meaningful."

"He was the first one to make, as Sam says, a super big faith sentence," she chuckled softly, "Maybe… maybe Thomas will be the first to do some really big things, huh?"

He smiled and embraced her from behind, "Al… we're new parents… we're scared out of our minds, but Thomas isn't going anywhere… you know, I've been thinking about uh-"

"What?"

"Um… want to uh… go crash a… church with me? Maybe Elliot's and Olivia's?"

She exhaled and peered down at her son, "I'm not ready for that Robert… I'm not saying no, but I'm not saying yes… I'm just… trying to figure this stuff out… I uh… sort of thought that when Thomas came into our lives… he'd make all the pain go away."

"You've been so happy… what's changed?"

She sniffled, peered down at their son, "We should have two… and I'll never forget that we don't."

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Elliot's mouth fell open, his eyes wide as his wife stood with a bold smile in front of him, "This is that frivolous eighty dollar bra I was telling you about," she grinned.

His body stood erect in the short time she stood in front of him, "And those panties?"

She laughed, "Also a frivolous purchase…. Although from the tent in the sheet, I'd say they're doing what they're supposed to."

He blushed, "Uh… yeah."

Playfully, she kneeled on the foot of the bed and sat on her heels, the cradle of her thighs widening as she stared at him, "Uh… you taking these off of me?"

His brows shot up to his hairline, "Um… I don't get to see you in panties like that very often… why don't you wear those?"

"Cause they're expensive," she laughed and slowly pulled the sheet off of his body. "How come you don't go commando more often? It's hot," she grinned and nodded toward his erection, "you're hot."

He cleared his throat and chuckled, "Um… I'm pretty cold right now."

"Yeah?" she bit her bottom lip, "I could warm you."

He grinned, "I'm not arguing," he said and pulled her over him.

She felt his erection against her belly and she instantly rolled so he was over her body, "Get these panties off of me… and I'll show you something interesting."

His eyes sparked and his hands instantly obeyed her request, pulling white lace over her thighs, down her legs and finally off, before kissing his way back up her body and resting over her, "What's so interesting that I had to take those sexy undies off of you."

She laughed, "Did you just say undies?"

"Shut up, Liv," he smiled and kissed her softly, "What did you want to show me?"

She grinned up at him and rolled him to his back, she walked her way backwards on her knees, his length grazing her center before she pressed her hips into his, his erection stretching her body as she lowered herself over him, gasping as she rested her palms on his abdomen before moving.

He hissed, his fingers digging into her thighs, "Liv… please… you've got to move, I'm gonna loose it."

"You are?" she grinned up at him.

"Yeah," he breathed hard, "Please move."

She laughed, "Okay," she winked and turned her entire body so her back was facing him, she leaned forward and he groaned, sliding down the bed to stay in contact with her.

"Liv… what are you doing?" he hissed, his fingertips grazing her bottom as she bent all the way forward, squeezing her muscles over him,.

"Looking for something," she whispered when her head dipped below the bed.

"Liv… killing me," he groaned and slid down further so he could stay inside of her.

"Stop moving," she laughed. "You're gonna push me off the bed."

"What are you looking for?" he pleaded, pulling her hips as he thrust softly into her.

She gasped at the sensation and smiled when her fingertips finally found what she was looking for. She pushed herself up and lowered herself onto him entirely before putting the item on and smiling over her shoulder at him, "Like my cowboy hat?"

He sat up on his elbows and grinned before simply flopping back down on the mattress, "I've died and this is heaven."

"Na," she moved slowly over him, "this is the reverse cowgirl you wanted."

He sucked in air as she continued to move in slow strides, her hands resting on his thighs as his found their home on her hips and helped her move over him, "Olivia," he breathed her name and smiled up at the ceiling with closed eyes. "Liv," he thrust softly into her and opened his eyes to watch as her longer than normal hair spilled over her tanned back, her white bra begging to be taken off so that only the hat remained. The hat, that was driving him insane.

He reached up as she continued to move, building his foundation for an orgasm, and unhooked her bra, pushing it from her shoulders and forcing her to stop her movements so he could free her from the lace. To his surprise, she covered his hands with hers and placed them over her breast as he sat up behind her. She whimpered feeling the movement inside of her, "You have to warn me," she clenched her teeth in an effort to keep her orgasm at bay for a while longer.

