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He liked to spread all his stuff out on the coffee table. He usually flipped back and forth between three or four references while grading papers. He sat on the floor and leaned back on the couch, chewing a pen and musing over the words of Columbia law students.

 

She liked laying down on the couch behind him and watching him think. She liked tracing patterns on the back of his neck and playing with his hair while she watched TV. Stroking his shoulders. His chest. Listening when he asked if a phrase sounded grammatically correct or legally accurate.

 

It was a Friday morning. Noah was at school. He didn't have any classes to teach. She had blocked out the day for board meetings and a leadership training but had woken up to a myriad of cancelation emails. So here they were. She felt intensely peaceful. In fact, she had barely bothered to get dressed today. She was lounging around in some boy shorts and an oversized sweater and scant else. He was still in his pajamas, working and sipping on his second cup of coffee. The morning news was on low but depressing as ever. Olivia yawned and stretched, rolling over on her stomach and reaching over to trace figure eights on the back of his neck.    

 

"Rafael…" She sighed.   

 

"Hmmm?" It took very little provocation for him to abandon his work and turn around, draping an arm across her waist. She giggled when he fixed her with a serious look. "Can I help you?"

 

"Wait-" She turned on her side and took off her reading glasses and put them on his face, perching them on the end of his nose. "Say that again." He laughed and pulled them off, carefully setting them on the coffee table. He must have been feeling soft around the edges. He gave her a smile before leaning in pressing barely-there kisses to her neck while rubbing her back.  "Everything okay?" He asked, sitting up and kissing her quickly on the lips.

 

"Come here." He was acquiescing before she even finished asking, lying between her thighs and sinking into her arms. They kissed languidly. She nuzzled under his ear and sighed again, relishing the comfort of his weight draped over her and the sound of his breathing and the smell of him fresh out of the shower. He tilted her chin up and kissed her deeply, flicking his tongue against hers teasingly.

 

"Liv." He attempted to look stern again but just ended up looking amused. "Am I going to get any work done today?" She shrugged. 

 

"I mean, if we're taking a vote…I don't like your odds." He snickered, pinching her thigh and nipping at her ear lobe. He sighed, getting comfortable. She hooked one leg around his thigh. He traced her lower lip with his thumb and groaned when her tongue flickered against his skin.

 

"I'm too old for this." He mumbled against her cheek.

 

"Wanna go back to bed?"

 

"Tempting." Her mouth opened under his and he was momentarily lost. His cell phone broke the fog in his brain. She couldn't help but be a nuisance. Moving. Kissing up his throat. Putting her hands up the back of his shirt.

 

"Hola Mami." He held the phone sideways to keep the caller out of sound range, taking her chin in his hand and biting her bottom lip in retaliation. "Muy bien. Gracias. Como estas?" They giggled at each other as he sat up, putting some distance between them. "Si. Si Mami. No, yo entiendo. Esta bien. Si. Just email it to me. I'll take a look at it. Okay. I'll call her. Don't worry. No…don't worry. Alright. You too. Adios." He sighed dramatically and dropped the phone on the side table.  

 

"That sounded fun." Olivia said sympathetically, reaching out to fiddle with his sleeve.

 

"My Tia Esperanza wants legal advice. I haven't heard from the woman in 3 years but apparently her new boyfriend is exigence for a family reunion." She sat up, sliding a leg over his lap and slowly coming to sit astride his thighs.

 

"Sounds like a fun guy."

 

"Barrel of laughs." Whatever dark mood might have been coming on abated almost immediately. She stroked one side of his face and kissed his other cheek. The corner of his eye. His brow. He sighed happily, gathering her up in his arms and against his chest.

 

"Wanna get something greasy for lunch and rent an R-rated movie before Noah gets out of school and we're stuck watching the Incredibles all weekend?"

 

"Yes please." She smiled and kissed him again. They ordered in Chinese and half way paid attention to a shitty old action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it after sharing a shower and some other pleasurable R-Rated activities. They finally got dressed around two and picked up Noah from school. He was practically levitating with excitement to see the both of them. Usually Lucy handled pick up on Fridays and helped start homework so nothing was left till the last minute on Sundays. Today they went to Columbia so Rafael could handle office hours. Olivia took Noah to the library and helped with his math worksheets and Spanish flashcards.

