He sighed and took another look at her sleeping form, as he got up from the bed. He hated this, he simply hated it. He hated having to leave her, hated that he didn't have her back fully, that he could not spend every waking moment he was not working close to her, and every sleeping one too. He wanted all of those moments fully. And though they now occasionally did sleepovers - secret sleepovers mind you, it was not enough. He wanted her not just in his bed or rather her bed, but in his home and his life.
He wanted to be the one who rubbed her back when she came home tired and stressed he wanted to wake up and watch her beside him every day. The sun was playing in her hair making it shine, and he wanted nothing more than to reach down and run his fingers through it as he slipped back into bed holding her close.
He had been a fool, a sick bastard, to hurt her like he had in the past. And he was paying the price now, never had he loved her more than now, maybe other than when he met her and yet this was possible even stronger because of who he was now and who she was, and what they had gone through together to get to this point. He loved her more than ever and at the same time he was not allowed to be really close to her, because all she wanted was sex and friendship. And yes, he loved both of those things, and he loved that he had her back in some way but he hated leaving her like he needed to do now, and he hated that he didn't have what he really wanted - his wife and his family. But if this was all she was willing to give him, he was willing to take it, and after all he owed her that, setting the pace of things, controlling what was to happen next.
He turned back around looking at her spread out on the bed sheets only covering her lower body, that was all too tempting and made him want to crawl into bed bedside her again, so he forced his gaze away yet again.
He picked up his shirt and started to put it on and buttoning it. He was closing the last one as he was interrupted by Alicia's soft voice.
"You're leaving?" Her voice was thick with sleep.
He turned around to look at her, and regretted it. The sheets had slid down and was just lying over her waist so he was greeted by a naked Alicia that was only half covered, her soft breasts swaying, and tempting him, just like all of her bare porcelain skin was doing.
"Yeah... I mean I know it is the weekend but the kids will be up soon." He said looking down, the thought of snuggling with Alicia in bed now when it was the weekend and they didn't even have to hurry to work was almost too much, and after snuggling going it to the kitchen and having breakfast with the kids, the thought was delirious, and so tempting.
"Yeah, they will be." She agreed. "Are you okay, Peter?" He looked up and met her worried gaze, and nodded, what could he say? That he hated this, hated leaving her, hated that this could easily be very close to normal and perfect again yet it wasn't because he would be leaving driving back to an empty house?
Normally he would have had the kids but they were here with Alicia this weekend because of his campaign event tomorrow, so they had switched and they would stay with him some of next week instead. So he would walk around all day in a big empty house that he kind of hated just a little bit. He loved having it back when the kids were there because it made them happy, but at the same time he hated it, because the house reminded him of Alicia and the fact that she was not there. Because she had one other rule with this sex thing, it never happened in the house, it was her place, the campaign trailer, his office, yeah even his apartment in the city a few times, but never in the house. She came to the house a few times because of the kids and having dinners together, but never for more, and those times she only stayed a few hours. But when she left he could still feel her presences more than ever, and longed for it even more.
"Yeah everything is fine." He let out with a heavy breath, and reached down to pick up his jacket, he was about to stand up again when he felt a hand upon his. He looked up to find Alicia had scooted down to the foot of the bed the sheets around her and her eyes filled with worry.
"Peter talk to me, I can see you are lying, and that something is troubling you. What is wrong?" Her voice was soft and caring.
"I just... I just hate that I have to leave... when all I want to do is stay here with you..." He finally admitted, he felt like biting off his tongue. Now she would nod and tell him they would need to end this, that if he could no longer handle doing it like this they needed to stop, because she would never give him more.
She nodded softly.
"I see... Peter how long has this been bugging you? And why haven't you talked to me about it? I thought we were on the same page?" She asked him worriedly.
"Why... I feared you would say we were over Alicia, I feared that I could not tell you because I owed it to you to just give you this. And God knows I do... I will give you everything you ever want." He admitted sitting down on the bed besides her.
"I... Peter you should have talked to me... I don't want you to ever be sad about us or this." She looked at him.
"I just don't want to lose you. I love you Alicia, I love you so much, I know what I did to you was unforgivable and horrible, but I have tried losing you, not having you at all. And at least this is better than nothing at all, because I with this at least have a part of you, and gets to spent time with you." He looked down, he didn't want to see the pity or whatever she might feel at the moment in her eyes. But as he felt her soft hand cover his, he did look up, her eyes were not filled with pity instead they were full of understanding, tenderness and something deeper more profound and intimate, love. They were filed with love.