"No," he smiled, "I love it when you come... it's even better when you're not expecting it."

She controlled her breathing and stayed still, her hands over his until she was certain she could continue, she squeezed his fingers over her breast and he quickly took the lead, sucking softly on her neck, "Straighten your legs out, Liv."

"That wouldn't' be reverse cowgirl, no would it?"

He grinned, stroked her center and laughed as she arched her body back, her neck leaning over his shoulder, "I've got to do everything the hard way… stretch out."

Carefully, she straightened her legs to match his and was surprised when he continued to massage her breast and lay back down, taking her with him. Her hat falling off and discarding wherever it chose to. She yelped at an entirely different sensation of them being aligned head to toe, her back to him, his hands holding her hips as he thrust into her. She reached back and held the back of his neck as he continued to move, her breast swaying in the open air, the cool air caressing her body as his warm form pulsed inside of her, "El… coming."

"No," he hissed and rolled with her so she was on her belly, he caught his weight on his hands, "don't, I'm not ready."

She balled the sheets in her fist as he continued to move, her moans spurring him on as he moved in perfect circles feeling her walls tighten around him. He could feel his own body tense as he began to move faster inside of her and then suddenly slowly, smiling at her protest before plummeting into her and simply pulling out, "Turn over," he whispered and raised up just enough so she could. He stared down at her, "You're beautiful," he grinned and wiped the damp hair from her forehead.

She reached up and touched his mangled cheek letting her fingers graze his skin and trace his lips, "Make love to me, Elliot."

He grinned, bowed his head and ran his tongue along her neck and over her nipple, smiling as she arched into him, "Isn't that what we've been doing all this time?"

She raised her head, kissed him gently, "I want to come with you… please?"

He smiled down at her and pushed into her, her hands instantly wrapping around his shoulders as his arms cradled her body, her legs wrapping around his waist, "You feel so good like this… always like this… it's so different. I love it," he told her and moved his hips to start his thrusting.

He labored over her, knowing he'd be even more sore that he already was, but really couldn't care less. He rested his damp cheek against hers, the sweat of their bodies making their efforts to grind against one another all the more intense, his grunts echoing in her ear, her hot breath against his damaged cheek, "Come with me, Liv," he said, his voice tight.

She barred her teeth, arching up and squeezing her legs as he thrust faster into her, the smell of his cologne mixing with the scent of their sex, her hand instantly finding it's way into his hair as she began to whimper, her body coiling and suddenly snapping. He continued to move, cradling her body in his arms as she broke and called his name out, her body sending him into ecstasy as he released himself into her and still continued to thrust. She arched in another orgasm. Her face buried in his neck as he yelled out into her shoulder, himself not knowing if it was bliss or pain but still moving as his strides became less and less effective. Her nails digging into his back, scraping along his flesh as she broke in another wave of satisfaction and slowly relaxed her body.

He attempted to move and she held his hips, "No… please?" she panted, "Don't leave me, not yet."

"My knees," he shook his head, "I'm-I can't stay like this."

She rolled with him and rested over him, "Just… not until you have to, Okay?"

He smiled "You like me that much?"

She chuckled, "Shut up."

He smiled, stroked her back as he felt him self start to decrease inside of her, "Pretty good for an old beat up man, huh?"

"Shut up," she whispered again and continued to rest over him. Crying softly against his skin.

He kissed her cheek tenderly, his fingertips grazing her bottom lightly and producing goose bumps over her body, her nipples stabbing into his chest, he smiled, "I can still feel your muscles."

"If you'd shut up," she kissed his cheek and sniffled, "I could focus on feeling you," she said and straightened her legs between his, giving his length a firm squeeze.

He whimpered pulled her into him, "Sensitive, Liv."

She chuckled, licked the tears from her lips, "Shh," she said and kissed him again, "I just made love to this really sexy guy and I want to enjoy the aftermath."

"Hey," he pulled the comforter over her body and combed his hand through her hair, "what's with the tears?"

