Olivia figured Elliot might say something about her stomach, but he didn't. Probably didn't notice because it was dark out, and only the porch light was on. Just like old times, she sat next to him. They didn't always have to talk to communicate. So she just rested her head on his shoulders for awhile.

After awhile, he pulled back. "I'm going to grab a beer. You want one?"

"No, thank you anyways."

"Okay, " he sat back down. " It's not good for me to drink alone anyways."

"Good idea. For awhile there myself I thought that I might be one bad date away from being one of those ladies who lives alone with 80 cats."

He chuckled. "You'll never be alone."

She smiled about him. There was just something about him that comforter her, no matter where they were at. Sometimes he was a man of few words, but he said those at the exact time that she needed to hear them the most.

"El.." she was ready to tell him. But at the same time he started to speak. " I've been meaning to talk to you."

"Go ahead." They both said at the same time.

"Liv..I owe you an apology."

She was visibly startled. "For what?"

"I haven't been there for you lately. I know we were spending a lot of time together.."

"You don't owe me an explanation. I'm not one of those clingy women."

He nodded in agreement. There was no doubt she was quite independent; that made him appreciate the moments like tonight when she turned to him when she had something on her mind.

"I still feel bad but we haven't really spent anytime together lately. You've been sick and spending more time at the desk..I've been pretty messed up with the whole Kathy thing. I don't see my kids as much as I would like to. This whole single parenting just…well…it sucks."

Right then Olivia knew that she had to tell Elliot. If she didn't tell him now, it would feel as if she was lying him, that she was no better than Kathy.

"I'm pregnant."

"What? That's not…" he looked at her. "That's not possible, is it? I thought you were on the pill."

"I had stopped for awhile. I figured you actually had to have sex to need birth control." She laughed nervously. "I never expected that we would be together. I know that's not an excuse..I was going to start up again…we just haven't spent anytime together lately. I started to think that maybe I was a one-night stand."

"you'll never be a one-night stand." He answered so quickly that she knew that he meant it. "I wanted to be with you again. That night was incredible. But I just didn't want you to regret it."

"I'll never regret it. You were there on the darkest night of my life." She took his hand. "I don't think that I could have survived that..what happened to me…if you hadn't been there for me." And it was the truth."I could never have been with anyone else but you."

"that's part of the reason I drew back. I didn't want you to think I would take advantage of you."

She felt disappointed. Did he really mean that he didn't want to be with her? Did he think that it was a mistake? Was he trying to back out of their relationship because she was pregnant.

As usual, she put up a brave front. If he didn't want to talk about feelings then she certainly didn't want to make him uncomfortable. "Maybe I made a mistake. This probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyways. It could have ruined our careers."

Elliot was frustrated. Why couldn't he just tell her how he really felt? In a way, she was right; a 10 year partnership was something that he didn't want to lose. But he suspected that things had changed between them. The question was, could he really take that chance of losing her? Now that she was pregnant, things had definitely changed.

"Liv, you don't know how hard it is for me to talk about this stuff. That was the reason Kathy left me. I could talk about everything else but how I really felt. I survived. But I don't know what I would do if I were to lose you.You know me better than anyone else. Probably even better than I know myself. "

She touched his face gently. "I won't leave unless you want me too." Then she kissed him. He didn't protest. The kiss seemed to last forever, almost as if they were both teenagers again.

"Don't leave." He whispered. "You want…you want to come in?"

She knew what he meant. He wanted her to spend the night. And that was what she wanted more than anything at that moment. After all, there was nothing they could really say. They were both scared of what would happen next. Another kiss was all the answer he needed. He took her hand and led her into the house.

After making love, Olivia fell asleep. But he couldn't. There were too many things to think about. The last thing he wanted to do was to hurt her. At the same time, there was nothing he wanted more than to be with her. She looked like an angel sleeping so peacefully. Now, for the first time, he noticed her stomach. She was going to be a mother. That was her lifelong dream, and he made that dream come true for her. He couldn't help but place his hand on her stomach. That was child..they shared something wonderful. There was no doubt in his mind that this was a good thing. He would always be a part of her life, and that was a wonderful thing.