"Well maybe you should stay, Peter." His eyes widened in surprise. Whatever he had imagined she might say it was never this.
"Do you mean it?" He asked confused, but his voice filed with hope, the hope her words and eyes had given him.
"I do. Peter I can't promise you we will work this completely out in the end. However I do know I have been more happy lately than I have in a long time, probably since like 5 years ago before everything happened. And that has a lot to do with the time I spend with you. Even the kids have noticed I am happier. I enjoy all the time we have been spending in each other's company not just the sex but also the dinners, going with you on campaign trips, talking with you about cases and your speeches. I have really liked all of the time spent with you." She looked down breaking their gaze and Peter could see she was blushing lightly.
"I... Does this mean we are somewhere new?" He asked a bit hesitating, she looked up again and nodded softly.
"I think we are. I was kidding myself when I kept thinking this was casual sex. It could never be like that with you. But Peter we have to take it slow I am not sure we can make it work. I am scared to trust you, scared you will break my heart again. But we can try." He started to smile, the sadness he had felt before gone a little more with each of her words. He reached for her and pulled her into his lap hugging her close.
"Thank you, Alicia." he whispered into her ear, kissing her hair. "God I love you so much." He mumbled.
"I know... but Peter we need to talk about what we tell the kids and how we do this. I am not ready to move back in with you." She admitted as she pulled a little back though never leaving his arms completely.
He nodded in understanding knowing it would be a long way to win back it all with her, to win back her trust fully.
"I get it. Maybe we can just tell the kids that we are trying to make it work, and that means seeing each other and spending time together, getting reconnected. They are old enough to understand that it's complicated, and we need to take one step at a time." He offered as a solution.
Alicia nodded slowly.
"Sounds good to me. So should we get up and tell them over breakfast?" She offered, making Peter smile.
"Or we could stay here a little longer, they won't be up right now." He let his hands start to wander over her body. Tracing her naked curves and making her moan, as she shifted in his lap, and he rolled them, and moved them up a little so she laid spread out on the bed under him, their lips never breaking contact.
An hour later they walked out of the bedroom together and into the kitchen, Alicia went and started to get food out, while Peter started to get plates and everything for the table. She moved to the stove after having made the batter for the pancakes, and started to cook them. Peter was cutting up fruit behind her, and while they worked they talked about his speech for the next day. He moved over behind her and wrapped his arms around her, sighing happily that he was finally allowed to do this to her. He placed a kiss on her neck, making her tilt her head to the side, offering him more of her soft skin. He growled lightly into her neck.
"Damn, you taste amazing." He mumbled, making her let out a soft laughter as she turned around facing him, pulling him down for a gentle teasing kiss.
"Now go and cut up that food. The kids will be up soon. Also could you find the bacon for me?" She told him as she turned back around. Peter went to get the bacon and returned to cutting up the fruit. He cut up a fresh pineapple and took a piece and returned to Alicia.
"Open your mouth babe." he whispered into her ear as his arms came around her once again, this time feeding her the juicy fruit. Alicia did as asked, accepting the bite, and licking his fingers slowly for the last traces of the fruit juice, sucking on the pad of his fingers, making him let out a low moan. He turned her around again and kissed her once more, exploring her mouth. His hands came to rest on her hips, pulling her closer, as he gently backed her up against the counter, with a quick move he had lifted her up on it and stepped between her legs as they continued kissing.
"Mom!" Grace shocked voice made him pull back in surprise. "Dad! what is going on?" was the next word out of his little girl's mouth. Well he guessed that was one way to go about telling the kids.
He caught Alicia's gaze hoping she was not too mad, but she just gave him a hint of a smile. So he quickly moved away from her and held out a hand to help her down from the counter before he turned to face Grace, who looked like she had just seen a ghost.
"Hi Grace." Smooth Peter, smooth, he thought to himself.
"Grace... Is Zach up yet?" Alicia asked instead. Grace nodded, while she kept looking at them weirdly.
"Yes, he was just getting up. Mom why did I just walk in on Dad kissing you?" Grace asked confused. Neither Peter or Alicia managed to answer before Zach walked in.
"Hey mom, making breakfast?" He asked having not noticed Peter yet, but the moment he did he stopped walking.
"Mom why is Dad here?" He asked confused, as he looked from Peter to Alicia.
"Don't I get a hello?" Peter teased Zach, who smiled and shook his head.
"Hey Dad, why are you here?" He asked again.