She shook her head and smiled, "Nothing."

"It's something… tell me," he whispered and kissed her lips the moment his body slipped from her heat. She protested, held tighter to him and sobbed.

"Hey… this is confusing," he smiled "we're supposed to be on cloud nine right now."

"I am," she sniffled and licked the tears from her lip again, "I am… I just," she cleared her throat and kissed his chin, "I love you so much."

He laughed, rolled to his side and pulled her leg over his before wrapping his arm around her waist, "Why are you crying?"

She kissed his mouth, "I… it was like connecting with you the day we were married. Coming with you… it's intense, El."

He grinned, "The feeling is definitely mutual… but, why the sad face?"

She caressed his cheek and let her tears fall faster, "I just… I thought I lost you, I thought you were dead," she shook her head. "I thought… I didn't think we'd ever make love again, you couldn't even wake up," she sobbed, "and every night I came home to an empty bed and I was terrified and I hated you-"

"What?"

She sniffled, "I hated… that you reduced me to that, that I couldn't live without you. I hated you that you weren't coming home to me fast enough… I'm sorry."

He smiled softly and tucked her hair behind her ear, "No… no don't apologize, I understand… I wanted to wake up everyday, Liv… I did. I wanted you, needed you like I've never needed anything else."

She sobbed against him, her body in need of air she couldn't catch as he tried to sooth her. He wasn't glad she was crying, but he was glad she was finally letting herself fall. That she was finally trusting him to be strong enough now so that she didn't have to be. He buried his nose into her hair, took in its scent and sobbed instantly, wondering how in the world he could have ever went without something as simple as smelling her shower gel or her shampoo, wondering if she would have still forgot where his NYPD shirt was if he'd never woken up to show her.

They held each other after seven months of anger and frustration and fighting and laughter and pain. They held each other as if today would be their last day together, or the first day of their lives together. Another starting point only after such a bitter take off. They cried, chest heaving against chest, arms holding tight until exhaustion consumed them, breathing calmed and tears abated as bodies relaxed against each other and once tight holds turned into gentle caresses before eye lids drooped and sleep over took them.

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"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" The group erupted surrounding the kitchen table where three little Stabler children stood on chairs grinning up at their mother who was holding a camera, snapping the picture just as Solomon shoved both hands into the cake and promptly covered his sister with the white icing.

"Solo!" Elliot laughed and bent between them as Olivia grinned at his feeble attempt to scold Solomon.

"Get him baby," Olivia encouraged as the group cheered him on and Solomon mashed a cake covered hand into his father's face Hannah, laughing and eventually joining in as Olivia snapped another picture of their two one-year-olds creaming their father with cake.

"My turn! Me!" Isaac grinned and jumped on his fathers back, reaching around and smearing the cake into his hair as Elliot laughed in pure delight. November would always be a time of laughter for them, a time when his kids turned another year older, a time when he witnessed Sam give Isaac a lecture on being another year older and being more responsible, a time when he would watch his wife gaze lovingly into Hannah's eyes and not be afraid of what she saw looking back.

"Somebody better hose those kids off," Casey laughed as she nudged Chloe.

Isaac giggled and yanked at his tie, "Zooooos!" he called, "Moses!"

"Isaac! No baby!" Olivia laughed and crinkled her nose as Isaac held onto Zeus's neck and allowed the dog's big tongue to clean his face of the cake. He laughed in pure delight and Olivia shook her head simply snapping another picture.

"Moses!" Sam scolded and immediately brought her close to him, "No, little girl."

Moses looked on as Zeus filled his belly, she groaned and as soon as Sam walked away she raised up to Hannah's seat and licked the icing off of her arm before Elliot sent both dogs away and grinned at Olivia who simply grinned back as their friends continued to hustle around their home, Thomas making his way into various arms as Mathew and Addison were chased by Isaac who was working on removing his clothing piece by piece.

"Hey!" Fin smacked his lips, "What's with all the love stares, we're trying to eat here." He teased them.

Elliot blushed and turned to smile at Robert, "How's having an infant treating you and Alex?"

"Good," he grinned and wrapped his hand around Alex's waist, "she makes a hot wife but I got to tell you… she's a gorgeous mother."

