He'd accidently found out and that was possibly the worst of it. Peter had driven to her place to surprise Olivia with her favorite pizza after a long day at work and he had just parked a few cars down from her place when he saw her door open and the silhouette of two people was framed in her doorway. One he determined was Olivia from the billowing of her long hair in the wind and the other must have been a man based on his taller height and wide shoulders. Peter stayed in the car, frozen in place as Olivia's head dropped before looking back up at the man and he cupped her cheek and lowered his lips to hers. Peter's heart gave a painful throb and his stomach dropped to the floor of the car. He waited anxiously for her to slap the man. Pull back in revulsion. Anything that would get her out of that kiss but instead she leaned in and though her hands stayed by her sides it didn't take a genius to see she was into the kiss and took them a few minutes to break. The man practically skipped back to his car and Olivia watched the man go for a few seconds before turning to go back inside. Peter wanted to pound down her door and demand answers. Why hadn't she told him she was seeing someone? They were partners and friends. There had never been room for secrets and lies between them. Yes, there were plenty of things they didn't know about each other but they never actively kept things from each other on purpose. He'd gone straight home after that and his mind seemed stuck on her and this betrayal. That kiss kept replaying in his mind and the sting of it never diminished – mostly because stupidly he'd thought he would be the next person she kissed even if it took her awhile to realize it.
Days passed and though Peter and Olivia had spent a considerable amount of time together due to the increased case load, she hadn't said one word about her change in relationship status and Peter refused to be the one to bring it up. The tension between them continued to grow though and after Peter had snapped at Olivia she snapped back.
"What the hell's wrong with you?" Olivia whirled on him.
"What's wrong with me? What about you?" Peter growled. "When did we start keeping secrets?"
Olivia gave him a look of confusion and then fear flashed through her eyes and she knew he knew.
"Who is he?" Peter's voice had softened and the hurt laced his voice.
Olivia looked like for a second she'd consider playing dumb but her face dropped to the ground and she couldn't hold his gaze as she answered. "Jeremy."
"Where did you guys meet?" Peter asked, already feeling each answer like a knife in the heart but needing to know more.
"Two cases ago at Massive Dynamic," Olivia said softly, only glancing up to see the pain in his eyes before looking back down. "He's a biochemist there."
"When were you going to tell me?" Peter asked. "Before you married him?"
"Peter it's not like that," Olivia said, her voice pained.
"You know what? It doesn't matter. It just would've been nice if you'd said something instead of me having to find out after catching you two at it." Peter said, putting a hand up and turning away from her.
"What?" Olivia sputtered, following close behind him.
"I saw you last week, outside your place." Peter stated, not even glancing at her.
"You were spying on me?" Olivia balked and grabbed his arm to bring him to a stop.
"Of course not! I wanted to surprise you with dinner, but you were obviously busy so I just turned around." Peter said coldly, shaking loose of her grip.
"Peter – I…" Her mind scrambled for words but then something in her hardened and it showed in her eyes. "I don't think I have to explain myself to you. I have every right to be happy and just because you don't approve doesn't mean I don't deserve it."
"Livia – you know that's not what I mean," Peter said turning to face her again. "I do want you to be happy, but obviously you felt like you needed to keep this from me. Why?"
"It's a casual thing I guess and that's all I wanted. A step in the right direction of getting my life back," Olivia explained, sounding almost like she was trying to convince herself as well. "I've been too scared to try again for too long and I guess I just couldn't find any excuses to tell him no when he asked me out."
Peter nodded, trying not to show the disappointment. He couldn't help but think that maybe if he'd asked first then maybe she would've said yes to him, but he'd missed his chance. They walked back to the SUV in silence; the tension having faded some but it hadn't disappeared completely.
When Olivia made it home that night, late as usual, she went straight for the shower navigating her way past the blinking answering machine. Once under the rushing heat of water her mind finally released its hold on her and she let go. Explaining herself to Peter had been much harder than she thought it would've been, but part of her was glad it was over with. If she were honest with herself she could admit that she had hoped he'd never found out but what was done was done.
Her heart lurched when she remember the pained look on his face as if she had been twisting the knife she'd thrown in his back. It killed her to see that look on his face and of course she knew why.
She was in love with him.