Grace snorted. "You should much rather ask why I just found them making out like teenagers when I walked in, gross Mom, gross." She mumbled, just loud enough to make everyone hear her. Zach looked surprised for a second but then grinned.
"Was the campaign trailer not enough anymore?" He asked, chuckling, as he looked from one to the other. Peter's mouthed dropped open while Alicia let out a shocked:
"Eww the campaign trailer, that is so much worse, disgusting. And you talk to me about condom research online." Grace mumbled.
"It is not exactly a secret at the campaign office, that Mom comes to the trailer with you and you stay in there... for a while. Until Eli discovered Mom, they kinda feared for a new scandal. Don't worry, we have made sure no media or the opposition know." Zach explained, making Peter's eyes grow wider even more.
"Mom and Dad are together, and you knew about it and didn't tell me?" Grace looked annoyed at her brother.
"Grace calm down. I didn't say anything because I thought it was their thing and they would tell us when it became real and when they were ready, and since they are cooking breakfast I guess that is now." Zach explained while looking at his parents again.
"Zach, and Grace you better sit down, so your mother and I can explain this." Peter finally found his voice again and was able to explain.
The kids nodded and took a seat at the counter.
"As Zach rightly knew about, your mother and I have started to see each other more." he started to look from kid to kid. "Privately." He added.
"And we decided, that it was finally time to tell you, because we wished to do more than see each other every now and then in secret." Alicia took over. "We haven't told you anything before now because we haven't wanted to confuse you, before we knew where this was going." Peter continued.
"But now we would like for it to be more, and we would like to be able to spent time with you two both together, like family breakfast for example. Or movie nights. Your Dad is here this morning because he spent the night with me, and you should expect that it might happen more and more often." Alicia explained.
"However we are not moving back in together right now, I did something terrible to your mother, and it will take time for her to trust me fully again. You could almost say we are dating. We are reconnecting. It is not guaranteed your Mom and I can ever be together again for real, but we would like to work on it. " Peter continued the explanation.
"Do you have any questions?" Alicia asked. "Anything you would like to know or understand better?"
"Was Zach right? Has this been going on for a long time?" Grace asked confused, and a little hurt, that she seemed to be the only one left out.
"It has been going on for a while, yes. We didn't tell you in the hope of not confusing you. We didn't know Zach already knew. But I guess that is our mistake that we were not more careful after and apparently before Eli found out." Alicia explained.
"So will others know, too, that are you not separated anymore? And will you be going out in public together?" Zach asked.
"We are still separated, as I said, we are not moving back in together right now. But yes, we most likely will be going out to dinner together in public, though we have done that a few times already. The biggest change will be that we will be spending more time with the two of you together, and that I might be here sometimes in the morning..." Peter answered.
"Or at night for dinner. As your Dad said the biggest change will be that you will see us together more often at nighttime and in the morning. That your Dad won't be leaving after having dinner with us. And as Grace saw earlier, you might see us kiss or hold hands." Alicia finish for Peter, while he looked at her smilingly, especially because of the comment about kissing, that meant she didn't mind him kissing her all the time like he wanted to.
"If at any time you wonder about something with this we want you to talk with us. If this all makes you uncomfortable, tell us. You are both the most important part of our lives, and we want you to come to us if any of this bothers you. " Peter said looking at both kids. However the kids were both smiling by now.
"Cool, does that mean we get to have family breakfast all together more often?" Zach smiled. "No, it is cool. I am glad you are making it work." He smiled at his parents.
Grace on the other hand jumped down from the chair and went to hug first Alicia and then Peter.
Peter hugged his little girl close into him holding her tightly.
"Please don't hurt mom again... please Dad, I don't want you to leave again." She whispered to him.
"I won't. I won't." he promised his daughter as his eyes locked with Alicia's, exchanging a small smile with her. He would rather cut out his own heart than hurt her again, his incredible and amazing wife.
Grace pulled back.
"So will you be spending today with us?" She asked Peter, who once more caught Alicia's gaze, taking in her light nodding.
"Yes, I will. And tonight I am taking you all out for dinner." He told Grace with a smile.
"What about you two set the table, and your Dad and I will finish getting breakfast together." Alicia cut in. Both kids nodded and agreed and started carrying the things Peter had already found into the dining room.
Peter turned to Alicia and before she managed to move back over to the stove and the by now very burnt pancakes he pulled her into his arms. His lips found hers in a sweet kiss.
"Thank you." he mumbled against her lips. A morning that had started with a fear of having to leave her once more and ended up in an invitation to stay, one he would never again take for granted.