Elliot laughed, found Olivia's stare again as she talked with Casey, "I know exactly what you mean, man."

"How are the legs, huh?"

Elliot flexed his claves, standing on his tiptoes, "I can go a few hours without the cane. I take the boys for walks and stuff while Liv does the paperwork for the gyms."

"Hey," Donovan grinned joining the conversation, "do I get a free membership or what?"

Cragen smiled behind the young medical examiner, "Don't you have to have some type of muscle mass to go to a gym."

"Ouch!" Paul laughed, "Cut down to size by an old man… harsh."

"Old!" Cragen raised his brows, "I'm insulted."

"That's what you get for retiring!" Olivia threw across the room, "I didn't think I'd ever see the day!" she grinned as she and Casey washed down the babies and while Hannah chose to walk into the front room, Solomon was happy crawling to his father who happily picked him up into his arms and held him close.

"Are we late?" Carp entered the home and grinned with Aimee at his side three presents in her hand, "We come with gifts."

Olivia welcomed them warmly into their home, her arms around him, "Good to see you, Carp."

"Good to be here. I got books for the kids and some toys," he grinned and released her taking the gifts so she could hug Aimee.

"Make yourself at home, there's cake… you'll probably want to take from the side that the babies didn't dig their hands into," she laughed.

Carp pulled Olivia back, "Elliot told you?"

"What?" she tilted her head.

"Hey… I'm a detective… you're eyes went instantly to her hand… he tell you?"

"Yeah… why is there no ring on that woman's finger?" she teased.

"I got it… just… taking it slow, you know?"

Olivia smiled, "Slow is good, if you need it… you love her?"

"I've spent hundreds of dollars in useless toll bridge fares… just to see her smile in the morning… I love her."

"You tell her?"

"No yet."

"Coward… what happened to cease the day?" she punched him softly in the arm and smiled, "In all serious… take your time, if she wants you she'll wait."

He grinned, "Where are the three birthday kids?"

"Running around her somewhere," she laughed and waved her hands, "There's a new little one… you haven't met Thomas have you?"

"No," he smiled and immediately scanned the room, "Oooh," he grinned and walked instantly to Alex, "A baby."

Olivia laughed and jumped back when Isaac startled her from the corner, "Boo! Mommy!"

She grinned down at her naked son save his tie, "You are such your father's boy!" she giggled and picked him up, "You can't streak anymore baby, you're three now."

"Streak?" he tilted his head and smiled at her, "Love you, mommy."

She grazed his chubby check with her fingertips, kissed him softly, "I love you too… you have no idea how much, son, but I do."

"I think he knows," Elliot whispered and wrapped his arm around her waist, "I think he knows just how much we love him and how much we missed him."

She turned in his embrace as soon as Isaac wiggled down, streaking through the crowd who laughed and chuckled at the three-year-old who seemed entirely too comfortable in his birthday suit. "We've got four beautiful kids, Elliot."

He grinned, rested his forehead against hers, "And we've got a whole house full of friends that are totally in love with them."

She smiled up at him, "You look so happy," she whispered and caressed his face, "I love seeing that smile on you."

He closed his eyes, swayed gently in the hall way with her as their whispers drowned out the noise of their guests, "You've been pretty happy yourself these days."

She bit her bottom lip as they continued to dance, unconcerned with their company, "I am, Elliot… you have no idea." Elliot smiled as a knock at the door startled her, "Who's here?"

"No one," he insisted and led her deeper into the hallway.

"Elliot… someone is at the door," she protested.

"I know."

"Then? Answer it," she laughed and gasped when he kissed her, pushing her softly against the wall. He heard the door open, knew exactly who it was and smiled, "Elliot-"

"Marry me."

She furrowed her brows and smiled as she raised her left hand, "Um… I thought we already had that base covered… the IRS seems to think so every time I do our taxes."

He watched her intently, "I invited Pastor Beddingfeild to come tonight… marry me, Liv."

Her confusion was precious as she stared up at him, "I thought that's what I did when I stood on that beach in the freezing cold and told you I would."

He grinned, kissed her gently, "It wasn't that cold, Liv… and none of our friends were with us except for Casey and Cragen… Marry me… again, tonight."