The second partner in three years she had fallen for and that was a large part of the reason she'd said yes to Jeremy. She felt like she needed to break the trend she had unwittingly setting for herself. It was that thought she continued to tell herself as she readied herself for bed and eventually fell asleep, her last thought despite her efforts being of Peter and the haunted look he had been giving her all week.
It was just past one in the afternoon two weeks after their talk and Peter and Olivia stood bickering over suspect options and who would be best to interview first when the door to the lab slowly opened, but Olivia and Peter continued, leaving the guest to Astrid who had rolled her eyes and gotten to her feet.
"Liv?" It was a man's voice and Olivia whirled around while Peter lifted his head to stare at the intruder.
"Jeremy?" Olivia asked slowly and moved toward the man. Peter glowered at the scientist who had swept in under his nose to take Olivia, but then he remembered that he wanted Olivia to be happy and swallowed down the urge to throw swings at the guy, but he did give him an intense look over. He was maybe an inch shorter than himself, with black wavy hair and brown eyes. Though he would never admit it out loud he cut a pretty handsome figure and it was no wonder Olivia was dating him. Jeremy seemed only to have eyes for Olivia though as he gave her a charming smile and then pulled out a single red rose that Olivia slowly took; blushing and unable to hold his gaze.
"Who's he?" Astrid asked with a furrowed brow but an appreciative smirk on her face.
"The new boy toy," Peter grumbled, turning away so he wouldn't see them exchange a chaste kiss of greeting.
"Whoa…" Astrid said in awe. "I'm sorry."
"Why?" Peter asked, still not looking at his partner and her beau.
"Anyone with eyes can see you love her," Astrid said softly, giving him a look of understanding.
"Too bad she doesn't know," Peter sighed and moved back towards his lab station so he wouldn't have to watch the two love birds.
"Peter, I'll be by tonight and we can interview Mr. Kasey." Olivia said, waving at him as she left the lab with Jeremy leading. She didn't even wait for his response and Peter tried not to care.
Olivia swung by the Bishop's house and before she could get out to knock on the door, Peter was flying out the front door and swinging open the passenger door.
"In a bit of a hurry?" Olivia asked.
Peter just gave her narrowed eyes and she shut up. They were still on a little bit of thin ice – but it was getting better. They were twenty minutes into their silent car ride when Olivia finally voiced the concern she'd had for the last ten minutes once she confirmed her assumptions in her rearview mirror.
"I don't mean to alarm you, but we're being followed…" Olivia said and Peter twisted almost comically fast in his seat to stare back at the traffic behind them. "Two cars back – black windowless van."
"Shit…" Peter sighed. "What do we do?"
"Call for backup and try to lose them – wait…" Olivia swerved and Peter hit his head on the window when he didn't react fast enough. "Sorry – they're trying to overtake us now." Olivia swerved again but this time Peter braced himself for it as Olivia flew in and out of the way of the van as it sped up leaving just them and the van as the other car took the last exit. They were now a few miles out from civilization and they were surrounded by fields of corn.
"The call won't go through – what now?" Peter asked, trying not to panic. Just then the two back tires were shot out as their ride became very bumpy.
"We're escaping on foot now," Olivia said with grim determination. "We head out into the corn and then turn left to run parallel with the road, back where we came from."
Peter nodded nervously as Olivia threw on the breaks and they dove out of the SUV and ran into the corn. Peter groped for Olivia's hand as they broke past the barrier of corn and he led them as fast as he could deeper into tall fields. At one point he lost his grip on her hand and he heard her turn and shoot at their followers and he tried not to slow too much but he wasn't about to lose her either. He was just about to turn and head south like they had planned when he heard Olivia shout and then the rustling of corn as she hit the ground.
"No!" Peter gasped and turned back around to kneel beside her.
"Peter… go… now…" Olivia murmured sleepily. Peter picked out a small dart in her shoulder and sniffed the end.
"No, you're stupid if you think I'm leaving you." Peter said, trying to gather her in her arms before realizing it was probably useless because the others were just seconds away from capturing them.
"Peter, please don't argue – just this… once…" and then hers eyes closed and she was unconscious.
Peter reached for her gun and began firing into the dark forms stalking toward them before he felt the hard prick of something in his neck and his arms fell weak onto Olivia's stomach as the world began to fade around him. With one last great effort he groped for her hand and squeezed it as hard as he could before he collapsed and was lost to the world.
A/N: Yet another fic… I know… haha. Review if you like and I'll try and pass out Peter kisses ;-)