The touch of his hand woke Olivia up. "Hey there."

"I'm sorry…"

"Please stop apologizing. I'm happy."

"you are?"

"More than you know."

"Me too. I meant it..when I told you that I love you."

" I love you too. But there's something you should know, before we go any further."

They both sat up, there backs against the headboard. "The baby…it might not be yours."

"it's alright. It's mine."

"no…you don't understand. After I was attacked..I never took the morning-after pill. I don't know why I didn't. Don't hate me."

"I could never hate you. And it doesn't matter. That baby's mine. And I'm glad you didn't take that pill. For some women..that's probably for the best. I don't believe in it, but some women can't handle it. We've both seen what can happen."

"You know..I always wondered if that pill had been available, would my mother have taken it? And the truth is, I just don't know.I'm scared, El. I do know what happens when women don't want their child."

"Do you want this baby?"

She nodded. "I wasn't sure. But the other night..when I saved that baby, I knew that I did. That baby's life is already more difficult than it should be. She was born to an addict. My mom could have easily…"

He pulled her close to him. "You're torturing yourself, you know. And for what it's worth...you're not your mother. You're going to be an amazing mom."

"How do you know that…you don't.."

"I do, Liv. I've asked myself those same questions..not exactly like yours, of course. But when Kathy first told me she was pregnant…I freaked out. I wanted to run away."

"But you didn't. Look at how well your kids turned out. They are lucky to have you as a father."

"All I know is that I didn't want to turn out like my father."

This was new. He had never spoken about his father, not even with her. After ten years she still learned something new about him every time they were together. "What happened."

For a few minutes he couldn't speak. This was new for him, opening up about his childhood. He'd only told a shrink once about it, but somehow it was different with Olivia. He just knew that she would understand.

"He..he used to beat me. One time he tried to hit me with a baseball bat. He threw it at me but I managed to duck. But he still hit me. For no reason. I didn't understand what I'd done wrong. It was like I could never measure up to his expectations. I thought that being a cop would be enough for him…but even that didn't please him."

"Oh El.."

"That's why I know I'll always love this baby. It's important to me that you know that. I know what it's like to be unwanted. I'll never leave you or the baby. I promise that I will love her..as much as I love you."

"Her? I think you want a girl." She grinned.

"I do..with you as a momma she'll be amazing. She'll turn out to be like you…Every daughter deserves a mother like you."

That was the most reassuring comment she'd ever heard. Somehow when he told her she would be a great mother, she believed it.

"I never told you…but you don't know how much you've helped me. It was so easy for me to see that you didn't deserve anything your mom did to you. You struggle to make sense of it..I don't know how I would have turned out if you weren't in my life. I know I get a little rough on the job. " He chuckled, trying to ease the conversation. This was probably the most intimate moment of his life, and it was more than a little overwhelming.. "More than a little rough. Don't say it. But I will never apologize to anyone for what I do. All that matters to me is that I've never laid a hand on my kids. "

No man had ever treated her like Elliot did. As a matter of fact, no one had ever made her feel so special. Her job was rewarding in so many ways, and she knew that she made a difference to those victims that she'd helped. For so long she'd defined herself by her job. It never even occurred to her that anyone could see another side of her. None of her boyfriends had ever understood her. They'd felt threatened by what she did for a living. Elliot made her feel like a woman…and he knew why she lived for her job. And now she knew that he loved her. Everything made sense now. The bond that they shared went beyond being partners on the job. He was her mate in so many ways. Listening to him right now was the best gift she could give him. Everyone needs someone who will truly hear what they need to say.

"And you ..you always take my side. Don't think I don't know everytime you defend me to IA. You've never once questioned why I get so tough on the perps. You've had my back, Liv. I don't always understand why, because all my life…I grew up thinking that I had to defend everything I do. But whenever I get hurt on the job you are there for me. I just don't know how I could ever thank you."

She kissed him passionately. "You just did."