She smiled slowly and turned to look down the hall at entirely too many people starring at them waiting for her to respond, she looked back at him, "In jeans?"

"Yeah," he beamed, "just like we are right now, jeans and a shirt."

She laughed, "You're crazy," she said and kissed him, "Which is exactly why I'm crazy enough to marry you twice."

The crowd erupted in laughter as he walked behind her until they were amongst their friends again, "We'll take I.O.U's for wedding presents," Elliot teased and groaned when Olivia nudged him with her elbow, "Geeze," he laughed, "Kidding."

"So you're crazy enough to marry that woman again, huh?" Carp asked with a small grin and while Elliot would probably never understand what was behind it, when Carp wrapped his arm around Aimee's waist Olivia knew precisely what he was asking, was marrying her worth everything they've been through. Was marrying the product of rape worth the pain… was it worth being done again.

Elliot grinned hugging his wife from behind, "I'd be crazy not to."

Olivia closed her eyes and rested against his chest before feeling Sam tug on his father's shirt, "Dad?"

"Yeah?" Elliot smiled and bent low to hear Sam's question.

"Can I be your best man?" he whispered in his ear as Olivia was instantly surrounded by the women in the group, Melinda reminding her that she should try to get another ring out of this. He barley heard Olivia say no, that the current one meant too much to her.

"I wouldn't have anyone else as my best man… 'cause you're the best guy I got," Elliot whispered back and stood to address the crowd, "I got my best man here," he smiled and motioned to Paul and Robert, "Get over here, I'm getting married and your holding up the show!"

They laughed with one another and then laughed even harder when Isaac peered his naked body from around the couch and grinned "Me too!" he said and quickly stood next to the group unconcerned that he was naked.

Olivia laughed as Pastor Bedingfelid, the same pastor who married them on the beach chuckled and motioned for the group to gather around, "You two have the most interesting of weddings."

"Mama!" Solomon called out and pointed up to her. She whipped around and her mouth fell open, Hannah had called Elliot Dada and Solomon seemed to be unconcerned with talking, but here, in the presence of her friends he'd pointed her out and moved his hands to be picked up. She squatted and picked him up smiling at him as he began to wiggle free again, "Indecisive, just like your daddy."

Solomon smiled at his mother and simply crawled to his sister who stood leaning against Casey's legs, "He called me mama," Olivia smiled.

"I heard," Elliot grinned.

"We all heard!" Fin laughed, picking up Addison, "Look at all of these little ankle biters we've got rolling around… and most belong to you two," he grinned at Elliot and Olivia, "the world is doomed, too many Stablers."

The group laughed and was soon quieted by the pastor, "Are we getting married tonight, or what?" he smiled.

Olivia smiled at Elliot, "Looks that way… looks like we're both crazy."

Elliot grinned down at her, his hand on her cheek, "Looks that way."

Pastor Bedingfeild began to officiate as Sam stood close to his father a smile on his lips before retreating to stand next to the other men. The pastor's words were lost as Elliot and Olivia locked their gazes with each other. Married in their living room, she didn't see that one coming. She felt him lace his fingers with hers and she smiled even as a tear made its way down her cheek. She hadn't seen a lot coming, hadn't seen falling in love with her partner, hadn't foreseen marring him, have a child with him let alone four. She hadn't foreseen being fired, had never expected Whites return, or Victor or Oliver for that matter. She hadn't foreseen a lot of things, but as she slowly looked over Elliot's shoulder, she saw the man who put his life on the line to save her son, sees the man standing next to him that lost a baby, sees Carp who is himself still a baby so wounded by his circumstance.

Mentally, as she refocuses her eyes on Elliot's and gently wipes at a tear he has let fall, she remembers the day Alex told her of a miscarriage, remembers the day she found out Casey's secrets and remembers the day she told Casey she was pregnant with Addison. She remembers Mac who has lost a child, but has brought the woman from the hospital as his date tonight and she remembers Fin who will never speak of a son everyone knows he has but is too ashamed to spend time with. She remembers all of this, remembers tears shed, smiles spent and laughter that has erupted during even the most trying times and she finds it odd that her closest friends are tied to her by the loss of a child.