 

Friday was also Noah's night to choose dinner. Today the verdict was homemade spaghetti and meatballs so they headed to the grocery store. Noah pushed the cart around and put a great deal of unnecessary ingredients while singing a song to himself about meatballs.

 

"He doesn't really want to put gummy worms in there, does he?" Rafael asked. Olivia shrugged and slipped her hand into his.

 

"Watch him. One time he dumped out a shit ton of cayenne pepper into a pot of chili without me noticing." She laughed at his horrified expression.

 

Noah loved being assistant chef. Olivia sat at the counter with her laptop while Rafael attempted to put together dinner with her little boy's grabby hands. It was hard to answer emails when they were both making her laugh so hard. A recent message from Amanda caught her eye.

 

"And now we wait." Rafael said, slightly relieved, as he put lids on pots on the stove top and started cleaning up. "Can you go wash your hands amigo? And then help me set the table?"

 

"Yes Rafa!"

 

"Make sure to get that ground beef out of your hair por favor." He called after Noah as he trotted to the bathroom. "You okay?" He asked Olivia when he noticed she wasn't laughing at his predicament anymore. He frowned when he saw the furrow in her brow. 

 

"Yah. Amanda just dropped me a line about one of our new residents. The paperwork we got was lacking and she barely got enough restitution to cover a few therapy sessions. Her lawyer stopped answering her calls and she lost her job. Her apartment too. She's living at the house currently. I'm trying to see how I can help but it's…ugly."

 

"Did it come out of Manhattan SVU?"

 

"Bronx. But Carisi helped with the collar. It was a Wall Street guy that Rollins had been tailing for awhile. He entered an Alford plea but the judge apparently sided with him. He'll do a year for assault and then walk."

 

"Will he go on the registry?"

 

"No. But these court documents are confusing. There was some sort of settlement and exchange on nondisclosures. I've never seen anything like it. Amanda is as confused as I am." Rafael frowned. Noah came jogging back into the room.

 

"Anything pressing?" Rafael asked.

 

"Nothing that can't wait till Monday."

 

"If you can spare the time for lunch Monday, I can take a look at it." She finally smiled again, closing her laptop. 

 

"Thank you."

 

Dinner was surprisingly surprise-less. And delicious. True to Olivia's prediction, Noah insisted on watching the Incredibles again before they saw the sequel tomorrow afternoon. He dozed off during the last ten minutes of the movie and didn't put up much of a fight when it came to his bath and bedtime routine. Olivia rejoined Rafael in their own bedroom. He brought a bottle of red wine and two glasses. She put on some mindless TV. 

 

"Something on your mind?" He noticed her fidgeting despite being reclined against him and what was probably three too many pillows for a bed their size.

 

"Still trying to turn off my brain, I guess. Long week." They had both worked through the previous weekend when Noah was napping or sleeping, waking up early and going to bed late. It had been awhile since they had time like this. He kissed the top of her head and held her a little tighter.

 

"Anything I can do?" She swallowed the rest of her wine and put the glass aside, sitting up slightly to do so.

 

"Knock me over the head with something heavy." He snorted and pulled her back into the circle of his arms and halfway across his lap. She pouted against his shoulder.

 

"Wanna fool around?" She burst into giggles, hiding her face in his shirt.

 

"So romantic."

 

"It's 2018. We cut to the chase now. Let's fuck." She snorted with laughter and slapped a hand over his mouth.

 

"NO."

 

"Netflix and chill?"

 

"Shut uuuuuup." She wrapped her arms around his neck. He held her back. "You're so stupid." He snorted, blushing a little.  

 

"I know." He smiled against her neck, closing his eyes and breathing her in. "Tell me what you're thinking."

 

"I need to find a way to help Andrea. The woman I was telling you about earlier. I don't know how to yet, and it's irritating me." She leaned back, sitting sideways between his thighs. She brought her knees up and tiredly rested her head against them. He stroked her hair back.

 

"You don't need to have all the answers right now. She's safe. You can take your time."

 

"Can I though?" He shrugged. 

 

"Someone had to remind me once that urgency is often irrational. Particularly in our line of work. Separate the wheat from the chaff. You'll get where you need to go." She raised an eyebrow, impressed.

 

"Who's the someone?" He laughed. 

 

"You." She honestly couldn't recall. And the absurdity made her laugh too.

 

"You must have polished that up. I never sound that nice."

 

"You do after I've had a few." He raised his second glass of wine to her. She backhanded him but they were grinning.