She's not sure how she can feel the joy she is feeling right now when the room is filled with people who have experienced so much unspeakable pain and yet, as they have leaned on one another, as she has fallen deeper in love with her husband, they have formed a family in the truest since of the word. Women who hold each other up in the midst of sorrow, men who battle the depths of the most heinous hell to save the other, spouses who give power to one another when they are weak and children who keep them all going on their darkest of days.

She turns her head and is shocked to see that Sam is starring right at her, making eye contact with her, and as quick as a breath is used that connection was suddenly gone as if, God let her peer into her son's eyes for the first time so that, only for a split second he could get a glimpse of his mother's soul. Her tears fell freely, a smile on her lips as she barely managed to say 'I do' through her emotion.

"Mommy!" Isaac interrupted the nuptials and wormed his way between his mother and father, "Up, please," he said and stretched his naked body up to her.

She grinned down at him as the group laughed, the pastor shook his head with a grin and Elliot said his, 'I do' anyway. Olivia picked Isaac up into her arms as the pastor announced them husband and wife again and allowed Elliot to kiss her.

He closed the gap between them and cupped her cheek, "Looks like I'm not the only one in love with you," he whispered through a smile.

She shook her head softly and smiled, "Just kiss me."

He grinned, "Pleasure," he whispered and kissed her as tenderly as the first time their lips had ever touched.

She wrapped her free arm around his neck, careful of their son, heard Sam groan and declare they were sharing 'kissing cooties'. She smiled, parted her lips and kissed him deeper as their friends cheered them on. She hummed against his lips, as his goatee that he seemed perfectly content with scruffed her lips.

"Yucko." Isaac chirped and used his hands to separate their lip lock.

They laughed, rested their foreheads against one another, "I love you, Liv."

She closed her eyes, let his words sink in and opened them to see him smiling at her, "I love you, too. Immeasurably."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"It's so late," Olivia groaned, rubbing her neck.

"Well," Elliot grinned and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her mouth, "we had three birthdays and a wedding, and a sick little boy who ate too much cake-"

"Sam looked at me," she whispered into the quietness that fell seconds after their last guest left only an hour ago. Their children tucked safely in their respective beds.

"What?"

She licked her lips and looked up at him, "I can't explain it, Elliot, maybe I'm crazy, but… he saw me, it was for a split second, like maybe God allowed it, but he saw into me and I saw into him… and it was beautiful."

He smiled down at her, "That's amazing… I wish I could have seen that."

She beamed and wrapped her arms around him, "Dance with me."

He nodded, "I was sort of hoping you ask me too… I got music this time," he smiled and reached for the remote, turning the stereo on and tossing the remote to the bed.

"What is this?" she asked when her ears couldn't identify the music.

He grinned, "I've got no idea, but it sounds nice, doesn't it?"

She leaned her head onto his shoulder and smiled, "Yeah… sounds good."

"So… did you want to know where we're going for a honeymoon?"

She pulled back in pleasant surprise, "For real?"

"Yeah… I owed you one."

She grinned, "Can we take the kids?"

"Did you actually think I was going to try and separated you from them?"

She laughed, "Where we going?"

"I was thinking we'd go…wherever you want. Pick and we'll go."

She grinned, caressed his face, "You're serious?"

"Yep… pick."

"I don't know."

He smiled, "Think about it and let me know?"

"Yeah," she nodded and smiled at him, "I love you."

He nuzzled her nose with his as the music continued to surround them, and suddenly, despite the pain that still crept into his bones, knowing his kids were sleeping safely in their rooms and he was holding his wife in his arms, his world righted itself as their bodies slowly danced and swayed with one another.

She nuzzled her nose against his, her eyes closing slowly as she pursed her lips to kiss him, to invite him to kiss her back as the late November night continued to encourage the caresses of their fingertips. She parted her lips and kissed him, running her tongue along his teeth before circling the tip of his tongue softly. His hand tangled in her hair as hers caressed his face, her thumb running softly over his scar and for once, as dogs slept, children dreamed and a couple danced to unfamiliar melodies, fear had no place where lovers tread.

The End